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´╗┐Title: A Walk from London to John O'Groat's
Author: Burritt, Elihu, 1810-1879
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Walk from London to John O'Groat's" ***


with notes by the way.




CHAPTER I.      Motives to the Walk--The Iron Horse and his Rider--
The Losses and Gains by Speed--The Railway Track and Turnpike Road:
Their Sceneries Compared.

CHAPTER II.     First Day's Observations and Enjoyment--Rural Foot-
paths; Visit to Tiptree Farm--Alderman Mechi's Operations--
Improvements Introduced, Decried and Adopted--Steam Power, Under-
draining, Deep Tillage, Irrigation--Practical Results.

CHAPTER III.    English and American Birds--The Lark and its Song.

CHAPTER IV.     Talk with an Old Man on the Way--Old Houses in
England--Their American Relationships--English Hedges and Hedge-row
Trees--Their Probable Fate--Change of Rural Scenery without them.

CHAPTER V.      A Footpath Walk and its Incidents--Harvest Aspects--
English and American Skies--Humbler Objects of Contemplation--The
Donkey:  Its Uses and Abuses.

CHAPTER VI.     Hospitalities of "Friends"--Harvest Aspects:
English Country Inns; their Appearance, Names and Distinctive
Characteristics--The Landlady, Waiter, Chambermaid and Boots--Extra
Fees and Extra Comforts.

CHAPTER VII.    Light of Human Lives--Photographs and Biographs--The
late Jonas Webb, his Life, Labors and Memory.

CHAPTER VIII.   Threshing Machine--Flower Show--The Hollyhock and
its Suggestions--The Law of Co-operative Activities in Vegetable,
Animal, Mental and Moral Life.

CHAPTER IX.     Visit to a Three-Thousand-Acre Farm--Samuel Jonas;
His Agricultural Operations, their Extent, Success and General

CHAPTER X.      Royston and its Specialities--Entertainment in a
Small Village--St. Ives--Visits to Adjoining Villages--A Fen-Farm--
Capital Invested in English and American Agriculture Compared--
Allotments and Garden Tenantry--Barley Grown on Oats.

CHAPTER XI.     The Miller of Houghton--An Hour in Huntingdon--Old
Houses--Whitewashed Tapestry and Works of Art--"The Old Mermaid" and
"The Green Man"--Talk with Agricultural Laborers--Thoughts on their
Condition, Prospects and Possibilities.

CHAPTER XII.    Farm Game--Hallett Wheat--Oundle--Country Bridges--
Fotheringay Castle--Queen Mary's Imprisonment and Execution--
Burghley House:  The Park, Avenues, Elms and Oaks--Thoughts on
Trees, English and American.

CHAPTER XIII.   Walk to Oakham--The English and American Spring--The
English Gentry--A Specimen of the Class--Melton Mowbray and its
Specialities--Belvoir Vale and its Beauty--Thoughts on the Blind

CHAPTER XIV.    Nottingham and its Characteristics--Newstead Abbey--
Mansfield--Talk in a Blacksmith's Shop--Chesterfield, Chatsworth and
Haddon Hall--Aristocratic Civilisation, Present and Past.

CHAPTER XV.     Sheffield and its Individuality--The Country, Above
Ground and Under Ground--Wakefield and Leeds--Wharf Vale--Farnley
Hall--Harrogate; Ripley Castle; Ripon; Conservatism of Country
Towns--Fountain Abbey; Studley Park--Rievaulx Abbey--Lord
Faversham's Shorthorn Stock.

CHAPTER XVI.    Hexham--The North Tyne--Border-Land and its
Suggestions--Hawick--Teviotdale--Birth-place of Leyden--Melrose and
Dryburgh Abbeys--Abbotsford:  Sir Walter Scott; Homage to his
Genius--The Ferry and the Oar-Girl--New Farm Steddings--Scenery of
the Tweed Valley--Edinburgh and its Characteristics.

CHAPTER XVII.   Loch Leven--Its Island Castle--Straths--Perth--
Salmon-breeding--Thoughts on Fish-farming--Dunkeld--Blair Atholl--
Ducal Tree-planter--Strathspey and its Scenery--The Roads--Scotch
Cattle and Sheep--Night in a Wayside Cottage--Arrival at Inverness.

CHAPTER XVIII.  Inverness--Ross-shire--Tain--Dornoch--Golspie--
Progress of Railroads--The Sutherland Eviction--Sea-coast Scenery--
Caithness--Wick--Herring Fisheries--John O'Groat's:  Walk's End.

CHAPTER XIX.    Anthony Cruickshank--The Greatest Herd of Shorthorns
in the World--Return to London and Termination of my Tour.


In presenting this volume to the public, I feel that a few words of
explanation are due to the readers that it may obtain, in addition
to those offered to them in the first chapter.  When I first visited
England, in 1846, it was my intention to make a pedestrian tour from
one end of the island to the other, in order to become more
acquainted with the country and people than I could by any other
mode of travelling.  A few weeks after my arrival, I set out on such
a walk, and had made about one hundred miles on foot, when I was
constrained to suspend the tour, in order to take part in movements
which soon absorbed all my time and strength.  For the ensuing ten
years I was nearly the whole time in Great Britain, travelling from
one end of the kingdom to the other, to promote the movements
referred to; still desiring to accomplish the walk originally
proposed.  On returning to England at the beginning of 1863, after a
continuous residence of seven years in America, I found myself, for
the first time, in the condition to carry out my intention of 1846.
Several new motives had been added in the interval to those that had
at first operated upon my mind.  I had dabbled a little in farming
in my native village, New Britain, Connecticut, and had labored to
excite additional interest in agriculture among my neighbors.  We
had formed an Agricultural Club, and met weekly for several winters
to compare notes, exchange opinions' and discuss matters connected
with the occupation.  They had honored me with the post of
Corresponding Secretary from the beginning.  We held a meeting the
evening before I left for England, when they not only refused to
accept my resignation as Secretary, but made me promise to write
them letters about farming in the Mother Country, and on other
matters of interest that I might meet with on my travels there.  My
first idea was to do this literally;--to make a walk through the
best agricultural sections of England, and write home a series of
communications to be inserted in our little village paper.  But, on
second thought, on considering the size of the sheet, I found it
would require four or five years to print in it all I was likely to
write, at the rate of two columns a week.  So I concluded that the
easiest and quickest way would be to make a book of my Notes by the
Way, and to send back to my old friends and neighbors in that form
all the observations and incidents I might make and meet on my walk.
The next thought that suggested itself was this,--that a good many
persons in Great Britain might feel some interest in seeing what an
American, who had resided so long in this country, might have to say
of its sceneries, industries, social life, etc.  Still, in writing
out these Notes, although two distinct circles of readers--the
English and American--have been present to my mind, I felt
constrained to face and address the latter, just as if speaking to
them alone.  I have, moreover, adopted the free and easy style of
epistolary composition, endeavoring to make each chapter as much
like one of the letters I promised my friends and neighbors at home
as practicable.  In doing this, the "_I_" has, perhaps, talked far
too much to beseem those proprieties which the author of a book
should observe.  Besides, expressions, figures and orthography more
American than English may be noticed, which will indicate the circle
of readers which the writer had primarily in view.  Still, he would
fain believe that these features of the volume will not seriously
affect the interest it might otherwise possess in the minds of those
disposed to give it a reading in this country.  Whatever exceptions
they may take to the style and diction, I hope they will find none
to the spirit of the work.
                                           ELIHU BURRITT.

London, April 5th, 1864.



One of my motives for making this tour was to look at the country
towns and villages on the way in the face and eyes; to enter them by
the front door, and to see them as they were made to be seen first,
as far as man's mind and hand intended and wrought.  Railway
travelling, as yet, takes everything at a disadvantage; it does not
front on nature, or art, or the common conditions and industries of
men in town or country.  If it does not actually of itself turn, it
presents everything the wrong side outward.  In cities, it reveals
the ragged and smutty companionship of tumble-down out-houses, and
mysteries of cellar and back-kitchen life which were never intended
for other eyes than those that grope in them by day or night.  How
unnatural, and, more, almost profane and inhuman, is the fiery
locomotion of the Iron Horse through these densely-peopled towns!
now the screech, the roar, and the darkness of cavernous passages
under paved streets, church vaults, and an acre or two of three-
story brick houses, with the feeling of a world of breathing,
bustling humanity incumbent upon you;--now the dash and flash out
into the light, and the higgledy-piggledy glimpses of the next five
minutes.  In a moment you are above thickly-thronged streets, and
the houses on either side, looking down into the black throats of
smoky chimneys; into the garret lairs of poverty, sickness, and sin;
down lower upon squads of children trying to play in back-yards
eight feet square.  It is all wrong, except in the single quality of
speed.  You enter the town as you would a farmer's house, if you
first passed through the pig-stye into the kitchen.  Every
respectable house in the city turns its back upon you; and often a
very brick and dirty back too, though it may show an elegant front
of Bath or Portland stone to the street it faces.  All the
respectable streets run over or under you with an audible shudder of
disgust or dread.  None but a shabby lane of low shops for the sale
of junk, beer, onions, shrimps, and cabbages, will run a third of a
mile by your side for the sake of your company.  The wickedest boys
in the town hoot at you, with most ignominious and satiric antics,
as you pass; and if they do not shie stones in upon you, or dead
cats, it is more from fear of the beadle or the constable than out
of respect for your business or pleasure.

Indeed, every town and village, great or small, which you pass
through or near on the railway, looks as if you came fifty years
before you were expected.  It says, in all the legible expressions
of its countenance, "Lack-a-day!--if here isn't that creature come
already, and looking in at my back door before I had time to turn
around, or put anything in shape!"  The Iron Horse himself gets no
sympathy nor humane admiration.  He stands grim and wrathy, when
reined up for two minutes and forty-five seconds at a station.  No
venturesome boys pat him on the flanks, or look kindly into his
eyes, or say a pleasant word to him, or even wonder if he is tired,
or thirsty, or hungry.  None of the ostlers of the greasy stables,
in which the locomotives are housed, ever call him Dobbin, or Old
Jack, or Jenny, or say, "Well done, old fellow!" when they unhitch
him from the train at midnight, after a journey of a hundred
leagues.  His driver is a real man of flesh and blood; with wife and
children whom he loves.  He goes on Sunday to church, and, maybe,
sings the psalms of David, and listens devoutly to the sermon, and
says prayers at home, and the few who know him speak well of him, as
a good and proper man in his way.  But, spurred and mounted upon the
saddle of the great iron hexiped, nearly all the passengers regard
him as a part of the beast.  No one speaks to him, or thinks of him
on the journey.  He may pull up at fifty stations, and not a soul
among the Firsts, Seconds, or even Thirds, will offer him a glass of
beer, or pipe-full of tobacco, or give him a sixpence at the end of
the ride for extra speed or care.  His face is grimy, and greasy,
and black.  All his motions are ambiguous and awkward to the casual
observer.  He has none of the sedate and conscious dignity of his
predecessor on the old stage-coach box.  He handles no whip, like
him, with easy grace.  Indeed, in putting up his great beast to its
best speed, he "hides his whip in the manger," according to a
proverb older than steam power.  He wears no gloves in the coldest
weather; not always a coat, and never a decent one, at his work.  He
blows no cheery music out of a brass bugle as he approaches a town,
but pricks the loins of the fiery beast, and makes him scream with a
sound between a human whistle and an alligator's croak.  He never
pulls up abreast of the station-house door, in the fashion of the
old coach driver, to show off himself and his leaders, but runs on
several rods ahead of his passengers and spectators, as if to be
clear of them and their comments, good or bad.  At the end of the
journey, be it at midnight or day-break, not a man nor a woman he
has driven safely at the rate of forty miles an hour thinks or cares
what becomes of him, or separates him in thought from the great iron
monster he mounts.  Not the smock-frocked man, getting out of the
forwardmost Third, with his stick and bundle, thinks of him, or
stops a moment to see him back out and turn into the stable.

With all the practical advantages of this machine propulsion at bird
speed over space, it confounds and swallows up the poetical aspects
and picturesque sceneries that were the charm of old-fashioned
travelling in the country.  The most beautiful landscapes rotate
around a locomotive axis confusedly.  Green pastures and yellow
wheat fields are in a whirl.  Tall and venerable trees get into the
wake of the same motion, and the large, pied cows ruminating in
their shade, seem to lie on the revolving arc of an indefinite
circle.  The views dissolve before their best aspect is caught by
the eye.  The flowers, like Eastern beauties, can only be seen "half
hidden and half revealed," in the general unsteadiness.  As for
bees, you cannot hear or see them at all; and the songs of the
happiest birds are drowned altogether by the clatter of a hundred
wheels on the metal track.  If there are any poor, flat, or fen
lands, your way is sure to lie through them.  In a picturesque and
undulating country, studded with parks and mansions of wealth and
taste, you are plunging through a long, dark tunnel, or walled into
a deep cut, before your eye can catch the view that dashes by your
carriage window.  If you have a utilitarian proclivity and purpose,
and would like to see the great agricultural industries of the
country, they present themselves to you in as confused aspects as
the sceneries of the passing landscape.  The face of every farm is
turned from you.  The farmer's house fronts on the turnpike road,
and the best views of his homestead, of his industry, prosperity,
and happiness, look that way.  You only get a furtive glance, a kind
of clandestine and diagonal peep at him and his doings; and having
thus travelled a hundred miles through a fertile country you can
form no approximate or satisfactory idea of its character and

But no facts nor arguments are needed to convince an intelligent
traveller that the railway affords no point of view for seeing town
or country to any satisfactory perception of its character.  Indeed,
neither coach of the olden, nor cab of the modern vogue, nor saddle,
will enable one to "do" either town or country with thorough insight
and enjoyment.  It takes him too long to pull up to catch the
features of a sudden view.  He can do nothing with those generous
and delightful institutions of Old England,--the footpaths, that
thread pasture, park, and field, seemingly permeating her whole
green world with dusky veins for the circulation of human life.  To
lose all the picturesque lanes and landscapes which these field-
paths cross and command, is to lose the great distinctive charm of
the country.  Then, neither from the coach-box nor the saddle can he
make much conversation on the way.  He loses the chance of a
thousand little talks and pleasant incidents.  He cannot say "Good
morning" to the farmer at the stile, nor a word of greeting to the
reapers over the hedge, nor see where they live, and the kind of
children that play by their cottage doors; nor the little, antique
churches, bearded to their eye-brows with ivy, covering the wrinkles
of half a dozen centuries, nor the low and quiet villages clustering
around, each like a family of bushy-headed children surrounding
their venerable mother.

In addition to these considerations, there was another that moved me
to this walk.  Although I had been up and down the country as often
and as extensively as any American, perhaps, and admired its general
scenery, I had never looked at it with an agricultural eye or
interest.  But, having dabbled a little in farming in the interval
between my last two visits to England, and being touched with some
of the enthusiasm that modern novices carry into the occupation, I
was determined to look at the agriculture of Great Britain more
leisurely and attentively, and from a better stand-point than I had
ever done before.  The thought had also occurred to me, that a walk
through the best agricultural counties of England and Scotland would
afford opportunity for observation which might be made of some
interest to my friends and neighbor farmers in America as well as to
myself.  Therefore I beg the English reader to remember that I am
addressing to them the notes that I may make by the way, hoping that
its incidents and the thoughts it suggests will not be devoid of
interest because they are principally intended for the American ear.



On Wednesday, July 15th, 1863, I left London with the hope that I
might be able to accomplish the northern half of my proposed "Walk
from Land's End to John O'Groat's."  I had been practically
prostrated by a serious indisposition for nearly two months, and was
just able to walk one or two miles at a time about the city.
Believing that country air and exercise would soon enable me to be
longer on my feet, I concluded to set out as I was, without waiting
for additional strength, so slow and difficult to attain in the
smoky atmosphere and hot streets of London.

Few reading farmers in America there are who are not familiar with
the name and fame of Alderman Mechi, as an agriculturist of that new
and scientific school that is making such a revolution in the great
primeval industry of mankind.  His experiments on his Tiptree Farm
have attained a world-wide publicity, and have given that homestead
an interest that, perhaps, never attached to the same number of
acres in any country or age.  Thinking that this famous
establishment would be a good starting point for my pedestrian tour,
I concluded to proceed thither first by railway, and thence to walk
northward, by easy stages, through the fertile and rural county of
Essex.  Taking an afternoon train, I reached Kelvedon about 5 p.m.,-
-the station for Tiptree, and a good specimen of an English village,
at two hours' ride from London.  Calling at the residence of a
Friend, or Quaker, to inquire the way to the Alderman's farm, he
invited me to take tea with him, and be his guest for the night,--a
hospitality which I very gladly accepted, as it was a longer walk
than I had anticipated.  After tea, my host, who was a farmer as
well as miller, took me over his fields, and showed me his live
stock, his crops of wheat, barley, oats, beans, and roots, which
were all large and luxuriant, and looked a tableau vivant of plenty
within the green hedges that enclosed and adorned them.

The next morning, after breakfast, my kind host set me on the way to
Tiptree by a footpath through alternating fields of wheat, barley,
oats, beans, and turnips, into which an English farm is generally
divided.  These footpaths are among the vested interests of the
walking public throughout the United Kingdom.  Most of them are
centuries old.  The footsteps of a dozen generations have given them
the force and sanctity of a popular right.  A farmer might as well
undertake to barricade the turnpike road as to close one of these
old paths across his best fields.  So far from obstructing them, he
finds it good policy to straighten and round them up, and supply
them with convenient gates or stiles, so that no one shall have an
excuse for trampling on his crops, or for diverging into the open
field for a shorter cut to the main road.  Blessings on the man who
invented them!  It was done when land was cheap, and public roads
were few; before four wheels were first geared together for business
or pleasure.  They were the doing of another age; this would not
have produced them.  They run through all the prose, poetry, and
romance of the rural life of England, permeating the history of
green hedges, thatched cottages, morning songs of the lark,
moonlight walks, meetings at the stile, harvest homes of long ago,
and many a romantic narrative of human experience widely read in
both hemispheres.  They will run on for ever, carrying with them the
same associations.  They are the inheritance of landless millions,
who have trodden them in ages past at dawn, noon, and night, to and
from their labor; and in ages to come the mowers and reapers shall
tread them to the morning music of the lark, and through Spring,
Summer, Autumn, and Winter, they shall show the fresh checker-work
of the ploughman's hob-nailed shoe.  The surreptitious innovations
of utilitarian science shall not poach upon these sacred preserves
of the people, whatever revolutions they may produce in the
machinery and speed of turnpike locomotion.  These pleasant and
peaceful paths through park, and pasture, meandering through the
beautiful and sweet-breathing artistry of English agriculture, are
guaranteed to future generations by an authority which no
legislation can annul.

A walk of a few miles brought me in sight of Tiptree Hall; and its
first aspect relieved my mind of an impression which, in common with
thousands better informed, I had entertained in reference to the
establishment.  An idea has generally prevailed among English
farmers, and agriculturists of other countries who have heard of
Alderman Mechi's experiments, that they were impracticable and
almost valueless, because they would not _pay_; that the balance-
sheet of his operations did and must ever show such ruinous
discrepancy between income and expenditure as must deter any man, of
less capital and reckless enthusiasm, from following his lead into
such unconsidered ventures.  In short, he has been widely regarded
at home and abroad as a bold and dashing novice in agricultural
experience, ready to lavish upon his own hasty inventions a fortune
acquired in his London warehouse; and all this to make himself
famous as a great light in the agricultural world, which light,
after all, was a mere will-o'-the-wisp sort of affair, leading its
dupes into the veriest bog of bankruptcy.  In common with all those
bold, self-reliant spirits that have ventured to break away from the
antecedents of public opinion and custom, he has been the subject of
many ungenerous innuendoes and criticisms.  All kinds of ambitions
and motives have been ascribed to him.  Many a burly, red-faced
farmer, who boasts of an unbroken agricultural lineage reaching back
into the reign of Good Queen Bess, will tell you over his beer that
the Alderman's doings are all _gammon_; that they are all to
advertise his cutlery business in Leadenhall Street, Barnum fashion;
to inveigle down to Tiptree Hall noblemen, foreign ambassadors, and
great people of different countries, and bribe "an honourable
mention" out of them with champagne treats and oyster suppers.
Indeed, my Quaker host largely participated in this opinion, and
took no pains to conceal it when speaking of his enterprising

From what I had read and heard of the Tiptree Hall estate, I
expected to see a grand, old, baronial mansion, surrounded with
elegant and costly buildings for housing horses, cattle, sheep, and
other live stock, all erected on a scale which no bona fide farmer
could adopt or approximately imitate.  In a word, I fancied his
barns and stables would even surpass in this respect the
establishments of some of those most wealthy New York or Boston
merchants, who think they are stimulating country farmers to healthy
emulation by lavishing from thirty to forty thousand dollars on a
barn and its appurtenant out-houses.  With these preconceived ideas,
it was an unexpected satisfaction to see quite a simple-looking,
unassuming establishment, which any well-to-do farmer might make and
own.  The house is rather a large and solid-looking building,
erected by Mr. Mechi himself, but not at all ostentatious of wealth
or architectural taste.  The barns and "steddings," or what we call
cowhouses in America, are of a very ordinary cast, or such as any
country-bred farmer would call economical and simple.  The homestead
occupies no picturesque site, and commands no interesting scenery.
The farm consists of about 170 acres, which, in England, is regarded
as a rather small holding.  The land is naturally sterile and hard
of cultivation, most of it apparently being heavily mixed with
ferruginous matter.  When ploughed deeply, the clods turned up look
frequently like compact masses of iron ore.  Every experienced
farmer knows the natural poverty of such a soil, and the hard labor
to man and beast it costs to till it.

To my great regret, Mr. Mechi was not at home, though he passes most
of his time in Summer at Tiptree.  But his foreman, who enters into
all the experiments and operations which have made the establishment
so famous, with almost equal interest and enthusiasm, took me
through the farm buildings, and all the fields, and showed me the
whole process and machinery employed.  Any English or American
agriculturist who has read of Alderman Mechi's operations, would be
inclined to ask, on looking, for the first time, at his buildings
and the fields surrounding them, what is the great distinguishing
speciality of his enterprise.  His land is poor; his housings are
simple; there is no outside show of uncommon taste or genius.  Every
acre is tile-drained, to be sure.  But that is nothing new nor
uncommon.  Drainage is the order of the day.  Any tenant farmer in
England can have his land drained by the Government by paying six
per cent. annually on the cost of the job.  His expenditure for
artificial manure does not exceed that of hundreds of good farmers.
He carries out the deep tillage system most liberally.  So do other
scientific agriculturalists in Europe and America.  Of course, a few
hours' observation would not suffice for a full and correct
conclusion on this point, but it gave me the impression that the
great operation which has won for the Tiptree Farm its special
distinction is its irrigation with liquid manure.  In this respect
it stands unrivalled, and, perhaps, unimitated.  And this, probably,
is the head and front of his offending to those who criticise his
economy and decry his experiments.

This irrigation is performed through the medium of a small steam
engine and sixteen hydrants, so posted and supplied with hose as to
reach every square foot of the 170 acres.  The water used for this
purpose is mostly, if not entirely, supplied from the draining
pipes, even in the dryest season.  The manure thus liquified is made
by a comparatively small number of animals.  Calves to the value of
50 pounds are bought, and fat stock to that of 500 pounds are sold
annually.  They are all stabled throughout the year, except in
harvest time, when they are turned out for a few weeks to rowen
feed.  The calves are housed until a year old in a large stedding by
themselves.  They are then transferred to another building, and put
upon "the boards;" that is in a long stable or cowhouse, with a
flooring of slats, through which the manure drops into a cellar
below, made water-tight.  Here the busiest little engine in the
world is brought to bear upon it, with all its faculties of suction
and propulsion.  Through one pipe it forces fresh water in upon this
mass of manure, which, when liquified, runs down into a subterranean
cistern or reservoir capable of holding over 100,000 gallons.  From
this it is propelled into any field to be irrigated.  To prevent any
sediment in the great reservoir, or to make an even mixture of the
liquified manure, a hose is attached to the engine, and the other
end dropped into the mass.  Through this a constant volume of air is
propelled with such force as to set the whole boiling and foaming
like a little cataract.  One man at the engine and two at the hose
in the distant field perform the whole operation.  The chapped and
"baky" surface of the farm is thus softened and enriched at will,
and rendered productive.

Now, this operation seems to constitute the present distinctive
speciality of Alderman Mechi's Tiptree Farm.  Will it pay? ask a
thousand voices.  In how many years will he get his money back?
Give us the balance sheet of the experiment.  A New Englander,
favorably impressed with the process, would be likely to answer
these questions by another, and ask, will _drainage_ pay?  Not in
one year, assuredly, nor in five; not in ten, perhaps.  The British
Government assumes that all the expenditure upon under-drainage will
be paid back in fifteen or twenty years at the farthest.  It lends
money to the land-owner on this basis; and the land-owner stipulates
with his tenant that he shall reimburse him by annual instalments of
six or seven per cent. until the whole cost of the operation is
liquidated.  Thus the tenant-farmer is willing to pay six, sometimes
seven per cent. annually, for twenty years, for the increased
capacity of production which drainage gives to the farm he
cultivates.  At the end of that period the Government is paid by the
landlord, and the landlord by the tenant, and the tenant by his
augmented crops for the whole original outlay upon the land.  For
aught either of the three parties to the operation knows to the
contrary, it must all be done over again at the end of twenty years.
The system is too young yet, even in England, for any one to say how
long a course of tubing will last, or how often it must be relaid.

One point, therefore, has been gained.  No intelligent English
farmer, who has tried the system, now asks if under-drainage will
pay; nor does he expect that it will pay back the whole expenditure
in less than twelve or fifteen years.  Here is a generous faith in
the operation on the side of all the parties concerned.  Then why
should not Alderman Mechi's irrigation system be put on the same
footing, in the matter of public confidence?  It is nothing very
uncommon even for a two-hundred-acre farmer in England to have a
small stationary or locomotive steam-engine, and to find plenty of
work for it, too, in threshing his grain, grinding his fodder,
pulping his roots, cutting his hay and straw, and for other
purposes.  Mr. Mechi would doubtless have one for these objects
alone.  So its cost must not be charged to the account of
irrigation.  A single course of iron tubing, a third of a mile long,
reaching to the centre of his farthest field, cannot cost more, with
all the hose employed, than the drainage of that field, while it
would be fair to assume that the iron pipes will last twice as long
as those of burnt clay.  They might fairly be expected to hold good
for forty years.  If, then, for this period, or less, the process
yields ten per cent. of increased production annually, over and
above the effect of all other means employed, it is quite evident
that it will pay as well as drainage.

But does it augment the yearly production of the farm by this
amount?  To say that it is the only process by which the baky and
chappy soil of Tiptree can be thoroughly fertilised, would not
suffice to prove its necessity or value to other soils of different
composition.  One fact, however, may be sufficient to determine its
virtue.  The fields of clover, and Italian rye-grass, etc., are mown
three and even four times in one season, and afterwards fed with
sheep.  Certainly, no other system could produce all this cropping.
The distinctive difference it makes in other crops cannot, perhaps,
be made so palpable.  The wheat looked strong and heavy, with a fair
promise of forty-five bushels to an acre.  The oats, beans, and
roots showed equally well.

The irrigation and deep tillage systems were going on simultaneously
in the same field, affording me a good opportunity of seeing the
operation of both.  Two men were plying the hose upon a portion of
the field which had already been mowed three times.  Two teams were
at work turning up the other, which had already been cropped once or
twice.  One of two horses went first, and, with a common English
plough, turned an ordinary furrow.  Then the other followed, of
twice the force of the first, in the same furrow, with a subsoil
plough held to the work beam-deep.  The iron-stones and ferruginous
clods turned up by this "deep tillage" would make a prairie farmer
of Illinois wonder, if not shudder, at the plucky and ingenious
industry which competes with his easy toil and cheap land in
providing bread for the landless millions of Great Britain.

The only exceptional feature or arrangement, besides the irrigating
machinery and process, that I noticed, was an iron hurdling for
folding sheep.  This, at first sight, might look to a practical
farmer a little extravagant, indicating a city origin, or the notion
of an amateur agriculturist, more ambitious of the new than of the
necessary.  Each length of this iron fencing is apparently about a
rod, and cost 1 pound, or nearly five dollars.  It is fitted to low
wheels, or rollers, on an axle two or three feet in length, so that
it can be moved easily and quickly in any direction.  It would cost
over fifty pounds, or two hundred and fifty dollars, to enclose an
acre entirely with this kind of hurdling.  Still, Mr. Mechi would
doubtless be able to show that this large expenditure is a good
investment, and pays well in the long run.  The folding of sheep for
twenty-four or forty-eight hours on small patches of clover,
trefoil, or turnips, is a very important department of English
farming, both for fattening them for the market and for putting the
land in better heart than any other fertilising process could
effect.  Now, a man with this iron fencing on wheels must be able to
make in two hours an enclosure that would cost him a day or more of
busy labor with the old wooden hurdles.

On the whole, a practical farmer, who has no other source of income
than the single occupation of agriculture, would be likely to ask,
what is the realised value of Alderman Mechi's operations to the
common grain and stock-growers of the world?  They have excited more
attention or curiosity than any other experiments of the present
day; but what is the real resume of their results?  What new
principles has he laid down; what new economy has he reduced to a
science that may be profitably utilised by the million who get their
living by farming?  What has he actually done that anybody else has
adopted or imitated to any tangible advantage?  These are important
questions; and this is the way he undertakes to answer them,
beginning with the last.

About twenty years ago, he inaugurated the system of under-draining
the heavy tile-clay lands in Essex.  Up to his experiment, the
process was deemed impracticable and worthless by the most
intelligent farmers of the county.  It was more confidently decried
than his present irrigation system.  The water would never find its
way down into the drain-pipes through such clay.  It stood to reason
that it would do no such thing.  Did not the water stand in the
track of the horse's hoof in such rich clay until evaporated by the
sun?  It might as well leak through an earthenware basin.  It was
all nonsense to bury a man's money in that style.  He never would
see a shilling of it back again.  In the face of these opinions, Mr.
Mechi went on, training his pipes through field after field, deep
below the surface.  And the water percolated through the clay into
them, until all these long veins formed a continuous and rushing
stream into the main artery that now furnishes an ample supply for
his stabled cattle, for his steam engine, and for all the barn-yard
wants.  His tile-draining of clay-lands was a capital success; and
those who derided and opposed it have now adopted it to their great
advantage, and to the vast augmentation of the value and production
of the county.  Here, then, is one thing in which he has led, and
others have followed to a great practical result.

His next leading was in the way of agricultural machinery.  He first
introduced a steam engine for farming purposes in a district
containing a million of acres.  That, too, at the outset, was a
fantastic vagary in the opinion of thousands of solid and
respectable farmers.  They insisted the Iron Horse would be as
dangerous in the barn-yard or rick-yard as the very dragon in
Scripture; that he would set everything on fire; kill the men who
had care of him; burst and blow up himself and all the buildings
into the air; that all the horses, cows, and sheep would be
frightened to death at the very sight of the monster, and never
could be brought to lie down in peace and safety by his side, even
when his blood was cold, and when he was fast asleep.  To think of
it! to have a tall chimney towering up over a barn-gable or barn-
yard, and puffing out black coal smoke, cotton-factory-wise!  Pretty
talk! pretty terms to train an honest and virtuous farmer to mouth!
Wouldn't it be edifying to hear him string the yarn of these new
words! to hear him tell of his _engineer_ and ploughman; of his
_pokers_ and pitchforks; of _six-horse power, valves, revolutions,
stopcocks, twenty pounds of steam_, etc.; mixing up all this
ridiculous stuff with yearling-calves, turnips, horse-carts, oil-
cake, wool, bullocks, beans, and sheep, and other vital things and
interests, which forty centuries have looked upon with reverence!
To plough, thresh, cut turnips, grind corn, and pump water for
cattle by steam!  What next?

Why, next, the farmers of the region round about

     "First pitied, then embraced"

this new and powerful auxiliary to agricultural industry, after
having watched its working and its worth.  And now, thanks to such
bold and spirited novices as Mr. Mechi--men who had the pluck to
work steadily on under the pattering rain of derisive epithets--
there are already nearly as many steam engines working at farm labor
between Land's End and John O'Groat's as there are employed in the
manufacture of cotton in Great Britain.

His irrigation system will doubtless be followed in the same order
and interval by those who have pooh-poohed it with the same derision
and incredulity as the other innovations they have already adopted.
The utilising of the sewage of large towns, especially of London,
has now become a prominent idea and movement.  Mr. Mechi's machinery
and process are admirably adapted to the work of distributing a
river of this fertilising material over any farm to which it may be
conducted.  Thus, there is good reason to believe that the very
process he originated for softening and enriching the hard and
sterile acres of his small farm in Essex will be adopted for
saturating millions of acres in Great Britain with the millions of
tons of manurial matter that have hitherto blackened and poisoned
the rivers of the country on their wasteful way to the sea.  This
will be only an additional work for the farm engines now in
operation, accomplished with but little increased expense.  A single
fact may illustrate the irrigating capacity of Mr. Mechi's
machinery.  It throws upon a field a quantity of the fertilising
fluid equal to one inch of rainfall at a time, or 100 tons per
imperial acre.  And, as a proof of how deep it penetrates, the
drains run freely with it, thus showing conclusively that the
subsoil has been well saturated, a point of vital importance to the

Deep tillage is another speciality that distinguished the Tiptree
Farm regime at the beginning, in which Mr. Mechi led, and in which
he has been followed by the farmers of the country, although few
have come up abreast of him as yet in the system.

Here, then, are four specific departments of improvement in
agricultural industry which the Alderman has introduced.  Every one
of them has been ridiculed as an impracticable and useless
innovation in its turn.  Three of them have already been adopted,
and virtually incorporated with agricultural science and economy;
and the fourth, or irrigation by steam power, bids fair to find as
much favor, and as many adherents in the end as the others have

He has not only originated these improvements, or been the first to
give them practical experiment, but he has laid down certain
principles which will doubtless exercise much influence in shaping
the industrial economy of agriculture hereafter in different
countries.  One of the best of these principles he puts in the form
of a mathematical proposition.  Thus:--As the meat is to the manure,
so is the crop to the land.  Tell me, he says, how much meat you
make, and I will tell you how much corn you make, to the acre.
Meat, then, is the starting point with him; the basis of his annual
production, to which he looks for a satisfactory decision of his
balance-sheet.  To show the value he attaches to this element, the
fact will suffice that he usually keeps 65 bullocks, cows, and
calves, 100 sheep, and a number of pigs, besides his horses, making
one head to every acre of his farm.  With this amount of live stock
he makes from 4 to 5 pounds worth of meat per acre annually.
Perhaps it would be safe to say that no other 170 acres of land in
the world make more meat, manure, and grain in the year than the
Tiptree Farm.  In these results Mr. Mechi thinks his experiments and
improvements have proved

     Quod es demonstrandum.

Having gone over the farm pretty thoroughly, and noticed all the
leading features of the establishment, I was requested by the
foreman to enter my name in the visitor's book kept in his neat
cottage parlor.  It is a large volume, with the ruling running
across both the wide pages; the left apportioned to name, town,
country, and profession; the right to remarks of the visitor.  It is
truly a remarkable book of interesting autographs and observations,
which the philologist as well as agriculturist might pore over with
lively satisfaction.  It not only contains the names and comments of
many of the most distinguished personages in Great Britain, but
those of all other countries of Europe, even of Asia and Africa, as
well as America.  Foreign ambassadors, Continental savans, men of
fame in the literary, scientific, and political world have here
recorded their names and impressions in the most unique succession
and blending.  Here, under one date, is a party of Italian
gentlemen, leaving their autographs and their observations in the
softest syllables of their language.  Then several German
connoisseurs follow in their peculiar script, with comments worded
heavily with hard-mouthed consonants.  Then comes, perhaps, a single
Russian nobleman, who expresses his profound satisfaction in the
politest French.  Next succeed three or four Spanish Dons, with a
long fence of names attached to each, who give their views of the
establishment in the grave, sonorous words of their language.  Here,
now, an American puts in his autograph, with his sharp, curt notion
of the matter, as "first-rate."  Very likely a turbaned Mufti or
Singh of the Oriental world follows the New England farmer.  Danish
and Swedish knights prolong the procession, mingling with Australian
wool-growers, Members of the French Royal Academy, Canadian timber-
merchants, Dutch Mynheers, Brazilian coffee-planters, Belgian lace-
makers, and the representatives of all other countries and
professions in Christendom.  An autograph-monger, with the mania
strong upon him, of unscrupulous curiosity, armed furtively with a
keen pair of scissors would be a dangerous person to admit to the
presence of that big book without a policeman at his elbow.

Tiptree Hall has its own literature also, in two or three volumes,
written by Mr. Mechi himself, and describing fully his agricultural
experience and experiments, and giving facts and arguments which
every English and American farmer might study with profit.



     "What thou art we know not;
      What is most like thee?
      From rainbow clouds there flow not
      Drops so bright to see,
      As from thy presence showers a rain of melody."
                                 SHELLEY'S "SKYLARK."

     "Do you ne'er think what wondrous beings these?
      Do you ne'er think who made them, and who taught
      The dialect they speak, whose melodies
      Alone are the interpreters of thought?
      Whose household words are songs in many keys,
      Sweeter than instrument of man e'er caught!
      Whose habitations in the tree-tops, even,
      Are half-way houses on the road to heaven."

Having spent a couple of hours very pleasantly at Tiptree Hall, I
turned my face in a northerly direction for a walk through the best
agricultural section of Essex.  While passing through a grass field
recently mown, a lark flew up from almost under my feet.  And there,
partially overarched by a tuft of clover, was her little all of
earth--a snug, warm nest with two small eggs in it, about the size
and color of those of the ground-chirping-bird of New England, which
is nearer the English lark than any other American bird.  I bent
down to look at them with an interest an American could only feel.
To him the lark is to the bird-world's companionship and music what
the angels are to the spirit land.  He has read and dreamed of both
from his childhood up.  He has believed in both poetically and
pleasantly, sometimes almost positively, as real and beautiful
individualities.  He almost credits the poet of his own country, who
speaks of hearing "the downward beat of angel wings."  In his facile
faith in the substance of picturesque and happy shadows, he
sometimes tries to believe that the phoenix may have been, in some
age and country, a real, living bird, of flesh and blood and genuine
feathers, with long, strong wings, capable of performing the strange
psychological feats ascribed to it in that most edifying picture
emblazoned on the arms of Banking Companies, Insurance Offices, and
Quack Doctors.  He is not sure that dying swans have not sung a
mournful hymn over their last moments, under an affecting and human
sense of their mortality.  He has believed in the English lark to
the same point of pleasing credulity.  Why should he not give its
existence the same faith?  The history of its life is as old as the
English alphabet, and older still.  It sang over the dark and
hideous lairs of the bloody Druids centuries before Julius Caesar
was born, and they doubtless had a pleasant name for it, unless true
music was hateful to their ears.  It sang, without loss or change of
a single note of this morning's song, to the Roman legions as they
marched, or made roads in Britain.  It rang the same voluntaries to
the Saxons, Danes, and Normans, through the long ages, and, perhaps,
tended to soften their antagonisms, and hasten their blending into
one great and mighty people.  How the name and song of this happiest
of earthly birds run through all the rhyme and romance of English
poetry, of English rural life, ever since there was an England!
Take away its history and its song from her daisy-eyed meadows, and
shaded lanes, and hedges breathing and blooming with sweetbrier
leaves and hawthorn flowers--from her thatched cottages, veiled with
ivy--from the morning tread of the reapers, and the mower's lunch of
bread and cheese under the meadow elm, and you take away a living
and beautiful spirit more charming than music.  You take away from
English poetry one of its pleiades, and bereave it of a
companionship more intimate than that of the nearest neighborhood of
the stars above.  How the lark's life and song blend, in the rhyme
of the poet, with "the sheen of silver fountains leaping to the
sea," with morning sunbeams and noontide thoughts, with the sweetest
breathing flowers, and softest breezes, and busiest bees, and
greenest leaves, and happiest human industries, loves, hopes, and

The American has read and heard of all this from his youth up to the
day of setting his foot, for the first time, on English ground.  He
has tried to believe it, as in things seen, temporal and tangible.
But in doing this he has to contend with a sense or suspicion of
unreality--a feeling that there has been great poetical exaggeration
in the matter.  A patent fact lies at the bottom of this
incredulity.  The forefathers of New England carried no wild bird
with them to sing about their cabin homes in the New World.  But
they found beautiful and happy birds on that wild continent, as
well-dressed, as graceful in form and motion, and of as fine taste
for music and other accomplishments, as if they and their ancestors
had sung before the courts of Europe for twenty generations.  These
sang their sweet songs of welcome to the Pilgrims as they landed
from the "Mayflower."  These sang to them cheerily, through the
first years and the later years of their stern trials and
tribulations.  These built their nests where the blue eyes of the
first white children born in the land could peer in upon the
speckled eggs with wonder and delight.  What wonder that those
strong-hearted puritan fathers and mothers, who

     "Made the aisles of the dim wood ring
      With the anthems of the free,"

should love the fellowship of these native singers of the field and
forest, and give them names their hearts loved in the old home land
beyond the sea!  They did not consult Linnaeus, nor any musty Latin
genealogy of Old World birds, at the christening of these songsters.
There was a good family resemblance in many cases.  The blustering
partridge, brooding over her young in the thicket, was very nearly
like the same bird in England.  For the mellow-throated thrush of
the old land they found a mate in the new, of the same size, color,
and general habits, though less musical.  The blackbird was nearly
the same in many respects, though the smaller American wore a pair
of red epaulettes.  The swallows had their coat tails cut after the
same old English pattern, and built their nests after the same
model, and twittered under the eaves with the same ecstacy, and
played the same antics in the air.  But the two dearest home-birds
of the fatherland had no family relations nor counterparts in
America; and the pilgrim fathers and their children could not make
their humble homes happy without the lark and the robin, at least in
name and association; so they looked about them for substitutes.
There was a plump, full-chested bird, in a chocolate-colored vest,
with a bluish dress coat, that would mount the highest tree-top in
early spring, and play his flute by the hour for very joy to see the
snow melt and the buds swell again.  There was such a rollicking
happiness in his loud, clear notes, and he apparently sang them in
such sympathy with human fellowships, and hopes, and homes, and he
was such a cheery and confiding denizen of the orchard and garden
withal, that he became at once the pet bird of old and young, and
was called the _robin_; and well would it be if its English namesake
possessed its sterling virtues; for, with all its pleasant traits
and world-wide reputation, the English robin is a pretentious,
arrogant busybody, characteristically pugilistic and troublesome in
the winged society of England.  In form, dress, deportment,
disposition, and in voice and taste for vocal music, the American
robin surpasses the English most decidedly.  In this our grave
forefathers did more than justice to the home-bird they missed on
Plymouth Rock.  In this generous treatment of their affection for
it, they perhaps condoned for mating the English lark so
incongruously; but it was true their choice was very limited.  To
match the prima donna carissima of English field and sky, it was
necessary to select a meadow bird, with some other features of
resemblance.  It would never do to give the cherished name and
association to one that lived in the forest, or built its nest in
the tree-tops or house-tops, or to one that was black, yellow, or
red.  Having to conciliate all these conditions, and do the best
with the material at hand, they pitched upon a rather large,
brownish bird, in a drab waistcoat, slightly mottled, and with a
loud, cracked voice, which nobody ever liked.  So it never became a
favorite, even to those who first gave it the name of lark.  It was
not its only defect that it lacked an ear and voice for music.
There is always a scolding accent that marks its conversation with
other birds in the brightest mornings of June.  He is very noisy,
but never merry nor musical.  Indeed, compared with the notes of the
English lark, his are like the vehement ejaculations of a maternal
duck in distress.

Take it in all, no bird in either hemisphere equals the English lark
in heart or voice, for both unite to make it the sweetest, happiest,
the welcomest singer that was ever winged, like the high angels of
God's love.  It is the living ecstacy of joy when it mounts up into
its "glorious privacy of light."  On the earth it is timid, silent,
and bashful, as if not at home, and not sure of its right to be
there at all.  It is rather homely withal, having nothing in
feather, feature, or form, to attract notice.  It is seemingly made
to be heard, not seen, reversing the old axiom addressed to children
when getting voicy.  Its mission is music, and it floods a thousand
acres of the blue sky with it several times a day.  Out of that
palpitating speck of living joy there wells forth a sea of
twittering ecstacy upon the morning and evening air.  It does not
ascend by gyrations, like the eagle or birds of prey.  It mounts up
like a human aspiration.  It seems to spread out its wings and to be
lifted straight upwards out of sight by the afflatus of its own
happy heart.  To pour out this in undulating rivulets of rhapsody is
apparently the only motive of its ascension.  This it is that has
made it so loved of all generations.  It is the singing angel of
man's nearest heaven, whose vital breath is music.  Its sweet
warbling is only the metrical palpitation of its life of joy.  It
goes up over the roof-trees of the rural hamlet on the wings of its
song, as if to train the rural soul to trial flights heavenward.
Never did the Creator put a voice of such volume into so small a
living thing.  It is a marvel--almost a miracle.  In a still hour
you can hear it at nearly a mile's distance.  When its form is lost
in the hazy lace-work of the sun's rays above, it pours down upon
you all the thrilling semitones of its song as distinctly as if it
were warbling to you in your window.

The only American bird that could star it with the English lark, and
win any admiration at a popular concert by its side, is our
favourite comic singer, the Bobolink.  I have thought often, when
listening to British birds at their morning rehearsals, what a
sensation would ensue if Master Bob, in his odd-fashioned bib and
tucker, should swagger into their midst, singing one of those Low-
Dutch voluntaries which he loves to pour down into the ears of our
mowers in haying time.  Not only would such an apparition and
overture throw the best-trained orchestra of Old World birds into
amazement or confusion, but astonish all the human listeners at an
English concert.  With what a wonderment would one of these
blooming, country milkmaids look at the droll harlequin, and listen
to those familiar words of his, set to his own music:-

      Go to milk! go to milk!
      Oh, Miss Phillisey,
      Dear Miss Phillisey,
      What will Willie say
      If you don't go to milk!
      No cheese, no cheese,
      No butter nor cheese
      If you don't go to milk.

It is a wonder that in these days of refined civilization, when
Jenny Lind, Grisi, Patti, and other celebrated European singers,
some of them from very warm climates, are transported to America to
delight our Upper-Tendom, that there should be no persistent and
successful effort to introduce the English lark into our out-door
orchestra of singing-birds.  No European voice would be more welcome
to the American million.  It would be a great gain to the nation,
and be helpful to our religious devotions, as well as to our secular
satisfactions.  In several of our Sabbath hymns there is poetical
reference to the lark and its song.  For instance, that favorite
psalm of gratitude for returning Spring opens with these lines:--

     "The winter is over and gone,
      The thrush whistles sweet on the spray,
      The turtle breathes forth her soft moan,
        The _lark_ mounts on high and warbles away."

Now, not one American man, woman, or child in a thousand ever heard
or saw an English lark, and how is he, she, or it to sing the last
line of the foregoing verse with the spirit and understanding due to
an exercise of devotion?  The American lark never mounts higher than
the top of a meadow elm, on which it see-saws, and screams, or
quacks, till it is tired; then draws a bee-line for another tree, or
a fence-post, never even undulating on the voyage.  It may be said,
truly enough, that the hymn was written in England.  Still, if sung
in America from generation to generation, we ought to have the
English lark with us, for our children to see and hear, lest they
may be tempted to believe that other and more serious similes in our
Sabbath hymns are founded on fancy instead of fact.

Nor would it be straining the point, nor be dealing in poetical
fancies, if we should predicate upon the introduction of the English
lark into American society a supplementary influence much needed to
unify and nationalise the heterogeneous elements of our population.
Men, women, and children, speaking all the languages and
representing all the countries and races of Europe, are streaming in
upon us weekly in widening currents.  The rapidity with which they
become assimilated to the native population is remarkable.  But
there is one element from abroad that does not Americanise itself so
easily--and that, curiously, is one the most American that comes
from Europe--in other words, the _English_.  They find with us
everything as English as it can possibly be out of England--their
language, their laws, their literature, their very bibles, psalm-
books, psalm-tunes, the same faith and forms of worship, the same
common histories, memories, affinities, affections, and general
structure of social life and public institutions; yet they are
generally the very last to be and feel at home in America.  A
Norwegian mountaineer, in his deerskin doublet, and with a dozen
English words picked up on the voyage, will Americanise himself more
in one year on an Illinois prairie than an intelligent, middle-class
Englishman will do in ten, in the best society of Massachusetts.
Now, I am not dallying with a facetious fantasy when I express the
opinion, that the life and song of the English lark in America,
superadded to the other institutions and influences indicated, would
go a great way in fusing this hitherto insoluble element, and
blending it harmoniously with the best vitalities of the nation.
And this consummation would well repay a special and extraordinary
effect.  Perhaps this expedient would be the most successful of all
that remain untried.  A single incident will prove that it is more
than a mere theory.  Here it is, in substance:--

Some years ago, when the Australian gold fever was hot in the veins
of thousands, and fleets of ships were conveying them to that far-
off, uncultivated world, a poor old woman landed with the great
multitude of rough and reckless men, who were fired to almost frenzy
by dreams of ponderous nuggets and golden fortunes.  For these they
left behind them all the enjoyments, endearments, all the softening
sanctities and surroundings of home and social life in England.  For
these they left mothers, wives, sisters and daughters.  There they
were, thinly tented in the rain, and the dew, and the mist, a busy,
boisterous, womanless camp of diggers and grubbers, roughing-and-
tumbling it in the scramble for gold mites, with no quiet Sabbath
breaks, nor Sabbath songs, nor Sabbath bells to measure off and
sweeten a season of rest.  Well, the poor widow, who had her cabin
within a few miles of "the diggings," brought with her but few
comforts from the old homeland--a few simple articles of furniture,
the bible and psalm-book of her youth, and an English lark to sing
to her solitude the songs that had cheered her on the other side of
the globe.  And the little thing did it with all the fervor of its
first notes in the English sky.  In her cottage window it sang to
her hour by hour at her labor, with a voice never heard before on
that wild continent.  The strange birds of the land came circling
around in their gorgeous plumage to hear it.  Even four-footed
animals, of grim countenance, paused to hear it.  Then, one by one,
came other listeners.  They came reverently, and their voices
softened into silence as they listened.  Hard-visaged men, bare-
breasted and unshaven, came and stood gentle as girls; and tears
came out upon many a tanned and sun-blistered cheek as the little
bird warbled forth the silvery treble of its song about the green
hedges, the meadow streams, the cottage homes, and all the sunny
memories of the fatherland.  And they came near unto the lone widow
with pebbles of gold in their hard and horny hands, and asked her to
sell them the bird, that it might sing to them while they were
bending to the pick and the spade.  She was poor, and the gold was
heavy; yet she could not sell the warbling joy of her life.  But she
told them that they might come whenever they would to hear it sing.
So, on Sabbath days, having no other preacher nor teacher, nor
sanctuary privilege, they came down in large companies from their
gold-pits, and listened to the devotional hymns of the lark, and
became better and happier men for its music.

Seriously, it may be urged that the refined tastes, arts, and genius
of the present day do not develop themselves symmetrically or
simultaneously in this matter.  Here are connoisseurs and
enthusiasts in vegetable nature hunting up and down all the earth's
continents for rare trees, plants, shrubs, and flowers.  They are
bringing them to England and America in shiploads, to such extent
and variety, that nearly all the dead languages and many of the
living are ransacked to furnish names for them.  Llamas,
dromedaries, Cashmere goats, and other strange animals, are brought,
thousands of miles by sea and land, to be acclimatised and
domesticated to these northern countries.  Artificial lakes are made
for the cultivation of fish caught in Antipodean streams.  That is
all pleasant and hopeful and proper.  The more of that sort of thing
the better.  But why not do the other thing, too?  Vattemare made it
the mission of his life to induce people of different countries to
exchange books, or unneeded duplicates of literature.  We need an
Audubon or Wilson, not to make new collections of feathered
skeletons, and new volumes on ornithology, but to effect an exchange
of living birds between Europe and America; not for caging, not for
Zoological gardens and museums, but for singing their free songs in
our fields and forests.  There is no doubt that the English lark
would thrive and sing as well in America as in this country.  And
our bobolink would be as easily acclimatised in Europe.  Who could
estimate the pleasure which such an exchange in the bird-world would
give to millions on both sides of the Atlantic?

There are some English birds which we could not introduce into the
feathered society of America, any more than we could import a score
of British Dukes and Duchesses, with all their hereditary dignities
and grand surroundings, into the very heart and centre of our
democracy.  For instance, the grave and aristocratic rooks, if
transported to our country, would turn up their noses and caw with
contempt at our institutions--even at our oldest buildings and most
solemn and dignified oaks.  It is very doubtful if they would be
conciliated into any respect for the Capitol or The White House at
Washington.  They have an intuitive and most discriminating
perception of antiquity, and their adhesion to it is invincible.
Whether they came in with the Normans, or before, history does not
say.  One thing would seem evident.  They are older than the Order
of the Garter, and belonged to feudalism.  They are the living
spirits of feudalism, which have survived its human retainers by
several hundred years, and now represent the defunct institution as
pretentiously as in King Stephen's day.  They are as fond of old
Norman castles, cathedrals, and churches, as the very ivy itself,
and cling to them with as much pertinacity.  For several hundred
generations of bird-life, they and their ancestors have colonised
their sable communities in the baronial park-trees of England, and
their descendants promise to abide for as many generations to come.
In size, form, and color they differ but little from the American
crow, but are swifter on the wing, with greater "gift of the gab,"
and less dignified in general deportment, though more given to
aristocratic airs.  Although they emigrated from France long before
"La Democratic Sociale" was ever heard of in that country, they may
be considered the founders of the _Socialistic_ theory and practice;
and to this day they live and move in phalansteries, which succeed
far better than those attempted by the American "Fourierites" some
years ago.  As in human communities, the collision of mind with mind
contributes fortuitous scintillations of intelligence to their
general enlightenment; so gregarious animals, birds and bees seem to
acquire especial quick-wittedness from similar intercourse.  The
English rook, therefore, is more astute, subtle, and cunning than
our American crow, and some of his feats of legerdemain are quite

The jackdaw is to the rook what the Esquimaux is to the Algonquin
Indian; of the same form, color, and general habits, but smaller in
size.  They are as fond of ancient abbeys and churches as ever were
the monks of old.  Indeed, they have many monkish habits and
predilections, and chatter over their Latin rituals in the storied
towers of old Norman cathedrals, and in the belfries of ivy-webbed
churches in as vivicacious confusion.

There is no country in the world of the same size that has so many
birds in it as England; and there are none so musical and merry.
They all sing here congregationalwise, just as the people do in the
churches and chapels of all religious denominations.  As these
buildings were fashioned in early times after the Gothic order of
elm and oak-tree architecture, so the human worshippers therein
imitated the birds, as well as the branches, of those trees, and
learned to sing their Sabbath hymns together, young and old, rich
and poor, in the same general uprising and blending of multitudinous
voices.  I believe everything sings that has wings in England.  And
well it might, for here it is safe from shot, stones, snares, and
other destructives.  "Young England" is not allowed to sport with
firearms, after the fashion of our American boys.  You hear no
juvenile popping at the small birds of the meadow, thicket, or
hedge-row, in Spring, Summer, or Autumn.  After travelling and
sojourning nearly ten years in the country, I have never seen a boy
throw a stone at a sparrow, or climb a tree for a bird's-nest.  The
only birds that are not expected to die a natural death are the
pheasant, partridge, grouse, and woodcock; and these are to be
killed according to the strictest laws and customs, at a certain
season of the year, and then only by titled or wealthy men who hold
their vested interest in the sport among the most rigid and sacred
rights of property.  Thus law, custom, public sentiment, climate,
soil, and production, all combine to give bird-life a development in
England that it attains in no other country.  In no other land is it
so multitudinous and musical; in none is there such ample and varied
provision for housing and homing it.  Every field is a great bird's-
nest.  The thick, green hedge that surrounds it, and the hedge-trees
arising at one or two rods' interval, afford nesting and refuge for
myriads of these meadow singers.  The groves and thickets are full
of them and their music; so full, indeed, that sometimes every leaf
seems to pulsate with a little piping voice in the general concert.
Nor are they confined to the fields, groves, and hedges of the quiet
country.  If the census of the sparrows alone in London could be
taken, they would count up to a larger figure than all the birds of
a New England county would reach.  Then there is another interesting
feature of this companionship.  A great deal of it lasts through the
entire year.  There are ten times as many birds in England as in
America in the winter.  Here the fields are green through the
coldest months.  No deep and drifting snows cover a frozen earth for
ten or twelve weeks, as with us.  There is plenty of shelter and
seeds for birds that can stand an occasional frost or wintry storm,
and a great number of them remain the whole year around the English

If such a difference were a full compensation, our North American
birds make up in dress what they fall short of English birds in
voice and musical talent.  The robin redbreast and the goldfinch
come out in brighter colors than any other beaux and belles of the
season here; but the latter is only a slender-waisted brunette, and
the former a plump, strutting, little coxcomb, in a mahogany-colored
waistcoat.  There is nothing here approaching in vivid colors the
New England yellow-bird, hang-bird, red-bird, indigo-bird, or even
the bluebird.  In this, as well as other differences, Nature adjusts
the system of compensation which is designed to equalise the
conditions of different countries.



From Tiptree I had a pleasant walk to Coggeshall, a unique and
antique town, marked by the quaint and picturesque architecture of
the Elizabethan regime.  On the way I met an old man, eighty-three
years of age, busily at work with his wheel-barrow, shovel, and
bush-broom, gathering up the droppings of manure on the road.  I
stopped and had a long talk with him, and learned much of those
ingenious and minute industries by which thousands of poor men
house, feed, and clothe themselves and their families in a country
super-abounding with labor.  He had nearly filled his barrow, after
trundling it for four miles.  He could sell his little load for 4d.
to a neighboring farmer; but he intended to keep it for a small
garden patch allotted to him by his son, with whom he lived.  These
few square yards of land constituted the microscopic point of his
attachment to that great globe still holding in reserve unmeasured
territories of productive soil, on which nor plough, nor spade, nor
human foot, nor life has ever left a lasting mark.  These made his
little farm, as large to him and to his octogenarian sinews and
ambitions as was the Tiptree Estate to Alderman Mechi.  It filled
his mind with as busy occupation and as healthy a stimulus.  That
rude barrow, with its clumsy wheel, thinly rimmed with an iron hoop,
was to him what the steam engine, and two miles of iron tubing, and
all its hose-power were to that eminent agriculturist, of whom he
spoke in terms of high esteem as a neighbor, and even as a
competitor.  Proportionately they were on the same footing; the one
with his 170 square acres, the other with his 170 square feet.  It
was pleasant and instructive to hear him speak with such sunny and
cheery hope of his earthly lot and doings.  His son was kind and
good to him.  He could read, and get many good books.  He ate and
slept well.  He was poor but comfortable.  He went to church on
Sunday, and thought much of heaven on week days.  His cabbages were
a wonder; some with heads as large as a half-bushel measure.  He did
something very respectable in the potato and turnip line.  He had
grown beans and beets which would show well in any market.  He
always left a strip or corner for flowers.  He loved to grow them;
they did him good, and stirred up young-man feelings in him.  He
went on in this way with increased animation, following the lead of
a few questions I put in occasionally to give direction to the
narrative of his experience.  How much I wished I could have
photographed him as he stood leaning on his shovel, his wrinkled
face and gray, thin hair, moistened with perspiration, while his
coat lay inside out on one of the handles of his barrow!  The July
sun, that warmed him at his work, would have made an interesting
picture of him, if some one could have held a camera to its eye at
the moment.  I added a few pennies to his stock-in-trade, and
continued my walk, thinking much of that wonderful arrangement of
Providence by which the infinite alternations and gradations of
human life and condition are adjusted; fitting a separate being,
experience, and attachment to every individual heart; training its
tendrils to cling all its life long to one slightly individualised
locality, which another could never call home; giving itself and all
its earthly hopes to an occupation which another would esteem a
prison discipline; sucking the honey of contentment out of a
condition which would be wormwood to another person on the same
social level.

On reaching Coggeshall, I became again the guest of a Friend, who
gave me the same old welcome and hospitality which I have so often
received from the members of that society.  After tea, he took me
about the town, and showed me those buildings so interesting to an
American--low, one-story houses, with thatched roofs, clay-colored,
wavy walls, rudely-carved lintels, and iron-sash windows opening
outward on hinges like doors, with squares of glass 3 inches by 4;--
houses which were built before the keel of the Mayflower was laid,
which conveyed the Pilgrims to Plymouth Rock.  Here, now! see that
one on the other side of the street, looking out upon a modern and
strange generation through two ivy-browed eyes just lighted up to
visible speculation by a single candle on the mantel-piece!  A very
animated and respectable baby was carried out of that door in its
mother's arms, and baptised in the parish church, before William
Shakespeare was weaned.  There is a younger house near by, which was
a century old when Washington was born.  These unique, old dwellings
of town, village, and hamlet in England, must ever possess an
interest to the American traveller which the grand and majestic
cathedrals, that fill him with so much admiration, cannot inspire.
We link the life of our nation more directly to these humbler
buildings.  Our forefathers went out of these houses to the New
World.  The log huts they first erected served them and their
families as homes for a few years; then were given to their horses
and cattle for stabling; then were swept away, as too poor for
either man or beast.  The second generation of houses made greater
pretensions to comfort, and had their day, then passed away.  They
were nearly all one-story, wooden buildings, with a small apartment
on each side of a great chimney, and a little bed-roomage in the
garret for children.  Then followed the large, red, New England
mansion, broadside to the road, two stories high in front, with
nearly a rood of back roof declining to within five or six feet of
the ground, and covering a great, dark kitchen, flanked on one side
by a bed-room, and on the other by the buttery.  A ponderous chimney
arose out of the middle of the building, giving a fire-place of
eight feet back to the kitchen, and one of half the dimensions to
each of the other two large rooms--the _north_ and _south_.  For,
like the republic they founded, its forefathers and ours divided
their dwellings by a kind of Mason and Dixon's Line, into two parts,
giving them these sectional appellations which have represented such
antagonisms and made us such trouble.  Every one of these old-
fashioned houses had its "North" and "South" rooms on the ground-
floor, and duplicates, of the same size and name, above, divided by
the massive, hollow tower, called a chimney.  A double front door,
with panels, scrolled with rude carving, opened right and left into
the portly building, which, in the tout ensemble, looked like a New
England gentleman of the olden time, in his cocked hat, and hair
done up in a queue.  These were the houses built "when George the
Third was King."  In these were born the men of the American
Revolution.  They are the oldest left in the land; and, like the
Revolutionary pensioners, they are fast disappearing.  In a few
years, it will be said the last of them has been levelled to the
ground, just as the paragraph will circulate through the newspapers
that the last soldier of the War of Independence is dead.

Thus, the young generation in America, now reciting in our schools
the rudimental facts of the common history of the English-speaking
race, will come to the meridian of manhood at a time when the three
first generations of American houses shall have been swept away.
But, travelling over a space of three centuries' breadth, they will
see, in these old English dwellings, where the New World broke off
from the Old--the houses in which the first settlers of New England
were born; the churches and chapels in which they were baptised, and
the school-houses in which they learned the alphabet of the great
language that is to fill the earth with the speech of man's rights
and God's glory.  One hundred millions, speaking the tongue of
Shakespeare and Milton on the American continent, and as many
millions more on continents more recently settled by the same race,
across the ocean, and across century-seas of time, shall moor their
memories to these humble dwellings of England's hamlets, and feel
how many taut and twisted liens attach them to the motherland of
mighty nations.

On reckoning up the log of my first day's walk, I found I had made
full twelve miles by road and field; and was more than satisfied
with such a trial of country air and exercise, and with the
enjoyment of its scenery and occupations.  The next day I made a
longer distance still, from Coggeshall to Great Bardfield, or about
eighteen miles; and felt at the end that I had established a
reasonable claim to convalescence.  The country on the way was
marked by the quiet and happy features of diversified plenty.  The
green and gold of pastures, meadows, and wheat-fields; the
picturesque interspersion of cottages, gardens, stately mansions,
parks and lawns, all enlivened by a well-proportioned number of
mottled cows feeding or lying along the brook-banks, and sheep
grazing on the uplands,--all these elements of rural life and
scenery were blended with that fortuitous felicity which makes the
charm of Nature's country pictures.

At Bardfield I was again homed for the night by a Friend; and after
tea made an evening walk with him about the farm of a member of the
same society, living in the outskirts of the town, who cultivates
about 400 acres of excellent land, and is considered one of the most
practical and successful agriculturists of Essex.  His fields were
larger and fewer than I had noticed on my walk in a farm of equal
size.  This feature indicates the modern improvements in English
farming more prominently to the cursory observer than any other that
attracts his eye.  It is a rigidly utilitarian innovation on the old
system, that does not at all promise to improve the picturesque
aspect of the country.  To "reconstruct the map" of a county, by
wire-fencing it into squares of 100 acres each, after grubbing up
all the hedges and hedge-trees, would doubtless add seven and a
quarter per cent. to the agricultural production of the shire, and
gratify many a Gradgrind of materialistic economy; but who would
know England after such a transformation?  One would be prone to
reiterate Patrick's exclamation of surprise, when he first
shouldered a gun and tested the freedom of the forest in America.
Seeing a small bird in the top of a tree, he pointed the fowling-
piece in that direction, turned away his face, and fired.  A tree-
toad fell to the ground from an agitated branch.  The exulting
Irishman ran and picked it up in triumph, and held it out at arm's
length by one of its hind legs, exclaiming, "And how it alters a
bird to shoot its feathers off, to be sure!"  It would alter England
nearly as much in aspect, if the unsparing despotism of pounds s. d.
should root out the hedge-row trees, and substitute invisible lines
of wire for the flowering hawthorn as a fencing for those fields
which now look so much like framed portraits of Nature's best

The tendency of these utilitarian times may well occasion an
unpleasant concern in the lovers of English rural scenery.  What
changes may come in the wake of the farmer's steam-engine, steam-
plough, or under the smoke-shadows from his factory-like chimney,
these recent "improvements" may suggest and induce.  One can see in
any direction he may travel these changes going on silently.  Those
little, unique fields, defined by lines and shapes unknown to
geometry, are going out of the rural landscape.  And when they are
gone, they will be missed more than the amateurs of agricultural
artistry imagine at the present moment.  What some one has said of
the peasantry, may be said, with almost equal deprecation, of these
picturesque tit-bits of land, which,--

     "Once destroyed, never can be supplied."

And destroyed they will be, as sure as science.  As large farms are
swallowing up the little ones between them, so large fields are
swallowing these interesting patches, the broad-bottomed hedging of
which sometimes measures as many square yards as the space it

There is much reason to fear that the hedge-trees will, in the end,
meet with a worse fate still.  Practical farmers are beginning to
look upon them with an evil eye--an eye sharp and severe with
pecuniary speculation; that looks at an oak or elm with no artist's
reverence; that darts a hard, dry, timber-estimating glance at the
trunk and branches; that looks at the circumference of its cold
shadow on the earth beneath, not at the grand contour and glorious
leafage of its boughs above.  The farmer who was taking us over his
large and highly-cultivated fields, was a man of wide intelligence,
of excellent tastes, and the means wherewithal to give them free
scope and play.  His library would have satisfied the ambition of a
student of history or belles-lettres.  His gardens, lawn, shrubbery,
and flowers would grace the mansion of an independent gentleman.  He
had an eye to the picturesque as well as practical.  But I could not
but notice, as significant of the tendency to which I have referred,
that, on passing a large, outbranching oak standing in the boundary
of two fields, he remarked that the detriment of its shadow could
not have been less than ten shillings a year for half a century.  As
we proceeded from field to field, he recurred to the same subject by
calling our attention to the circumference of the shadow cast on the
best land of the farm by a thrifty, luxuriant ash, not more than a
foot in diameter at the butt.  Up to the broad rim of its shade, the
wheat on each side of the hedge was thick, heavyheaded and tall, but
within the cool and sunless circle the grain and grass were so pale
and sickly that the bare earth would have been relief to a farmer's

The three great, distinctive graces of an English landscape are the
hawthorn hedges, the hedge-row trees, and the everlasting and
unapproachable greenness of the grass-fields they surround and
embellish.  In these beautiful features, England surpasses all other
countries in the world.  These make the peculiar charm of her rural
scenery to a traveller from abroad.  These are the salient
lineaments of Motherland's face which the memories of myriads she
has sent to people countries beyond the sea cling to with such
fondness; memories that are transmitted from generation to
generation; which no political revolutions nor severances affect;
which are handed down in the unwritten legends of family life in the
New World, as well as in the warp and woof of American literature
and history.  Will the utilitarian and unsparing science of these
latter days, or of the days to come, shear away these beautiful
tresses, and leave the brow and temples of the Old Country they have
graced bare and brown under the bald and burning sun of material
economy?  It is not an idle question, nor too early to ask it.  It
is a question which will interest more millions of the English race
on the American continent than these home-islands will ever contain.
There are influences at work which tend to this unhappy issue.  Some
of these have been already indicated, and others more powerful still
may be mentioned.

Agriculture in England has to run the gauntlet of many pressing
competitions, and carry a heavy burden of taxation as it runs.
These will be noticed, hereafter, in their proper connection.
Farming, therefore, is being reduced to a rigid science.  Every acre
of land must be put up to its last ounce of production.  Every
square foot of it must be utilised to the growth of something for
man and beast.  Manures for different soils are tested with as much
chemical precision as ever was quinine for human constitutions.
Dynameters are applied to prove the power of working machinery.
Labor is scrutinised and economised, and measured closely up to the
value of a farthing's-worth of capacity.  A shilling's difference
per acre in the cost of ploughing by horse-flesh or steam brings the
latter into the field.  The sound of the flail is dying out of the
land, and soon will be heard no more.  Even threshing machines
worked by horses are being discarded, as too slow and old-fashioned.
Locomotive steam-engines, on broad-rimmed wheels, may be met on the
turnpike road, travelling on their own legs from farm to farm to
thresh out wheat, barley, oats, and beans, for a few pence per
bushel.  They make nothing of ascending a hill without help, or of
walking across a ploughed field to a rick-yard.  Iron post and rail
fencing, in lengths of twenty feet on wheels, drawn about by a
donkey, bids fair to supersede the old wooden hurdles for sheep fed
on turnips or clover.  It is an iron age, and wire fencing is
creeping into use, especially in the most scientifically cultivated
districts of Scotland, where the elements and issues of the farmer's
balance-sheet are looked to with the most eager concern.  Iron wire
grows faster than hawthorn or buckthorn.  It doubtless costs less.
It needs no yearly trimming, like shrubs with sap and leaves.  It
does not occupy a furrow's width as a boundary between two fields.
It may be easily transposed to vary enclosures.  It is not a nesting
place for destructive birds or vermin.  These and other arguments,
of the same utilitarian genus, are making perceptible headway.  Will
they ever carry the day against the green hedges?  I think they
would, very soon, if the English farmer owned the land he
cultivates.  But such is rarely the case.  Still, this fact may not
prevent the final consummation of this policy of material interest.
In a great many instances, the tenant might compromise with the
landlord in such a way as to bring about this "modern improvement."
And a comparatively few instances, showing a certain per centage of
increased production per acre to the former, and a little additional
rentage to the latter, would suffice to give the innovation an
impulse that would sweep away half the hedges of the country, and
deface that picture which so many generations have loved to such
enthusiasm of admiration.

Will the trees of the hedge-row be exposed to the same end?  I think
they will.  Though trees are the most sacred things the earth begets
in England, as has already been said, the farmer here looks at them
with an evil eye, as horse-leeches that bleed to death long
stretches of the land he pays 2 pounds per acre for annually to his
landlord.  The hedge, however wide-bottomed, is his fence; and
fencing he must have.  But these trees, arising at narrow intervals
from the hedge, and spreading out their deadening shades upon his
wheatfields on either side, are not useful nor ornamental to him.
They may look prettily, and make a nice picture in the eyes of the
sentimental tourist or traveller, but he grudges the ground they
cover.  He could well afford to pay the landlord an additional
rentage per annum more than equal to the money value of the yearly
growth of these trees.  Besides, the landlord has, in all
probability, a large park of trees around his mansion, and perhaps
compact plantations on land unsuited to agriculture.  Thus the high
value of these hedge-row trees around the fields of his tenant,
which he will realise on the spot, together with some additional
pounds in rent annually to himself and heirs, would probably
facilitate this levelling arrangement in face of all the
restrictions that the law of entail might seem to throw in the way.

If, therefore, the hedges of England disappear before the noiseless
and furtive progress of utilitarian science, the trees that rise
above them in such picturesque ranks will be almost certain to go
with them.  Then, indeed, a change will come over the face of the
country, which will make it difficult for one to recognise it who
daguerreotyped its most beautiful features upon his memory before
they were obliterated by these latter-day "improvements."



Immediately after breakfast the following morning, my kind host
accompanied me for a mile on my walk, and put me on a footpath
across the fields, by which I might save a considerable distance on
the way to Saffron Walden, where I proposed to spend the Sabbath.
After giving me minute directions as to the course I was to follow,
he bade me good-bye, and I proceeded on at a brisk pace through
fields of wheat and clover, greatly enjoying the scenery, the air,
and exercise.  Soon I came to a large field quite recently ploughed
up _clean_, footpath and all.  Seeing a gate at each of the opposite
corners, I made my way across the furrows to the one at the left, as
it seemed to be more in the direction indicated by my host.  There
the path was again broad and well-trodden, and I followed it through
many fields of grain yellowing to the harvest, until it opened into
the main road.  This bore a little more to the left than I expected,
but, as I had never travelled it before, I believed it was all
right.  Thaxted was half way to Saffron Walden, and there I had
intended to stop an hour or two for dinner and rest, then push on to
the end of the day's walk as speedily as possible.  At about noon, I
came suddenly down upon the town, which seemed remarkably similar to
the one I had left, in size, situation, and general features.  The
parish church, also, bore a strong resemblance to the one I had
noticed the previous evening.  These old Essex towns are "as much
alike as two peas," and you must make a note of it, as Captain
Cuttle says, was the thought first suggested by the coincidence.  I
went into a cosy, clean-faced inn on the main street, and addressed
myself with much satisfaction to a short season of rest and
refreshment, exchanging hot and dusty boots for slippers, and going
through other preliminaries to a comfortable time of it.  Rang the
bell for dinner, but before ordering it, asked the waiting-maid,
with a complacent idea that I had improved my walking pace, and made
more than half the way--

"How far is it to Saffron Walden?"

"Twelve miles, sir."

"Twelve miles, indeed!  Why, it is only twelve miles from Great

"Well, this is Great Bardfield, sir."

"Great Bardfield!  What!  How is this?  What do you mean?"

She meant what she said, and it was as true as two and two make
four; and she was not to be beaten out of it by a stare of
astonishment, however a discomfited man might expand his eyes with
wonder, or cloud his face with chagrin.  It was a patent fact.
There, on the opposite side of the street, was the house in which I
slept the night before; and here, just coming up to the door of the
inn, was the good lady of my host.  Her form and voice, and other
identifications dispelled the mist of the mistake; and it came out
as clear as day that I had followed the direction of my host, to
bear to the left, far too liberally, and that I had been walking at
my best speed in a "vicious circle" for full two hours and a half,
and had landed just where I commenced, at least within the breadth
of a narrow street of the same point.

My good friends urged me to stop and dine with them, and then make a
fair start for the end of my week's journey.  But it was still
twelve miles to Saffron Walden, and I was determined to put half of
them behind me before dinner.  So, taking a second leave of them in
the course of three hours, I set out again on my walk, a wiser man
in the practical understanding of the proverb, "The longest way
around is the shortest way there."  At 2 p.m.  I reached Thaxted,
and rectified my first notion of the town, formed when I mistook it
for Bardfield.  Having made six miles extra between the two points,
I resumed my walk after a short delay at the latter.

The weather was glorious.  A cloudless sun shone upon a little sky-
crystalled world of beauty, smaller in every dimension than you ever
see in America.  And this is a feature of English scenery that will
strike the American traveller most impressively at the first glance,
whether he looks at it by night or day.  It is not that Nature, in
adjusting the symmetries of her scenic structures, nicely apportions
the skyscape to the landscape of a country merely for artistic
effect.  It is not because the island of Great Britain is so small
in circumference that the sky is proportioned to it, as the crystal
is to the dial of a watch; that it is so apparently low; that the
stars it holds to its moist, blue bosom are so near at midnight, and
the sun so large at noon.  It comes, doubtless, from that constant
humidity of the atmosphere which distinguishes the climate of
England, and gives to both land and sky an aspect which is quite
unknown to our great western continent.  An American, after having
habituated himself to this aspect, on returning to his own country,
will be almost surprised at a feature of its scenery which he never
noticed before.  He will be struck at the loftiness of the sky; at
the vividness of its blue and gold, the sharp, unsoftened light of
the stars, and, as it were, the contracted pupil of the sun's eye at
mid-day.  The sunset glories of our western heavens play upon a
ground of rigid blue.  "The Northern Lights," which, at their winter
evening illuminations, seem to have shredded into wavy filaments all
the rainbows that have spanned the chambers of the East since the
Flood, and to upspring, in mirthful fantasy, to hang their
infinitely-tinted tresses to the zenith's golden diadem of stars--
even they sport upon the same lofty concave of dewless blue, which
looks through and through the lacework and everchanging drapery of
their mingled hues in the most witching mazes of their nightly
waltz, giving to each a definiteness that our homely Saxon tongue
might fit with a name.

But here, on the lower grounds of instructive meditation, is a
humbler individuality of the country to notice.  Here is the most
sadly abused and melancholy living creature in all England's animal
realm that meets me in the midst of these reflections on things
supernal and glorious.  I will let the Northern Lights go, with
their gorgeous pantomimes and midnight revelries, and have a
moment's communing with this unfortunate quadruped.  It is called in
derision here a "_donkey_," but an ass, in a more generous time,
when one of his race and size bore upon his back into the Holy City
the world's Saviour and Re-Creator.  Poor, libelled, hopeless beast!
I pity you from my heart's heart.  How I wish for Sterne's pen to do
you some measure of justice or condolence under this heavy load of
opprobrium that bends your back and makes your life so sunless and
bitter!  Come here, sir!--here is a biscuit for you, of the finest
wheat; few of your race get such morsels; so, eat it and be
thankful.  What ears!  No wonder our friend Patrick called you "the
father of all rabbits" at first sight.  No! don't turn away your
head, as if I were going to strike you.

Most animals are best described from a certain point of _view_,--in
a fixed and quiescent attitude.  But the donkey should be taken in
the very act of this characteristic motion.  You put out your hand
in the gentlest manner to pat any one of them you meet, and he will
instinctively turn away his head for fear of a beating.

There is an interesting speculation now coming up among modern
reveries in regard to the immortality of certain animals of great
intelligence and domestic virtues.  A large and tender kindness of
disposition is the father of the thought, it may be; but the thought
seems to gain ground and take shape, that so much of apparently
human mind and heart as the dog possesses cannot be destined to
annihilation at his death, but must live and enlarge in another
sphere of existence.  Having thus opened, if it may be said
reverently, a back-door into immortality for sagacious and
affectionate dogs and horses, they leave it ajar for the admission
of animals of less intelligence--even for all the kinds that Noah
took into the ark, perhaps, although the theory is still nebulous
and undefined.  Now, I would beg the kind-hearted adherents to this
theory not to think I am seeking to play off a satirical pleasantry
upon it, if I express a hope, which is earnest and true, that, if
there be an immortality for any class of dumb animals, the donkey
shall go into it first, and have a better place in it than their
parlor dogs or nicely-groomed horses.  Evidently they are building
up a claim to this illustrious distinction of another existence for
these pets on the sole ground of merit, not of works, even, but of
mere intelligence, fidelity, and affection.  Granted; but the donkey
should go in first and take the highest place on that basis.  When
you come to the standard of moral measurement, it may be claimed as
among the highest of human as well as animal virtues, "to learn to
suffer and be strong."  And this virtue the donkey has learned and
practised incomparably beyond any other creature that ever walked on
four legs since the Flood.  Let these good people remember that
their fanciful and romantic favoritisms are not to rule in the
destinies awarded to the infinitesimally human spirits of domestic
animals in another world, if another be in reserve for them.  Let
them remember that their softly-cushioned dogs, and horses so
delicately clad, and fed, and fondled, have had a pretty good time
of it in this life, and that in another, the poor, despised, abused
donkey, going about begging, with such a long and melancholy face,
for withered cabbage leaves and woody-grained turnips cast out and
trodden under feet of happier animals,--that this meek little
creature, kicked, cuffed, and club-beaten all the way from hopeless
youth to an ignominious grave, will carry into another world merits
and mementoes of his earthly lot that will obtain, if not entitle
him to, some compensation in the award of a future condition.  It is
treading on delicate ground even to set one foot within the pale of
their unscriptural theory; but as many of them hold the Christian
faith in pureness of living and doctrine, let me remind them of that
parable which shows so impressively how the disparities in human
condition here are reversed in the destinies of the great hereafter.

But, to return to the earthly lot and position of this poor,
libelled animal.  Among all the four-footed creatures domesticated
to the service of man, this has always been the veriest scapegoat
and victim of the cruellest and crabbedest of human dispositions.
Truly, it has ever been born unto sorrow, bearing all its life long
a weight of abuse and contumely which would break the heart of a
less sensitive animal in a single week.  From the beginning it has
been the poor man's beast of burden; and "pity 'tis 'tis true," poor
men, in all the generations of human poverty, have been far too
prone to harshness of temper and treatment towards the beasts that
serve them and share their lot of humble life.  The donkey is made a
kind of Ishmaelite in the great family of domestic animals.  He is
made, not born so.  He is beaten about the head unmercifully with a
heavy stick, and then jeered at for being stupid and obstinate! just
as if any other creature, of four or two legs, would not be stupid
after such fierce congestion of the brain.  His long ears subject
him to a more cruel prejudice than ever color engendered in the
circle of humanity but just above him.  True, he is rather
unsymmetrical in form.  His head is disproportionately long and
large, quite sufficient in these dimensions to fit a camel.  He is
generally a hollow-backed, pot-bellied creature, about the size of a
yearling calf, with ungainly, sloping haunches, and long, coarse
hair.  But nearly all these deformities come out of the shameful
treatment he gets.  You occasionally meet one that might hold up its
head in any animal society; with straight back, symmetrical body and
limbs, and hair as soft and sleek as the fur of a Maltese cat; with
contented face, and hopeful and happy eyes, showing that he has a
kind master.

The donkey is really a useful and valuable animal, which might be
introduced into America with great advantage to our farmers.  I know
of no animal of its size so tough and strong.  It is astonishing, as
well as shocking, to see what loads he is made to draw here.  The
vehicle to which he is usually harnessed is a heavy, solid affair,
frequently as large as our common horse-carts.  He is put to all
kinds of work, and is almost exclusively the poor man's beast of
burden and travel.  In cities and large towns, his cart is loaded
with the infinitely-varied wares of street trade; with cabbages,
fish, fruit, or with some of the thousand-and-one nicknacks that
find a market among the masses of the common people.  At watering-
places, or on the "commons" or suburban playgrounds of large towns,
he is brought out in a handsome saddle, or a well got-up little
carriage, and let by the hour or by the ride to invalid adults, or
to children bubbling over with life.  Here, although the everlasting
club, to which he is born, is wielded by his driver, he often looks
comfortable and sleek, and sometimes wears a red ribbon at each ear.
It would not pay to bring on to the ground the scrawny, bony
creature that generally tugs in the costermonger's cart.  It is in
the coal region or trade that you meet with him and his driver in
their worst apostacy from all that is seemly in man or beast.  To
watch the poor creature, begrimed with coal-dust, wriggling up a
long, steep hill, with a load four times his own weight, griping
with his little sheep-footed hoofs into the black, slimy pavement of
the road, while his tall, sooty-faced and harsh-voiced master,
perhaps sitting on the top or on a shaft, is punching and beating
him; to see this is enough to stir up the old adam in the meekest
Christian to emotions of pugilistic indignation.  It has often cost
me a doubtful and protracted effort to keep it down.  Indeed, I have
often yielded to it so far as to wish that once more the poor
creature might be honored of God with His gift to Balaam's ass, and
be able to speak, bolt outright, an indignant remonstrance, in human
speech, against such treatment.  It would serve them right!--these
lineal descendants of Balaam, who have inherited his club and wield
it more cruelly.

A word or two more about this animal, and I will pass on to others
of more dignity of position.  He is the cheapest as well as smallest
beast of burden to be found in Christendom.  You may buy one here
for twenty or thirty English shillings.  I am confident that they
would be extremely serviceable in America, if once introduced.  It
costs but very little to keep them, and they will do all kinds of
work up to the draught of 600 or 800 lbs.  You frequently see here a
span of them trotting off in a cart, with brisk and even step.
Sometimes they are put on as leaders to a team of horses.  I once
saw on my walk a heavy Lincolnshire horse in the shafts, a pony
next, and a donkey at the head, making a team graduated from 18
hands to 6 in height; and all pulling evenly, and apparently keeping
step with each other, notwithstanding the disparity in the length of
their legs.

It would be unjust to that goodwill to man and beast which is being
organised and stimulated in England through an infinite number of
societies, if I should omit to state that, at last, a little rill of
this benevolence has reached the donkey.  That most valuable and
widely-circulated penny magazine, "The British Workman," and its
little companion for British workmen's children, "The Band of Hope
Review," have advocated the rights and better treatment of this
humble domestic for several years.  His cause has also been pleaded
in a packet of little papers called "Leaflets of the Law of Kindness
for the Children."  And now, at last, a wealthy and benevolent
champion, on whom the mantle of Elizabeth Fry, his aunt, has fallen,
has taken the lead in the work of raising the useful creature to the
level of the other animals of the pasture, stable, and barn-yard.
Up to the present time, every creature that walks on four or two
legs, either haired, woolled, or feathered, with the single
exception of the donkey has had the door of the Agricultural
Exhibition thrown wide open to it, to enter the lists for prizes or
"honorable mention," and for general admiration.  A pig, whose legs
and eyes have all been absorbed out of sight by an immense rotundity
of fat, is often decked with a ribbon, of the Order of the Garter
genus, as a reward of merit, or of grace of form and proportions!
Turkeys, geese, ducks, and hens of different breeds, strut or waddle
off with similar distinctions.  As for blood-horses, bulls, cows,
and sheep, one not versed in such matters might be tempted to think
that men, especially the poorer sort, were made for beasts, and not
beasts for men.  And yet, mirabile dictu! at these great social
gatherings of man-and-animal kind, there has not been even "a negro-
pew" for the donkey.  A genuine, raw, Guinea negro might have as
well entered the Prince of Wales' Ball in New York bare-footed, and
offered to play a voluntary on his banjo for the dancers, as this
despised quadruped have hoped to obtain the entree to these grand
and fashionable assemblies of the shorter-eared elite of society.

But this prejudice against color and long ears is now going the way
of other barbarisms.  The gentleman to whom I have referred, a
Member of Parliament, whose means are as large as his benevolence,
has taken the first and decisive step towards raising the donkey to
his true place in society.  He has offered a liberal prize for the
best conditioned one exhibited at the next Agricultural Fair.  Since
this offer was made, a very decided improvement has been noticed
among the donkeys of the London costermongers, as if the competition
for the first prize was to be a very large one.

It will be a kind of St. Crispin's Day to the whole of the long-
eared race--a day of emancipation from forty centuries of obloquy
and oppression.  Doubtless they will be admitted hereafter to the
Royal Agricultural Society's exhibitions, to compete for honors with
animals that have hitherto spurned such association with contempt.



I reached Saffron Walden at 4 p.m., notwithstanding my involuntary
walk of six extra miles in the morning.  Here I remained over the
Sabbath, again enjoying the hospitality of a Friend.  And perhaps I
may say it here and now with as much propriety as at any other time
and place, that few persons, outside the pale of that society, have
more frequently or fully enjoyed that hospitality than myself.  This
pleasant experience has covered the space of more than sixteen
years.  During this period, with the exception of short intervals, I
have been occupied with movements which the Friends in England have
always regarded with especial sympathy.  This connection has brought
me into acquaintance with members of the society in almost every
town in Great Britain in which they reside; and in more than a
hundred of their homes I have been received as a guest with a
kindness which will make to my life's end one of its sunniest

On the following Monday, I resumed my walk northward, after a
carriage ride which a Friend kindly gave me for a few miles on the
way.  Passed through a pre-eminently grain-producing district.
Apparently full three-fourths of the land were covered with wheat,
barley, oats, and beans.  The fields of each were larger than I had
noticed before; some containing 100 acres.  The coming harvest is
putting forth the full glory of its golden promise.  The weather is
all a farmer could wish, beautiful, warm, and bright.  Nature, in
every feature of its various scapes, seems to smile with the joy of
that human happiness which her ministries inspire.  Here, in these
still expanses, waving with luxuriant crops, apparently so thinly
peopled, one, forgetting the immense populations crowded into city
spaces, is almost tempted to ask, where are all the mouths to eat
this wide sea of food for man and beast, softening so gently into a
yellow sheen under the very rim of the distant horizon?  But, in the
great heart of London, beating with the wants of millions, he will
be likely to reverse the question, and ask, where can one buy bread
wherewith to feed this great multitude?

At Sawston, a rustic little village on the southern border of
Cambridgeshire, I entered upon the enjoyment of English country-inn
life with that relish which no one born in a foreign land can so
fully feel as an American.  As one looks upon the living face of
some distinguished celebrity for the first time, after having had
his portrait hung up in the parlor for twenty years, so an American
looks, for the first time, at that great and picturesque speciality
among human institutions, the village inn of old England.  The like
of it he never saw in his own country and never will.  In fact, he
would not like to see it there, plucked up out of its ancient
histories and associations.  In the ever-green foliage of these it
stands inwoven, as with its own network of ivy.  Other countries,
even older than England, have had their taverns from time
immemorial; but they are all kept in the background of human life.
They do not come out in contemporaneous history with any
definiteness; not even accidentally.  If a king is murdered in one
of them, or if it is the theatre of the most thrilling romance of
love, you do not know whether it is a building of stone, brick, or
wood; whether it is one, two, or three stories in height.  No
outlines nor aspects are given you to help to fill up a rational
picture of it.  Neither the landlord nor the landlady is drawn as a
representative man or woman.  Either might be mistaken for a guest
in their own house, if seen in hat or bonnet by a stranger.

But not so of the English country inn.  It comes out into the
foreground of a thousand interesting histories and pictures of
common life.  In them it has an individuality as marked as the
parish church, couchante in its wide-rimmed nest of grave stones; as
marked in unique architecture, location, and surroundings.  In none
of these features will you find two alike, if you travel from one
end of the country to the other; especially among those a century
old.  You might as well mistake one of the living animals for the
other, as to mistake "The Blue Boar" for "The Red Lion."  They
differ as much from each other in general make and aspect as do
their nominal prototypes.  To give every one of their thousands "a
local habitation and a name" of striking distinctness, has required
an ingenuity which has produced many interesting feats of house-
building and nomenclature.  Both these departments of genius figure
largely in the poetry and classics of the institution, with which
the reading million of America have been familiar from youth up.
And when any of them come to travel in England, it will greatly
enhance their enjoyment to find that the pictures they have admired
and the descriptions they have read of the famous country inn have
been true to the very life and letter.  All its salient features
they recognise at once, and are ready to exclaim, "How natural!"
meaning by that, how true is the original to the picture which they
have seen so frequently.  If they go far enough, they will find the
very original of every one of the hundred pictures they have seen,
painted by pen or pencil.  They will find that all of them have been
true copies from nature.  Here is the portly-looking, well-to-do,
two-story tavern, standing out with its comfortable, cream-colored
face broadside to the street.  It is represented in the old
engraving with a coach-and-four drawn up before the door, surrounded
by a crowd of spectators and passengers, some descending and
ascending on ladders over the forward wheels; some looking with
admiration at the scarlet coats of the pursy and consequential
driver and guard; some exchanging greetings, others farewell
salutations; ostlers in long waistcoats, plush or fustian shorts,
and yellow leggings, standing bareheaded with watering-pails at the
"'osses' 'eads;" trunks great and small going up and down; village
boys in high excitement; village grandfathers looking very animated;
the landlord, burly, bland, and happy, with a face as rotund and
genial as the full moon shining upon the scene; and those round,
rosy, sunny, laughing faces peering out of the windows with
delightful wonderment and exhilaration, winked at by the driver, and
saluted with a graceful motion of his whip-handle in recognition of
the barmaid, chambermaid, and all the other maids of the house.  The
coach, with all its picturesque appointments, its four-in-hand, the
stirring heraldry of its horn coming down the road, its rattling
wheels, the life and stir aroused and moved in its wake,--all this
has gone from the presence of a higher civilisation.  It will never
re-appear in future pictures of actual life in England.  It is all
gone where the hedges and hedge-row trees will probably go in their
turn.  But the same village inn remains, and can be as easily
recognised as a widow in weeds, who still wears a hopeful face, and
makes the best of her bereavement.

But that humbler type of hostelry so often represented in sketches
of English rural life and scenery--the little, cozy, one-story,
wayside, or hamlet inn, with its thatched roof, checker-work window,
low door, and with a loaded hay-cart standing in front of it, while
the driver, in his round, wool hat, and in his smock-frock, is
drinking at a pewter mug of beer, with one hand on his horse's neck-
-this the hand of modern improvements has not yet reached.  This may
be found still in a thousand villages and hamlets, surrounded with
all its rural associations; the green, the geese, and gray donkeys
feeding side by side; low-jointed cottages, with long, sloping roofs
greened over with moss or grass, and other objects usually shadowed
dimly in the background of the picture.  It is these quiet hamlets
and houses in the still depths of the country, away from the noise
and bluster of railway life and motion, that best represent and
perpetuate the primeval characteristics of a nation.  These the
American traveller will find invested with all the old charm with
which his fancy clothed them.  It will well repay him for a month's
walk to see and enjoy them thoroughly.

In these days of sun-literature, whose letters are human faces, and
whose new volumes are numbered by the million yearly, without a
duplicate to one of them, I am confident that a volume of these
English village inns of the olden school, in photographs, would
command a large sale and admiration in America, merely as specimens
of unique and interesting architecture.  A thousand might be taken,
every one as unlike the other in distinctive form and feature, as
every one of the same number of men would be to the other.

The diversification of names, being more difficult, is still more
remarkable.  Although the spread eagle figures largely as the patron
genius of American hotels, still nine-tenths of them bear the names
of states, counties, towns, or national or local celebrities.  But
here natural history comes out strong and wide.  The heraldry of
sovereigns, aristocracy, gentry, commercial and industrial
interests, puts up its various _arms_ upon hundreds of inns in town
and country.  All occupations and recreations are well represented.
Thus no country in the world approaches England in the wide scope
and play of hotel nomenclature.  Some of the combinations are
exceedingly unique and most interesting in their incongruity.
Dickens has not exaggerated this characteristic; not even done it
justice in his hotel scenes.  Things are put together on a hundred
tavern signs that were never joined before in the natural or moral
world, and put together frequently in most grotesque association.
For instance, there is a large, first-class inn right in the very
heart of London, which has for a sign, not painted on a board, but
let into the wall of the upper story, in solid statuary, a huge
human mouth opened to its utmost capacity, and a bull, round and
plump, standing stoutly on its four legs between the two distended
jaws.  Now, the leading idea of this device is involved in a
tempting obscurity, which leads one, at first sight, into different
lines of conjecture.  What did the designer of this group of
statuary really intend to represent?  Was it to let the outside
world know that, in that inn, the "Roast Beef of Old England" was
always to be found par excellence?  If so, would a man's mouth
swallowing a bull whole, and apparently alive, with hide and horns,
tend to stimulate the appetite of a passing traveller, and to draw
him into the establishment?  But leaving these ambiguous symbols to
be interpreted by the passing public according to different
perceptions of their meaning, how many in a thousand would guess
aright the name given to the tavern by these tokens?  Would not
ninety-nine in a hundred say, "The Mouth and Bull," to be sure, not
only on the principle that the major includes the minor, but also
because the human element is entitled to precedence in the picture?
But the ninety-nine would be completely mistaken, if they adopted
this natural conclusion.  They would find they had counted without
their host, who knows better than they the relative position and
value of things.  What has the law of logic to do with fat beef?
The name of his famous hotel is "THE BULL AND MOUTH;" and few in
London have attained to its celebrity as a historical building.  One
is apt to wonder if this precedence given to the beast is really
incidental, or adopted to give euphony to the name of an inn, or
whether there is a latent and spontaneous leaning to such a method
of association, from some cause or other connected with perceptions
of personal comfort afforded at such establishments.  Accidental or
intentional, this form of association is very common.  There is no
tavern in London better known than The Elephant and Castle, a
designation that would sound equally well if the two substantives
were transposed.  Even the loftiest symbols of sovereignty often
occupy the secondary place in these compound titles.  There are,
doubtless, a hundred inns in Great Britain bearing the name of The
Rose and Crown, but not one, to my knowledge, called "The Crown and
Rose."  The same order obtains in sporting sections and terminology.
It is always "The _Hare_ and Hounds;" never "_Hounds_ and Hare."

This characteristic in itself is very interesting, and no American,
with an eye to the unique, would like to see it changed.  But if the
more syntax of hotel names in England is so pleasant for him to
study, how much more admirable is their variety!  He has read at
home of many of them in lively romance and grave history but he
finds here that not half has been told him.  He is familiar with the
Lions, Red, White, and Black; the Bulls and Boars of the same
colors; the Black and White Swans and Harts; the Crown and Anchor,
the Royal George, Queen's Head, and a few others of similar
designation.  These names have figured in volumes of English
literature which he has perused.  But let him travel on the turnpike
road through country towns and villages, and he will meet with names
he never thought of before, mounted over the doors of some of the
most comfortable and delightful houses of entertainment for man and
beast that can be found in the world.  Here are a few that I have
noticed:  "The Three Jolly Butchers," "The Old Mash Tub," "The Old
Mermaid," "The Old Malt Shovel," "The Chequers," "The Dog-in-
Doublet," "Bishop Boniface," "The Spotted Cow," "The Green Dragon,"
"The Three Horseshoes," "The Bird-in-Hand," "The Spare Rib," "The
Old Cock," "Pop goes the Weasel."  There are wide spaces between
these names which may be filled up from actual life with numbers of
equal uniqueness.  But it is not in architecture nor in name that
the country inn presents its most attractive characteristic.  These
features merely specialise its outward corporeity.  The living,
brightening, all-pervading soul of the establishment is the
LANDLADY.  Let her name be written in capitals evermore.  There is
nothing so naturally, speakingly, and gloriously English in the wide
world as she.  It is doubtful if the nation is aware of this, but it
is the fact.  Her English individuality stands out embonpoint, rosy,
genial, self-complacent, calm, serene, happyfying, and happy.  She
is the man and master of the house.  She permeates it with her
rayful presence, and fills it with a pleasant morning in foggy and
blue-spirited days.  She it is who greets the coming and speeds the
parting guest with a grace which suns, with equal light and warmth,
both remembrance and anticipation.  It is not put on like a Sunday
dress; it is not a thin gloss of French politeness that a feather,
blown the wrong way, will brush off.  It is not a color; it is a
quality.  You see it breathe and move in her like a nature, not as
an art.  Let no American traveller fancy he has seen England if he
has not seen the Landlady of the village inn.  If he has to miss
one, he had better give up his visit to the Crystal Palace,
Stratford-upon-Avon, Abbottsford, or even the House of Lords, or
Windsor itself.  Neither is so perfectly and exclusively English as
the mistress of "The Brindled Cow," in one of the rural counties of
the kingdom.

It would be necessary to coin a new word if one were sought to
contain and convey the distinctive characteristic of inn-life in
England.  Perhaps _homefulness_ would do this best, as it would more
fully than any other term describe the coziness, quiet, and comfort
to be enjoyed at these places of entertainment.  Not one in a
hundred of them ever heard the sound of the hotel-going bell, as we
hear it in America.  You are not thundered up or down by a
vociferous gong.  Then there is no marching nor counter-marching of
a long line of waiters in white jackets around the dinner table,
laying down plate, knife, fork, and spoon with uniform step and
motion, as if going through a dress-parade or a military drill.
There is no bustle, no noise, no eager nor anxious look of served or
servants.  Every one is calm, collected, and comfortable.  "The
cares that infest the day" do not ride into the presence of that
roast beef and plum pudding on the wrinkles of any man's forehead,
however business affairs may go with him outside.  No one is in a
hurry to sit down or to arise from the table.  The whole economy of
the establishment is to make you as much at home as possible; to
individualise you, as far as it can be done, in every department of
personal comfort.  You follow your own time and inclination, and eat
and drink when and how you please, with others or alone.  The
congregate system is the exception, not the rule.  It seldom ever
obtains at breakfast or tea.  In many cases you have a little round
table all to yourself at these meals.  But if there is a common
table for half a dozen persons, the tea and toast and other eatables
are never aggregated into a common stock.  Each person if he is a
single guest, has his own allotment, even to a separate tea-pot.
The table d'hote, if there be one at all, is made up like a select
dinner party, rather early in the morning.  If the guests of the
house are not directly invited, they are asked, in a tone of
hospitality, if they will join in the social meal, the only one got
up by the establishment at which the table is not mapped out in
separate holdings, or little independencies of dishes, each bounded
by the wants and capacities of the individual occupant.

The presiding and working faculty of a common English inn
distinguishes it by another salient characteristic from the hotels
of other countries.  The landlady is, of course, the president of
the establishment, whether or not she calls any man lord in the
retired and family department of the house.  But the actual
gerantes, or working corps, with which you have to do immediately,
are three independent and distinct personages, called the waiter,
chambermaid, and _boots_.  If it were respectful to gender, these
might be called the great triumvirate of the English inn.  No
traveller after a night's lodging and breakfast, will mistake or
confound the prerogatives or perquisites of these officials.  If he
is an American, and it be his first experience of the regime, he
will be surprised and puzzled at the imperium in imperio which his
bill, presented to him on a tea-tray, seems to represent.  In no
other business transaction of his life did he ever see the like.  It
goes far beyond anything in the line of limited partnership he ever
saw.  There is only one partial parallel that approaches it; and
this comes to his mind as he reads the several items on his bill.
When made out and interpreted, it comes to this:  the proprietor,
the waiter, chambermaid, and boots are independent parties, who get
up a night's lodging and two or three meals for you on the same
footing as four independent underwriters would take proportionate
risks at Lloyd's in some ship at sea.  Or, what would put it in
simpler form to an uninitiated guest, he is apparently first charged
for the raw provisions he consumes, and for the rent of his bed-
room.  This is the proprietor's share.  Then, there is a separate
charge for each of the remaining items of the entertainment,--for
cooking and serving up each meal, for making up your bed, and for
blacking your boots; just as distinctly as if you had gone out into
the town the previous evening and hired three separate individuals
to perform these services for you; and as if you had no right nor
reason to expect from the landlord a dinner all cooked and served,
but that you only bought it in the larder.

Now, this is a peculiarity of the English hotel system that is apt
to embarrass travellers from other countries, especially from
America, where no such custom could be introduced.  I do not know
how old the custom is in Great Britain.  Doubtless it originated in
the almost universal disposition and habit of Englishmen of dropping
gratuities or charity-gifts here and there with liberal hand, either
to obtain or reward extra service in matters of personal comfort, or
to alleviate some case of actual or stimulated suffering that meets
them.  It was natural and inevitable that gratuities thus given to
hotel servants frequently to stimulate and reward special attention
should soon become a rule, acting upon guests like a law of honor.
When so many gave, and when the servants of every hotel expected a
gift, a man must feel shabby to go away without dropping a few
pennies into the hands of eager expectants who almost claimed the
gratuity as a right.  The worst stage of the system was when the
expected gift was measured by your supposed position and ability, or
when the waiter or the chambermaid, flattering you with what
Falstaff would call an instinctive perception of your dignity, would
say with an asking and hopeful smile, "What you please, sir."  Now,
that was not the question with you at all.  You wanted to know how
much each expected, or how much you must give to acquit yourself of
the charge of being "a screw," when they put their heads and gains
together in conference and comparison after you were gone.  So, on
the whole, it was a great relief when all these awkward
uncertainties of expectation were cleared up and rectified in the
system now usually adopted.

Whether you be rich or poor, or whatever position or pretension be
attributed to you, the fees of the universal triumvirate are put
down specifically in black and white among the other charges on your
bill.  As I hope these notes may convey some useful information to
Americans who may be about to visit England for the first time, it
may be of some use to them to state what is the usual rule in this
matter at the middle-class hotels in this country; for with those of
the first rank I never have made nor ever expect to make any
personal acquaintance.  A moderate bill for a day's entertainment
will read thus:--

Tea (bread and butter or toast)                      1 0
Bed                                                  1 6
Breakfast (rasher of bacon, eggs, or cold meats)     1 6
Dinner                                               2 6
Waiter                                               0 9
Chambermaid                                          0 6
Boots                                                0 3
                                        Total        8 0

These are about the average charges at the middle-class hotels in
Great Britain.  Generally the servants' fees amount to 25 per cent.
of the whole bill.  These, too, are graduated to parts of days.  The
waiter expects 3d. for every meal he serves; the chambermaid 6d. for
every bed she makes, and the boots 3d. for doing every pair of
boots, brogans, or shoes.  You will pay these charges with all the
better grace and good-will to these servants when you come to learn
that these fees frequently, if not always, constitute all the salary
they receive for hotel service.  Even in a great number of eating-
shops the same rule obtains.  The penny you give the waiter, male or
female, is all he or she gets for serving you.  Besides this
consideration, you get back much additional personal comfort from
these extras.  The waiter serves you with extra satisfaction and
assiduity under their stimulus.  He acts the host very blandly.  He
answers a hundred questions, extraneous to the meal, with good-
natured readiness.  He is a good judge of the weather and its signs.
He is well "posted-up" in the local histories and sceneries of the
place.  He can give political information on both sides, incidents
and anecdotes to match, whether you are Tory, Whig, or Radical.  If
you have a bias in that direction, he has or has heard some thoughts
on Bishop Colenso and the Tractarians.  In short, he caters to the
humour and disposition of every guest with a happy facility of
adaptation; and the shilling you give him at the end of a day's
entertainment has been pretty well earned, if you have availed
yourself of all these extra attentions which he is prepared and
expecting to give for it.

The same may be said of the chambermaid.  She is not the taciturn
invisible that steals in and out of your bed-room, and does it up
when you are at breakfast or at your out-door business--whom you
never see, except by sheer accident, as in the American hotel.  She
is an important and prominent personage in the English inn.  She is
a kind of mistress of the robes, and exercises her prerogative with
much conscious dignity and self-satisfaction; and, what is better,
with great satisfaction to yourself.  No other subordinate official
or servant trenches or poaches upon her preserves.  She it is who
precedes you up stairs with a candle, on a broad-bottomed brass
candlestick, polished to its highest lustre.  She conducts you to
your room as if you were her personal guest, invited and expected a
month ago.  She opens the door with amiable complacency, as if
welcoming you to a hospitality which she had prepared for you with
especial care, before she knew you had arrived in town.  She invites
you, by a movement of her eyes, to glance at the room and see how
comfortable it is; how round and soft is the bed, how white and
well-aired are the sheets and pillows, how nice the curtains, how
clean and tidy the carpet, in short, how everything is fitted to
incline you to "rest and be thankful."  And then the cheery "_good
night_!" she bids you is said with a tone that is worth the sixpence
she expects in the morning; and you pay it, too, with a much better
grace than could be expected from an American recently arrived in
the country.

And the "boots" is a character, too, unmixedly and interestingly
English, in name, person, appearance, and position.  In the first of
these qualities he is unique, being called after the subject of his
occupation.  He is an important personage, and generally has his own
bell in the dining-room, surmounted by his name, to be called for
any service coming within his department.  And this is quite a wide
one, including a great variety of errandry and porterage, as well as
polishing boots and shoes.  He is very helpful in a great many
different ways, and often very intelligent, and knows all about the
streets, the railway trains, the omnibuses, cabs, etc., and will
assist you in such matters with good grace and activity.  He may
have got in the way of putting the H before the eggs instead of the
ham; but he is just as good for all that, and more interesting
besides.  So you do not grudge the 3d. you give him daily for his
strictly professional services, or the extra 6d. he expects for
carrying your carpet-bag or portmanteau to the railway-station.

Thus, although this feeing of servants may seem at first strange to
an American traveller in England, and may occasion him some
perplexity and even annoyance, he will soon become accustomed to it;
and in making up the balance-sheet of the additional cost on one
side and the additional comfort on the other which the system
produces, he will come even to the mathematical conclusion, "if to
equals you add equals, the sums will be equals."



The next morning I resumed my walk and visited a locality bearing a
name and association of world-wide celebrity and interest.  It is
the name of a small rural hamlet, hardly large enough to be called a
village, and marked by no trait of nature or art to give it

There are conditions and characteristics both in the natural and
moral world which can hardly be described fully in Saxon, Latin, or
Greek terminology, even with the largest license of construction.
There are attributes or qualities attaching to certain locations, of
the simplest natural features, which cannot even be hinted at or
suggested by the terms, _geography, topography, or biography_.  Put
the three together and condense or collocate their several meanings
in one compound qualification which you can write and another spell,
and you do not compass the signification you want to convey.  The
soul of man has its immortality, and the feeblest-minded peasant
believes he shall wear it through the ages of the great hereafter.
The literature of human thoughts claims a life that shall endure as
long as the future existence of humanity.  The memory of many human
actions and lives puts in a plea and promise of a duration that
shall distance the sun's, and overlap upon the bright centuries of
eternity.  The human body, even, is promised its resurrection by the
divinest authority and illustration, and waits hopefully, under all
its pains and weaknesses, for the glory to be revealed in it when
the earth on which it dwells shall have become "a forgotten
circumstance."  Human loves, remembrances, faiths, and fellowships
lift up all their meek hands to the Father of Spirits, praying to be
lifted up into His great immortality, and to be permitted to take
with them unbroken the associations that sweetened this earthly
life.  Many humble souls that have passed through the furnace of
affliction, poverty, and trial seven times heated, and heated daily
here, have believed that He who went up through the same suffering
to His great White Throne, would let them sing beside the crystal
waters the same good old psalm tunes and songs of Sion which they
sang under the willows of this lower world of tears and tribulation.
How all the sparks of the undying life in man fly upward to the
zenith of this immortality!  You may call the steep flights of this
faith pleasant and poetical diversions of a fervid imagination, but
they are winged with the pinions that angels lift when they soar;
pinions less ethereal than theirs, but formed and plumed to beat
upward on the Milky Way to their Source, instead of swimming in the
thinly-starred cerulean, in which spirits, never touched with the
down or dust of human attributes, descend and ascend on their
missions to the earth.  Who can have the heart to handle harshly
these beautiful faiths?  To say, this hope may go up, but this must
go down to the darkness of annihilation!  Was it irreverent in the
pious singing-master of a New England village, when he said, that
often, while returning home late on bright winter nights, he had
dropped the reins upon his horse's neck, and sung Old Hundred from
the stars, set as notes to that holy tune, when they first sang
together in the morning of the creation?  What spiritual good or
Christian end would be gained, to break up the charm and cheer of
this his belief?  Or to dispel that other confidence, which so
helped him to bear earth's trials, that one day he should join all
the spirits of the just made perfect, and all the high angels in
heaven, and, on the plane of that golden gamut, they should sing
together their hymns of joy and praise, in that same, good, old
tune, from those same star-notes, which a thousand centuries should
not deflect nor transpose from their first order within those
everlasting staves and bars!

If the spirit's faith be allowed such wide confidences as these; if
it may carry up into the invisible and infinite so many precious
relics from the wreck of time, so many human circumstances and
associations, why may it not take with it, to hang up in its heaven,
photographs of those earthly localities rendered immortal here by
the lives of good and great men?  Such a life is a sun, and it casts
a disk of light upon the very earth on which it shines; not that
flashy circle which the lens of the microscope casts upon the
opposite wall, to show how scarcely visible mites may be magnified;
but a soft and steady illumination that does not dim under the
beating storms and bleaching dews of centuries, but grows brighter
and brighter, as if the seed-rays that made it first multiplied
themselves from year to year.  The earth becomes more and more
thickly dotted with these permanent disks of light, and each is
visited by pilgrims, who go and stand with reverence and admiration
within the cheering circle.  Shakespeare's thought-life threw out a
brilliant illumination, of wide circumference, at Stratford-upon-
Avon, and no locality in England bears a biograph more venerated
than the birth-place of the great poet.  His thought-life was a sun
that will never set as long as this above us shines.  It is rising
every year to new generations that never saw its rays before.  When
he laid down his pen, at the end of his last drama, the whole
English-speaking race in both hemispheres did not number twice the
present population of London.  Now, seventy-five millions, peopling
mighty continents, speak the tongue he raised to the grandest of all
earth's speeches; and those who people the antipodes claim to offer
the best homage to his genius.  Thus it will go on to the end of
time.  As the language he clothed with such power and might shall
spread itself over the earth, and be spoken, too, by races born to
another tongue, his life-rays will permeate the minds of countless
myriads, and the more widely they diverge and the farther they
reach, the brighter and warmer will be the glow and the flow of that
disk of light that embosoms and illumines his birth-place in

What is true of Stratford-upon-Avon is equally true of Abbotsford,
of the birth-place of Milton, Burns, Bunyan, Baxter, and other great
minds, which have shone each like a sun or star in its sphere.  Now,
what one word, recognised as legitimate in scientific terminology,
would describe fully one of these disks of light cast by a human
life upon a certain space of earth, not as a fugitive flash, but as
a permanent illumination?  _Photograph_ would not do it, because its
meaning is fixed and rigidly technical, as simple light-writing, or
sun-writing.  The term is completely pre-occupied by this
signification, and you cannot inject the human life element into it.
_Biography_ is universally limited to an operation in which the life
is the subject, not the agent.  It is simply the writing out of a
life's history by some one with a common goose-quill or steel pen.
Still, the word _biograph_ would be the best, of the same length,
that we could form to describe one of these disks of light, if it
were made the same verb active as _photograph_; or to mean that the
life is the agent, as well as the subject,--that it writes itself in
light upon a certain locality, just as the sun graves a human face
upon glass.  Let us then call the bright and quenchless
planispheres, which such lives describe and fill around them,
_biographs_, assuming that the script is in rays of light.  As
differ the stars above in glory, so these differ in the qualities of
their illumination.  The brightest of them, to mere human seeming,
are those which shine with the sheer brilliancy of intellect and
genius.  These chiefly halo the homes of "the grand old masters" of
poetry, painting, eloquence, and martial glory.  These attract to
their disks pilgrims the most numerous and enthusiastic.  But, as
the nearest stars are brightest, not largest, so these biographs are
brightest on their earth-side.  There are thousands of less sharp
and spangling lustre to the eyes of the multitude, which shine with
tenfold more brilliancy from their eternity-face.  These are they
that halo the homes of good men, whose great hearts drank in the
life of God's love in perpetual streams, and distilled it like a
luminous dew around them; men whose thoughts were not mere
scintillations of genius, but living labors of beneficence, bearing
the proof as well as promise of that immortality guaranteed to the
deeds of earth's saints.  If the soul, after such long isolation, is
to take again to its embrace so much of the old human corporeity it
wore here below, does it transcend the prerogative of hope in the
great resurrection to believe that these biographs of God's loving
children on earth shall be taken up whole into the same immortality
as the bodies in which they worked His will among men?  Is the faith
too fanciful or irreverent that believes, that the corridors and
inner temples of Heaven's Glory will be hung with these biographs of
His servants surrounding, like stars, the light-flood of His love
that radiated from His cross on earth?  Is it too presumptuous to
think and say, that such pictures will be as precious in His sight
as any graven by the lives of angels on their outward or homeward
flights of duty and delight?  These are they, therefore, that shall
give to the earth all the immortality to which it shall attain.
These are they that shall take up into the brilliant existence of
the hereafter, ten thousand sections of its corporeity; portions of
its surface, perhaps, as substantial as the human form that the
souls of men shall wear in another world.  These are they that shall
shine as the stars, when those beaming so brilliantly in our eyes
around the shrines of mere intellect and genius, shall have "paled
their ineffectual fires" before the efflux of diviner light.  Let
him, then, of thoughtful and attentive faculties think on these
great and holy possibilities, when he treads within the pale of a
good man's life, whose labors for human happiness "follow him"
according to divine promise; not out of the world, not down into the
grave with his resting body, but out among living generations,
breathing upon them and through them a blessed and everlasting
influence.  Let him tread that disk of light reverentially, for it
is the holiest place on the earth's surface outside the immediate
circumference of Cavalry.

This is Babraham; and here lived Jonas Webb; a good man and true,
whose influence and usefulness had a broader circumference than the
widest empire in the world.  A Frenchman has written the fullest
history of both, and an American here offers reverentially a tribute
to his worth.  The light of his life was a soft and gentle
illumination on its earth-side; the lustre of the other was revealed
only by partial glimpses to those who leaned closest to him in the
testing-moments of his higher nature.  He was one of the great
benefactors, whose lives and labors become the common inheritance of
mankind, and whose names go down through long generations with a
pleasant memory.  To a certain extent, he was to the great primeval
industry of the world, what Arkwright, Watts, Stephenson, Fulton and
Morse were each to the mechanical and scientific activities of the
age.  He did as much, perhaps, as any man that ever preceded him, to
honor that industry, and lift it up to the level of the first
occupations of modern times, which had claimed higher qualities of
intelligence, genius and enterprize.  He was a farmer, and his
ancestors had been farmers from time immemorial.  He did not bound
into the occupation as an enthusiastic amateur, who had acquired a
large fortune by manufacturing or commercial enterprize, which he
was eager to lavish upon bold and uncertain experiments.  He
attained his highest eminence by the careful gradations of a
continuous experience, reaching back far into the labors of his
ancestors.  The science, skill and judgment he brought to bear upon
his operations, came from his reading, thinking, observations and
experiments as a practical and hereditary farmer.  The capital he
employed in expanding these operations to their culminating
magnitude, he acquired by farming.  The mental culture, the generous
dispositions, the refined manners, the graceful and manly bearing
which made him one of the first gentlemen of the age, he acquired as
a farmer.  The mansion which welcomed to its easy and large-hearted
hospitalities guests of such distinction from his own and other
countries, was a farmer's home, and few ever opened their doors to
more urbanity and cordial cheer.  This is an aspect of his character
which all those who follow the profession he honored should admire
with a laudable esprit de corps.

As a back-ground is an important element in the portraiture of human
forms or natural scenery, so the ground on which the life and labors
of Jonas Webb should be sketched, merits a few preliminary lines.
Of all the occupations that employ and sustain the toiling myriads
of our race, agriculture leans closest to the bosom of Divine
Providence.  It is an industry bound to the great and beautiful
economics of the creation by more visible and sensible ties than any
other worked by human hands.  We will not here diverge to dwell upon
these high and interesting affiliations.  In their place we will
give them a little extended thought.  There is one feature of
agricultural enterprize, however, that should not be overlooked in
this connection.  All its operations are above-board and open to the
wide world, just like the fields to which they are applied.  Nothing
here is under lock and key.  Nothing bears the grim warning over the
bolted door, "No admittance here except on business!"--meaning by
business, exclusively and sharply, the buying of certain wares of
the establishment at a good round profit to the manufacturer,
without carrying away a single scintillation or suggestion of his
skill.  If he has invented or adopted machinery or a process of
labor which enables him to turn out cheap muslin at three farthings'
less cost per yard than his neighbors can make it, he seals up the
secret from them with the keenest vigilance.  Not so in the great
and heaven-honored industry of agriculture.  Its experiments and
improvements upon the earth's face are all put into the common stock
of human knowledge and happiness.  They can no more be placed under
lock and key, as selfish secrets, than the stars themselves that
look down upon them with all their golden eyes.  No new implement of
husbandry, no new mechanical force or chemical principle, no new
process of labor or line of economy is withheld from the great
commonwealth of mankind.  As the broad skies above, as the sun and
moon, and stars, as the winds, the rains, the dews, the birds and
bees of heaven over-ride and ignore, in their missions, the
boundaries of jealous nations, so all the great activities of
agriculture prove their lineage by following the same generous rule.
They are bounded by no nationalities.  They are shut up in no narrow
enclosure of self, but are put out as new vesicles of light to
brighten the general illumination of the world.

The department in which Jonas Webb attained to his position and
capacity of usefulness was peculiarly marked by this characteristic.
In a certain sense, it occupied a higher range of interest than that
section of agriculture which is connected solely with the growing of
grain, grass, and other crops.  His great and distinguishing
husbandry was the cultivation of animal life.  To make two spires of
grass grow where only one grew before has been pronounced as a great
benefaction; and greater still are the merit and the gain of making
one grow where nothing grew before.  To go into the midst of
Dartmoor, and turn an acre of its cold, stony, water-soaked waste
into a fruitful field of golden grain, is going into co-partnership
with Providence in the work of creation to a very large and honored
degree.  But to put the skilful hand of science upon creatures of
flesh and blood, to re-form their physical structures and shapes, to
add new inches to their stature, straighten their backs, expand
their reins, amplify their chests, reduce all the lines and curves
of their forms to an unborn symmetry, and then to give silky
softness and texture to their aboriginal clothing--this seems to be
mounting one step higher in the attainment and dignity of creative
faculties.  And this pre-eminently was the department in which Jonas
Webb acquired a distinction perhaps unparalleled to the present
time.  This has made his name familiar all over Christendom, and
honored among the world's benefactors.  Never, before him, did a
farm-stead become such a centre and have such a wide-sweeping radius
as his.  None ever possessed such centripetal attractions, or
exerted such centrifugal influences for the material well-being of
different and distant countries.  Indeed, those most remote are most
specially indebted to his large and generous operations.  America
and Australia will ever owe his memory an everlasting homage.

His operations filled and crowned two great departments of
improvement seldom, if ever, carried on simultaneously and evenly to
a great success by one man.  His first distinguishing speciality was
sheep-culture.  When he had brought this to the highest standard of
perfection ever attained, he devoted the surplus capital of skill,
experience and pecuniary means he had acquired from the process to
the breeding of cattle; and he became nearly as eminent in this
field of improvement as in the other.  A few facts may serve as an
outline of his progress in both to the American reader who is
familiar with the general result of his efforts.

Jonas Webb was born at Great Thurlow, Suffolk, on the 10th of
November, 1796.  His father, who died at the age of ninety-three,
was a veteran in agriculture, and had attained to honorable
distinction by his efforts to improve the old Norfolk breed of
sheep, and by his experiments with other races.  The results
obtained from these operations convinced his son that more mutton
and better wool could be made per acre from the Southdown than from
any other breed, upon nine-tenths of the arable land of England,
where the sheep are regularly folded, especially where the land is
poor.  In 1822, he commenced that agricultural career which won for
him such a world-wide celebrity, by taking the Babraham Farm,
occupying about 1,000 acres, some twelve miles south of Cambridge.
In a very interesting letter, addressed to the Farmers' Magazine,
about twenty years since, he gives a valuable resume of his
experience up to that time.  In this he states several facts that
may be especially useful to American agriculturists.  Having decided
in his own mind that the Southdowns were preferable to every other
breed, for the two properties mentioned, he went into Sussex, their
native county, and purchased the best rams and ewes that could be
obtained of the principal breeders, regardless of expense, and never
made a cross from any other breed afterwards.  Nor was this all; he
never introduced new blood into his stock from flocks of the same
breed, but, by a virtually in-and-in process, he was able to produce
qualities till then unknown to the race, and to make them permanent
and distinctive properties.  Now this achievement in itself has an
interest beyond its utilitarian value to the agricultural world.  To

     "Rejoice in the joy of well-created things"

is one of the best privileges and pleasures of a well-constituted
mind.  But what higher honor can attach to human science or industry
than that of taking such a visible and effective part in that
creation?--in sending out into the world successive generations of
animal life, bearing each, through future ages and distant
countries, the shaping impress of human fingers, long since gone
back to their dust; features, forms, lines, curves, qualities and
characteristics which those fingers, working, as it were, on the
right wrist of Divine Providence, gave to the sheep and cattle upon
a thousand hills in both hemispheres?  There are flocks and herds
now grazing upon the boundless prairies of America, the vast plains
of Australia, the steppes of Russia, as well as on the smaller and
greener pastures of England, France, and Germany, that bear these
finger-marks of Jonas Webb, as mindless but everlasting memories to
his worth.  If the owners of these "well-created things" value the
joy and profit which they thus derive from his long and laborious
years of devotion to their interests, let them see that these
finger-prints of his be not obliterated by their neglect, but be
perpetuated for ever, both for their own good and for an ever-living
memorial to his name.

It is a fact of instructive suggestion, that although Mr. Webb
commenced his operations in 1822, he won his first prize for stock
ewes at the meeting of the Royal Agricultural Society at Cambridge
in 1840.  Here he realised one of the serious disadvantages to which
stock-breeders in England are exposed, in "showing" sheep, cattle or
swine at these annual exhibitions.  The great outside world, with
tastes that lean more to fat sirloins or shoulders than to the
better symmetries of animated nature, almost demands that every one
of these unfortunate beasts should be offered up as a bloated,
blowing sacrifice to those great twin idols of fleshy lust, Tallow
and Lard.  If, therefore, a stock-raiser has not decided to drive
his Shorthorn cow or Southdown ewe immediately from the Fair-grounds
to the butcher's shambles, he runs an imminent risk of losing
entirely the use and value of the animal.  So great is this risk,
that much of the stock that would be most useful for exhibition is
withheld, and can only be seen by visiting private establishments
scattered over the kingdom.  They are too valuable to run the
terrible gauntlet of oil-cake, bean and barley-meal, through which
they must flounder on in cruel obesity to the prize.  Especially is
this the case with breeding animals.  Mr. Webb's experience at his
first trial of the process, will illustrate its tendencies and
results.  Of the nine shearling ewes he "fed" for the Cambridge
Show, he lost _four_, and only raised two or three lambs from the
rest.  At the Exhibition of 1841, at Liverpool, he won three out of
four of the prizes offered by the Royal Agricultural Society for
Southdowns, or any other short-woolled sheep; two out of four
offered at Bristol, in 1842, and three out of four offered at Derby,
in 1843.  But here again he over-fed two of his best sheep, under
the inexorable rule of fat, which exercises such despotic sway over
these annual competitions, and was obliged to kill them before the
show.  It will suffice to show the loss he incurred by this costly
homage to Tallow, to give his own words on the subject:--"I had
refused 180 guineas for the hire of the two sheep for the season.  I
also quite destroyed the usefulness of two other aged sheep by over-
feeding them last year.  Neither of them propogated [sic] through
the season, and I have had each of them killed in consequence, which
has so completely tired me of overfeeding that I never intend
exhibiting another aged ram, unless I greatly alter my mind, or can
find out some method of feeding them which will not destroy the
animals, and which I have hitherto failed to accomplish."  The
conclusion which he adopted, in view of these liabilities, may be
useful to agriculturists in America as well as in England.  He says,
"What I intend exhibiting in future will be shearlings only, as I
believe they are not so easily injured by extra feeding as aged
sheep, partly by being more active, and partly by having more time
to put on their extra condition, by which their constitutions are
not likely to be so much impaired."

At nearly every subsequent national exhibition, Mr. Webb carried off
the best prizes for Southdowns.  At Dundee, in 1843, the Highland
Society paid him the compliment of having the likenesses of his
sheep taken for its museum in Edinburgh.  He only received two
checks in these competitions after 1840, and these he rectified and
overcame in an interesting way.  The first took place at the great
meeting at Exeter, in 1850, and the second at Chelmsford, in 1856.
On both of these occasions he was convinced that the judges had not
done justice to the qualities of his animals, and he resolved to
submit their judgment to a court of errors, or to the decision of a
subsequent meeting of the society.  So, in 1851, he presented the
unsuccessful candidate at Exeter to the meeting at Windsor, and took
the first prize for it.  This fully reversed the Exeter verdict.  He
resorted to the same tribunal to set him right in regard to his
apparent defeat at Chelmsford, in 1856.  Next year he presented the
ram beaten there to the Salisbury meeting, and another jury gave the
animal the highest meed of merit.

It was at the zenith of his fame as a sheep-breeder that Mr. Webb
"assisted," as the French say, at the Universal Exposition at Paris,
in 1855.  Here his beautiful animals excited the liveliest
admiration.  The Emperor came himself to examine them, and expressed
himself highly pleased at their splendid qualities.  It was on this
occasion that Mr. Webb presented to the Emperor his prize ram, for
which, probably, he had refused the largest sum ever offered for a
single animal of the same race, or 500 guineas ($2,500).  The
Emperor accepted the noble present, fully appreciating the spirit in
which it was offered, and some time afterwards sent the generous
breeder a magnificent candelabra, of solid silver, representing a
grand, old English oak, with a group of horses shading themselves
under its branches.  This splendid token of the Emperor's regard is
only one of the numerous trophies and souvenirs that embellish the
farmer's home at Babraham, and which his children and remoter
posterity will treasure as precious heirlooms.

If Mr. Webb did not originate, he developed a system of usefulness
into a permanent and most valuable institution, which, perhaps, will
be the most novel to American stock-raisers.  Having, by a long
course of scientific observations and experiments, _fixed_ the
qualities he desired to give his Southdowns; having brought them to
the highest perfection, he now adopted a system which would most
widely and cheaply diffuse the race thus cultivated all over the
civilized world.  He instituted an annual ram-letting, which took
place in the month of July.  This occasion constituted an important
event to the great agricultural world.  A few Americans have been
present and witnessed the proceedings of these memorable days, and
they know the interest attaching to them better than can be inferred
from any description.  M. De La Trehonnais, in the "Revue Agricole
de l'Angleterre," thus sketches some of the incidents and aspects of
the occasion:--

"It is a proceeding regarded in England as a public event, and all
the journals give an account of it with exact care, assembling from
every county and even from foreign countries.  The sale begins about
two o'clock.  A circle in formed with ropes in a small field near
the mansion, where the rams are introduced, and an auctioneer
announces the biddings, which are frequently very spirited.  The
rams to be let are exposed around the field from the first of the
morning, and a ticket at the head of each pen indicates the weight
of the fleece of the animal it contains.  Every one takes his notes,
chooses the animal he approves of, and can demand the last bidding
when he pleases.  The evening after the letting, the numerous
company assembles under a rustic shed, ornamented with leaves and
agricultural devices.  There tables are laid, around which are
placed two or three hundred guests, and then commences one of those
antique repasts described by Homer or Rabelais.  The tables groan
under the enormous pieces of beef, gigantic hams, etc., which have
almost disappeared before the commencement of the sale.  From eight
in the morning until two in the afternoon, tables laid out in the
dining-room and hall are furnished, only to be refurnished
immediately, the end being equal to the beginning."

This description refers to the thirty-second letting.  Mr. Webb's
flock then consisted of seven hundred breeding ewes, a proportionate
number of lambs, and about four hundred rams of different ages.  It
was from these rams that the animals were selected which were sent
into every country in the civilized world.  The average price of
their lettings was nearly 24 pounds each, although some of the rams
brought the sum of 180 pounds, or nearly _nine hundred dollars_!
What would some of the old-fashioned farmers of New England, of
forty years ago, think of paying nearly a thousand dollars for the
rent of a ram for a single year, or even one-tenth of that sum?  But
this rentage was not a fancy price.  The farmer who paid it got back
his money many times over in the course of a few years.  From this
infusion of the Babraham blood into his flock, he realised an
augmented production of mutton and wool annually per acre which he
could count definitely by pounds.  The verdict of his balance-sheet
proved the profit of the investment.  It would be impossible to
measure the benefit which the whole world reaped from Mr. Webb's
labors in this department of usefulness.  An eminent authority has
stated that "it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a
Southdown flock of any reputation, in any country in the world, not
closely allied with the Babraham flock."  It is a fact that
illustrates the skill and care, as well as demonstrates the value of
his system of improvement, that, after thirty-seven years as a
breeder, the tribes he founded maintained to the last those
distinguishing qualities which gave them such pre-eminence over all
other sheep bearing the general name of the Sussex race.  So
valuable and distinctive were these qualities regarded by the best
judges in the country, that the twelfth ram-letting, which took
place at the time of the Cambridge Show, brought together 2,000
visitors, constituting, perhaps, the most distinguished assembly of
agriculturists ever convened.  On this occasion the Duke of
Richmond, an hereditary and eminent breeder of Southdowns in their
native county, bid a hundred guineas for a ram lamb, which Mr. Webb
himself bought in.

Having attained to such eminence as a sheep-breeder, Mr. Webb
entered upon another sphere of improvement, in which he won almost
equal distinction.  In 1837, he laid the foundation of the Babraham
Herd of Shorthorn cattle, made up of six different tribes, purchased
from the most valuable and celebrated branches of the race bearing
that name.  An incident attaching to one of these purchases may
illustrate the nice care and cultivated skill which Mr. Webb
exercised in the treatment of choice animals.  He bought out of Lord
Spencer's herd the celebrated cow, "Dodona."  That eminent breeder,
it appears, had given her up as irretrievably sterile, and he parted
with her solely on that account.  Mr. Webb, however, took her to
Babraham, and, as a result of the more intelligent treatment he
bestowed upon her, she produced successively four calves, which thus
formed one of the most valuable families of the Babraham herd.  When
I visited the scene of his life and labors, all his sheep and cattle
had been sold.  But two or three animals bought by an Australian
gentleman were still in the keeping of Mr. Webb's son, awaiting
arrangements for their transportation.  One of these, a beautiful
heifer of fourteen months, was purchased at the winding-up sale, for
225 guineas.  It was called the "Drawing-room Rose," from this
circumstance, as I afterwards learned.  When it was first dropped by
the dam, Mr. Webb was confined to the house by indisposition.  But
he had such a desire to see this new accession to his bovine family,
that he directed it to be brought into the drawing-room for that
purpose.  Hence it received a more elegant and domestic appellation
than the variegated nomenclature of high-blooded animals often

When the last volume of the "English Herd-Book" was about to be
published, Mr. Webb sent for insertion a list of sixty-one cows,
with their products.  He generally kept from twenty to thirty bulls
in his stalls.

Nor were his labors confined even to the two great spheres of
enterprise with which his name has been intimately and honorably
associated.  If it was the great aim of his intelligent activities
to produce stock which should yield the most meat to the acre, he
also gave great attention to the augmented production of the land
itself.  He was the principal originator and promoter of the great
Agricultural Hall, in London, for the exhibition of the fat stock
for the Smithfield Show.  This may be called the Crystal Palace of
the animal world.  It is the grandest structure ever erected for the
exhibition of cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, etc.  I will essay no
description of it here, but it will carry through long generations
the name and memory of Jonas Webb of Babraham.  He was chairman of
the company that built the superb edifice; also president of the
Nitro-phosphate or Blood-manure Company, a fertilizer in which he
had the greatest confidence, and which he used in great quantities
upon the large farm he cultivated, containing over 2,000 acres.

At the age of nearly sixty-six, Mr. Webb found that his health would
no longer stand the strain of the toil, care, and anxiety requisite
to keep up the Babraham flock to the high standard of perfection
which it had attained.  So, after nearly forty years of devotion to
this great occupation of his life, he concluded to retire from it
altogether, dispersing his sheep and cattle as widely as purchasers
might be found.  This breaking-up took place at Babraham on the 10th
of July, 1862.  Then and there the long series of annual re-unions
terminated for ever.  The occasion had a mournful interest to many
who had attended those meetings from year to year.  It seemed like
the voluntary and unexpected abdication of an Alexander, still able
to add to his conquests and trophies.  All present felt this; and
several tried to express it at the old table now spread for the last
time for such guests.  But his inherent and invincible modesty
waived aside or intercepted the compliments that came from so many
lips.  With a kind of ingenious delicacy, which one of the finest of
human sentiments could only inspire, he contrived to divert
attention or reference to himself and his life's labors.  But he
could not make the company forget them, even if he gently checked
allusion to them.

The company on this interesting occasion was very large, about 1,000
persons having sat down to the collation.  Not only were the
principal nobility and gentry of Great Britain interested in
agricultural pursuits present in large number, but the
representatives of nearly every other country in Christendom.
Several gentlemen from the United States were among the purchasers.
The total number of sheep sold was 969, which fetched under the
hammer the great aggregate of 10,926 pounds, or more than $54,000.
The most splendid ram in the flock went to the United States, being
knocked down to Mr. J. C. Taylor, of Holmdale, New Jersey; who is
doing so much to Americanise the Southdowns.  Others went to the
Canadas, Australia, South America, and to nearly every country in
continental Europe.

Thus was formed, and thus was dispersed the famous Babraham flock.
And such were the labors of Jonas Webb for the material well-being
of mankind.  These alone, detached from those qualities and
characteristics which make up and reflect a higher nature, entitle
his name to a wide and lasting memory among men.  And these labors
and successes are they that those who have read of them in different
countries know him by.  These comprise and present the character
they honor with respect.  What he was in the temper and disposition
of his inner life, in daily walk and conversation, in the even and
gentle amenities of Christian humility, in sudden trials of his
faith and patience; what he was as a husband, father, friend and
neighbor, to the poor, to the afflicted in mind, body or estate,--
all this will remain unwritten, but not unremembered by those who
breathed and moved within that disk of light which his life shed
around him.

Few men have lived in whom so many personal and moral qualities
combined to command respect, esteem, and even admiration.  In
stature, countenance, expression, and deportment, he was a noble
specimen of fully developed English manhood.  To this first,
external aspect, his kindly and generous dispositions, his genial
manners, his delicate but dignified modesty, his large intelligence
and large-heartedness, gave the additional and crowning
characteristic of a Christian gentleman.  Many Americans have
visited Babraham, and enjoyed the hospitalities which such a host
could only give and grace.  They will remember the paintings hung
around the walls of that drawing-room, in which his commanding form,
in the strength and beauty of meridian life, towers up in the rural
landscape, surrounded by cattle and sheep bearing the impress of his
skill and care.  A little incident occurred a few years ago, which
may illustrate this personal aspect better than any simile of
description.  On the occasion of one of the great Agricultural
Expositions in Paris, a deputation or a company of gentlemen went
over to represent the Agricultural Society of England.  Mr. Webb was
one of the number; and some French nobleman who had known him
personally, as well as by reputation, was very desirous of making
him a guest while in Paris.  To be sure of this pleasure, he sent a
special courier all the way to Folkestone, charged with a letter
which he was himself to put into the hands of Mr. Webb, before the
steamer left the dock.  "But how am I to know the gentleman?" asked
the courier; "I never saw him in my life."  "N'importe," was the
reply.  "Put the letter in the hand of the noblest-looking man on
board, and you will be sure to be right."  The courier followed the
direction; and, stationing himself near the gangway, he took his
master's measure of every passenger as he entered.  He could not be
mistaken.  As soon as the plank was withdrawn, he approached Mr.
Webb, hat in hand, and, with a deferential word of recognition, done
in the best grace of French politeness, handed him the letter.  One
of the deputation, noticing the incident, and wondering how the man
knew whom he was addressing without previous inquiry, questioned him
afterwards on the subject, and learned from him the ground on which
he proceeded.  The photographic likeness presented in connection
with this notice was taken shortly before his decease, at the age of
nearly sixty-six, and when his health was greatly impaired.

Few men ever carried out so fully the injunction, not to let the
left hand know what the right hand did, in the quiet and steady
outflow of good will and good works, as Mr. Webb.  Even those
nearest and dearest to him never knew what that right hand did as a
help in time of need, what that large heart felt in time of others'
affliction, what those lips said to the sorrowing, in tearful
moments of grief, until they had been stilled for ever on earth.
Then it came out, act by act, word by word, thought by thought, from
those who held the remembrances in their souls as precious souvenirs
of a good man's life.  So earnest was his desire to do these things
in secret, that his own family heard of them only by accident, and
from those whom he so greatly helped with his kindness and
generosity.  And when known by his wife and children, in this way,
they were put under the bann of secrecy.  This it is that makes it
so difficult to delineate the home and heaven side of his character.
Those nearest to him, who breathed in the blessing of its daily
odor, so revere his repeated and earnest wish not to have his good
works talked of in public, that, even now he is dead and gone, they
hold it as a sacred obligation to his memory not to give up these
treasured secrets of his life.  Thus, in giving a partial coup
d'oeil of that aspect of his character which fronted homeward and
heavenward, one can only glean, here and there, glimpses of
different traits, in acts, incidents, and anecdotes remembered by
neighbors and friends near and remote.  Were it not that his
children are withheld, by this delicate veneration, from giving to
the public facts known to them alone, the moral beauty and
brightness of his life would shine out upon the outside world with
warmer rays and larger rayons.  I hope that a single passage from a
letter written by one of them to a friend, even under the injunction
of confidence, may be given here, without rending the veil which
they hold so sacred.  In referring to this disposition and habit of
her venerated father, she says--

"Often have I been so blessed as to be caused to shed tears of joy
and pride at hearing proofs of his tenderness, kindness, and
generosity related by the recipients of some token of his nobleness,
but of which we never should have heard from himself."

A little incident may illustrate this trait of his disposition.  In
1862, a "Loan Court" was held in London, at which there was a most
magnificent display of jewels and plate of all kinds, contributed by
their owners to be exhibited for the gratification of the public.  A
friend, who held him in the highest veneration, returning from this
brilliant show, expressed regret that Mr. Webb had not furnished one
of the stands, by sending the splendid silver candelabra presented
to him by the French Emperor, with the many silver cups and medals
he had won.  Mr. Webb replied, that the mercies God had blessed him
with, and the successes He had awarded to him, might have been sent
to teach him humility, and not given to parade before the world.

It is one of the most striking proofs of his great and pure-
heartedness, that, notwithstanding nearly forty consecutive years of
vigorous and successful competition with the leading agriculturists
of Great Britain and other countries, none of the victories he won
over them, or the eminence he attained, ever made him an enemy.
When we consider the eager ambitions and excited sensibilities that
enter into these competitions, this fact in itself shows what manner
of man he was in his disposition and deportment.  Referring to this
aspect of his character, the French writer already cited, M. De La
Trehonnais, says of him, while still living--

"There exists no person who has gained the esteem and goodwill of
his contemporaries to a higher degree than Mr. Webb.  His probity,
his scrupulous good faith, his generosity, and the affable equality
of his character, have gained for him the respect and affection of
every one.  Since I have had the honor of knowing him, which is
already many years, I have never known of his having a single enemy;
and in my constant intercourse with the agricultural classes of
England, I have never heard of a single malevolent insinuation
respecting him.  When we consider how much those who raise
themselves in the world above others, are made the butt for the
attacks of envy in proportion with their elevation, we may conclude
that there are in the character of this wealthy man very solid
virtues, well fixed principles, transcendant [sic] merit, to have
passed through his long career of success and triumphs without
having drawn upon himself the ill-will of a single enemy, or the
calumnious shaft of envy."

Nor were these negative virtues, ending where they begun, or
enabling him to go through a long life of energetic activities
without an enemy.  He not only lived at peace with all men, but did
his utmost to make them live at peace with each other.  Says one who
knew him intimately--"I never heard him express a sentiment savoring
of enmity to any person, nor could he bear to see it entertained by
any one towards another.  Even if he heard of an ill-feeling
existing between persons, he would, if possible, effect a
reconciliation; and his own bright example, and hearty, kind, genial
manners always warmed all hearts towards himself.  Notwithstanding
the numerous calls upon his time, made by public and private
business, he did not lose his sweet cheerfulness of temper, and was
ever ready in his most busy moments to aid others, if he saw a
possibility of so doing."  Energy, gentleness, conscientiousness and
courtesy were seldom, if ever, blended in such suave accord as in
him.  These virtues came out, each in its distinctive lustre, under
the trials and vexations which try human nature most severely.  All
who knew him marvelled that he was able to maintain such sweetness
and evenness of temper under provocations and difficulties which
would have greatly annoyed most men.  What he was in these outer
circles of his influence, he was, to all the centralization of his
virtues, in the heart of his family.  Here, indeed, the best graces
of his character had their full play and beauty.  He was the centre
and soul of one of the happiest of earthly homes, attracting to him
the affections of every member of the hearth circle that moved in
the sleepless light of his life.  Here he did not rule, but led by
love.  It alone dictated, and it alone obeyed.  It inspired its like
in domestic discipline.  Spontaneous reverence for such a father's
wish and will superseded the unpleasant necessity of more active
parental constraint.  To bring a shade of sadness to that venerated
face, or a speechless reproach to that benignant eye, was a greater
punishment to a temporarily wayward child than any corporal
correction could have inflicted.

No one of the hundreds that were present at the sale and dispersion
of the Babraham flock could have thought that the remaining days of
the great and good man were to be so few on earth.  He was then
about sixty-five years of age, of stately, unbending form and face
radiant and genial with the florid flush of that Indian Summer which
so many Englishmen wear late in those autumnal years that bend and
pale American forms and faces to "the sere and yellow leaf" of life.
But the sequel proved that he did not abdicate his position too
early.  In a little more than a year from this event, his spirit was
raised to higher fellowships and folded with those of the pure and
blest of bygone ages.  The incidents and coincidents of the last,
great moments of his being here, were remarkable and affecting.
Neither he nor his wife died at the home they had made so happy with
the beauty and savor of their virtues.  Under another and distant
roof they both laid themselves down to die.  The husband's hand was
linked in his wife's, up to within a few short steps of the river's
brink, when, touched with the cold spray of the dark waters, it fell
from its hold and was superseded by the strong arm of the angel of
the covenant, sent to bear her fast across the flood.  In life they
were united to a oneness seldom witnessed on earth; in death they
were not separated except by the thinnest partition.  Though her
spirit was taken up first to the great and holy communion above, the
"ministering angel of God's love let her body remain with him as a
pledge until his own spirit was called to join hers in the joint
mansion of their eternal rest.  On the very day that her body was
carried to its long home, his own unloosed, to its upward flight,
the soul that had made it shine for half a century like a temple
erected to the Divine Glory.  The years allotted to him on earth
were even to a day.  Just sixty-six were measured off to him, and
then "the wheel ceased to turn at the cistern," and he died on his
birthday.  An affecting coincidence also marked the departure of his
beloved wife.  She left on the birthday of her eldest son, who had
intended to make the anniversary the dating-day of domestic
happiness, by choosing it for his marriage.

A few facts will suffice for the history of the closing scene.
About the middle of October, 1862, Mrs. Webb, whose health seemed
failing, went to visit her brother, Henry Marshall, Esq., residing
in Cambridge.  Here she suddenly became much worse, and the prospect
of her recovery more and more doubtful.  Mr. Webb was with her
immediately on the first unfavorable turn of her illness, together
with other members of the family.  When he realised her danger, and
the hope of her surviving broke down within him, his physical
constitution succumbed under the impending blow, and two days before
her death, he was prostrated by a nervous fever, from which he never
rallied, but died on the 10th of November.  Although the great
visitation was too heavy for his flesh and blood to bear, his spirit
was strengthened to drink this last cup of earthly trial with
beautiful serenity and submission.  It was strong enough to make his
quivering lips to say, in distinct and audible utterance, and his
closing eyes to pledge the truth and depth of the sentiment, "Thy
will be done!"  One who stood over him in these last moments says,
that, when assured of his own danger, his countenance only seemed to
take on a light of greater happiness.  He was conscious up to within
a few minutes of his death, and, though unable to speak
articulately, responded by expressions of his countenance to the
words and looks of affection addressed to him by the dear ones
surrounding his bed.  One of them read to him a favorite hymn,
beginning with "Cling to the Comforter!"  When she ceased, he signed
to her to repeat it; and, while the words were still on her lips,
the Comforter came at his call, and bore his waiting spirit away to
the heavenly companionship for which it longed.  As it left the
stilled temple of its earthly habitation, it shed upon the
delicately-carved lines of its marble door and closed windows a
sweet gleam of the morning twilight of its own happy immortality.

A long funeral cortege attended the remains of the deceased from
Cambridge to their last resting place in the little village
churchyard of Babraham.  Beside friends from neighboring villages,
the First Cambridgeshire Mounted Rifle Corps joined the procession,
together with a large number of the county police force.  His body
was laid down to its last, long rest beside that of his wife, who
preceded him to the tomb only by a few days.  Though Stratford-upon-
Avon, and Dryburgh Abbey may attract more American travellers to
their shrines, I am sure many of them, with due perception of moral
worth, will visit Babraham, and hold it in reverent estimation as
the home of one of the world's best worthies, who left on it a
biograph which shall have a place among the human-life-scapes which
the Saviour of mankind shall hang up in the inner temple of His
Father's glory, as the most precious tokens and trophies of the
earth, on which He shared the tearful experiences of humanity, and
bore back to His throne all the touching memories of its weaknesses,
griefs, and sorrows.

A movement is now on foot to erect a suitable monument to his
memory.  It may indicate the public estimation in which his life and
labors are held that, already, about 10,000 pounds have been
subscribed towards this testimonial to his worth.  The monument,
doubtless, will be placed in the great Agricultural Hall, which he
did so much to found.  His name will wear down to coming generations
the crystal roofage of that magnificent edifice as a fitting crown
of honor.



     "In all places, then, and in all seasons,
      Flowers expand their light and soul-like wings,
      Teaching us, by most persuasive reasons,
      How akin they are to human things."--LONGFELLOW.

My stay at Babraham was short.  It was like a visit to the grave of
one of those English worthies whose lives and labors are so well
known and appreciated in America.  All the external features of the
establishment were there unchanged.  The large and substantial
mansion, with its hall and parlor walls hung with the mementoes of
the genius and success that had made it so celebrated; the barns and
housings for the great herds and flocks which had been dispersed
over the world; the very pens still standing in which they had been
folded in for the auctioneer's hammer; all these arrangements and
aspects remained as they were when Jonas Webb left his home to
return no more.  But all those beautiful and happy families of
animal life, which he reared to such perfection, were scattered on
the wings of wind and steam to the uttermost and most opposite parts
of the earth.

The eldest son, Mr. Samuel Webb, who supervises part of the farm
occupied by his father, and also carries on one of his own in a
neighboring parish, was very cordial and courteous, and drove me to
his establishment near Chesterford.  Here a steam threshing machine
was at work, doing prodigious execution on different kinds of grain.
The engine had climbed, a proprii motu, a long ascent; had made its
way partly through ploughed land to the rear of the barn, and was
rattlingly busy in a fog of dust, doing the labor of a hundred
flails.  Ricks of wheat and beans, each as large as a comfortable
cottage, disappeared in quick succession through the fingers of the
chattering, iron-ribbed giant, and came out in thick and rapid
streams of yellow grain.  Swine seemed to be the speciality to which
this son of Mr. Webb is giving some of that attention which his
father gave to sheep.  There were between 200 and 300 in the barn-
yards and pens, of different ages and breeds, all looking in
excellent condition.

From Chesterford I went on to Cambridge, where I remained for the
most part of two days, on account of a heavy fall of rain, which
kept me within doors nearly all the time.  I went out, however, for
an hour or so to see a Flower Show in the Town Hall.  The varieties
and specimens made a beautiful, but not very extensive array.  There
was one flower that not only attracted especial admiration, but
invited a pleasant train of thoughts to my own mind.  It was one of
those old favorites to which the common people of all countries, who
speak our mother tongue, love to give an inalienable English name--
The Hollyhock.  It is one of the flowers of the people, which the
pedantic Latinists have left untouched in homely Saxon, because the
people would have none of their long-winded and heartless
appellations.  Having dwelt briefly upon the honor that Divine
Providence confers upon human genius and labor, in letting them
impress their finger-marks so distinctly upon the features and
functions of the earth, and upon the forms of animal life, it may be
a profitable recurrence to the same line of thought to notice what
that same genius and labor have wrought upon the structure and face
of this familiar flower.  What was it at first?  What is it now in
the rural gardens of New England?  A shallow, bell-mouthed cup, in
most cases purely white, and hung to a tall, coarse stalk, like the
yellow jets of a mullein.  That is its natural and distinctive
characteristic in all countries; at least where it is best known and
most common.  What is it here, bearing the fingerprints of man's
mind and taste upon it?  Its white and thin-sided cup is brim full
and running over with flowery exuberance of leaf and tint infinitely
variegated.  Here it is as solid, as globe-faced, and nearly as
large as the dahlia.  Place it side by side with the old, single-
leafed hollyhock, in a New England farmer's garden, and his wife
would not be able to trace any family relationship between them,
even through the spectacles with which she reads the Bible.  But the
dahlia itself--what was that in its first estate, in the country in
which it was first found in its aboriginal structure and complexion?
As plain and unpretending as the hollyhock; as thinly dressed as the
short-kirtled daisy in a Connecticut meadow.  It is wonderful, and
passing wonder, how teachable and quick of perception and prehension
is Nature in the studio of Art.  She, the oldest of painters, that
hung the earth, sea, and sky of the antediluvian world with
landscapes, waterscapes, and cloudscapes manifold and beautiful,
when as yet the human hand had never lifted a pencil to imitate her
skill; she, with the colors wherewith she dyed the fleecy clouds
that spread their purple drapery over the first sunset, and in which
she dipped the first rainbow hung in heaven, and the first rose that
breathed and blushed on earth; she that has embellished every day,
since the Sun first opened its eye upon the world, with a new
gallery of paintings for every square mile of land and sea, and new
dissolving views for every hour--she, with all these artistic
antecedents, tastes, and faculties, comes modestly into the
conservatory of the floriculturist, and takes lessons of him in
shaping and tinting plants and flowers which the Great Master said
were "all very good" on the sixth-day morning of the creation!  This
is marvellous, showing a prerogative in human genius almost divine,
and worthy of reverent and grateful admiration.  How wide-reaching
and multigerent is this prerogative!  In how many spheres of action
it works simultaneously in these latter days!  See how it
manipulates the brute forces of Nature!  See how it saddles the
winds, and bridles and spurs the lightning!  See how it harnesses
steam to the plough, the flood to the spindle, the quick cross
currents of electricity to the newsman's phaeton!  Then ascend to
higher reaches of its faculty.  In the hands of a Bakewell or Webb,
it gives a new and creative shaping to multitudinous generations of
animal life.  Nature yields to its suggestion and leading, and co-
works, with all her best and busiest activities, to realise the
human ideal; to put muscle there, to straighten that vertebra, to
parallel more perfectly those dorsal and ventral lines, to lengthen
or shorten those bones; to flesh the leg only to such a joint, and
wool or unwool it below; to horn or unhorn the head, to blacken or
blanch the face, to put on the whole body a new dress and make it
and its remote posterity wear this new form and costume for
evermore.  All this shows how kindly and how proudly Nature takes
Art into partnership with her, in these new structures of beauty and
perfection; both teaching and taught, and wooing man to work with
her, and walk with her, and talk with her within the domain of
creative energies; to make the cattle and sheep of ten thousand
hills and valleys thank the Lord, out of the grateful speech of
their large, lustrous eyes, for better forms and features, and
faculties of comfort than their early predecessors were born to.

Equally wonderful, perhaps more beautiful, is the joint work of
Nature and Art on the sweet life and glory of flowers.  However many
they were, and what they were, that breathed upon the first Spring
or Summer day of time, each was a half-sealed gift of God to man, to
be opened by his hand when his mind should open to a new sense of
beauty and perfection.  Flowers, each with a genealogy reaching
unbroken through the Flood back to the overhanging blossoms of Eden,
have come down to us, as it were, only in their travelling costume,
with their best dresses packed away in stamen, or petal, or private
seedcase, to be brought out at the end of fifty centuries at the
touch of human genius.  Those of which Solomon sang in his time, and
which exceeded his glory in their every-day array, even "the hyssop
by the wall," never showed, on the gala-days of his Egyptian bride,
the hidden charms which he, in his wisdom, knew not how to unlock.
Flowers innumerable are now, like illuminated capitals of Nature's
alphabet, flecking, with their sheen-dots, prairie, steppe, mountain
and meadow, the earth around, which, perhaps, will only give their
best beauties to the world in a distant age.  As the light of the
latest-created and remotest stars has not yet completed its downward
journey to the eye of man, so to his sight have not these sweet-
breathing constellations of the field yet made the full revelation
of their treasured hues and forms.  Not one in a hundred of them all
has done this up to the present moment.  When one in ten of those
that bless us with their life and being shall put on all its
reserved beauty, then, indeed, the stars above and the stars below
will stud the firmaments in which they shine with equal glory, and
blend both in one great heaven-scape for the eye and heart of man.
One by one, in its turn, the key of human genius shall unlock the
hidden wardrobe of the commonest flowers, and deck them out in the
court dress reserved, for five thousand years, to be worn in the
brighter, afternoon centuries of the world.  The Mistress of the
Robes is a high dignitary in the Household of Royalty, and has her
place near to the person of the Queen.  But the Floriculturist, of
educated perception and taste, is the master of a higher state robe,
and holds the key of embroidered vestments, cosmetics, tintings,
artistries, hair-jewels, head-dresses, brooches, and bracelets,
which no empress ever wore since human crowns were made; which
Nature herself could not show on all the bygone birthdays of her

This is marvellous.  It is an honor to man, put upon him from above,
as one of the gratuitous dignities of his being.  "An undevout
astronomer is mad," said one who had opened his mind to a broad
grasp of the wonders which this upper heaven holds in its bosom.
The floriculturist is an astronomer, with Newton's telescope
reversed; and if its revelations do not stir up holy thoughts in his
soul, he is blind as well as mad.  No glass, no geometry that Newton
ever lifted at the still star-worlds above, could do more than
_reveal_.  At the farthest stretch of their faculty, they could only
bring to light the life and immortality of those orbs which the
human eye had never seen before.  They could not tint nor add a ray
to one of them all.  They never could bring down to the reach of
man's unaided vision a single star that Noah could not see through
the deck-lights of the ark.  It was a gift and a glory that well
rewarded the science and genius of Newton and Herschel, of Adams and
Le Verrier, that they could ladder these mighty perpendicular
distances and climb the rounds to such heights and sweeps of
observation, and count, measure, and name orbs and orbits before
unknown, and chart the paths of their rotations and weigh them, as
in scales, while in motion.  But this ge-astronomer, whose
observatory is his conservatory, whose telescope and fluxions are
his trowel and watering-pot, not only brings to light the hidden
life of a thousand earth-stars, but changes their forms, colors
their rays, half creates and transforms, until each differs as much
from its original structure and tinting as the planet Jupiter would
differ from its familiar countenance if Adams or Le Verrier could
make it wear the florid face of Mars.  This man,--and it is to be
hoped he carries some devout and grateful thoughts to his work--sets
Nature new lessons daily in artistry, and she works out the new
ideals of his taste to their joint and equal admiration.  He has got
up a new pattern for the fern.  She lets him guide her hand in the
delicate operation, and she crimps, fringes, shades or shapes its
leaflets to his will, even to a thousand varieties.  He moistens her
fingers with the fluids she uses on her easel, and puts them to the
rootlets of the rose, and they transpose its hues, or fringe it or
tinge it with a new glory.  He goes into the fen or forest, or
climbs the jutting crags of lava-mailed mountains, and brings back
to his fold one of Nature's foundlings,--a little, pale-faced
orphan, crouching, pinched and starved, in a ragged hood of dirty
muslin; and he puts it under the fostering of those maternal
fingers, guided by his own.  Soon it feels the inspiration of a new
life warming and swelling its shrivelled veins.  Its paralysed
petals unfold, one by one.  The rim of its cup fills, leaf by leaf,
to the brim.  It becomes a thing most lovely and fair, and he
introduces it, with pride, to the court beauties of his crystal

The agriculturist is taken into this co-partnership of Nature in a
higher domain of her activities, measured by the great utilities of
human life.  We have glanced at the joint-work in her animal
kingdom.  In the vegetable, it is equally wonderful.  Nature
contributes the raw material of these great and vital industries,
then incites and works out human suggestions.  Thus she trains and
obeys the mind and hand of man, in this grand sphere of development.
Their co-working and its result are just as perceptible in a common
Irish potato as in the most gorgeous dahlia ever exhibited.  Not one
farmer in a thousand has ever read the history of that root of
roots, in value to mankind; has ever conceived what a tasteless,
contracted, water-soaked thing it was in its wild and original
condition.  Let them read a few chapters of the early history of New
England, and they will see what it was two hundred and fifty years
ago, when the strong-hearted men and women, whom Hooker led to the
banks of the Connecticut, sought for it in the white woods of
winter, scraping away the snow with their frosted fingers.  The
largest they found just equalled the Malaga grape in size and
resembled it in complexion.  They called it the _ground-nut_, for it
seemed akin to the nuts dropped by the oaks of different names.  No
flower that breathes on earth has been made to produce so many
varieties of form, complexion, and name as this homely root.  It
would be an interesting and instructive enterprise, to array all the
varieties of this queen of esculent vegetables which Europe and
America could exhibit, face to face with all the varieties which the
dahlia, geranium, pansy, or even the fern has produced, and then see
which has been numerically the most prolific in diversification of
forms and features.  It should gratify a better motive than
curiosity to trace back the history of other roots to their
aboriginal condition.  Types of the original stock may now be found,
in waste places, in the wild turnip, wild carrot, parsnip, etc.
"Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a
little," it may be truly and gratefully said, these roots,
internetted with the very life-fibres of human sustenance, have been
brought to their present perfection and value.  The great
governments and peoples of the world should give admiring and
grateful thought to this fact.  Here nature co-works with the most
common and inartistic of human industries, as they are generally
held, with faculties as subtle and beautiful as those which she
brings to bear upon the choicest flowers.  The same is true of
grains and grasses for man and beast.  They come down to us from a
kind of heathen parentage, receiving new forms and qualities from
age to age.  The wheats, which make the bread of all the continents,
now exhibit varieties which no one has undertaken to enumerate.
Fruits follow the same rule, and show the same joint-working of
Nature and Art as in the realm of flowers.

The wheel within wheel, the circle within circle expand and ascend
until the last circumferential line sweeps around all the world of
created being, even taking in, upon the common radius, the highest
and oldest of the angels.  From the primrose peering from the hedge
to the premier seraph wearing the coronet of his sublime
companionship; from the lowest forms of vegetable existence to the
loftiest reaches of moral nature this side of the Infinite, this
everlasting law of co-working rules the ratio of progress and
development.  In all the concentric spheres strung on the radius
measured by these extremes, there is the same co-acting of internal
and external forces.  And mind, of man or angel, guides and governs
both.  Not a flower that ever breathed on earth, not one that ever
blushed in Eden, could open all its hidden treasures of beauty
without the co-working of man's mind and taste.  No animal that ever
bowed its neck to his yoke, or gave him labor, milk or wool, could
come to the full development of its latent vitalities and symmetries
without the help of his thought and skill.  The same law obtains in
his own physical nature.  Mind has made it what it is to-day, as
compared with the wild features and habits of its aboriginal
condition.  Mind has worked for five thousand years upon its fellow-
traveller through time, to fit it more and more fully for the
companionship.  It was delivered over to her charge naked, with its
attributes and faculties as latent and dormant as those of the wild
rose or dahlia.  Through all the ages long, she has worked upon its
development; educating its tastes; taming its appetites; refining
its sensibilities; multiplying and softening its enjoyments; giving
to every sense a new capacity and relish of delight; cultivating the
ear for music, and ravishing it with the concord of sweet sounds;
cultivating the eye to drink in the glorious beauty of the external
world, then adding to natural sceneries ten thousand pictures of
mountain, valley, river, man, angel, and scenes in human and
heaven's history, painted by the thought-instructed hand;
cultivating the palate to the most exquisite sensibilities, and
exploring all the zones for luxuries to gratify them; cultivating
the fine finger-nerves to such perception that they can feel the
pulse of sleeping notes of music; cultivating the still finer
organism that catches the subtle odors on the wing, and sends their
separate or mingled breathings through every vein and muscle from
head to foot.

The same law holds good in the development of mind.  It has now
reached such an altitude, and it shines with such lustre, that our
imagination can hardly find the way down to the morning horizon of
its life, and measure its scope and power in the dim twilight of its
first hours in time.  The simple fact of its first condition would
now seem to most men as exaggerated fancies, if given in the
simplest forms of truthful statement.  With all the mighty faculties
to which it has come; with its capacity to count, name, measure and
weigh stars that Adam, nor Moses, nor Solomon ever saw; with all the
forces of nature it has subdued to the service of man, it cannot
tell what simplest facts of the creation had to be ascertained by
its first, feeble and confused reasonings.  No one of to-day can say
how low down in the scale of intelligence the human mind began to
exercise its untried faculties; what apposition and deduction of
thoughts it required to individualise the commonest objects that met
the eye; even to determine that the body it animated was not an
immovable part of the earth itself; to obtain fixed notions of
distance, of color, light, and heat; to learn the properties and
uses of plants, herbs, and fruits; even to see the sun sink out of
sight with the sure faith that it would rise again.  It was gifted
with no instinct, to decide these questions instantly and
mechanically.  They had all to pass through the varied processes of
reason.  The first bird that sang in Eden, built its first nest as
perfectly as its last.  But, thought by thought, the first human
mind worked out conclusions which the dullest beast or bird reached
instantly without reason.  What wonderful co-working of internal and
external influences was provided to keep thought in sleepless
action; to open, one by one, the myriad petals of the mind!  Nature,
with all its shifting sceneries, filled every new scope of vision
with objects that hourly set thought at play in a new line of
reflection.  Then, out of man's physical being came a thousand still
small voices daily, whispering, Think! think!  The first-born
necessities, few and simple, cried, "_Think_! for we want bread, we
want drink, we want shelter and raiment against the cold."  The
finer senses cried continually, "Give! give thought to this, to
that."  The Eye, the Ear, the Palate and every other organ that
could receive and diffuse delight, worked the mental faculties by
day and night, up to the last sunset of the antediluvian world; and
all the intellectual result of this working Noah took with him into
the ark, and gave to his sons to hand over to succeeding ages.
Flowers that Eve stuck in the hair of the infant Abel are just now
opening the last casket of their beauty to the favored children of
our time.  This, in itself, is a marvellous instance of the law we
are noticing.  But what is this to the processes of thought and
observation through which the mind of man has reached its present
expansion; through which it has developed all these sciences, arts,
industries and tastes, the literature and the intellectual life of
these bright days of humanity!  The figure is weak, and every figure
would be weak when applied to the ratio or the result of this
progression; but, at what future age of time, or of the existence
beyond time, will the mind, that has thus wrought on earth, open its
last petal, put forth no new breathing, unfold no new beauty under
the eye of the Infinite, who breathed it, as an immortal atom of His
own essence, into the being of man?

Follow the radius up into the next concentric circle, and we see
this law working to finer and sublimer issues in man's moral nature.
We have glanced at what the mind has done for and through his
physical faculties and being; how that being has re-acted upon the
mind, and kept all its capacities at work in procuring new delight
to the eye, ear, palate, and all the senses that yearned for
enjoyment.  We have noticed how the inside and outside world acted
upon his reasoning powers in the dawn of creation; how slowly they
mastered the simplest facts and phenomena of life in and around
them, how slowly they expanded, through the intervening centuries,
to their present development.  The mind is the central personage in
the trinity of man's being; linking the mortal and immortal to its
life and action; vitalising the body with intelligence, until every
vein, muscle, and nerve, and function thrills and moves to the
impulse of thought; vitalising the soul with the vigorous activities
of reason, giving hands as well as wings to its hopes, faiths,
loves, and aspirations; giving a faculty of speech, action, and
influence to each, and play to all the tempers and tendencies of its
moral nature.  Thus all the influences that the mind could inhale
from the material world through man's physical being, and all it
could draw out of the depths of Divine revelation, were the dew and
the light which it was its mission to bring to the fostering,
growth, and glory of the human soul.  These were man's means
wherewith to shape it for its great destiny; these he was to bring
to its training and expansion; with these he was to co-work with the
Infinite Father of Spirits to fit it for His presence and
fellowship, just as he co-works with Nature in developing the latent
life and faculties of the rose.  What distillations of spiritual
influence have dropped down out of heaven, through the ages, to help
onward this joint work!  What histories of human experience have
come in the other direction to the same end!--fraught with the
emotions of the human heart, from the first sin and sorrow of Adam
to our own griefs, hopes, and joys; and all so many lessons for the
discipline of this high-born nature with us!

And yet how slow and almost imperceptible has been the development
of this nature!  How gently and gradually the expanding influences,
human and divine, have been let in upon its latent faculties!  See
with what delicate fostering the petals of love, faith, and hope
were taught to open, little by little, their hidden life and
beauty,--taking Moses' history of the process.  First, one human
being on the earth, surrounded with beasts and birds that could give
him no intelligent companionship and no fellow-feeling.  Then the
beautiful being created to meet these awakening yearnings of his
nature; then the first outflow and interchange of human love.  The
narrative brings us to the next stage of the sentiment.  Sin and
sorrow afflict, but unite, both hearts in the saddest experience of
humanity.  They are driven out of the Eden of their first condition,
but their very sufferings and fears re-Eden their mutual attachments
in the very thorns of their troubles and sorrows.  Then another
being, of their own flesh, heir to their changed lot, and to these
attachments, is added to their companionship.  The first child's
face that heaven or earth ever saw, opened its baby eyes on them and
smiled in the light of their parental love.  The history goes on.
In process of time, there is a family of families, called a
community, embracing hundreds of individuals connected by ties of
blood so attenuated that they possess no binding influence.  Common
interests, affinities, and sentiments supply the place of family
relationship, and make laws of amity and equity for them as a
population.  Next we have a community of communities, or a
commonwealth of these individual populations, generally called a
nation.  Here is a lesson for the moral nature.  Here are thousands
and tens of thousands of men who never saw each others' faces.  Will
this expanded orb of humanity revolve around the same centre as the
first family circle, or the first independent community?  How can
you give it cohesion and harmony?  Extend the radii of family
relationship and influence to its circumference in every direction.
Throne the sovereign in a parent's chair, to execute a father's
laws.  He shall treat them as children, and they each other as
brethren.  Here is a grand programme for human society.  Here is a
vigorous discipline for the wayward will and temper of the human
heart.  How is a man to feel and act in these new conditions?  How
is he to regulate his hates and loves, his passions and appetites,
to comply properly with these extended and complicated

About half way from Adam's day to ours, there came an utterance from
Mount Sinai that anticipated and answered these questions once for
all, and for one and all.  In that august revelation of the Divine
Mind, every command of the Decalogue swung open upon the pivot of a
_not_, except one; and that one referred to man's duty to man, and
the promise attached to its fulfilment was only an earthly
enjoyment.  All the rest were restrictive; to curb this appetite, to
bar that passion, to hedge this impulse, to check that disposition;
in a word, to hold back the hand from open and positive
transgression.  Even the first, relating to His own Godhead and
requirements, was but the first of the series of negatives, a pure
and simple prohibition of idolatry.  No reward of keeping this first
great law, reaching beyond the boundary of a temporal condition, was
promised at its giving out.  With the headstrong passions, lusts,
appetites, and tempers of flesh and blood bridled and bitted by
these restrictions, and with no motives to obedience beyond the
awards of a short life on earth, the human soul groped its way
through twenty centuries after the Revelation of Sinai, feeling for
the immortality which was not yet revealed to it, even "as through a
glass darkly."  Here and there, but thinly scattered through the
ages, divinely illumined men caught, through the parting seams of
the veil, a transient glimpse and ray of the life to come.  Here and
there, obscurely and hesitatingly, they refer to this vision of
their faith.  Here and there we seem to see a hope climbing up out
of a good man's heart into the pathless mystery of a future
existence, and bringing back the fragment of a leaf which it
believes must have grown on one of the trees of life immortal.
Moses, Job, David, and Isaiah give us utterances that savor of this
belief; but they leave us in the dark in reference to its influence
upon their lives.  We cannot glean from these incidental
expressions, whether it brought them any steady comfort, or sensibly
affected their happiness.

Thus, for four thousand years, the soul of man dashed its wings
against the prison-bars of time, peering into the night through the
cold, relentless gratings for some fugitive ray of the existence of
which it had such strong and sleepless presentiment.  It is a
mystery.  It may seem irreverent to approach it even with a
conjecture.  Human reason should be humble and silent before it, and
close its questioning lips.  It may not, however, transcend its
prerogative to say meekly, _perhaps_.  Perhaps, then, for two-thirds
of the duration that the sun has measured off to humanity, that life
and immortality which the soul groped after were veiled from its
vision, until all its mental and spiritual faculties had been
trained and strengthened to the ability to grasp and appropriate the
great fact when it should be revealed.  Perhaps it required all the
space of forty centuries to put forth feelers and fibres capable of
clinging to the revelation with the steady hold of faith.  Perhaps
it was to prove, by long, decisive probation, what the unaided human
mind could do in constructing its idealisms of immortality.  Perhaps
it was permitted to erect a scaffolding of conceptions on which to
receive the great revelation at the highest possible level of
thought and instinctive sentiment to which man could attain without
supernatural light and help.  If this last _perhaps_ is preferable
to the others, where was this scaffolding the highest?  Over
Confucius, or Socrates, or the Scandinavian seer, or Druid or Aztec
priest?  Was it highest at Athens, because there the great apostle
to the Gentiles planted his feet upon it, and said, in the ears of
the Grecian sophists, "Him whom ye ignorantly worship declare I unto
you?"  At that brilliant centre of pagan civilization it might have
reached its loftiest altitude, measured by a purely intellectual
standard; but morally, this scaffolding was on the same low level of
human life and character all the world around.  The immortalities
erected by Egyptian or Grecian philosophy were no purer, in moral
conception and attributes, than the mythological fantasies of the
North American Indians.  In them all, human nature was to have the
old play of its passions and appetites; in some of them, a wider
sweep and sway.  There was not one in the whole set of Grecian
deities half so moral and pure, in sentiment and conduct, as
Socrates; nor were Jupiter and his subordinate celestials better
than the average kings and courts of Greece.  Out of the hay, wood,
and stubble of sheer fancy the human mind was left to raise these
fantastic structures.  They exercised and entertained the
imagination, but brought no light nor strength to the soul; no
superior nor additional motives to shape the conduct of life.  But
they did this, undoubtedly, with all their delusions; they developed
the _thought_ of immortality among the most benighted races of men.
Their most perplexing unrealities kept the mind restless and almost
eager for some supplementary manifestation; so that, when the Star
of Bethlehem shone out in the sky of Palestine, there were men
looking heavenward with expectant eyes at midnight.  From that hour
to this, and among pagan tribes of the lowest moral perception, the
heralds of the Great Revelation have found the _thought_ of another
existence active though confused.  They have found everywhere a
platform already erected, like that on which Paul stood in the midst
of Mars Hill, and on which they could stand and say to heathen
communities, "Him whom ye ignorantly worship declare I unto you!
That future life and immortality which your darkened eyes and hungry
souls have been groping and hungering for, bring we to you, bright
as the sun, in this great gospel of Divine Love."  Had the Star of
Bethlehem appeared a century earlier, it might not have met an
upturned eye.  If the Saviour of Mankind had come into the world in
Solomon's day, not even a manger might have been found to cradle His
first moments of human life; no Simeon waiting in the temple to
greet the great salvation He brought to our race in His baby hands.

Here, then, commences, as it were, the central era of the soul's
training in time.  Here heaven opened upon it the full sunlight and
sunwarmth of its glorious life and immortality.  Here fell upon its
opening faculties the dews and rays and spiritual influences which
were to shape its being and destiny.  Here commenced such co-working
to this end as can find no measure nor simile in any other sphere of
co-operative activities in the world below or above.  Here the
trinity of man and the Trinity of the Godhead came into a co-action
and fellowship overpassing the highest outside wonder of the
universe.  And all this co-working, fellowship, and partnership has
been repeated in the experience of every individual soul that has
been fitted for this great immortality.  Here, too, this co-working
is a law, not an incident; most marvellously, mightily, and minutely
a law, as legislatively and executively as that which we have seen
acting upon the development of the flower.  Had not the great
apostle, who was caught up into the third heavens and heard things
unutterable, spoken of this law in such bold words, it would seem
rash and irreverent in us to approach so near to its sublime
revelation.  Not ours but his they are; and it is bold enough in us
to repeat them.  He said it:  that He, to whose name every knee
should bow, and every tongue confess; to whom belonged and who
should possess and rule all the kingdoms of the earth, "was made
under the law," not of Moses, not of human nature only, but under
this very law of CO-WORKING.  Through this the world was to be
regenerated and filled with His life and light.  Through this a new
creation was to be enfolded in the bosom of His glory, of grander
dimensions and of diviner attributes than that over which the
morning stars sang at the birth of time.  Said this law to the
individual soul, "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
for it is God that worketh in you to will and to do of His own good
pleasure."  To will and to do.  It is His own good will and pleasure
that the soul shall be fitted and lifted up to its high destiny
through this co-working.  It was His power to raise it to that
condition without man's participation or conscious acquiescence; but
it was His will and pleasure to enact this law of salvation.
Looking across the circumference of the individual soul, what says
this law?  "Go ye out into all the world and preach the gospel to
every creature, and, lo, I am with you unto the end,"--not as an
invisible companion, not merely with the still, small voice of the
Comforter to cheer you in trial, weakness and privation; but with
you as a _co-worker_, with the irresistible energies of the Spirit
of Power.  He might have done the whole work alone.  He might have
sent forth twelve, and twelve times twelve legions of angels, and
given each a voice as loud as his who is to wake the dead, and bid
them preach His gospel in the ears of every human being.  He might
have given a tongue to every breathing of the breeze, an articulate
speech to every ray of light, and sent them out with their ceaseless
voices on the great errand of His love.  It was his power to do
this.  He did not do it, because it was His will and pleasure to put
Himself under this law we have followed so far; to make men His co-
workers in this new creation, and co-heirs with Him in all its joy
and glory.  So completely has He made this law His rule of action,
that, for eighteen hundred years, we have not a single instance in
which the life and immortality which He brought to light have been
revealed to a human soul without the direct and active participation
of a human instrumentality.  So completely have His meekest servants
on earth put themselves under this law, that not one of them dares
to expect, hope, or pray that He will reveal Himself to a single
benighted heathen mind without this human co-working.

Thus, begin where you will, in the flower of the field or the hyssop
by the wall, and ascend from sphere to sphere, until there is no
more space in things and beings created to draw another
circumferential line, and you will see the action and the result of
this great law of _Co-operative Activities_.  When I first looked
within the lids of that hollyhock, and was incited to read the
rudimental lessons of the new leaves that man's art had added to its
scant, original volume, I had no thought of finding so much matter
printed on its pages.  I have transcribed it here in the order of
its paragraphs, hoping that some who read them may see in this life
of flowers an interest they may have partially overlooked.



The rain having ceased, I resumed my walk, in a southerly direction,
to Chrishall Grange, the residence of Samuel Jonas, who may be
called the largest farmer in England; not, perhaps, in extent of
territory occupied, but in the productive capacity of the land
cultivated, and in the values realised from it.  It is about four
miles east of Royston, bordering on the three counties of
Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, and Essex, though lying mainly in the
latter.  It contains upwards of 3,000 acres, and nearly every one of
them is arable, and under active cultivation.  It consists of five
farms, belonging to four different landlords; still they are so
contiguous and coherent that they form substantially one great
block.  No one could be more deeply impressed with the magnitude of
such an establishment, and of the operations it involves, than a New
England farmer.  Taking the average of our agriculturists, their
holdings or occupations, to use an English term, will not exceed 100
acres each; and, including woodland, swamp, and mountain, not over
half of this space can be cultivated.  To the owner and tiller of
such a farm, a visit to Mr. Jonas' occupation must be interesting
and instructive.  Here is a man who cultivates a space which thirty
Connecticut farmers would feel themselves rich to own and occupy,
with families making a population of full two hundred souls,
supporting and filling a church and school-house.  In the great West
of America, where cattle are bred and fed somewhat after the manner
of Russian steppes or Mexican ranches, such an occupation would not
be unusual nor unexpected; but in the very heart of England,
containing a space less than the state of Virginia, a tract of such
extent and value in the hands of a single farmer is a fact which a
New Englander must regard at first with no little surprise.  He will
not wonder how one man can _rent_ such a space, but how he can
_till_ it to advantage; how, even with the help of several
intelligent and active sons, he can direct and supervise operations
which fill the hands of thirty solid farmers of Massachusetts.  Two
specific circumstances enable him to perform this undertaking.

In the first place, agriculture in England is reduced to an exact
and rigid science.  To use a nautical phrase, it is all plain
sailing.  The course is charted even in the written contract with
the landlord.  The very term, "_course_," is adopted to designate
the direction which the English farmer is to observe.  Skilled hands
are plenty and pressing to man the enterprise.  With such a chart,
and such a force, and such an open sea, it is as easy for him to
sail the "Great Eastern" as a Thames schooner.  The helm of the
great ship plays as freely and faithfully to the motion of his will
as the rudder of the small craft.  Then the English farmer has a
great advantage over the American in this circumstance:  he can hire
cheaply a grade of labor which is never brought to our market.  Men
of great skill and experience, who in America would conduct farms of
their own, and could not be hired at any price, may be had here in
abundance for foremen, at from twelve to sixteen shillings, or from
three to four dollars a week, they boarding and lodging themselves.
And the number of such men is constantly increasing, from two
distinct causes.  In the first place there is a large generation of
agricultural laborers in England, now in the prime of manhood, who
have just graduated, as it were, through all the scientific
processes of agriculture developed in the last fifteen years.  The
ploughmen, cowmen, cartmen, and shepherds, even, have become
familiar with the established routine; and every set of these hands
can produce one or two active and intelligent laborers who will
gladly and ably fill the post of under-foreman for a shilling or two
a week of advanced wages.  Then, by the constant absorption of small
holdings into large farms, which is going on more rapidly from this
increased facility of managing great occupations, a very
considerable number of small farmers every year are falling into the
labor market, being reduced to the necessity of either emigrating to
cheaper lands beyond the sea, or of hiring themselves out at home as
managers, foremen or common laborers on the estates thus enlarged by
their little holdings.  From these two sources of supply, the
English tenant-farmer, beyond all question, is able to cultivate a
larger space, and conduct more extensive operations than any other
agriculturist in the world, at least by free labor.

The first peculiarity of this large occupation I noticed, was the
extent of the fields into which it was divided.  I had never seen
any so large before in England.  There were only three of the whole
estate under 60, and some contained more than 400 acres each, giving
the whole an aspect of amplitude like that of a rolling prairie farm
in Illinois.  Not one of the little, irregular morsels of land half
swallowed by its broad-bottomed hedging, which one sees so
frequently in an English landscape, could be found on this great
holding.  The white thorn fences were new, trim, and straight,
occupying as little space as possible.  The five amalgamated farms
are light turnip soil, with the exception of about 200 acres, which
are well drained.  The whole surface resembles that of a heavy
ground swell of the sea; nearly all the fields declining gently in
different directions.  The view from the rounded crest of the
highest wave was exceedingly picturesque and beautiful, presenting a
vista of plenty which Ceres of classic mythology never saw; for
never, in ancient Greece, Italy, or Egypt, were the crops of
vegetation so diversified and contrasting with each other as are
interspersed over an English farm of the present day.

It is doubtful if 3,000 acres of land, lying in one solid block,
could be found in England better adapted for testing and rewarding
the most scientific and expensive processes of agriculture, than
this great occupation of Mr. Jonas.  Certainly, no equal space could
present a less quantity of waste land, or occupy less in hedges or
fences.  And it is equally certain that no estate of equal size is
more highly cultivated, or yields a greater amount of production per
acre.  Its occupant, also, is what may be called an hereditary
farmer.  His father and his remote ancestors were farmers, and he,
as in the case of the late Mr. Webb, has attained to his present
position as an agriculturist by practical farming.

Mr. Jonas cultivates his land on the "Four-course system."  This
very term indicates the degree to which English agriculture has been
reduced to a precise and rigid science.  It means here, that the
whole arable extent of his estate is divided equally between four
great crops; or, wheat, 750 acres; barley and oats, 750; seeds and
pulse, 750; and roots, 750.  Now, an American farmer, in order to
form an approximate idea of the amount of labor given to the growth
of these crops, must remember that all these great fields of wheat,
oats, barley, turnips, beans, and peas, containing in all over 2,000
acres, are hoed by hand once or twice.  His cereals are all drilled
in at seven inches apart, turnips at seventeen.  The latter are
horse-hoed three or four times; and as they are drilled on the flat,
or without ridging the surface of the ground, they are crossed with
a horse-hoe with eight V shaped blades.  This operation leaves the
plants in bunches, which are singled out by a troop of children.
One hand-hoeing and two or three more horse-hoeings finish the labor
given to their cultivation.  It is remarkable what mechanical skill
is brought to bear upon these operations.  In the first place, the
plough cuts a furrow as straight and even as if it were turned by
machinery.  A kind of esprit de corps animates the ploughmen to a
vigorous ambition in the work.  They are trained to it with as much
singleness of purpose as the smiths of Sheffield are to the forging
of penknife blades.  On a large estate like that occupied by Mr.
Jonas, they constitute an order, not of Odd Fellows, but of Straight
Furrow-men, and are jealous of the distinction.  When the ground is
well prepared, and made as soft, smooth, and even as a garden, the
drilling process is performed with a judgement of the eye and skill
of hand more marvellous still.  The straightness of the lines of
verdure which, in a few weeks, mark the tracks of the seed-tubes, is
surprising.  They are drawn and graded with such precision that,
when the plants are at a certain height, a horse-hoe, with eight
blades, each wide enough to cut the whole intervening space between
two rows, is passed, hoeing four or five drills at once.  Of course,
if the lines of the drill and hoe did not exactly correspond with
each other, whole rows of turnips would be cut up and destroyed.  I
saw this process going on in a turnip field, and thought it the most
skilful operation connected with agriculture that I had ever

One of the principal advantages Mr. Jonas realises in cultivating
such an extent of territory, is the ability to economise his working
forces, of man, beast, and agricultural machinery.  He saves what
may be called the superfluous fractions, which small farmers
frequently lose.  For instance, a man with only fifty acres would
need a pair of stout horses, a plough, cart, and all the other
implements necessary for the growth and gathering of the usual
crops.  Now, Mr. Jonas has proved by experience, that, in
cultivating his great occupation, the average force of two and a
quarter horses is sufficient for a hundred acres.  Here is a saving
of almost one half the expense of horse-force per acre which the
small farmer incurs, and full one half of the use of carts, ploughs,
and other implements.  The whole number of horses employed is about
seventy-six; and the number of men and boys about a hundred.  The
whole of this great force is directed by Mr. Jonas and his sons with
as much apparent ease and equanimity as the captain of a Cunarder
would manifest in guiding a steamship across the Atlantic.  The helm
and ropes of the establishment obey the motion of one mind with the
same readiness and harmony.

A fact or two may serve an American farmer as a tangible measure
whereby to estimate the extent of the operations thus conducted by
one man.  To come up to the standard of scientific and successful
agriculture in England, it is deemed requisite that a tenant farmer,
on renting an occupation, should have capital sufficient to invest
10 pounds, or $50, per acre in stocking it with cattle, sheep,
horses, farming implements, fertilisers, etc.  Mr. Jonas, beyond a
doubt, invests capital after this ratio upon the estate he tills.
If so, then the total amount appropriated to the land which he
_rents_ cannot be less than 30,000 pounds, or nearly $150,000.  The
inventory of his live stock, taken at last Michaelmas, resulted in
these figures:--Sheep, 6,581 pounds; horses, 2,487 pounds; bullocks,
2,218 pounds; pigs, 452 pounds; making a grand total of 11,638
pounds.  Every animal bred on the estate is fatted, but by no means
with the grain and roots grown upon it.  The outlay for oil-cake and
corn purchased for feeding, amounts to about 4,000 pounds per annum.
Another heavy expenditure is about 1,700 pounds yearly for
artificial fertilisers, consisting of guano and blood-manure.  Mr.
Jonas is one of the directors of the company formed for the
manufacture of the latter.

The whole income of this establishment is realised from two sources-
-meat and grain.  And this is the distinguishing characteristic of
English farming generally.  Not a pound of hay, straw, or roots is
sold off the estate.  Indeed, this is usually prohibited by the
conditions of the contract with the landlord.  So completely has Mr.
Jonas adhered to this rule, that he could not give me the market
price of hay, straw, or turnips per ton, as he had never sold any,
and was not in the habit of noticing the market quotations of those
products.  I was surprised at one fact which I learned in connection
with his economy.  He keeps about 170 bullocks; buying in October
and selling in May.  Now, it would occasion an American farmer some
wonderment to be told that this great herd of cattle is fed and
fatted almost entirely for the manure they make.  It is doubtful if
the difference between the cost and selling prices averages 2
pounds, or $10, per head.  For instance, the bullocks bought in will
average 13 or 14 pounds.  A ton of linseed-cake and some meal are
given to each beast before it is sent to market, costing from 10 to
12 pounds.  When sold, the bullocks average 24 or 25 pounds.  Thus
the cake and the meal equal the whole difference between the buying
and selling price, so that all the roots, chaff, and attendance go
entirely to the account of manure.  These three items, together with
the value of pasturage for the months the cattle may lie in the
fields, from October to May inclusive, could hardly amount to less
than 5 pounds per beast, which, for 170, would be 850 pounds.  Then
1,700 pounds are paid annually for guano and artificial manures.
Now add the value of the wheat, oat and barley straw grown on 1,500
acres, and mostly thrown into the barn-yards, or used as bedding for
the stables, and you have one great division of the fertilising
department of Chrishall Grange.  The amount of these three items
cannot be less than 3,000 pounds.  Then there is another source of
fertilisation nearly as productive and valuable.  Upwards of 3,000
sheep are kept on the estate, of which 1,200 are breeding ewes.
These are folded, acre by acre, on turnips, cole, or trefoil, and
those fattened for the market are fed with oil-cake in the field.
The locusts of Egypt could not have left the earth barer of verdure
than these sheep do the successive patches of roots in which they
are penned for twenty-four or forty-eight hours, nor could any other
process fertilise the land more thoroughly and cheaply.  Then 76
horses and 200 fattening hogs add their contingent to the manurial
expenditure and production of the establishment.  Thus the
fertilising material applied to the estate cannot amount to less
than 5,000 pounds, or $24,000, per annum.

Sheep are the most facile and fertile source of nett income on the
estate.  Indeed, nearly all the profit on the production of meat is
realised from them.  Most of those I saw were Southdowns and
Hampshires, pure or crossed, with here and there a Leicester.  After
being well fattened, they fetch in the market about double the price
paid for them as stock sheep.  About 2,000, thus fattened, including
lambs, are sold yearly.  They probably average about 2 pounds, or
$10, per head; thus amounting to the nice little sum of 4,000 pounds
a year, as one of the sources of income.

Perhaps it would be easier to estimate the total expenditure than
the gross income of such an establishment as that of Mr. Jonas.  We
have aggregated the former in a lump; assuming that the whole
capital invested in rent, live stock, agricultural machinery,
manures, labor of man and horse, fattening material, etc., amounts
to 30,000 pounds.  We may extract from this aggregate several
estimated items which will indicate the extent of his operations,
putting the largest expenditure at the head of the list.

Corn and oil-cake purchased for feeding                    4,000l.
Guano and manufactured manures                             1,700
Labor of 100 men and boys at the average of 20l. per annum 2,000
Labor of 76 horses, including their keep, 20l. per annum   1,500
Use and wear of steam-engine and agricultural machinery      500
Commutation money to men for beer                            400

These are some of the positive annual outlays, without including
rent, interest on capital invested, and other items that belong to
the debit side of the ledger.  The smallest on the list given I
would commend to the consideration of every New England farmer who
may read these pages.  It is stated under the real fact.  The
capacity of English laborers for drinking strong beer is a wonder to
the civilised world.  They seem to cling to this habit as to a vital
condition of their very life and being.  One would be tempted to
think that malt liquor was a primary and bread a secondary necessity
to them; it must cost them most of the two, at any rate.  And
generally they are as particular about the quality as the quantity,
and complain if it is not of "good body," as well as full tale.  In
many cases the farmer furnishes it to them; sometimes brewing it
himself, but more frequently buying it already made.  Occasionally a
farmer "commutes" with his men; allowing a certain sum of money
weekly in lieu of beer, leaving them to buy and use it as they
please.  I understood that Mr. Jonas adopts the latter course, not
only to save himself the trouble of furnishing and rationing such a
large quantity of beer, but also to induce the habit among his men
of appropriating the money he gives them instead of drink to better
purposes.  The sum paid to them last year was actually 452 pounds,
or about $2,200!  Now, it would be quite safe to say, that there is
not a farm in the State of Connecticut that produces pasturage, hay,
grain, and roots enough to pay this beer-bill of a single English
occupation!  This fact may not only serve to show the scale of
magnitude which agricultural enterprise has assumed in the hands of
such men as Mr. Jonas, but also to indicate to our American farmers
some of the charges upon English agriculture from which they are
exempt; thanks to the Maine Law, or, to a better one still, that of
voluntary disuse of strong drink on our farms.  I do not believe
that 100 laboring men and boys could be found on one establishment
in Great Britain more temperate, intelligent, industrious, and moral
than the set employed by Mr. Jonas.  Still, notice the tax levied
upon his land by this beer-impost.  It amounted last year to three
English shillings, or seventy-two cents, on every acre of the five
consolidated farms, including all the space occupied by hedges,
copses, buildings, etc.  Suppose a Maine farmer were obliged, by an
inexorable law of custom, to pay a beer-tax of seventy-two cents per
acre on his estate of 150 acres, or $108, annually, would he not be
glad to "commute" with his hired men, by leaving them in possession
of his holding and migrating to some distant section of the country
where such a custom did not exist?

The gross income of this great holding it would be more difficult to
estimate.  But no one can doubt the yearly issues of Mr. Jonas'
balance-sheet, when he has been able to expand his operations
gradually to their present magnitude from the capital and experience
acquired by successful farming.  Perhaps the principal sources of
revenue would approximate to the following figures:--

 2,000 fat sheep and lambs at 2l.        4,000l.
   150 fat bullocks at 25l.              3,750
   200 fat pigs = 40,000 lbs., at 4d       666
22,500 bushels of wheat, at 6s           6,750
 9,375 bushels of oats, at 2s              937
 7,500 bushels of barley, at 3s          1,125
Total of these estimated items          17,228l.

This, of course, is a mere estimate of the principal sources of
income upon which Mr. Jonas depends for a satisfactory result of his
balance-sheet.  Each item is probably within the mark.  I have put
down the crop of wheat of 750 acres at the average of thirty bushels
per acre, and at 6s. per bushel, which are quite moderate figures.
I have assumed 375 acres each for barley and oats, estimating the
former at forty bushels per acre, and the latter at fifty; then
reserving half of the two crops for feeding and fatting the live
stock; also all the beans, peas, and roots for the same purpose.  If
the estimate is too high on some items, the products sold, and not
enumerated in the foregoing list, such as cole and other seeds, will
rectify, perhaps, the differences, and make the general result
presented closely approximate to the real fact.

As there is probably no other farm in Great Britain of the same size
so well calculated to test the best agricultural science and economy
of the day as the great occupation of Mr. Jonas, and as I am anxious
to convey to American farmers a well-developed idea of what that
science and economy are achieving in this country, I will dwell upon
a few other facts connected with this establishment.  The whole
space of 3,000 acres is literally under cultivation, or in a sense
which we in New England do not generally give to that term--that is,
there is not, I believe, a single acre of permanent meadow in the
whole territory.  All the vast amount of hay consumed, and all the
pasture grasses have virtually to be grown like grain.  There is so
much ploughing and sowing involved in the production of these grass
crops, that they are called "seeds."  Thus, by this four-course
system, every field passes almost annually under a different
cropping, and is mowed two or three times in ten years.  This fact,
in itself, will not only suggest the immense amount of labor
applied, but also the quality and condition of 3,000 acres of land
that can be surfaced to the scythe in this manner.

The _seeds_ or grasses sown by Mr. Jonas for pasturage and hay are
chiefly white and red clover and trefoil.  His rule of seeding is
the following:--

Wheat,  from      8 to 10 pecks per acre
Barley, from     12 to 14   "    "    "
Oats,   from     18 to 22   "    "    "
Winter Beans,     8         "    "    "
Red Clover,      20 lbs          "    "
White Clover,    16 lbs          "    "
Trefoil,         30 to 35 lbs.   "    "

This, in New England, would be called very heavy seeding, especially
in regard to oats and the grasses.  I believe that twelve pecks of
oats to the acre, rather exceed our average rule.  Good clover seed
should weigh two pounds to the quart, and eight quarts, or sixteen
pounds, are the usual seeding with us.

As labor of horse and man must be economised to the best advantage
on such an estate, it may be interesting to know the expense of the
principal operations.  The cost of ploughing averages 7s. 6d., or $1
80c. per acre.  For roots, the land is ploughed three or four times,
besides harrowing, drilling, and rolling.  The hoeing of wheat and
roots varies from 2s. to 5s., or from 48c. to $1 20c. per acre.

The sheep are all folded on turnips or grass fields, except the
breeding ewes in the lambing season.  The enclosures are made of
_hurdles_, of which all reading Americans have read, but not one in
a thousand ever has seen.  They are a kind of diminutive, portable,
post-and-rail fence, of the New England pattern, made up in
permanent _lengths_, so light that a stout man might carry two or
three of them on his shoulders at once.  The two posts are sawed or
split pieces of wood, about two inches thick, three wide, and from
five to six feet in length.  They are generally square-morticed for
the rails, which are frequently what we should call split hoop-
holes, but in the best kind are slats of hard wood, about two and a
half inches wide and one in thickness.  Midway between the two
posts, the rails are nailed to an upright slat or brace, to keep
them from swaying.  Sometimes a farmer makes his own hurdles, thus
furnishing indoor work for his men in winter, when they cannot labor
in the fields; but most generally they are bought of those who
manufacture them on a large scale.  Some idea of the extent of
sheep-folding on Chrishall Grange may be inferred from the fact,
that the hurdling on it, if placed in one straight, continuous line,
would reach full ten miles!

A portable steam engine, of twelve-horse power, looking like a
common railway locomotive strayed from its track and taken up and
housed in a farmer's waggon-shed, performs prodigies of activity and
labor.  Indeed, search the three realms through and through, and you
would hardly find one on its own legs doing such remarkable
varieties of work.  Briareus, with all his fabled faculties, never
had such numerous and supple fingers as this creature of human
invention.  When set a-going, they are clattering and whisking and
frisking everywhere, on the barn-floor, on the hay-loft, in the
granary, under the eaves, down cellar, and all this at the same
time.  It is doubtful if any stationary engine in a machine shop
ever performed more diversified operations at once; thus proving
most conclusively how a farmer may work motive power which it was
once thought preposterous in him to think of using.  It threshes
wheat and other kinds of grain at the rate of from 400 to 500
bushels a day; it conveys the straw up to a platform across what we
call the "_great beams_," where it is cut into chaff and dropped
into a great bay, at the trifling expense of sixpence, or twelve
cents, per quantity grown on an acre!  While it is doing this in one
direction, it is turning machinery in another that cleans and weighs
the grain off into sacks ready for the market.  Open the doors right
and left and you find it at work like reason, breaking oil-cake,
grinding corn for the fat stock, turning the grindstone, pitching,
pounding, paring, rubbing, grabbing, and twisting, threshing,
wrestling, chopping, flopping, and hopping, after the manner of "The
Waters of Lodore."

The housings for live stock are most admirably constructed as well
as extensive, and all the great yards are well fitted for making and
delivering manure.  I noticed here the best arrangement for feeding
swine that I had ever seen before, and of a very simple character.
Instead of revolving troughs, or those that are to be pulled out
like drawers to be cleaned, a long, stationary one, generally of
iron, extends across the whole breadth of the compartment next to
the feeding passage.  The board or picket-fence forming this end of
the enclosure, from eight to twelve feet in length, is hung on a
pivot at each side, playing in an iron ring or socket let into each
of the upright posts that support it.  Midway in the lower rail of
this fence is a drop bolt which falls into the floor just behind the
trough.  At the feeding time, the man has only to raise this bolt
and let it fall on the inner side, and he has the whole length and
width of the trough free to clear with a broom and to fill with the
feed.  Then, raising the bolt, and bringing it back to its first
place, the operation is performed in a minute with the greatest
economy and convenience.

There was one feature of this great farm home which I regarded with
much satisfaction.  It was the housing of the laborers employed on
the estate.  This is done in blocks of well-built, well-ventilated,
and very comfortable cottages, all within a stone's throw of the
noble old mansion occupied by Mr. Jonas.  Thus, no long and weary
miles after the fatigue of the day, or before its labor begins, have
to be walked over by his men in the cold and dark, as in many cases
in which the agricultural laborer is obliged to trudge on foot from
a distant village to his work, making a hard and sunless journey at
both ends of the day.

Although my visit at this, perhaps the largest, farming
establishment in England, occupied only a few hours, I felt on
leaving that I had never spent an equal space of time more
profitably and pleasantly in the pursuit or appreciation of
agricultural knowledge.  The open and large-hearted hospitality and
genial manners of the proprietor and his family seemed to correspond
with the dimensions and qualities of his holding, and to complete,
vitalise, and beautify the symmetries of a true ENGLISH FARMER'S



From Chrishall Grange I went on to Royston, where I found very quiet
and comfortable quarters in a small inn called "The Catherine
Wheel," for what reason it is not yet clear to my mind, and the
landlady could not enlighten me on the subject.  I have noticed two
inns in London of the same name, and have seen it mounted on several
other public houses in England.  Why that ancient saint and the
machinery of her torture should be alone selected from the history
and host of Christian martyrs, and thus associated with houses of
entertainment for man and beast, is a mystery which I will not
undertake to explore.  To be sure, the head of a puncheon of rum is
round like a wheel, and if the liquor were not too much diluted with
water, it might make a revolving illumination quite interesting, if
set on fire and rolled into the gutter.  It may possibly suggest
that lambent ignition of the brain which the fiery drinks of the
establishment produce, and which so many infatuated victims think
delightful.  Both these inferences, and all others I could fancy,
are so dubious that I will not venture further into the meaning of
this singular appellation given to a tavern.

Royston is a goodly and comfortable town, just inside the eastern
boundary of Hertfordshire.  It has its full share of half-legible
and interesting antiquities, including the ruins of a royal palace,
a cave, and several other broken monuments of the olden time, all
festooned with the web-work of hereditary fancies, legends, and
shreds of unravelled history dyed to the vivid colors of variegated
imagination.  It also boasts and enjoys a great, breezy common,
large enough to hold such another town, and which few in the kingdom
can show.  Then, if it cannot cope with Glastonbury in showing, to
the envious and credulous world, a thorn-tree planted by Joseph of
Arimathaea, and blossoming always at Christmas, it can fly a bird of
greater antiquity, which never flapped its wings elsewhere, so far
as I can learn.  It may be the lineal descendant of Noah's raven
that has come down to this particular community without a cross with
any other branch of the family.  It is called "The Royston Crow,"
and is a variety of the genus which you will find in no other
country.  It is a great, heavy bird, larger than his colored
American cousin, and is distinguished by a white back.  Indeed, seen
walking at a distance, he looks like our Bobolink expanded to the
size of a large hen-hawk.  To have such a wild bird all to
themselves, and of its own free will, notwithstanding the length and
power of its wings, and the force of centrifugal attractions, is a
distinction which the good people of this favored town have good
reason to appreciate at its proper value.  Nor are they insensible
to the honor.  The town printer put into my hands a monthly
publication called "THE ROYSTON CROW," containing much interesting
and valuable information.  It might properly have embraced a chapter
on entomology; but, perhaps, it would have been impolitic for the
personal interests of the bird to have given wide publicity to facts
in this department of knowledge.  For, after all, there may exist in
the neighborhood certain special kinds of bugs and other insects
which lie at the foundation of his preference for the locality.

The next day I again faced northward, and walked as far as Caxton, a
small, rambling village, which looked as if it had not shaved and
washed its face, and put on a clean shirt for a shocking length of
time.  It was dark when I reached it; having walked twelve miles
after three p.m.  There was only one inn, properly speaking, in the
town, and since the old coaching time, it had contracted itself into
the fag-end of a large, dark, seedy-looking building, where it lived
by selling beer and other sharp and cheap drinks to the villagers;
nineteen-twentieths of whom appeared to be agricultural laborers.
The entertainment proffered on the sign-board over the door was
evidently limited to the tap-room.  Indeed, this and the great, low-
jointed and brick-floored kitchen opening into to it, seemed to
constitute all the living or inhabited space in the building.  I
saw, at a glance, that the chance for a bed was faint and small; and
I asked Landlord Rufus for one doubtingly, as one would ask for a
ready-made pulpit or piano at a common cabinet-maker's shop.  He
answered me clearly enough before he spoke, and he spoke as if
answering a strange and half-impertinent question, looking at me
searchingly, as if he suspected I was quizzing him.  His "No!" was
short and decided; but, seeing I was honest and earnest in the
inquiry, he softened his negative with the explanation that their
beds were all full.  It seemed strange to me that this should be so
in a building large enough for twenty, and I hesitated hopefully,
thinking he might remember some small room in which he might put me
for the night.  To awaken a generous thought in him in this
direction, I intimated how contented I would be with the most
moderate accommodation.  But it was in vain.  The house was full,
and I must seek for lodging elsewhere.  There were two or three
other public houses in the village that might take me in.  I went to
them one by one.  They all kept plenty of beer, but no bed.  They,
too, looked at me with surprise for asking for such a thing.
Apparently, there had been no demand for such entertainment by any
traveller since the stage-coach ceased to run through the village.
I went up and down, trying to negotiate with the occupants of some
of the best-looking cottages for a cot or bunk; but they had none to
spare, as the number of wondering children that stared at me kindly,
at once suggested before I put the question.

It was now quite dark, and I was hungry and tired; and the prospect
of an additional six miles walk was not very animating.  What next?
I will go back to Landlord Rufus and try a new influence on his
sensibilities.  Who knows but it will succeed?  I will touch him on
his true character as a Briton.  So I went back, with my last chance
hanging on the experiment.  I told him I was an American traveller,
weary, hungry, and infirm of health, and would pay an extra price
for an extra effort to give me a bed for the night.  I did not say
all this in a Romanus-civus-sum sort of tone.  No! dear, honest Old
Abe, you would have done the same in my place.  I made the great
American Eagle coo like a dove in the request; and it touched the
best instincts of the British Lion within the man.  It was evident
in a moment that I had put my case in a new aspect to him.  He would
talk with the "_missus_;" he withdrew into the back kitchen, a short
conference ensued, and both came out together and informed me that
they had found a bed, unexpectedly vacant, for my accommodation.
And they would get up some tea and bread and butter for me, too.
Capital!  A sentiment of national pride stole in between every two
feelings of common satisfaction at this result.  The thought would
come in and whisper, not for your importunity as a common fellow
mortal were this bed and this loaf unlocked to you, but because you
were an American citizen.

So I followed "the missus" into that great kitchen, and sat down in
one corner of the huge fire-place while she made the tea.  It was a
capacious museum of culinary curiosities of the olden time, all
arranged in picturesque groups, yet without any aim at effect.
Pots, kettles, pans, spits, covers, hooks and trammels of the
Elizabethan period, apparently the heirlooms of several intersecting
generations, showed in the fire-light like a work of artistry; the
sharp, silvery brightness of the tin and the florid flush of
burnished copper making distinct disks in the darkness.  It was with
a rare sentiment of comfort that I sat by that fire of crackling
faggots, looked up at the stars that dropped in their light as they
passed over the top of the great chimney, and glanced around at the
sides of that old English kitchen, panelled with plates and platters
and dishes of all sizes and uses.  And this fire was kindled and
this tea-kettle was singing for me really because I was an American!
I could not forget that--so I deemed it my duty to keep up the
character.  Therefore, I told the _missus_ and her bright-eyed niece
a great many stories about America; some of which excited their
admiration and wonder.  Thus I sat at the little, round, three-
legged table, inside the out-spreading chimney, for an hour or more,
and made as cozy and pleasant a meal of it as ever I ate.  Besides
all this, I had the best bed in the house, and several "Good
nights!" on retiring to it, uttered with hearty good-will by voices
softened to an accent of kindness.  Next morning I was introduced
into the best parlor, and had a capital breakfast, and then resumed
my walk with a pleasant memory of my entertainment in that village

I passed through a fertile and interesting section to St. Ives, in
Huntingdonshire.  Here I remained with some friends for a week,
visiting neighboring villages by day and returning at night.  St.
Ives is a pleasant, well-favored town, just large enough to
constitute a coherent, neighborly, and well-regulated community.  It
is the centre-piece of a rich, rural picture, which, without any
strikingly salient features, pleases the eye with lineaments of
quiet beauty symmetrically developed by the artistry of Nature.  The
river Ouse meanders through a wide, fertile flat, or what the Scotch
would call a strath, which gently rises on each side into pleasantly
undulating uplands.  Parks, groves, copses, and hedge-row trees are
interspersed very happily, and meadow, pasture, and grain-fields
seen through them, with villages, hamlets, farm-houses, and isolated
cottages, make up a landscape that grows more and more interesting
as you contemplate it.  And this placid locality, with its peaceful
river seemingly sleeping in the bosom of its long and level meadows,
was the scene of Oliver Cromwell's young, fiery manhood.  Here,
where Nature invites to tranquil occupations and even exercises of
the mind, he trained the latent energies of his will for action in
the great drama that overturned a throne and transformed a nation.
Here, till very lately, stood his "barn," and here he drilled the
first squadron of his "Ironsides."

My friend and host drove me one day to see a fen-farm a few miles
beyond Ramsey, at which we remained over night and enjoyed the old-
fashioned English hospitality of the establishment with lively
relish.  It was called "The Four-Hundred-Acre-Farm," to distinguish
it from a hundred others, laid out on the same dead level, with
lines and angles as straight and sharp as those of a brick.  You
will meet scores of persons in England who speak admiringly of the
great prairies of our Western States--but I never saw one in
Illinois as extensive as the vast level expanse you may see in
Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.  In fact, the space of a large
county has been fished up out of a shallow sea of salt water by
human labor and capital.  I will not dwell here upon the expense,
process, and result of this gigantic operation.  It would require a
whole chapter to convey an approximate idea of the character and
dimensions of the enterprise.  The feat of Cyrus in turning the
current of the Euphrates was the mere making of a short mill-race
compared with the labor of lifting up these millions of acres bodily
out of the flood that had covered and held them in quiescent
solution since the world began.

This Great Prairie of England, generally called here the Fens, or
Fenland, would be an interesting and instructive section for the
agriculturists of our Western States to visit.  They would see how
such a region can be made quite picturesque, as well as luxuriantly
productive.  Let them look off upon the green sea from one of the
upland waves, and it will be instructive to them to see and know,
that all the hedge-trees, groves, and copses that intersect and
internect the vast expanse of green and gold were planted by man's
hands.  Such a landscape would convince them that the prairies of
Illinois and Iowa may be recovered from their almost depressing
monotony by the same means.  The soil of this district is apparently
the same as that around Chicago--black and deep, on a layer of clay.
It pulverises as easily in dry weather, and makes the same inky and
sticky composition in wet.  To give it more body, or to cross it
with a necessary and supplementary element, a whole field is often
trenched by the spade as clean as one could be furrowed by the
plough.  By this process the substratum of clay is thrown up, to a
considerable thickness, upon the light, black, almost volatile soil,
and mixed with it when dry; thus giving it a new character and
capacity of production.

Everything seems to grow on a Californian scale in this fen
district.  Although the soil thus rescued from the waters that had
flooded and half dissolved it, was at first as deep, black, and
naturally fertile as that of our prairies, those who commenced its
cultivation did not make the same mistake as did our Western
farmers.  They did not throw their manure into the broad draining
canals to get rid of it, trusting to the inexhaustible fertility of
the alluvial earth, as did the wheat growers of Indiana and Illinois
to their cost; but they husbanded and well applied all the resources
of their barn-yards.  In consequence of this economy, there is no
deterioration of annual averages of their crops to be recorded, as
in some of our prairie States, which have been boasting of the
natural and inexhaustible fertility of their soil even with the
record of retrograde statistics before their eyes.  The grain and
root crops are very heavy; and a large business is done in growing
turnip seed for the world in some sections of this fen country.  A
large proportion of the quantity we import comes from these low

Our host of the Four-Hundred-Acre Farm took us over his productive
occupation, which was in a very high state of cultivation.  The
wheat was yellowing to harvest, and promised a yield of forty-two
bushels to the acre.  The oats were very heavy, and the root crops
looked well, especially a field of mangel-wurzel.  He apportions his
land to different crops after this ratio:-- Wheat, 120 acres; oats,
80; rye-grass and clover, 50; roots, 60.  His live stock consisted
of 300 sheep, 50 to 60 head of cattle, and 70 to 80 hogs.  His
working force was from 10 to 12 men, 14 farm horses, and 4 nags.  It
may interest some of my American readers to know the number,
character, and cost of the implements employed by this substantial
English farmer in cultivating an estate of 400 acres.  I noted down
the following list, when he was showing us his tool-house:--

                            l.       $     l.    $
6 Ploughs               at  4 each = 20    24 = 120
6 Horse-carts,          at 14 each = 70    84 = 420
1 Large Iron Roller and Gearing,           13 =  65
1 Cambridge Roller                         14 =  70
1 Twelve-Coulter Drill                     46 = 230
3 Harrows               at  3 each = 15     9 =  45
2 Great Harrows         at  3 each = 15     6 =  30
                                           ---  ---
Total cost of these Implements            196l.$980

These figures will represent the working forces and implemental
machinery of a well-tilled farm of 400 acres in England.  They will
also indicate the amount of capital required to cultivate an estate
of this extent here.  Let us compare it with the amount generally
invested in New England for a farm of equal size.  Thousands that
have been under cultivation for a hundred years, may be bought for 5
pounds, or $25, per acre, including house, barn, and other buildings
and appurtenances.  It is a very rare thing for a man with us to buy
400 acres at once; but if he did, it would probably be on these
conditions:-- He would pay 400 pounds, or $2,000, down at the time
of purchase, giving his notes for the remaining 1,600 pounds, or
$8,000, at 6 per cent. interest payable annually, together with the
yearly instalment of principal specified in each note.  He would
perhaps have 200 pounds, or $1,000, left of his capital for working
power and agricultural implements.  He would probably divide it
after the following manner:--

                                            l.   l.   $
2 Yokes of Oxen, at                         25 = 50 = 250
1 Horse                                          20 = 100
2 Ox-carts, at                              15 = 30 = 150
1 Waggon                                         20 = 100
2 Ox-sleds, at                               1 =  2 =  10
2 Ox-ploughs, at                             2 =  4 =  20
1 Single Horse-plough                             1 =   5
2 Harrows                                    2 =  4 =  20
Cradles, scythes, hoes, rakes, flails, etc.       4 =  20
Fanning-mill, hay-cutter, and corn-sheller.       4 =  20
15 Cows, steers, and heifers                     45 = 225
6 Shoats, or pigs, six months old                10 =  50

These figures would indicate a large operation for a practical New
England farmer, who should undertake to purchase and cultivate an
estate of 400 acres.  Indeed, not one in a hundred buying such a
large tract of land would think of purchasing all the implements on
this list at once, or entirely new.  One of his carts, sleds, and
harrows would very probably be "second-handed," and bought at half
the price of a new one.  Thus, a substantial farmer with us would
think he was beginning on a very satisfactory and liberal footing,
if he had 200 pounds, or $1,000, in ready money for stocking a
holding of 400 acres with working cattle and implemental machinery,
cows, pigs, etc.  Now, compare this outlay with that of our host of
the Four-Hundred-Acre Farm in Lincolnshire.  We will begin with his-

                                                l.         l.    $
 14 Farm horses, at the low figure of         20 each =  280 = 1,400
  4 Nags, or saddle and carriage horses       2O each =   8O =   400
300 Stock sheep                                1 each =  300 = 1,500
 7O Pigs, of different ages                    2 each =  140 =   900
 5O Head of cattle (cows, bullocks, etc.)     12 each =  600 = 3,000
Carts, drills, rollers, ploughs and other implements   1,000 = 5,000
                                                       -----   -----
                                                       2,400 $12,200

The average rent of such land in England must be at least 1 pound
10s. per acre, and the tenant farmer must pay half of this out of
the capital he begins with; which, on 400 acres, would amount to 300
pounds.  Then, if he buys a quantity of artificial manures equal to
the value of 10s. per acre, he will need to expend in this
department 200 pounds.  Next, if he purchases corn and oil-cake at
the same ratio for his cattle and sheep as that adopted by Mr.
Jonas, of Chrishall Grange, he will want 1,000 pounds for his 60
head of cattle and 300 sheep.  In addition to these items of
expenditure, he must pay his men weekly; and the wages of ten, at
10s. per week, for six months, amount to 130 pounds.  Add an
economical allowance for family expenses for the same length of
time, and for incidental outgoes, and you make up the aggregate of
4,000 pounds, which is 10 pounds to the acre, which an English
farmer needs to have and invest on entering upon the cultivation of
a farm, great or small.  This amount, as has been stated elsewhere,
is the rule for successful agriculture in this country.

These facts will measure the difference between the amounts of
capital invested in equal spaces of land in England and America.  It
is as ten to one, assuming a moderate average.  Here, a man would
need 1,500 pounds, or more than $7,000, to begin with on renting a
farm of 150 acres, in order to cultivate it successfully.  In New
England, a man would think he began under favorable auspices if he
were able to enter upon the occupancy of equal extent with 100
pounds, or about $500.

On returning from the Fens, I passed the night and most of the
following day at Woodhurst, a village a few miles north of St. Ives,
on the upland rising gently from the valley of the Ouse.  My host
here was a farmer, owning the land he tilled, cultivating it and the
moral character and happiness of the little community, in which he
moved as a father, with an equally generous heart and hand, and
reaping a liberal reward from both departments of his labor.  He
took me over his fields, and showed me his crops and live stock,
which were in excellent condition.  Harvesting had already
commenced, and the reapers were at work, men and women, cutting
wheat and barley.  Few of them used sickles, but a curved knife,
wider than the sickle, of nearly the same shape, minus the teeth.  A
man generally uses two of them.  With the one in his left hand he
gathers in a good sweep of grain, bends it downward, and with the
other strikes it close to the ground, as we cut Indian corn.  With
the left-hand hook and arm, he carries on the grain from the inside
to the outside of the swath or "work," making three or four strokes
with the cutting knife; then, at the end, gathers it all up and lays
it down in a heap for binding.  This operation is called "bagging."
It does not do the work so neatly as the sickle, and is apt to pull
up many stalks by the roots with the earth attaching to them,
especially at the last, outside stroke.

I was struck with the economy adopted by my host in loading, carting
and stacking or ricking his grain.  The operation was really
performed like clock-work.  Two or three men were stationed at the
rick to unload the carts, two in the fields to load them, and
several boys to lead them back and forth to the two parties.  They
were all one-horse carts, and so timed that a loaded one was always
at the rick and an empty one always in the field; thus keeping the
men at both ends fully employed from morning until night, pitching
on and pitching off; while boys, at 6d. or 8d. a day, led the

On passing through the stables and housings for stock, I noticed a
simple, yet ingenious contrivance for watering cattle, which I am
not sure I can describe accurately enough, without a drawing, to
convey a tangible idea of it to my agricultural neighbors in
America.  It may be called the buoy-cock.  In the first place, the
water is brought into a cistern placed at one end of the stable or
shed at a sufficient elevation to give it the necessary fall in all
the directions in which it is to be conducted.  The pipe used for
each cow-box or manger connects each with the cistern, and the
distributing end of it rests upon, or is suspended over, the trough
assigned to each animal.  About one-third of this trough, which was
here a cast-iron box, about twelve inches deep and wide, protrudes
through the boarding of the stable.  In this outside compartment is
placed a hollow copper ball attached to a lever, which turns the
axle or pivot of the cock.  Now, this little buoy, of course, rises
and falls with the water in the trough.  When the trough is full,
the buoy rises and raises the lever so as to shut off the water
entirely.  At every sip the animal takes, the buoy descends and lets
on again, to a drop, a quantity equal to that abstracted from the
inside compartment.  Thus the trough is always kept full of pure
water, without losing a drop of it through a waste-pipe or overflow.
Where a great herd of cattle and a drove of horses have to be
supplied from a deep well, as in the case of Mr. Jonas, at Chrishall
Grange, this buoy-cock must save a great amount of labor.

I saw also here in perfection that garden allotment system which is
now coming widely into vogue in England, not only adjoining large
towns like Birmingham, but around small villages in the rural
districts.  It is well worthy of being introduced in New England and
other states, where it would work equally well in various lines of
influence.  A landowner divides up a field into allotments, each
generally containing a rood, and lets them to the mechanics,
tradespeople and agricultural laborers of the town or village, who
have no gardens of their own for the growth of vegetables.  Each of
these is better than a savings-bank to the occupant.  He not only
deposits his odd pennies but his odd hours in it; keeping both away
from the public-house or from places and habits of idleness and
dissipation.  The days of Spring and Summer here are very long, and
a man can see to work in the field as early as three o'clock in the
morning, and as late as nine at night.  So every journeyman
blacksmith, baker or shoemaker may easily find four or five hours in
the twenty-four for work on his allotment, after having completed
the task or time due to his employer.  He generally keeps a pig, and
is on the qui vive to make and collect all the manure he can for his
little farm.  A field of several acres, thus divided and cultivated
in allotments, presents as striking a combination of colors as an
Axminster carpet.  As every rood is subdivided into a great variety
of vegetables, and as forty or fifty of such patches, lying side by
side, present, in one coup d'oeil, all the alternations of which
these crops and colors are susceptible, the effect is very

My Woodhurst friend makes his allotment system a source of much
social enjoyment to himself and the poor villagers.  He lets forty-
seven patches, each containing twenty poles.  Every tenant pays
10s., or $2 40c., annual rent for his little holding, Mr. E. drawing
the manure for each, which is always one good load a year.  Here,
too, these little spade-farmers are put under the same regime as the
great tenant agriculturists of the country.  Each must farm his
allotment according to the terms of the yearly lease.  He must dig
up his land with spade or pick, not plough it; and he is not allowed
to work on it upon the Sabbath.  But encouragements greatly
predominate over restrictions, and stimulate and reward a high
cultivation.  _Eight_ prizes are offered to this end, of the
following amounts:--10s., 7s. 6d., 5s., 4s., 3s., 2s. 6d., 2s. and
1s.  Every one who competes must not have more than half his
allotment in potatoes.  The greater the variety of vegetables the
other half contains, the better is his chance for the first prize.
The appraiser is some disinterested person of good judgment, perhaps
from an adjoining town, who knows none of the competitors.  To
prevent any possible favoritism, the allotments are all numbered,
and he awards prizes to numbers only, not knowing to whom they
belong.  Another feature, illustrating the generous disposition of
the proprietor, characterises this good work.  On the evening
appointed for paying the rents, he gets up a regular, old-fashioned
English supper of roast beef and plum-pudding for them, giving each
fourpence instead of beer, so that they may all go home sober as
well as cheerful.  To see him preside at that table, with his large,
round, rosy face beaming upon them with the quiet benevolence of a
good heart, and to hear the fatherly and neighborly talks he makes
to them, would be a picture and preaching which might be commended
to the farmers of all countries.

I saw also a curious phenomenon in the natural world on this farm,
which perhaps will be regarded as a fiction of fancy by many a
reader.  It was a large field of barley grown from _oats_!  We have
recently dwelt upon some of the co-workings of Nature and Art in the
development of flowers and of several useful plants.  But here is
something stranger still, that seems to diverge from the line of any
law hitherto known in the vegetable world.  Still, for aught one can
know at this stage of its action, it may be the same general law of
development which we have noticed, only carried forward to a more
advanced point of progress.  I would commend it to the deep and
serious study of naturalists, botanists, or to those philosophers
who should preside over the department of investigation to which the
subject legitimately belongs.  I will only say what I saw with my
own eyes and heard with my own ears.  Here, I repeat, was a large
field of heavy grain, ready for harvest.  The head and berry were
_barley_, and the stalk and leaves were _oat_!  Here, certainly, is
a mystery.  The barley sown on this field was the first-born
offspring of oats.  And the whole process by which this wonderful
transformation is wrought, is simply this, and nothing more:--The
oats are sown about the last week in June; and, before coming into
ear, they are cut down within one inch and a half of the ground.
This operation is repeated a second time.  They are then allowed to
stand through the winter, and the following season the produce is
_barley_.  This is the plain statement of the case in the very words
of the originator of this process, and of this strange
transmutation.  The only practical result of it which he claims is
this:  that the straw of the barley thus produced is stouter, and
stands more erect, and, therefore, less liable to be beaten down by
heavy wind or rain.  Then, perhaps, it may be added, this oat straw
headed with barley is more valuable as fodder for live stock than
the natural barley straw.  But the value of this result is nothing
compared with the issue of the experiment as proving the existence
of a principle or law hitherto undiscovered, which may be applied to
all kinds of plants for the use of man and beast.  If any English
reader of these notes is disposed to inquire more fully into this
subject, I am sure he may apply without hesitation to Mr. John
Ekins, of Bruntisham, near St. Ives, who will supply any additional
information needed.  He presented me with a little sample bag of
this oat-born barley, which I hope to show my agricultural neighbors
on returning to America.



After a little more than a week's visit in St. Ives and neighboring
villages, I again resumed my staff and set out in a westerly
direction, in order to avoid the flat country which lay immediately
northward for a hundred miles and more.  Followed the north bank of
the Ouse to Huntingdon.  On the way, I stopped and dined with a
gentleman in Houghton whose hospitality and good works are well
known to many Americans.  The locality mentioned is so identified
with his name, that they will understand whom I mean.  There was a
good and tender-hearted man who lived in our Boston, called Deacon
Grant; and I hope he is living still.  He was so kind to everybody
in trouble, and everybody in trouble went to him so spontaneously
for sympathy and relief, that no one ever thought of him as
belonging to a single religious congregation, but regarded him as
Deacon of the whole of Boston--a kind of universal father, whose
only children were the orphans and the poor men's sons and daughters
of the city.  The Miller of Houghton, as some of my readers will
know, is just such another man, with one slight difference, which is
to his advantage, as a gift of grace.  He has all of Deacon Grant's
self-diffusing life of love for his kind, generous and tender
dispositions towards the poor and needy, and more than the Deacon's
means of doing good; and, with all this, the indomitable energy and
will and even the look of Cromwell.  During my stay in the
neighborhood, I was present at two large gatherings at his House of
Canvas, with which he supplements his family mansion when the latter
lacks the capacity of his heart in the way of accommodation.  This
tent, which he erects on his lawn, will hold a large congregation;
and, on both the occasions to which I refer, was well filled with
men, women, and children from afar and near.  The first was a re-
union of the Sunday-school teachers and pupils of the county, to
whom he gave a sumptuous dinner; after which followed addresses and
some business transactions of the association.  The second was the
examination of the British School of the village, founded and
supported, I believe, by himself.  At the conclusion of the
exercises, which were exceedingly interesting, the whole company,
young and old, adjourned to the lawn, where the visitors and elder
people of the place were served with tea and coffee under the tent.

Then came "The Children's Hour."  They were called in from their
games and romping on the lawn, and formed into a circle fifty feet
in diameter.  And here and now commenced an entertainment which
would make a more interesting picture than the old Apsley House
Dinner.  The good deacon of the county, with several assistants,
entered this charmed circle of boys and girls, all with eyes dilated
and eager with expectation, and overlooked by a circular wall of
elder people radiant with the spirit of the moment.  The host, in
his white hat and grey beard, led the way with a basket on his arm,
filled with little cakes, called with us gingernuts.  He was
followed by a file of other men with baskets of nuts, apples, etc.
It was a most hilarious scene, exhilarating to all the senses to
look upon, either for young or old.  He walked around the ring with
a grand, Cromwellian step, sowing a pattering rain of the little
cakes on the clean-shaven lawn, as a farmer would sow wheat in his
field, broadcast, in liberal handfuls.  Then followed in their order
the nut-sowers, apple-sowers, and the sowers of other goodies.  When
the baskets were emptied, the circular space enclosed was covered
with as tempting a spread of dainties as ever fascinated the eyes of
a crowd of little people.  For a whole minute, longer than a full
hour of ordinary schoolboy enjoyments, they had to stand facing that
sight, involuntarily attitudinising for the plunge.  At the end of
that long minute, the signal sounded, and, in an instant, there was
a scene in the ring that would have made the soberest octogenarian
shake his sides with the laughter of his youth.  The encircling
multitude of youngsters darted upon the thickly-scattered delicacies
like a flock of birds upon a field of grain, with patter, twitter
and flutter, and a tremor and treble of little short laughs; small,
eager hands trying in vain to shut fast upon a large apple and
several ginger-nuts at one grasp; slippings and trippings, tousling
of tresses and crushing of dresses; boys and girls higgledy-
piggledy; caps and bonnets piggledy-higgledy; little, red-faced
Alexanders looking half sad, because they had filled their small
pocket-worlds and both hands with apples and nuts, and had no room
nor holding for more; little girls, with broken bonnet-strings, and
long, sunny hair dancing over their eyes, stretching their short
fingers to grasp another goodie,--all this, with the merry
excitement of fathers and mothers, elder brothers and sisters, and
other spectators, made it a scene of youthful life and delight which
would test the genius of the best painters of the age to delineate.
And Sir Roger Coverley Cromwell, the author of all this
entertainment, would make a capital figure in the group, taken just
as he looked at that moment, with his face illuminated with the
upshooting joy of his heart, like the clear, frosty sky of winter
with the glow and the flush of the Northern Lights.

The good Miller of Houghton, having added stone to stone until his
mills can grind all the wheat the largest county can grow, has
recently handed over to his sons the great business he had built up
to such magnitude, and retired, if possible, to a more active life
of benevolence.  One of his late benefactions was a gift of 3,000
pounds, or nearly $15,000, toward the erection of an Independent
Chapel in St. Ives.

At Huntingdon, I took tea and spent a pleasant hour with the
principal of a select school, kept in a large, dignified and
comfortable mansion, once occupied by the poet Cowper.  In the yard
behind the house there is a wide-spreading and prolific pear-tree
planted by his hands.  This, too, was one of the thousands of old,
stately dwellings you meet with here and there, which have no
beginning nor end that you can get at.  Cowper lived and wrote in
this, for instance; but who lived in it a century before he was
born?  Who built it?  Which of the Two Roses did he mount on his
arms?  Or did he live and build later, and dine his townsman, the
great Oliver, or was he loyal to the last to Charles the First?
These are questions that come up, on going over such a building, but
no one can answer them, and you are left to the wisdom of limping
legends on the subject.  The present occupant has an antiquarian
penchant; so, a short time after he took possession of the house, he
began to make explorations in the walls and wainscotings, as men of
the same mind have done at Nineveh and Pompeii.  Having penetrated a
thick surface of white lava, or a layer of lime, put on with a brush
"in an earlier age than ours," he came upon a gorgeous wall of
tapestry, with inwoven figures and histories of great men and women,
quite as large as life, and all of very florid complexion and
luxurious costumes.  He has already exhumed a great many square
yards of this picturesque fabric, wrought in by-gone ages, and is
continuing the work with all the zest and success of a fortunate
archaeologist.  Now it is altogether probable, that Cowper, as he
sat in one of those rooms writing at his beautiful rhymes, had not
the slightest idea that he was surrounded by such a crowd of kings,
queens, and other great personages, barely concealed behind a thin
cloud of white-wash.

It may possibly be true, that a few beautiful, fair-haired heretics
in love or religion have been stone-masoned up alive in the walls of
abbeys or convents.  Sir Walter Scott leaned to that belief, and
perhaps had credible history for it.  But if the trowel has slain
its thousands, the whitewash swab has slain its ten thousands of
innocents.  Think of the furlongs of richly-wrought tapestry, full
of sacred and profane history, and the furlongs of curiously-carved
panels, wainscoting, and cornice that floppy, sloppy, vandal brush
of pigs' bristles and pail of diluted lime have eclipsed and
obliterated for ever, and not a retributive drop of the villainous
mixture has fallen into the perpetrator's eye to "make his foul
intent seem horrible!"  Think of Christian kings of glorious memory,
even Defenders of the Faith, with their fair queens, princes of the
blood, and knights, noble and brave, all, in one still St.
Bartholomew night of that soft, thin, white flood, buried from the
sight of the living as completely as the Roman sentinel at his post
by the red gulf-stream of Vesuvius!  Still, we must not be too hard
on these seemingly barbarous transactions.  "Not in anger, not in
wrath," nor in foolish fancy, was that dripping brush always lifted
upon these works of art.  Many a person of cultivated taste saw a
time when he could say, almost with Sancho Panza, "blessings on the
man who invented whitewash!  It covers a tapestry, a carving, or a
sculpture all over like a blanket;" like that one spoken of in
Macbeth.  England is just beginning to learn what treasures of art
in old mansions, churches and cathedrals were saved to the present
age by a timely application of that cheap and healthy fluid.  For
there was a time when stern men of iron will arose, who had no fear
of Gothic architecture, French tapestry, or Italian sculpture before
their eyes; who treated things that had awed or dazzled the world as
"baubles" of vanity, to be put away, as King Josiah put away from
his realm the graven images of his predecessors.  And these men
thought they were doing good service to religion by pushing their
bayonets at the most delicate works of the needle, pencil and
chisel; ripping and slitting the most elaborately wrought tapestry,-
-stabbing off the fine leaf, and vine-work from carved cornices and
wainscoting, and mutilating the marble lace-work of the sculptor in
the old cathedrals.  The only way to save these choice things was to
make them suddenly take the white veil from the whitewasher's brush.
Thousands of them were thus preserved, and they are now being
brought forth to the light again, after having been shut away from
the eye of man for several centuries.

The school-house is still standing in Huntingdon, in good condition
and busy occupation, in which Oliver Cromwell stormed the English
alphabet and carried the first parallel of monosyllables at the
point of the pen.  The very form or bench of oak from which he
mounted the breach is still occupied by boys of the same size and
age, with the same number of inches between their feet and the floor
which separated it from his.  Had the photographic art been
discovered in his day, we might have had his face and form as he
looked when seated as a rosy-faced, light-haired boy in the rank and
file of the youngsters gathered within those walls.  What an
overwhelming revelation it would have been to his young, honest and
merry mind, if some seer, like him who told Hazael his future, could
have given him a sudden glimpse of what he was to be and do in his
middle manhood!

After tea, I continued my walk westward to a small, quiet,
comfortable village, about five miles from Huntingdon, where I
became the guest of "The Old Mermaid," who extended her amphibious
hospitalities to all strangers wishing bed and board for the night.
Both I received readily and greatly enjoyed under her roof,
especially the former.  Never did I occupy a bed so fringed with the
fanciful artistries of dreamland.  It was close up under the
thatched roof, and it was the most easy and natural thing in the
world for the fancies of the midnight hour to turn that thatching
into hair, and to cheat my willing mind with the delusion that I was
sleeping with the long, soft tresses of Her Submarine Ladyship wound
around my head.  It was a delightful vagary of the imagination,
which the morning light, looking in through the little checker-work
window, gently dispelled.

The next day I bent my course in a north-westerly direction, and
passed through a very fertile and beautiful section.  The scenery
was truly delightful;--not grand nor splendid, but replete with
quiet pictures that please the eye and touch the heart with a sense
of gladness.  The soft mosaic work of the gently rounded hills, or
figures wrought in wheat, barley, oats, beans, turnips, and meadow
and pasture land, and grouped into landscapes in endless alternation
of lights and shades, and all this happy little world now veiled by
the low, summer clouds, now flooded by a sunburst between them--all
these lovely and changing sceneries made my walk like one through a
continuous gallery of paintings.

Harvesting had commenced in real earnest, and the wheat-fields were
full of reapers, some wielding the sickle, others the scythe.  When
I saw men and women bending almost double to cut their sheaves close
to the ground, I longed to walk through a barley-field with one of
our American cradles, and show them how we do that sort of thing.
As yet I have seen no reaping machines in operation, and I doubt if
they will ever come into such extensive use here as with us, owing
to the abundance of cheap labor in this country.  I saw on this
day's walk the heaviest crop of wheat that I have noticed since I
left London.  It must have averaged sixty bushels to the acre for
the whole field.

Late in the afternoon it began to rain; and I was glad to find
shelter and entertainment at a comfortable village inn, under the
patronage of "The Green Man," perhaps a brother or near relative of
Mermadam my hostess that entertained me the preceding night.  It was
a unique old building, or rather a concrete of a great variety of
buildings devoted to a remarkable diversity of purposes, including
brewing, farming, and other occupations.  The large, low, dark
kitchen was flanked by one of the old-fashioned fire-places, with
space for a large family between the jambs, and the hollow of the
chimney ample enough to show one of the smaller constellations at
the top of it in a clear night.  A seat on the brick or stone floor
before one of these kitchen fire-places is to me the focus of the
home comforts of the house, and I always make for it mechanically.
As the darkness drew on, several agricultural laborers drifted in,
one after the other, until the broad, deep pavement of the hearth
was lined by a row of them, quite fresh from their work.  They were
quiet, sober-looking men, and they spoke with subdued voices,
without animation or excitement, as if the fatigue of the day and
the general battle of life had softened them to a serious, pensive
mood and movement.  As they sat drying their jackets around the
fire, passing successive mugs of the landlord's ale from one to the
other, they grew more and more conversational; and, as I put in a
question here and there, they gave me an insight into the general
condition, aspects and prospects of their class which I had not
obtained before.  They were quite free to answer any questions
relating to their domestic economy, their earnings, spendings, food,
drink, clothing, housing and fuel, also in reference to their
educational and religious privileges and habits.

It was now the first week of harvest; and harvest in England, in any
one locality, covers the space of a full month, in ordinary weather.
Then, as the season varies remarkably, so that one county is
frequently a week earlier in harvesting than that adjoining it on
the north, the work for the sickle is often prolonged from the
middle of July to the middle of September.  This is the period of
great expectation as well as toil for the agricultural laborers.
Every man, woman, and boy of them is all put under the stimulus of
extra earnings through these important weeks.  Even the laborers
hired by the year have a full month given them for harvesting forty
or fifty extra shillings under this stimulus.  Nearly all the grain
in England is cut for a certain stipulated sum per acre; and
thousands of all ages, with sickle or scythe in hand, see the sun
rise and set while they are at work in the field.  In the field they
generally breakfast, lunch, and dine; and when it is considered
there is daylight enough for labor between half-past three in the
morning to half-past eight at night, one may easily see how many of
the twenty-four hours they may bend to their toil.  The price for
cutting and binding wheat is from 10s. to 14s., or from $2 40c. to
$3 36c. per acre, and 8s., or $1 92c. per acre for oats and barley.
The men who cut, bind, and shock by the acre generally have to find
their own beer, and will earn from 24s. to 28s., or from $5 76c. to
$6 72c. per week.  The regular laborers frequently let themselves to
their employers during the harvest month at from 20s. to 24s. per
week, which is just about double their usual wages.  In addition to
this pay, they are often allowed two quarts of ale and two quarts of
small beer per day; not the small beer of New England, made only of
hops, ginger, and molasses; but a far more stimulating drink, quite
equal to our German lager.  This gallon of beer will cost the farmer
about 10d., or 20c.  Where the piece-work laborer furnishes his own
malt liquor, it must cost him on an average about an English
shilling, or twenty-four cents, a day.

Two or three of the men who formed the circle around the fire at The
Green Man, had come to purchase, or pay for, a keg of beer for their
harvest allowance.  It was to me a matter of half-painful interest
to see what vital importance they attached to a supply of this
stimulant--to see how much more they leaned upon its strength and
comfort than upon food.  It was not in my heart to argue the
question with them, or to seek to dispel the hereditary and pleasant
illusion, that beer alone, of all human drinks, could carry them
through the long, hot hours of toil in harvest.  Besides, I wished
to get at their own free thoughts on the subject without putting my
own in opposition to them, which might have slightly restricted
their full expression.  Every one of them held to the belief, as put
beyond all doubt or question by the experience of the present and
all past generations, that wheat, barley and oats could not be
reaped and ricked without beer, and beer at the rate of a gallon a
day per head.  Each had his string of proofs to this conviction
terminating in a pewter mug, just as some poor people praying to the
Virgin have a string of beads ending in a crucifix, which they tell
off with honest hearts and sober faces.  Each could make it stand to
reason that a man could not bear the heat and burden of harvest
labor without beer.  Each had his illustration in the case of some
poor fellow who had tried the experiment, out of principle or
economy, and had failed under it.  It was of no use to talk of
temperance and all that.  It was all very nice for well-to-do
people, who never blistered their hands at a sickle or a scythe, to
tell poor, laboring men, sweating at their hot and heavy work from
sun to sun, that they must not drink anything but milk and water or
cold tea and coffee, but put them in the wheat-field a few days, and
let them try their wishy-washy drinks and see what would become of
them.  As I have said, I did not undertake to argue the men out of
this belief, partly because I wished to learn from them all they
thought and felt on the subject, and partly, I must confess, because
I was reluctant to lay a hard hand upon a source of comfort which,
to them, holds a large portion of their earthly enjoyments,
especially when I could not replace it with a substitute which they
would accept, and which would yield them an equal amount of

A personal habit becomes a "second nature" to the individual, even
if he stands alone in its indulgence.  But when it is an almost
universal habit, coming down from generation to generation, throwing
its creepers and clingers around the social customs and industrial
economies of a great nation, it is almost like re-creating a world
to change that second nature thus strengthened.  This change is
slowly working its way in Great Britain--slowly, but perceptibly
here and there--thanks to the faithful and persevering efforts put
forth by good and true men, to enlighten the subjects of this
impoverishing and demoralising custom, which has ruled with such
despotism over the laborers of the land.  Little by little the
proper balance between the Four Great Powers of human necessity,--
Food, Drink, Raiment and Housing, so long disturbed by this habit,
is being restored.  Still, the preponderance of Drink, especially
among the agricultural laborers in England, is very striking and
sad.  As a whole, Beer must still stand before Bread--even before
Meat, and before both in many cases, in their expenditures.  The man
who sat next me, in muddy leggings, and smoking coat, was mildly
spoken, quiet, and seemingly thoughtful.  He had come for his
harvest allowance of 20s. worth of beer.  If he abstained from its
use on Sundays, he would have a ration of about tenpence's worth
daily.  That would buy him a large loaf of bread, two good cuts of
mutton or beef, and all the potatoes and other vegetables he could
eat in a day.  But he puts it all into the Jug instead of the
Basket.  Jug is the juggernaut that crushes his hard earnings in the
dust, or, without the figure, distils them into drink.  Jug swallows
up the first fruits of his industry, and leaves Basket to glean
among the sharpest thorns of his poverty.  Jug is capricious as well
as capacious.  It clamors for quality as well as quantity; it is
greedy of foaming and beaded liquors.  Basket does well if it can
bring to the reaper the food of well-kept dogs.  In visiting
different farms, I have noticed men and women at their luncheons and
dinners in the field.  A hot mutton chop, or a cut of roast-beef,
and a hot potato, seem to be a luxury they never think of in the
hardest toil of harvest.  Both the meals I have mentioned consist,
so far as I have seen, of only two articles of food,--bread and
bacon, or bread and cheese.  And this bacon is never warm, but laid
upon a slice of bread in a thin, cold layer, instead of butter, both
being cut down through with a jack-knife into morsels when eaten.

Such is a habit that devours a lion's share of the English laborer's
earnings, and leaves Food, Raiment, and Housing to shift for
themselves.  If he works by the piece and finds his own beer, it
costs him more than he pays for house rent, or for bread, or meat,
or for clothes for himself and family.  If his employer furnishes it
or pays him commutation money, it amounts for all his men to a tax
of half-a-crown to the acre for his whole farm.  There is no earthly
reason why agricultural laborers in this country should spend more
in drink than those of New England.  I am confident that if a census
were taken of all the "hired men" of our six states, and a fair
average struck, the daily expenditure for drinks would not exceed
twopence, or four cents per head, while their average wages would
amount to 4s., or 96 cents, per day through the year.  Yet our
Summers are far hotter and dryer than in England, our labor equally
hard, and there is really more natural occasion for drinks in our
harvest fields than here.  It would require a severe apprenticeship
for our men to acquire a taste for sharp ale or strong beer as a
beverage under our July sun.  A pail or jug of sweetened water,
perhaps with a few drops of cider to the pint, to sour it slightly,
and a spoonful of ginger stirred in, is our substitute for malt
liquor.  Sometimes beer made of nothing but hops, water, and a
little molasses, is brought into the field, and makes even an
exhilarating drink, without any alcoholic effect.  Cold coffee,
diluted with water, and re-sweetened, is a healthful and grateful
luxury to our farm laborers.

It would be a blessed thing for all the outdoor and indoor laborers
in this country, if the broad chasm between the strong beer of Old
England and the small beer of New England could be bridged, and they
be carried across to the shore of a better habit.  The farm hands
here need a good deal of gentle leading and suggestion in this
matter.  If some humane and ingenious man would get up a new, cheap,
cold drink, which should be nutritious, palatable and exhilarating,
without any inebriating property, it would be a boon of immeasurable
value.  Malt liquors are made in such rivers here, or rather in such
lakes with river outlets; there is such a system for their
distribution and circulation through every town, village, and
hamlet; and they are so temptingly and conveniently kegged, bottled,
and jugged, and so handy to be carried out into the field, that the
habit of drinking them is almost forced upon the poor man's lips.
If a cheaper drink, refreshing and strengthening, could be made
equally convenient and attractive, it would greatly help to break
this hereditary thraldom to the Beer-Barrel.  Another powerful
auxiliary to this good work might be contributed in the form of a
simple contrivance, which any man of mechanical genius and a kind
heart might elaborate.  In this go-ahead age, scores of things are
made portable that once were fast-anchored solidities.  We have
portable houses, portable beds, portable stoves and cooking ranges,
as well as portable steam-engines.  Now, if some benevolent and
ingenious man would get up a little portable affair, at the cost of
two or three shillings, especially for agricultural laborers in this
country, which they could carry with one hand into the field, and by
which they could make and keep hot a pot of coffee, cocoa,
chocolate, broth or porridge, and also bake a piece of meat and a
few potatoes, it would be a real benefaction to thousands, and help
them up to the high road of a better condition.

What is the best condition to which the agricultural laborers in
Great Britain may ever expect to attain, or to which they may be
raised by that benevolent effort now put forth for their elevation?
They may all be taught to read and write and do a little in the
first three rules of arithmetic.  That will raise them to a new
status and condition.  Education of the masses has become such a
vigorous idea with the Government and people of England; so much is
doing to make the children of the manufacturing districts pass
through the school-room into the factory, carrying with them the
ability and taste for reading; ragged schools, working-men's clubs,
and institutions for all kinds of cheap learning and gratuitous
teaching are multiplying so rapidly; the press is turning out such a
world of literature for the homes of the poor, and the English Post,
like a beneficent Providence, is distilling such a morning dew of
manuscript and printed thoughts over the whole length and breadth of
the country, and all these streams of elevating influence are now so
tending towards the agricultural laborers, that there is good reason
to believe the next generation of them will stand head and shoulders
above any preceding one in the stature of intelligence and self-
respect.  This in itself will give them a new status in society, as
beneficial to their employers as to themselves.  It will increase
their mutual respect, and create a better footing for their

But the first improvement demanded in their condition, and the most
pressingly urgent, is a more comfortable, decent and healthy
housing.  Until this is effected, all other efforts to raise them
mentally and morally must fail of their expected result.  The London
Times, and other metropolitan, and many local, journals publish
almost daily distressing accounts of the miserable tenements
occupied by the men and women whose labor makes England the garden
of fertility and beauty that it is.  Editors are making the subject
the theme of able and stirring articles, and some of the most
eloquent members of Parliament are speaking of it with great power.
It is not only generous but just to take the language in which the
writers and orators of a country denounce the evils existing in it
cum grano salis, or with considerable allowance for exaggeration.
Their statements and denunciations should not be used against their
country as a reproach by the people of another, because they prove
an earnest desire and effort to reform abuses which grew up in an
unenlightened past.  As a specimen of the language which is
sometimes held on this subject, I subjoin the following paragraph
from the Saturday Review, perhaps the most cynical or unsentimental
journal in England:--

"There is a wailing for the dirt and vice and misery which must
prevail in houses where seven or eight persons, of both sexes and
all ages, are penned up together for the night in the one rickety,
foul, vermin-hunted bed-room.  The picture of agricultural life
unrolls itself before us as it is painted by those who know it best.
We see the dull, clouded mind, the bovine gaze, the brutality and
recklessness, and the simple audacity, and the confessed hatred of
his betters, which mark the English peasant, unless some happy
fortune has saved him from the general lot, and persuaded him that
life has something besides beer that the poor man may have and may

Now this is a sad picture truly.  The pen is sharp and cuts like a
knife,--but it is the surgeon's knife, not the poisoned barb of a
foreigner's taunt.  This is the hopeful and promising aspect of
these delineations and denunciations of the laboring man's
condition.  That low, damp, ill-ventilated, contracted room in which
he pens his family at night, was, quite likely, constructed in the
days of Good Queen Bess, or when "George the Third was King," at the
latest.  And houses were built for good, substantial farmers in
those days which they would hardly house their horses in now.  There
are hundreds of mechanics and day-laborers in Edinburgh who pen
their families nightly in apartments once owned and occupied by
Scotch dukes and earls, but which a journeyman shoemaker of New
England would be loth to live in rent free.  Even the favorite room
of Queen Mary, in Holyrood Palace, in which she was wont to tea and
talk with Rizzio, would be too small and dim for the shop-parlor of
a small London tradesman of the present day.  Thus, after all, the
low-jointed, low-floored, small-windowed, ill-ventilated cottages
now occupied by the agricultural laborers of England were
proportionately as good as the houses built at the same period for
the farmers of the country, many of which are occupied by farmers
now, and the like of which never could be erected again on this
island.  Indeed, one wonders at finding so many of these old farm
houses still inhabited by well-to-do people, who could well afford
to live in better buildings.

This, then, is a hopeful sign, and both pledge and proof of
progress--that the very cottages of laboring men in England that
once figured so poetically in the histories and pictures of rural
life, are now being turned inside out to the scrutiny of a more
enlightened and benevolent age, revealing conditions that stir up
the whole community to painful sensibility and to vigorous efforts
to improve them.  These cottages were just as low, damp, small and
dirty thirty years ago as they are now, and the families "penned" in
them at night were doubtless as large, and perhaps more ignorant
than those which inhabit them at the present time.  It is not the
real difference between the actual conditions of the two periods but
the difference in the dispositions and perceptions of the public
mind, that has produced these humane sensibilities and efforts for
the elevation of the ploughers, sowers, reapers and mowers who
enrich and beautify this favored land with their patient and poorly-
paid labor.  And there is no doubt that these newly-awakened
sentiments and benevolent activities will carry the day; replacing
the present tenements of the agricultural laborers with comfortable,
well-built cottages, fitted for the homes of intelligent and
virtuous families.  This work has commenced in different sections
under favorable auspices.  Buildings have been erected on an estate
here and there which will be likely to serve as models for whole
hamlets of new tenements.  From what I have heard, I should think
that Lord Overstone, of the great banking house of the Lloyds, has
produced the best models for cottage homes, on his estates in
Northamptonshire.  Although built after the most modern and improved
plan, and capacious enough to accommodate a considerable family very
comfortably, almost elegantly, the yearly rent is only 3 pounds, or
less than _fifteen dollars_!

Now with a three-pound cottage, having a parlor, kitchen, bed-room
and buttery on the lower floor, and an equal number of apartments on
the upper; with a forty-rod garden to grow his vegetables, and with
a free school for his children at easy walking distance, the
agricultural laborer in England will be placed as far forward on the
road of improvement as the Government or people, or both, can set
him.  The rest of the way upward and onward he must make by his own
industry, virtue and economy.  From this point he must work out his
own progress and elevation.  No Government, nor any benevolent
association, nor general nor private benevolence, can regulate the
rate of his wages.  The labor market will determine that, just as
the Corn Exchange does the price of wheat.  But there is one thing
he can do to raise himself in civil stature, moral growth, and
domestic comfort.  He may empty the Jug into the Basket.  He and his
family may consume in solids what they now do in frothy fluids.
They may exchange their scanty dinner of cold bacon and bread for
one of roast beef and plum pudding, by substituting cold coffee,
cocoa or pure water for strong beer.  Or, if they are content to go
on with their old fare of food, they may save the money they
expended in ale for the rent of one or two acres of land, for a cow,
or for two or three pigs, or deposit it weekly in the Post-Office
Savings' Bank, until it shall amount to a sum sufficient to enable
them to set up a little independent business of their own.

Here, then, are three great steps indispensable for the elevation of
the agricultural laborers of Great Britain to the highest level in
society which they can reach and maintain.  Two of these the
Government, or the land-owners, or both, must take.  They are
Improved Dwellings and Free and Accessible Education.  These the
laborer cannot provide for himself and family.  It is utterly beyond
his ability to do it.  The third, last, long step must depend
entirely upon himself; though he may be helped on by sympathy,
suggestion, and encouragement from those who know how hard a thing
it is for the fixed appetites to break through the meshes of habit.
He must make drink the cheapest of human necessities.  He must
exchange Beer for Bread, for clothes, for books, or for things that
give permanent comfort and enjoyment.  When these three steps are
accomplished, the British laborer will stand before his country in
the best position it can give him.  And I believe it will be a
position which will make him contented and happy, and be
satisfactory to all classes of the people.

After all that can be done for them, the wages of the agricultural
laborers of Great Britain cannot be expected to exceed, on an
average, twelve shillings a week, or about half the price of the
same labor in America.  Their rent and clothes cost them, perhaps,
less than half the sum paid by our farm hands for the same items of
expenditure.  Their food must also cost only about half of what our
men pay, who would think they were poor indeed if they could not
have hot meat breakfasts, roast or boiled beef dinners and cold meat
suppers, with the usual sprinkling of puddings, pies, and cakes, and
tea sweetened with loaf sugar.  Thus, after all, put the English
laborer in the position suggested; give him such a three-pound
cottage and garden as Lord Overstone provides; give his children
free and convenient schooling; then let him exchange his ale for
nutritious and almost costless drinks, and if he is still able to
live for a few years on his old food-fare, he may work his way up to
a very comfortable condition with his twelve shillings a week,
besides his beer-money.  On these conditions he would be able almost
to run neck and neck with our hired men in the matter of saving
money "for a rainy day," or for raising himself to a higher

We will put them side by side, after the suggested improvements have
been realised; assuming each has a wife, with two children too young
to earn anything at field work.

American Laborer at 24s per week       English Laborer, at 12s per

Weekly Expense     $  c.   s. d        Weekly Expense     s. d.  $ c
for:--                                 for:--
-------------------------------        ----------------------------
Food               3 50 = 14  7        Food               7  3 = 1
Rent and Taxes     0 67 =  2  9        Rent               1  2 = O
Fuel, average of
     the year      O 48 =  2  O        For Fuel           1  O = O
For Clothes        1  0 =  4  2        For Clothes        2  1 = 0

Total Weekly                           Total Weekly
   Expenses       --------------          Expenses       -----------
                   5 65 = 23  6                          11  6 = 2
                  --------------                         -----------

I think the American reader, who is personally acquainted with the
habits and domestic economy of our farm laborers, will regard this
estimate of their expenditures as quite moderate.  I have assumed,
in both cases, that no time is lost in the week on account of
sickness, or of weather, or lack of employment; and all the
incidental expenses I have included in the four general items given.
It must also be conceded that our farm hands do not average more
than twenty-four English shillings, or $5 75c., per week, through
all the seasons of the year.  The amount of expenditure allowed in
the foregoing estimate enables them to support themselves and their
families comfortably, if they are temperate and industrious; to
clothe and educate their children; to make bright and pleasant
homes, with well-spread tables, and to have respectable seats in
church on the Sabbath.  On the other hand, we have assigned to the
English agricultural laborer what he would regard a proportionately
comfortable allowance for the wants of a week.  We may not have
divided it correctly, but the total of the items is as great as he
would expect to expend on the current necessities of seven days.  I
doubt if one in a thousand of the farm laborers of Great Britain
lays out more than the sum we have allotted for one week's food,
rent, and fuel and clothes.  We then reach this result of the
balance-sheet of the two men.  Their weekly savings hardly differ by
a penny; each amounting to about 5d., or 10 cents.  At first sight,
it might seem, from this result, that the English farm laborer earns
half as much, lives half as well, and saves as much as the American.
But he has a resource for increasing his weekly savings which his
American competitor would work his fingers to the bone before he
would employ.  His wife is able and willing to go with him into the
field and earn from three to five shillings a week.  Then, if he
commutes with his employer, he will receive from him 4d. daily, or
2s. a week, for beer-money.  Thus, if he and his wife are willing to
live, as such families do now, on bread, bacon and cheese, and such
vegetables as they can grow in their garden, they may lay up, from
their joint earnings, a dollar, or four shillings a week, provided a
sufficiently stimulating object be set before them.  To me it is
surprising that they sustain so much human life on such small means.
They are often reproached for their want of wise economy; but never
was more keen ingenuity, more close balancing of pennies against
provisions than a great many of them practice and teach.  Let the
most astute or utilitarian of social economists try the experiment
of housing, feeding and clothing himself, wife and six children too
young to earn anything, on ten or twelve shillings a week; and he
will learn something that his philosophy never dreamed of.

Even while bending under the weight of the beer-barrel, thousands of
agricultural laborers in England have accomplished wonders by their
indefatigable industry, integrity and economy.  Put a future before
them with a sun in it--some object they may reach that is worth a
life's effort, and as large a proportion of them will work for it as
you will find in any other country.  A servant girl told me recently
that her father was a Devonshire laborer, who worked the best years
of his life for seven shillings a week, and her mother for three,
when they had half a dozen children to feed and clothe.  Yet, by
that unflagging industry and ingenious economy with which thousands
wrestle with the necessities of such a life and throw them, too,
they put saving to saving, until they were able to rent an acre of
orcharding, a large garden for vegetables, then buy a donkey and
cart, then a pony and cart, and load and drive them both to market
with their own and their neighbors' produce, starting from home at
two in the morning.  In a few years they were able to open a little
grocery and provision shop, and are now taking their rank among the
tradespeople of the village.  But if the farm servants of England
could only be induced to give up beer and lay by the money paid them
as a substitute, it alone would raise them to a new condition of
comfort, even independence.  At 4d. a day commutation money, they
would have each 5 pounds at the end of the year.  That would pay the
rent of two acres of land here; or it would buy five on the Illinois
Central Railroad.  Three years' beer-money would pay for those rich
prairie acres, his fare by sea and land to them, and leave him 3
pounds in his pocket to begin their cultivation with.  Three years
of this saving would make almost a new man of him at home, in the
way of self-respect, comfort and progress.  It would be a "nest-
egg," to which hope, habit and a strengthening ambition would add
others of larger size and value from year to year.

Give, then, the British agricultural laborer good, healthy Housing,
Free Schooling, and let him empty the Jug into the Basket, and he
may work his way up to a very comfortable condition at home.  But if
he should prefer to go to Australia or America, where land is cheap
and labor dear, in a few years he may save enough to take him to
either continent, with sufficient left in his pocket to begin life
in a new world.



Having now pursued a westerly direction until I was in the range of
a continuous upland section of country, I took a northward course
and walked on to Oundle, a goodly town in Northamptonshire, as
unique as its name.  On the way, in crossing over to another
turnpike road, I passed through a large tract of land in a very
deshabille condition, rough, boggy and bushy.  I soon found it was a
game-growing estate, and very productive of all sorts of birds and
small quadrupeds.  The fields I crossed showed a promising crop of
hares and rabbits; and doubtless there were more partridges on that
square mile than in the whole State of Connecticut.  This is a
characteristic of the country which will strike an American, at his
first visit, with wonder.  He will see hares and rabbits bobbing
about on common farms, and partridges in broods, like separate
flocks of hens and chickens, in fields of grain, within a stone's
throw of the farmer's house.  I doubt if any county in New England
produces so many in a year as the holding of Mr. Samuel Jonas
already described.  Rabbits have been put out of the pale of
protection somewhat recently, I believe, and branded with the bad
name of _vermin_; so that the tenant farmer may kill them on his
occupation without leave or license from the landlord.  It may
indicate their number to state the fact, that one hundred and
twenty-five head of them were killed in one day's shooting on Mr.
Jonas's estate by his sons and some of their friends.

It was market day in Oundle, and I had the pleasure of sitting down
to dinner with a large company of farmers and cattle and corn-
dealers.  They were intelligent, substantial-looking men, with no
occupational peculiarity of dress or language to distinguish them
from ordinary middle-class gentlemen engaged in trade or
manufacture.  Indeed, the old-fashioned English farmer, of the
great, round, purply-red face, aldermanic stature, and costume of
fifty years ago, speaking the dialect of his county with such
inimitable accent, is fast going out.  I have not seen one during my
present sojourn in England.  I fear he has disappeared altogether
with the old stage-coach, and that we have not pictures enough of
him left to give the rising generation any correct notion of what he
was, and how he looked.  It may be a proper and utilitarian change,
but one can hardly notice without regret what transformations the
railway regime has wrought in customs and habits which once
individualised a country and people.  A kind of French
centralisation in the world of fashion has been established, which
has over-ridden and obliterated all the dress boundaries of
civilised nations.  All the upper and middle classes of Christendom
centre themselves to one focus of taste and merge into one plastic
commonwealth, to be shaped and moulded virtually by a common tailor.
Their coats, vests, pantaloons, boots and shoes are made
substantially after the same pattern.  For a while, hats stood out
with some show of pluck and patriotism, and made a stand for
national individuality, but it was in vain.  They, too, succumbed to
the inexorable law of Uniformity.  That law was liberal in one
respect.  It did not insist that the stove-pipe form should rule
inflexibly.  It admitted several variations, including wide-awakes,
pliable felts, and that little, squat, lackadaisical, round-crown,
narrow-brimmed thing worn by the Prince of Wales in the photographs
taken of him and the Princess at Sandringham.  But this has come to
be the rule:  that hats shall no longer represent distinct
nationalities; that they shall be interchangeable in all civilised
communities; in a word, that neither Englishman, American, French
nor German shall be known by his hat, whatever be the form or
material of its body or brim.  If there were a southern county in
England where the mercury stood at 100 degrees in the shade for two
or three summer months, the upper classes in it would don, without
any hesitation, the wide, flappy broadbrims of California, and still
be in the fashion,--that is, variety in uniformity.  The peasantry,
or the lowest laboring classes of European countries, are now, and
will remain perhaps for a century to come, the only conservators of
the distinctive national costumes of bygone generations.

During the conversation at the table, a farmer exhibited a head of
the Hallett wheat, which he had grown on his land.  I never saw
anything to equal it, in any country in which I have travelled.  It
was nearly six inches in length, and seeded large and plump from top
to bottom.  This is a variety produced by Mr. Hallett, of Brighton,
and is creating no little interest among English grain-growers.
Lord Burghley, who had tested its properties, thus describes it, in
a speech before the Northamptonshire Agricultural Society last

"At the Battersea Show last year, my attention was called to some
enormous ears of wheat, which I thought could not have been grown in
England.  For, although the British farmer can grow corn with
anyone, I had never seen such wheat here, and thought it must be
foreign wheat.  I went to the person who was threshing some out, and
having been informed that it was sown only with one seed in a hole,
I procured some of Mr. Hallett, of Brighton; and, being anxious to
try the system, I planted it according to Mr. Hallett's directions--
one grain in a hole, the holes nine and a half inches apart, with
six inches between the rows.  To satisfy myself on the subject, I
also planted some according to Stephen's instructions, who said
three grains in a hole would produce the most profitable return.  I
also planted some two grains in a hole.  I sowed the grain at the
end of last September, on bad land, over an old quarry, and except
some stiff clay at the bottom of it, there was nothing in it good
for wheat.  The other day I counted the stalks of all three.  On Mr.
Stephen's plan of three grains in a hole, there were eighteen
stalks; with two grains in a hole, there was about the same number;
but with one seed in a hole, the lowest number of stalks was
sixteen, and the highest twenty-two.  I planted only about half an
acre as a trial, and when I left home a few days since, it looked as
much like eight quarters (sixty-four bushels) to the acre as any I
have seen.  The ears are something enormous.  I would certainly
recommend every farmer to make his own experiments, for if it
succeeds, it will prove a great economy of seed; and drills to
distribute it fairly are to be had."

Truly one of Hallett's wheat ears might displace the old cornucopia
in that picture of happy abundance so familiar to old and young.
Here are twenty ears from one seed, containing probably a thousand
grains.  The increase of a thousand-fold, or half that ratio, is
prodigious, having nothing to equal it in the vegetable world that
we know of.  If one bushel of seed wheat could be so distributed by
a drill as to produce 500 or 250 bushels at the harvest, certainly
the staff of life would be greatly cheapened to the millions who
lean upon it alone for subsistence.

From Oundle I walked the next day to Stamford, a good, solid, old
English town, sitting on the corners of three counties, and on three
layers of history, Saxon, Dane and Norman.  The first object of
interest was a stone bridge over the Nen at Oundle.  It is a grand
structure to span such a little river.  It must have cost three
times as much as "The Great Bridge" over the Connecticut at
Hartford; and yet the stream it crosses is a mere rivulet compared
with our New England river.  "The bridge with wooden piers" is a
fabric of fancy to most English people.  They have read of such a
thing in Longfellow's poems, but hardly realise that it exists still
in civilised countries.  Here bridges are works of art as well as of
utility, and rank next to the grand old cathedrals and parish
churches for solidity and symmetry.  Their stone arches are
frequently turned with a grace as fine as any in St. Paul's, and
their balustrades and butments often approach the domain of

Crossing the Nen, I followed it for several miles in a northerly
direction.  I soon came to a rather low, level section of the road,
and noticed stones placed at the side of it, at narrow intervals,
for a long distance to the very foot of a village situated on a
rising ground.  These stones were evidently taken from some ancient
edifice, for many of them bore the marks of the old cathedral or
castle chisel.  They were the foot-tracks of a ruined monument of
dark and painful history.  More than this might be said of them.
They were the blood-drops of a monstrosity chased from its den and
hunted down by the people, who shuddered with horror at its
sanguinary record of violence and wrong.  As I approached the quiet
village, whose pleasant-faced houses, great and small, looked like a
congregation of old and young sitting reverently around the parish
church and listening to the preaching of the belfry, I saw where
these stones came from.  There, on that green, ridgy slope, where
the lambs lay in the sun by the river, these stones, and a million
more scattered hither and thither, once stood in walls high, hideous
and wrathful, for half a dozen centuries and more.  If the
breathings of human woe, if the midnight misery of wretched, broken
hearts, could have penetrated these stones, one might almost fancy
that they would have sweat with human histories in the ditch where
they lay, and discolored the puddles they bridged with the bitter
distilment of grief centuries old.  On that gentle rising from the
little Nen stood Fotheringay Castle.  That central depression among
the soft-carpeted ridges marks the site of the donjon huge and
horrid, where many a knight and lady of noble blood was pinioned or
penned in darkness and hopeless duress centuries before the
unfortunate Mary was born.  There nearly half the sad years of her
young life and beauty were prisoned.  There she pined in the
sickness of hope deferred, in the corroding anguish of dread
uncertainty, for a space as wide as that between the baptismal font
and presentation at Elizabeth's court.  There she laid her white
neck upon the block.  There fell the broad axe of Elizabeth's envy,
fear and hate.  There fell the fair-haired head that once gilded a
crown and wore all the glory of regal courts--still beautiful in the
setting light of farewell thoughts.

It may be truly said of Fotheringay Castle, that not one stone is
left upon another to mark its foundations.  Not Fleet-street Prison,
nor the Bastille itself, went out under a heavier weight of popular
odium.  Although public sentiment, as well as the personal taste and
interest of their proprietors, has favored the preservation of the
ruins of old castles and abbeys in Great Britain, Fotheringay bore,
branded deep in its forehead, the mark of Cain, and every man's
hand, of the last generation, seemed to have been turned against it.
It has not only been demolished, but the debris have been scattered
far and wide, and devoted to uses which they scarcely honor.  You
will see the well-faced stones for miles around, in garden walls,
pavements, cottage hearths and chimneys, in stables and cow-houses.
In Oundle, the principal hotel, a large castellated building, shows
its whole front built of them.

The great lion of Stamford is the Burghley House, the palace of the
Marquis of Exeter.  It may be called so without exaggeration of its
magnificence as a building or of the extent and grandeur of its
surroundings.  The edifice itself would cut up into nearly half a
dozen "White Houses," such as we install our American Presidents in
at Washington.  Certainly, in any point of view, it is large and
splendid enough for the residence of an emperor and his suite.  Its
towers, turrets and spires present a picturesque grove of
architecture of different ages, and its windows, it is said, equal
in number all the days of the year.  It was not open to the public
the day I was in Stamford, so I could only walk around it and
estimate its interior by its external grandeur.

But there was an outside world of architecture in the park of
sublimer features to me than even the great palace itself, with all
its ornate and elaborate sculpture.  It was the architecture of the
majestic elms and oaks that stood in long ranks and folded their
hands, high up in the blue sky, above the finely-gravelled walks
that radiated outward in different directions.  They all wore the
angles and arches of the Gothic order and the imperial belt of
several centuries.  I walked down one long avenue and counted them
on either side.  There were not sixty on both; yet their green and
graceful roofage reached a full third of a mile.  Not sixty to
pillar and turn such an arch as that!  I sat down on a seat at the
end to think of it.  There was a morning service going on in this
Cathedral of Nature.  The dew-moistened, foliated arches so lofty,
so interwebbed with wavy, waky spangles of sky, were all set to the
music of the anthem.  "The street musicians of the heavenly city"
were singing one of its happiest hymns out of their mellow throats.
The long and lofty orchestra was full of them.  Their twittering
treble shook the leaves with its breath, as it filtered down and
flooded the temple below.  Beautiful is this building of God!
Beautiful and blessed are these morning singing-birds of His praise!

But do not go yet.  No; I will not.  Here is the only book I carry
with me on this walk--a Hebrew Psalter, stowed away in my knapsack.
I will open it here and now, and the first words my eye lights upon
shall be a text for a few thoughts on this scene and scenery.  And
here they are,--seemingly not apposite to this line of reflection,
yet running parallel to it very closely:


The best English that can be given of these words we have in our
translation:  "Blessed is he who, passing through the valley of
Baca, maketh it a well."  Why so?  On what ground?  If a man had
settled down in that valley for life, there would have been no merit
in his making it a well.  It might, in that case, have been an act
of lean-hearted selfishness on his part.  Further than this, a man
might have done it who could have had the heart to wall it in from
the reach of thirsty travellers.  No such man was meant in the
blessing; nor any man resident in or near the valley.  It was he who
was "passing through" it, and who stopped, not to search for a
dribbling vein of water to satisfy his own momentary thirst, but to
make a well, broad and deep, after the oriental circumference, at
which all future travellers that way might drink with gladness.
That was the man on whom the blessing rested as a _condition_, not
as a _wish_.  Look at the word, and get the right meaning of it.  It
is [HEBREW WORD], not [HEBREW WORD]; it is a blessedness, not a
benediction.  It means a permanent reality of happiness, like that
of Obededom, not a cheap "I thank you!" or "the Lord bless you!"
from here and there a man or woman who appreciates the benefaction.

And he deserves the same who, "passing through" the short years of
man's life here on earth, plants trees like the living, lofty
columns of this long cathedral aisle.  How unselfish and generous is
this gift to coming generations!  How inestimable in its value and
surpassing the worth of wealth!--surpassing the measurement of gold
and silver!  From my seat here, I look up to the magnificent
frontage of that baronial palace.  I see its towers, turrets and
minarets; its grand and sculptured gateways and portals through this
long, leaf-arched aisle.  Not forty, but nearer four hundred years,
doubtless, was that pile in building.  Architecture of the pre-
Norman period, and of all subsequent or cognate orders, diversifies
the tastes and shapings of the structure.  Suppose the whole should
take fire to-night and burn to the ground.  The wealth of the owner
could command genius, skill and labor enough to rebuild it in three
years, perhaps in one.  The Czar of all the Russias did as large a
thing once as this last, in the reconstruction of a palace.  Perhaps
the building is insured for its positive value, and the insurance
money would erect a better one.  But lift an axe upon that tall
centurion of these templed elms.  Cut through the closely-grained
rings that register each succeeding year of two centuries.  Hear the
peculiar sounding of the heart-strokes, when the lofty, well-poised
structure is balancing itself, and quivering through every fibre and
leaf and twig on the few unsevered tendons that have not yet felt
the keen edge of the woodman's steel.  See the first leaning it
cannot recover.  Hear the first cracking of the central vertebra;
then the mournful, moaning whir in the air; then the tremendous
crash upon the green earth; the vibration of the mighty trunk on the
ground, like the writhing and tremor of an ox struck by the
butcher's axe; the rebound into the air of dismembered branches; the
frightened flight of leaves and dust, and all the other distractions
of that hour of death and destruction.  Look upon that ruin!  The
wealth, genius and labor that could build a hundred Windsor Castles,
and rebuild all the cathedrals of England in a decade, could not
rebuild in two centuries that elm to the life and stature you
levelled to the dust in two hours.

Put, then, the man who plants trees for posterity with him who,
"passing through the valley of Baca, maketh it a well."  Put him
under the same blessing of his kind, for he deserves it.  He gives
them the richest earthly gift that a man can give to a coming
generation.  In a practical sense, he gives them _time_.  He gives
them a whole century, as an extra.  If they would pay a gold
sovereign for every solid inch of oak, they could not hire one built
to the stature of one of these trees in less than two centuries'
time, though they dug about it and nursed it as the man did the vine
in Scripture.  Blessed be the builders of these living temples of
Nature!  Blessed be the man, rich or poor, old or young, especially
the old, who sets his heart and hand to this cheap but sublime and
priceless architecture.

Let connoisseurs who have seen Memphis, Nineveh, Athens, Rome, or
any or all of the great cities of the East, ancient or modern, come
and sit here, and look at this lofty corridor, and mark the orders
and graces of its architecture.  What did the Ptolemies, their
predecessors or successors in Egypt, or sovereigns of Chaldaic
names, in Assyria, or ambitious builders in the ages of Pericles or
Augustus, in Greece or Rome?  Their structures were the wonders of
the world.  Mighty men they were, whose will was law, whose subjects
worked it out to its wildest impulse without a murmur or a reward.
But who built this sixty-columned temple, and bent these lofty
arches?  Two or three centuries ago, two men in coarse garb, and, it
may be, in wooden shoes, came here with a donkey, bearing on its
back a bundle of little elms, each of a finger's girth.  They came
with the rude pick and spade of that time; and, in the first six
working hours of the day, they dug thirty holes on this side of the
aisle, and planted in them half the tiny trees of their bundle.
They then sat down at noon to their bread and cheese and, most
likely, a mug of ale, and talked of small, home matters, just as if
they were dibbling in a small patch of wheat or potatoes.  They then
went to work again and planted the other row; and, as the sun was
going down, they straightened their backs, and, with hands stayed
upon their hips, looked up and down the two lines and thought they
would pass muster and please the master.  Then they shouldered their
brightened tools and went home to their low, dark cottages,
discussing the prices of bread, beer and bacon, and whether the
likes of them could manage to keep a pig and make a little meat in
the year for themselves.

That is the story of this most magnificent structure to which you
look up with such admiration.  Those two men in smock frocks, each
with a pocket full of bread and cheese, were the Michael Angelos of
this lofty St. Peter's.  That donkey, with its worn panniers, was
the only witness and helper of their work.  And it was the work of a
day!  They may have been paid two English shillings for it.  The
little trees may have cost two shillings more, if taken from another
estate.  The donkey's day was worth sixpence.  O, wooden-shoed
Ptolemies! what a day's work was that for the world!  They thought
nothing of it--nothing more than they would of transplanting sixty
cabbages.  They most likely did the same thing the next day, and for
most of the days of that year, and of the next year, until all these
undulating acres were planted with trees of every kind that could
grow in these latitudes.  How cheap, but priceless, is the gift of
such trees to mankind!  What a wealth, what a glory of them can even
a poor, laboring man give to a coming generation!  They are the most
generous crops ever sown by human hands.  All others the sower reaps
and garners into his own personal enjoyment; but this yields its
best harvest to those who come after him.  This is a seeding for
posterity.  From this well of Baca shall they draw the cooling
luxury of the gift when the hands that made it shall have gone to

And this is a good place and time to think of home--of what we begin
to hear called by her younger children, _Old_ New England.  Trees
with us have passed through the two periods specified by Solomon--"a
time to plant and a time to pluck up."  The last came first and
lasted for a century.  Trees were the natural enemies to the first
settlers, and ranked in their estimation with the wild Indians,
wolves and bears.  It was their first, great business to cut them
down, both great and small.  Forests fell before the woodman's axe.
It made clean work, and seldom spared an oak or an elm.  But, at the
end of a century, the people relented and felt their mistake.  Then
commenced "the time to plant;" first in and around cities like
Boston, Hartford, and New Haven, then about villages and private
homesteads.  Tree-planting for use and ornament marks and measures
the footsteps of our civilization.  The present generation is
reaping a full reward of this gift to the next.  Every village now
is coming to be embowered in this green legacy to the future; like a
young mother decorating a Christmas-tree for her children.  Towns
two hundred years old are taking the names of this diversified
architecture, and they glory in the title.  New Haven, with a
college second to none on the American Continent, loves to be called
"The Elm City," before any other name.  This generous and elevating
taste is making its way from ocean to ocean, even marking the sites
of towns and villages before they are built.  I believe there is an
act of the Connecticut Legislature now in force, which allows every
farmer a certain sum of money for every tree he plants along the
public roadside of his fields.  The object of this is to line all
the highways of the State with ornamental trees, so that each shall
be a well-shaded avenue.  What a gift to another generation that
simple act is intended to make!  What a world of wonder and delight
will our little State be to European travellers and tourists of the
next century, if this measure shall be carried out!  If a few miles
of such avenues as Burghley Park and Chatsworth present, command
such admiration, what sentiments would a continuous avenue of trees
of equal size from Hartford to New Haven inspire!

While on this line of reflection, I will mention a case of
monumental tree-planting in New England, not very widely known
there.  A small town, in the heart of Massachusetts, was stirred to
the liveliest emotion, with all the rest in her borders, by the
Declaration of Independence in 1776.  Different communities
expressed their sense of the importance of this event in different
ways, most of which were noisy and excited.  But the good people of
this rural parish came together, and, at a happy suggestion from
some one of their number, agreed to spend the day in planting trees
to commemorate the momentous transaction.  They forthwith set to
work, young and old, and planted first a double row on each side of
the walk from the main road up "The Green" to their church door;
then a row on each side of the public highway passing through the
village, for nearly a mile in each direction.  There was a blessed
day's work for them, their children and children's children.  Every
hand that wielded a spade, or held up a treelet until its roots were
covered with earth, has long since lost its cunning; but the tall,
green monuments they erected to the memory of the most momentous day
in American history, stand in unbroken ranks, the glory of the

Although America will never equal England, probably, in compact and
picturesque "plantations," or "woods," covering hundreds of acres,
all planted by hand, our shade-trees will outnumber hers, and
surpass them in picturesque distribution and arrangement, when our
popular programme is fully carried out.  In two or three important
particulars, we have a considerable advantage over this country in
respect to this tasteful embellishment.  In the first place, all the
farmers in America own the lands they cultivate, and, on an average,
two sides of every farm front upon a public road.  Two or three
days' work suffices for planting a row of trees the whole length of
this frontage, or the roadside of the farmer's fence or wall.  This
is being done more and more extensively from year to year, generally
under the influence of public taste and custom, and sometimes under
the stimulus of governmental compensation, as in Connecticut.  Thus,
in the life of the present generation, all our main roads and cross-
roads may become arched and shaded avenues, giving the whole
landscape of the country an aspect which no other land will present.

Then we have another great advantage which England can never attain
until she learns how to consume her coal smoke.  Our wood and
anthracite fires make no smoke to retard the growth or blacken the
foliage of our trees.  Thus we may have them in standing armies,
tall and green, lining the streets, and overtopping the houses of
our largest cities; filtering with their wholesome leafage the air
breathed by the people.  New Haven and Cleveland are good specimens
of beautifully-shaded towns.

There is a third circumstance in our favor as yet, and of no little
value.  The grand old English oak and elm are magnificent trees, in
park or hedge-row here.  The horse-chestnut, lime, beech and ash
grow to a size that you will not see in America.  The Spanish
chestnut, a larger and coarser tree than our American, reaches an
enormous girth and spread.  The pines, larches and firs abound.
Then there are tree-hunters exploring all the continents, and
bringing new species from Japan and other antipodean countries.  But
as yet, our maples have never been introduced; and without these the
tree-world of any country must ever lack a beautiful feature, both
in spring, summer and autumn, especially in the latter.  Our
autumnal scenery without the maple, would be like the play of Hamlet
with Hamlet left out; or like a royal court without a queen.  Few
Americans, even loudest in its praise, realise how much of the glory
of our Indian summer landscape is shed upon it by this single tree.
At all the Flower Shows I have seen in England and France, I have
never beheld a bouquet so glorious and beautiful as a little islet
in a small pellucid lake in Maine, filled to the brim, and rounded
up like a full-blown rose, with firs, larches, white birches and
soft maples, with a little sprinkling of the sumach.  An early frost
had touched the group with every tint of the rainbow, and there it
stood in the ruddy glow of the Indian summer, looking at its face in
the liquid mirror that smiled, still as glass, under its feet.

I was much pleased to notice what honor was put upon one of our
humble and despised trees in Burghley House park, as in the grounds
of other noblemen.  There was not one that spread such delicate and
graceful tresses on the breeze as our White Birch; not one that
fanned it with such a gentle, musical flutter of silver-lined
leaves; not one that wore a bodice of such virgin white from head to
foot, or that showed such long, tapering fingers against the sky.  I
was glad to see such justice done to a tree in the noblest parks in
England, which with us has been treated with such disdain and
contumely.  When I saw it here in such glory and honor, and thought
how, notwithstanding its Caucasian complexion, it is regarded as a
nuisance in our woods, meadows and pastures, so that any man who
owns, or can borrow an axe, may cut it down without leave or license
wherever he finds it--when I saw this disparity in its status in the
two Englands, I resolved to plead its cause in my own with new zeal
and fidelity.



From Stamford to Oakham was an afternoon walk which I greatly
enjoyed.  This was the first week of harvest, and the first of
August.  How wonderfully the seasons are localised and subdivided.
How diversified is the economy of light and heat!  That field of
wheat, thick, tall and ripe for the sickle, was green and apparently
growing through all the months of last winter.  What a phenomenon it
would have been, on the first of February last, to a New England
farmer, suddenly transported from his snow-buried hills to the view
of this landscape the same day!  Not a spire of grass or grain was
alive when he left his own homestead.  All was cold and dead.  The
very earth was frozen to the solidity and sound of granite.  It was
a relief to his eye to see the snow fall upon the scene and hide it
two feet deep for months.  He looks upon this, then upon the one he
left behind.  This looks full of luxuriant life, as green as his in
May.  It has three months' start of his dead and buried crop.  He
walks across it; his shoes sink almost to the instep in the soft
soil.  He sees birds hopping about in it without overcoats.  Surely,
he says to himself, this is a favored land.  Here it lies on the
latitudes of Labrador, and yet its midwinter fields are as green as
ours in the last month of Spring.  At this rate the farmers here
must harvest their wheat before the ears of mine are formed.  But he
counts without Nature.  The American sun overtakes and distances the
English by a full month.  Here is the compensation for six
consecutive months in which the New England farmer must house his
plough and not turn a furrow.

Doubtless, as much light and heat brighten and warm one country as
the other in the aggregate of a year.  But there is a great
difference in the economy of distribution.  In England, the sun
spreads its warmth more evenly over the four seasons of the year.
What it withholds from Summer it gives to Winter, and makes it wear
the face of Spring through its shortest and coldest days.  But then
Spring loses a little from this equalising dispensation.  It is not
the resurrection from death and the grave as it is in America.
Children are not waiting here at the sepulchre of the season, as
with us, watching and listening for its little Bluebird angel to
warble from the first budding tree top, "_It is risen_!"  They do
not come running home with happy eyes, dancing for joy, and shouting
through the half open door, "O, mother, Spring has come!  We've
heard the Bluebird!  Hurrah!  Spring has come.  We saw the Phebee on
the top of the saw-mill!"  Here Spring makes no sensation; takes no
sudden leap into the seat of Winter, but comes in gently, like the
law of primogeniture or the British Constitution.  It is slow and
decorous in its movements.  It is conservative, treats its
predecessor with much deference, and makes no sudden and radical
changes in the face of things.  It comes in with no Lord Mayor's
Day, and blows no trumpets, and bends no triumphal arches to grace
its entree.  Few new voices in the tree-tops hail its advent.  No
choirs of tree-toads fiddle in the fens.  No congregation of frogs
at twilight gather to the green edges of the unfettered pond to sing
their Old Hundred, led by venerable Signor Cronker, in his bright,
buskin doublet, mounted on a floating stump, and beating time with a
bulrush.  No Shad-spirits with invisible wings, perform their
undulating vespers in the heavens, to let the fishermen know that it
is time to look to their nets.  Even the hens of the farm-yard
cackle with no new tone of hope and animation at the birth of the
English Spring.  The fact is, it is a baby three months old when it
is baptised.  It is really born at Christmas instead of Easter, and
makes no more stir in the family circle of the seasons than any
familiar face would at a farmer's table.

In a utilitarian point of view, it is certainly an immense advantage
to all classes in this country, that Nature has tempered her
climates to it in this kindly way.  I will not run off upon that
line of reflection here, but will make it the subject of a few
thoughts somewhere this side of John O'Groat's.  But what England
gains over us in the practical, she loses in the poetical, in this
economy of the seasons.  Her Spring does not thrill like a sudden
revelation, as with us.  It does not come out like the new moon,
hanging its delicate silver crescent in the western pathway of the
setting sun, which everybody tries to see first over the right
shoulder, for the very luck of the coincidence.  Still, both
countries should be contented and happy under this dispensation of
Nature.  The balance is very satisfactory, and well suited to the
character and habits of the two peoples.  The Americans are more
radical and sensational than the English; more given to sudden
changes and stirring events.  Sterne generally gets the credit of
saying that pretty thought first, "Providence tempers the wind to
the shorn lamb."  A French writer puts it the other way, and more
practically:  "Providence tempers the wool of the lamb to the wind."
This is far better and more natural.  But it may be truly said that
Providence tempers the seasons to the temperaments and customs of
the two nations.

Just before reaching Oakham, I passed a grand mansion, standing far
back from the turnpike road, on a commanding eminence, flanked with
extensive plantations.  The wide avenue leading to it looked a full
mile in length.  Lawns and lakes, which mirrored the trees with
equal distinctness, suffused the landscape of the park like evening
smiles of Nature.  It was indeed a goodly heritage for one man; and
he only mounted a plain _Mr_. to his name, although I learned that
he could count his farms by the dozen.  I was told that the annual
dinner given to his tenant farmers came off the previous day at the
inn where I lodged.  A sumptuous banquet was provided for them,
presided over by the steward of the estate; as the great _Mr_. did
not honor the plebeian company with his presence.  This is a feature
of the structure of English society which the best read American
would not be likely to recognise without travelling somewhat
extensively in the country.  The British Nobility, the great, world-
renowned Middle Class, and the poor laboring population, constitute
the three great divisions of the people and include them all in his
mind.  He is apt to leave out of count the Gentry, the great
untitled MISTERS, who come in between the nobility and middle-men,
and constitute the connecting link between them.  "The fine old
English gentleman, all of the olden time," is supposed to belong to
this class.  They make up most of "the old county families," of
which you hear more than you read.  They are generally large
landholders, owning from twenty to one hundred farms.  They live in
grand old mansions, surrounded with liveried servants, and inspire a
mild awe and respectful admiration, not only in the common country
people, but in the minds of persons in whom an American would not
look for such homage to untitled rank.  They hunt with horses and
dogs over the grounds of their tenant farmers, and the latter often
act as game-beaters for them at their "shootings."  When one of them
owns a whole village, church and all, he is generally called "the
Squire," but most of them are squired without the definite article.
They still boast of as good specimens of "the fine old English
gentleman" as the country can show; and I am inclined to think it is
not an unfounded pretension, although I have not yet come in contact
with many of the class.

One of this county squirocracy I know personally and well,--and
other Americans know him as well as myself,--who, though living in a
palace of his own, once occupied by an exiled French sovereign, is
just as simple and honest as a child in every feature of his
disposition and deportment.  Every year he has a Festival in his
park, lasting two or three days.  It is a kind of out-door
Parliament and a Greenwich Fair combined, as it would seem at first
sight to an incidental spectator.  I do not believe anything in the
rest of the wide world could equal this gathering, for many peculiar
features of enjoyment.  It is made up of both sexes and all ages and
conditions; especially of the laboring classes.  They come out
strong on these occasions.  The round and red faced boys and girls
of villages and hamlets for a great distance around look forward to
this annual frolic with exhilarating expectation.  Never was romping
and racing and the amorous forfeit plays of the ring got up under
more favorable auspices, or with more pleasant surroundings.  It
would do any man's heart good, who was ever a genuine boy, to see
the venerable squire and his lady presiding over a race between
competing couples of ploughmens' boys, from ten to fifteen years of
age, running their rounds in the park, bare-footed, bare-headed,
with faces as round and red as a ripe pumpkin, and hair of the same
color whipping the air as they neck-and-neck it in the middle of the
heat.  When the winners of the prizes receive their rewards at his
hands, his kind words and the radiant benevolence of his face they
value more than the conquest and the coins they win.

Then there are intellectual entertainments and deliberative
proceedings of grave moment arranged for the elder portion of the
great congregation.  While groups of blushing lads and lasses are
hunting the handkerchief in the hustle and tussle of the ring under
the great, solemn elms, a scene may be witnessed on the lawn nearer
the mansion that ought to have been painted long ago.  Two or three
double-horse wagons are ranged end to end in the shade, and planks
are placed along from one end to the other, making a continuous seat
for a score or two of orators.  In front of this dozen-wheeled
tribune rows of seats, capable of holding several hundred persons,
are arranged within hearing distance.  When these are filled and
surrounded by a standing wall of men and women, three or four deep,
and when the orators of the day ascend over the wheels to the long
wagon-seat, you have a scene and an assembly the like of which you
find nowhere else in Christendom.  No Saxon parliament of the
Heptarchy could "hold a candle to it."  Never, in any age or country
of free speech, did individual ideas, idiosyncrasies, and liberty of
conscience have freer scope and play.  Never did all the isms of
philanthropy, politics, or of social and moral reform generally have
such a harmonious trysting time of it.  Never was there a platform
erected for discussing things local and general so catholic as the
one now resting upon the wheels of those farm wagons.  Every year
the bland and venerable host succeeds in widening the area of
debate.  I was invited to be present at the Festival this year, but
was too far on the road to John O'Groat's to participate in a
pleasure I have often enjoyed.  But I read his resume of the year's
doings, aspects and prospects from Japan to Hudson's Bay with lively
interest and valuable instruction.  He seldom presides himself as
chairman, but leaves that post of honor to be filled, if possible,
by the citizen of some foreign country, if he can speak English
tolerably.  This gives a more cosmopolitan aspect to the assembly.
But he himself always makes what in Parliament would be called "a
financial statement," without the reference to money matters.  He
sums up the significance of all the great events of the year,
bearing upon human progress in general, and upon each specific
enterprise in particular.  With palatial mansions, parks, and farms
great and small, scattered through several counties, he is the
greatest radical in England.  He distances the Chartists altogether
in his programme, and adds several new points to their political
creed.  He not only advocates manhood suffrage, but womanhood
suffrage, and woman-seats in Parliament.  Then he is a great friend
of a reform which the Chartists grievously overlook, and which would
make thousands of them voters if they would adopt it.  That is,
Total Abstinence from Tobacco, as well as from Ardent Spirits.
Thus, no report of modern times equals the good Squire's summing-up,
which he gives on these occasions, from the great farm-wagon
tribune, to the multitudinous and motley congregation assembled
under his park trees.  This year it was unusually rich and piquant,
from the expanded area of events and aspects.  In presenting these,
as bearing upon the causes of Temperance, Peace, Anti-War, Anti-
Slavery, Anti-Tobacco, Anti-Capital Punishment, Anti-Church-Rates,
Free Trade, Woman's Rights, Parliamentary Reform, Social Reform,
Scientific Progress, Discovery of the Sources of the Nile, and other
important movements, he was necessarily obliged to be somewhat
discursive.  But he generalised with much ease and perspicuity, and
conducted the thread of his discourse, like a rivulet of light,
through the histories of the year; transporting the mind of his
audience from doings in Japan to those in America, from Poland to
Mexico, and through stirring regions of Geography, Politics,
Philanthropy, Social Science and Economy, by gentle and interesting
transitions.  This annual statement is very valuable and
instructive, and should have a wider publicity than it usually

When "the fine old English gentleman all of the olden time" has
concluded his resume of the year's progress, and the prospects it
leaves to the one incoming, the orators of the different causes
which he has thus reported, arise one after the other, and the
bright air and the green foliage of the over-spreading trees, as
well as the listening multitude below are stirred with fervid
speeches, sometimes interspersed with "music from the band."  The
Festival is wound up by a banquet in the hall, given by the
munificent host to a large number of guests, representing the
various good movements advocated from the platform described.  Many
Americans have spoken from that rostrum, and sat at that banquet
table in years gone by, and they will attest to the correctness of
these slight delineations of the character of the host and of the
annual festival that will perpetuate his name in long and pleasant

Oakham is a goodly and pleasant town, the chief and capital of
Rutlandshire.  It has the ruins of an old castle in its midst, and
several interesting antiquities and customs.  It, too, has its
unique speciality or prerogative.  I was told that every person of
title driving through the town, or coming to reside within the
jurisdiction of its bye-laws, must leave his card to the authorities
in the shape of a veritable horse-shoe.  It is said that the walls
of the old town hall are hung with these iron souvenirs of
distinguished visits; thus constituting a museum that would be
instructive to a farrier or blacksmith, as well as to the

From Oakham I walked to Melton Mowbray, a cleanly, good-looking town
in Leicestershire, situated on the little river Eye.  One cannot say
exactly in regard to Rutlandshire what an Englishman once said to
the authorities of a pigmy Italian duchy, who ordered him to leave
it in twenty-four hours.  "I only require fifteen minutes," said
cousin John, with a look and tone which Jonathan could not imitate.
This rural county is to the shire-family of England what Rhode
Island is to the American family of States--the smallest, but not
least, in several happy characteristics.

I spent a quiet Sabbath in Melton Mowbray; attended divine service
in the old parish church and listened to two extemporaneous sermons
full of simple and earnest teaching, and delivered in a
conversational tone of voice.  Here, too, the parish church was
seated in the midst of the great congregation which had long ceased
to listen to the call of its Sabbath bells.  It was a beautiful and
touching arrangement of the olden time to erect the House of Prayer
in the centre of "God's Acre," that the shadow of its belfry and the
Sabbath voice of its silvery bells might float for centuries over
the family circles lying side by side in their long homes around the
sanctuary.  There was a good and tender thought in making up this
sabbath society of the living and the dead; in planting the narrow
pathway between the two Sions with the white milestones of
generations that had travelled it in ages gone, leaving here and
there words of faith, hope and admonition to those following in
their footsteps.  It is one of the contingencies of "higher
civilization" that this social economy of the churchyard, that
linked present and past generations in such touching and instructive
companionship, has been suspended and annulled.

Melton Mowbray has also a very respectable individuality.  It is a
great centre for the scarlet-coated Nimrods who scale hedges and
ditches, in well-mounted squadrons, after a fox _preserved_ at great
expense and care to become the victim of their valor.  But this is a
small and frivolous distinction compared with its celebrated
manufacture of _pork-pies_.  It bids fair to become as famous for
them as Banbury is for buns.  I visited the principal establishment
for providing the travelling and picnicking world with these very
substantial and palatable portables.  I went under the impulse of
that uneasy, suspicious curiosity to peer into the forbidden
mysteries of the kitchen which generally brings no satisfaction when
gratified, and which often admonishes a man not only to eat what is
set before him without any questions for conscience sake, but also
for the sake of the more delicate and exacting sensibilities of the
stomach.  I must confess my first visit to this, the greatest pork-
pie factory in the world, savored a little of the anxiety to know
the worst, instead of the best, in regard to the solid materials and
lighter ingredients which entered into the composition of these
suspiciously cheap luxuries.  There were points also connected with
the process of their elaboration which had given me an undefinable
uneasiness in the refreshment rooms of a hundred railway stations.
I was determined to settle these moot points once for all.  So I
entered the establishment with an eye of as keen a speculation as an
exciseman's searching a building for illicit distillery, and I came
out of it a more charitable and contented man.  All was above board,
fair and clean.  The meat was fresh and good.  The flour was fine
and sweet; the butter and lard would grace the neatest housewife's
larder; the forms on which the pies were moulded were as pure as
spotless marble.  The men and boys looked healthy and bright; their
hands were smooth and clean, and their aprons white as snow.  Not
one of them smoked or took snuff at his work.  I saw every process
and implement employed in the construction of these pies for the
market; the great tubs of pepper and spice, the huge ovens, the
cooling racks, the packing room; in a word, every department and
feature of the establishment.  And the best thing that I can say of
it is this:  that I shall eat with better satisfaction and relish
hereafter the pies bearing the brand of Evans, of Melton Mowbray,
than I ever did before.  The famous Stilton cheese is another
speciality of this quiet and interesting town, or of its immediate
neighborhood.  So, putting the two articles of luxury and
consumption together, it is rather ahead of Banbury with its cakes.

On Monday, August 11th, I resumed my walk northward, and passed
through a very highly cultivated and interesting section.  About the
middle of the afternoon, I reached Broughton Hill, and looked off
upon the most beautiful and magnificent landscape I have yet seen in
England.  It was the Belvoir Vale; and it would be worth a hundred
miles' walk to see it, if that was the only way to reach it.  It lay
in a half-moon shape, the base line measuring apparently about
twenty miles in length.  As I sat upon the high wall of this valley,
that overlooks it on the south, I felt that I was looking upon the
most highly-finished piece of pre-Raphaelite artistry that could be
found in the world,--the artistry of the plough, glorious and
beautiful with the unconscious and involuntary pictures which
patient human labor paints upon the canvas of Nature.  Never did I
see the like before.  If Turner had the shaping of the ground
entirely for an artistic purpose, it could not have been more
happily formed for a display of agricultural pictures.  What might
be called the _physical_ vista made the most perfect hemiorama I
ever looked upon.  The long, high, wooded ridge, including Broughton
Hill, _eclipsed_, as it were, just half the disk of a circle twenty
miles in diameter, leaving the other half in all the glow and glory
that Nature and that great blind painter, Agricultural Industry,
could give to it.  The valley with its foot against this mountainous
ridge, put out its right arm and enfolded to its bosom a little,
beautiful world of its own of about fifty miles girth.  In this
embrace were included hundreds of softly-rounded hills, with their
intervening valleys, villages, hamlets, church spires and towers,
plantations, groves, copses and hedge-row trees, grouped by sheer
accident as picturesquely as Turner himself could have arranged
them.  The elevation of the ridge on which I sat softened down all
these distant hills, so that they looked only like little undulating
risings by which the valley gently ascended to the blue rim of the
horizon on the north.

It was an excellent standpoint on which to balance Nature and Human
Industry; to estimate their separate and joint work upon that vast
landscape.  A few centuries ago, perhaps about the time that the
Mayflower sighted Plymouth Rock, this valley, now so indescribably
beautiful, was almost in the state of nature.  Wolves and wild boars
may have been prowling about in the woods and tangled thickets that
covered this ridge back for several leagues.  Bushes, bogs and
briers, and coarse prairie grass roughened the bottom of this
valley; matted heather, furze, broom and clumps of shrubby trees,
all those hills and uplands arising in the background to the
northward horizon.  This declining sun, and the moon and stars that
will soon follow in the pathway of its chariot, like a liveried
cortege, shone upon that scene with all the light they will give
this day and night.  The rain and dew, and all the genial ministries
of the seasons, did their unaided best to make it lovely and
beautiful.  The sweetest singing-birds of England came and tried to
cheer its solitude with their happy voices.  The summer breezes came
with their softest breath, whispering through brake, bush and brier
the little speeches of Nature's life.  The summer bees came and
filled all those heather-purpled acres with their industrial lays,
and sang a merry song in the door of every wild-flower that gave
them the petalled honey of its heart.  All the trained and
travelling industrials and all the sweet influences of Nature came
and did all they could without man's help to make this great valley
most delightful to the eye.  But the wolves still prowled and
howled; the briers grew rough and rank; the grass, coarse and thin;
the heathered hills were oozy and cold in their watery beds; the
clumpy, shrubby trees wore the same ragged coats of moss; and no
feature of the scene mended for the better from year to year.

Then came the great Blind Painter, with his rude, iron pencils, to
the help of Nature.  He came with the Axe, Plough and Spade, her
mightiest allies.  With these he had driven wild Druidic Paganism
back mile by mile from England's centre; back into her dark
fastnesses.  With the Axe, Spade and Plough he chased the foul
beasts and barbarisms from the island.  Two centuries long was he in
painting this Beautiful Valley.  Nature ground and mixed the colors
for him all the while, for he was blind.  He was poor; often cold
and hungry, and his children, with blue fingers and pale, silent
eyes, sometimes asked for bread in winter he could not give.  He
lived in a low cottage, small, damp and dark, and laid him down at
night upon a bed of straw.  He could not read; and his thoughts of
human life and its hereafter were few and small.  He had no taste
for music, and seldom whistled at his work.  He wore a coarse
garment, of ghostly pattern, called a smock-frock.  His hat just
rounded his head to a more globular and mindless form.  His shoes
were as heavy as a horse's with iron nails.  He had no eye nor taste
for colors.  If all the trees, if all the crops of grain, grass and
roots on which he wrought his life long, had come out in brickdust
and oil, it would have been all the same to him, if they had sold as
high in the market, and beer and bread had been as cheap for the
uniformity.  And yet he was the Turner of this great painting.  He
is the artist that has made England a gallery of the finest
agricultural pictures in the world.  And in no country in
Christendom is High Art so appreciated to such pecuniary patronage
and valuation as here.  In none is the genius of the Pencil so
treasured, so paid, and almost worshipped as here.  The public and
private galleries of Britain hold pictures that would buy every acre
of the island at the price current of it when Elizabeth was queen.
One of Turner's landscapes would pay for a whole Highland county at
its valuation when Mary held her first court at Holyrood.

I sit here and look off upon this largest, loveliest picture the
Blind Painter has given to England.  I note his grouping of the ivy-
framed fields, of every size and form, panelling the gently-rounded
hills, and all the soft slopes down to the foot of the valley; the
silvery, ripe barley against the dark-green beans; the rich gold of
the wheat against the smooth, blue-dashed leaves of the mangel
wurzel or rutabaga; the ripening oats overlooking a foreground of
vividly green turnips, with alternations of pasture and meadow land,
hedges running in every direction, plantations, groves, copses
sprinkled over the whole vista, as if the whole little world, clear
up to the soft, blue fringe of the horizon, were the design and work
of a single artist.  And this, and ten thousand pictures of the same
genius, were the work of the Briarean-handed BLIND PAINTER, who
still wears a smock-frock and hob-nailed shoes, and lives in a low,
damp cottage, and dines on bread and cheese among the golden sheaves
of harvest!

O, Mother England! thou that knightest the artists while living, and
buildest their sepulchres when dead; thou that honorest to such
stature of praise the plagiarists upon Nature, and clothest the
copyists of patient Labor's pictures in such purple and fine linen;
thou whose heart is softening to the sweet benevolences of Christian
charity in so many directions,--wilt thou not think, with a new
sentiment of kindness and sympathy, on this Blind Painter, who has
tapestried the hills and valleys of thy island with an artistry that
angels might look upon with admiration and wonder!

Wilt thou not build him a better cottage to live in?

Wilt thou not give him something better than dry bread and cold
bacon for dinner in harvest?

Wilt thou not teach all his children to read the alphabet and the
blessed syllables of the Great Revelation of God's Love to man?

Wilt thou not make a morning-ward door in his dwelling and show him
a future with a sun in it, in _this_ world, as well as the world to

Wilt thou not open up a pathway through the valley of his
humiliation by which his children may ascend to the better
conditions of society?



From the Belvoir Vale I continued my walk to Nottingham the
following day; crossing a grand old bridge over the Trent.  Take it
all in all, this may be called perhaps the most English town in
England; stirring, plucky and radical; full of industrial intellect
and vigor.  Its chief businesses involve and exercise thought; and
thought educed into one direction and activity, runs naturally into
others.  The whole population, under these influences, has become
_peopled_ to a remarkable status and strength of opinion, sentiment
and action.  They prefix that large and generous quality to their
best doings and institutions, and have their Peoples' College,
Peoples' Park, etc.  The Peoples' Charter had its stronghold here,
and all radical reforms are sure to find sympathy and support among
the People of Nottingham.  I should think no equal population in the
kingdom would sing "Britons never, never will be slaves," with more
spirit, or, perhaps, with more understanding.  Their plucky, English
natures became terribly stirred up in the exciting time of the
Reform Bill, and they burned down the magnificent palace-castle of
the old Duke of Newcastle, crowning the mountainous rock which
terminates on the west the elevated ridge on which the town is
built.  When the Bill was carried, and the People had cooled down to
their normal condition of mind, they were obliged to pay for this
evening's illumination of their wrath pretty dearly.  The Duke
mulcted the town and county to the tune of 21,000 pounds, or full
$100,000.  The castle was no Chepstow structure, rough and rude for
war, but more like the ornate and castellated palace at Heidelberg,
and it was almost as high above the Trent as the latter is above the
Neckar.  The view the site commands is truly magnificent, embracing
the Trent Valley, and an extensive vista beyond it.  It was really
the great lion of the town, and the People, having paid the 21,000
pounds for dismounting it, because it roared in the wrong direction
on the Reform Bill, expected, of course, that His Grace the Duke
would set it up again on the old pedestal, with its mane and tail
and general aspect much improved.  But they counted without their
host.  "Is it not lawful to do what I will with my own," was the
substance of his reply; and there stands the blackened, crumbling
ruin to this day, as a silent but grim reproach to the People for
letting their angry passions rise to such destructive excitement on
political questions.

Hosiery and lace are the two great manufacturing interests of
Nottingham, and the tons of these articles it turns out yearly for
the world are astonishing in number and value.  A single London
house employs 3,000 hands in the town and immediate vicinity upon
hosiery alone for its establishment.  Lace now seems to lead the
way, and there are whole streets of factories and warehouses busy
with its manufacture and sale.  Perhaps no fabric in the world ever
tested the ingenuity and value of machinery like this.  The cost has
been reduced, from the old hand-working to the present process, from
three dollars to three cents a yard!  I think no machinery yet
invented has been endowed with more delicate functions of human
reason and genius than that employed upon the flower-work of this
subtle drapery.  Until I saw it with my own eyes, I had concluded
that the machinery invented or employed in America for setting card-
teeth was the most astute, and as nearly approaching the faculties
of the human mind in its apparent thought-power, as it was reverent
and safe to carry anything made of iron and steel, or made by man at
all.  To construct a machine which should pass between its fingers a
broad belt of leather and a fine thread of wire, prick rows of holes
across the breadth of the leather, bend, cut off, and insert the
shank ends of the teeth clear through these holes, and clinch them
on the back side, and pour out a continuous, uninterrupted stream of
perfectly-teethed belt, all ready for carding,--this, I fancied, was
the ne plus ultra of mechanical inventions.  But it is quite
surpassed by the lace-weaving looms of Nottingham, that work out, to
exquisite perfection, all the flowers, leaves, vines and vein-work
of nature.  It was wonderful to see the ductility of cotton, as here
exemplified.  The _bobbins_, which, I suppose, are a mere refinement
upon the old hand-thrown shuttle, are of brass, about the size of
half-a-crown.  A groove that will just admit the thin edge of a
case-knife, is cut into the rim of the little wheel, about one
quarter of an inch deep.  A cotton thread, 120 yards in length, and
strong enough to be twitched about and twisted by a score of
vigorous, chattering, iron fingers, is wound around in this groove.
But it would be idle to attempt a description of either the
machinery or the process.

I went next into a large establishment for dyeing, dressing, winding
and packing the lace for market.  It was startling to see the acres
of it dyed black for mourning.  Really there seemed enough of it to
drape the whole valley of the shadow of death!  It was an impressive
sight truly.  If there were other establishments doing the same
thing, Nottingham must turn out weeds of grief enough for several
millions of mourning widows, mothers, sisters and daughters in a
year.  I ascended into the dressing-room, I think they called it, in
the upper story, where there was a piece containing one twenty-fifth
of an acre of lace undergoing a fearful operation for a human
constitution to sustain.  It was necessary that the heat of the
apartment should be kept at _one hundred and twenty_ degrees!  There
was a large number of women and girls, and a few men and boys
working under this melting ordeal.  And one of the proprietors was
at their head, in a rather summer dress, and with a seethed and
crimson face beaded with hot perspiration.  It was a very delicate
and important operation which he had not only to watch with his own
eyes, but to work at with his own hands.  I was glad to learn that
he was a staunch Protestant, and did not believe in _purgatory_; but
those poor girls!--could they be expected to hold to the same belief
under such a test?

I was told that they could get up lace so cheap that the people of
the town frequently cover their gooseberry bushes with it to keep
off the insects.  Spider-webbing is a scarcely more gossamer-like
fabric.  Sixteen square yards of this lace only weigh about an
ounce!  If the negroes on one of the South Carolina Sea-island
plantations could have been shut into that dressing-room for two
whole minutes, with the mercury at 120 degrees, they would have
rolled up the whites of their eyes in perfect amazement and made a
rush for "Dixie" again.

From Nottingham I made an afternoon walk to Mansfield.  The weather
was splendid and the country in all the glory of harvest.  On
reaching Newstead Abbey, I found, to my regret, that the entree to
the public had been closed by the new proprietor, one, I was told,
of the manufacturing gentry of the Manchester school.  Not that he
was less liberal and accommodating to sight-seers than his
predecessors, but because he was making very extensive and costly
improvements in the buildings and grounds.  I have seen nothing yet
in England to compare, for ornate carving, with the new gate-way he
is making to the park.  It is of the finest kind of arabesque work
done in stone that much resembles the Caen.  This prevention barred
me from even a distant view of the once famous residence of Lord
Byron, as it could not be seen from the public road.

Within about three miles of Mansfield, I came to a turnpike gate,--a
neat, cozy, comfortable cottage, got up in the Gothic order.  I
stopped to rest a moment, and noticing the good woman setting her
tea-table, I invited myself to a seat at it, on the inn basis, and
had a pleasant meal and chat with her and an under-gamekeeper of the
Duke of Portland, who had come in a little before me.  The stories
he told me about the extent of the Duke's possessions were
marvellous, more especially in reference to his game preserves.  I
should think there must be a larger number of hares, rabbits and
partridges on his estate than in the whole of New England.  As I sat
engaged in conversation with the woman of the house and this
accidental guest, an unmistakable American face met my eyes, as I
raised them to the opposite wall.  It was the familiar face of a
Bristol clock, made in the Connecticut village adjoining the one in
which I was born.  It wore the same honest expression, which a great
many ill-natured people, especially in our Southern States, have
regarded as covering a dishonest and untruthful mind, or a bad
memory of the hours.  Still it is the most ubiquitous Americanism in
the world, and it is pleasant to see its face in so many cottages of
laboring men from Land's End to John O'Groat's.

Mansfield is a very substantial and venerable town, bearing a name
which one distinguished man has rendered illustrious by wearing it
through a brilliant life.  It is situated near the celebrated
Sherwood Forest, and is marked by many features of peculiar
interest.  One of its noticeable celebrities is the house in which
Lord Chesterfield resided.  It is now occupied by a Wesleyan
minister, who elaborates his sermons in the very room, I believe, in
which that fashionable nobleman penned his polite literature for
youthful candidates for the uppermost circles of society.  In the
centre of the market place there is a magnificent monument erected
to the memory of the late Lord George Bentinck, who was held in high
esteem by the people of the town and vicinity.  The manufactures are
pretty much the same as in Nottingham.  They turn out a great
production of raw material in red sandstone, very much resembling
our Portland, quite as fine, hard and durable.  Immense blocks of it
are quarried and conveyed to London and to all parts of the kingdom.
The town also supplies a vast amount of moulding sand, of nearly the
same color and consistency as that we procure from Albany.  I
stopped on my way into the town to take a turn through the cemetery,
which was very beautifully laid out, and looked like a great garden
lawn belted with shrubbery, and illuminated with the variegated
lamps of flowers of every hue and breath.  The meandering walks were
all laid with asphalte, which presented a new and striking contrast
to the gorgeous borders and the vivid green of the cleanly shaven
grass.  Many of the little graves were made in nests of geraniums
and other modest and sweet-eyed stars of hope.

Next day I had a very enjoyable walk in a north-westerly direction
to Chesterfield.  On the way, called in at a blacksmith's shop, and
had a long talk with the smith-in-chief on matters connected with
his trade.  The "custom-work" of such shops in country villages in
England is like that in ours fifty years ago--embracing the greatest
variety of jobs.  Articles now made with us in large manufacturing
establishments at a price which would starve a master and his
apprentice to compete with, are hammered out in these English shops
on a single anvil.  On comparing notes with this knight of the
hammer, I learned a fact I had not known before.  His price for
horse-shoeing varied according to the size of the hoof, just as our
leather-shoemakers charge according to the foot.  On taking leave of
him he intimated, in the most frank and natural way in the world,
that, in our exchange of information, the balance was in his favor,
and that I could not but think it fair to pay him the difference.  I
looked at him first inquiringly and doubtingly, embarrassed with the
idea that I had not understood him, or that he was a journeyman and
not the master of the establishment.  But he was as free and easy
and natural as possible.  An American tobacco-chewer, of fifty
years' standing, would not have asked a cut from a neighbor's
"lady's twist," or "pig-tail" in more perfect good faith.  That
good, round, English face would have blushed crimson if the man
suspected that I misunderstood him.  Nay, more, he would quite
likely have thrown the pennies at my head if I had offered them to
him to buy bread or bacon with for himself and family.  I had no
reason for a moment's doubt.  It all meant _beer_, "only that and
nothing more;" a mere pour boire souvenir to celebrate our mutual
acquaintance.  So I gave him a couple of pennies, just as I would
have given him a bite of tobacco if we had both been in that line.
I feared to give him more, lest he might think I meant bread and
bacon and thought him a beggar.  But I ventured to tell him,
however, that I did not use that beverage myself, and hoped he would
wish me health in some better enjoyment.

I saw, for the first time, a number of Spanish cattle feeding in a
pasture.  They were large, variously colored animals with the
widely-branching horns that distinguish them.  A man must have a
long range of buildings to stable a score of creatures with such
horns, and for that reason they will only be kept as curiosities in
these northern latitudes.  And they are curiosities of animal life,
heightened to a wonderment when placed side by side with the black
Galloways, or those British breeds of cattle which have no horns at
all.  I should not wonder, however, if this large, cream-colored
stock from Spain should be introduced here to cross with the
Durhams, Devons, and Herefords.

When about half-way from Mansfield to Chesterfield, a remarkable
change came over the face of the landscape.  The mosaic work of the
hill-sides and valleys showed more green squares than before.
Three-fourths of the fields were meadow or pasture, or in mangel or
turnips.  There was but one here and there in wheat or other grain.
The road beneath and the sky above began to blacken, and the
chimneys of coal-pits to thicken.  Sooty-faced men, horses and
donkeys passed with loaded carts; and all the premonitory aspects of
the "black country" multiplied as I proceeded.  I do not recollect
ever seeing a landscape change so suddenly in England.

Chesterfield is an intelligent looking town, evidently growing in
population and prosperity.  It has its own unique speciality; almost
as strikingly distinctive as that of Strasburg or Pisa.  This is the
most ambiguous and mysterious church spire in the world.  It would
be very difficult to convey any idea of it by any description from
an unaided pen; and there is nothing extant that would avail as an
illustration.  The church is very old and large, and stands upon a
commanding eminence.  The massive tower supports a tall but suddenly
tapering spire of the most puzzling construction to the eye.  It
must have been designed by a monk of the olden time, with a Chinese
turn of ingenuity.  There is no order known to architecture to
furnish a term or likeness for it.  A ridgy, spiral spire are the
three most descriptive words, but these are not half enough for
stating the shape, style and posture of this strange steeple.  It is
difficult even to assist the imagination to form an idea of it.  I
will essay a few words in that direction.  Suppose, then, a plain
spire, 100 feet high, in the form of an attenuated cone, planted
upon a heavy church tower.  Now, in imagination, plough this cone
all around into deep ridges from top to bottom.  Then mount to the
top, and, with a great iron wrench, give it an even twist clear down
to the base, so that each ridge shall wind entirely around the spire
between the bottom and the top.  Then, in giving it this screw-
looking twist, bend over the top, with a gentle incline all the way
down, so that it shall be "out of perpendicular" by about three
feet.  Then come down and look at your work, and you will be
astonished at it, standing far or near.  The tall, ridgy, curved,
conical screw puzzles you with all sorts of optical illusions.  As
the eyes in a front-face portrait follow you around the room in
which it is hung, so this strange spire seems to lean over upon you
at every point, as you walk round the church.  Indeed, I believe it
was only found out several centuries after its erection, that it
absolutely leaned more in one direction than another.  It is a
remarkable sight from the railway as you approach the town from a
distance.  If it may be said reverently, the church, standing on
comparatively a hill, not only lifts its horn on high, but one like
that of a rhinoceros, considerably curved.  Just outside the town
stands the house in which George Stephenson lived his last days, and
ended his great life of benefaction to mankind; leaving upon that
haloed spot a _biograph_ which the ages of time to come shall not
wash out.

From Chesterfield I diverged westward to see Chatsworth and Haddon
Hall.  Whoever makes this walk or ride, let him be sure to stop at
Watch Hill on the way, and look at the view eastward.  It is grander
than that of Belvoir Vale, if not so beautiful.

It was a pleasure quite equal to my anticipation to visit Chatsworth
for the first time, after a sojourn in England, off and on, for
sixteen years.  It is the lion number three, according to the
American ranking of the historical edifices and localities of
England.  Stratford-upon-Avon, Westminster Abbey and Chatsworth are
the three representative celebrities which our travellers think they
must visit, if they would see the life of England's ages from the
best stand-points.  And this is the order in which they rank them.
Chatsworth and Haddon Hall should be seen the same day if possible;
so that you may carry the impressions of the one fresh and active
into the other.  They are the two most representative buildings in
the kingdom.  Haddon is old English feudalism _edificed_.  It
represents the rough grandeur, hospitality, wassail and rude romance
of the English nobility five hundred years ago.  It was all in its
glory about the time when Thomas-a-Becket the Magnificent used to
entertain great companies of belted knights of the realm in a manner
that exceeded regal munificence in those days,--even directing fresh
straw to be laid for them on his ample mansion floor, that they
might not soil the bravery of their dresses when they bunked down
for the night.  The building is brimful of the character and history
of that period.  Indeed, there are no two milestones of English
history so near together, and yet measuring such a space of the
nation's life and manners between them, as this hall and that of
Chatsworth.  It was built, of course, in the bow-and-arrow times,
when the sun had to use the same missiles in shooting its barbed
rays into the narrow apertures of old castles--or the stone coffins
of fear-hunted knights and ladies, as they might be called.  What a
monument this to the dispositions and habits of the world, outside
and inside, of that early time!  Here is the porter's or warder's
lodge just inside the huge gate.  To think of a living being with a
human soul in him burrowing in such a place!--a big, black
sarcophagus without a lid to it, set deep in the solid wall.  Then
there is the chapel.  Compare it with that of Chatsworth, and you
may count almost on your fingers the centuries that have intervened
between them.  It was new-roofed soon after the discovery of
America, and perhaps done up to some show of decency and comfort.
But how small and rude the pulpit and pews--looking like rough-
boarded potato-bins!  Here is the great banquet-hall, full to
overflowing with the tracks and cross-tracks of that wild, strange
life of old.  There is a fire-place for you, and a mark in the
chimney-back of five hundred Christmas logs.  Doubtless this great
stone pavement of a floor was carpeted with straw at these banquets,
after the illustrious Becket's pattern.  Here is a memento of the
feast hanging up at the top of the kitchenward door;--a pair of
roughly-forged, rusty handcuffs amalgamated into one pair of jaws,
like a musk-rat trap.  What was the use of that thing, conductor?
"That, sir, they put the 'ands in of them as shirked and didn't
drink up all the wine as was poured into their cups, and there they
made them stand on tiptoe up against that door, sir, before all the
company, sir, until they was ashamed of theirselves."  Descend into
the kitchen, all scarred with the tremendous cookery of ages.  Here
they roasted bullocks whole, and just back in that dark vault with a
slit or two in it for the light, they killed and dressed them.
There are the relics of the shambles.  And here is the great form on
which they cut them up into manageable pieces.  It would do you
good, you Young America, to see that form, and the cross-gashes of
the meat-axe in it.  It is the half of a gigantic English oak, which
was growing in Julius Caesar's time, sawed through lengthwise,
making a top surface several feet wide, black and smooth as ebony.
Some of the bark still clings to the under side.  The dancing hall
is the great room of the building.  All that the taste, art and
wealth of that day could do, was done to make it a splendid
apartment, and it would pass muster still as a comfortable and
respectable salon.  As we pass out, you may decipher the short
prayer cut in the wasting stone of a side portal, "GOD SAVE THE
VERNONS!"  I hope this prayer has been favorably answered; for
history records much virtue in the family, mingled with some
romantic escapades, which have contributed, I believe, to the
entertainment of many novel readers.

Just what Haddon Hall was to the baronial life and society of
England five hundred years ago, is Chatsworth to the full stature of
modern civilization and aristocratic wealth, taste and position.  Of
this it is probably the best measure and representative in the
kingdom; and as such it possesses a special value and interest to
the world at large.  Were it not for here and there such an
establishment, we should lack waymarks in the progress of the arts,
sciences and tastes of advancing civilization.  Governments and
joint-stock companies may erect and fill, with a world of utilities
and curiosities of ancient and modern times, British Museums,
National Galleries, Crystal Palaces and Polytechnic Institutions;
but not one of these, nor the Louvre, nor Versailles, nor the
Tuileries can compete with one private mind, taste and will
concentrated upon one great work for a lifetime, when endowed with
the requisite perceptions and means competent to carry that work to
the highest perfection of science, genius and art.  Museums,
galleries and public institutions of art are exclusively _visiting_
places.  The elegancies of _home_ life are all shut out of their
attractions.  You see in them the work and presence of a committee,
or corporation, often in discrepant layers of taste and plan.  One
mind does not stand out or above the whole, fashioning the tout-
ensemble to the symmetrical lines of one governing, all-pervading
and shaping thought.  You see no exquisite artistry of drawing-room
or boudoir elegance and luxury running through living apartments of
home, out into the conservatories, lawns, gardens, park and all its
surroundings and embellishments, making the whole like a great
illuminated volume of family life, which you may peruse page by
page, and trace the same pen and the same story from beginning to
end.  Even the grandest royal residences lack, in this quality, what
you will find at Chatsworth.  They all show the sharp-edged strata
of unaffiliated tastes and styles of different ages and artists.
They lack the oneness of a single individuality, of one great
symmetrical conception.

This one-mindedness, this one-man power of conception and execution
gives to the Duke of Devonshire's palace at Chatsworth an interest
and a value that probably do not attach to any other private
establishment in England.  In this felicitous characteristic it
stands out in remarkable prominence and in striking contrast with
nearly all the other baronial halls of the country.  It is the
parlor pier-glass of the present century.  It reflects the two
images in vivid apposition--the brilliant civilization of this last,
unfinished age in which we live and the life of bygone centuries;
that is, if Haddon Hall shows its face in it, or if you have the
features of that antiquity before your eyes when you look into the
Chatsworth mirror.  The whole of this magnificent establishment
bears the impress of the nineteenth century, inside and outside.
The architecture, sculpture, carving, paintings, engravings,
furniture, libraries, conservatories, flowers, shrubberies and
rockeries all bear and honor the finger-prints of modern taste and
art.  In no casket in England, probably, have so many jewels of this
century's civilization been treasured for posterity as in this
mansion on the little meandering Derwent.  If England has no grand
National Gallery like the French Louvre, she has works of art that
would fill fifty Louvres, collected and treasured in these quiet
private halls, embosomed in green parks and plantations, from one
end of the land to the other.  And in no other country are the
private treasure-houses of genius so accessible to the public as in
this.  They doubtless act as educational centres for refining the
habits of the nation; exerting an influence that reaches and
elevates the homes of the people, cultivating in them new
perceptions of beauty and comfort; diffusing a taste for embowering
even humble cottages in shrubbery; making little flower-fringed
lawns, six feet by eight or less; rockeries and ferneries, and
artificial ruins of castles or abbeys of smaller dimensions still.

In passing through the galleries and gardens of Chatsworth you will
recognise the originals of many works of art which command the
admiration of the world.  The most familiar to the American visitor
will probably be the great painting of the Bolton Abbey Scene, the
engravings of which are so numerous and admired on both sides of the
Atlantic.  But there is the original of a greater work, which has
made the wonder of the age.  It is the original of the Great Crystal
Palace of 1851, and the mother of all the palaces of the same
structure which have been or will be erected in time past or to
come.  Here it diadems at Chatsworth the choice plants and flowers
of all the tropics; presenting a model which needed only expansion,
and some modifications, to furnish the reproduction that delighted
the world in Hyde Park in 1851.

I was pleasantly impressed with one feature of the economy that
ruled at Chatsworth.  Although there were between one and two
thousand deer flecking the park, it was utilised to the pasture of
humbler and more useful animals.  Over one hundred poor people's
cows were feeding demurely over its vast extent, even to the gilded
gates of the palace.  They are charged only 2 pounds for the season;
which is very moderate, even cheaper than the stony pasturage around
the villages of New England.  I noticed a flock of Spanish sheep,
black-and-white, looking like a drove of Berkshire hogs, and
seemingly clothed with bristles instead of wool.  They are kept
rather as curiosities than for use.

Chatsworth, with all its treasures and embodiments of wealth, art
and genius, with an estate continuous in one direction for about
thirty miles, is but one of the establishments of the Duke of
Devonshire.  He owns a palace on the Thames that might crown the
ambition of a German prince.  He also counts in his possessions old
abbeys, baronial halls, parks and towns that once were walled, and
still have streets called after their gates.  If any country is to
have a personage occupying such a position, it is well to have a
considerable number of the same class, to yeomanise such an
aristocracy--to make each feel that he has his peers in fifty
others.  Otherwise an isolated duke would have to live and move
outside the pale of human society; a proud, haughty entity dashing
about, with not even a comet's orbit nor any fixed place in the
constellation of a nation's communities.  It is of great necessity
to him, independent of political considerations, that there is a
House of Peers instituted, in which he may find his social level;
where he may meet his equals in considerable numbers, and feel
himself but a man.



From Chatsworth I went on to Sheffield, crossing a hilly moorland
belonging to the Duke of Rutland, and containing 10,000 acres in one
solid block.  It was all covered with heather, and kept in this
wild, bleak condition for game.  Here and there well-cultivated
farms, as it were, bit into this cold waste, rescuing large, square
morsels of land, and making them glow with the warm flush and glory
of luxuriant harvests; thus showing how such great reaches of desert
may be made to blossom like the rose under the hand of human labor.

Here is Sheffield, down here, sweltering, smoking, and sweating,
with face like the tan, under the walls of these surrounding hills.
Here live and labor Briareus and Cyclops of modern mythology.  Here

     Swing their heavy sledge,
        With measured beats and slow;
     Like the sexton ringing the village bell,
        When the evening sun is low.

Here live the lineal descendants of Thor, christianised to human
industries.  Here the great hammer of the Scandinavian Thunderer
descended, took nest, and hatched a brood of ten thousand little
iron beetles for beating iron and steel into shapes and uses that
Tubal Cain never dreamed of.  Here you may hear their clatter night
and day upon a thousand anvils.  O, Vale of Vulcan!  O, Valley of
Knives!  Was ever a boy put into trousers, in either hemisphere,
that did not carry in the first pocket made for him one of thy cheap
blades?  Did ever a reaper in the Old World or New cut and bind a
sheaf of grain, who did not wield one of thy famous sickles?  All
Americans who were boys forty years ago, will remember three English
centres of peculiar interest to them.  These were Sheffield,
Colebrook Dale, and Paternoster Row.  There was hardly a house or
log cabin between the Penobscot and the Mississippi which could not
show the imprint of these three places, on the iron tea-kettle, the
youngest boy's Barlow knife, and his younger sister's picture-book.
To the juvenile imagination of those times, Sheffield was a huge
jack-knife, Colebrook Dale a porridge-pot, and Paternoster Row a
psalm-book, each in the generative case.  How we young reapers used
to discuss the comparative merits and meanings of those mysterious
letters on our sickles, B.Y and I.R!  What were they?  Were they
beginnings of words, or whole words themselves?  Did they stand for
things, qualities, or persons?  "Mine is a _By_ sickle; mine is an
_Ir_ one.  Mine is the best," says the last, "for it has the finest
teeth and the best curve."  That was our boys' talk in walking
through the rye, with bent backs and red faces, a little behind our
fathers; who cut a wider work to enable us to keep near them.

In what blacksmith shop or hardware house in America does not
Sheffield show its face and faculties?  Did any American, knowing
the difference between cast-iron and cast-steel, ever miss the sight
of Naylor and Sanderson's yellow labels in his travels?  How many
millions of acres of primeval forest have the ages edged with their
fine steel cut through, and given to the plough!  Fashion has its
Iron Age as well as its Golden; and, what is more remarkable, the
first of the two has come last, in the fitful histories of custom.
And this last freak of feminine taste has brought a wonderful grist
of additional business to the Sheffield mill.  The fair Eugenie has
done a good thing for this smoky town, well deserving of a monument
of burnished steel erected to her memory on one of these hills.
More than this; as Empress of Crinoline, she should wear the iron
crown of Charlemagne in her own right.  Her husband's empire is but
a mere arondissement compared with the domain that does homage to
her sceptre.  Sheffield is the great arsenal of her armaments.
Sheffield cases ships of war with iron plates a foot thick; but that
is nothing, in pounds avoirdupois, compared with the weight of steel
it spins into elastic springs for casing the skirts of two hundred
millions of the fair Eugenie's sex and lieges in the two
hemispheres.  It is estimated that ten thousand tons of steel are
annually absorbed into this use in Christendom; and Sheffield,
doubtless, furnishes a large proportion of it.

Here I had another involuntary walk, not put down in the programme
of my expectations.  On inquiring the way to Fir Vale, a picturesque
suburb where a friend resided, I was directed to a locality which,
it was suggested, must be the one I meant, though it was called Fir
View.  I followed the direction given for a considerable distance,
when it was varied successively by persons of whom I occasionally
inquired.  After ascending and descending a number of steep hills, I
suddenly came down upon the town again from the south, having made a
complete circuit of it; a performance that cost me about two hours
of time and much unsatisfactory perspiration.  Fearing that a second
attempt would be equally unsuccessful, I took the Leeds road, and
left the Jericho at the first round.  Walked about nine miles to a
furnace-lighted village called very appropriately Hoyland, or
Highland, when anglicised from the Danish.  It commands truly a
grand view of wooded hills and deep valleys dashed with the sheen of
ripened grain.

The next day I passed through a good sample section of England's
wealth and industry.  Mansions and parks of the gentry, hill,
valley, wheat-fields, meadows of the most vivid green; crops
luxuriant in most picturesque alternations; in a word, the whole a
vista of the richest agricultural scenery.  And yet out of the
brightest and broadest fields of wheat, barley and oats, towered up
the colliery chimneys in every direction, like good-natured and
swarthy giants smoking their pipes complacently and "with
comfortable breasts" in view of the goodly scene.  The golden grain
grew thick and tall up to the very pit's mouth.  In the sun-light
above and gas-light below human industry was plying its differently-
bitted implements.  There were men reaping and studding the pathway
of their sickles through the field with thickly-planted sheaves.
But right under them, a hundred fathoms deep, subterranean farmers
were at work, with black and sweaty brows, garnering the coal-
harvest sown there before the Flood.  Sickle above and pick below
were gathering simultaneously the layers of wealth that Nature had
stored in her parlor and cellar for man.

I passed through Barnsley and Wakefield on this day's walk,--towns
full of profitable industries and busy populations, and growing in
both after the American impulse and expansion.  If the good "Vicar
of Wakefield" of the olden time could revisit the scene of his
earthly experience, and look upon the old church of his ministry as
it now appears, renovated from bottom to the top of its grand and
lofty spire, he would not be entrapped again so easily into assent
to the Greek apothegm of the swindler.

I lodged at a little village inn between Wakefield and Leeds, after
a day of the most enjoyable walk that I had made.  Never before,
between sun and sun, had I passed over such a section of above-
ground and under-ground industry and wealth.  The next morning I
continued northward, and noticed still more striking combinations of
natural productions and human industries than on the preceding day.
One small, rural area in which these were blended impressed me
greatly, and I stopped to photograph the scene on my mind.  In a
circle hardly a third of a mile in diameter, there was the heaviest
crop of oats growing that I had yet seen in England; in another part
of the same field there was a large brick-kiln; in another, an
extensive quarry and machinery for sawing the stone into all sizes
and shapes; then a furnace for casting iron, and lastly, a coal
mine; and all these departments of labor and production were in full
operation.  It is quite possible that not one of the hundred
laborers on and under this ten-acre patch ever thought it an
extraordinary focus of production.  Perhaps even the proprietors and
managers of the five different enterprises worked on the small space
had taken its rich and diversified fertilities as a matter of
course, as we take the rain, light and heat of summer; but to a
traveller "taking stock" of a country's resources, it could not but
be a point of view exciting admiration.  I left it behind me deeply
impressed with the conviction that I had seen the most productive
ten-acre field that could be found on the surface of the globe,
counting in the variety and value of its surface and sub-surface

I took tea with a friend in Leeds, remaining only an hour or two in
that town, then pursuing my course northward.  The wide world knows
so much of Leeds that any notice that I could give of it might seem
affected and presumptuous.  It is to the Cloth-World what Rome is to
the Catholic.  Its Cloth Hall is the St. Peter's of Coat-and-
trouserdom.  Its rivers, streams and canals run black and blue with
the stringent juices of all the woods and weeds of the world used in
dyeing.  The woods of all the continents come floating in here, like
baled summer clouds of heaven.  It is a city of magnipotent
chimneys; and they stand thick and tall on the hills and in the
valleys around, and puff their black breathings into the face and
eyes of the sky above, baconising its countenance, and giving it no
time to wash up and look sober, calm and clean, except a few hours
on the sabbath.  The Leeds Mercury is a power in the land, and
everybody who reads the English language in either hemisphere knows
Edward Baines by name.

As I emerged from the great, busy town on the north, I passed by the
estates and residences of its manufacturing aristocracy.  The homes
they have built and embellished should satisfy the tastes and
ambitions of any hereditary nobility.  They need only a little more
age to make them rival many baronial establishments.  It is
interesting to see how the different classes of society are stepping
into each other's shoes in going up into higher grades of social
life.  The merchant and manufacturing princes of England have not
only reached but surpassed the conditions of wealth, taste and
elegance which the hereditary peers of the realm occupied a century
ago; while the latter have gone up to the rich and luxurious
surroundings of kings and queens of that period.  The upward
movement has reached the very lowest strata of society.  Not only
have the small tradesmen and farmers ascended to the comfortable
conditions of large merchants and landowners of one hundred years
ago, but common day laborers are lifted upward by the general
uprising.  I should not wonder if all the damp, low cellarless
cottages they now frequently inhabit should be swept away in less
than fifty years and replaced by as comfortable buildings as the
great middle class occupied in the childhood of the present

I found comfortable quarters for the night in the little village of
Bramhope, about five miles from Leeds.  The next day I walked to
Harrogate, passing through Otley and across the celebrated Wharf
Vale.  The scenery of this valley, as it opens upon you suddenly on
descending from the south into Otley, is exceedingly beautiful; not
so extensive as that of Belvoir Vale, but with all the features of
the latter landscape compressed in a smaller space; like a portrait
taken on a smaller scale.  As you look off from the southern ridge
or wall of the valley, you seem to stand on the cord of a segment of
a circle, the radius of which touches the horizon at about five
miles to the north.  This crescent is filled with the most delicate
lineaments of Nature's beauty.  The opposite walls of the gallery
slope upward from the meandering Wharf so gently and yet reach the
blue ceiling of the sky so near, that all the paintings that panel
them are vividly distinct to your eye, and you can group all their
lights and shades in the compass of a single glance.

On the opposite side, half hidden and half revealed among the trees
of an ample park, stands Farnley Hall, a historical residence of an
old historical family.  I had a letter of introduction to the
present proprietor, Mr. Fawkes, who, I hope, will not deem it a
disparagement to be called one of the Knights of the Shorthorns--a
more extensive, useful, and cosmopolitan order than were the Knights
of Rhodes or of Malta.  Unfortunately for me, he was not at home;
but his steward, a very intelligent, gentlemanly and genial man,
took me over the establishment, and showed me all the stock that was
stabled, mostly bulls of different ages.  They were all of the best
families of Shorthorn blood, and a better connoisseur of animal life
than myself could not have enjoyed the sight of such well-made
creatures more thoroughly than I did.  The prince of the blood, in
my estimation, was "Lord Cobham," a cream-colored bull, with which
compared that famous animal in Greek mythology which played himself
off as such an Adonis among the bovines, must have been a shabby,
scraggy quadruped.  Poor Europa! it would have been bad enough if
she had been run away with by a "Lord Cobham."  But the like of him
did not live in her day.

After going through the housings for cattle, the steward took me to
the Hall, a grand old mansion full of English history, especially of
the Commonwealth period.  Indeed, one large apartment was a museum
of relics of that stirring and stormy time.  There, against the
antique, carved wainscoting, hung the great broad-brim of Oliver
Cromwell, with a circumference nearly as large as an opened
umbrella, heavy, coarse and grim.  There hung a sword he wielded in
the fiery rifts of battle.  There was Fairfax's sword hanging by its
side; and his famous war-drum lay beneath.  Its leather lungs, that
once shouted the charge, were now still and frowsy, with no martial
speech left in them.

Mr. Fawkes owns about 15,000 acres of land, including most of the
valley of Otley, and extending back almost to Harrogate.  He farms
about 450 acres, but grows no wheat.  Indeed, I did not see a field
of it in a circle of five miles' diameter.

I reached Harrogate in the dusk of the evening, and found the town
alive with people mostly in the streets.  It is a snug and cozy
little Saratoga among the hills of Yorkshire, away from the smoke,
soot and savor of the great manufacturing centres.  It is a favorite
resort for a mild class of invalids, and of persons who need the
medicine of pure air and gentle exercise, blended with the quiet
tonics of cheery mirth and recreation.  Superadded to all these
stimulants, there is a mineral spring at which the visitors, young
and old, drink most voluminously.  I went down to it in the morning
before breakfast, and found it thronged by a multitude of men, women
and children, who drank off great goblets of it with astonishing
faith and facility.  The rotunda was so filled with the fumes of
sulphur that I found it more easy to inhale than to imbibe, and
preferred to satisfy that sense as to the merits of the water.

The next day I reached the brave old city of Ripon.  On the way I
stopped an hour or two at Ripley and visited the castle.  The
building itself is a good specimen of the baronial hall of the olden
time.  But the gardens and grounds constitute its distinguishing
feature.  I never saw before such an exquisite arrangement of
flowers, even at Chatsworth or the Kew Gardens.  All forms
imaginable were produced by them.  The most extensive and elaborate
combination was a row of flower sofas reaching around the garden.
Each was from 20 to 30 feet in length.  The seat was wrought in
geraniums of every tint, all grown to an even, compact surface,
presenting figures as diversified as the alternating hues could
produce.  The back was worked in taller flowers, presenting the same
evenness of line and surface.  On entering the garden gate and
catching the first sight of these beautiful structures, you take
them for veritable sofas, as perfectly wrought as anything was ever
done in Berlin wool.

Ripon is an interesting little city, with a fact-roll of history
reaching back into the dimmest centuries of the land.  It has run
the gauntlet of all the Saxon, Danish, Scotch and Norman raids and
regimes.  It was burnt once or twice by each of these races in the
struggle for supremacy.  But with a plucky tenacity of life, it
arose successively out of its own ashes and spread its phoenix wings
to a new and vigorous vitality.  A venerable cathedral looks down
upon it with a motherly face.  Unique old buildings, with half their
centuries unrecorded and lost in oblivion, stand to this day in good
repair, as the homes of happy children, who play at marbles and the
last sports of the day just as if they were born in houses only a
year older than themselves.  Institutions and customs older than the
cathedral are kept up with a filial faith in their virtue.  One of
the most interesting of these, I believe, was established by the
Saxon Edgar or Alfred--it matters not which; they were only a
century or two apart, and that space is but a trifling circumstance
in the history of this old country.  One of these kings appointed an
officer called a "wakeman" for the town.  He must originally have
been a kind of secular beadle of the community, or a curfew
constable, to see the whole population well a-bed in good season.
One of his duties consisted in blowing a horn every night at nine
o'clock as a signal to turn in.  But a remarkable consideration was
attached to faithful compliance with this summons.  If any house or
shop was robbed before sunrise, a tax was levied upon every
inhabitant, of 4d. if his house had one outer door, and of 8d. if it
had two.  This tax was to compensate the sufferer for his loss, and
also to put the whole community under bonds to keep the peace and to
feel responsible for the safety of each other's property.  Thus it
not only acted as a great mutual insurance company of which every
householder was a member, but it made him, as it were, a special
constable against burglary.  This old Saxon institution is in full
life and vigor to-day.  The wakeman is still the highest secular
official of the town.  For a thousand consecutive years the
wakeman's toot-horn has been blown at night over the successive
generations of the little cathedral city.  This is an interesting
fact, full of promise.  No American could fail to admire this
conservatism who appreciates national individuality.  No one, at
heart, could more highly esteem these salient traits of a people's
character.  And here I may as well put in a few thoughts on this
subject as at any stage of my walk.

Good-natured reader, are you a man of sensitive perceptions as to
the proprieties and dignities of dress and deportment which should
characterise some great historical personage whose name you have
held in profound veneration all your life long?  Now, in the wayward
drift of your imagination among the freaks of modern fashion, did it
ever dare to present before your eyes St. Paul in strapped
pantaloons, figured velvet vest, swallow-tailed coat, stove-pipe
hat, and a cockney glass at his eye?  Did your fancy, in its wildest
fictions, ever pass such an image across the speculum of your mental

Gentle reader, "in maiden meditation, fancy free," did a dreamy
thought of yours ever stray through the histories of your sex and
its modes of dress and adornment, and so blend or transpose them as
to present to you, in a sudden flash of the imagination, the Virgin
Mary dressed like the Empress Eugenie?  Readers both, did not that
fancy trouble you, as if an unholy thought had fallen into the soul?
Well, a thought like that must trouble the American when his fancy
passes before his mind's eye the image of Old England Americanised.
And a faculty more serious and trusty than fancy will present this
transformation to him, day by day, as he visits the great centres of
the nation's life and industry.  In London, Manchester, Liverpool,
and all the most busy and prosperous commercial and manufacturing
towns, he will see that England is becoming Americanised shockingly
fast.  In all these populous places it is losing the old
individuality that once distinguished the grandfatherland of fifty
millions who now speak its language beyond the sea.  Look at London!
look at the miles of three and four story houses under the mason's
hands, now running out in every direction from the city.  Will you
see a single feature of the Old England of our common memories in
them?  No, not one! no more than in a modern English dress-coat, or
in one of the iron rails of the British Great Western, or of the
Illinois Central.  It is doubtful if there will be anything of
England left in London at the end of the next fifty years, unless it
be the fog and the Lord Mayor's Show.  Already the radicals are
crying out against both of these institutions, which are merely
local, by the way.  The tailor's shears, the mason's trowel, and the
carpenter's edge-tools are evening everything in Christendom to one
dead level of uniformity.  The railroads and telegraphs are all
working to the same end.  All these agencies of modern civilization
at first lay their innovating hands upon large cities or commercial
centres.  Thence they work outward slowly and transform the
appearance and habits of the country.  The transformations I have
noticed in England since 1846 are wonderful, utilitarian, and
productive of absolute and rigid comfort to the people; still, I
must confess, they inspire in me a sentiment akin to that which our
village fathers experienced when the old church in which they
worshipped from childhood was pulled down to make room for a better

To every American, sympathising with these sentiments, it must be
interesting to visit such a rural little city as Ripon, and find
populations that cling with reverence and affection to the old Saxon
institutions of Alfred.  It will make him feel that he stands in the
unbroken lineage of the centuries, to hear the wakeman's horn, and
to know that it has been blown, spring, summer, autumn and winter,
in all weathers, in weal and in woe, for a thousand years.  As Old
England is driven farther and farther back from London, Manchester,
Liverpool, and other great improving towns, she will find refuge and
residence in these retired country villages.  Here she will wear
longest and last the features in which she was engraven on the minds
of all the millions who call her mother beyond the sea.

The next day I visited the celebrated Fountain Abbey in Studley
Park,--a grand relic of antiquity, framed with silver and emerald
work of lakelets, lawns, shrubberies and trees as beautifully
arranged as art, taste and wealth could set them.  The old abbey is
a majestic ruin which fills one with wonder as he looks up at its
broken arches and towers and sees the dimensions marked by the
pedestals or foot-prints of its templed columns.  It stands rather
in a narrow glen than in a valley, and was commenced, it is
supposed, about 1130.  The yew-trees under which the monks
bivouacked while at work upon the magnificent edifice, are still
standing, bearing leaves as large and green as those that covered
the enthusiastic architects of that early time.  In the height of
its prosperity and power, the lands of the abbey embraced over
72,000 acres.  The Park enclosing this great monument of an earlier
age contains 250 acres, and is really an earthly elysium of beauty.
It was comforting to learn that it was laid out so late as 1720, and
that all the noble trees that filled it had grown to their present
grandeur within the intervening period.  Here I saw for the first
time in England our hard-maple.  It was a spindling thing, looking
as if it had suffered much from fever and ague or rheumatism; but it
was pleasant to see it admitted into a larger fellowship of trees
than our New England soil ever bore.  On a green, lawn-faced slope,
at the turning of the principal walk, there was a little tree a few
feet high enclosed in by a circular wire fence.  It was planted by
the Princess of Wales on a visit of the royal pair to Studley soon
after their marriage.  The fair Dane left her card in this way to
the old Abbey, which began to rise upon its foundations soon after
the stalwart Danish sovereign of England fell at the Battle of
Hastings.  Will any one of her posterity ever bear his name and sit
upon the throne he vacated for that bloody grave?  No!  She will
remember a better name at the font.  The day and the name of the
Harolds, Williams, Henrys, Charles's, and Georges are over and gone
forever.  ALBERT THE GOOD has estopped that succession; and England,
doubtless, for centuries to come, will wear that name and its
memories in her crown.

After spending a few hours at Studley Park, I returned to Ripon and
went on to Thirsk, where I spent the Sabbath with a Friend.  The
next day he drove me over to Rievaulx Abbey, which was the mother of
Fountain Abbey.  On the way to it we passed the ruins of another of
these grand structures of that religious age, called Byland Abbey,
where Robert Bruce came within an ace of capturing King Edward on
his retreat from Scotland, after the Battle of Bannockburn.

One of the objects of this excursion was to visit the establishment
of Lord Faversham, near Helmsley, who is one of the most scientific
and successful stock-raisers, of the Shorthorn blood, in England,
and to whom I had a note of introduction.  But he, too, was not at
home, which I much regretted, as I was desirous of seeing one of the
peers of the realm who enter into this culture of animal life with
so much personal interest and assiduity.  His manager, however, was
very affable and attentive, ready and pleased to give any
information desired upon different points.  He showed us a splendid
set of animals.  Indeed, I had never seen a herd to equal it.  There
were several bulls of different ages with a perfection of form truly
admirable.  Some of them had already drawn first prizes at different
shows.  Several noble specimens of this celebrated herd have been
sold to stock-raisers in America, Australia and in continental
countries.  The most perfect of all the well-made animals on the
establishment, according to my untrained perceptions of symmetry,
was a milk-white cow, called "The Lady in White," three years old.
She and Mr. Fawkes' "Lord Cobham" should be shown together.  I doubt
if a better mated pair could be found in England.  There was a large
number of cows feeding in the park which would command admiration at
any exhibition of stock.  Lord Faversham's famous "Skyrocket" ended
his days with much eclat.  When getting into years, and into
monstrous obesity, he was presented as a contribution to the
Lancashire Relief Fund.  Before passing into the butcher's hands, he
was exhibited in Leeds, and realised about 200 pounds as a show.
Thus as a curiosity first, and as a small mountain of fat beef
afterward, he proved a generous gift to the suffering operatives in
the manufacturing districts.

Passing through the park gate, we entered upon a lawn esplanade
looking down upon the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey.  This broad terrace
extended for apparently a half of a mile, and was as finely carpeted
piece of ground as you will find in England.  No hair of horse or
dog groomed and brushed with the nicest care, and soft and shining
with the healthiest vitality, could surpass in delicacy and life of
surface the grass coverlet of this long terrace, from which you
looked down upon that grand monument of twelfth-century architecture
half veiled among the trees of the glen.  This was one of the oldest
abbeys in the north of England, and the mother of several of them.
Some of its walls are still as entire and perfect as those of
Tintern, on the Wye.  It was founded by the monks of the St. Bernard
order, in 1131, according to the historical record.  Really those
black-cowled masons and carvers must have given the enthusiasm and
genius of the early painters of the Virgin to these magnificent
structures.  I will not go into the subject at large here, leaving
it to form an entire chapter, when I have seen most of the old
abbeys of the country.  In looking up at their walls, arches and
columns, one marvels to see the most delicate and elaborate vine and
flower-work of the carver's chisel apparently as perfect as when it
engraved the last line; and this, too, in face of the frosts and
beating storms of six hundred years.  The largest ivy I ever saw
buttressed one of the windowed walls with ten thousand cross-folded
fingers and foliage of vivid green piled thick and high upon the
teeth-marks of time.  The trunk was a full foot through at the butt.
A few years ago a large mound was uncovered near the ruin, and found
to be composed of cinders, showing incontestably that the monks had
worked iron ore very extensively, thus teaching the common people
that art as well as agriculture.  These cinders have been used very
largely in repairing the roads for a considerable distance around.

On returning to Thirsk over the Hambleton range of hills, we crossed
thousands of acres of moor-land covered with heather in full bloom,
looking like a purple sea.  It was a splendid sight.  My friend, who
was an artist, stopped for a while to sketch one or two views of the
scene.  As we proceeded, we saw several green and golden fields
impinging upon this florid waste, serving to illustrate what might
be done with the vast tracts of land in England and Scotland now
bristling with this thick and prickly vegetation.  The heatherland
over which we were passing was utilised in a rather singular manner.
It yielded pasturage to two sets of industrials--sheep and bees.  As
the heather blossom is thought to impart a peculiarly pleasant
flavor to honey, I was told many bee-stock-raisers of Lincolnshire
brought their hives to this section to pasture them for a season on
this purple prairie.

The westward view from the precipitous heights of the Hambleton
ridge is one of the most beautiful and extensive you will find in
England, well worth a special journey to see it.  The declining sun
was flooding the great basin with the day's last, best smile,
filling it to the golden rim of the horizon with a soft light in
which lay a landscape of thirty miles' depth, embracing full fifty
villages and hamlets, parks, plantations and groves, all looking
"like emeralds chased in gold."  On the whole, I am inclined to
think many tourists would regard this view as even superior to that
of Belvoir Vale.  It might be justly placed between that and Wharf

A London gentleman produced a most unique picture on the forehead of
one of these hills, which may be seen at a great distance.  In the
first place, he had a smooth, lawn-like surface prepared on the
steep slope.  Then he cut out the form of a horse in the green turf,
sowing the whole contour of the animal with lime.  This brought out
in such bold relief the body and limbs, that, at several miles
distance, you seem to see a colossal white horse standing on his
four legs, perfect in form and feature, even to ear and nostril.
The symmetry is perfect, although the body, head, legs and tail
cover a space of _four_ acres!

The next day I took staff for Northallerton, reaching that town
about the middle of the afternoon.  Passed through a highly
cultivated district, and saw, for the first time, several reaping
machines at work in the fields.  I was struck at the manner in which
they were used.  I have noticed a peculiarity in reaping in this
section which must appear singular to an American.  The men cut
inward instead of outward, as with us.  And these machines were
following the same rule!  As they went around the field, they were
followed or rather met by men and women, each with an allotted beat,
who rushed in behind and gathered up the fallen from the standing
grain so as to make a clear path for the next round.  There seemed
to be no reason for this singular and awkward practice, except the
adhesion to an old custom of reaping.  The grain was not very stout,
nor was it lodged.

From Northallerton I hastened on to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in order to
attend, for the first time in my life, the meetings of the British
Association.  I reached that town on the 25th of August, and
remained there a week, enjoying one of the greatest treats that ever
fell to my lot.  I will reserve a brief description of it for a
separate chapter at the end of this volume, if my Notes on other
matters do not crowd it out.



On Thursday, Sept. 3rd, I left Newcastle, and proceeded first
westward to the old town of Hexham, with the view of taking a more
central route into Scotland.  Here, too, are the ruins of one of the
most ancient of the abbeys.  The parish church wears the wrinkles of
as many centuries as the oldest in the land.  Indeed, the town is
full of antiquities of different dates and races,--Roman, Scotch,
Saxon, Danish and Norman.  They all left the marks of their glaived
hands upon it.

From Hexham I faced northward and followed the North Tyne up through
a very picturesque and romantic valley, thickly wooded and studded
with baronial mansions, parks, castles and residences of gentry,
with comfortable farm-houses looking sunny and cheerful on the green
hill slopes and on the quiet banks of the river.  I saw fields of
wheat quite green, looking as if they needed another month's sun to
fit them for harvesting.  Lodged in a little village about eight
miles from Hexham.  The next day walked on to the little hamlet of
Fallstones, a distance of about twenty miles.  As I ascended the
valley, the scene changed rapidly.  The river dwindled to a narrow
stream.  The hills that walled it in on either side grew higher and
balder, and the clouds lay cold and dank upon their bleak and sullen
brows.  The hamlets edged in here and there grew thinner, smaller
and shabbier.  The road was barred and gated about once in a mile,
to keep cattle and sheep from wandering; there being no fences nor
hedges running parallel with it.  In a word, the premonitory
symptoms of a bare border-land thickened at every turn.

Another day brought me into the midst of a wild region, which might
be called No-man's-land; although most of it belongs to the Duke of
Northumberland.  It is all in the solitary grandeur of heather-
haired hills, which tinge, with their purple flush, the huge, black-
winged clouds that alight upon them.  Only here and there a
shepherd's cottage is to be seen half way up the heights, or
sheltering itself in a clump of trees in glen or gorge, like a
benighted traveller bivouacking for a night in a desert.  Sheep, of
the Cheviot breed mostly, are nearly the sole inhabitants and
industrials of this mountainous waste.  They climb to the highest
peaks and bring down the white wealth of their wool to man.  It was
pleasant to see them like walking mites, flecking the dark brows of
the mountains.  They made a picture; they made a tableau vivant of
the same illustration as Landseer's lamb looking into the grass-
covered cannon's mouth.

This is the Border-land!  Here the fiercest antagonisms of hostile
nationalities met in deadly conflict.  Fire and blood, rapine and
wrath blackened and reddened and ravaged for centuries across this
bleak territory.  Robber-chieftains and knighted free-booters
carried on their guerilla raids backward and forward, under the
counterfeited banner of patriotism.  Scotch and English armies led
by kings marched and counter-marched over this sombre boundary.
Never before was there one apparently more insoluble as a barrier
between two peoples.  Never before in Christendom was there one that
required a longer space of time to melt.  Never before did the
fusing of two nationalities encounter more fierce and prolonged
opposition.  Did ever patriotism pour out a swifter and deeper tide
of chivalrous sentiment against merging one in another?--against
uniting two thrones and two peoples in one?  Did patriotism ever
fight bloodier battles to prevent such a union, or cling to local
sovereignty with a more desperate hold?

This is the Border-land!  Look up the purpled steeps of these
heathered hills.  The white lambs are looking, with their soft, meek
eyes, into the grass-choked mouths of the rusty and dismantled
cannon of the war of nationalities between England and Scotland.
The deed has been consummated.  The valor and patriotism of Wallace
and Bruce could not prevent it.  The sheep of English and Scotch
shepherds feed side by side on these mountain heights, in spite of
Stirling and Bannockburn, of Flodden and Falkirk.  The Iron Horse,
bearing the blended arms of the two realms on his shield, walks over
those battle-fields by night and day, treading their memories deeper
and deeper in the dust.  The lambs are playing in the sun on the
boundary line of the two dominions.  Does a Scot of to-day love his
native land less than the Campbell clansman or clan-chief in Bruce's
time?  Not a whit.  He carries a heartful of its choicest memories
with him into all countries of his sojourning.  But there is a
larger sentiment that includes all these filial feelings towards his
motherland, while it draws additional warmth and strength from them.
It is the sentiment of Imperial Nationality; the feeling of a
Briton, that does not extinguish nor absorb, nor compete with, the
Scot in his heart;--the feeling that he is a political constituent
of a mighty nation, whose feet stand upon all the continents of the
earth, while it holds the best islands of the sea in its hands;--the
feeling with which he says _We_ with all the millions of a dominion
on which the sun never sets, and _Our_, when he speaks of its grand
and common histories, its hopes, prospects, progress, power and

There was a Border-land, dark and bloody, between Saxon England and
Celtic Wales.  For centuries the red foot-marks of savage conflict
scarred and covered its wild waste.  Never before did so small a
people make so stout, and desperate and protracted struggle for
local independence and isolation.  Never did one produce a more
strong-hearted and blind-eyed patriotism, or patriotism more poets
to thrill the listeners to their lays with the intoxicating
fanaticism of a national sentiment.  On that Border-land the white
lambs now lie in the sun.  The Welsh sentiment is as strong as ever
in the Snowdon shepherd, and he may not speak a dozen words of the
English tongue.  But the Briton lives in his breast.  The feeling of
its great meaning surrounds and illumines the inner circles of his
local attachment.  He may never have seen a map of the Globe, and
never have been outside the wall of the Welsh mountains; but he
knows, without geography, who and what Queen Victoria is among the
earth's sovereigns, and the length and breadth of her sceptre's
reach and rule around the world.

There was a Border-land between Britain and Ireland, blackened and
scarred by more burning antagonisms than those that once divided the
larger island.  The record of several consecutive centuries is
graven deep in it by the brand and bayonet, and by the more incisive
teeth-marks of hate.  The slumbering antipathies of race and
religion even now crop out here and there, over the unfused
boundary, in hissing tongues of flame.  The Briton and the Celt are
still struggling for the precedence in the Irishman's breast; but it
is not a war of extermination.  His ardent nature is given to
martial memories, and all the battles he boasts of are British
battles, in which he or his father played the hero number one.  The
history of independent Ireland is poor and thin; still he holds it
back in his heart, and hesitates to link it with the great annals of
the "Saxon" realm, and thus make of both one grand and glorious
record, present and future.  He cannot yet make up his mind to say
_We_ with all the other English-speaking millions of the empire, as
the Scotsman and Welshman have learned and loved to say it.  He
cannot as yet say _Our_ with them with such a sentiment of joint-
interest, when the histories, hopes, expansion and capacities of
that empire unroll their vista before him.  But the rains and the
dews of a milder century are falling upon this Border-land.  The
lava of spent volcanoes that covered it is taking soil and seed of
green vegetation.  The white lambs shall yet lie on it in the sun.

What a volume might be filled with the succinctest history of the
Border-lands of Christendom!  France was intersected with them for
centuries.  Seemingly they were as implacable and obdurate as any
that ever divided the British isle.  Local patriotism wrote poetry
and shed blood voluminously to prevent the fusion of these old
landmarks of pigmy nationalities.  It took nearly a thousand years
to complete the blending; to make the _we_ and the _our_ of one
great consolidated empire the largest political sentiment of the men
of Normandy, Burgundy or Navarre.  Long and fierce, and seemingly
endless was the struggle; but at last, on all those old obstinate
boundaries of hostile principalities, the white lambs lay in the

There are Border-lands now in the south and east of Europe foaming
and seething with the same antagonisms of race and language; and
Christendom is tremulous with their emotion.  It is the same old
struggle over again; and yet ninety-nine in a hundred of intelligent
and reading people, with the history of British and French Border-
lands before them, seem to think that a new and strange thing has
happened under the sun.  Full that proportion of our English-
speaking race, in both hemispheres, closing the volume of its own
annals, have made up their minds to the belief that these Border-
lands between German and Magyar, Teuton and Latin, Russ and Pole,
bristle with antagonisms the like of which never were subdued, and
never ought to be subdued by human means or motives.  To them,
naturally, the half century of this hissing and seething,
insurrection and repression, is longer than the five hundred years
and more it took to fuse into one the nationalities of England and
Wales.  What a point of space is a century midway between the ninth
and nineteenth!  Few are long-sighted enough in historic vision to
touch that point with a cambric needle.  It may seem unfeeling to
say it or think it; still it is as true as the plainest history of
the last millenium.  There is a patriotism that looks at the future
through a gimlet hole, and sees in it but a single star.  That
patriotism is a natural, and most popular sentiment.  It was strong
in the Welshman's breast a thousand years ago, and in the Scotsman's
half that distance back in the past.  But it is a patriotism that
has its day and its rule; then both its eyes are opened, and it
looks upon the firmament of the future broadside on, and sees a
constellation where it once saw and half worshipped a solitary star.
Better to be the part of a great WHOLE than the whole of a little

These continental Border-lands may see the face of their future
history in the mirror of England's annals.  They are quaking now
with the impetuous emotions of local nationality.  They are
blackened and scarred in the contest for the Welsh and Scotch
independence of centuries agone.  But over those boundary wastes the
grass shall yet grow soft, fair and green, and there, too, the white
lambs shall lie in the sun.

My walk lay over the most inhospitable and unpeopled section I ever
saw.  Calling at a station on the railway that passes through it, I
was told by the master that the nearest church or chapel was sixteen
miles in one direction, and over twenty in another.  It is doubtful
if so large a churchless space could be found in Iowa or even
Kansas.  I was glad to reach Hawick, a good, solid town but a little
way inside of the Scottish border, where I spent the sabbath and the
following Monday.  This was a rallying and sallying point in the old
Border Wars, and was inundated two or three times by the flux and
reflux of this conflict, having been burnt twice, and put under the
ordeal of other calamities brought upon it when free-booting was
both the business, occupation and pastime of knighted chieftains and
their clansmen.  It is now a thrifty, manufacturing town, lying in
the trough of the sea, or of the lofty hills that resemble waves
hardened to earth in their crests.  Just opposite the Temperance Inn
in which I had my quarters, was the Tower Hotel, once a palatial
mansion of the Buccleuchs.  There the Duchess of Monmouth used to
hold her drawing-rooms in an apartment which many a New England
journeyman mechanic would hardly think ample and comfortable enough
for his parlor.  There is a curious conical mound in the town,
called the Moat-hill, which looks like a great, green carbuncle.  It
is thought by some to be a Druidical monument, but is quite involved
in a mystery which no one has satisfactorily solved.  It is strange
that no persistent and successful effort has been made to let day-
light through it.  Some workmen a long time ago undertook to
perforate it, but were frightened away by a thunder-storm, which
they seemed to take as a reproof and threatened punishment for their
profanity.  The great business of Hawick is the manufacture of a
woollen fabric called _Tweeds_.  It came to this name in a singular
way.  The clerk of the factory made out an invoice of the first lot
to a London house under the name of _Twilled_ goods.  The London man
read it _Tweeds_, instead of Twilled, and ever since they have gone
by that title.  As Sir Walter Scott was at that time making the name
"Tweed" illustrious, the mistake was a very lucrative one to the
manufacturers of the article.  Here, too, in this border town
commences the chain of birthplaces of eminent men, who have honored
Scotland with their lives and history.  Here was born James Wilson,
once the editor of The Economist, who worked his way up, through
intermediate positions of public honor and trust, to that of Finance
Minister for India, and died at the meridian of his manhood in that
country of dearly-bought distinctions.

On Tuesday, Sept. 8th, I commenced my walk northward from this
threshold town of Scotland.  Followed down the Teviot to Denholm,
the birth-place of the celebrated poet and linguist, Dr. John
Leyden, another victim who offered himself a sacrifice to the costly
honors and emoluments of East Indian official life.  One great
thought fired his soul in all the perils and privations of that
deadly climate.  It was to ascend one niche higher in knowledge of
oriental tongues than Sir William Jones.  He labored to this end
with a desperate assiduity that perhaps was never surpassed or even
equalled.  He died hugging the conviction that he had attained it.
This little village was his birthplace.  Here he wrote his first
rhymes, and wooed and won the first inspirations of the muse.  His
heart, as its last pulses grew weaker and slower, in that far-off
heathen land, took on its child-thoughts again and its child-
memories; and his last words were about this little, rural hamlet
where he was born.  A beautiful monument has been erected to his
memory in the centre of the large common around which the village is
built.  On each of the four sides of the monument there is a tribute
to his name and worth; one from Sir Walter Scott, and one taken from
his own poems, entitled "Scenes of my Infancy," a touching appeal to
his old friends and neighbors to hold him in kind remembrance.

All this section is as fertile as it can be in the sceneries and
historical associations favorable for inspiring a strong-hearted
love of country, and for the development of the poetry of romantic
patriotism.  It was pleasant to emerge from the dark, cold, barren
border-land, from the uncivilized mountains, standing sullen in the
wild, shaggy chevelure of nature, and to walk again between towering
hills dressed in the best toilet of human industry, crowned with
golden wheatfields, and zoned with broad girdles of the greenest
vegetation.  It is when these contrasts are suddenly and closely
brought within the same vista that one sees and feels how the
Creator has honored the labor of human hands, and lifted it up into
partnership with His omnipotences in chronicling the consecutive
centuries of the earth in illuminated capitals of this joint
handwriting.  It is a grand and impressive sight--one of those dark-
browed hills of the Border-land, bearded to its rock-ridged forehead
with such bush-bristles and haired with matted heather.  In nature
it is what a painted Indian squaw in her blanket, eagle feathers and
moccasins, is in the world of humanity.  We look upon both with a
species of admiration, as contrasts with objects whose worth is
measured by the comparison.  The Empress Eugenie and the Princess of
Wales, and wives and sisters lovelier still to the circles of humble
life, look more beautiful and graceful when the eye turns to them
from a glance at the best-looking squaw of the North American wilds.
And so looked the well-dressed hills on each side of the Teviot,
compared with the uncultured and stunted mountains among which I had
so recently walked.

Ascending from Teviotdale, I passed the Earl of Minto's seat, a
large and modern-looking mansion, surrounded with beautiful grounds
and noble trees, and commanding a grand and picturesque view of
valley and mountain from an excellent point of observation.  As soon
as I lost sight of Teviotdale another grand vista of golden and
purpled hills and rich valleys burst upon my sight as suddenly as
theatrical sceneries are shifted on the stage.  Dined in a little,
rural, unpoetical village bearing the name of Lilliesleaf.  Resuming
my walk, I soon came in sight of the grand valley of the Tweed, a
great basin of natural beauty, holding, as it were, Scotland's
"apples of gold in pictures of silver."  Every step commanded some
new feature of interest.  Here on the left arose to the still, blue
bosom of the sky the three great Eildon Hills, with their heads
crowned with heather as with an emerald diadem.  The sun is low, and
the far-off village in the valley shows dimly between the daylight
and darkness.  There is the shadow of a broken edifice, broken but
grand, that arises out of the midst of the low houses.  A little
farther on, arches, and the stone vein-work of glassless windows,
and ivy-netted towers come out more distinctly.  I recognise them at
the next furlong.  They stand thus in pictures hung up in the
parlors of thousands of common homes in America, Australia and
India.  They are the ruins of Melrose Abbey.  Here is the original
of the picture.  I see it at last, as thousands of Americans have
seen it before.  In history and association it is to them the
Westminster Abbey of Scotland, but in ruin.  It looks natural,
though not at first glance what one expected.  The familiar
engraving does not give us the real flesh and blood of the
antiquity, or the complexion of the stone; but it does not
exaggerate the exquisite symmetries and artistic genius of the
structure.  These truly inspire one with wonder.  They are all that
pen and pencil have described them.  The great window, which is the
most salient feature in the common picture, is a magnificent piece
of work in stone, twenty-four feet in height and sixteen in breadth.
It is all in the elm-tree order of architecture.  The old monks
belonged to that school, and they wrought out branches, leaves and
leaf-veins, and framed the lacework of their chisels with colored
glass most exquisitely.

Melrose Abbey was the eldest daughter, I believe, of Rievaulx Abbey,
in Yorkshire, which has already been noticed; a year or two older in
its foundation than Fountain Abbey, in Studley Park.  The fecundity
with which these ecclesiastical buildings multiplied and replenished
England and Scotland is a marvel, considering the age in which they
were erected and the small population and the poverty of the
country.  But something on this aspect of the subject hereafter.
Here lie the ashes of Scottish kings, abbots and knights whose names
figured conspicuously in the history of public and private wars
which cover such a space of the country's life as an independent
nation.  The Douglas family especially with several of its branches
found a resting-place for their dust within these walls.  Built and
rebuilt, burnt and reburnt, mutilated, dismembered, consecrated and
desecrated, make up the history of this celebrated edifice, and that
of its like, from Land's End to John O'Groat's.  It is a slight but
a very appreciable mitigation of these destructive acts that it was
ruined _artistically_; just as some enthusiastic castle and abbey-
painter would have suggested.

Although I spent the night at Melrose, it was a dark and cloudy one,
so that I could not see the abbey by moonlight--a view so much
prized and celebrated.  The next day I literally walked from morning
till evening among the tombstones of antiquity and monuments of
Scotch history invested with an interest which will never wane.  In
the first place, I went down the Tweed a few miles and crossed it in
a ferry-boat to see Dryburgh Abbey.  Here, embowered among the trees
in a silver curve of the river, stands this grand monument of one of
the most remarkable ages of the world.  Within an hour's walk from
Melrose, and four or five years only after the completion of that
edifice, the foundations of this were laid.  It is astonishing.  We
will not dwell upon it now, but make a separate chapter on it when I
have seen most of the other ruins of the kind in the kingdom.  The
French are given to the habit of festooning the monuments and graves
of their relatives and friends with immortelles.  Nature has hung
one of hers to Dryburgh Abbey.  It is a yew-tree opposite the door
by which you enter the ruins.  The year-rings of its trunk register
all the centuries that the stones of the oldest wall have stood
imbedded one upon the other.  The tree is still green, putting forth
its leaf in its season.  But there is an immortelle hung to these
dark, crumbling walls that shall outlive the greenest trees now
growing on earth.  Here, in a little vaulted chapel, or rather a
deep niche in the wall, lie the remains of Sir Walter Scott, his
wife and the brilliant Lockhart.  How many thousands of all lands
where the English language is spoken will come and stand here in
mute and pensive communion before the iron gate of this family tomb
and look through the bars upon this group of simply-lettered stones!

From Dryburgh I walked back to Melrose on the east side of the
Tweed.  Lost the footpath, and for two hours clambered up and down
the precipitous cliffs that rise high and abrupt from the river.  In
many places the zig-zag path was cut into the rock, hardly a foot in
breadth, overhanging a precipice which a person of weak nerves could
hardly face with composure.  At last got out of these dark
fastnesses and ascended a range of lofty hills where I found a good
carriage road.  This elevation commanded the most magnificent view
that I ever saw in Scotland, excepting, perhaps, the one from
Stirling Castle only for the feature which the Forth supplies.  It
was truly beautiful beyond description, and it would be useless for
me to attempt one.

After dinner in Melrose, I resumed my walk northward and came
suddenly upon Abbotsford.  Indeed, I should have missed it, had I
not noticed a wooden gate open on the roadside, with some directions
upon it for those wishing to visit the house.  As it stands low down
towards the river, and as all the space above it to the road is
covered with trees and shrubbery, it is entirely hidden from view in
that direction.  The descent to the house is rather steep and long.
And here it is!--Abbotsford!  It is the photograph of Sir Walter
Scott.  It is brim full of him and his histories.  No author's pen
ever gave such an individuality to a human home.  It is all the
coinage of thoughts that have flooded the hemispheres.  Pages of
living literature built up all these lofty walls, bent these arches,
panelled these ceilings, and filled the whole edifice with these
mementoes of the men and ages gone.  Every one of these hewn stones
cost a paragraph; that carved and gilded crest, a column's length of
thinking done on paper.  It must be true that pure, unaided literary
labor never built before a mansion of this magnitude and filled it
with such treasures of art and history.  This will forever make it
and the pictures of it a monument of peculiar interest.  I have said
that it is brim full of the author.  It is equally full of all he
wrote about; full of the interesting topographs of Scotland's
history, back to the twilight ages; full inside and out, and in the
very garden and stable walls.  The studio of an artist was never
fuller of models of human or animal heads, or of counterfeit
duplicates of Nature's handiwork, than Sir Walter's mansion is of
things his pen painted on in the long life of its inspirations.  The
very porchway that leads into the house is hung with petrified stag-
horns, doubtless dug up in Scottish bogs, and illustrating a page of
the natural history of the country in some pre-historic century.
The halls are panelled with Scotland,--with carvings in oak from the
old palace of Dunfermline.  Coats of arms of the celebrated Border
chieftains are arrayed in line around the walls.  The armoury is a
miniature arsenal of all arms ever wielded since the time of the
Druids.  And a history attaches to nearly every one of the weapons.
History hangs its webwork everywhere.  It is built, high and low,
into the face of the outside walls.  Quaint, old, carved stones from
abbey and castle ruins, arms, devices and inscriptions are all here
presented to the eye like the printed page of an open volume.  Among
the interesting relics are a chair made from the rafters of the
house in which Wallace was betrayed, Rob Roy's pistol, and the key
of the old Tolbooth of Edinburgh.

I was conducted through the rooms opened to visitors by a very
gentlemanly-looking man, who might be taken for an author himself,
from his intellectual appearance and conversation.  The library is
the largest of all the apartments--fifty feet by sixty.  Nor is it
too large for the collection of books it contains, which numbers
about 20,000 volumes, many of them very rare and valuable.  But the
soul-centre of the building to me was the _study_, opening into the
library.  There is the small writing-table, and there is the plain
armchair in which he sat by it and worked out those creations of
fancy which have excited such interest through the world.  That
square foot over against this chair, where his paper lay, is the
focus, the point of incidence and reflection, of thoughts that
pencilled outward, like sun-rays, until their illumination reached
the antipodes,--thoughts that brought a pleasant shining to the sun-
burnt face of the Australian shepherd as he watched his flock at
noon from under the shadow of a stunted tree; thoughts which made a
cheery fellowship at night for the Hudson Bay hunter, in his snow-
buried cabin on the Saskatchiwine.  The books of this little inner
library were the body-guard of his genius, chosen to be nearest him
in the outsallyings of his imagination.  Here is a little
conversational closet, with a window in it to let in the leaf-sifted
light and air--a small recess large enough for a couple of chairs or
so, which he called a "Speak-a-bit."  Here is something so near his
personality that it almost startles you like a sudden apparition of
himself.  It is a glass case containing the clothes he last wore on
earth,--the large-buttoned, blue coat, the plaid trousers, the
broad-brimmed hat, and heavy, thick-soled shoes which he had on when
he came in from his last walk to lay himself down and die.

On signing my name in the register, I was affected at a coincidence
which conveyed a tribute of respect to the memory of the great
author of striking significance, while it recorded the painful
catastrophe which has broken over upon the American Republic.  It
was a sad sight to me to see the profane and suicidal antagonisms
which have rent it in twain brought to the shrine of this great
memory and graven upon its sacred tablet as it were with the
murdering dagger's point.  New and bad initials!  The father and
patriot Washington would have wept tears of blood to have read them
here,--to have read them anywhere, bearing such deplorable meaning.
They were U.S.A. and C.S.A., as it were chasing each other up and
down the pages of the visitors' register.  Sad, sad was the sight--
sadder, in a certain sense, than the smoke-wreaths of the Tuscarora
and Alabama ploughing the broad ocean with their keels.  U.S.A. and
C.S.A.!  What initials for Americans to write, with the precious
memories of a common history and a common weal still held to their
hearts--to write here or anywhere!  What a riving and a ruin do
those letters record!  Still they brought in their severed hands a
common homage-gift to the memory of the Writer of Abbotsford.  If
they represented the dissolution of a great political fabric, in
which they once gloried with equal pride, they meant union here--a
oneness indissoluble in admiration for a great genius whose memory
can no more be localised to a nation than the interest of his works.

American names, both of the North and South, may be found on almost
every page of the register.  I wrote mine next to that of a
gentleman from Worcester, Mass., my old place of residence, who only
left an hour before my arrival.  Abbotsford and Stratford-upon-Avon
are points to which our countrymen converge in their travels in this
country; and you will find more of their signatures in the registry
of these two haloed homesteads of genius than anywhere else in

The valley of the Tweed in this section is all an artist would
delight in as a surrounding of such histories.  The hills are lofty,
declining into gorges or dells at different angles with the river,
which they wall in precipitously with their wooded sides in many
places.  They are mostly cultivated to the top, and now in harvest
many of them were crowned with stooked sheaves of wheat, each
looking in the distance like Nature with her golden curls done up in
paper, dressing for the harvest-home of the season.  Some of them
wore belts and gores of turnip foliage of different nuances of green
luxuriance, combining with every conceivable shade and alternation
of vegetable coloring.  Indeed, as already intimated, the view from
the eminence almost overhanging the little sequestered peninsula on
which Old Melrose stood twelve centuries ago, is indescribably
beautiful, and well worth a long journey to see, disconnected from
its historical associations.  The Eildon Hills towering up heather-
crowned to the height of over 1,300 feet above the level of the sea
right out of the sheen of barley fields, as from a sea of silver,
form one of the salient features of this glorious landscape.  This
is an interesting peculiarity of Scotch scenery;--civilization
sapping the barbarism of the wilderness; wheat-fields mordant biting
in upon peaty moorlands, or climbing to the tops of cold, bald
mountains, shearing off their thorny locks of heather and covering
them with the well-dressed chevelure of yellow grain.  Where the
farmer's horse cannot climb with the plough, or the little sheep
cannot graze to advantage, human hands plant the Scotch larch or
fir, just as a tenant-gardener would set out cabbage-plants in odd
corners of his little holding which he could have no other use for.

Abbotsferry is just above Abbotsford, and is crossed in a small row-
boat.  The river here is of considerable width and quite rapid.  The
boat was kept on the other side; so I hallooed to a man engaged in
thatching a rick of oats to come and ferry me over.  Without
descending from the ladder, he called to some one in the cottage,
when, to my surprise, a well-dressed young woman, in rather flowing
dress, red jacket, and with her hair tastefully done up in a net a-
la-mode, made her appearance.  Descending to the river, she folded
up her gown, and, settling herself to the oars, "pushed her light
shallop from the shore" with the grace of The Lady of the Lake.  In
a few minutes she ran the prow upon the pebbled beach at my feet,
and I took my seat at the other end of the boat.  She did it all so
naturally, and without any other flush upon her pleasant face than
that of the exercise of rowing, that I felt quite easy myself and
checked the expression of regret I was on the point of uttering for
putting her to such service.  A few questions convinced me it was
her regular employment, especially when her father was busy.  I
could not help asking her if she had ever read "The Lady of the
Lake," but found that neither that romance nor any other had ever
invested her river experience with any sensibility except of a
cheerful duty.  She was going to do the whole for a penny, her usual
charge, but I declined to take back any change for the piece of
silver I gave to her, intimating that I regarded it cheap at that to
be rowed over a river by such hands.

Almost opposite to Abbotsford I passed one of the best farming
establishments I had seen in Scotland.  I was particularly struck
with a feature which will hereafter distinguish the steddings or
farm buildings in Great Britain.  Steam has already accomplished
many changes, and among others one that could hardly have been
anticipated when it was first applied to common uses.  It has
virtually turned the threshing-floor out of doors.  Grain growing
has become completely out-of-door work, from seeding to sending to
market.  The day of building two-story barns for storing and
threshing wheat, barley and oats is over, I am persuaded, in this
country.  A quadrangle of slate-roofed cow-sheds, for housing horses
and cattle, will displace the old-fashioned barns, each with its
rood of roof.  This I saw on crossing the Tweed was quite new, and
may serve as a model of the housing that will come into vogue
rapidly.  One familiar with New England in the "old meeting-house"
time would call this establishment a hollow square of horse-sheds,
without a break or crevice at the angles.

I reached Galashiels about 5 p.m., and stopped an hour for tea.
This is a vigorous and thrifty town, that makes a profitable and
useful business of the manufacture of tweeds, tartans and shawls.
It is situated on the banks of the Gala, a little, rapid, shallow
river that joins the Tweed about a mile below.  After tea I resumed
my walk, but owing to the confused direction of the landlady, took
the wrong side of the river, and diverged westward toward Peebles.
I had made three miles or more in this direction before I found out
my mistake, so was obliged to return to Galashiels, where I
concluded to spend the night, after another involuntary excursion
more unsatisfactory than my walk around Sheffield, inasmuch as I had
to travel over the same road twice for the whole distance.  Thus the
three mistakes thus far made have cost me twenty miles of extra
footing.  The next morning I set out in good season, determined to
reach Edinburgh, if possible, by night.

Followed the Gala Water, as it is called here, just as if it were a
placid lake or land-locked bay, though it is a tortuous and swift-
running stream.  The scenery was still picturesque, in some places
very grand and romantic.  There was one great amphitheatre just
before reaching the village of Stow which was peculiarly
interesting.  It was a great bowl full of earth's glory up to the
very rim.  The circular wall was embossed with the best patterns and
colors of vegetation.  The hills of every tournure showed each in a
fir setting, looking, with their sloping fields of grain, like
inverted goblets of gold vined with emerald leafwork.  In the valley
a reaping machine was at work with its peculiar chatter and clatter,
and men and women were following in its wake, gathering up and
binding the grain as it fell and clearing the way for the next
round.  Up and down these hills frequently runs a stripe of Scotch
firs or larches a few rods wide; here and there they resemble those
geometrical figures often seen in gardens and pleasure grounds.  The
sun peeping out of the clouds, and flooding these features with a
sudden, transient river of light, gives them a glow and glory that
would delight the artist.  After a long walk through such scenery, I
reached, late in the evening, Auld Reekie, a favorite home-name
which the modern Athenians love to give to Edinburgh.  Being anxious
to push on and complete my journey as soon as practicable, I only
remained in the celebrated Scotch metropolis one night, taking staff
early next morning, and holding northward towards the Highlands.

Edinburgh has made its mark upon the world and its place among the
great centres of the world's civilization.  On the whole, no city in
Great Britain, or in Christendom, has ever attained to such well-
developed, I will not say angular, but salient individuality.  This
is deep-featured and ineffaceable.  It is, not was.  Edinburgh has
reared great men prolifically and supplied the world with them, and
kept always a good number back for itself to give a shaping to
others the world needed.  Its prestige is great in the production of
such intellects.  But it keeps up with the times.  It is faithful to
its antecedents, and appreciates them at their full value and
obligation.  It does not lie a-bed until noon because it has got its
name up for educating brilliant minds.  Its grand old University
holds its own among the wranglers of learning.  Its High School is
proportionately as high as ever, notwithstanding the rapid growth of
others of the same purpose.  Its pulpit boasts of its old mind-power
and moral stature.  Its Theology stands iron-cabled, grand and solid
as an iceberg in the sea of modern speculation, unsoftened under the
patter of the heterodox sentimentalities of human philanthropy.  It
is growing more and more a City of Palaces.  And the palaces are all
built for housing the poorest of the poor, the weakest of the weak
and the vilest of the vile.  These hospitals are the Holyroods of
Edinburgh II.  They honor it with a renown better than the royal
palace of the latter name ever won.

I said Edinburgh the Second.  That is correct.  There are two towns,
the Old and the New; the last about half a century's age.  But the
oldest will be the youngest fifty years hence.  The hand of a
"higher civilization," with its spirit-level, pick, plane and
trowel, is upon it with the grip of a Samson.  That hand will tone
down its great distinctive individualities and give it the modern
_uniformity_ of design, face and feature.  All these tall houses,
built skyward layer upon layer or flat upon flat, until they show
half a dozen stories on one street, and twice that number on the
other, are doomed, and they will be done for, one by one in its
turn.  They probably came in with Queen Mary, and they will go out
under the blue-eyed Alexandra.  They will be supplanted by the most
improved architecture of modern taste and utilitarianism.  Edinburgh
will be Anglicised and put in the fashionable costume of a
progressive age; in the same swallow-tailed coat, figured vest and
stovepipe hat worn by London, Liverpool and Manchester.  It will not
be allowed to wear tweed pantaloons except for one circumstance;--
that it is now building its best houses of stone instead of brick.

But there are physical features that will always distinguish
Edinburgh from all other cities of the world and which no
architectural changes can ever obliterate or deface.  There are
Arthur's Seat, Salisbury Crags, the Calton Hill, and the Castle
Height, and there they will stand forever--the grandest surroundings
and garniture of Nature ever given to any capital or centre of the
earth's populations.



On Friday, Sept. 11th, I left for the north the morning after my
arrival in Edinburgh, hoping to finish my long walk before the rainy
season commenced.  My old friend and host accompanied me across the
Forth, by the Granton Ferry, and walked with me for some distance on
the other side; then bidding me God-speed, he returned to the city.
The weather was fine, and the farmers were very busy at work.  A
vast quantity of grain, especially of oats, was cut and ready for
carting; but little of it had been ricked in consequence of frequent
showers.  I noticed that they used a different snath for their
scythes here from that common in England.  It is in two parts, like
the handles of a plough, joining a foot or two above the blade.  One
is shorter than the other, each having a thole.  It is a singular
contrivance, but seems to be preferred here to the old English pole.
I have never seen yet an American scythe-snath in England or
Scotland, although so much of our implemental machinery has been
introduced.  American manure-forks and hay-forks, axes and augurs
you will now find exposed for sale in nearly every considerable
town, but one of our beautifully mounted scythes would be a great
novelty here.

The scenery varies, but retains the peculiarly Scotch features.
Hills which we should call mountains are frequently planted with
trees as far up as the soil will lie upon the precipitous sides.  On
passing one of great height, bald at the top, but bearded to the
eyebrows with fir and larch, I asked an elderly man, a blacksmith,
standing in his shop-door, if they were a natural growth.  He said
that he and his two boys planted them all about forty-eight years
ago.  They were now worth, on an average, twelve English shillings,
or about three dollars a-piece.

I lodged in Kinross, a pleasant-faced, quiet and comfortable little
town, done up with historical associations of special interest.
Here is Loch Leven, serene and placid, like a mirror framed with
wooded hills, looking at their faces in it.  It is a beautiful sheet
of water, taking the history out of it.  But putting that in and
around it, you see a picture before you that you will remember.
Here is more of Mary the Unfortunate.  You see reflected in the
silver sheen of the lake that face which looks at you with its soft
appeal for sympathy in all the galleries of Christendom.  Out there,
on that little islet, green and low, stands the black castle in
which they prisoned her.  There they made her trembling, indignant
fingers write herself "a queen without a crown."  Southward there,
where amateurs now fish for trout, young Douglas rowed her ashore
with muffled oars so softly that they stirred no ripple at the bow.
The keys of the castle they threw into the lake to bar pursuit, lay
in the mud for nearly three centuries, when they were found by a lad
of the village, and presented to the Earl of Morton, a
representative of the Douglas family.

The next day I walked on to Perth, passing through a very
interesting section, which nature and history have enriched with
landscapes and manscapes manifold.  It is truly a romantic region
for both these qualities, with delightful views in sudden and
frequent alternation.  Glens deep, winding and dark, with steep
mountain walls folding their tree-hands over the road; lofty hills
in full Scotch uniform, in tartan heather and yellow grain plaided
in various figures; chippering streams, now hidden, now coming to
the light, in white flashing foam in a rocky glade of the dell;
straths or savannas, like great prairie gardens, threaded by
meandering rivers and studded with wheat in sheaves, shocks and
ricks, seen over long reaches of unreapt harvests; villages,
hamlets, white cottages nestling in the niches and green gorges of
the mountains,--and all these sceneries set in romantic histories
dating back to the Danes and their doings in Scotland, make up a
prevista for the eye and a revista for the mind that keep both in
exhilarating occupation every rod of the distance from Kinross to

The road via Glenfarg would be a luxury of the first enjoyment to
any tourist with an eye to the wild, romantic and picturesque.
Debouching from this long, winding, tree-arched dell, you come out
upon Strathearn, or the bottom-land of the river Earn, which joins
the Tay a few miles below.  The term strath is peculiarly a Scottish
designation which many American readers may not have fully
comprehended, although it is so blended with the history and romance
of this country.  It is not a valley proper, as we use that term; as
the Valley of the Mississippi or the Valley of the Connecticut.  If
the word were admissible, it might be called most descriptively the
land-bay of a river, at a certain distance between its source and
mouth, such for instance as the German Flats on the Mohawk, or the
Oxbow on the Connecticut, at Wethersfield, in Vermont, or the great
onion-growing flat on the same river at Wethersfield in Connecticut.
These straths are numerous in Scotland, and constitute the great
productive centres of the mountain sections.  They are generally
cultivated to the highest perfection of agricultural science and
economy and are devoted mostly to grain.  As they are always walled
in by bald-headed mountains and lofty hills, cropped as high as man
and horse can climb with a plough and planted with firs and larches
beyond, they show beautifully to the eye, and constitute, with these
surroundings, the peculiar charm of Scotch scenery.  The term is
always prefixed to the name of the river, as Strathearn, Strathspey,

I noticed on this day's walk the same singular habit that struck me
in the north part of Yorkshire; that is, of cutting inward upon the
standing grain.  Several persons, frequently women and boys, follow
the mowers, and pick up the swath and bind it into sheaves, using no
rake at all in the process.  So pertinaciously they seem to adhere
to this remarkable and awkward custom, that I saw two mowers walk
down a hill, a distance of full a hundred rods, with their scythes
under their arms, in order to begin a new swath in the same way;
four or five men and women running after them full tilt to bind the
grain as it fell!  Here was a loss of at least five minutes each to
half a dozen hands, amounting to half an hour to a single man at the
end of each swath or work.  Supposing the mowers made twenty in ten
hours from bottom to top of the field, here is the loss of one whole
day for one man, or one sixth of the whole aggregate time applied to
the harvesting of the crop, given to the mere running down that hill
of six pairs of legs for no earthly purpose but to cut inward
instead of outward, as we do.  The grain-ricks in Scotland are
nearly all round and quite small.  Every one of them is rounded up
at the top and fitted with a Mandarin-looking hat of straw, which
sheds the rain well.  A good-sized farm-house is flanked with quite
a village of these little round stacks, looking like a comfortable
colony of large, yellow tea-caddies in the distance.

Reached Perth a little after dark, having made a walk of nearly
twenty miles after 11 a.m.  Here I remained over the Sabbath, and
greatly enjoyed both its rest and the devotional exercises in some
of the churches of the city.

The Fair City of Perth is truly most beautifully situated at the
head of navigation on the Tay, as Stirling is on the Forth.  It has
no mountainous eminence in its midst, castle-crowned, like Stirling,
from which to look off upon such a scene as the latter commands.
But Nature has erected grand and lofty observatories near by in the
Moncrieffe and Kinnoull Hills, from which a splendid prospect is
unrolled to the eye.  There is some historical or legendary
authority for the idea that the Romans contemplated this view from
Moncrieffe Hill; and, as the German army, returning homeward from
France, shouted with wild enthusiasm, at its first sight, Der Rhein!
Der Rhein! so these soldiers of the Caesars shouted at the view of
the Tay and the Corse of Gowrie, Ecce Tiber!  Ecce Compus Martius!
There was more patriotism than parity in the comparison.  The
Italian river is a Rhine in history, but a mere Goose Creek within
its actual banks compared with the Tay.  In history, Perth has its
full share of "love and murder," rhyme and romance, sieges,
battering and burning, royals and rebels.  In the practical life of
to-day, it is a progressive, thriving town, busy, intelligent,
respected and honorable.  The two natural features which would
attract, perhaps, the most special attention of the traveller are
the two Inches, North and South, divided by the city.  This is a
peculiar Scotch term which an untravelled American will hardly
understand.  It has no relation to measurement of any kind; but
signifies what we should call a low, level green or common in or
adjoining a town.  The Inches of Perth are, to my eye, the finest in
Scotland, each having about a mile and a half in circumference, and
making delightful and healthy playgrounds and promenades for the
whole population.

On Monday, Sept. 14th, I took staff and set out for another week-
stage of my walk, or from Perth to Inverness.  Crossed the Tay and
proceeded northward up the east side of that fertile river.  Fertile
may sound at first a singular qualification for a broad, rapid
stream running down out of the mountains and widening into a bay or
firth at its mouth.  But it may be applied in the best sense of
production to the Tay; and not only that, but other terms known to
practical agriculture.  Up to the present moment, no river in the
world has been cultivated with more science and success.  None has
been sown so thickly with seed-vitalities or produced more valuable
crops of aquatic life.  Here salmon are hatched by hand and folded
and herded with a shepherd's care.  Here pisciculture, or, to use a
far better and more euphonious word, fish-farming, is carried to the
highest perfection in Great Britain.  It is a tillage that must
hereafter take its place with agriculture as a great and honored
industry.  If the cold, bald-headed mountains, the wild, stony
reaches of poverty-stricken regions, moor, morass, steppe and
prairie are made the pasturage of sheep innumerable, the thousands
of rivers in both hemispheres will not be suffered to run to waste
through another century.  The utilitarian genius of the present age
will turn them into pasturage worth more per acre than the value of
the richest land on their banks.  Just think of the pasturage of the
Tay.  It rents for 14,000 pounds a year; and those who hire it must
make it produce at least 50,000 pounds, or $240,000 annually.  Let
us assume that the whole length of this salmon-pasturage is fifty
miles, and its average width one-eighth of a mile.  Then the whole
distance would contain the space of 4,000 square acres, and the
annual rent for fishing would amount to over 3 pounds 13s. per acre.
This would make every fish-bearing acre of the river worth 100
pounds, calculated on the land basis of interest or rent.

Having heard of the Stormontfields' Ponds for breeding salmon, I had
a great desire to see them.  They are situated on the Tay, a few
miles above Perth, and are well worthy of the inspection and
admiration of the scientific as well as the utilitarian world.  The
process is as simple as it is successful and valuable.  A race or
canal, filled with a clear, mountain stream, and constructed many
years ago to supply motive power to a corn-mill, runs parallel with
the river, at the distance from it of about twenty rods.  At right
angles with this stream, there are twenty-five wooden boxes side by
side, about fifty feet in length, placed on a slight decline.  These
boxes or troughs, each about two feet wide and one foot deep, are
divided into partitions by cross-boards, which do not reach, within
a few inches, the top of the siding, so that the water shall make a
continuous surface the whole length of the trough.  Each trough is
filled with round river stones or pebbles washed clean, on which the
spawn is laid.  The water is let out of the mill-race upon these
troughs through a wire-cloth filter, covering them about two inches
deep above the stones.  At the bottom, a lateral channel or race,
running at right angles to the troughs, conducts the waste water in
a rapid, bubbling stream down into the feeding-pond, which covers
the space of about one-fifth of an acre, close to the river, with
which it is connected by a narrow race gated also with a wire-cloth,
to prevent the little living mites from being carried off before
their time.

This may serve to give the reader some approximate idea of the
construction of the fish-fold.  The next process is the stocking it
with the breeding ewes of the sea and river.  The female salmon is
caught in the spawning season with a net, and the ova are expressed
from her by passing the hand gently down the body, when she is again
put into the river to go on her way.  The manager told me that they
generally reckoned upon a thousand eggs to a pound of the salmon
caught.  Thus fourteen good-sized fish would stock the twenty-five
troughs.  When hatched, the little things run down into the race-
way, which carries them into the feeding-pond.  Here they are fed
twice daily, with five pounds of beef's liver pulverised.  They
remain in this water-yard from April to autumn, when the gate is
raised and they are let out into the river.  And it is a very
singular and interesting fact that those only go which have got
their sea-coats on them, or have reached the "smolt" character.  The
smaller fry remain in the pond until, as it has been said in higher
circles of society, their beards are grown, or, in their case, until
their scales are grown, to fit them for the rough and tumble of
salt-water life.

The growth of the little bull-headed mites, after being turned into
the river-pasture, is wonderful--more rapid than that of lambs of
the Southdown breed.  The keeper had marked some of them, on letting
them out, by clipping the dorsal fin.  On being caught six or eight
months afterward, they weighed from five to seven pounds against
half a pound each when sent forth to take care of themselves.  The
proprietors of the fisheries defray the expense of this breeding
establishment, being taxed only twopence in the pound of their
rental.  This, of course, they get back with large interest and
profit from the tenant-farmers of the river.  As a proof of the
enhanced production of the Tay fisheries under this cultivation the
fact will suffice, that they now rent for 14,000 pounds a year
against 11,000 pounds under the old system.

Salmon-breeding is doubtless destined to rank with sheep-culture and
cattle-culture in the future.  The remotest colonies of Great
Britain are moving in the matter with vigor and almost enthusiasm.
Vessels have been constructed on purpose to convey this fair and
mottled stock of British rivers to those of Australia and New
Zealand.  In France, fish-farming has become a large and lucrative
occupation.  I hope our own countrymen, who plume themselves on
going ahead in utilitarian enterprises, will show the world what
they can do in this.  Surely our New England men, who claim to lead
in American industries and ingenuities, will not suffer half a
million acres of river-pasturage to run to waste for another half
century, when it would fold and feed millions of salmon.  Once they
herded in the Connecticut in such multitudes that a special
stipulation was inserted in the indentures of apprentices in the
vicinity of the river, that they should not be obliged to eat salmon
more than a certain number of times in a week.  Now, if a salmon is
caught between the mouth and source of the river, it is blazoned
forth in the newspapers as a very extraordinary and unnatural event.
There is no earthly reason why the Connecticut should not breed and
supply as great a number of these excellent and beautiful fish as
the Tay.  Its waters are equally pure and quiet as those of the
Scotch river.  Every acre of the Connecticut, from the northernmost
bridge that spans it in Vermont to its debouchment at Saybrook,
might be made productive of as great a value as any onion-garden
acre at Wethersfield.

The salmon-shepherd at Stormontfields, having fully explained the
labors and duties of his charge, rowed me across the Tay, and I
continued my walk highly gratified in having seen one of the new
industries which this age is adding to the different cultures
provided for the sustentation and comfort of human life.  The whole
way to Dunkeld was full of interest, nature and history making every
mile a scene to delight the eye and exhilarate the mind.  The first
considerable village I passed through was Stanley, which gives the
name to that old family of British peers known in history by the
battle-cry of a badly-pressed sovereign, "On, Stanley, on!"
Murthley Castle, the seat of Sir William Stewart, and the beautiful
grounds which front and surround it, will excite the admiration of
the traveller and pay him well for a moment's pause to peruse its
illuminated pages opened to his view.  The baronet is regarded as an
eccentric man, perhaps chiefly because he has built a splendid Roman
Catholic chapel quite near to his mansion and supports a priest of
that order mostly for his own spiritual good.  Near Dunkeld, Birnam
Hill lifts its round, dark, bushy head to the height of over 1,500
feet, grand and grim, as if it wore the bonnet of Macbeth and hid
his dagger beneath its tartan cloak of firs.  "Birnam Wood," which
Shakespeare's genius has made one of the immortals among earthly
localities, was the setting of that hill in his day, and perhaps
centuries before it.  Crossing the Tay by a magnificent bridge, you
are in the famous old city and capital of ancient Caledonia,
Dunkeld.  Here centre some of the richest rivulets of Scotch
history, ecclesiastical and military, of church and state, cowl and
crown.  Walled in here, on the upper waters of the Tay, by dark and
heavily-wooded mountains, it was just the place for the earliest
monks to select as the site of one of their cloistered communities.
The two best saints ever produced by these islands, St. Columba and
St. Cuthbert, are said to have been connected with the religious
foundations of this little sequestered city.  The old cathedral,
having been knocked about like other Roman Catholic edifices in the
sledge-hammer crusades of the Reformation, was _ruined_ very
picturesquely, as a tourist, with one of Murray's red-book guides in
his hand, would be likely to say.  But the choir was rebuilt and
fitted up for worship by the late Duke of Atholl at the expense of
about 5,000 pounds.

Of this duke I must say a few words, for he has left the greenest
monument to his memory that a man ever planted over his grave.  He
did something more and better than roofing the choir of a ruined
cathedral.  He roofed a hundred hills and valleys with a larch-and-
fir work that will make them as glorious and beautiful as Lebanon
forever.  One of the most illustrious and eloquent of the Iroquois
aristocracy was a chief called Corn-planter.  This Duke of Atholl
should be named and known for evermore as the great Tree-planter of
Christendom.  We have already dwelt upon the benefaction that such a
man leaves to coming generations.  This Scotch nobleman virtually
founded a new order of knighthood far more useful and honorable than
the Order of the Garter.  To talk of _garters_!--why, he not only
put the cold, ragged shivering hills of Scotland into garters, but
into stockings waist high, and doublets and bonnets and shoes of
beautifully green and thick fir-plaid.  He planted 11,000 square
acres with the larch alone; and thousands of these acres stood up
edgewise against mountains and hills so steep that the planters must
have spaded the holes with ropes around their waists to keep them
from falling down the precipice.  It is stated that he had twenty-
seven millions of the larch alone planted on his mountainous
estates, besides several millions of other trees.  Now, it is
doubtful if the whole region thus dibbled with this tree-crop
yielded an average rental of one English shilling per acre as a
pasturage for sheep.  On passing through miles and miles of this
magnificent wood-grain and taking an estimate of its value, I put it
at 10s., or $2 40c. per tree.  Of the twenty-seven millions of
larches thus planted, ten must be worth that sum; making alone,
without counting the rest, 5,000,000 pounds, or $24,000,000.  It is
quite probable that the larches, firs and other trees now covering
the Atholl estates, would sell for 10,000,000 pounds if brought to
the hammer.  But he was not only the greatest arboriculturist in the
world, but the founder of tree-farming as a productive industry as
well as a decorative art.  Already it has transformed the Highlands
of Scotland and trebled their value, as well as clothed them with a
new and beautiful scenery.  What we call the Scotch larch was not
originally a native of that country.  Close to the cathedral in
Dunkeld stand the two patriarchs of the family, first introduced
into Scotland from Switzerland in 1737.

Having remained the best part of two days in Dunkeld, I held on
northward, through heavily-shaded and winding glen and valley to
Blair Atholl.  For the whole distance of twenty miles the country is
quite Alpine, wild and grand, with mountains larched or firred to
the utmost reach and tenure of soil for roots; deep, dark gorges
pouring down into the narrowing river their foamy, dashing streams;
mansions planted here and there on sloping lawns showing sunnily
through groves and parks; now a hamlet of cottages set in the side
of a lofty hill, now a larger village opening suddenly upon you at
the turning of the turnpike road.  I reached Blair Atholl at about
dark, and lodged at the largest hotel I slept in between London and
John O'Groat's.  It is virtually the tourist's inn; for this is the
centre of some of the most interesting and striking sceneries and
localities in Scotland.  Glens, waterfalls, stream, torrent,
mountain and valley, with their romantic histories, make this a very
attractive region to thousands of summer travellers from England and
other countries.  The railway from Perth to Inverness via Dunkeld
and Blair Atholl, has just opened up this secluded Scotch
Switzerland to multitudes who never would have seen it without the
help of the Iron Horse.  A month previous, this point had been the
most distant in Scotland from steam-routes of transportation and
travel.  Now southern sportsmen were hiring up "the shooting" for
many miles on both sides of the line, making the hills and glens
echo with their fusillades.  Blair Castle, the duke's mansion, is a
very ordinary building in appearance, looking from the public road
like a large four-story factory painted white, with small, old-
fashioned windows.  He himself was lying in a very painful and
precarious condition, with a cancer in the throat, from which it was
the general impression that he never would recover.  The day
preceding, the Queen had visited him, while en route for Balmoral,
having gone sixty miles out of her way to comfort him with such an
expression of her sympathy.

The next day I reached the northern boundary of the Duke of Atholl's
estates, having walked for full forty miles continuously through it.
Passed over a very bleak, treeless, barren waste of mountain and
moorland, most of it too rocky or soilless for even heather.  The
dashing, flashing, little Garry, which I had followed for a day or
two, thinned and narrowed down to a noisy brook as I ascended
towards its source.  For a long distance the country was exceedingly
wild and desolate.  Terrible must be the condition of a man
benighted therein, especially in winter.  There were standing
beacons all along the road for miles, to indicate the track when it
was buried in drifting snow.  These were painted posts, about six or
eight feet high, planted on the rocky, river side of the road, at a
few rods interval, to guide the traveller and keep him from dashing
over the concealed precipices.  About the middle of the afternoon I
reached the summit of the two watersheds, where a horse's hoof might
so dam a balancing stream as to send it southward into the Tay or
northward into the Moray Firth.  Soon a rivulet welled out in the
latter direction with a decided current.  It was the Spey.  A few
miles brought me suddenly into a little, glorious world of beauty.
The change of theatrical sceneries could hardly have produced a more
sudden and striking contrast than this presented to the wild, cold,
dark waste through which I had been travelling for a day.  It was
Strathspey; and I doubt if there is another view in Scotland, of the
same dimensions, to equal it.  It was indescribably grand and
beautiful, if you could blend the meaning of these two commonly-
coupled adjectives into one qualification, as you can blend two
colors on the easel.  To get the full enjoyment of the scene at one
draught, you should enter it first from the south, after having
travelled for twenty miles without seeing a sheaf of wheat or patch
of vegetation tilled by the hand of man.  I know nothing in America
to compare it with or to help the American reader to an approximate
idea of it.  Imagine a land-lake, apparently shut in completely by a
circular wall of mountains of every stature, the tallest looking
over the shoulders of the lower hills, like grand giants standing in
steel helmets and green doublets and gilded corselets, to see the
soft and quiet beauty of the valley sleeping under their watch and
ward.  As the sun-bursts from the strath-skies above darted out of
their shifting cloud-walls and flashed a flush of light upon the
solemn brows of these majestic apostles of nature one by one, they
stood haloed, like the favored saints in Scripture in the overflow
of the Transfiguration.  It was just the kind of day to make the
scene glorious indescribably.  The clouds and sky were in the
happiest disposition for the brilliant plays and pictures of light
and shade, and dissolving views of fascinating splendor succeeded
and surpassed each other at a minute's interval.  Now, the great
land-lake, on whose bosom floated in the sunlight a thousand islands
oat-and-barley-gilded, and rimmed with the green and purple verdure
of the turnip and rutabaga, was all set a-glow by a luminous flood
from the opening clouds above.  The next moment they closed this
disparted seam in their drapery, and opened a side one upon the
still, grave faces of the surrounding mountains; and, for a few
minutes, the smile went round from one to the other, and the great
centurions of the hills looked happy and almost human in the gleam.
Then shade's turn came in the play, and it played its part as
perfectly as light.  It put in the touch of the old Italian masters,
giving an everchanging background to all the sublime pictures of the

I was not alone in the enjoyment of this scenery.  For the first
time in this Walk I had a companion for a day.  A clergyman from
near Edinburgh joined me at Kingussie, with whom I shared the luxury
of one of the most splendid views to be found in Scotland.  Indeed,
few minds are so constituted as to prefer to see such natural
pictures alone.  After a day's walk among these sceneries, we came
to the small village of Aviemore in the dusk of the evening.  Here
we found that the only inn had been closed and turned into a private
residence, and that it was doubtful if a bed could be had for love
or money in the place.  The railway through it to Inverness had just
been opened, and the navvies seemed still to constitute the largest
portion of the population.  Neither of us had eaten any dinner, and
we were hungry as well as tired.  Seeing a little, low cottage near
the railroad, with the sign of something for the public good over
the door, we went to it, and found that it had two rooms, one a kind
of rough, stone-floored shed, the other an apartment full ten feet
square, with two beds in it, which occupied half the entire space.
But, small as it was, the good man and woman made the most of it in
the way of entertainment, getting up a tea occasionally for persons
stopping over in the village at a meal-time, also selling small
articles of grocery to the laborers.  Everything was brought from a
distance, even their bread, bacon and butter.  Their stock of these
fundamentals was exhausted, so that they could not give us anything
with our tea until the arrival of the train from the north, which we
all watched with common interest.  In the course of half an hour it
came, and soon our cabin-landlord brought in a large basket full of
the simplest necessaries of life, which we were quite prepared to
enjoy as its best luxuries.  Soon a wood fire blazed for us in the
double-bedded parlor, and the unpainted deal table was spread in the
fire-light with a repast we relished with a pleasant appreciation.

My companion was bound northward by the next train in that
direction, and was sure to find good quarters for the night; but as
there was not an inn for ten miles on the route I was to travel, and
as it was now quite night and the road mostly houseless and lonely,
I felt some anxiety about my own lodging.  But on inquiry I was very
glad to find that one of the two beds in the room was unoccupied and
at my disposal.  So, having accompanied my fellow-traveller to the
station and seen him off with mutual good wishes, I returned to the
cottage, and the mistress replenished the fire with a new supply of
chips and faggots, and I had two or three hours of rare enjoyment,
enhanced by some interesting books I found on a shelf by the window.
And this is a fact worthy of note and full of good meaning.  You
will seldom find a cottage in Scotland, however poor and small,
without a shelf of books in it.  I retired rather earlier than
usual; but before I fell asleep, the two regular lodgers, who
occupied the other bed, came in softly, and spoke in a suppressed
tone, as if reluctant to awaken me.  And here I was much impressed
with another fact affiliated with the one I have mentioned--that of
praying as well as reading in the Scotch cottage.  After a little
conversation just above a whisper, the elder of the two--and he not
twenty, while the other was apparently only sixteen--first read,
with full Scotch accent, one of the hard-rhymed psalms used in the
Scotch service.  Then, after a short pause, he read with a low,
solemn voice a chapter in the Bible.  A few minutes of silence
succeeded, as if a wordless prayer was going upward upon the still
wings of thought, which made no audible beating in their flight.  It
was very impressive; an incident that I shall ever hold among the
most interesting of all I met with on my walk.  They were not
brothers evidently, but most likely strangers thrown together on the
railroad.  They doubtless came from different directions, but, from
Highlands or Lowlands, they came from Bible-lighted homes, whose
"voices of the night" were blended with the breathings of religious
life and instruction.  Separated from such homes, they had agreed to
make this one after the same spiritual pattern, barring the parental
presence and teaching.

The next day after breakfast, took leave of my kind cottage hosts,
exchanging good wishes for mutual happiness.  Went out of the
amphitheatre of Strathspey by a gateway into another, surrounded by
mountains less lofty and entirely covered with heather.  For several
miles beyond Carr Bridge I passed over the wildest moorland.  The
road was marked by posts about ten feet high, painted white within
two feet of the top and black above.  These are planted about
fifteen rods apart, to guide the traveller in the drifting and
blinding snows of winter.  The road over this cold, desolate waste
exceeded anything I ever saw in America, even in the most
fashionable suburbs of New York and Boston.  It was as smooth and
hard as a cement floor.  Here on this treeless wild, I met several
men at work trimming the edges of the road by a line, with as much
precision and care as if they were laying out an aisle in a flower
garden.  After a walk of about seventeen miles, I reached Freeburn
Inn about the middle of the afternoon, and as it began to rain and
to threaten bad weather for walking, I concluded to stop there for
the night, and found good quarters.

The rain continued in showers, and I feared I should be unable to
reach Inverness to spend the Sabbath.  There was a cattle fair at
the inn, and a considerable number of farmers and dealers came
together notwithstanding the weather.  Indeed, there were nearly as
many men and boys as animals on the ground.  A score or more had
come in, each leading or driving a single cow or calf.  The cattle
generally were evidently of the Gaelic origin and antecedents--
little, chubby, scraggy creatures, of all colors, but mostly black,
with wide-branching horns longer than their fore-legs.  Their hair
is long and as coarse as a polar seal's, and they look as if they
knew no more of housing against snow, rain and wintry winds, or of a
littered bed, than the buffaloes beyond the upper waters of the
Missouri.  One would be inclined to think they had lived from calf-
hood on nothing but heather or gorse, and that the prickly fodder
had penetrated through their hides and covered them with a growth
midway between hair and bristles.  They will not average over 350
lbs. when dressed; still they seem to hold their own among other
breeds which have attracted so much attention.  This is probably
because they can browse out a living where the Durham and Devon
would starve.

The sheep in this region are chiefly the old Scotch breed, with
curling horns and crocked faces and legs, such as are represented in
old pictures.  The black seems to be spattered upon them, and looks
as if the heather would rub it off.  The wool is long and coarse,
giving them a goat-like appearance.  They seem to predominate over
any other breed in this part of Scotland, yet not necessarily nor
advantageously.  A large sheep farmer from England was staying at
the inn, with whom I had much conversation on the subject.  He said
the Cheviots were equally adapted to the Highlands, and thought they
would ultimately supplant the black faces.  Although he lived in
Northumberland, full two hundred miles to the south, he had rented a
large sheep-walk, or mountain farm, in the Western Highlands, and
had come to this section to buy or hire another tract.  He kept
about 4,000 sheep, and intended to introduce the Cheviots upon these
Scotch holdings, as their bodies were much heavier and their wool
worth nearly double that of the old black-faced breed.  Sheep are
the principal source of wealth in the whole of the North and West of
Scotland.  I was told that sometimes a flock of 20,000 is owned by
one man.  The lands on which they are pastured will not rent above
one or two English shillings per acre; and a flock even of 1,000
requires a vast range, as may be indicated by the reply of a Scotch
farmer to an English one, on being asked by the latter, "How many
sheep do you allow to the acre?"  "Ah, mon," was the answer, "that's
nae the way we count in the Highlands; it's how monie acres to the

At about two p.m., the showers becoming less frequent, I set out
with the hope of reaching Inverness before night.  The wind was
high, the road muddy, or _dirty_, as the English call that
condition; and the rain frequently compelled me to seek shelter in
some wayside cottage, or under the fir-trees that were planted in
groves at narrow intervals.  The walking was heavy and slow in face
of the frequent showers, and a strong gale from the north-east; so
that I was exceedingly glad to reach an inn within four miles of
Inverness, where I promised myself comfortable lodgings for the
night.  It was a rather large, but comfortless-looking house,
evidently concentrating all its entertainment for travellers in the
tap-room.  After considerable hesitation, the landlady consented to
give me bed and board; and directed "the lassie" to make a fire for
me in a large and very respectable room on the second floor.  I soon
began to feel quite at home by its side.  My boots had leaked on the
way and my feet were very wet and cold; and it was with a pleasant
sense of comfort that I changed stockings, and warmed myself at the
ruddy grate, while the storm seemed to increase without.  After
waiting about an hour for tea, I heard the lassie's heavy footstep
on the stairs; a knock--the door opens--now for the tray and the
steaming tea-pot, and happy vision of bread, oatcake and Scotch
_scones_!  Alas! what a falling-off was there from this delicious
expectation!  The lassie had brought a severe and peremptory message
from the master, who had just returned home.  And she delivered it
commiseratingly but decidedly.  She was to tell me from him that
there was nothing in the house to set before me; that the fair the
day before had eaten out the whole stock of his provisions; in
short, that I was to take my staff and walk on to Inverness.  It was
in vain that I remonstrated, pleaded and urged wet feet, the
darkness, the wind and rain.  "It is so," said the lassie, "and
can't be otherwise."  She tried to encourage me to the journey by
shortening the distance by half its actual miles, saying it was only
two, when it was full four, and they of the longest kind.  So I went
out into the night in my wet clothes, and put the best face and foot
to the head-wind and rain that I could bring to bear against them.
Both were strong, beating and drenching; and it was so dark that I
could hardly see the road.  In the course of half an hour, I made
the lassie's two miles, and in another, the whole of the actual
distance, and found comfortable quarters in one of the temperance
inns of Inverness, reaching it between nine and ten at night.  Here
I spent a quiet Sabbath, which I greatly enjoyed.



Inverness is an interesting, good-sized town, with an intellectual
and pleasing countenance, of somewhat aristocratic and self-
complacent expression.  It is considered the capital of the
Highlands, and wears a decidedly metropolitan air.  It is well
situated on the Ness, just at its debouchement into the Moray
Firth,--a river that runs with a Rhine-like current through the town
and is spanned with a suspension bridge.  It has streets of city-
built and city-bred buildings, showing wealth and elegance.  Several
edifices are in process of erection that will rank with some of the
best in Edinburgh and Glasgow.  It has a long and pretentious
history, reaching back to the Romans, and dashed with the romance of
the wild ages of the country.  Oliver Cromwell, or Sledgehammer II.,
Macbeth, Thane of Cawdor, Queen Mary, Prince Charlie, and other
historical celebrities, entered their names and doings on the
records of this goodly town.

On Monday, Sept. 21st, I set out with a good deal of animation on
the last week-stage of my journey, which I was anxious to accomplish
as soon as possible, as the weather was becoming unsettled with
frequent rain.  Reached Invergordon, passing through a most
interesting section of country, full of very fertile straths.  It
was the part of Ross-shire lying on the Moray and Beauly Firths and
divided by rivers dashing down through the wooded gorges of the
mountains.  I saw here some of the most productive land in Scotland.
Hundreds of acres were studded with wheat and barley stooks, and
about an equal space was covered with standing grain, though so near
the month of October.  Plantations, parks, gentlemens' seats, glens
deep and grand, fir-clad mountains, villages, hamlets and scattered
cottages made up the features of every changing view.  Indeed, one
travelling for a week between Perth and Inverness comes upon such a
region as this with pleasant surprise, as upon an exotic section,
imported from another latitude.

The next day I held on northward, though the weather was very
unfavorable and the walking heavy and fatiguing.  Passed what seemed
the bold and ridgy island of Cromarty, so associated with the
venerated memory of Hugh Miller.  The beating rain drove me
frequently to the wayside cottages for shelter; and in every one of
them I was received with kind words and pleasant looks.  One of
these was occupied by an old woman in the regular Scotch cap--a
venerable old saint, with her Bible and psalm-book library on her
window-sill, and her peat fire burning cheerily.  When on leaving I
intimated that I was from America, she followed me out into the
road, asking me a hundred questions about the country and its
condition.  She had three sons in Montreal, and felt a mother's
interest in the very name America.  The cottage was one of a long
street of them by the sea-side, and I supposed it was a fishing
village; but I learned from her that the people were mostly the
evicted tenants of the Duke of Sutherland, who were turned out of
his county some thirty years ago to make room for sheep.  I made
only eleven miles this day on account of the rain, and was glad to
find cheery and comfortable quarters in an excellent inn kept by a
widow and her three daughters in Tain.  Nothing could exceed their
kindness and attention, which evidently flowed more from a
disposition than from a professional habit of making their guests at
home for a pecuniary or business consideration.  I reached their
house about the middle of the afternoon, cold and wet, after several
hours' walk in the rain, and was received as one of the family; the
eldest daughter, who had all the grace and intelligence of a
cultivated lady, helping me off with my wet overcoat, and even
offering to pull off my water-soaked boots--an office no American
could accept, and which I gently declined, taking the will for the
deed.  A large number of Scotch _navvies_ were at the inns of the
town, making an obstreperous auroval in celebration of the monthly
pay-day.  They had received the day preceding a month's wages, and
they were now drinking up their money with the most reckless
hilarity; swallowing the pay of five long hours at the pick in a
couple of gills of whiskey.  How strange that men can work in rain,
cold and heat at the shovel for a whole day, then drink up the whole
in two hours at the gin-shop!  These pickmen pioneers of the Iron
Horse, with their worst habits, are yet a kind of John-the-Baptists
to the march and mission of civilization, preparing its way in the
wilderness, and bringing secluded and isolated populations to its
light and intercourse.  It is wonderful how they are working their
way northward among these bald and thick-set mountains.  When I
first visited Scotland, in 1846, the only piece of railroad north of
the Forth was that between Dundee and Arbroath, hardly an hour long.
Now the iron pathways are running in every direction, making grand
junctions at points which had never felt the navvy's pick a dozen
years ago.  Here is one heading towards John O'Groat's, grubbing its
way like a mole around the firths, cutting spiral gains into the
rock-ribbed hills, bridging the deep and dark gorges, and holding on
steadily north-poleward with a brave faith and faculty of patience
that moves mountains, or as much of them as blocks its course.  The
progress is slow, silent, but sure.  The world, busy in other
doings, does not hear the pick, nor the speech of the powder when it
speaks to a huge rock a-straddle the path.  The world, even
including the shareholders, hears but little, if anything, of the
progress of the work for months, perhaps for a year.  Then the
consummation is announced in the form of an invitation to the public
to "assist" at the opening of a railroad through towns and villages
that never saw the daylight the locomotive brings in its wake.  So
it will be here.  Some day, in the present decade, there will be an
excursion train advertised to run from London to John O'Groat's; and
perhaps the lineal descendant of Sigurd, or some other old Norse
jarl, will wear the conductor's belt and cap or drive the engine.

The weather was still unsettled, with much wind and rain.  Resumed
my walk, and at about four miles from Tain, crossed the Dornoch
Firth in a sail ferry boat, and at noon reached Dornoch, the capital
of Sutherlandshire.  This was one of the fourteen cities of
Scotland; and its little, chubby cathedral, and the tower of the old
bishop's palace still give it a kind of Canterbury air.  The Earls
of Sutherland for many generations lie interred within the walls of
this ancient church.  After stopping here for an hour or two for
dinner, I continued on to Golspie, the residence of the mighty lord
of the manor, or the owner, master and human disposer of this great
mountain county of Scotland.  It is stated that full four-fifths of
it belong to him who now holds the title, and that his other great
estates, added to this territory, make him the largest landowner in
Great Britain and probably in Europe.  Just before reaching Golspie,
a lofty, sombre mountain, with its bald head enveloped in the mist,
and which I had been two hours apparently in passing, cleared away
and revealed its full stature--and more.  Towering up from its
topmost summit, a tall column lifted a human figure in bronze
skyward cloud-high and frequently higher still.  I believe the
brazen face that thus looks into the pure and holy skies without
blushing, is a duplicate of the one worn in human flesh by His
Grace, Evictor I., who unpeopled his great county of many thousands
of human inhabitants, and made nearly its whole area of 18,000
square miles a sheep-walk.  But I will not break the seal of that
history.  It was full of bitter experience to multitudes.  Not for
the time being was it joyous, but grievous exceedingly--surpassing
endurance to many.  But it is all over now.  The ship-loads of
evicted men and women who looked their last upon Scotland while its
mountains and glens were reddened with the flames of their burning
cottages, carried away with them a bitter feeling in their hearts
which years of better experience did not soften.  Not for their good
did it seem in the motive of the transaction; but for their good it
worked most blessedly.  It was a rough transplanting, and the
tenderest fibres of human affection broke and bled under the
uptearing; but they took root in the Western World, and grew
luxuriantly under the light and dew of a happier destiny.  It was
hard for fathers and mothers who were taking on the frostwork of age
upon their brows; but for their children it was the birth of a new
life; for them it was the introduction to a future which had a sun
in it, rayful and radiant with the beams of hope and promise.  Let
those who denounce and deplore this harsh unpeopling come and stand
upon the cold, bleak summit of one of these Sutherland mountains.
Let them bring their compasses, or some other instrument for
measuring the angles, sines and cosines of human conditions.  Plant
your theodolite here; wipe the telescope's eye with your
handkerchief; look your keenest in the line of the lineage of these
evicted thousands.  Steady, now! while the most tranquil light of
the future is on the pathway of your eye.  This first reach of your
vision is the life-track of the fathers and mothers unhoused among
these mountains.  Look on beyond, over the longer life-line of their
children; then farther still under the horizon of the remotest
future to the track of their childrens' children.  Can you make an
angle of a single degree's subtension in the hereditary conditions
of these generations, or a dozen beyond?  Can you detect a point of
departure by which the second generation would have diverged from
the first, or the third from the second, and have attained to a
higher life of comfort, intelligence, social and political position
had they remained in these mountain cottages, grubbed on their
cottage farms, and lived from hand to mouth on stinted rations of
oatmeal and potatoes, as their ancestors had done from time
immemorial?  Can you see among all the hopeful possibilities of
Time's tomorrows, any such change for the better?  You can sight no
such prospect with your telescope in that direction.  Turn it around
and sweep the horizon of that other condition into which they were
thrust, weeping and wrathful against their will.  Follow them across
the Atlantic to North America, to their homes in the States and in
the Canadas.  Measure the angle they made in this transposition, and
the latitude and longitude of social and moral life they have
reached from this Sutherland point of departure.  The sons of the
fathers and mothers who had their family nests stirred up so
cruelly, and scattered, like those of rooks, from their holdings in
the cliffs, gorges and glens of these cold mountains, are now among
the most substantial and respected men of the Western World.  Some
of them to-day are mayors of towns of larger population than the
whole county of Sutherland.  Some, doubtless, are Members of
Congress, representing each a constituency of one hundred thousand
persons, and a vast amount of intelligence, wealth and industry.
They are merchants, manufacturers, farmers, teachers and preachers,
filling all the professions and occupations of the continent.  Is
not that an angle of promise to your telescope?  Is not that a line
of divergence which has conducted these evicted populations, at a
small distance from this point of departure, into the better
latitudes of human experience?  The selling of this Scotch Joseph to
America was more purely and simply a pecuniary transaction than that
recorded in Scripture; for in that the unkind and jealous brothers
sold the innocent boy for envy, not for the love of pelf, though the
Ishmaelites bought him on speculation.  But not for envy was the
Sutherland lad sold and shipped to a foreign land, but rather for a
contemptuous estimate of his money value.  The proprietor-patriarch
of the county took to a more quiet and profitable favorite--the
sheep, and sent it to feed on a pasture enriched with the ashes of
Joseph's cottage.  It is to be feared he meant only money; but
Providence meant a blessing beyond the measurement of money to the
evicted; and what Providence meant it made for him and his
posterity, and they are now enjoying it.

Dunrobin Castle, the grand residence of the Duke of Sutherland,
looks off upon the sea at Golspie.  It is truly a magnificent
edifice, ranking with the first palaces in Christendom.  Nearly
eight hundred years has it been in building, though, I believe, all
that commands admiration for stature and style is the work of the
present century.  Whatever the Sutherland family may have been in
local position and history in past centuries, one of the noblest
women that ever ennobled the nobility of Great Britain, has given
the name a celebrity and an estimation in America which all who ever
wore it before never won for it.  The Duchess of Sutherland, the
noble and large-hearted sister of Lord Morpeth-Carlisle, has given
to the coronet she wore a lustre brighter to the American eye than
the light of diadems which have dazzled millions in Europe.  When
the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Men shall come to its
high place in the hearts of nations as the crown-faith of all their
creeds, what this noble woman felt, said and did for the Slave in
his bonds shall be mentioned of her by the preachers of that great
doctrine in years to come.  When the jewels of Humanity's memories
shall be made up, she who, as it were, bent down to him in his
prison-house and put her jewelled hands to the breaking of his
fetters, shall stand, with women of the same sympathy, only next to
her who broke her box of ointment on the Saviour's feet.

The next day made a walk to Helmsdale, a distance of about eighteen
miles.  The weather was favorable, the scenery grand and varied with
almost every feature that could give it interest.  The finest of
roads wound in and out around the mountain headlands, so that
alternately I was walking upon a lofty esplanade overlooking the
still expanse of the steel-blue sea, then facing inward to the
gorges of the grand and solemn hills.  Found comfortable quarters in
one of the inns of Helmsdale, a vigorous, busy, fishing village
nestling under the shadow of the mountains at the mouth of a little
river of the same name.  After tea, went down to the wharf or quay
and had some conversation with one of the masters of the business.
He cured and put up about 30,000 barrels of herrings himself in a
season, employing, while it lasted, 500 persons.  Their chief market
is the North of Europe, especially Poland, and the business was
consequently much depressed on account of the troubles in that
country.  The occupation of this little sea-side village illustrated
the ramifications of commerce.  They imported their salt from
Liverpool, their staves from Norway and their hoops from London.

Set out again immediately after breakfast, feeling that I was
drawing near to the end of my journey.  I was soon in the treeless
county of Caithness, so fraught with the wild romance of the
Norsemen.  Passed over the bleakest district I had yet seen, called
Old Ord, a cold, rough, cloud-breeding region that the very heavens
above seem to frown upon with a scowl of dissatisfaction.  Still,
the road over this dark, mountain desert, though staked on each side
to keep the traveller from wandering in the blinding snows of
winter, was as beautifully kept as the carriage-way in the park of
Dunrobin Castle.  The sending of an English queen to conciliate the
Welsh, by giving birth to a son in one of their castles, was not a
much better stroke of policy than that of England in perforating
Scotland to the Northern Sea with this unparalleled and splendid
road, constructed at first for a military purpose.  I heard a man
repeat a couplet, probably of unwritten poetry, in popular vogue
among the Highlands, and which has quite an Irish collocation of
ideas.  It is spoken thus, as far as I can recollect--

     Who knew these roads ere they were made
     Should bless the Lord for General Wade.

I doubt if there are ten consecutive miles of carriage-road in
America that could compare for excellence with that over the desert
of Old Ord.  I was overtaken by a heavy shower before I had made the
trajet, and was glad to reach one of the most comfortable inns of
the Highlands, in the beautiful, romantic and picturesque glen of
Berriedale.  Here, nestling between lofty mountain ridges, which
warded off the blasting sea-winds sweeping across from Norway, were
plantations and groves of trees, almost the only ones I saw in the
county.  Nothing could exceed the hospitality of the family that
kept the large, white-faced hotel at the bottom of this pleasant
valley; especially after I incidentally said that I had walked all
the way from London to see the country and people.  They admitted me
into the kitchen and gave me a seat by the great peat fire, where I
had a long talk with them, beginning with the mother.  Having
intimated that I was an American, the whole family, old and young,
including the landlord, gathered around me and had a hundred
questions to ask.  They related many incidents about the great
eviction in Sutherland, which was an event that seems to make a
large stock of legendary and unwritten stories, like the old Sagas
of the Northmen.  When I had dried my clothes and eaten a
comfortable dinner before their kitchen fire and resumed my staff,
they all followed me out to the road, and then with their wishes for
a good journey as long as I was in hearing distance.  Continued my
walk around headlands, now looking seaward, now mountainward, now
ascending on heather-bound esplanades, now descending in zig-zag
directions into deep glens, over massive and elegant bridges that
spanned the mountain streams and their steep and jagged banks.
After a walk of eighteen miles, put up at an inn a little north of
the village of Dunbeath, kept by an intelligent and industrious
farmer.  The rain had continued most of the day, and I was obliged
to seek shelter sometimes under a stunted tree which helped out the
protecting power of a weather-beaten umbrella; now in the doorway of
an open stable or cow-shed, and once with my back against the door
of a wayside church, which kept off the rain in one direction.  This
being a kind of border-season between summer and autumn, there were
no fires in the inns generally except in the kitchen, and I soon
learned to make for that, and always found a kindly welcome to its
comforts; though sometimes the good woman and her lassie would look
a little flushed at having their busiest culinary operations
revealed so suddenly to a stranger.  Some of these kitchens are
fitted for sleeping apartments; occasionally having two tiers of
berths like a ship's cabin, slightly and rudely curtained.

The family of this wayside inn, seemingly like every other family in
the country, had connections in America, embracing brothers, uncles
and cousins.  I was shown a little paper casket of hair flower-work,
sent by _post_!  It was wrought of locks of every shade and tint,
from the snow of a grandmother over one hundred years of age to the
little, sunny curls of the youngest child in the circle of kindred
families.  The Scotch branch had collected specimens from relatives
in Great Britain and forwarded them to the family in America, one of
whose daughters had worked them into two bouquets of flowers,
sending one of them by post to this little, white cottage on the
Northern Sea, as a memento of affection.  What enhanced the beauty
of this interchange was the fact, that forty-eight years had elapsed
since the landlord's brother left his native land for New England,
and had never seen it since.  Still, the cousins, who had never seen
each other's faces, had kept up an affectionate correspondence.  A
son and son-in-law of the brother in America were in the Federal
army, and here was a sea-divided family filled with all the sad,
silent solicitude of affection for beloved ones exposed to the
fearful hazards of a war sundering more ties of blood-relationship
than any other ever waged on earth.

Saturday, September 27th.  Resumed my walk with increased animation,
feeling myself within two days' distance of its end.  The scenery
softens down to an agricultural aspect, the country declining
northerly toward the sea.  Passed through a well-cultivated
district, never unpeopled or wasted by eviction, but held by a kind
of even yeomanry of proprietors.  The cottages are comfortable,
resembling the white houses of New England considerably.  They are
nearly all of one story, with a chimney at each end, broadside to
the road, and a door in the middle, dividing the house into two
apartments.  They are built of stone, the newest ones having a slate
roof.  Some of them are whitewashed, others so liberally jointed
with mortar as to give them a bright and cheery appearance.  These,
of course, are the last edition of cottages, enlarged and amended in
every way.  The old issues are ragged volumes, mostly bound in turf
or bog grass, well corded down with ropes of heather, giving the
roof a singular ribby look, rounded on the ridge.  In many cases a
stone is attached to each end of the rope, so as to make it hug the
thatch closely.  I noticed that in a considerable number of the old
cottages, the stone wall only reached up a foot or two from the
ground, the rest being made up of blocks of peat.  Some of the
oldest had no premonitory symptoms of a chimney, except a hole in
the roof for the smoke.  These in no way differed from the stone-
and-turf cottages in Ireland.

Again occasional showers brought me into acquaintance with the
people living near the road.  In every case I found them kind and
hospitable, giving me a pleasant welcome and the best seat by their
peat-fire.  I sat by one an hour while the rain fell cold and fast
outside.  The good woman and her daughter were busy baking barley-
cakes.  They were the first I had seen, and I ate them with a
peculiar zest of appetite.  Told them many stories about America in
return for a great deal of information about the customs and
condition of the working-people.  They generally built their own
cottages, costing from 40 to 50 pounds, not counting their own
labor.  I met on the road scores of fishermen returning to their
homes at the conclusion of the herring season; and was struck with
their appearance in every way.  They are truly a stalwart race of
men, broad-chested, of intelligent physiognomy, with Scandinavian
features fully developed.  A half dozen of them followed a horse-
cart containing their nets, all done up in a round ball, like a
bladder of snuff, with the number of their boat marked upon it.

At about four p.m., I came in sight of the steeples of Wick, a brave
little city by the Norse Sea, which may not only be called the Wick
but the Candle of Northern Scotland; lighting, like a polar star,
this hyperborean shoreland of the British isle.  I never entered a
town with livelier pleasure.  It is virtually the last and farthest
on the mainland in this direction.  Its history is full of interest.
Its great business is full of vigor, daring and danger.  Here is the
great land-home of the Vikings of the nineteenth century; the
indomitable men who walk the roaring and crested billows of this
Northern Ocean in their black, tough sea-boats and bring ashore the
hard-earned spoils of the deep.  This is the great metropolis of
Fishdom.  Eric the Red, nor any other pre-Columbus navigator of the
North American Seas, ever mustered braver crews than these sea-boats
carry to their morning beats.  Ten thousand of as hardy men as ever
wrestled with the waves, and threw them too, are out upon that wide
water-wold before the sun looks on it--half of them wearing the
features of their Norse lineage, as light-haired and crisp-whiskered
as the sailors of Harold the Fair-haired a thousand years ago.  They
come from all the coasts of Scotland, from Orkney, Shetland, the
Hebrides and Lewis islands, and down out of the heart of the
Highlands.  It is a hard and daring industry they follow, and
hundreds of graves on the shore and thousands at the bottom of the
sea have been made with no names on them, as the long record of the
hazards they run in the perilous occupation.  But they keep their
ranks full from year to year, pushing out new boats marked with
higher numbers.

The harbor has been dangerous and difficult of access, but of late a
great effort has been made to render it more safe and commodious.
The Scotch fisheries now yield from 600,000 to 700,000 barrels of
herrings annually, employing about 17,000 fishermen; Wick stands
first among all the fishing ports of the kingdom.  It is a thriving
town, well supplied with churches, schools, hotels, banks and
printing-offices.  Several new buildings are now being erected which
will rank high in architecture and add new features of elegance to
the place.  The population is a vigorous, intelligent, highly moral
and well-read community, as I could not fail to notice on attending
service on the Sabbath at different places of worship.  Wick is
honored with this distinction--it assembles a larger congregation of
men to listen to the glad Evangel on Sunday than any city of the
world ever musters under one roof for the same purpose.  It is the
out-door church of the fishermen.  They sometimes number 5,000 adult
men, sea-beaten and sun-burnt, gathered in from mountainous island
and mainland all around the northern coasts of Scotland.

Monday, Sept. 28th.  The weather was favorable, and I set out on my
last day's walk northward with a sense of satisfaction I could
hardly describe.  The scenery was beautiful in every direction.  The
road was perfect up to the last rod; as well kept as if it ran
through a nobleman's park.  The country most of the way was well
cultivated--oats being the principal crop.  Here, almost within
sight of the Orkneys, I heard the clatter of the reaping machine,
which, doubtless, puts out the same utterance over and upon the sea
at Land's End.  It has travelled fast and far since 1851, when it
first made its appearance in Europe in the Crystal Palace, as one of
the wild, impracticable "notions" of American genius.  In Wick I
visited a newspaper establishment, and saw in operation one of the
old "Columbians," or the American printing-press, surmounted by the
eagle of the Republic.  The sewing-machine is in all the towns and
villages on the island.  If there is not an American clock at John
O'Groat's, I hope some of my fellow townsmen will send one there,
Bristol-built.  They are pleasant tokens of free-labor genius.  No
land tilled by slaves could produce them.  I saw many large and
highly-cultivated farms on these last miles of my walk.  The country
was proportionately divided between food and fuel.  Oats and barley
constitute the grain-crops.  The uncultivated land interspersed with
the yellow fields of harvest, is reserved for _peat_--the poor man's
fuel and his wealth.  For, were it not for the inexhaustible
abundance of this cheap and accessible firing, he could hardly
inhabit this region.  It would seem strange to an American, who had
not realised the difference of the two climates, to see fields full
of reapers on the very threshold of October, as I saw them on this
last day's walk.  I counted twelve women and two men in one field
plying the sickle, all strongly-built and good-looking and well-
dressed withal.

The sea was still and blue as a lake.  A lark was soaring and
warbling over it with as happy and hopeful a voice as if it were
singing over the greenest acres of an English meadow.  When I had
made half of the seventeen miles between Wick and John O'Groat's, I
began to look with the liveliest interest for the first glimpse of
the Orkneys; but projecting and ragged headlands intercepted the
prospect.  About three p.m., as the road emerged from behind one of
them, those famous islands burst suddenly into view!  There they
were!--in full sight, so near that their grain-fields and white
cottages and all their distinguishing features seemed within half a
mile's distance.  This was the most interesting coup d'oeil that I
ever caught in any country.  Here, then, after weeks and months of
travel on foot, I was at the end of my journey.  Through all the
days of this period I had faced northward, and here was the Ultima
Thule, the goal and termination of my tour.  The road to the sea
diverged from the main turnpike, which continued around the coast to
Thurso.  Followed this branch a couple of miles, when it ended at
the door of a little, quiet, one-story inn on the very shore of the
Pentland Firth.  It was a moment of the liveliest enjoyment to me.
When I left London, about the middle of July, I was slowly
recovering from a severe indisposition, and hardly expected to be
able to make more than a few miles of my projected walk.  But I had
gathered strength daily, and when I brought up at this little inn at
the very jumping-off end of Scotland, I was fresher and more
vigorous on foot than at any previous stage of the journey.

Having found to my great satisfaction that they could give me a bed
for the night, I went with two gentlemen of the neighborhood to see
the site of the celebrated John O'Groat's House, about a mile and a
half from the inn.  There was only a footpath to it across
intervening fields, and when we reached it, a rather vigorous
exercise of the organ of individuality was requisite to "locate" the
foundations of "the house that Jack built."  Indeed, pilgrims to the
shrine of this famous domicile are liable to much disappointment at
finding so little remaining of a residence so historical.  Literally
not one stone is left upon another.  A large stone granary standing
near is said to have been built of the debris of the house, and this
helps out one's faith when struggling to believe in the existence of
such a building at all.  A certain ridgy rising in the ground, to
which you try to give an octagonal shape, is pointed out as
indicating the foundations; but an unsatisfactory obscurity rests
upon the whole history of the establishment.  Whether true or not,
that history of the house which one would prefer to believe runs

In the reign of James IV. of Scotland, three brothers, Malcolm,
Gavin, and John de Groat, natives of Holland, came to this coast of
Caithness, with a letter in Latin from that monarch recommending
them to the protection and countenance of his subjects hereabout.
They got possession of a large district of land, and in process of
time multiplied and prospered until they numbered eight different
proprietors by the name of Groat.  On one of the annual dinners
instituted to commemorate their arrival in Caithness, a dispute
arose as to the right of precedency in taking the door and the head
of the table.  This waxed very serious and threatened to break up
these annual gatherings.  But the wisdom and virtue of John
prevented this rupture.  He made a touching speech to them, soothing
their angry spirits with an appeal to the common and precious
memories of their native land and to all their joint experiences in
this.  He entreated them to return to their homes quietly, and he
would remedy the current difficulty at the next meeting.  Won by his
kindly spirit and words, they complied with his request.  In the
interval, John built a house expressly for the purpose, of an
octagonal form, with eight doors and windows.  He then placed a
table of oak, of the same shape, in the middle; and when the next
meeting took place, he desired each head of the different Groat
families to enter at his own door and sit at the head of his own
table.  This happy and ingenious plan restored good feeling and a
pleasant footing to the sensitive families, and gave to the good
Dutchman's name an interest which it will carry with it forever.

After filling my pockets with some beautiful little shells strewing
the site of the building, called "John O'Groat's buckies," I
returned to the inn.  One of the gentlemen who accompanied me was
the tenant of the farm which must have been John's homestead,
containing about two hundred acres.  It was mostly in oats, still
standing, with a good promise of forty bushels to the acre.  He
resided at Thurso, some twenty miles distant, and found no
difficulty in carrying on the estate through a hired foreman.  I
never passed a more enjoyable evening than in the little, cozy, low-
jointed parlor of this sea-side inn.  Scotch cakes never had such a
relish for me nor a peat-fire more comfortable fellowship of
pleasant fancies, as I sat at the tea-table.  There was a moaning of
winds down the Pentland Firth--a clattering and chattering of window
shutters, as if the unrestful spirits of the old Vikings and Norse
heroes were walking up and down the scene of their wild histories
and gibbering over their feats and fates.  Spent an hour or two in
writing letters to friends in England and America, to tell them of
my arrival at this extreme goal of my walk, and a full hour in
poring over the visitors' book, in which there were names from all
countries in Christendom, and also impressions and observations in
prose, poetry, English, French, Latin, German and other languages.
Many of the comments thus recorded intimated some dissatisfaction
that John O'Groat's House was so _mythical_; that so much had to be
supplied by the imagination; that not even a stone of the foundation
remained in its place to assist fancy to erect the building into a
positive fact of history.  But they all bore full and sometimes
fervid testimony to the good cheer of the inn at the hands of the
landlady.  There was one record which blended loyalty to palate and
patriotism--"The Roast Beef of Old England" and "God save the
Queen"--rather amusingly.  A party wrote their impressions after
this manner--"Visited John O'Groat's House; found little to see;
came back tired and hungry; walked into a couple of tender chickens
and a good piece of bacon:  God save Mrs. Manson and all the Royal
Family!"  This concluding "sentiment" was doubtless sincere and
honest, although it involved a question of precedence in the rank of
two feelings which John the Dutchman could have hardly settled by
his eight-angled plan of adjustment.

The next morning, for the first time for nearly three months of
continuous travel, I faced southward, leaving behind me the Orkneys
unvisited, though I had a strong desire to see those celebrated
islands--the theatre of so much interesting history.  Twenty years
ago I translated all the "Sagas" relating to the voyages and
exploits of the Northmen in these northern seas and islands, their
explorations of the coast of North America centuries before Columbus
was born, their doings in Iceland and on all the islands great and
small now forming the British realms.  This gave an additional zest
to my enjoyment in standing on the shore of the Pentland Firth and
looking over upon the scene of old Haco's and Sigurd's doing, daring
and dying.

Footed it back to Wick, and there terminated my walk, having
measured, step by step, full seven hundred miles since I left
London, counting in the divergences from a straight line which I had
made.  In the evening I addressed a large and intelligent audience
which had been convened at short notice, and I never stood up before
one with such peculiar satisfaction as in that North-star town of
Scotland.  I had travelled nearly the whole distance incog., without
hearing my own name on a pair of human lips for weeks.  To lay aside
this embargo and to speak to such a large congregation, face to
face, was like coming back again into the great communions of
humanity after a long and private fellowship with the secluded
quietudes of Nature.

At four p.m. the next day, I took the Thurso coach and passed over
in the night the whole distance that had occupied me a week in
travelling by staff.  Stopped a night in Inverness, another at
Elgin, and spent the Sabbath with my friend, Anthony Cruickshank, at
Sittyton, about fifteen miles north of Aberdeen.



Sittyton designates hardly a village in Aberdeenshire, but it has
become a point of great interest to the agricultural world--a second
Babraham.  In this quiet, rural district, Anthony Cruickshank, a
quiet, modest, meek-voiced member of the Society of Friends,
"generally called Quakers," has made a history and a great
enterprise of vast value to the world.  He is one of those four-
handed but one-minded men who, with a pair to each, build up
simultaneously two great businesses so symmetrically that you would
think they gave their whole intellect, will and genius to one.
Anthony Cruickshank, the Quaker of Sittyton, has made but little
more noise in the world than Nature makes in building up some of her
great and beautiful structures.  His footsteps were so light and
gentle that few knew that he was running at all, until they saw him
lead the racers by a head at the end of the course.  The world is
wide, and dews of every temperature fall upon its meadow and pasture
lands.  Vast regions are fresh and green all the year round,
yielding food for cattle seemingly in the best conditions created
for their growth and perfection.  The highest nobility and gentry of
this and other countries are giving to the living statuary of these
animals that science, taste and genius which the most enthusiastic
artists are giving to the still but speaking statuary of the canvas.
The competition in this cultivation of animal life is wide and
eager, and spreading fast over Christendom; emperors, kings,
princes, dukes and belted barons are on the lists.  Antipodean
agriculturists meet in the great international concours of cattle,
horses, sheep and swine.  Never was royal blood or the inheritance
of a crown threaded through divergent veins to its source with more
care and pride than the lineage of these four-footed "princes" and
"princesses," "dukes" and "duchesses," and "knights" and "ladies" of
the stable and pasture.  No peerage ever kept a more jealous
heraldry than the herd-book of this great quadruped noblesse.  The
world, by consent, has crowned the Shorthorn Durham as the best
blood that ever a horned animal carried in its veins.  Princely
connoisseurs and amateurs, and all the dilettanti as well as
practical agriculturists of Christendom, are giving more thought to
the perfection and perpetuation of this blood than to any other name
and breed.  Still--and this distinction is crowned with double merit
by the fact--Anthony Cruickshank, draper of Aberdeen, has worked his
way, gradually and noiselessly, to the very head and front of the
Shorthorn knighthood of the world.  While pursuing the occupation to
which he was bred with as much assiduity and success as if it had
every thought and activity which a man should give to a business, he
built up, at a considerable distance from his warehouse, an
enterprise of an entirely different nature, to a magnitude which no
other man has ever equalled.  He now owns the largest herd of
Shorthorns in the world, breeding and feeding them to the highest
perfection in the cold and naturally unfertile county of Aberdeen,
which no man of less patience and perseverance would select as the
ground on which to enter the lists against such an array of
competitors in Great Britain and other countries.  I regret that my
Notes have already expanded to such a volume as to preclude a more
extended account of his operations in this great field of
usefulness.  A few simple facts will suffice to give the reader an
approximate idea of what he has done in this department.

About the year 1825, young Cruickshank was put to a Friends' school
in Cumberland.  He was a farmer's son, and seems to have conceived a
great fancy for cattle from childhood.  A gentleman resided not far
from the school, who was an owner and amateur of Shorthorns, and
Anthony would frequently spend his half-holidays with him,
inspecting and admiring his herd, and asking him questions about
their qualities and his way of treating them.  From this school he
was sent as an apprentice to a trading establishment in Edinburgh,
and at the end of his term set up business for himself as a draper
in Aberdeen.  All through this period he carried with him his first
interest in cattle-culture, but was unable to make a beginning in it
until 1837, when he purchased a single Shorthorn cow in the county
of Durham, and soon afterward two other animals of the same blood.
These constituted the nucleus of his herd at Sittyton.  One by one
he added other animals of the same stock, purchased in different
parts of England, Ireland and Scotland.  With these accessions by
purchase, and from natural increase, his herd grew rapidly and
prospered finely, so that he was obliged to add field to field and
farm to farm to produce feed for such a number of mouths.  In a few
years he reached his present maximum which he does not wish to
exceed.  That is, his herd now averages annually three hundred head
of this noble and beautiful race of animals, or the largest number
of them owned by any one man in the world.  In 1841, he announced
his first sale of young bulls, and every year since that date has
put up at public auction the male progeny of the herd.  These sales
usually take place in the first week of October, and are attended by
from 300 to 500 persons from all parts of the kingdom.  After
carefully inspecting the various lots, they adjourn to a substantial
luncheon at twelve o'clock, and at one p.m. they repair to the sale
ring and the bidding begins in good earnest, and the auctioneer's
hammer falls quick and often, averaging about a minute and a half to
each lot.  Thus the forty lots of young bulls from six to ten months
old are passed away, averaging from 33 to 44 guineas each.  Besides
these, from fifty to sixty young bulls, cows and heifers are
disposed of by private sale during the season, ranging from 50 to
150 guineas, going to buyers from all parts of the world.

It is Mr. Cruickshank's well-matured opinion, resulting from long
experience and observation, that there is no breed of cattle so
easily maintained in good condition as the Shorthorns.  His are fed
on pasture grass from the 1st of May to the middle of October, lying
in the open field night and day.  In the winter they are fed
_entirely on oat-straw and turnips_.  Not a handful of hay or of
meal is given them.  The calves are allowed to suck their dams at
pleasure.  He is convinced that with this simple system of feeding,
together with the bracing air of Aberdeenshire, he has obtained a
tribe of animals of hardy and robust constitutions, of early
maturity, well calculated to improve the general stock of the

It was to me a delight to see this, the greatest herd of Shorthorns
in the world, numbering animals of apparently the highest perfection
to which they could attain under human treatment.  What a court and
coterie of "princes," "dukes," "knights" and "ladies" those stables
contained--creatures that would not have dishonored higher names by
wearing them!  I was pleased to find that Republics and their less
pretentious titles were not excluded from the goodly fellowship of
this short-horned aristocracy.  There was one grand and noble bull
called "President Lincoln," not only, I fancy, out of respect to
"Honest Old Abe," but also in reference to the disposition and
capacities of the animal.  Truly, if let loose in some of our New
England fields, he would prove himself a tremendous "railsplitter."

After spending a quiet Sabbath with this old friend and host at his
farm-house at Sittyton, I took the train for Edinburgh and had a
week of the liveliest enjoyment in that city, attending the meetings
of the Social Science Congress.  There I saw and heard for the first
time the venerable Lord Brougham, also men and women of less
reputation, but of equal heart and will to serve their kind and
country.  I had intended to make a separate chapter on these
meetings and another on the re-unions of the British Association at
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, but the space to which this volume must be
limited precludes any notice of these most interesting and important
gatherings.  Stopping at different points on the way, I reached
London about the middle of October, having occupied just four months
in my northern tour; bringing back a heartful of sunny memories of
what I had seen and enjoyed.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Walk from London to John O'Groat's" ***

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