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Title: Lands of the Slave and the Free - Cuba, the United States, and Canada
Author: Murray, Henry A.
Language: English
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LANDS OF THE
SLAVE AND THE FREE:

OR,

Cuba, the United States, and Canada.

BY

CAPTAIN THE HON. HENRY A. MURRAY, R.N.

[Illustration: Entrance to a Coffee Planter's Residence.]

1857.



  "He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,
  Dominion absolute; that right we hold
  By his donation; but man over man
  He made not lord."

MILTON.


    "Gone, gone--sold and gone,
    To the rice-swamp, dank and lone;
  There no mother's eye is near them,
  There no mother's ear can hear them;
  Never, when the torturing lash
  Seams their backs with many a gash,
  Shall a mother's kindness bless them,
  Or a mother's arms caress them."

WHITTIER.


"LA CURIOSIDAD NUNCA SE ENFADA DE SABER."[A]

ANTONIO PEREZ


           "Oh, give me liberty!
  For were even Paradise my prison,
  Still I would long to leap the crystal walls."

DRYDEN.


  "A happy bit hame this arrld[*] warld wad be,
  If men, whan they're here, would make shift to agree,
  And ilk said to his neebor in cottage an' hall,
  'Come, gie me your hand, we are brethren all.'"

[Transcribers note *: illegible]

ROBERT NICOL.



  TO NIF, NASUS, AND CO.,
  THESE VOLUMES
  Are Dedicated
  AS A TOKEN OF THE SINCERE AND AFFECTIONATE REGARD
  OF THEIR OBEDIENT SERVANT,

  HENRY A. MURRAY.

  LONDON, JUNE 1ST, 1855.



SECOND AND CHEAP EDITION.

       *       *       *       *       *

The encouragement of friends, and the opinions expressed by a large
majority of those publications that considered the former edition worthy
of notice, have induced me to cut out many passages which might possibly
not interest the general reader, in order that I might send it forth to
the public in a more cheap and popular form.

Writing upon such a subject as the United States, her constitution, and
her institutions, there was necessarily some danger of a taint of
political partisanship. I trust, however, I may he considered to have
redeemed the pledge I made of writing "free from political bias," when I
have found favour in the pages of two publications so opposite in their
politics as the _Westminster Review_ and the _Press_.

One weekly paper with pretensions to literary criticism (the
_Athenaeum_, September 15, 1855) did me the honour of making me the
object of its unmeasured censure; but, as I was forewarned that my
success would interfere with the prospects of one of its contributors, I
was prepared for its animadversions, though most certainly I did not
anticipate the good fortune of a zeal so totally void of discretion,
that the animus which guided the critic's pen should be too transparent
to impose upon even a child.

Conceive a would-be critic, after various spasmodic efforts at severity,
selecting from among many _comprehensive_ measures suggested by me for
the future emancipation, and for the present benefit, of the slave, the
proposition of "a proper instrument for flogging, to be established by
law," and _that_ with the evident intention of throwing ridicule on the
idea. If the critic were occasionally subject to the discipline of the
various instruments used for the punishment of the negro, his instinct
would soon teach him that which appears to be at present beyond the
grasp of his intellect, viz., the difference between a cow-hide and a
dog-whip; and if he knew anything of his own country, he could scarcely
be ignorant that the instruments used for corporal punishment in army,
navy, and prisons, are established by law or by a custom, as strong as
law. But enough of this Athenian Reviewer, I offer for his reflection
the old story, "Let her alone, poor thing; it amuses her, and does me no
harm." The next time he tries to sling a stone, I hope he will not again
crack his own skull in the clumsy endeavour.

  "Ill nature blended-with cold blood
  Will make a critic sound and good.
  This useful lesson hence we learn,
  Bad wine to good sound vinegar will turn."
OLD PAMPHLET.


I now launch my barque upon a wider ocean than before. The public must
decide whether her sails shall flap listlessly against the masts, or
swell before a stiff and prosperous breeze.

H.A.M.



CONTENTS.


A CHAPTER GRATIS AND EXPLANATORY


CHAPTER I.

_Make Ready--Fire--Departure_.

FROM LONDON TO NEW YORK.

Preparations
LIVERPOOL--Embarkation Scenes
Scenes on Board
CAPE RACE
Pilot
NEW YORK


CHAPTER II.

_Land of Stars and Stripes_.

AT NEW YORK.

The First View
Custom House
Ferry Boat
First Impressions
Hospitality
American Hotels
Bar and Barbers
Bridal Chamber
Paddy Waiter
Feeding System
Streets and Buildings
Portrait Hatter
Advertisements
Loafing in Broadway


CHAPTER III.

_Sights and Amusements_.

AT NEW YORK.

Yacht Club and Dinner.
Railway Society to LONG ISLAND
Race Stand
Trotting Match
Metallic Coffin
American Horse
Hack Cabs and Drivers
Omnibuses
City Railway Cars
Travelling Railway Cars
Tickets for Luggage
Locomotive
Suggestions for Railway Companies

CHAPTER IV.

_A Day on the North River_.

FROM NEW YORK TO GENESEO.

Embark in Steamer on Hudson
Passengers and Anecdotes
Scenery of River
ALBANY--Disembark
A Hint for Travellers
Population and Prosperity
Railway through Town
Professor of Soap
CANANDAIGUA--Hospitality.
Early Education
Opposite System
Drive across Country--Snake Fences and Scenery
Churches--a Hint for the Highlands
Cheap Bait--GENESEO


CHAPTER V.

_Geneseo_.

AT GENESEO

Absence of Animal Life--Early Rising
View from the Terrace--Work of the Pioneer
Farm and System, Wages, &c.
A Drive--Family Scene
LAKE CANESUS
Plank road. Toll gates, &c.
Scotch Pikeman


CHAPTER VI.

_Stirring Scenes and Strange Sights_.

FROM GENESEO TO NEW YORK.

A Drive to BATAVIA--Railway Warning
Buffalo Railway Station and Yankee Cabby
Prosperity and Contrast
NIAGARA
ROCHESTER
A Live Bloomer
Advantage proved by Contrast
Reflections on Old Fashions
Pleasant Night


CHAPTER VII.

_Construction and Destruction_.

AT NEW YORK.

Cutter Yacht, "Black Maria"
Dinner on Board
Toddy and Chowder
Prosperity--Croton Aqueduct
Destruction of Dogs
Drive on the Bloomingdale Road
A Storm

CHAPTER VIII.

_South and West_.

FROM NEW YORK TO LOUISVILLE.

Ticket Station
PHILADELPHIA--Convenience
Luggage left behind
BALTIMORE--MAXWELL POINT
Canvas-back Ducks
Tolling for Ducks
Start by Rail--A Fix
HARRISBURGH--The Whittling Colonel
Start again. Pleasant Company
Inclined Planes--Canal Boat
Coaching Comfort
PITTSBURG
Railing through Forest, and Reflections
CLEVELAND--Mud-walk
To Sleep or not to Sleep
CINCINNATI--Statistics and Education
Porkopolis and Pigs
A bloody Scene
Ships at Marietta
OHIO--Levee and Literature
Embark on Steamer--Black Stewardess
Ibrahim Pacha and Fat


CHAPTER IX.

_Scenes Ashore and Afloat_.

FROM LOUISVILLE TO ST. LOUIS.

Fabrication of the Republican Bonbon
Wood Machinery
A Nine-inside Coach
Human Polecat
Breakfast and Cigar _versus_ Foetor
Ferry Crossing--Travelling Beasts
Old Bell's and Old Bell
Cross Country Drive--Scenery
The Mammoth Cave
Old Bell and the Mail
Pleasant Companions
Rural Lavatory
Fat Boy and Circus Intelligence
LOUISVILLE and Advice
Ohio--A Bet at the Bar
A Dinner Scene and a Lady
Dessert and Toothpicks
Evening Recreation
CAIRO--Its Prospects
ST. LOUIS--Its Prosperity


CHAPTER X.

_River Scenes_.

FROM ST. LOUIS TO NEW ORLEANS.

MISSISSIPPI--Good-natured Weakness
Mississippi _v_. Missouri
Stale Anecdote revived
Marriage Certificate
Folly--Description of Steamer
Inspection Farce described
Corporal Punishment--Illustration
Captain of Mizen Top _v_. White Nigger
Scenery
Mississippi--Good night
Screecher & Burster--A Race
Captain leaves us
Bed--Alarm--Wreck
Brutal Heartlessness
River Wreckers
NEW ORLEANS
Wrecks, Causes and Remedies
Anecdotes of Blood


CHAPTER XI.

_New Orleans_.

FROM NEW ORLEANS TO HAVANA.

Situation and Bustle
Cotton, Tobacco and Sugar
Steamers, and Wages
Streets, Hotels, &c
A Friend in Need. Neighbourhood, Shell-road
Society and Remarks
Rough-and-Tumble--Lola Montez
A Presbyterian Church
The Gold Man
Autocracy of the Police
Law--Boys and Processions
Duel Penalties--Stafford House Address
Clubs
Spanish Consul and Passport
Parting Cadeau
Pilot Dodge
Purser Smith
Sneezing Dangerous--Selecting a Companion
HAVANA


CHAPTER XII.

_The Queen of the Antilles_.

AT CUBA.

Volante
Lively Funeral
A Light to a Cigar
Evening Amusement
Trip to MATANZAS--El Casero
Slave Plantation
Sugar Making
Luxuriant Vegetation
Punic Faith and Cuban Cruelty
H.M.S. "Vestal"
Bribery
Admiralty Wisdom
Cigars and Manufactory
Population--Chinese
Laws of Domicile--Police and Slavery
Increase of Slaves and Produce
Tobacco, Games, and Lotteries
Cuban Jokes
Sketch of Governors
The Future of Cuba?

CHAPTER XIII.

_Change of Dynasty_.

FROM CUBA TO BALTIMORE.

KEY POINT
Vulgar Hebrew
CHARLESTON, WASHINGTON
Night and Morning
Congress and Inauguration
General Jackson and Changes
Cabmen and City
Shopman and Drinking
Levees and Buildings
BALTIMORE and Terrapin
The Drama
Progress--Fire Companies


CHAPTER XIV.

_Philadelphia and Richmond_.

FROM BALTIMORE TO RICHMOND.

PHILADELPHIA and Hospitality.
Streets--Mint
Gerard College
High School
A Jail and a Cure for the Turbulent
Lunatic Asylum
NEW YORK and Embark
A Wild Paddy
CHARLESTON Arrival
Hotel and Hospitality
Climate and Buildings
Commercial Prosperity
Fire Companies
Miniature WEST POINT (_Vide_ Note)
WILMINGTON Railway Accident
PETERBOROUGH and my Hat
RICHMOND Scenery and Prosperity
Powhattan's Tree, an Episode
A Lady Friend
Fire and Folly
Monkey Boy
Gerymander
Fire Company, Frolic and Reflections


CHAPTER XV.

_From a River to a Race-course_.

FROM RICHMOND TO NEW YORK.

Down the River
WILLIAMSBURG. Old Palace
A Governor and a Paddy
The College
Uncle Ben and his Inn
Reflections
SHIRLEY, Hospitality, &c.
BEANDON, Hospitality, &c.
Rural Election--A Cruise in a Calm
Choral Warblers and Family Altar
NORFOLK, Dockyard, &c.
Slave Servants, a Hint to the Foreign Office
_Via_ BALTIMORE to PHILADELPHIA--A Confession.
Race--Mac and Tac
NEW YORK

CHAPTER XVI.

_Home of the Pilgrim Fathers_.

FROM NEW YORK TO BOSTON.

Off by rail--Foxhunting Fire
BOSTON. Buildings and Hospitality
Neighbourhood and Names
The Drama
Spirit-rapping and Gulls

CHAPTER XVII.

_Teaching of Youth and a Model Jail_.

AT BOSTON.

Pilgrim Fathers
Education--Expenditure--Regulations, &c.
Phonetic System
A Model Jail--Telegraph and Fire--Dockyard
Water Supply, Prosperity, &c.


CHAPTER XVIII.

_Canada_.

FROM BOSTON TO QUEBEC.

Railroad and Scenery
MONTREAL, and a Welcome Face
Gavazzi--Excitement--Mob, &c.
QUEBEC and Neighbourhood Mrs. Paul and Miss Paddy
Ferry-boat and Friends
Rebellion Losses Bill
Moral Courage and Administrative Ability evidenced and acknowledged
Hint for Militia
Canadian Government


CHAPTER XIX.

_A Trip to the Uttáwa_.

FROM QUEBEC TO TORONTO.

Mr. Hincks--Mr. Drummond--MONTREAL
Up the OTTAWAY to LACHINE, ST. ANNE'S to BYTOWN and AYLMER
The CHATS FALLS
Canadian Highlanders
Conflagration, Rafts, Lumberers, and Teetotallers
The Struggle, the Goal, and the Return
AYLMER Prosperity
BYTOWN. Scenery and Advantages
Slides for Lumber--Mr. Mackay
Object of Councillor's Visit
Drive across Country
PRESCOTT and OGDENSBURG
KINGSTON
LAKE ONTARIO and a Nice Bed
TORONTO

CHAPTER XX.

_Colonial Education and Prosperity_.

AT TORONTO.

TORONTO. Population, Prosperity and Buildings
The Normal School
Education generally Canadian Prospects and Prosperity


CHAPTER XXI.

_A Cataract and a Celebration_.

FROM TORONTO TO NEW YORK.

Embark in Steamer
QUEENSTOWN & LEWISTOWN
A Drive, a Bait, and a Lesson
NIAGARA and Moonlight
BATAVIA, GENESEO, and 4th July
Hawking Carriages--ROCHESTER
ALBANY--Hands and Sandwiches
Dropped outside--NEW YORK


CHAPTER XXII.

_Education, Civil and Military_.

NEW YORK AND WEST POINT.

Free Academy
WEST POINT. Military Academy
Anecdote, &c.
NEW YORK

       *       *       *       *       *

Here travelling ceases, and the remaining Chapters are devoted to the
discussion of subjects which I trust may interest the reader.


CHAPTER XXIII.

_Watery Highways and Metallic Intercourse_.

Area of Lakes, and Tonnage thereon
Mississippi--Produce borne and destroyed
Mr. Douglas and Custom Houses
A Great Party Doctrine
Erie Canal--Barn-burners and Hunkers
Railways--United States and England
Telegraph
Systems of Telegraph

CHAPTER XXIV.

_America's Press and England's Censor_.

Issues of the Press
Wonderful Statistics
Character of the Press
Great Britain's Press
Low Literature of America
Barefaced Robbery--_Northwood_ Specimen
_English Items_ Specimen
The Author of _English Items_
SUBJECTS EXTRACTED:--
  Relations with England
  Sixpenny Miracles
  Army Commissions--English Writers
  American Spitting
  Holy Places
  English Friends
  Original Sin
  English Manners
  English Church and Heraldry
  Devotion to Dinner
  Conclusion
Subsequent Career of Mr. Ward--The Offence--The Scene and the Death
Acquittal and Effects


CHAPTER XXV.

_The Institution of Slavery_.

Original Guilt
Northern Fanatics
Irritation produced
Northern Friendship questioned
Grounds of Southerners' Objections to the Abolitionists
English Abolitionists
Mrs. Stowe's Ovation
Treatment of Slaves
Irresponsible Power and Public Opinion
Sources of Opinion as to Treatment of Slaves--Law--Self-interest
Christianity
Habit
Causes of Indignation
Recrimination
Evidence from Authors--Press and Canada
Review of Progress of Slavery
Slave Population and Value
Question of Freedom


CHAPTER XXVI.

_Hints for Master and Hopes for Slave_.

PROPOSALS.
  Free Soil
  Fugitive Law
  Territory of Refuge
TREATMENT DISCUSSED.
  Corporal Punishment
  Forfeiture and Testimony
  System for Ultimate Freedom
  The Blackest Feature in Slavery
VISIONARY DEPUTATION
  Inveterate Slaveholder
  Touchy Slaveholder, and Swaggering Bully
  Clerical Slave Advocate
  Amiable Planter
  Recriminator
  Abolitionist and Intelligent Slaveholder
  A frightful Question
  Closing Observations
Nebraska--The Christian and the Mussulman


CHAPTER XXVII.

_Constitution of the United States_.

Plan Proposed
Government and Qualification for Office
Elective Franchise
Frequency of Elections
Ballot
Effects of Elections under the Ballot
Remedy proposed
John Randolph, Sydney Smith, and Clubs
Payment of Members and its Effects
Scene in Congress
The Judiciary
Exclusion of Cabinet from Seats
Power of President
Election of President
Governors of States, and Power of Pardon
Conclusion and Testimony of Bishop Hopkins


CHAPTER XXVIII.

_The Church, the School, and the Law_.

Church Statistics
American Episcopal Prayer-Book
Methodist Episcopacy and Presbyterian Music
What exists at Home
Ismite Convention
Education Statistics and College Expenses
Pray read this--Law for Conveyance of Land


CHAPTER XXIX.

_Inventions and Inveighings_.

What is a Bay?
Dr. King--Fulton and Steam
Telegraph and American Modesty
Reaping Machine
Opinion of a Borderer
American Ingenuity
Fire-arms and Militia

CHAPTER XXX.

_Adverse Influences_.

The 4th July
Mr. Douglas and Congress
Miss Willard and John Mitchell
Who are the Antipathists?


CHAPTER XXXI.

_Olla Podrida_.

American Vanity
American Sensitiveness
American Morals
Territory and Population
Effect of Early Education
Phases of Liberty
Strikes
Intelligence
Energy
'Cuteness and Eggs
Enterprise--Lord-hunting
Hospitality--Political Parties
Know-nothings
The Future
My Endeavour
My Warning
Lord Holland, Hope, and Farewell


NOTES.

EXTENT OF TELEGRAPH IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
A SHORT SKETCH OF THE PROGRESS OF FIRE-ARMS


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote A:
  "THE INQUIRING MIND WEARIES NOT IN THE PURSUIT OF KNOWLEDGE."

ANTONIO PEREZ. (_Translation_)]



EXPLANATORY LIST OF PLATES.


VIGNETTE OF THE ENTRANCE TO A COFFEE PLANTER'S RESIDENCE

RAILWAY CARRIAGE

LOCOMOTIVE

CUTTER YACHT "MARIA"

  The following are the dimensions referred to in the text as being on
  the original engraving:--

  Tonnage by displacement      137      tons
  Length on deck               110      feet
  Breadth of beam               26-1/2   "
  Depth of hold                  8-1/4   "
  Length of mast                91       "
  Length of boom                95       "
  Length of gaff                50      feet
  Length of jibboom             70       "
  Length of bowsprit on board   27       "
  Diameter of bowsprit          24      in.
  Diameter of boom              26      in.

MAP OF CROTON AQUEDUCT

  This map is accurately copied from Mr. Schramke's scientific work, but
  the reader is requested to understand that the lines drawn at right
  angles over the whole of Manhattan Island represent what the city of
  New York is intended to be. At present its limits scarcely pass _No.
  1. Distributing Reservoir_.

STEWARDESS OF THE "LADY FRANKLIN"

  This print may possibly be a little exaggerated.

A MISSISSIPPI STEAMER

  This print is raised out of all proportion, for the purpose of giving
  a better idea of the scenes on board, than the limits of the sheet
  would otherwise have permitted. If the cabin on the deck of the Hudson
  River steamer were raised upon pillars about 15 or 20 feet high, it
  would convey a tolerably accurate impression of the proper
  proportions.

THE NEW ST. CHARLES HOTEL, NEW ORLEANS

EL CASERO, OR THE PARISH HAWKER IN CUBA

THE GERARD COLLEGE, PHILADELPHIA

NORMAL SCHOOL, TORONTO

  A great portion of the ground adjoining is now given up to
  agricultural experimental purposes.

HUDSON RIVER STEAMER, 1200 TONS

  The dimensions are:--

  Length                325 feet
  Breadth                38  "
  Depth of hold          11  "
  Width of cylinder.      5 ft. 10 in.
  Length of stroke.      14 feet
  Diameter of wheel.     40  "

MAP OF THE UNITED STATES



A CHAPTER,

_Gratis and Explanatory_.


What is the use of a preface? Who wants a preface? Nay, more--what is a
preface? Who can define it? That which it is most unlike is the
mathematical myth called a point, which may be said to have neither
length nor breadth, and consequently no existence; whereas a preface
generally has extreme length, all the breadth the printer can give it,
and an universal existence.

But if prefaces cannot be described with mathematical accuracy, they
admit of classification with most unmathematical inaccuracy. First, you
have a large class which may be called CLAIMERS. Ex.: One claims a
certain degree of consideration, upon the ground that it is the author's
first effort; a second claims indulgence, upon the ground of haste; a
third claims attention, upon the ground of the magnitude and importance
of the subject, &c. &c. Another large class may be termed MAKERS. Ex.:
One makes an excuse for tediousness; a second makes an apology for
delay; a third makes his endeavours plead for favourable reception, &c.
Then again you have the INTERROGATOR, wherein a reader is found before
the work is printed, convenient questions are put into his mouth, and
ready replies are given, to which no rejoinder is permitted. This is
very astute practice.--Then again there is the PUFFER AND CONDENSER,
wherein, if matter be wanting in the work, a prefacial waggon is put
before the chapteral pony, the former acting the part of pemican, or
concentrated essence, the latter representing the liquid necessary for
cooking it; the whole forming a _potage au lecteur_, known among
professional men as "soldier's broth."

My own opinion on this important point is, that a book is nothing more
nor less than a traveller; he is born in Fact or Fancy; he travels along
a goose-quill; then takes a cruise to a printer's. On his return thence
his health is discovered to be very bad; strong drastics are applied; he
is gradually cooked up; and when convalescent, he puts on his Sunday
clothes, and struts before the public. At this critical juncture up
comes the typish master of the ceremonies, Mr. Preface, and commences
introducing him to them; but knowing that both man and woman are
essentially inquisitive, he follows the example of that ancient and
shrewd traveller who, by way of saving time and trouble, opened his
address to every stranger he accosted, in some such manner as the
following:--"Sir, I am Mr. ----, the son of Mr. ----, by ----, his wife
and my mother. I left ---- two days ago. I have got ---- in my
carpet-bag. I am going to ---- to see Mr. ----, and to try and purchase
some ----." Then followed the simple question for which an answer was
wanted, "Will you lend me half-a-crown?" "Tell me the road;" "Give me a
pinch of snuff;" or "Buy my book," as the case might be. The stranger,
gratified with his candour, became immediately prepossessed in his
favour. I will endeavour to follow the example of that 'cute traveller,
and forestall those questions which I imagine the reader--if there be
one--might wish to ask.

1. Why do I select a subject on which so many abler pens have been
frequently and lately employed?--Because it involves so many important
questions, both socially and politically, in a field where the changes
are scarcely less rapid than the ever-varying hues on the dying dolphin;
and because the eyes of mankind, whether mental or visual, are as
different as their physiognomies; and thus those who are interested in
the subject are enabled to survey it from different points of view.

2. Do I belong to any of those homoeopathic communities called political
parties?--I belong to none of them; I look upon all of them as so many
drugs in a national apothecary's shop. All have their useful qualities,
even the most poisonous; but they are frequently combined so
injudiciously as to injure John Bull's health materially, especially as
all have a strong phlebotomizing tendency, so much so, that I often see
poor John in his prostration ready to cry out, "Throw Governments to the
dogs--I'll none of them!" If in my writings I appear to show on some
points a political bias, it is only an expression of those sentiments
which my own common sense[B] and observation have led me to entertain on
the subject under discussion, and for which I offer neither defence nor
apology.

3. Am I an artist?--No; I am an author and a plagiarist. Every sketch in
my book is taken from some other work, except the "Screecher," which is
from the artistic pen of Lady G.M.; and the lovely form and features of
the coloured sylph, for which I am indebted to my friend Mr. J.F.C.--You
must not be too curious.--I consider myself justified in plagiarizing
anything from anybody, if I conceive it will help to elucidate my
subject or amuse my reader, provided always I have a reasonable ground
for believing the source is one with which the general reader is not
likely to be acquainted. But when I do steal, I have the honesty to
confess it.

4. What is my book about?--It treats of an island, a confederacy and a
colony; and contains events of travel, facts and thoughts concerning
people, telegraphs, railroads, canals, steam, rivers, commercial
prosperity, education, the Press, low literature, slavery, government,
&c. &c.

5. What security can I offer for the pretensions advanced being made
good?--None whatever. Who takes me, must take me, like a wife, "for
better for worse," only he is requested to remember I possess three
distinct advantages over that lady.--First, you can look inside me as
well as out: Secondly, you can get me more easily and keep me more
cheaply: Thirdly, if you quarrel with me, you can get a divorce in the
fire-place or at the trunkmaker's, without going to the House of Lords.

I trust I have now satisfied all the legitimate demands of curiosity.

I will only further remark that in some of my observations upon, the
United States, such as travelling and tables-d'hôte, the reader must
bear in mind that in a land of so-called equality, whenever that
principle is carried out, no comparison can be drawn accurately between
similar subjects in the Republic and in England.

The society conveyed in one carriage in the States embraces the first,
second, and third-class passengers of Great Britain; and the society fed
at their tables-d'hôte contains all the varieties found in this country,
from the pavilion to the pot-house. If we strike a mean between the
extremes as the measure of comfort thus obtained, it is obvious, that in
proportion as the traveller is accustomed to superior comforts in this
country, so will he write disparagingly of their want in the States,
whereas people of the opposite extreme will with equal truth laud their
superior comforts. The middle man is never found, for every traveller
either praises or censures. However unreasonable it might be to expect
the same refinements in a Republic of "Equal rights," as those which
exist in some of the countries of the Old World under a system more
favourable to their development, it is not the less a traveller's duty
to record his impressions faithfully, leaving it to the reader to draw
his own conclusions.

It was suggested to me to read several works lately published, and
treating of the United States; but as I was most anxious to avoid any of
that bias which such reading would most probably have produced, I have
strictly avoiding so doing, even at the risk of repeating what others
may have said before.

I have nothing further to add in explanation.--The horses are to.--The
coach is at the door.--Chapter one is getting in.--To all who are
disposed to accompany me in my journey, I say--Welcome!

H.A.M.

D 4, ALBANY, LONDON,

_1st June, 1855_.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote B: Perhaps "human instinct" might be a more modest
expression.]



CHAPTER I.

_"Make ready ... Fire!" The Departure._


The preparations for the start of a traveller on a long journey are
doubtless of every variety in quality and quantity, from the poor Arab,
whose wife carries his house as well as all his goods--or perhaps I
should rather say, from Sir Charles Napier of Scinde with his one
flannel waistcoat and his piece of brown soap--up to the owners of the
Dover waggon-looking "_fourgon_" who carry with them for a week's trip
enough to last a century. My weakness, reader, is, I believe, a very
common one, i.e., a desire to have everything, and yet carry scarce
anything.

The difficulties of this arrangement are very perplexing to your
servant, if you have one, as in my case. First you put out every
conceivable article on the bed or floor, and then with an air of
self-denial you say, "There, that will be enough;" and when you find an
additional portmanteau lugged out, you ask with an air of astonishment
(which may well astonish the servant), "What on earth are you going to
do with that?" "To put your things into it, sir," is the very natural,
reply; so, after a good deal of "Confound it, what a bore," &c., it ends
in everything being again unpacked, a fresh lot thrown aside, and a new
packing commenced; and believe me, reader, the oftener you repeat this
discarding operation, the more pleasantly you will travel. I speak from
experience, having, during my wanderings, lost everything by shipwreck,
and thus been forced to pass through all the stages of quantity, till I
once more burdened myself as unnecessarily as at starting.

It was a lovely September morning in 1852, when, having put my traps
through the purging process twice, and still having enough for
half-a-dozen people, I took my place in the early train from
Euston-square for Liverpool, where I was soon housed in the Adelphi. A
young American friend, who was going out in the same steamer on the
following morning, proposed a little walk before the shades of evening
closed in, as he had seen nothing of the city. Off we started, full of
intentions never to be realized: I stepped into a cutler's shop to buy a
knife; a nice-looking girl in the middle of her teens, placed one or two
before me; I felt a nudge behind, and a voice whispered in my ear, "By
George, what a pretty hand!" It was perfectly true; and so convinced was
my friend of the fact, that he kept repeating it in my ear. When my
purchase was completed, and the pretty hand retired, my friend exhibited
symptoms of a strong internal struggle: it was too much for him. At last
he burst out with, "Have you any scissors?"--Aside to me, "What a pretty
little hand!"--Then came a demand for bodkins, then for needles, then
for knives, lastly for thimbles, which my friend observed were too
large, and begged might be tried on her taper fingers. He had become so
enthusiastic, and his asides to me were so rapid, that I believe he
would have bought anything which those dear little hands had touched.

Paterfamilias, who, while poring over his ledger, had evidently had his
ears open, now became alarmed at the reduction that was going on in his
stock, and consequently came forward to scrutinize the mysterious
purchaser. I heard a voice muttering "Confound that old fellow!" as the
dutiful daughter modestly gave place to papa; a Bank of England tenner
passed from my friend's smallclothes to the cutler's small till, and a
half-crown _vice versa_. When we got to the door it was pitch dark; and
thus ended our lionizing of the public buildings of Liverpool.

On the way back to the hotel, as my companion was thinking aloud, I
heard him alternately muttering in soft tones, "What a pretty hand," and
then, in harsh and hasty tones, '"Confound," ... "crusty old fellow;"
and reflecting thereon, I came to the conclusion that if the expressions
indicated weakness, they indicated that pardonable civilizing weakness,
susceptibility to the charms of beauty; and I consequently thought more
kindly of my future fellow-traveller. In the evening we were joined by
my brother and a young officer of the Household Brigade, who were to be
fellow-passengers in our trip across the Atlantic.

Early morning witnessed a procession of hackney coaches, laden as though
we were bent on permanent emigration. Arrived at the quay, a small,
wretched-looking steamer was lying alongside, to receive us and our
goods for transport to the leviathan lying in mid-channel, with her
steam up ready for a start.

The operation of disposing of the passengers' luggage in this wretched
little tea-kettle was amusing enough in its way. Everybody wanted
everybody else's traps to be put down, below, and their own little this,
and little that, kept up: one group, a man, wife, and child,
particularly engaged my attention; the age of the child, independent of
the dialogue, showed that the honeymoon was passed.

WIFE.--"Now, William, my dear, _do_ keep that little box up!"

HUSBAND.--"Hi! there; keep that hat-box of mine up!" (_Aside_,) "Never
mind your box, my dear, _it_ wont hurt."

WIFE.--"Oh, William, there's my little cap-box going down! it will be
broken, in pieces."

HUSBAND.--"Oh! don't be afraid, my dear, they'll take care of it. Stop,
my man, that's my desk; give it me here," &c. &c.

The dialogue was brought to a sudden stop by the frantic yell of the
juvenile pledge of their affections, whose years had not yet reached two
figures; a compact little iron-bound box had fallen on his toe, and the
poor little urchin's pilliloo, pilliloo, was pitiful. Mamma began
hugging and kissing, while papa offered that handy consolation of,
"Never mind, that's a good boy; don't cry." In the meantime, the Jacks
had profited by the squall, and, when it ceased, the happy couple had
the satisfaction of seeing all their precious boxes buried deep in the
hold.

The stream of luggage having stopped, and the human cargo being all on
board, we speedily cast off our lashings, and started: fortunately, it
was fine weather, for, had there been rain, our ricketty tea-kettle
would have afforded us no protection whatever. On reaching the
leviathan, the passengers rushed up hastily, and, armed with
walking-sticks or umbrellas, planted themselves like sentries on the
deck. As the Jacks came tumbling up with the luggage, shouts of "Hi!
that's mine," rent the air; and if Jack, in the hurry and confusion, did
not attend to the cry, out would dart one or other with umbrella or
stick, as the case might be, and harpoon him under the fifth rib; for,
with a heavy burden on his head and shoulders, necessarily supported by
both hands, defence was impossible. I must say, Jack took it all in good
humour, and filing a bill "STOMACH _v_. RIBS," left it to Old Neptune to
obtain restitution for injuries inflicted on his sons. I believe those
who have once settled their accounts with that sea-deity are not more
anxious to be brought into his court again, than those who have enjoyed
the prolonged luxury of a suit in Chancery.

Everything must have an end; so, the mail agent arriving with his postal
cargo, on goes the steam, and off goes the "Africa," Captain Harrison.

  "Some wave the hand, and some begin to cry,
  Some take a weed, and nodding, say good-bye."

I am now fairly off for New York, with a brother and two friends; we
have each pinned our card to the red table-cover in the saloon, to
indicate our permanent positions at the festive board during the voyage.
Unless there is some peculiarity in arrangement or circumstance, all
voyages resemble each other so much, that I may well spare you the
dullness of repetition. Stewards will occasionally upset a soup-plate,
and it will sometimes fall inside the waistcoat of a "swell," who
travelling for the first time, thinks it requisite to "get himself up"
as if going to the Opera. People under the influence of some internal
and irresistible agency, will occasionally spring from the table with an
energy that is but too soon painfully exhausted, upsetting a few side
dishes as their feet catch the corner of the cloth. Others will rise,
and try to look dignified and composed, the hypocrisy whereof is
unpleasantly revealed ere they reach the door of the saloon; others eat
and drink with an ever-increasing vigour, which proves irresistibly the
truth of the saying, "_L'appétit vient en mangeant_." Heads that walked
erect, puffing cigars like human chimneys in the Mersey, hang listless
and 'baccoless in the Channel (Mem., "Pride goes before a fall").
Ladies, whose rosy cheeks and bright eyes, dimmed with the parting tear,
had, as they waved the last adieu, told of buoyant health and spirits,
gather mysteriously to the sides of the vessel, ready for any emergency,
or lie helpless in their berths, resigning themselves to the ubiquitous
stewardess, indifferent even to death itself. Others, again, whose
interiors have been casehardened by Old Neptune, patrol the deck, and,
if the passengers are numerous, congratulate each other in the most
heartless manner by the observation, "There'll be plenty of room in the
saloon, if this jolly breeze continues!"

All these things are familiar to most travellers, suffice it, therefore,
to say, that on the present occasion Old Neptune was in a good humour,
"the jolly breeze" did not last long, nor was it ever very jolly. My
American friend and the Household Brigade-man tried very hard to make
out that they felt sick at first, but I believe I succeeded in
convincing them that it was all imagination, for they both came steadily
to meals, and between them and my brother, who has the appetite of a
Pawnee when at sea, I found that a modest man like myself got but
"monkey's allowance" of the champagne which I had prescribed as a
medicine, erroneously imagining that those internal qualms usually
produced by a sea voyage would have enabled me to enjoy the lion's
share.

We saw nothing during the voyage but a few strange sail and a couple of
icebergs, the latter very beautiful when seen in the distance, with the
sea smooth as a mirror, and the sun's rays striking upon them. I felt
very thankful the picture was not reversed; the idea of running your
nose against an iceberg, in the middle of a dark night, with a heavy
gale blowing and sea running, was anything but pleasant.

In due time we made Cape Race. I merely mention the fact for the purpose
of observing that the captain, and others to whom I have spoken since,
unanimously agree in condemning the position of the lighthouse; first,
as not being placed on the point a vessel from Europe would make,
inasmuch as that point is further north and east; and secondly, because
vessels coasting northwards are not clear of danger if they trend away
westward after passing the light. There may be some advantages to the
immediate neighbourhood, but, for the general purposes of navigation,
its position is a mistake, and has, on more than one occasion, been very
nearly the cause of the wreck of one of our large steamers[C].

Early on the morning of the tenth day I heard voices outside my cabin
saying, "Well, they've got the pilot on board," _ergo_, we must be
nearing our haven. In the Channel at home you know a pilot by a
foul-weather hat, a pea-coat, broad shoulders, and weather-beaten
cheeks; here, the captain had told me that I could always know them by a
polished beaver and a satin or silk waistcoat. When I got on deck, sure
enough there was the beaver hat and the silk vest, but what struck me
most, was the wearer, a slim youth, hardly out of his teens. In the
distance, the New York pilot-boat, a build rendered famous by the
achievements of the "America," at Cowes, lay on the water like a duck,
with her canvas white as snow, and taut as a deal board. The perfect
ease and nonchalance of the young pilot amused me immensely, and all
went on smoothly enough till the shades of evening closed in upon us; at
which time, entering the Narrows, the satin-vested youth felt himself
quite nonplused, despite his taking off his beaver, and trying to
scratch for knowledge; in short, had it not been for Captain Harrison,
who is a first-rate seaman and navigator, as all who ever sail with him
are ready to testify, we might have remained out all night: fortunately,
his superior skill got us safe in, and no easy task I assure you is it,
either to find the channel, or to thread your way through hosts of
shipping, in one of these leviathan steamers.

I confess I formed a very low estimate of New York pilots, which was not
heightened by one of the mates showing me an embossed card, with his
address, which our pilot had presented to him, accompanied with an
invitation to come to a _soirée_. As the mystery was subsequently
solved, I had better give you the solution thereof at once, and not let
the corps of New York pilots lie under the ban of condemnation in your
minds as long as they did in mine. It turned out that the pert little
youth was not an authorized pilot, but merely schooling for it; and
that, when the steamer hove in sight, the true pilots were asleep, and
he would not allow them to be called, but quietly slipped away in the
boat, and came on board of us to try his 'prentice hand; the pilots of
New York are, I believe, a most able and efficient body of men.

Here I am, reader, at New York, a new country, a new hemisphere, and
pitch dark, save the lights reflected in the water from the town on
either side. All of a sudden a single toll of a bell, then another, and
from the lights in the windows you discover a large wooden house is
adrift. On inquiry, you ascertain it is merely one of their mammoth
ferry-boats; that is something to think of, so you go to bed at
midnight, and dream what it will really look like in the morning.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote C: I believe another lighthouse is to be erected on the proper
headland.]



CHAPTER II.

_The Land of Stars and Stripes._


The sun had aired the opening day before I appeared on deck. What a
scene! There was scarce a zephyr to ripple the noble Hudson, or the
glorious bay; the latter, land-locked save where lost in the distant
ocean; the former skirted by the great Babylon of America on one side,
and the lovely wooded banks of Hoboken on the other. The lofty western
hills formed a sharp yet graceful bend in the stream, round which a
fleet of small craft, with rakish hulls and snowy sails, were stealing
quietly and softly, like black swans with white wings; the stillness and
repose were only broken by the occasional trumpet blast of some giant
high-pressure steamer, as she dashed past them with lightning speed.
Suddenly a floating island appeared in the bend of the river; closer
examination proved it to be a steamer, with from twenty to twenty-five
large boats secured alongside, many of them laden at Buffalo, and coming
by the Erie Canal to the ocean. Around me was shipping of every kind and
clime; enormous ferry-boats radiating in all directions; forests of
masts along the wharves; flags of every colour and nation flying; the
dingy old storehouses of the wealthy Wall-street neighbourhood, and the
lofty buildings of the newer parts of the town; everything had something
novel in its character, but all was stamped with go-aheadism. This
glorious panorama, seen through the bright medium of a rosy morn and a
cloudless sky, has left an enjoyable impression which time can never
efface. But although everything was strange, I could not feel myself
abroad, so strong is the power of language.

Taking leave of our worthy and able skipper, we landed on the soil of
the giant Republic at Jersey city, where the wharves, &c., of the Cunard
line are established, they not having been able to procure sufficient
space on the New York side. The first thing we ran our heads against
was, of course, the Custom-house; but you must not imagine, gentle
reader, that a Custom-house officer in America is that mysterious
compound of detective police and high-bred ferret which you too often
meet with in the Old World. He did not consider it requisite to tumble
everything out on the floor, and put you to every possible
inconvenience, by way of exhibiting his importance; satisfied on that
point himself, he impressed you with it by simple courtesy, thus gaining
respect where the pompous inquisitive type of the animal would have
excited ill-will and contempt. Thank heaven, the increased
inter-communication, consequent upon steam-power, has very much
civilized that, until lately, barbarian portion of the European family;
nor do I attempt to deny that the contiguity of the nations, and the far
greater number of articles paying duty, facilitating and increasing
smuggling, render a certain degree of ferretishness a little more
requisite on the part of the operator, and a little more patience
requisite on the part of the victim.

A very few minutes polished our party off, and found us on board of the
ferry-boat; none of your little fiddling things, where a donkey-cart and
an organ-boy can hardly find standing-room, but a good clear
hundred-feet gangway, twelve or fourteen feet broad, on each side of the
engine, and a covered cabin outside each gangway, extending half the
length of the vessel; a platform accommodating itself to the rise and
fall of the water, enables you to drive on board with perfect ease,
while the little kind of basin into which you run on either side, being
formed of strong piles fastened only at the bottom, yields to the vessel
as she strikes, and entirely does away with any concussion. I may here
add, that during my whole travels in the States, I found nothing more
perfect in construction and arrangement than the ferries and their
boats, the charges for which are most moderate, varying according to
distances, and ranging from one halfpenny upwards.

It is difficult to say what struck me most forcibly on landing at New
York; barring the universality of the Saxon tongue, I should have been
puzzled to decide in what part of the world I was. The forest of masts,
and bustle on the quays, reminded me of the great sea-port of Liverpool:
but scarce had I left the quays, when the placards of business on the
different stories reminded me of Edinburgh. A few minutes more, and I
passed one of their large streets, justly called "Avenues," the rows of
trees on each side reminding me of the _Alamedas_ in the Spanish towns;
but the confusion of my ideas was completed when the hackney coach was
brought to a standstill, to allow a huge railway carriage to cross our
bows, the said carriage being drawn by four horses, and capable of
containing fifty people.

At last, with my brain in a whirl, I alighted at Putnam's hotel, where
my kind friend, Mr. W. Duncan, had prepared rooms for our party; nor did
his zeal in our behalf stop here, for he claimed the privilege of being
the first to offer hospitality, and had already prepared a most
excellent spread for us at the far-famed _Café Delmonico_, where we
found everything of the best: oysters, varying from the "native" size up
to the large American oyster, the size of a small leg of Welsh
mutton--mind, I say a small leg--the latter wonderful to look at, and
pleasant to the taste, though far inferior to the sweet little "native."

Here I saw for the first time a fish called "the sheep's head," which is
unknown, I believe, on our side of the Atlantic. It derives its name
from having teeth exactly like those of a sheep, and is a most excellent
fish wherewith to console themselves for the want of the turbot, which
is never seen in the American waters. Reader, I am not going to inflict
upon you a bill of fare; I merely mention the giant oyster and the
sheep's head, because they are peculiar to the country; and if nearly my
first observations on America are gastronomic, it is not because I
idolize my little interior, though I confess to having a strong
predilection in favour of its being well supplied; but it is because
during the whole time I was in the United States,--from my friend D.,
who thus welcomed me on my arrival, to Mr. R. Phelps, in whose house
I lived like a tame cat previous to re-embarking for old
England,--wherever I went I found hospitality a prominent feature in the
American character.

Having enjoyed a very pleasant evening, and employed the night in
sleeping off the fumes of sociability, I awoke, for the first time, in
one of the splendid American hotels; and here, perhaps, it may be as
well to say a few words about them, as their enormous size makes them
almost a national peculiarity.

The largest hotel in New York, when I arrived, was the Metropolitan, in
the centre of which is a theatre; since then, the St. Nicholas has been
built, which is about a hundred yards square, five stories high, and
will accommodate, when completed, about a thousand people. Generally
speaking, a large hotel has a ladies' entrance on one side, which is
quite indispensable, as the hall entrance is invariably filled with
smokers; all the ground floor front, except this hall and a
reading-room, is let out as shops: there are two dining-saloons, one of
which is set apart for ladies and their friends, and to this the vagrant
bachelor is not admitted, except he be acquainted with some of the
ladies, or receive permission from the master of the house. The great
entrance is liberally supplied with an abundance of chairs, benches,
&c., and decorated with capacious spittoons, and a stove which glows
red-hot in the winter. Newspapers, of the thinnest substance and the
most microscopic type, and from every part of the Union, are scattered
about in profusion; the human species of every kind may be seen
variously occupied--groups talking, others roasting over the stove, many
cracking peanuts, many more smoking, and making the pavement, by their
united labours, an uncouth mosaic of expectoration and nutshells, varied
occasionally with cigar ashes and discarded stumps. Here and there you
see a pair of Wellington-booted legs dangling over the back of one
chair, while the owner thereof is supporting his centre of gravity on
another. One feature is common to them all--busy-ness; whether they are
talking, or reading, or cracking nuts, a peculiar energy shows the mind
is working. Further inside is the counter for the clerks who appoint the
rooms to the travellers, as they enter their names in a book; on long
stools close by is the corps of servants, while in full sight of all
stands the "Annunciator," that invaluable specimen of American
mechanical ingenuity, by which, if any bell is pulled in any room, one
loud stroke is heard, and the number of the room disclosed, in which
state it remains until replaced; so that if everybody had left the hall,
the first person returning would see at once what bells had been rung
during his absence, and the numbers of the rooms they belonged to. Why
this admirable contrivance has not been introduced into this country, I
cannot conceive.

The bar is one of the most--if not the most--important departments in
the hotel; comparatively nothing is drunk at dinner, but the moment the
meal is over, the bar becomes assailed by applicants; moreover, from
morning to midnight, there is a continuous succession of customers; not
merely the lodgers and their friends, but any parties passing along the
street, who feel disposed, walk into the bar of any hotel, and get "a
drink." The money taken at a popular bar in the course of a day is, I
believe, perfectly fabulous.

Scarcely less important than the bar is the barber's shop. Nothing
struck me more forcibly than an American under the razor or brush: in
any and every other circumstance of life full of activity and energy,
under the razor or brush he is the picture of indolence and
helplessness. Indifferent usually to luxury, he here exhausts his
ingenuity to obtain it; shrinking usually from the touch of a nigger as
from the venomed tooth of a serpent, he here is seen resigning his nose
to the digital custody of that sable operator, and placing his throat at
his mercy, or revelling in titillary ecstasy from his manipulations with
the hog's bristles;--all this he enjoys in a semi-recumbent position,
obtained from an easy chair and a high stool, wherein he lies
with a steadiness which courts prolongation--life-like, yet
immoveable--suggesting the idea of an Egyptian corpse newly embalmed.
Never shaving myself more than once a fortnight, and then requiring no
soap and water, and having cut my own hair for nearly twenty years, I
never thought of going through the experiment, which I have since
regretted; for, many a time and oft have I stood, in wonder, gazing at
this strange anomaly of character, and searching in vain for a first
cause. The barber's shop at the St. Nicholas is the most luxurious in
New York, and I believe every room has its own brush, glass, &c.,
similarly numbered in the shop.

The crowning peculiarity of the new hotels is "The Bridal Chamber;" the
want of delicacy that suggested the idea is only equalled by the want of
taste with which it is carried out. Fancy a modest girl, having said
"Yes," and sealed the assertion in the solemn services of the Church,
retiring to the bridal chamber of the St. Nicholas! In the first place,
retiring to an hotel would appear to her a contradiction in terms; but
what would be her feelings when she found the walls of her apartment
furnished with fluted white silk and satin, and in the centre of the
room a matrimonial couch, hung with white silk curtains, and blazing
with a bright jet of gas from each bed-post! The doors of the
sleeping-rooms are often fitted with a very ingenious lock, having a
separate bolt and keyhole on each side, totally disconnected, and
consequently, as they can only be opened from the same side they are
fastened, no person, though possessed of a skeleton key, is able to
enter. The ominous warning, "Lock your door at night," which is usually
hung up, coupled with the promiscuous society frequently met in large
hotels, renders it most advisable to use every precaution.

Many hotels have a Bible in each bed-room, the gift of some religious
community in the city; those that I saw during my travels were most
frequently from the Presbyterians.

Having given you some details of an American first-class hotel in a
large city, you will perhaps be better able to realize the gigantic
nature of these establishments when I tell you that in some of them,
during the season, they consume, in one way and another, DAILY, from
fifteen hundred to two thousand pounds of meats, and from forty-five to
fifty pounds of tea, coffee, &c., and ice by the ton, and have a corps
of one hundred and fifty servants of all kinds. Washing is done in the
hotel with a rapidity little short of marvellous. You can get a shirt
well washed, and ready to put on, in nearly the same space of time as an
American usually passes under the barber's hands. The living at these
hotels is profuse to a degree, but, generally speaking, most
disagreeable: first, because the meal is devoured with a rapidity which
a pack of fox-hounds, after a week's fast, might in vain attempt to
rival; and, secondly, because it is impossible to serve up dinners for
hundreds without nine-tenths thereof being cold. The best of the large
hotels I dined at in New York, as regards _cuisine_, &c., was decidedly
the New York Hotel; but by far the most comfortable was the one I lived
in--Putnam's, Union-square--which was much smaller and quite new,
besides being removed from the racket of Broadway.

The increased intercourse with this country is evidently producing a
most improving effect in many of the necessary and unmentionable
comforts of this civilized age, which you find to predominate chiefly in
those cities that have most direct intercourse with us; but as you go
further west, these comforts are most disagreeably deficient. One point
in which the hotels fail universally is attendance; it is their
misfortune, not their fault; for the moment a little money is realized
by a servant, he sets up in some business, or migrates westward. The
consequence is, that the field of service is left almost entirely to the
Irish and the negro, and between the two--after nearly a year's
experience thereof--I am puzzled to say in whose favour the balance is.

I remember poor Paddy, one morning, having answered the Household
Brigade man's bell, was told to get some warm water. He went away, and
forgot all about it. Of course, the bell rang again; and, on Paddy
answering it, he was asked--

"Did I not tell you to get me some warm water?"

"You did, your honour."

"Then, why have you not brought it?"

"Can't tell, your honour."

"Well, go and get it at once."

Paddy left the room, and waited outside the door scratching his head. In
about a quarter of an hour a knock was heard:--

"Come in!"

Paddy's head appeared, and, with a most inquiring voice, he said--

"Is it warm water to dhrink you want, your honour?" _Ex uno_, &c.

Another inconvenience in their hotels is the necessity of either living
at the public table, or going to the enormous expense of private rooms;
the comfort of a quiet table to yourself in a coffee-room is quite
unknown. There is no doubt that sitting down at a table-d'hôte is a
ready way to ascertain the manners, tone of conversation, and, partly,
the habits of thought, of a nation, especially when, as in the United
States, it is the habitual resort of everybody; but truth obliges me to
confess that, after a very short experience of it, I found the old adage
applicable, "A little of it goes a great way;" and I longed for the
cleanliness, noiselessness, and comfort of an English coffee-room,
though its table be not loaded with equal variety and profusion.

The American system is doubtless the best for the hotelkeeper, as there
are manifest advantages in feeding masses at once, over feeding the same
number in detail. A mess of twenty officers, on board a man-of-war, will
live better on two pounds each a month than one individual could on
three times that sum. It is the want of giving this difference due
consideration which raises, from time to time, a crusade against the
hotels at home, by instituting comparisons with those of the United
States. If people want to have hotels as cheap as they are in America,
they must use them as much, and submit to fixed hours and a mixture of
every variety of cultivation of mind and cleanliness of person--which
change is not likely, I trust, to take place in my day. It is a curious
fact, that when the proprietor of the Adelphi, at Liverpool--in
consequence of a remonstrance made by some American, gentlemen as to his
charges--suggested to them that they should name their own hour and dine
together, in which case his charges would be greatly diminished, they
would not hear of such a thing, and wanted to know why they should be
forced to dine either all together, or at one particular hour. An
American gentleman, with whom I am acquainted, told me that, when he
first came over to England, the feeling of solitude, while breakfasting
alone, at his table in Morley's coffee-room, was quite overpowering.
"Now," he added, "I look forward to my quiet breakfast and the paper
every morning with the greatest pleasure, and only wonder how I can have
lived so long, and been so utterly ignorant of such simple enjoyment." I
have thought it better to make these observations thus early, although
it must be obvious they are the results of my subsequent experience, and
I feel I ought to apologize for their lengthiness.

There is comparatively little difficulty in finding your way about New
York, or, indeed, most American towns, except it be in the old parts
thereof, which are as full of twists, creeks, and names as our own. The
newer part of the town is divided into avenues running nearly parallel
with the Hudson; the streets cross them at right angles, and both are
simply numbered; the masses of buildings which these sections form are
very nearly uniform in area, and are termed blocks. The great place for
lounging, or loafing, as they term it--is Broadway, which may be said to
bisect New York longitudinally; the shops are very good, but, generally
speaking, painfully alike, wearying the eye with sameness, when the
novelty has worn off: the rivalry which exists as to the _luxe_ of
fitting up some of these shops is inconceivable.

I remember going into an ice-saloon, just before I embarked for England;
the room on the ground-floor was one hundred and fifty feet long by
forty broad; rows of pillars on each side were loaded to the most
outrageous extent with carving and gilding, and the ceiling was to
match; below that was another room, a little smaller, and rather less
gaudy; both were crowded with the most tag-rag and bob-tail mixture of
people.

The houses are built of brick, and generally have steps up to them, by
which arrangement the area receives much more light; and many people
with very fine large houses live almost exclusively in these basements,
only using the other apartments for some swell party: the better class
of houses, large hotels, and some of the shops, have their fronts faced
with stone of a reddish brown, which has a warm and pleasant appearance.
The famous "Astor House" is faced with granite, and the basement is of
solid granite. The most remarkable among the new buildings is the
magnificent store of Mr. Stewart--one of the largest, I believe, in the
world: it has upwards of one hundred and fifty feet frontage on
Broadway, and runs back nearly the same distance: is five stories high,
besides the basement; its front is faced with white marble, and it
contains nearly every marketable commodity except eatables. If you want
anything, in New York, except a dinner, go to Stewart's, and it is ten
to one you find it, and always of the newest kind and pattern; for this
huge establishment clears out every year, and refills with everything of
the newest and best. Goods are annually sold here to the amount of
upwards of a million sterling--a sum which I should imagine was hardly
exceeded by any establishment of a similar nature except Morison's in
London, which, I believe, averages one and a half million. Some idea of
the size of this store may be formed, from the fact that four hundred
gas burners are required to light it up. Mr. Stewart, I was informed,
was educated for a more intellectual career than the keeper of a store,
on however grand a scale; but circumstances induced him to change his
pursuits, and as he started with scarce any capital, the success which
has attended him in business cannot but make one regret that the world
has lost the benefit which might have been anticipated from the same
energy and ability, if it had been applied to subjects of a higher
class.

I will now offer a few observations on the state of the streets. The
assertion has been made by some writer--I really know not who--that New
York is one of the dirtiest places in the world. To this I must give a
most unqualified denial. No person conversant with many of the large
provincial towns in England and Scotland, can conscientiously "throw a
very large stone" at New York; for though much is doing among us to
improve and sweeten--chiefly, thanks to the scourge of epidemics--I fear
that in too many places we are still on this point "living in glass
houses." Doubtless, New York is infinitely dirtier than London, as
London at present is far less clean than Paris has become under the rule
of the Third Napoleon. I fully admit that it is not so clean as it
should be, considering that the sum nominally spent on cleansing the
streets amounts to very nearly sixty thousand pounds a year, a sum equal
to one pound for every ten inhabitants; but the solution of this problem
must be looked for in the system of election to the corporation offices,
on which topic I propose to make a few observations in some future
portion of these pages. While on the subject of streets, I cannot help
remarking that it always struck me as very curious that so intelligent a
people as the Americans never adopted the simple plan of using sweeping
carts, which many of their countrymen must have seen working in London.
If not thoroughly efficient, their ingenuity might have made them so;
and, at all events, they effect a great saving of human labour. But
there is a nuisance in the streets of New York, especially in the lower
and business part of the town, which must be palpable to every
visitor--I mean the obstructions on the pavement; and that, be it
observed, in spite of laws passed for the prevention thereof, but
rendered nugatory from maladministration. In many places, you will see a
man occupying the whole pavement opposite his store with leviathan boxes
and bales, for apparently an indefinite period, inasmuch as I have seen
the same things occupying the same place day after day, and forcing
every passer-by off the pavement. This information may console some of
our own communities who are labouring under the gnawing and painful
disease of a similar corrupt and inefficient administration.

Amid the variety of shops, the stranger cannot fail to be struck with
the wonderful number of oyster-saloons stuck down on the basement, and
daguerreotypists perched in the sky-line: their name is legion;
everybody eats oysters, and everybody seems to take everybody else's
portrait. To such an extent is this mania for delineating the 'human
face divine' carried, that a hatter in Chatham-street has made no small
profit by advertising that, in addition to supplying hats at the same
price as his rivals, he will take the portrait of the purchaser, and fix
it inside thereof gratis. This was too irresistible; so off I went, and,
selecting my two dollar beaver on the ground-floor, walked up to a six
foot square garret room, where the sun did its work as quick as light,
after which the liberal artist, with that flattering propensity which
belongs to the profession, threw in the roseate hues of youth by the aid
of a little brick-dust. I handed him my dust in return, and walked away
with myself on my head, where myself may still be daily seen, a
travelled and travelling advertisement of Chatham-street enterprise.

Our American friends deal largely in newspaper puffs, and as some of
them are amusing enough, I select the following as specimens of their
"Moses and Son" style:--

  ANOTHER DREADFUL ACCIDENT.--OH, MA! I MET WITH A DREADFUL
  ACCIDENT!--The other night, while dancing with cousin Frank, I dropped
  my Breastpin and Ear-Ring on the floor and broke them all to
  pieces--Never mind, my dear. Just take them to ---- Jewellery
  Store. You can get them made as good as new again!

  GRATIFYING NEWS.--We have just learned, with real pleasure, that the
  _seedy_ young man who sprained his back whilst trying to "raise the
  wind" is fast recovering, in consequence of judiciously applying the
  Mustang Liniment. It is to be hoped he will soon be entirely cured,
  and that the next time he undertakes it, he will take an _upright_
  position, and not adopt the _stooping_ posture. This precaution, we
  have no doubt, will ensure success.

  This Liniment can be had of ----.

Even, marriage and death are not exempt from the fantastic advertising
style.

  On Friday, June 10, by the Rev. Mr. ----, after a severe and
  long-protracted courtship, which they bore with Christian fortitude
  and resignation, solely sustained and comforted, under all misgivings,
  by their sincere and confiding belief in the promise of a rich, and
  living inheritance in another state, Mr. ---- to Miss ----, all of this
  city.

  On April 4, of congestion of the brain, F---- E----, son of J---- and

  M---- C. D----, aged fourteen months.

  His remains were taken to G---- for interment yesterday.

  List! heard you that angel say,
    As he waved his little wing,
   "Come, Freddy, come away,
    Learn of me a song to sing!"

The most gigantic advertiser--if the _New York Daily Sun_ is to be
trusted for information--is Professor Holloway, so well known in this
country. According to that paper, he advertises in thirteen hundred
papers in the United States, and has expended, in different parts of the
world, the enormous sum of nearly half a million sterling, solely for
that purpose.

But, reader, there are more interesting objects to dwell upon than
these. If you will only "loaf" up and down Broadway on a fine afternoon,
you will see some of the neatest feet, some of the prettiest hands, some
of the brightest eyes, and some of the sweetest smiles the wildest
beauty-dreamer ever beheld in his most rapturous visions; had they but
good figures, they would excite envy on the Alamedas of Andalusia; in
short, they are the veriest little ducks in the world, and dress with
Parisian perfection. No wonder, then, reader, when I tell you that
"loafing" up and down Broadway is a favourite occupation with the young
men who have leisure hours to spare. So attractive did my young friend
of the Household Brigade find it, that it was with difficulty he was
ever induced to forego his daily pilgrimage. Alas! poor fellow, those
days are gone--he has since been "caught," and another now claims his
undivided adoration.



CHAPTER III.

_Sights and Amusements_.


There is a very pleasant yacht club at New York, the festive assembly
whereof is held at Hoboken. Having received a hospitable invite, I
gladly availed myself of it, and, crossing the Hudson, a short walk
brought me and my chaperon to the club-house--no palatial edifice, but a
rustic cottage, with one large room and a kitchen attached, and
beautifully situated a few yards from the water's edge, on the woody
bank of Hoboken, and on one of the most graceful bends of the river. It
commands a splendid view, while perfectly cozy in itself, and is, "par
excellence," the place for a pic-nic. The property belongs to Commodore
Stevens, who is well known to English yachting gentlemen, not only from
his having "taken the shine out of them" at Cowes, but also for his
amiability and hospitality.

On my arrival, I found a host of bachelors, and wedded men _en garçon_,
ready to greet me with a hearty welcome. The room was very comfortable,
but as unfurnished as those who like to smoke could desire; in fact,
barring the table and its burden, the chairs and their occupiers, the
remainder of the furniture consisted of models of all the yachts of the
club. The only exception was that of the Commodore's triumphant "Black
Maria," of which extraordinary vessel I purpose speaking more fully
hereafter. One of the peculiar customs of the club is, that two members,
whose capabilities are beyond dispute, are appointed, one to make the
soup, called "chowder," the other the punch--or "toddy," as it is here
termed,--both of these being excellent in their way, and different in
many respects from any similar article at home. The proper recipe for
the same shall be forthcoming when I give details of the "Black Maria."

Our party was a very jovial one, as I think parties generally are when
composed of those who are much _on_ the water. Such people naturally
look upon a leak as very lubberly and unprofessional, and therefore
scrupulously avoid letting _in_ any water, supplying its place with
something more cheery, under the enlivening influence whereof, those who
would be puzzled to decide whether a hand-organ was playing "Hail,
Columbia!" or "Pop goes the Weasel," lose all false modesty as to their
musical powers, and become royally (I beg majesty's pardon) vocal.
Choruses receive the additional charm of variety from each vocalist
giving his tongue "universal suffrage" as to power, matter, and melody;
everybody evinces a happy independence, and if, as the chorus is
beginning, an unlucky wight finds his cigar just going out, he takes a
few puffs to save the precious fire, and then starts off Derby pace to
catch up his vocal colleagues, blending ten notes into one in his
frantic chase.

To any one who delights in the opera, this description might suggest a
slight idea of discord, but to one who has enjoyed a midshipman's berth
it recals some of the cheeriest days of his life; as I heard the joyous
shouts, I felt my grey lank hairs getting black and curly again (?). Do
not imagine this merry scene was the produce of any excess; we were as
sober as judges, though we felt their gravity would have been out of
place; but when some choice spirit--and there was more than one
such--with the soul of melody in him, took the field, we left him to
make all the running himself, and smoked our cigars with increased
vigour, shrouding him in the curling cloud to prevent any nervous
hesitation.

Everything, however, must have an end, and as the hour for the last
ferry-boat was fast approaching, the voice of melody was hushed in the
hall, to echo through the groves of Hoboken and o'er the waters of the
Hudson, as we strolled from the club-house to the ferry, and thence to
bed.

Among other "lions" to be seen, my curiosity was excited by the news of
a trotting match, to come off at Long Island: some friend was ever
ready, so off we started for Brooklyn Ferry, whence we went by railway.
In the olden time these races were as fashionable at New York as Ascot
or Epsom are in England; all the _élite_ of both sexes filled the stand,
and the whole scene was lively and gay. Various circumstances, which all
who know the turf are aware it is liable to, rendered gentlemen so
disgusted with it at Long Island, that they discontinued sending horses
to run, and gradually gave up going themselves, and it is now left all
but entirely to the "rowdies,"--_alias_ mob.

The railway carriage into which we got contained about forty of these
worthies, all with cigars in their mouths, and exhibiting many strange
varieties of features and costume. In the passage up and down the middle
of the carriage; ragged juvenile vendors of lollipops and peanuts kept
patrolling and crying out their respective goods, for which they found a
ready market; suddenly another youth entered, and, dispensing a fly-leaf
right and left as he passed along to each passenger, disappeared at the
other door. At first, I took him for an itinerant advertiser of some
Yankee "Moses and Son," or of some of those medicinal quacks who strive
to rob youth by lies calculated to excite their fears. Judge my
astonishment, then, when on looking at the paper, I found it was hymns
he was distributing. A short ride brought us close to the course, and,
as I alighted, there was the active distributor freely dispensing on
every side, everybody accepting, many reading, but all hurrying on to
the ground.

Having paid a good round sum as entrance to the stand, I was rather
disappointed at nearly breaking my neck, when endeavouring to take
advantage of my privilege, for my foot well-nigh went through a hole in
the flooring. Never was anything more wretched-looking in this world. It
was difficult to believe, that a few years back, this stand had been
filled with magnates of the "upper ten thousand" and stars of beauty:
there it was before me, with its broken benches, scarce a whole plank in
the floor, and wherever there was one, it was covered with old cigar
stumps, shells of peanuts, orange-peel, &c. When, however, I found that
seven people constituted the number of spectators in the stand, its
dilapidation was more easily explained, especially when I discovered
that access, with a little activity, was easily obtainable at the sides
_gratis_--a fact soon proved by the inroad of a few "rowdies," and the
ubiquitous vendors of lollipops and peanuts, headed by the persevering
distributor of hymns.

Let us turn now from the dreary stand to the scene below. The
race-course is a two-mile distance, perfectly level, on a smooth and
stoneless road, and forming a complete circle--light trotting waggons
are driving about in the centre, taking it easy at sixteen miles an
hour; outside are groups of "rowdies." making their hooks and looking
out for greenhorns--an article not so readily found at Long Island as at
Epsom.

The race is to be "under the saddle," and the long list of competitors
which had been announced has dwindled down to the old and far-famed Lady
Suffolk and the young and unfamed Tacony.

A stir among the "rowdies" is seen, followed by the appearance "on the
boards" of Lady Suffolk. I gazed in wonder as I saw her--a small
pony-looking animal--moving her legs as though they were in splints, and
as if six miles an hour was far beyond her powers; soon after, Tacony
came forward, the picture of a good bony post-horse, destitute of any
beauty, but looking full of good stuff. The riders have no distinctive
dress; a pair of Wellington boots are pulled on outside the trousers,
sharp spurs are on the heels--rough and ready looking birds these. The
winning-post is opposite the stand, the umpire is there with a deal
board in his hand, a whack on the side of the stand "summons to horse,"
and another summons to "start." The start is from the distance-post, so
as to let the horses get into the full swing of their pace by the time
they reach the winning-post, when, if they are fairly up together, the
cry "Off" is given; if it be not given, they try again. When speaking of
the time in which the mile is completed, the fact of its commencing at
full speed should always be borne in mind: sometimes false starts are
made by one party, on purpose to try and irritate the temper of the
adversary's horse; and in the same way, if a man feels he has full
command of his own horse, he will yell like a wild Indian, as he nears
his adversary, to make him "break up"--or go into a gallop; and, as they
are all trained to speed more by voice than by spur, he very often
succeeds, and of course the adversary loses much ground by pulling up
into a trot again.

On the present occasion there was no false start; the echo of the second
whack was still in the car as they reached the winning-post neck and
neck. "Off" was the word, and away they went. It certainly was
marvellous to see how dear old Lady Suffolk and her stiff legs flew
round the course; one might have fancied she had been fed on lightning,
so quick did she move them, but with wonderfully short steps. Tack, on
the contrary, looked as if he had been dieted on India-rubber balls:
every time he raised a hind leg it seemed to shoot his own length a-head
of himself; if he could have made his steps as quick as the old lady, he
might have done a mile in a minute nearly. Presently, Tacony breaks up,
and, ere he pulls into a trot, a long gap is left. Shouts of "Lady
Suffolk, Lady Suffolk wins!" rend the air; a few seconds more, and the
giant strides of Tacony lessen the gap at every step: they reach the
distance-post neck and neck; "Tacony wins!" is the cry, and true enough
it is--by a length. Young blood beats old blood--India-rubber balls
"whip" lightning. Time, five minutes.

The usual excitement and disputing follow, the usual time elapses--whack
number one is heard, all ready--whack number two, on they come, snaffle
bridles, pulling at their horses' mouths as though they would pull the
bit right through to the tips of their tails. "Off" is the cry: away
they go again; Tacony breaks up--again a gap, which huge strides
speedily close up--again Tacony wins. Time, five minutes five seconds.
All is over, rush to the cars, &c. Remarks:--first, the pace is at the
rate of twenty-four miles an hour; second, the clear old lady, who was
only beaten by a length, is long out of her teens; is it not wonderful,
and is she not glorious in her defeat? Fancy Dowager Lady L---- taking a
pedestrian fit, and running a race along Rotten Row with some "fast
young man;" what would you say, if she clutched his coat-tail as he
touched the winning-post? Truly, that dear old Lady Suffolk is a
marvellous quadruped. Reader, as you do not care to go back again with
the Rowdies and Co., we will suppose ourselves returned to New York, and
I can only hope you have not been bored with your day's amusement.

Among the extraordinary fancies of this extraordinary race--who are ever
panting for something new, even if it be a new territory--the most
strange is the metallic coffin: the grave is no protection against their
mania for novelty. In the windows of a shop in Broadway, this strange,
and to my mind revolting, article may be seen, shaped like a mummy,
fitting hermetically tight, and with a plate of glass to reveal the
features of the inanimate inmate. I have certainly read of the
disconsolate lover who, on the death of her who ungratefully refused to
reciprocate his affection, disinterred her body by stealth, supplied
himself with scanty provision, and embarking in a small boat, launched
forth upon the wide waters, to watch her gradual decomposition till
starvation found them one common grave. I also knew an officer, who,
having stuffed an old and faithful dog, and placed him on the
mantel-piece, when his only child died soon after, earnestly entreated a
surgeon to stuff the child, that he might place it beside the faithful
dog. Nevertheless, I cannot believe that such aberrations of human
intellect are sufficiently frequent to make the Patent Metallic Coffin
Company a popular or profitable affair.

An important feature in a populous town is the means of conveyance,
which here, in addition to hack cabs and omnibuses, includes railway
carriages. I would observe, once for all, that the horses of America, as
a whole, may be classed as enduring, wiry, and active hacks. You do not
see anything to compare with some of the beautiful nags that "Rotten
Row" or Melton exhibits; but, on the other hand, you rarely see the
lumbering, lolloping, heavy brutes so common in this country. Then,
again, a horse in this country is groomed and turned out in a style
which I never saw in America, and therefore shows to much greater
advantage, in spite of the Yankee sometimes ornamenting his head with
hairs from his tail; while on the other hand, though an Englishman
considers a pair of nags that will go a mile in five minutes a great
prize, no man in America who is a horse fancier would look at a pair
that could not do the same distance in four; nor would he think them
worth speaking about, if they could not do the distance in a very few
seconds over three minutes. On one side of the water, pace is almost the
only object; on the other side, shape and appearance are weighty
matters.

The habits of the Americans being essentially gregarious, and business
teaching the truism that a cent saved is a cent gained, hackney coaches
are comparatively little used by the men; for it must be remembered that
idlers in this country are an invisible minority of the community! The
natural consequence is, that they are clean and expensive. The drivers
are charmingly independent and undeniably free-and-easy birds, but not
meaning to be uncivil. One of them showed his independence by asking two
dollars one night for a three-mile drive home to the hotel. I inquired
of the master, and found the proper charge was a dollar and a half;
but, on my sending out the same, Jarvey was too proud to confess he was
wrong, and, refusing the money, drove off--nor did I ever hear more of
him.

Their free-and-easiness can never be better exemplified than in the old
anecdote told of so many people, from an ex-prince of France, downward;
viz., the prince having ordered a hack cab, was standing at the door of
the hotel, smoking his cigar, and waiting for its arrival. When Cabby
drove up, judging from the appearance of the prince that he was "the
fare," he said, "Are you the chap that sent for a cab?" And, being
answered with an affirmative smile, he said, "Well, get in; I guess I'm
the gentleman that's to drive you."

The next means of conveyance to be spoken of is the omnibus. I was told
by a friend who had made inquiries on the subject, that there were
upwards of a thousand, and that they pay twenty-two per cent. They are
infinitely better than ours, simply because they are broader: the most
rotund embodiment of an alderman after a turtle-soup dinner, even if he
had--to use the emphatic language of Mr. Weller--been "swellin'
wisibly," could pass up the centre without inconvenience to the
passengers on either side; and as a good dividend is a thing not to be
despised, they do not employ a "cad" behind. The door shuts by a strap
running along the roof, with a noose in the end, which Jehu puts on his
foot. Any one wishing to alight pulls the strap; Jehu stops; and, poking
his nose to a pigeon-hole place in the roof, takes the silver fare; and,
slipping the noose, the door is open to the human "fare." Doubtless,
this effects a very great saving, and, dispensing with a cad in this
country might enable the fares to be lowered; but I question if there be
not very many objections to our adopting the plan; and I should miss
very much that personification of pertness and civility, with his
inquisitive eye, and the eccentric and perpetual gyrations of his fore
finger, which ever and anon stiffens in a skyward point, as though under
the magic influence of some unseen electro-biologist whose decree had
gone forth--"You can't move your finger, sir, you can't; no, you can't."
I have only one grudge against the omnibuses in New York--and that is,
their monopoly of Broadway, which would really have a very fine and
imposing appearance were it not for them: they destroy all the
effect, and you gradually begin to think it is the Strand grown wider,
despite of the magnificent palaces, hotels, &c., which adorn it on each
side.

[Illustration: A RAILWAY CARRIAGE.]

The last means of conveyance to be mentioned is the railway carriage,
which--the city being built on a perfect flat--is admirably adapted for
locomotion. The rails are laid down in a broad avenue on each side of
Broadway, and the cars are drawn by horses, some two, some four. Those
that are used for the simple town business have only two horses, and
will hold about twenty-four passengers; the others run from the lower
end of the town to a place where the engine is waiting for them outside.
The town railway-car may be called a long omnibus, low on the wheels,
broad, airy, and clean inside, and, excessively convenient for getting
in and out. There is a break at both ends, one under the charge of Jehu,
the other under the charge of the guard; so that, though trotting along
at a good pace, they are very easily stopped. When they get to the end
of the journey, the horses change ends, thus avoiding the necessity of
any turning, the space required for which would have made a great
difference in the expense. For a busy, bustling city, on a flat, it is
unquestionably by far the best conveyance, on account of carrying so
many, and being so handy for ingress and egress.

There was a strong push made to get one laid down in Broadway, and
corporation jobbery had nearly succeeded. For my own part, did I live in
Broadway, if they would lay down a single line of rail, with shunters at
intervals, to enable the cars to pass one another, and fix regular hours
for running, I should infinitely prefer it to the unlimited army of
omnibuses that now block up the street; but I fancy the interests of the
latter are too deeply involved to be readily resigned.

Before leaving the subject of railway carriages, I may as well give you
a description of the travelling cars in ordinary use.

They are forty-two feet long, nine and a half wide, from six to six and
a half feet high, and carry from fifty to sixty passengers. Each seat is
three feet four inches long, placed at right angles to the window, and
has a reversible back. There is a passage through the centre of the car,
between the rows of seats. In winter, a stove is always burning in each
carriage; and in one of them there is generally a small room
partitioned off, containing a water-closet, &c. A door is placed at
each extremity, outside which there is a platform whereon the break is
fixed. These carriages are supported at each end by four wheels, of
thirty-three inches diameter, fitted together in a frame-work, and
moving on a pivot, whereby to enable them to take more easily any sharp
bend in the road. Their weight is from ten to twelve tons, and their
cost from 400l. to 450l. sterling. The system of coupling adopted is
alike rude and uncomfortable; instead of screwing the carriages tightly
up against the buffers, as is the practice in England, they are simply
hooked together, thus subjecting the passengers to a succession of jerks
when starting, and consequently producing an equal number of concussions
when the train stops.

From the foregoing sketch, it will be seen that the narrowness of the
seats is such as to prevent its two occupants--if of ordinary
dimensions--from sitting together without rubbing shoulders. It will
also be observed, that the passage through the centre of the carriages
enables any one to pass with ease throughout the whole length of the
train. This is a privilege of which the mercurial blood and inquisitive
mind of the American take unlimited advantage, rendering the journey one
continued slamming of doors, which, if the homoeopathic principle be
correct, would prove an infallible cure for headache, could the sound
only be triturated, and passed through the finest sieve, so as to reach
the tympanum in infinitesimal doses. But, alas! it is administered
wholesale, and with such power, that almost before the ear catches the
sound, it is vibrating in the tendon Achilles. It is said by some, that
salmon get accustomed to crimping; and I suppose that, in like manner,
the American tympanum gets accustomed to this abominable clatter and
noise.

The luggage-van is generally placed between the carriages and the
engine. And here it is essential I should make some observations with
reference to the ticket system which is universally adopted in America.
Every passenger is furnished with brass tickets, numbered, and a
duplicate is attached to each article of luggage. No luggage is
delivered without the passenger producing the ticket corresponding to
that on the article claimed, the Company being responsible for any loss.
This system is peculiarly suited to the habits of the American
people, inasmuch as nine-tenths of them, if not more, upon arriving at
the end of their journey, invariably go to some hotel; and as each
establishment, besides providing an omnibus for the convenience of its
customers, has an agent ready to look after luggage, the traveller has
merely to give his ticket to that functionary, thus saving himself all
further trouble.

[Illustration: THE LOCOMOTIVE.]

The last, but not the least important, object connected with railways,
remains yet to be mentioned--viz., the locomotive. Its driving-wheels
are generally six feet and a half in diameter, the cylinder is sixteen
inches in diameter, and has a stroke of twenty-two inches. But the point
to which I wish to call especial attention, is the very sensible
provision made for the comfort of the engineer and stokers, who are
thoroughly protected by a weather-proof compartment, the sides whereof,
being made of glass, enable them to exercise more effective vigilance
than they possibly could do if they were exposed in the heartless manner
prevalent in this country.

From my subsequent experience in the railway travelling of the United
States, I am induced to offer the following suggestions for the
consideration of our legislature. First, for the protection of the old,
the helpless, or the desirous, an act should be passed, compelling every
railway company to supply tickets for luggage to each passenger applying
for them, provided that the said application be made within a given
period previous to the departure of the train; this ticket to insure the
delivery of the luggage at the proper station, and to the proper owner.

Secondly, an act compelling railway companies to afford efficient
protection from the weather to the engineer and stokers of every train,
holding the chairman and board of directors responsible in the heaviest
penalties for every accident that may occur where this simple and humane
provision is neglected.

Thirdly, an act requiring some system of communication between guard,
passengers, and engineer. The following rude method strikes me as so
obvious, that I wonder it has not been tried, until some better
substitute be found. Let the guard's seat project in all trains--as it
now does in some--beyond the carriages, thus enabling him to see the
whole length of one side of the train; carry the foot-board and the
hand-rail half way across the space between the carriages, by which
simple means the guard could walk outside from one end of the train to
the other, thus supervising everything, and gathering in the tickets _en
route_, instead of inconveniencing the public, as at present, by
detaining the train many minutes for that purpose.[D]

Next, fit every carriage with two strong metal pipes, running just over
the doors, and projecting a foot or so beyond the length of the
carriage, the end of the pipe to have a raised collar, by which means an
elastic gutta percha tube could connect the pipes while the carriages
were being attached; a branch tube of gutta percha should then be led
from the pipe on one side into each compartment, so that any passenger,
by blowing through it, would sound a whistle in the place appropriated
to the guard. On the opposite side, the pipes would be solely for
communication between the guard and engine-driver. Should the length of
any train be found too great for such communication, surely it were
better to sacrifice an extra guard's salary, than trifle with human life
in the way we have hitherto done. Each engine should have a second
whistle, with a trumpet tone, similar to that employed in America, to be
used in case of _danger_, the ordinary one being employed, as at
present, only to give warning of approach.

With these sagacious hints for the consideration of my countrymen, I
postpone for the present the subject of railways, and, in excuse for the
length of my remarks, have only to plead a desire to make railway
travelling in England more safe, and my future wanderings more
intelligible. I have much more to say with regard to New York and its
neighbourhood; but not wishing to overdose the reader at once, I shall
return to the subject in the pages, as I did to the place in my
subsequent travels.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote D: This power of supervision, on the part of the guard, might
also act as an effective check upon the operations of those swindling
gamblers who infest many of our railroads--especially the express trains
of the Edinburgh and Glasgow--in which, owing to no stoppage taking
place, they exercise their villanous calling with comparative impunity.]



CHAPTER IV.

_A Day on the North River_.


Early one fine morning in October, a four-seated fly might have been
seen at the door of Putnam's hotel, on the roof of which was being piled
a Babel of luggage, the inside being already full. Into another vehicle,
our party--i.e., three of us--entered, and ere long both the carriages
were on the banks of the river, where the steamer was puffing away,
impatient for a start. The hawsers were soon cast off, and we launched
forth on the bosom of the glorious Hudson, whose unruffled surface
blazed like liquid fire beneath the rays of the rising sun. I purposely
abstain from saying anything of the vessel, as she was an old one, and a
very bad specimen. The newer and better class of vessel, I shall have to
describe hereafter.

On leaving New York, the northern banks of the river are dotted in every
direction with neat little villas, the great want being turf, to which
the American climate is an inveterate foe. Abreast of one of these
villas, all around me is now smiling with peace and gladness; alas! how
different was the scene but a few months previous; then, struggling
bodies strewed the noble stream, and the hills and groves resounded with
the bitterest cries of human agony, as one of the leviathan steamers,
wrapped in a fierce and fiery mantle, hurried her living cargo to a
burning or a watery grave.

We had a motley collection of passengers, but were not overcrowded. Of
course, there was a Paddy on board. Where can one go without meeting one
of that migratory portion of our race! There he was, with his "shocking
bad hat," his freckled face, his bright eye, and his shrewd expression,
smoking his old "dudeen," and gazing at the new world around him. But
who shall say his thoughts were not in some wretched hovel in the land
of his birth, and his heart beating with the noble determination, that
when his industry met its reward, those who had shared his sorrows in
the crowded land of his fathers, should partake of his success in the
thinly-tenanted home of his adoption. Good luck to you, Paddy, with all
my heart!

I was rather amused by a story I heard, of a newly-arrived Paddy
emigrant, who, having got a little money, of course wanted a little
whisky. On going to the bar to ask the price, he was told
three-halfpence. "For how much?" quoth Paddy. The bottle was handed to
him, and he was told to take as much as he liked. Paddy's joy knew no
bounds at this liberality, and, unable to contain his ecstasy, he rushed
to the door to communicate the good news to his companions, which he did
in the following racy sentence: "Mike! Mike, my sowl! com' an' haf a
dhrink--only thruppence for both of us, an' the botthel in yer own
fisht!"

One unfortunate fellow on board had lost a letter of recommendation, and
was in great distress in consequence. I hope he succeeded in replacing
it better than a servant-girl is said to have done, under similar
circumstances, who--as the old story goes--having applied to the captain
of the vessel, received the following doubtful recommendation at the
hand of that functionary: "This is to certify that Kate Flannagan had a
good character when she embarked at New York, but she lost it on board
the steamer coming up. Jeremiah Peascod, Captain."

The scenery of the Hudson has been so well described, and so justly
eulogized, that I need say little on that score. In short, no words can
convey an adequate impression of the gorgeousness of the forest tints in
North America during the autumn. The foliage is inconceivably beautiful
and varied, from the broad and brightly dark purple leaf of the maple,
to the delicate and pale sere leaf of the poplar, all blending
harmoniously with the deep green of their brethren in whom the vital sap
still flows in full vigour. I have heard people compare the Hudson and
the Rhine. I cannot conceive two streams more totally dissimilar--the
distinctive features of one being wild forest scenery, glowing with
ever-changing hues, and suggestive of a new world; and those of the
other, the wild and craggy cliff capped with beetling fortresses, and
banks fringed with picturesque villages and towns, all telling of feudal
times and an old world. I should as soon think of comparing the castle
of Heidelberg, on its lofty hill with Buckingham Palace, in its
metropolitan hole.--But to return to the Hudson.

In various places you will see tramways from the top of the banks down
to the water; these are for the purpose of shooting down the ice, from
the lakes and ponds above, to supply the New York market. The ice-houses
are made on a slope, and fronting as much north as possible. They are
built of wood, and doubled, the space between which--about a foot and a
half--is filled with bark, tanned. In a bend of the river, I saw the
indications of something like the forming of a dock, or basin; and, on
inquiry, was told it was the work of a Company who imagined they had
discovered where the famous pirate Kidd had buried his treasure. The
Company found to their cost, that it was they who were burying their
treasure, instead of Captain Kidd who had buried his; so, having
realized their mare's-nest, they gave it up. One of the most beautiful
"bits" on the Hudson is West Point; but, as I purpose visiting it at my
leisure hereafter, I pass it by at present without further comment.

There are every now and then, especially on the southern bank, large
plots, which, at a distance, look exactly like Turkish cemeteries. On
nearing them, you find that the old destroyer, Time, has expended all
the soil sufficiently to allow the bare rock to peep through, and the
disconsolate forest has retired in consequence, leaving only the funeral
cypress to give silent expression to its affliction. Hark! what sound is
that? Dinner! A look at the company was not as _appétissant_ as a glass
of bitters, but a peep at the _tout-ensemble_ was fatal; so, patience to
the journey's end. Accordingly, I consoled myself with a cigar and the
surrounding scenery; no hard task either, with two good friends to help
you. On we went, passing little villages busy as bees, and some looking
as fresh as if they had been built over-night. At last, a little before
dusk, Albany hove in sight. As we neared the wharf, it became alive with
Paddy cabmen and porters of every age: the former, brandishing their
whips, made such a rush on board when we got within jumping distance,
that one would have thought they had come to storm the vessel. We took
it coolly, allowing the rush of passengers to land first; and then,
having engaged two "broths of boys" with hackney coaches, we drove up to
the Congress Hall Hotel, where, thanks to our young American cicerone,
we were very soon comfortably lodged, with a jolly good dinner before
us. I may as well explain why it was thanks to our friend that we were
comfortably lodged.

'Throughout the whole length and breadth of the Republic, the people are
gregarious, and go everywhere in flocks; consequently, on the arrival of
railway train or steamer, 'buses from the various hotels are always in
waiting, and speedily filled. No sooner does the 'bus pull up, than a
rush is made by each one to the book lying on the counter, that he may
inscribe his name as soon as possible, and secure a bedroom. The duty of
allotting the apartments generally devolves upon the head clerk, or
chief assistant; but as, from the locomotive propensities of the
population, he has a very extensive acquaintance, and knows not how soon
some of them may be arriving, he billets the unknown in the most
out-of-the-way rooms; for the run upon all the decent hotels is so
great, that courtesy is scarce needed to insure custom. Not that they
are uncivil; but the confusion caused by an arrival is so great, and the
mass of travellers are so indifferent to the comfort or the attention
which one meets with in a decent hotel in this country, that, acting
from habit, they begin by roosting their guests, like crows, at the top
of the tree.

To obviate this inconvenience, I would suggest, for the benefit of
future travellers, the plan I found on many occasions so successful
myself, in my subsequent journeys; which is, whenever you are
comfortably lodged in any hotel, to take a letter from the proprietor to
the next you wish to stop at. They give it you most readily, and on many
occasions I found the advantage of it. They all know one another; and in
this way you might travel all through the Union.

Dinner is over--the events of the day have been discussed 'mid fragrant
clouds, and we are asleep in the capital of the State of New York.

We were obliged to be astir early in the morning, so as to be in time
for the railway; consequently, our lionizing of the city consisted
chiefly in smoking a cigar at the front-door. The town is prettily
situated on the banks of the Hudson, and at its confluence with the Erie
canal. It is one of the few towns in the Republic which enjoys a
Royalist name, having been called after the Duke of York and Albany,
and is a very thriving place, with a steadily increasing population,
already amounting to sixty thousand; and some idea of its prosperity may
be formed from the fact of its receiving, by the Erie canal, annually,
goods to the value of near six millions sterling. Some years ago it was
scourged by an awful fire; but it has risen, like a phoenix, from its
ashes, and profited materially by the chastisement. The chief objection
I had to the town was the paving of the streets, which was abominable,
and full of holes, any of them large enough to bury a hippopotamus, and
threatening dislocation of some joint at every step; thus clearly
proving that the contract for the paving was in the hands of the
surgeons. On similar grounds, it has often occurred to me that the
proprietors of the London cabs must be chiefly hatters.

Our descent from the hotel to the railway station was as lively as that
of a parched pea on a red-hot frying-pan, but it was effected without
any injury requiring the assistance of the paving-surgeons, and by the
time our luggage was ticketed the train had arrived: some tumbled out,
others tumbled in; the kettle hissed, and off we went, the first few
hundred yards of our journey being along the street. Not being
accustomed to see a train going in full cry through the streets, I
expected every minute to hear a dying squeak, as some of the little
urchins came out, jumping and playing close to the cars; but they seem
to be protected by a kind of instinct; and I believe it would be as easy
to drive a train over a cock-sparrow as over a Yankee boy. At last we
emerged from the town, and went steaming away merrily over the country.
Our companions inside were a motley group of all classes. By good
fortune, we found a spare seat on which to put our cloaks, &c., which
was a luxury rarely enjoyed in my future travels, being generally
obliged to carry them on my knee, as the American cars are usually so
full that there is seldom a vacant place on which to lay them.

Our route lay partly along the line of the Mohawk, on the banks of which
is situated the lovely village of Rockton, or Little Falls, where the
gushing stream is compressed between two beautifully wooded cliffs,
affording a water-power which has been turned to good account by the
establishment of mills. At this point the Erie canal is cut for two
miles through the solid rock, and its unruffled waters, contrasting
with the boiling river struggling through the narrow gorge, look like
streams of Peace and Passion flowing and struggling side by side. As the
"iron horse" hurries us onward, the ears are assailed, amid the wild
majesty of Nature, with the puny cockneyisms of "Rome," "Syracuse," &c.
Such absurdities are ridiculous enough in our suburban villas; but to
find them substituted for the glorious old Indian names, is positively
painful.

Among other passengers in the train, was a man conspicuous among his
fellows for clean hide and clean dimity; on inquiry, I was told he was a
Professor. He looked rather young for a professorial chair, and further
investigation confused me still more, for I found he was a _Professor of
Soap_. At last, I ascertained that he had earned his title by going
about the country lecturing upon, and exhibiting in his person, the
valuable qualities of his detergent treasures, through which peripatetic
advertisement he had succeeded in realizing dollars and honours. The
oratory of some of these Professors is, I am told, of an order before
which the eloquence of a Demosthenes would shrink abashed, if success is
admitted as the test; for, only put them at the corner of a street in
any town, and I have no fears of binding myself to eat every cake they
do not sell before they quit their oratorical platform. The soapy orator
quitted the train at Auburn, and soon after, the vandalism of "Rome" and
"Syracuse" was atoned for by the more appropriate and euphonical old
Indian names of "Cayuga" and "Canandaigua."

On reaching the station of the latter, an old and kind friend to my
brother, when he first visited America, was waiting to welcome us to his
house, which was about a quarter of a mile distant, and a most
comfortable establishment it proved, in every way. Our worthy host was a
Scotchman by birth, and though he had passed nearly half a century in
the United States, he was as thoroughly Scotch in all his ways as if he
had just arrived from his native land; and while enjoying his
hospitalities, you might have fancied yourself in a Highland laird's old
family mansion. In all his kind attentions, he was most ably assisted by
his amiable lady. Everything I had seen hitherto was invested with an
air of newness, looking as if of yesterday: here, the old furniture and
the fashion thereof, even its very arrangement, all told of days long
bygone, and seemed to say, "We are heir-looms." When you went upstairs,
the old Bible on your bedroom table, with its worn cover, well-thumbed
leaves, and its large paper-mark, browned by the hand of Time, again
proclaimed, "I am an heir-loom," and challenged your respect; and worthy
companions they all were to mine host and his lady, who, while they
warmed your heart with their cheerful and unostentatious hospitality,
also commanded your respect by the way they dispensed it.

The following day our route lay across country, out of the line of stage
or rail; so a vehicle had to be got, which my young American cicerone,
under the guidance of mine host, very soon arranged; and in due time, a
long, slight, open cart, with the seats slung to the sides, drove to the
door, with four neat greys, that might have made "Tommy Onslow's" mouth
water.

While they are putting in the luggage, I may as well give you a sketch
of how the young idea is sometimes taught to shoot in this country.
Time--early morning. Paterfamilias at the door, smoking a cigar--a lad
of ten years of age appears.

"I say, father, can I have Two-forty?[E] I want to go down to the farm,
to see my cattle fed!"

Scarce had leave been obtained, before a cry was heard in another
quarter. "Hallo, Jemmy! what's the matter now? Wont Shelty go?"

The youth so addressed was about six, and sitting in a little low
four-wheeled carriage, whacking away at a Shetland-looking pony, with a
coat, every hair of which was long enough for a horse's tail. The
difficulty was soon discovered, for it was an old trick of Shelty to
lift one leg outside the shaft, and strike for wages, if he wasn't
pleased.

"Get out, Jemmy, I'll set him right;" and accordingly, Shelty's leg
was lifted inside, and Paterfamilias commenced lunging him round and
round before the door. After a few circles he said, "Now then, Jemmy,
get in again; he's all right now."

The infant Jehu mounts, and of course commences pitching into Shelty,
alike vigorously and harmlessly; off they go at score."

"Where are you going, Jemmy?"

"What--say--father?" No words are lost.

"Where are you going, Jemmy?"

"Going to get some turnips for my pigs;" and Jemmy disappeared in a bend
of the road.

On inquiry, I found Jemmy used often to go miles from home in this way,
and was as well known in the neighbourhood as his father.

On another occasion, I remember seeing three lads, the oldest about
twelve, starting off in a four-wheeled cart, armed with an old gun.

"Where are you going, there?"

"To shoot pigeons."

"What's that sticking out of your pocket?"

"A loaded pistol;" and off they went at full swing.

Thinks I to myself, if those lads don't break their necks, or blow their
brains out, they will learn to take care of themselves; and I began to
reflect whether this was the way they were taught to love independence.

Now for a sketch of the other sex. Two horses come to the door
side-saddled. Out rush, and on jump, two girls under twelve. Young Ten,
upon his Two-forty, is the chaperon. "Take care!" says an anxious
parent. "Oh, I'm not afraid, mother;" and away they go, galloping about
the park as if they were Persians. My mind turned involuntarily
homewards, and I drew a picture from life. A faithful nurse stands at
the door; a young lady about twelve is mounting; a groom is on another
horse, with a leading-rein strong enough to hold a line-of-battle ship
in a gale of wind. The old nurse takes as long packing the young lady as
if she were about to make a tour of the globe; sundry whispers are going
on all the time, the purport of which is easily guessed. At last all
excuses are exhausted, and off they go. The lady's nag jog-trots a
little; the nurse's voice is heard--"Walk, walk, that's a dear! walk
till you're comfortable in the saddle. William, mind you don't let go
the rein; is it strong enough?" William smothers a laugh; the procession
moves funereally, the faithful nurse watching it with an expression
betokening intense anxiety. "Take care, that's a dear!" and then, as the
object of her solicitude disappears among the trees, she draws a long
sigh; a mutter is heard--"some accident" are the only words
distinguishable; a bang of the door follows, and the affectionate nurse
is--what?--probably wiping her eyes in the passage.

Here are two systems which may be said to vary a little, and might
require my consideration, were it not that I have no daughters, partly
owing, doubtless, to the primary deficiency of a wife. At all events, I
have at present no time for further reflections; for the waggon is
waiting at the door, the traps are all in, and there stand mine host and
his lady, as ready to speed the parting as they were to welcome the
coming guest. A hearty shake of the hand, and farewell to Hospitality
Hall. May no cloud ever shade the happiness of its worthy inmates!

As we drive on, I may as well tell you that Canandaigua is a beautiful
little village, situated on a slope descending towards a lake of the
same name, and therefore commanding a lovely view--for when is a sheet
of water not lovely? There are some very pretty little villas in the
upper part of the village, which is a long broad street, with trees on
either side, and is peopled by a cozy little community of about four
thousand. Here we are in the open country. What is the first novelty
that strikes the eye?--the snake fences; and a tickler they would prove
to any hot-headed Melton gentleman who might try to sky over them. They
are from six to seven feet high--sometimes higher--and are formed by
laying long split logs one over another diagonally, by which simple
process the necessity of nails or uprights is avoided; and as wood is
dirt-cheap, the additional length caused by their diagonal construction
is of no importance;--but, being all loose, they are as awkward to leap
as a swing-bar, which those who have once got a cropper at, are not
anxious to try again.

It is at all times a cheery thing to go bowling along behind a spicy
team, but especially so when traversing a wild and half-cultivated
country, where everything around you is strange to the eye, and where
the vastness of space conveys a feeling of grandeur; nor is it the less
enjoyable when the scenery is decked in the rich attire of autumn, and
seen through the medium of a clear and cloudless sky. Then, again, there
is something peculiarly pleasing while gazing at the great extent of
rich timbered land, in reflecting that it is crying aloud for the
stalwart arm of man, and pointing to the girdle of waving fields which
surround it, to assure that stalwart arm that industry will meet a sure
reward. Poverty may well hide her head in shame amid such scenes as
these, for it can only be the fruit of wilful indolence.

The farm cottages are all built of wood, painted white, and look as
clean and fresh as so many new-built model dairies. The neat little
churches, too, appeared as bright as though the painters had left them
the evening before. And here I must remark a convenience attached to
them, which it might be well to imitate in those of our own churches
which are situated in out-of-the-way districts, such as the Highlands of
Scotland, where many of the congregation have to come from a
considerable distance. The convenience I allude to is simply a long,
broad shed, open all one side of its length, and fitted with rings, &c.,
for tethering the horses of those who, from fancy, distance, age, or
sickness, are unwilling or unable to come on foot. The expense would be
but small, and the advantage great. Onward speed our dapper greys, fresh
as four-year-olds; and the further we go, the better they seem to like
it. The only bait they get is five minutes' breathing time, and a great
bucket of water, which they seem to relish as much as if it were a
magnum of iced champagne. The avenue before us leads into Geneseo, the
place of our destination, where my kind friend, Mr. Wadsworth, was
waiting to welcome us to his charming little country-place, situated
just outside the village. 'And what a beautiful place is this same
Geneseo! But, for the present, we must discharge our faithful greys--see
our new friends, old and young--enjoy a better bait than our nags did at
the half-way house, indulge in the fragrant Havana, and retire to roost.
To-morrow we will talk of the scenery.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote E: As a similar expression occurs frequently in this work, the
reader is requested to remember that it is a common custom in America to
name a horse according to the time in which he can trot a mile. The boy
evidently had a visionary idea in his mind that the little hack he was
asking permission to ride, had accomplished the feat of trotting a mile
in two minutes and forty seconds.]



CHAPTER V.

_Geneseo_.


It is a lovely bright autumn morning, with a pure blue sky, and a pearly
atmosphere through which scarce a zephyr is stealing; the boughs of the
trees hang motionless; my window is open; but, how strange the perfect
stillness! No warbling note comes from the feathered tribe to greet the
rising sun, and sing, with untaught voice, their Maker's praise; even
the ubiquitous house-sparrow is neither seen nor heard. How strange this
comparative absence of animal life in a country which, having been so
recently intruded upon by the destroyer--man--one would expect to find
superabundantly populated with those animals, against which he does not
make war either for his use or amusement. Nevertheless, so it is; and I
have often strolled about for hours in the woods, in perfect solitude,
with no sound to meet the ear--no life to catch the eye. But I am
wandering from the house too soon;--a jolly scream in the nursery
reminds me that, at all events, there is animal life within, and that
the possessor thereof has no disease of the lungs.

Let us now speed to breakfast; for folk are early in the New World, and
do not lie a-bed all the forenoon, thinking how to waste the afternoon,
and then, when the afternoon comes, try and relieve the tedium thereof
by cooking up some project to get over the _ennui_ of the evening.
Whatever else you may deny the American, this one virtue you must allow
him. He is, emphatically, an early riser; as much so as our own
most gracious Sovereign, whose example, if followed by her
subjects--especially some in the metropolis--would do more to destroy
London hells, and improve London health, than the Legislature, or Sir B.
Hall, and all the College of Surgeons, can ever hope to effect among the
post-meridian drones.

Breakfast was speedily despatched, and Senor Cabaños y Carvajal followed
as a matter of course. While reducing him to ashes, and luxuriating in
the clouds which proclaim his certain though lingering death, we went
out upon the terrace before the house to wish good speed to my two
companions who were just starting, and to enjoy a view of the far-famed
vale of Genesee. Far as the eye could see, with no bounds save the power
of its vision, was one wide expanse of varied beauty. The dark forest
hues were relieved by the rich tints of the waving corn; neat little
cottages peeped out in every direction. Here and there, a village, with
its taper steeples, recalled the bounteous Hand "that giveth us all
things richly to enjoy." Below my feet was beautifully undulating park
ground, magnificently timbered, through which peeped the river, bright
as silver beneath the rays of an unclouded sun, whose beams, streaming
at the same time on a field of the rich-coloured pumpkin, burnished each
like a ball of molten gold. All around was richness, beauty, and
abundance.

The descendant of a Wellington or a Washington, while contemplating the
glorious deeds of an illustrious ancestor, and recalling the adoration
of a grateful country, may justly feel his breast swelling with pride
and emulation; but while I was enjoying this scene, there stood one at
my side within whom also such emotions might be as fully and justly
stirred--for there are great men to be found in less conspicuous, though
not less useful spheres of life. A son who knew its history enjoyed with
me this goodly scene. His father was the first bold pioneer. The rut
made by the wheel of his rude cart, drawn by two oxen, was the first
impress made by civilization in the whole of this rich and far-famed
valley. A brother shared with him his early toils and privations; their
own hands raised the log-hut--their new home in the wilderness. Ere they
broke ground, the boundless forest howled around a stray party of
Indians, come to hunt, or to pasture their flocks on the few open plots
skirting the river: all else was waste and solitude. One brother died
comparatively early; but the father of mine host lived long to enjoy the
fruit of his labours. He lived to see industry and self-denial
metamorphose that forest and its straggling Indian band into a land
bursting with the rich fruits of the soil, and buzzing with a busy hive
of human energy and intelligence. Yes; and he lived to see temple after
temple, raised for the pure worship of the True God, supplant the
ignorance and idolatry which reigned undisturbed at his first coming.
Say, then, reader, has not the son of such a father just cause for
pride--a solemn call to emulation? The patriarchal founder of his family
and their fortunes has left an imperishable monument of his greatness in
the prosperity of this rich vale; and Providence has blessed his
individual energies and forethought with an unusual amount of this
world's good things. "Honour and fame--industry and wealth," are
inscribed on the banner of his life, and the son is worthily fighting
under the paternal standard. The park grounds below the house bear
evidence of his appreciation of the beauties of scenery, in the taste
with which he has performed that difficult task of selecting the groups
of trees requisite for landscape, while cutting down a forest; and the
most cursory view of his library can leave no doubt that his was a
highly-cultivated mind. I will add no more, lest I be led insensibly to
trench upon the privacy of domestic life.

I now propose to give a slight sketch of his farm, so as to convey, to
those interested, an idea of the general system of agriculture adopted
in the Northern States; and if the reader think the subject dull, a turn
of the leaf will prove a simple remedy.

The extent farmed is 2000 acres, of which 400 are in wood, 400 in
meadow, 400 under plough, and 800 in pasture. On the wheat lands, summer
fallow, wheat, and clover pasture, form the three years' rotation. In
summer fallow, the clover is sometimes ploughed in, and sometimes fed
off, according to the wants of the soil and the farm. Alluvial lands are
cultivated in Indian corn from five to ten years successively, and then
laid down in grass indeterminately from three to forty years.
Wheat--sometimes broadcast, sometimes drilled--is put in as near as
possible the 1st of September, and cut from the 10th to the 20th of
July. Clover-seed is sown during March in wheat, and left till the
following year. Wheat stubble is pastured slightly; the clover, if
mowed, is cut in the middle of June; if pastured, the cattle are turned
in about the 1st of May.

Pumpkins are raised with the Indian corn, and hogs fattened on them;
during the summer they are turned into clover pasture. Indian corn and
pumpkins are planted in May, and harvested in October; the leaf and
stalk of the Indian corn are cut up for fodder, and very much liked.
Oats and barley are not extensively cultivated.

The average crop of Indian corn is from fifty to sixty bushels, and of
wheat, from twenty-five to thirty per acre. The pasture land supports
one head to one and one-third acre. Grass-fattened cattle go to market
from September to November, fetching 2-1/4d. per lb. live weight, or
4-1/2d. per lb. for beef alone. Cattle are kept upon hay and straw
from the middle of November to 1st of May, if intended for fattening
upon grass; but, if intended for spring market, they are fed on Indian
corn-meal in addition. Sheep are kept on hay exclusively, from the
middle of November to the 1st of April. A good specimen of Durham ox,
three and a half years old, weighs 1500 lbs. live weight. The farm is
provided with large scales for weighing hay, cattle, &c., and so
arranged, that one hundred head can easily be weighed in two hours.

No manure is used, except farm-pen and gypsum; the former is generally
applied to Indian corn and meadow land. The gypsum is thrown, a bushel
to the acre, on each crop of wheat and clover--cost of gypsum, ten
shillings for twenty bushels. A mowing machine, with two or three horses
and one man, can cut, in one day, twelve acres of heavy meadow land, if
it stand up; but if laid at all, from six to ten. The number of men
employed on the farm is, six for six months, twelve for three months,
and twenty-five for three months. Ten horses and five yoke of oxen are
kept for farm purposes. The common waggon used weighs eight
hundredweight, and holds fifty bushels. Sometimes they are ten
hundredweight, and hold one hundred and five bushels.

The wages of the farm servants are:--For those engaged by the year,
2l. 10s. a month; for six months, 2l. 18s. 6d. a month; for
three months, 3l. 11s. a month--besides board and lodging, on the
former of which they are not likely to find their bones peeping through
their skin. They have meat three times a day--pork five days, and mutton
two days in the week--a capital pie at dinner; tea and sugar twice a
day; milk _ad libitum_; vegetables twice a day; butter usually three
times a day; no spirits nor beer are allowed. The meals are all cooked
at the farm, and the overseer eats with the men, and receives from
75l. to 125l. a year, besides board and lodging for his family, who
keep the farm-house. When every expense is paid, mine host netts a
clear six per cent. on his farm, and I think you will allow that he may
go to bed at night with little fear of the nightmare of a starving
labourer disturbing his slumbers. Not that he troubles sleep much, for
he is the nearest thing to perpetual motion I ever saw, not excepting
even the armadillo at the Zoological Gardens, and he has more "irons in
the fire" than there were bayonet-points before Sevastopol.

The village contains a population of two thousand inhabitants, and
consists of a few streets, the principal of which runs along a terrace,
which, being a continuation of the one on which we were lately standing,
commands the same lovely view. But, small as is the village, it has four
churches, an academy, two banks, two newspaper offices, and a telegraph
office. What a slow coach you are, John Bull!

One day I was taking a drive with an amiable couple, who, having been
married sixteen or seventeen years, had got well over the mysterious
influences of honeymoonism. The husband was acting Jarvey, and I was
inside with madame. The roads being in some places very bad, and neither
the lady nor myself being feather-weight, the springs were frequently
brought down upon one another with a very disagreeable jerk. The lady
remonstrated:

"John, I declare these springs are worn out, and the carriage itself is
little better."

"Now, Susan, what's the good of your talking that way; you know they are
perfectly good, my dear."

"Oh, John! you know what I say is true, and that the carriage has never
been touched since we married."

"My dear, if I prove to you one of your assertions is wrong, I suppose
you will be ready to grant the others may be equally incorrect."

"Well, what then?" said the unsuspecting wife.

"Why, my dear, I'll prove to you the springs are in perfectly good
order," said the malicious husband, who descried a most abominable bit
of road ready for his purpose; and, suiting the action to the word, he
put his spicy nags into a hand-canter. Bang went the springs together;
and, despite of all the laws of gravitation, madame and I kept bobbing
up and down, and into one another's laps.

"Oh, John, stop! stop!"

"No, no, my dear, I shall go on till you're perfectly satisfied with
the goodness of the springs and the soundness of the carriage."

Resistance was useless; John was determined, and the horses would not
have tired in a week; so the victim had nothing for it but to cry
_peccavi_, upon which John moderated his pace gradually, and our elastic
bounds ceased correspondingly, until we settled once more firmly on our
respective cushions; then John turned round, and, with a mixed
expression of malice and generosity, said, "Well, my dear, I do think
the carriage wants a new lining, but you must admit they are really good
springs." And the curtain fell on this little scene in the drama of
"Sixteen Years after Marriage." May the happy couple live to re-enact
the same sixty years after marriage!

Our drive brought us to the shore of Lake Canesus, and a lovely scene it
was; the banks were in many places timbered to the water's edge by the
virgin forest, now radiant with the rich autumnal tints; the afternoon
sun shone forth in all its glory from a cloudless sky, on a ripp'less
lake, which, like a burnished mirror, reflected with all the
truthfulness of nature the gorgeous scene above; and as you gazed on the
azure abyss below, it kept receding and receding till the wearied sight
of the creature was lost in the fathomless depths of the work of his
Almighty Creator. Who has not for the moment imagined that he could
realise the infinity of space, as, when gazing at some bright star, he
strives to measure the distance of the blue curtain spread behind,
which, ever receding, so mocks the efforts of the ambitious eye, that
its powers become bewildered in the unfathomable depths of immensity;
but I am not sure whether such feelings do not come home to one more
powerfully when the eye gazes on the same object through the medium of
reflection;--for, as with the bounties of the Creator, so with the
wonders of His creation--man is too prone to undervalue them in
proportion to the frequency with which they are spread before him; and
thus the deep azure vault, so often seen in the firmament above, is less
likely to attract his attention and engage his meditations, than when
the same glorious scene lies mirrored beneath his feet.

This charming lake has comparatively little cultivation on its borders;
two or three cottages, and a few cattle grazing, are the only signs that
man is asserting his dominion over the wilderness. One of these
cottages belongs to a member of the Wadsworth family, who owns some
extent of land in the neighbourhood, and who has built a nice little
boat for sailing about in the summer season. I may as well mention in
this place, that the roofing generally used for cottages is a wooden
tile called "shingle," which is very cheap--twelve-and-sixpence
purchasing enough to cover a thousand feet.

While driving about in this neighbourhood, I saw, for the first time,
what is termed a "plank-road,"--a system which has been introduced into
the United States from Canada. The method of construction is very
simple, consisting of two stringers of oak two inches square, across
which are laid three-inch planks eight feet long, and generally of
hemlock or pine. No spiking of the planks into the stringers is
required, and a thin layer of sand or soil being placed over all, the
road is made; and, as the material for construction is carried along as
the work progresses, the rapidity of execution is astonishing. When
completed, it is as smooth as a bowling-green. The only objection I ever
heard to these roads is, that the jarring sensation produced by them is
very injurious to the horses' legs; but it can hardly be thought that,
if the cart were up to the axle and the horse up to the belly-band in a
good clay soil, any advantage would be derived from such a primitive
state of things. Taking an average, the roads may be said to last from
eight to ten years, and cost about £330 a mile. Those in Canada are
often made much broader, so as to enable two vehicles to pass abreast,
and their cost is a little above £400 a mile. The toll here is about
three-farthings a mile per horse. They have had the good sense to avoid
the ridiculous wheel-tollage to which we adhere at home with a tenacity
only equalled by its folly, as if a two-wheeled cart, with a ton weight
of cargo, drawn by a Barclay and Perkinser, did not cut up a road much
more than the little four-wheel carriage of the clergyman's wife, drawn
by a cob pony, and laden with a tin of soup or a piece of flannel for
some suffering parishioner. But as our ancestors adopted this system "in
the year dot, before one was invented," I suppose we shall bequeath the
precious legacy to our latest posterity, unless some "Rebecca League,"
similar to Taffy's a few years since, be got up on a grand national
scale, in which case tolls may, perhaps, be included in the tariff of
free-trade. Until that auspicious event take place,--for I confess to an
ever-increasing antipathy to paying any gate,--we might profit in some
of our bleak and dreary districts by copying the simple arrangement
adopted at many American tolls, which consists of throwing a covered
archway over the road; so that if you have to unbutton half-a-dozen
coats in a snow-storm to find a sixpence, you are not necessitated to
button-in a bucketful of snow, which, though it may cool the body, has a
very opposite effect on the temper.

It is bad enough in England; but any one who wishes to enjoy it to
perfection had better take a drive from Stirling, crossing the Forth,
when, if he select his road happily, he may have the satisfaction of
paying half-a-dozen tolls in nearly as many minutes, on the plea that
this piece of ground, the size of a cocked-hat-box,--and that piece, the
size of a cabbage-garden,--and so on, belong to different counties; and
his amusement may derive additional zest if he be fortunate enough to
find the same tollman there whom I met some years ago. When passing his
toll in a driving snow-storm that penetrated even to the very marrow, I
pulled up a few yards beyond the gate, upon which he came out very
sulkily, took the half-crown I tendered him, and, walking deliberately
back, placed the change on the post of the gate, and said,--"If ye want
'ut, ye may take 'ut; it's no my place to walk half a mile o' the road
to gie folk their change;" after which courteous address he disappeared,
banging his door to with a sound that fell on the ear very like "Put
that in your pipe and smoke it." Precious work I had, with a heavy
dog-cart, no servant, and a hack whose mouth was case-hardened. I would
willingly have given it up; but I knew the brute (the man, not the
horse) would very soon have got drunk upon it; so I persevered until I
succeeded, and then went on my road full of thoughts which are, I fear,
totally unfit to be committed to paper.

Reader, I must ask you to forgive my wanderings on the banks of the
Forth. I hasten back to Geneseo, and pack up ready for to-morrow's
start, for the days I had spent with my kind host and his merry family
had slipped by so pleasantly I had quite lost count of them. There was
but one cloud to our enjoyment--one sad blank in the family group: my
sister-in-law, in whose charming society I had fondly hoped to make my
first visit to the scenes of her early youth, had been recently summoned
to a better world; and the void her absence made in that family circle,
of which she was both the radiating and the centring point of affection,
was too deeply felt for aught but time ever to eradicate.



CHAPTER VI.

_Stirring Scenes and Strange Sights_.


My host having kindly lent me his carriage and a pair of wiry nags, I
started for Batavia to meet the railway. The distance was about thirty
miles, and the road in many places execrable--in one part so bad that we
had to go through a quarter of a mile of wood, as it was absolutely
impassable;--yet, despite all these hindrances, and without pressing the
horses in the least, we completed the distance in the three hours,
including from five to ten minutes at a half-way house, where we gave
them the usual American bait of a bucket of cold water; and when we
arrived they were as fresh as four-year-olds, and quite ready to return
if need had been. I saw nothing worth remarking during the drive. There
was plenty of cultivated land; and plenty of waste, waiting to reward
the labourer. All the little villages had their daguerreotype shops
except one, and there the deficiency was supplied by a perambulating
artist in a tented cart.

When a railway crosses the road, you are expected to see it,--the only
warning being a large painted board, inscribed "Look out for the Train."
If it be dark, I suppose you are expected to guess it; but it must be
remembered that this is the country of all countries where every person
is required to look after himself. The train coming up soon after my
arrival, I went on to Buffalo, amid a railway mixture of
tag-rag-and-bobtail, squalling infancy and expectorating manhood. On
arriving at the terminus, I engaged a cab, and, after waiting half an
hour, I found that Jarvey was trying to pick up some other "fare," not
thinking myself and my servant a sufficient cargo to pay well. I tried
to find a railway official; but I might almost as well have looked for a
flea in a flower-garden--no badges, no distinctive marks, the station
full of all the riff-raff of the town;--it was hopeless. At last, by a
lucky accident, I saw a man step into a small office, so I bolted after
him, like a terrier after a badger, but I could not draw him; he knew
nothing about the cabs--he was busy--nay, in short, he would not be
bothered. Having experienced this beautiful specimen of Buffalo railway
management, I returned to the open air and lit my cigar. After some
time, Cabby, having found that no other "fare" was to be had,
condescended to tell me he was ready; so in I got, and drove to the
hotel, on entering which I nearly broke my neck over a pyramid of boxes,
all looking of one family. They turned out to be the property of Mr.
G.V. Brooke, the actor, who had just arrived "to star it" at Buffalo.
Supper being ready, as it always is on the arrival of the evening train,
I repaired thither, and found the usual wondrous medley which the
American tables d'hôte exhibit, the usual deafening clatter, the usual
profusion of eatables, the usual rapidity of action, and the usual
disagreeable odour which is consequent upon such a mass of humanity and
food combined. Being tolerably tired, I very soon retired to roost.

What a wondrous place is this Buffalo!--what a type of American activity
and enterprise! I had visited it in the year 1826, and then it had only
three thousand inhabitants. The theatre, I remember, amused me
immensely, the stage and accommodation for spectators barely occupying
an area of twenty-five feet square. Mr. G.V. Brooke's boxes, at that
time, would have filled the whole house; and here they are in 1852,
drawing our metropolitan stars to their boards. Their population has
increased twenty-fold, and now exceeds sixty thousand; a splendid
harbour, a lighthouse, piers, breakwater, &c., have been constructed,
and the place is daily increasing. Churches rear their spiry steeples in
every direction. Banks and insurance offices are scattered broadcast.
Educational, literary, and benevolent establishments abound, and upwards
of a dozen newspapers are published. Land which, during my visit in
1826, you might almost have had for the asking, is now selling at two
hundred guineas the foot of frontage for building. Even during the last
ten years, the duties collected at the port have increased from £1000 to
nearly £14,000. In the year 1852 upwards of four thousand vessels,
representing a million and a half of tonnage, cleared at the harbour,
and goods to the value of nearly seven millions sterling arrived from
the lakes, the greater portion of the cargoes being grain. The value of
goods annually delivered by Erie Canal is eight millions. Never was a
more energetic hive of humanity than these "Buffalo lads;" and they are
going ahead every day, racing pace.

Now, John Bull, come with me to the cliff outside the town, and
overhanging the Niagara river. Look across the stream, to the Canada
shore, and you will see a few houses and a few people. There they have
been, for aught I know, since the creation. The town(!) is called
Waterloo, and the couple of dozen inhabitants, despite the rich fruits
of industry on which they may gaze daily, seem to regard industry as a
frightful scourge to be studiously avoided. Their soil is as rich as, if
not richer than, that on the opposite shore: the same lake is spread
before them, and the same river runs by their doors. It does, indeed,
look hopeless, where such an example, constantly under their eyes, fails
to stir them up to action. But, perhaps, you will say, you think you see
a movement among the "dry bones." True, my dear Bull, there is now a
movement; but, if you inquire, you will find it is a Buffalo movement.
It is their energy, activity, and enterprise which, is making a railway
to run across Canada to Goderich, by which means they will save, for
traffic, the whole length of Lake Erie, and half that of Lake Huron, for
all produce coming from the North of Michigan, Wisconsin, &c. So
thoroughly is it American enterprise, that, although the terminus of the
railway is at Waterloo, the name is ignored; and Buffalo enterprise
having carried forward the work, it is styled the "Buffalo, Brentford,
and Goderich Line." Truly, John Bull, your colony shows very badly by
the side of this same Buffalo. Let us hope increasing intercourse may
infuse a little vitality into them.

The train is starting for Niagara, and I am in it, endeavouring to recal
the impressions of 1826, which, being but very dim, my anticipations
partake of the charm of novelty. While in the middle of a seventh heaven
of picturative fancy, the screeching of the break announces the
journey's end. As I emerge from the motley group of fellow-passengers, a
sound, as of very distant thunder heard through ears stuffed with
cotton, is all that announces the neighbourhood of the giant cataract. A
fly is speedily obtained, and off I start for the hotel on the Canadian
side. Our drive took us along the eastern bank till we reached the
suspension-bridge which spans the cliffs of the river. Across this
gossamer causeway, vehicles are required to walk, under a heavy penalty
for any breach of this rule. The vibration when walking is not very
great; but, going at a quick pace, it would undoubtedly be considerable,
and might eventually loosen those fastenings on which the aerial pathway
depends. Arrived at the other side, I was quite taken aback on being
stopped by an official. I found he was merely a _pro formâ_ custom-house
officer. Not having been schooled in the Old World, he showed none of
the ferret, and in a few seconds I was again trotting southwards along
the western bank to the Clifton House Hotel. The dull work of life is
done, the cab is paid, my room is engaged, and there I am, on the
balcony, alone, with the roaring of the cataract in my ears and the
mighty cataract itself before my eyes.

What were my first impressions?--That is a difficult question.
Certainly, I did not share that feeling of disappointment which some
people take pains to express. Such people, if they had dreamt that an
unknown friend had left them 100,000l., would feel disappointed if he
awoke and found a legacy of 90,000l. lying on their table; or,
perhaps, they give expression to their feelings, by way of inducing the
public to suppose that their fertile imaginations conceived something
far grander than this most glorious work of Nature. If a man propose to
go to Niagara for mere beauty, he had better stay at home and look at a
lily through a microscope; if to hear a mighty noise, he had better go
where the anchors are forged in Portsmouth dockyard; if to see a mighty
struggle of waters, he had better take a cruise, on board a pilot-boat,
in the Bay of Biscay, during an equinoctial gale; but, if he be content
to see the most glorious cataract his Maker has placed upon our globe;
if, in a stupendous work of Nature, he have a soul to recognise the
Almighty Workman; and if, while gazing thereon, he can travel from
Nature up to Nature's God; then, let him go to Niagara, in full
assurance of enjoying one of the grandest and most solemnizing scenes
that this earth affords. It wants but one qualification to be perfect
and complete; that, it had originally when fresh from the hands of its
Divine Maker; and of that man has rifled it--I mean solitude.--Palace
hotels are very convenient things; energy and enterprise are very
valuable qualities, and natural features of American character which I
admire; but, seeing how universally everything is sacrificed to the
useful and dollar-making, I dread to contemplate the future: for visions
rise before me of the woodman's axe levelling the forest timber on Goat
Island, which at present shrouds the town; and fancy pictures a line of
villas, shops, and mills, ending in a huge hotel, at the edge of the
cataract. I trust my vision may never be realized. But my hopes are
small; for I invariably observed that, in clearing ground, scarce any
attention had been paid to aught else but the best method of getting the
best return for the labour bestowed.

Now, reader, I have not told you as yet what my impressions were, as I
stood on the balcony gazing at Niagara; and, I pray you take not
offence, when I add that I have not the slightest intention of trying to
record them. Writing frankly, as I feel, I have said enough for you to
glean something of the turn they took, and to see that they were
impressions which a pen is too feeble an agent adequately to express. I
shall not tax your patience with Table Rock and Goat Island points of
view, American and Canadian falls, the respective beauties of the
Straight Line and the Horse-shoe; I do not purpose clothing you in
Mackintosh, and dragging you with trembling steps along the slimy
pathway between the Falls and the rock, to gaze on the sun through the
roaring and rolling flood; nor will I draw upon your nerves by a detail
of the hair-breadth escapes of Mr. Bumptious and Mrs. Positive, who,
when they got half-way along the said path, were seized with panic, and
only escaped a header into the boiling caldron by lying flat on their
stomachs until the rest of the party had lionized the whole distance,
when the guide returned and hauled them out by the heels, like drowned
rats out of a sink-hole; nor will I ask you to walk five miles with me,
to see the wooden hut, built over a sulphur spring within ten feet of
the river, and which is lit by the sulphuretted hydrogen gas thereof,
led through a simple tube.

All these, and the rapids above, and the whirlpool below, and the
four-and-a-half million horse-power of the Falls, have been so often
described by abler pens and more fertile imaginations, that the effort
would be a failure and the result a bore.

I have in my possession a collection from the various albums at
Niagara; it opens with the following lines by Lord Morpeth, now Earl of
Carlisle--

  "There's nothing great or bright, thou glorious Fall!
  Thou may'st not to the fancy's sense recal;
  The thunder-riven cloud, the lightning's leap,
  The stirring of the chambers of the deep,
  Earth's emerald green, and many-tinted dyes,
  The fleecy whiteness of the upper skies,
  The tread of armies thickening as they come,
  The boom of cannon and the beat of drum,
  The brow of beauty and the form of grace,
  The passion and the prowess of our race,
  The song of Homer in its loftiest hour,
  The unresisted sweep of human power,
  Britannia's trident on the azure sea,
  America's young shout of liberty!
  Oh! may the waves that madden in thy deep,
  There spend their rage, nor climb the encircling steep,--
  And till the conflict of thy surges cease,
  The nations on thy banks repose in peace!"

There are other effusions equally creditable to their authors; but there
is also a mass of rubbish, from which I will only inflict two specimens.
One, evidently from the pen of a Cockney; and the other, the poetical
inspiration of a free and enlightened.

Cockney poet--

  "Next to the bliss of seeing Sarah,
  Is that of seeing Niagara."

Free and enlightened--

  "Of all the roaring, pouring,
    Spraying streams that dash,
  Niagara is Number One,
    All to immortal smash!"

Not desiring to appear to as great disadvantage as either of the two
last-quoted writers, I decline the attempt; and, while saving myself,
spare the public.

I think, reader, that I have a claim upon your gratitude for not
expatiating at greater length upon a theme from which it were easy to
fill chapter upon chapter; for, if you are generous, you will throw a
veil over the selfish reasons that have produced so happy a result. I
will only add one piece of advice, which is, if the pleasure of
visiting Niagara would be enhanced by a full larder and a ruck of
people, go there "during the season;" but if your pleasure would be
greater in visiting it when the hotel is empty, even though the larder
be nearly in the same state, follow my example, and go later in the
year, by which means you will partially obtain that quiet, without
which, I freely confess, I never care to look upon "The Falls" again.

A formidable rival to this magnificent fall of water has-been discovered
by that indefatigable traveller, Dr. Livingston. It is called the
Mosiotunya Falls, which are thus described:--"They occur," we read
("Outlines of Dr. Livingston's Missionary Journeys," p. 19), "in the
most southerly part of the Zambese. Although previously unvisited by any
European, Dr. Livingston had often heard of these smoke-resounding
falls, which, with points of striking difference from Niagara, are, if
possible, more remarkable and not less sublime than that noble cataract.
He was therefore anxious to inspect them, and on the 20th of November,
1855, he reached Kalai, a place eight miles west of the Falls. On
arriving at the latter, he found that this natural phenomenon was caused
by the sudden contraction, or rather compression, of the river, here
about 1000 yards broad, which urges its ponderous mass through a narrow
rent in the basaltic rock of not more than twenty-five yards, and down a
deep cleft, but a little wider, into a basin or trough about thirty
yards in diameter, lying at a depth of thirty-five yards. Into this
narrow receptacle the vast river precipitated itself. When Dr.
Livingston visited the spot, the Zambese flowed through its narrowest
channel, and its waters were at their lowest. The effect, however, of
its sudden contraction and fall was in the highest degree sublime, and,
from the point at which he surveyed it, appalling. For, not satisfied
with a distant view of the opening through its rocky barrier, and of the
columns of vapour rushing up for 300 to 400 feet, forming a spreading
cloud, and then falling in perpetual rain, he engaged a native, with
nerves as strong as his own and expert in the management of the canoe,
to paddle him down the river, here heaving, eddying, and fretting, as if
reluctant to approach the gorge and hurl itself down the precipice to an
islet immediately above the fall, and from one point of which he could
look over its edge into the foaming caldron below, mark the mad whirl
of its waters, and stand in the very focus of its vapoury columns and
its deafening roar. But unique and magnificent as was the cataract when
Dr. Livingston beheld it, the reports of others, and the inference drawn
by himself, satisfied him that the spectacle was tame compared with what
occurs during the rainy season, when the river flows between banks many
miles apart, and still forces its augmented waters through the same
fissure into the same trough. At these times the columns of spray may be
seen, and the sound heard ten or twelve miles distant."

My traps are all in the ferry-boat: I have crossed the river, been wound
up the opposite bank, paid my fare, and am hissing away for Rochester.
What thoughts does Rochester give rise to? If you are a commercial man,
you will conjure up visions of activity and enterprise; if you are an
inquirer into mysteries and manners, your dreams will be of
"spirit-rapping and Bloomers." Coming fresh from Buffalo, I confess I
was rather interested in the latter. But here I am at the place itself,
and lodged in an hotel wonderfully handy to the station; and before the
front door thereof railways are interlaced like the meshes of a
fisherman's net. Having no conversable companion, I take to my ever
faithful and silent friend, the fragrant cigar, and start for a stroll.
There is a bookseller's shop at the corner; I almost invariably feel
tempted to stop when passing a depôt for literature, especially in a
strange place; but on the present occasion a Brobdignagian notice caught
my eye, and gave me a queer sensation inside my waistcoat--"Awful smash
among the Banks!" Below, in more Lilliputian characters, followed a list
of names. I had just obtained notes of different banks for my travelling
expenses, and I knew not how many thereof might belong to the bankrupt
list before me; a short examination sufficed, and with a quieted mind, I
continued my stroll and my cigar.

The progress of Rochester has not been so rapid as that of Buffalo; in
1826 they made a pretty fair start, and at present Rochester has only a
little above forty thousand, while, as we said a few pages back, Buffalo
has sixty thousand. Rochester has the disadvantage of not being built
quite on the lake, as Buffalo may be said to be; moreover, the carrying
on Lake Ontario is not so great as on Lake Erie. Both towns enjoy the
rich advantages of the Erie canal, and Rochester is benefited by
water-power in a way Buffalo is not. Genesee river, in a distance of
three miles, falls nearly two hundred and thirty feet, and has three
cascades, the greatest of which is upwards of one hundred feet; this
power has not been overlooked by the Rochesterians, who have established
enormous flour-mills in consequence, using up annually three million
bushels of wheat. As one of the Genesee falls was close to the town, I
bent my steps thither; the roads were more than ankle deep in mud, and I
had some difficulty in getting to the spot; when there, the dreary
nakedness of the banks and the matter-of-factism of a huge mill, chased
even the very thought of beauty from my mind: whether man stripped the
banks, or Nature, I cannot say, but I should rather "guess" it was man.

I was puddling back full of disappointment, and had just got upon the
wooden pavement, which is a trottoir upon the plank-road system, when I
saw a strange sail ahead, with rather a novel rig; could it be?--no!
yes!--no! yes!--yes, by George! a real, living Rochester Bloomer was
steering straight for me. She was walking arm-in-arm with a man who
looked at a distance awfully dirty; upon closer examination, I found the
effect was produced by his wearing all his face-hair close clipped, like
a hunter's coat in the season: but I had but little time to spare upon
_him_--the Bloomer was the star of attraction: on she came with a pretty
face, dark hair, eyes to match, and a good figure; she wore a black
beaver hat, low crown, and broad brim; round the hat was tied, in a
large bow, a bright red ribbon: under a black silk polka, which fitted
to perfection, she had a pair of chocolate-coloured pantaloons, hanging
loosely and gathered in above the ankles, and a neat pair of little feet
were cased in a sensible pair of boots, light, but at the same time
substantial. A gap occurring in the trottoir, and the roads being
shockingly muddy, I was curious to see how Bloomer faced the difficulty;
it never seemed to give her a moment's thought: she went straight at it,
and reached the opposite side with just as much ease as her companion.

Now, reader, let us change the scene and bring before you one with which
you are probably not unfamiliar. Place--A muddy crossing near a parish
school. Time--Play hours. _Dramatis personae_--An old lady and twenty
school-boys. Scene--The old lady comes sailing along the footways,
doing for nothing that for which sweepers are paid; arrived at the
crossing, a cold shudder comes over her as she gazes in despair at the
sea of mud she must traverse; behold now the frantic efforts she is
making to gather up the endless mass of gown, petticoats, and
auxiliaries with which custom and fashion have smothered her; her hands
can scarcely grasp the puckers and the folds; at last she makes a start,
exhibiting a beautifully filled pair of snow-white stockings; on she
goes, the journey is half over; suddenly a score of urchin voices are
heard in chorus, "Twig her legs, twig her legs." The irate dame turns
round to reprove them by words, or wither them with a glance; but alas!
in her indignation she raises a threatening hand, forgetful of the
important duties it was fulfilling, and down go gown, petticoats, and
auxiliaries in the filthy mire; the boys of course roar with
delight--it's the jolliest fun they have had for many a day; the old
lady gathers up her bundle in haste, and reaches the opposite side with
a filthy dress and a furious temper. Let any mind, unwarped by prejudice
and untrammelled by custom, decide whether the costume of the Rochester
Bloomer or of the old lady be the more sensible.

I grant that I have placed before you the two extremes, and I should be
as sorry to see my fair friends in "cut o' knee" kilts, as I now am to
see them in "sweep-the-ground gowns," &c. "But," cries one, "you will
aim a blow at female delicacy!" A blow, indeed! when all that female
delicacy has to depend upon is the issue of a struggle between pants and
petticoats, it will need no further blow: it is pure matter of fashion
and custom. Do not girls wear a Bloomer constantly till they are
fourteen or fifteen, then generally commence the longer dress? And what
reason can be given but custom, which, in so many articles of dress, is
ever changing? How long is it since the dressing of ladies' hair for
Court was a work of such absurd labour and nicety, that but few artists
were equal to the task, and, consequently, having to attend so many
customers, ladies were often obliged to have their hair dressed the day
before, and sit up all night that the coiffure might remain perfect? Or
how long is it since ladies at Court used to move about like human
balloons, with gowns hooped out to such an extent that it was a work of
labour and dexterity to get in and out of a carriage; trains, &c., to
match? Hundreds of people, now living, can not only remember these
things, but can remember also the outcry with which the proposal of
change was received. Delicacy, indeed! I should be glad to know what our
worthy grandmammas would think of the delicacy of the present generation
of ladies, could they but see them going about with nothing but an
oyster-shell bonnet stuck at the back of their heads! Take another
remnant of barbarism, handed down to us in the shape of powder. Masters
have taken care of themselves, and got rid of the abomination; so have
upper servants; but so wedded are some people to the habit, that they
still continue to pay a poll-tax of 1l. 3s. 6d. for the pleasure
of powdering and plastering their footmen's heads, as if they had just
escaped from a flour-mill and passed a greasy hand over their hair: will
any one deny, that the money spent in the tax would promote "John's"
comfort and cleanliness much more, if expended in good baths, brown
Windsor, and small-tooth combs.

Pardon me, reader, I feel that there is no analogy between a Bloomer and
a small-tooth comb; it is from following out the principle of recording
the reflections which what I saw gave rise to, that I have thus wandered
back to the old country; with your permission, we are again at
Rochester, and the Bloomer has gone out of sight round the corner.

The shades of evening having closed in upon me, I retired to roost. My
head was snugly bedded in my pillow; I was in that charmingly doubtful
state in which thoughts and dreams have become imperceptibly blended.
Suddenly there was a trumpet-blast, loud as a thunder-clap, followed by
bells ringing as rapidly as those of the churches in Malta; as these
died away, the hum of human voices and the tread of human feet along the
passages followed, and then all was once more hushed in silence. I
turned over, gave the clothes an extra jerk, and again sought the land
of dreams. Vain and delusive hope!--trains seemed starting or arriving
every half-hour, and the whole night was spent 'mid the soothing
varieties of mineral trumpets and bells, and animal hoofs and tongues,
till from sheer exhaustion, about five A.M., I dropped off into a
snooze, which an early start rendered it necessary to cut short soon
after seven.

Mem.--What a nice thing it is to put up at an hotel quite handy to a
railway station.

Reader, you are doubtless aware that Rochester is on Lake Ontario, and a
considerable distance from New York; but I must nevertheless beg you to
transport yourself to the latter place, without going through the
humdrum travelling routine of--stopped here, stopped there, ate here,
ate there, which constituted the main features of my hasty journey
thither, undertaken for the purpose of seeing my brother off, on his
return to Europe, which duty bringing me within the yachting waters of
New York, I think this a legitimate place for a chapter on the "Black
Maria."



CHAPTER VII.

_Construction and Destruction_.


The "Black Maria" is a vessel so unique in every respect, that the most
detailed description of her cannot but be most interesting to all
yachting men; and, so far from apologizing for the length of my
observations, I would rather crave indulgence for the scanty information
which this chapter will afford; but as it must prove pre-eminently dull
to those who are ignorant of such matters, I would entreat them to pass
it over, lest, getting through the first page, their ideas become
bewildered, and, voting me a bore, they throw down the book, subjoining
a malediction upon my poor innocent head.

The following notes were furnished me by Commodore Stevens and his
brother, who were the designers and builders of this extraordinary
yacht, and I therefore can vouch for their accuracy.

In case the term "centre-board" should be unknown to my reader, it may
be as well to explain that it means a board passing longitudinally
through the keel, above which a strong water-tight case is fixed for its
reception; it is raised and lowered by hand or by machinery, according
to its weight. The advantages proposed by the centre-board are--the
stability it gives to the vessel on a wind when let down; the resistance
it removes if, when running before the wind, it be raised; the small
draught of water which the vessel requires, thereby enabling her to keep
close in-shore out of the influence of strong tides, &c.; and, lastly,
the facility for getting afloat again, by merely raising the
centre-board, should she take the ground. To proceed with the notes:--


THE CUTTER YACHT "BLACK MARIA."

Displacement, 145 tons.

Draught of water on straight keel, 5 feet 2 inches.

Length of straight keel, 60 feet, then running away in a curving line
upwards, till at the bow it draws 10 inches.

Length of centre-board, 24 feet.

Total depth of ditto, 15 feet; weight, 7 tons.

Foremost end of ditto, about 8 feet abaft the foremost end of straight
keel.

When let down, it descends 10 feet at the further end, and 8 feet at the
foremost. It is made of oak, with sufficient lead let in to make it
sink. By an ingenious mechanical contrivance one man is enabled to raise
and lower it with perfect facility.

There is another centre-board abaft, about 10 feet from the stern, which
is 8 feet long, with a total depth of 9 feet, and, when down, extending
5 feet below the keel.

Length over all, 113 feet.

The extreme beam is 26-1/2 feet at 40 feet from the rudder-post running
aft to about 19 feet at taffrail; forward, it decreases about 20 inches
when abreast of mast, thence runs away sharp to about four feet at the
bow.

The mainmast is placed about 5 feet abaft the end of straight keel; it
is 92 feet long, housing 8 feet: the diameter in the partners is 32
inches, tapering off to 23 inches at the hounds. The mast is made of
white pine, the centre of it is bored out, for the lowest twenty feet
about 12 inches diameter--the next 20 feet, 10 inches diameter--the next
20 feet, 8 inches, and the remainder 7 inches. This was done to make the
mast lighter, and, by the circulation of air, enable it to season
itself.

The main boom is 95 feet long[F] and made like a cask. The staves are 31
in number, of white pine, 2-1/4 inches thick; the staves are of
different lengths, so as to vary the points at which they respectively
abut. The extreme length of boom is obtained by two lengths of the
staves; small cogs of wood are let in at intervals, half in one stave
and half in its neighbour, so as to keep them from drawing, the whole
bound together with strong hoops fitted with screws. The extreme
diameter of the boom is 26 inches where the sheets are fixed, tapering
off at the jaws, and 13 inches at the boom end. To give additional
support to the boom, an iron outrigger, extending about 3 feet on each
side thereof, is fixed where the boom-sheets are placed, and a strong
iron brace extends from the jaws through the outrigger to the boom
end. The gaff is of spruce, 61 feet long and 9 inches diameter.

The bowsprit is of white pine, 38 feet long, 18 of which is outboard;
the remainder comes under the deck, is let in to each beam, and abuts
against the bitts: it is 24 inches diameter, and bored out like the
mast, from 10 inches diameter at the heel to 7 at the end. The jibboom
is made of two pieces of yellow pine, grooved out and hooped together;
it is about 70 feet long and about 8 inches in diameter; the foot of the
jib is laced to this spar on hooks (when required).

The mainsail is made with the seams horizontal, to avoid the resistance
perpendicular seams in so large a sail would offer to the wind. It has
been calculated that the resistance of perpendicular seams, in a sail of
this size, is equal to that of a plank 10 inches broad and 60 feet long,
placed on end broadside to the wind; the luff of the sail is 66 feet;
the foot, 93; the head, 50; the head and foot of the sail are laced to
battens under gaff and on boom; the luff is brought to the mast by a
contrivance as original as it is perfect; two battens are fixed on
afterpart of the mast, about an inch and a half apart, the inner parts
shod with iron, and rather broader than the exterior opening. To each
eyelet-hole of the sail a strong brass-plate is fixed, having 4 rollers
traversing fore and aft, and 2 transversely; these plates, as the sail
goes up, are slipped into the grooves of the battens, the rollers
preventing friction, and the battens keeping the luff fixed to the after
centre line of the mast--without this ingenious arrangement the huge
mast would, if on a wind, becalm at least three feet of the sail--three
lazy-jacks are fitted to support the huge mass of canvas when lowering
the sail.

The jib is 69 feet in the hoist, and 70 in the foot.

The bobstays are of solid iron, running 8 feet on each side of the keel,
and going through a strong iron cap over the bowsprit end, where, a
strong iron washer being put on, they are securely fixed with a nut.

It will be seen that there is a slight discrepancy between some of the
measurements which I have given, and those which are marked on the
print; I place confidence in those I have received direct from the
fountain-head; the difference is, however, so trifling, as scarce to
need any notice. I regret omitting to obtain the length of the
after-leech of the mainsail, and of the head of the jib; but I think the
print, which I believe to be very accurate, would justify me in
concluding that the former is about 110 feet and the latter about 120
feet.

[Illustration: THE BLACK MARIA.]

Assuming those calculations to be correct--and they cannot be very far
wrong--the mainsail would contain about 5790 square feet, and the jib
about 2100 square feet. When it is remembered that the largest sail in
the British Navy only contains 5480 square feet, some conception may be
formed of their gigantic proportions.

The gallant commodore was kind enough to trip his anchor and give me a
short cruise. Unfortunately, there was scarcely a breath of wind; but
even under the influence of such scanty propelling power, the way she
shot through the water, like a dolphin in full cry, was perfectly
marvellous; and the ease with which she came round, and the incredible
distance she shot ahead in stays, was, if possible, more astonishing
still; she steered as easy as a jolly-boat; or if, when running, a puff
made her refractory, by dropping the after centre-board she became as
docile as a lamb. My only regret was that I could not see her under the
high pressure of a good snorter. Of course, any salt-water fish will
have long since discovered that this wonderful yacht is a leviathan
plaything, and totally unfit to withstand the most moderate gale,
especially if any sea were running. What she might do if she were
sparred, as other vessels of her tonnage usually are, I cannot pretend
to say; but my yachting friends need never expect to see her, with her
present rig, re-enacting the "America," hurling friendly defiance at the
R.Y.C., and carrying off the crown of victory in their own waters.

But if any of my Cowes friends are anxious to test the powers of the
"Maria," the gallant commodore will be happy to accommodate them,
and--as he expressed it to me--will further rejoice at having an
opportunity of returning some of the many hospitalities which made his
short stay in England so agreeable to him. The only complaint I heard
him make of the rules of the yachting at Cowes, was the want of some
restriction as to vessels entering shallow water, by which omission a
yacht with a light draught of water is enabled sometimes to draw ahead
of her competitors by simply hugging the land out of the full swing of
the tide, while others are forced, from their deeper draught of water,
to struggle against its full force. As, in my humble opinion, the
observation is a perfectly just one, I insert it here for the
consideration of those whom it may concern.

The accommodation on board is not nearly so good as in an English yacht,
partly owing to the little height between decks, consequent upon her
very small draught of water, and partly owing to the great space taken
up by the case for the centre-board; besides which, it should be
remembered that a yacht is not used as a home in America in the same way
as in England. The great, and, I might almost say, the only quality,
transatlantic yachtsmen care about is speed; and I think my yachting
friends at Cowes must admit that they have proved that they know how to
attain their end, and that Mr. Steers, the builder of the "America," is
second to none in his craft; unless the "Black Maria" some future day
assume a practicable rig, and, crossing the Atlantic, earn the victor's
laurels, in which case Steers will have to yield the palm to the worthy
fraternity, who are at one and the same time the owners, builders, and
sailers of the subject of this chapter.

I believe it is very generally considered that the wind-up of a day's
sport is by no means the least enjoyable portion of the twenty-four
hours, when it comes in the shape of good fellowship and good cheer; and
upon the present occasion we had both alike undeniable of their kind.
The commodore's cellar is as rich a rarity in its way as the Bernal
collection, and, from the movement of the corks, I should imagine it was
upon an equally large scale. I do not purpose inflicting a bill of fare
upon you; but, having, in the foregoing pages, made a promise to furnish
the proper recipe for Toddy and Chowder, I consider this the proper
place to redeem that promise, under the guidance of my hospitable host,
who initiated me fully into the mysteries of mixture, proportion, &c.,
by making both before me.

Whether it is of great importance to adhere exactly to the recipes, I
cannot pretend to say; the soup was pronounced on all hands to be most
excellent, and some of the knowing ones declared it was unusually good.
We afterwards found out a good reason for its superior excellence. It
appears that the commodore had given some instructions to the steward,
which he evidently had not understood, for, upon asking that functionary
towards the end of dinner for a bottle of fine old Madeira which had
been kept back as a bonnebouche, he gave a wild stare-of astonishment,
and said he had put it all into the chowder. This little addition, I can
testify, most certainly did not spoil it. The toddy was not subject to
any such unwarrantable addition; and, if I may judge from the quantity
taken by my neighbours, they all found it as delicious a drink as I did
myself.

_Recipes_.

TODDY.--4 tumblers of water: 1 ditto, sugar: peel of 5 lemons, and
dessert spoon of the juice: add a few pieces of peach and pine-apple,
and some strawberries. Quarter of an hour before use, throw in 2
tumblers of old rum and a lump or two of block ice.

CHOWDER.--Saucepan ready, frizzle pork and onions till quite brown; put
a layer at bottom of the saucepan--saucerful;--on that, a layer of
mashed potatoes--soup-plateful;--on that, raw sea-bass,[G] cut in lumps
4 lbs.;--on that, pork and onions as before;--add half a nutmeg,
spoonful of mace, spoonful of cloves, and double that quantity of thyme
and summer savory; another layer of mashed potatoes, 3 or 4 Crackers,[H]
half a bottle of ketchup, half a bottle of claret, a liberal pinch of
black, and a small pinch of red pepper. Just cover this with boiling
water, and put it on the fire till the fish is cooked.

The gallant commodore and his brother are now employed in building an
iron bomb-proof floating battery, four hundred feet long, intended as a
harbour defence. What guns she is destined to mount is a question which
has not been definitively settled.

In so large a community as that of New York, the supply of water forms a
subject of the highest importance, especially when the rapid increase of
the population is taken into account. Some conception of this
extraordinary increase may be formed from the statistical fact that the
city, which in the year of Independence contained only 35,000
inhabitants, has now 850,000, if the suburbs are included; nearly
4000 vessels enter the port annually, bearing merchandise valued at
25,500,000l., and bringing 300,000 emigrants, of whom one-third are
Irish and one-third German. The tonnage of New York is upwards of a
million, or equal to one-fourth of that of the whole Union: the business
of the city gives employment to upwards of fifty banks. Religion is
represented by 250 churches, of which 46 are Presbyterian, and 45 are
Episcopalian. The Press sends forth 155 papers, of which 14 are
published daily and 58 weekly.

This short sketch will suffice to show that the city required a supply
of water upon a gigantic scale. The difficulties were increased by the
situation of the town, which is built upon the eastern extremity of an
island--Manhattan--fourteen miles long and two broad, the highest point
of which is but two hundred and thirty-eight feet above the level of the
sea. Various plans for supplying water had been attempted without
success, and the health of the population was suffering so much in
consequence, that at last American energy, which here had been long
dormant, rose like a giant refreshed and commenced that imperishable
monument, the Croton aqueduct.[I]

It is impossible to convey any idea of this stupendous work without
figures; but I will endeavour to draw upon your patience as little as
possible. My authority is a work published by Mr. Schramke in English,
French, and German, and full of explanatory details and plans, &c. Mr.
Schramke being one of the corps of engineers employed upon the work, I
conclude his statements are peculiarly accurate. Long discussions,
patient investigations, and careful surveys, combined to fix the
position for commencing operations upon the Croton river, forty and a
half miles from New York, and five miles below a small lake of the same
name. All the preliminaries had been hitherto carried on under the
superintendence of Major Douglas, professor of engineering at the
Military Academy at West Point; but, owing to some disagreements, Mr.
J.B. Jervis was the engineer eventually selected to carry out the
undertaking. It is but just to mention his name, as the skill exhibited
entitles him to lasting fame. By the construction of a substantial
dam, the water was raised 40 feet, and a collecting reservoir formed, of
500,000,000 gallons, above the level that would allow the aqueduct to
discharge 35,000,000 gallons a day. This stupendous work consists of a
covered way seven feet broad and eight feet and a half high; in its
course it has to pass through sixteen tunnellings, forming an aggregate
of nearly 7000 feet; to cross the river Harlem by a bridge 1450 feet
long and 114 feet above tide water, and to span various valleys. The
receiving reservoir outside the town gives a water surface of 31 acres,
and contains 150,000,000 gallons; it is divided into two separate
compartments, so that either may be emptied for cleansing or repair.
From this point the water is carried on, by three 36-inch pipes, to the
distributing reservoir, which is 386 feet square and 42 feet deep, but
filled generally to the depth of 38 feet, and then holding 21,000,000
gallons. From this point it radiates throughout the city by means of 134
miles of pipes, varying in size from 4 to 36 inches. There is an average
fall of 14 inches in the mile; and the supply, if required, can be
increased to 60,000,000 gallons daily. The total cost was 2,500,000l.;
the revenue derived from it is 100,000l. a year, moderate-sized houses
paying 2l., and others in proportion.

[Illustration: PLAN OF THE CROTON AQUEDUCT.

(_From Schramke's Description of the New York Croton Aqueduct_.)]

In conclusion, I would observe that this grand work is entitled to
notice from the skill displayed by the engineers, the quantity of the
supply, and the quality of the article, which latter is nearly as good
as sherry cobbler--not quite. If my reader has been inveigled into
reading the foregoing details, and has got bored thereby, a gallon of
Croton water is an admirable antidote; but, as that may not be
available, I would suggest a cobbler, and another page or two; the
latter upon the principle adopted by indiscreet drinkers, of "taking a
hair of the dog that bit them."

The concluding passage of the last paragraph reminds me of a practice
which, I have no doubt, the intense heat of a New York summer renders
very advisable, if not absolutely necessary--viz., the canine
_auto-da-fé_, which takes place in July. The heart sickens at the
thought of the wholesale murder of "man's most faithful companion," and
the feeling increases when you read that sometimes more than a thousand
dogs fall victims to the law in one season; but that very fact is the
strongest point which can be urged in its justifications for the dry hot
atmosphere of the summer affords a ready stepping-stone to hydrophobia,
and the larger the canine family, the greater the danger of that fearful
and incurable disease.

Upon a certain day, the mayor of New York offers the usual reward of
2s. for every dog, which, having been found unmuzzled in the streets,
is brought to the canine pound. However judicious this municipal
regulation may be, it cannot fail to strike the reader as offering one
most objectionable feature, in the golden harvest which it enables those
astute rogues, the dog-stealers, to reap. Any one conversant with the
irresistible nostrums possessed by those rascals, can readily understand
what an extensive field is hereby opened up to them; and, if one can
form a just opinion by comparing the number of dogs one habitually meets
in the streets with the multitude that are reputed to fall victims under
the official mandate, they certainly make the most of their opportunity.

To any admirer of the race, the inside of the pound must be a most
painful and revolting spectacle: there may be seen, lying side by side,
"dignity and impudence," the fearless bull and the timid spaniel, the
bloated pug and the friendly Newfoundland, the woolly lap-dog and the
whining cur; some growling in defiance, some whimpering in misery, some
looking imploringly--their intelligent eyes challenging present sympathy
on the ground of past fidelity--all, all in vain: the hour that summons
the Mussulman to prayer, equally silently tolls their death-knell; yon
glorious sun, setting in a flood of fire, lights them to their untimely
grave; one ruthless hand holds the unconscious head, another with deadly
aim smashes the skull and scatters the brain--man's faithful friend is a
corpse.

Owners are allowed to reclaim their property before sunset, on payment
of the 2s. reward; the best-looking dogs are sometimes kept for two or
three days, as purchasers are frequently found. The price, after the
first day, is, the killer's fee and the food given, in addition to the
original reward; altogether, it rarely exceeds 8s. The owner has to
purchase like any other person. The bodies are all taken away to be
boiled down for their fat, and the skins go to the tanners. Let us now
turn from this disgusting subject to something more agreeable.

I have already alluded to the great fancy Americans have for trotters.
The best place to see "turns out" is the Bloomingdale road, which runs
out of New York, nearly parallel with the Hudson, and separated from it
only by the country villas, &c., built on the banks of that noble
stream. This drive may be called a purely democratic "Rotten-row," as
regards its being the favourite resort; but there the similarity ceases.
To the one, people go to lounge, meet friends, and breathe fresh air on
horseback; to the other, people go with a fixed determination to pass
everybody, and on wheels. To the one, people go before dinner; to the
other, after.

A friend of mine having offered me a feed, and a seat behind a pair of
three-minuters, the offer was too good to be refused. The operation of
getting into one of these four-wheel waggons, looks perplexing enough,
as the only rest for the feet, which appears, is the cap of the axle;
but, upon pulling the horses' heads into the middle of the street, and
thus locking the fore-wheels, a stop is discovered, which renders the
process easy. It is difficult to say which is the more remarkable, the
lightness of the waggon, or the lightness of the harness; either is
sufficient to give a nervous feeling of insufficiency to a stranger who
trusts himself to them for the first time; but experience proves both
their sufficiency and their advantage. In due time, we reached the outer
limits of the town; struggling competitors soon appeared, and, in spite
of dust as plentiful as a plague of locusts, every challenge was
accepted; a fair pass once made, the victor was satisfied, and resumed a
more moderate pace. We had already given one or two the go-by, when we
heard a clattering of hoofs close behind us, and the well-known cry,
"G'lang." My friend let out his three-minuters, but ere they reached
their speed, the foe was well on our bow, and there he kept, bidding us
defiance. It is, doubtless, very exciting to drive at the rate of twenty
miles an hour, and though the horses' hoofs throw more gravel down your
throat in five minutes than would suffice a poultry-yard for a week, one
does not think of it at the time.

On we flew; our foe on two wheels and single harness every now and then
letting us get abreast of him, and then shooting ahead like an arrow
from a bow. A few trials showed us the struggle was useless: we had to
deal with a regular "pacer," and--as I have elsewhere remarked--their
speed is greater than that of any fair trotter, although so fatiguing
that they are unable to keep it up for any great distance; but as we had
already turned the bottom of the car into a gravel-pit, we did not think
it worth while to continue the amusement. The reason may be asked why
these waggons have such low splashboards as to admit all the gravel? The
reason is simple. Go-ahead is the great desideratum, and they are kept
low to enable you to watch the horses' hind legs; by doing which, a
knowing Jehu can discover when they are about to break into a gallop,
and can handle "the ribands" accordingly.

A tremendous storm brewing to windward, cut short our intended drive;
and, putting the nags to their best pace, we barely succeeded in
obtaining shelter ere it burst upon us; and such a pelter as it came
down, who ever saw? It seemed as though the countless hosts of heaven
had been mustered with barrels, not buckets, of water, and as they upset
them on the poor devoted earth, a regular hurricane came to the rescue,
and swept them eastward to the ocean. The sky, from time to time, was
one blaze of sheet lightning, and during the intervals, forked flashes
shot through the darkness like fiery serpents striking their prey. This
storm, if short, was at all events magnificently grand, and we
subsequently found it had been terribly destructive also; boats on the
Hudson had been capsized and driven ashore, houses had been unroofed,
and forest trees split like penny canes.

The inn where we had taken shelter was fortunately not touched, nor were
any of the trees which surrounded it. Beautifully situated on a high
bank, sloping down to the Hudson, full of fine old timber; it had
belonged to some English noble--I forget his name--in the old colonial
times; now, it was a favourite baiting-place for the frequenters of the
Bloomingdale road, and dispensed the most undeniably good republican
drinks, cobblers, cock-tails, slings, and hail-storms, with other more
substantial and excellent things to match. The storm being over, we
unhitched the horses, and returned to town at a more sober pace; nor
were we much troubled with dust during the drive home.

Lest the reader should get wearied with so long a stay at New York, I
now propose to shift the scene for his amusement, and hope he will
accompany me in my wanderings. If, during the operation, he occasionally
finds me tedious in any details uninteresting to him, I trust that a
judicious skipping of a few leaves will bring us again into agreeable
companionship.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote F: The largest boom in the Navy is 72 feet long, and 16-1/2
inches in diameter; the largest mast is 127 feet 3 inches long, and 42
inches diameter; the largest yard is 111 feet long, and 26-1/2 inches
diameter.]

[Footnote G: Turbot is a good substitute for sea-bass.]

[Footnote H: A small American biscuit made of best flour.]

[Footnote I: _Vide_ sketch of Aqueduct.]



CHAPTER VIII.

_South and West_.


Being anxious to visit the southern parts of this Empire State, and
having found an agreeable companion, we fixed upon an early day in
November for our start; and although I anticipated much pleasure from
the scenery and places of interest which my proposed trip would carry me
through, I could not blind myself to the sad fact, that the gorgeous
mantle of autumn had fallen from the forest, and left in its stead the
dreary nakedness of winter. The time I could allot to the journey was
unfortunately so short, that, except of one or two of the leading
places, I could not hope to have more than literally a flying sight, and
should therefore be insensibly compelled to receive many impressions
from the travelling society among which the Fates threw me.

Eight o'clock in the morning found us both at the Jersey ferry, where
our tickets for Baltimore--both for man and luggage--were to be
obtained. It was a pelting snow-storm, and the luggage-ticketing had to
be performed _al fresco_, which, combined with the total want of order
so prevalent in the railway establishments in this country, made it
anything but an agreeable operation. Our individual tickets were
obtained under shelter, but in an office of such Lilliputian dimensions,
that the ordinary press of passengers made it like a theatrical squeeze
on a Jenny Lind night; only with this lamentable difference--that the
theatrical squeeze was a prelude to all that could charm the senses,
whereas the ticket squeeze was, I knew but too well, the precursor of a
day of most uncomfortable travelling.

Having our tickets, we crossed the ever-glorious Hudson, and, landing at
Jersey City, had the pleasure of "puddling it up" through the snow to
the railway carriages. There they were, with the red-hot stove and
poisonous atmosphere, as usual; so my friend and I, selecting a
cushionless "smoking-car," where the windows would at all events be
open, seated ourselves on the hard boards of resignation, lit the tapery
weed of consolation, and shrouded ourselves in its fragrant clouds. On
we went, hissing through the snow-storm, till the waters of the Delaware
brought us to a stand-still; then, changing to a steamer, we crossed the
broad stream, on which to save time, they served dinner, and almost
before it was ended we had reached Philadelphia, where 'busses were in
waiting to take us to the railway. I may as well mention here, that one
of the various ways in which the glorious liberty of the country shows
itself, is the deliberate manner in which 'busses and stages stop in the
middle of the muddiest roads, in the worst weather, so that you may get
thoroughly well muddied and soaked in effecting your entry. Equality, I
suppose, requires that if the coachman is to be wet and uncomfortable,
the passengers should be brought as near as possible to the same state.

The 'busses being all ready, off we started, and just reached the train
in time; for, being a mail-train, it could not wait, though we had paid
our fares all through to Baltimore. Soon after our departure, I heard
two neighbours conversing between the intervals of the clouds of
Virginia which they puffed assiduously. Says one, "I guess all the
baggage is left behind." The friend, after a long draw at his weed,
threw out a cloud sufficient to cover the rock of Gibraltar, and
replied, with the most philosophical composure, "I guess it aint
nurthin' else." My friend and I puffed vigorously, and looked
inquiringly at each other, as much as to say, "Can our luggage be left
behind?" Soon the conductor appeared to _viser_ the tickets: he would
solve our doubts.--"I say, conductor, is our luggage which came from New
York, left behind?" "Ay, I guess it is, every stick of it; and if you
had been ten minutes later, I guess you might have stayed with it; it'll
come on to-night, and be at Baltimore to-morrow morning about half-past
four; if you'll give me your tickets, and tell me what hotel you are
going to, I'll have it sent up." Upon inquiry, we found this was a very
common event, nor did anybody seem to think it a subject worth taking
pains to have rectified, though the smallest amount of common sense and
common arrangement might easily obviate it. And why this indifference?
Because, first it would cost a few cents; secondly, it doesn't affect
the majority, who travel with a small hand-bag only; thirdly, the
railway across New Jersey is a monopoly, and therefore people must take
that road or none; and lastly, from the observations I elicited in the
course of examining my witnesses, it appeared to me that the jealousy
and rivalry existing between New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia,
have some little effect; at all events, it is an ignoble affair that it
is suffered to remain. I have, however, no doubt that time will remedy
this, as I trust it will many of the other inconveniences and wants of
arrangement which the whole railway system in this country is at present
subject to.--To return from my digression.

On we went, and soon crossed the Campbell-immortalized Susquehana.
Whatever beauties there were, the elements effectually concealed; and
after a day's journey, which, for aught we saw, might as well have been
over the Shrap Falls, half-past six P.M. landed us in Baltimore, where
we safely received our luggage the following morning.

A letter of introduction to a friend soon surrounded us with kindness in
this hospitable city. My object in stopping here was merely to enjoy a
little of the far-famed canvas-back duck shooting and eating, as I
purposed revisiting these parts early in spring, when I should have more
leisure. No sooner were our wishes known than one of our kind friends
immediately offered to drive us down to Maxwell Point, which is part of
a large property belonging to General Cadwallader, and is situated in
one of the endless inlets with which Chesapeake Bay abounds. All being
arranged, our friend appeared in a light waggon, with a pair of spicy
trotters before it. The road out was dreary and uninteresting enough;
but when we left it, and turned into a waggon way through an extensive
forest, I could not but feel what a lovely ride or drive it must be in
the more genial seasons of the year, when the freshness of spring and
summer, or the richness of autumn, clothes the dense wood with its
beauties. A short and pleasant drive brought us to a ferry, by which we
crossed over to the famous Point, thereby avoiding the long round which
we otherwise must have made. The waters were alive with duck in every
direction; it reminded me forcibly of the Lake Menzaleh, near Damietta,
the only place where I had ever before seen such a duckery.

The sporting ground is part of a property belonging to General
Cadwallader, and is leased to a club of gentlemen; they have built a
very snug little shooting-box, where they leave their guns and
_matériel_ for sport, running down occasionally from Baltimore for a day
or two, when opportunity offers, and enjoying themselves in true pic-nic
style.[J] The real time for good sport is from the middle of October to
the middle of November, and what produces the sport is, the ducks
shifting their feeding-ground, in performing which operation they cross
over this long point. As the season gets later, the birds do not shift
their ground so frequently; and, moreover, getting scared by the eternal
cannonade which is kept up, they fly very high when they do cross. The
best times are daybreak and just before dark; but even then, if the
weather is not favourable, they pass but scantily. My friend warned me
of this, as the season for good sport was already passed, though only
the nineteenth of November, and he did not wish me to be disappointed.
We landed on the Point about half-past four P.M., and immediately
prepared for mischief, though those who had been there during the day
gave us little encouragement.

The _modus operandi_ is very simply told. You dress yourself in the most
invisible colours, and, armed with a huge duck-gun--double or single, as
you like--you proceed to your post, which is termed here a "blind." It
is a kind of box, about four feet high, with three sides and no top; a
bench is fixed inside, on which to sit and place your loading gear.
These blinds are fixed in the centre line of the long point, and about
fifty yards apart. One side of the point they call "Bay," and the other
"River." The sportsmen look out carefully from side to side, and the
moment any ducks are seen in motion, the cry is given "bay" or "river,"
according to the side from which they are approaching. Each sportsman,
the moment he "views the ducks," crouches down in his blind as much out
of sight as possible, waiting till they are nearly overhead, then,
rising with his murderous weapon, lets drive at them the moment they
have passed. As they usually fly very high, their thick downy coating
would turn any shots directed against them, on their approach. In this
way, during a favourable day in the early part of the season, a mixed
"file and platoon" firing of glorious _coups de roi_ is kept up
incessantly. We were very unfortunate that evening, as but few ducks
were in motion, and those few passed at so great a height, that,
although the large A.A. rattled against them from a ponderous Purdey
which a friend had lent me, they declined coming down. I had only
succeeded in getting one during my two hours' watching, when darkness
forced me to beat a retreat.

But who shall presume to attempt a description of the luscious birds as
they come in by pairs, "hot and hot?" A dozen of the members of the club
are assembled; a hearty and hospitable welcome greets the stranger--a
welcome so warm that he cannot feel he is a stranger; every face is
radiant with health, every lip moist with appetite; an unmistakeable
fragrance reaches the nostrils--no further summons to the festive scene
is needed. The first and minor act of soup being over, the "smoking
pair" come in, and are placed before the president. In goes the
fork;--gracious! how the juice spouts out. The dry dish swims; one
skilful dash with the knife on each side, the victim is severed in three
parts, streaming with richness, and whetting the appetite to absolute
greediness. But there is an old adage which says, "All is not gold that
glitters." Can this be a deception? The first piece you put in your
mouth, as it melts away on the palate, dissipates the thought, and you
unhesitatingly pronounce it the most delicious morsel you ever tasted.
In they come, hot and hot; and, like Oliver, you ask for more, but with
better success. Your host, when he sees you flagging, urges, "one" more
cut. You hesitate, thinking a couple of ducks a very fair allowance. He
replies,--"'Pon my word, it's such light food; you can eat a dozen!" A
jovial son of Aesculapius, on whom Father Time had set his mark, though
he has left his conviviality in all the freshness of youth, is appealed
to. He declares, positively, that he knows nothing so easy of digestion
as a canvas-back duck; and he eats away jollily up to his assertion. How
very catching it is!--each fresh arrival from the kitchen brings a fresh
appetite to the party. "One down, t'other come on," is the order of the
day. Those who read, may say "Gormandizer!" But many such, believe me,
if placed behind three, or even four, of these luscious birds, cooked
with the artistic accuracy of the Maxwell Point _cuisine_, would leave
a cat but sorry pickings, especially when the bottle passes freely, and
jovial friends cheer you on. Of course, I do not allude to such people
as enjoy that "soaked oakum," called "bouilli." To offer a well-cooked
canvas-back duck to them, would, indeed, be casting pearls
before--something. Neither would it suit the fastidious taste of those
who, not being able to discern the difference between juice and blood,
cook all flavour and nourishment out of their meats, and luxuriate on
the chippy substance which is left.--But time rolls on; cigars and toddy
have followed; and, as we must be at our posts ere dawn, to Bedfordshire
we go.

Ere the day had dawned, a hasty cup of coffee prepared us for the
morning's sport; and, lighting the friendly weed, we groped our way to
our respective blinds, full of hope and thirsting for blood. Alas! the
Fates were not propitious; but few birds crossed, and those mostly out
of range. However, I managed to bag half a dozen before I was summoned
to nine o'clock breakfast, a meal at which, it is needless to say, the
"glorious bird" was plentifully distributed. After breakfast, I amused
myself with a telescope, watching the ducks diving and fighting for the
wild celery which covers the bottom of these creeks and bays, and which
is generally supposed to give the birds their rich and peculiar flavour.
They know the powers of a duck-gun to a T; and, keeping beyond its
range, they come as close as possible to feed, the water being, of
course, shallower, and the celery more easily obtained. Our time being
limited, we were reluctantly constrained to bid adieu to our kind and
hospitable entertainers, of whose friendly welcome and good cheer I
retain the most lively recollections.

Crossing the bay in a small boat, we re-entered the light carriage, and
were soon "tooling away" merrily to Baltimore. On the road, our friend
amused us with accounts of two different methods adopted in these waters
for getting ducks for the pot. One method is, to find a bay where the
ducks are plentiful, and tolerably near the shore; and then, concealing
yourself as near the water's edge as possible, you take a stick, on the
end of which you tie a handkerchief, and keep waving it steadily
backwards and forwards. The other method is to employ a dog in lieu of
the stick and handkerchief. They have a regular breed for the purpose,
about the size of a large Skye terrier, and of a sandy colour. You keep
throwing pebbles to the water's edge, which the dog follows; and thus he
is ever running to and fro. In either case, the ducks, having something
of the woman in their composition, gradually swim in, to ascertain the
meaning or cause of these mysterious movements; and, once arrived within
range, the sportsman rises suddenly, and, as the scared birds get on the
wing, they receive the penalty of their curiosity in a murderous
discharge. These two methods they call "tolling;" and most effectual
they prove for supplying the market.

Different nations exhibit different methods of ingenuity for the capture
of game, &c. I remember being struck, when in Egypt, with the artful
plan employed for catching ducks and flamingos, on Lake Menzaleh; which
is, for the huntsman to put a gourd on his head, pierced sufficiently to
see through, and by means of which,--the rest of his body being
thoroughly immersed in water,--he approaches his game so easily, that
the first notice they have thereof is the unpleasant sensation they
experience as his hand closes upon their legs in the depths of the
water.

Of the town, &c., of Baltimore, I hope to tell you something more on my
return. We will therefore proceed at once to the railway station, and
take our places for Pittsburg. It is a drizzly, snowy morning, a kind of
moisture that laughs at so-called waterproofs, and would penetrate an
air-pump. As there was no smoking-car, we were constrained to enter
another; and off we started. At first, the atmosphere was bearable; but
soon, alas! too soon, every window was closed; the stove glowed red-hot;
the tough-hided natives gathered round it, and, deluging it with
expectorated showers of real Virginian juice, the hissing and stench
became insufferable. I had no resource but to open my window, and let
the driving sleet drench one side of me, while the other was baking;
thus, one cheek was in an ice-house, and the other in an oven. At noon
we came to "a fix;" the railway bridge across to Harrisburg had broken
down. There was nothing for it but patience; and, in due time, it was
rewarded by the arrival of three omnibuses and a luggage-van. As there
were about eighty people in the train, it became a difficult task to
know how to pack, for the same wretched weather continued, and nobody
courted an outside place, with drenched clothes wherein to continue the
journey. At last, however, it was managed, something on the
herrings-in-a-barrel principle. I had one lady in my lap, and a darling
unwashed pledge of her affection on each foot. We counted twenty-six
heads, in all; and we jolted away, as fast as the snow would let us, to
catch the Philadelphia train, which was to pick us up here.

We managed to arrive about an hour and a half after it had passed; and,
therefore, no alternative remained but to adjourn to the little inn, and
fortify ourselves for the trial with such good things as mine host of
the "Culverley" could produce. It had now settled down to a regular fall
of snow, and we began to feel anxious about the chances of proceeding.

Harrisburg may be very pretty and interesting in fine weather, but it
was a desolately dreary place to anticipate being snowed-up at in
winter, although situated on the banks of the lovely Susquehana:
accordingly, I asked mine host when the next train would pass. He
replied, with grammatical accuracy, "It should pass about four to-morrow
morning; but when it will I am puzzled to say.--What's your opinion,
Colonel?" he added; and, turning round, I observed the distinguished
military authority seated on one chair, and his legs gracefully pendent
over the back of another. In his sword-hand, he wielded a small
clasp-knife, which did the alternate duty of a toothpick and a
whittler,[K] for which latter amusement he kept a small stick in his
left hand to operate upon; and the floor bore testimony to his untiring
zeal. When the important question was propounded to him, he ceased from
his whittling labours, and, burying the blade deep between his ivories,
looked out of the window with an authoritative air, apparently
endeavouring, first, to ascertain what depth of snow was on the ground,
and then, by an upward glance, to calculate how much more was likely to
follow. Having duly weighed these points, and having perfected the
channel between his ivories, he sucked the friendly blade, and replied,
with a stoical indifference--which, considering my anxiety, might almost
be styled heartless--"I guess, if it goes on snowing like this, you'll
have no cars here to-morrow at all." Then, craning up to the heavens, as
if seeking for the confirmation of a more terrible prophecy, he added,
"By the looks of it, I think the gem'men may be fixed here for a week."
Having delivered himself of the foregoing consolatory observation, and
duly discharged a shower of Virginia juice on the floor, the military
authority resumed his whittling labours with increased vigour. His
occupation involuntarily carried my mind across the water to a
country-house, where I had so often seen an old blind friend amusing
himself, by tearing up paper into small pieces, to make pillows for the
poor. If the gallant Colonel would only substitute this occupation for
whittling, what good might he not do in Harrisburg!

I am happy to say that my Job's comforter turned out a false prophet;
snow soon gave place to sleet, and sleet to rain, and before midnight
the muck was complete. Next morning, at three, we got into the 'bus, and
soon after four the cars came in, and we found ourselves once more _en
route_ for Pittsburg. I think this was about the most disagreeable day's
journey I ever had. The mixture of human and metallic heat, the chorus
of infantine squallers--who kept responding to one another from all
parts of the car, like so many dogs in an eastern city--and the
intervals filled up by the hissing on the stove of the Virginia juice,
were unpleasant enough; but even the elements combined against us. The
rain and the snow were fighting together, and producing that slushiness
of atmosphere which obscures all scenery; added to which, the
unfortunate foreknowledge that we were doomed to fifteen or sixteen
hours of these combinations of misery, made it indeed a wretched day. My
only resource was to open a window, which the moment I attempted, a
hulking fellow, swaddled up in coats and comforters, and bursting with
health, begged it might be closed as "It was so cold:" the thermometer,
I am sure, was ranging, within the car, from ninety to a hundred
degrees. He then tried to hector and bully, and finding that of no use,
he appealed to the guard. I claimed my right, and further pleaded the
necessity of fresh air, not merely for comfort, but for very life. As my
friend expressed the same sentiments, the cantankerous Hector was left
to sulk; and I must own to a malicious satisfaction, when, soon after,
two ladies came in, and seating themselves on the bench abreast of mine,
opened their window, and placed Hector in a thorough draught, which,
while gall and wormwood to him, was balm of Gilead to me. As I freely
criticise American habits, &c., during my travels, it is but just I
should state, that Hector was the only one of his countrymen I ever met
who was wilfully offensive and seemed to wish to insult.

The engineering on this road was so contrived, that we had to go through
an operation, which to me was quite novel--viz., being dragged by wire
ropes up one of the Alleghany hills, and eased down the other side. The
extreme height is sixteen hundred feet; and it is accomplished by five
different stationary engines, each placed on a separate inclined plane,
the highest of which is two thousand six hundred feet above the level of
the sea. The want of proper arrangement and sufficient hands made this a
most dilatory and tedious operation. Upon asking why so 'cute and
go-ahead a people had tolerated such bad engineering originally, and
such dilatory arrangements up to the present hour, I was answered, "Oh,
sir, that's easily explained; it is a government road and a monopoly,
but another road is nearly completed, by which all this will be avoided;
and, as it is in the hands of a company, there will be no delay
then."--How curious it is, the way governments mess such things when
they undertake them! I could not help thinking of the difference between
our own government mails from Marseilles to Malta, &c., and the glorious
steamers of the Peninsular and Oriental Company, that carry on the same
mails from Malta.--But to return from my digression.

I was astonished to see a thing like a piece of a canal-boat descending
one of these inclined planes on a truck; nor was my astonishment
diminished when I found that it really was part of a canal-boat, and
that the remaining portions were following in the rear. The boats are
made, some in three, some in five compartments; and, being merely
forelocked together, are easily carried across the hill, from the canal
on one side to the continuation thereof on the other.[L]


A few hours after quitting these planes, we came to the end of the
railway, and had to coach it over a ten-mile break in the line. It was
one of those wretched wet days which is said to make even an old
inhabitant of Argyleshire look despondingly,--in which county, it will
be remembered that, after six weeks' incessant wet, an English
traveller, on asking a shepherd boy whether it always rained there,
received the consoling reply of, "No, sir--it sometimes snaws." The
ground was from eight to eighteen inches deep in filthy mud; the old
nine-inside stages--of which more anon--were waiting ready; and as there
were several ladies in the cars, I thought the stages might be induced
to draw up close to the scantily-covered platform to take up the
passengers; but no such idea entered their heads. I imagine such an
indication of civilization would have been at variance with their
republican notions of liberty; and the fair ones had no alternative but
to pull their garments up to the altitude of those of a ballet-dancer,
and to bury their neat feet and well-turned ankles deep, deep, deep in
the filthy mire. But what made this conduct irresistibly
ludicrous--though painful to any gentleman to witness--was the mockery
of make-believe gallantry exhibited, in seating all the ladies before
any gentleman was allowed to enter; the upshot of which was, that they
gradually created a comparatively beaten path for the gentlemen to get
in by. One pull of the rein and one grain of manners would have enabled
everybody to enter clean and dry; yet so habituated do the better
classes appear to have become to this phase of democracy, that no one
remonstrated on behalf of the ladies or himself.

The packing completed, a jolting ride brought us again to the railway
cars; and in a few hours more--amid the cries of famishing babes and
sleepy children, the "hush-hushes" of affectionate mammas, the bustle of
gathering packages, and the expiring heat of the poisonous stove--we
reached the young Birmingham of America about 10 P.M., and soon found
rest in a comfortable bed, at a comfortable hotel.

If you wish a good idea of Pittsburg, you should go to Birmingham, and
reduce its size, in your imagination, to one-fourth the reality; after
which, let the streets of this creation of your fancy be "top-dressed"
about a foot deep with equal proportions of clay and coal-dust; then try
to realize in your mind the effect which a week's violent struggle
between Messrs. Snow and Sleet would produce, and you will thus be
enabled to enjoy some idea of the charming scene which Pittsburg
presented on the day of my visit. But if this young Birmingham has so
much in common with the elder, there is one grand feature it possesses
which the other wants. The Ohio and Monongahela rivers form the delta on
which it is built, and on the bosom of the former the fruits of its
labour are borne down to New Orleans, _viâ_ the Mississippi--a distance
of two thousand and twenty-five miles exactly. Coal and iron abound in
the neighbourhood; they are as handy, in reality, as the Egyptian geese
are in the legend, where they are stated to fly about ready roasted,
crying, "Come and eat me!" Perhaps, then, you will ask, why is the town
not larger, and the business not more active? The answer is simple. The
price of labour is so high, that they cannot compote with the parent
rival; and the _ad valorem_ duty on iron, though it may bring in a
revenue to the government, is no protection to the home trade. What
changes emigration from the Old World may eventually produce, time alone
can decide; but it requires no prophetic vision to foresee that the
undeveloped mineral riches of this continent must some day be worked
with telling effect upon England's trade. I must not deceive you into a
belief that the Ohio is always navigable. So far from that being the
case, I understand that, for weeks and months even, it is constantly
fordable. As late as the 23rd of November, the large passage-boats were
unable to make regular passages, owing to their so frequently getting
aground; and the consequence was, that we were doomed to prosecute our
journey to Cincinnati by railroad, to my infinite--but, as my friend
said, not inexpressible--regret.

Noon found us at the station, taking the last bite of fresh air before
we entered the travelling oven. Fortunately, the weather was rather
finer than it had been, and more windows were open. There is something
solemn and grand in traversing, with the speed of the wind, miles and
miles of the desolate forest. Sometimes you pass a whole hour without
any--the slightest--sign of animal life: not a bird, nor a beast, nor a
being. The hissing train rattles along; the trumpet-tongued whistle--or
rather horn--booms far away in the breeze, and finds no echo; the giant
monarchs of the forest line the road on either side, like a guard of
Titans, their nodding heads inquiring, as it were curiously, why their
ranks were thinned, and what strange meteor is that which, with clatter
and roar, rushes past, disturbing their peaceful solitude. Patience my
noble friends; patience, I say. A few short years more, and many of you,
like your deceased brethren, will bend your proud heads level with the
dust, and those giant limbs, which now kiss the summer sun and dare the
winter's blast, will feed that insatiate meteor's stomach, or crackle
beneath some adventurous pioneer's soup-kettle. But, never mind; like
good soldiers in a good cause, you will sacrifice yourselves for the
public good; and possibly some of you may be carved into figures of
honour, and dance triumphantly on the surge's crest in the advance post
of glory on a dashing clipper's bows, girt with a band on which is
inscribed, in letters of gold, the imperishable name of Washington or
Franklin.

Being of a generous disposition, I have thrown out these hints in the
hopes some needy American author may make his fortune, and immortalize
his country, by writing "The Life and Adventures of the Forest Monarch;"
or, as the public like mystery, he might make a good hit by entitling it
"The Child of the Woods that danced on the Wave." Swift has immortalized
a tub; other authors have endeavoured to immortalize a shilling, and a
halfpenny. Let that great country which professes to be able to "whip
creation" take a noble subject worthy of such high pretensions.

Here we are at Cleveland; and, "by the powers of Mercury"--this
expletive originated, I believe, with a proud barometer,--it is raining
cats and dogs and a host of inferior animals. Everybody seems very
impatient, for all are getting out, and yet we have not reached the
station,--no; and they don't mean to get there at present. Possession is
nine points of the law, and another train is ensconced there. Wood, of
course, is so dear in this country, and railroads give such low
interest--varying from six to forty per cent.--that they can't afford to
have sufficient shedding. Well, out we get. Touters from the hotels cry
out lustily. We hear the name of the house to which we are bound, and
prepare to follow. The touter carries a lantern of that ingenious size
which helps to make the darkness more visible; two steps, and you are
over the ankles in mud. "Show a light, boy." He turns round, and,
placing his lantern close to the ground, you see at a glance the horrid
truth revealed--you are in a perfect mud swamp; so, tuck up your
trowsers, and wade away to the omnibuses, about a quarter of a mile off.
Gracious me! there are two ladies, with their dresses hitched up like
kilts, sliding and floundering through the slushy road. How miserable
they must be, poor things! Not the least; they are both tittering and
giggling merrily; they are accustomed to it, and habit is second nature.
A man from the Old World of advanced civilization--in these matters of
minor comforts, at least--will soon learn to conduct himself upon the
principle, that where ignorance is bliss, wisdom becomes folly.
Laughing, like love, is catching; so these two jolly ladies put me in a
good humour, and I laughed my way to the 'bus half up to my knees in
mud. After all, it made it lighter work than growling, and go I must; so
thank you, ladies, for the cheering example.

Hot tea soon washes away from a thirsty and wearied soul the remembrance
of muddy boots, and a good Havana soothes the wounded spirit. After
enjoying both, I retired to rest, as I hoped, for we had to make an
early start in the morning. Scarce was I in bed, ere the house rang
again with laughing and romping just outside my door; black and white,
old and young, male and female, all seemed chorusing together--feet
clattered, passages echoed--it was a very Babel of noise and confusion.
What strange beings we are! Not two hours before, I had said and felt
that laughing was catching; now, although the merry chirp of youth
mingled with it, I wished the whole party at the residence of an old
gentleman whose name I care not to mention. May we not truly say of
ourselves what the housemaid says of the missing article--"Really, sir,
I don't know nothing at all about it?" A few hours before, I was
joining in the laugh as I waded nearly knee-deep in mud, and now I was
lying in a comfortable bed grinding my teeth at the same joyous sounds.

It took three messages to the proprietor, before order was restored and
I was asleep. In the morning, I found that the cause of all the rumpus
was a marriage that had taken place in the hotel; and the master and
mistress being happy, the servants caught the joyous infection, and got
the children to share it with them. I must not be understood to cast any
reflections upon the happy pair, when I say that the marriage took place
in the morning, and that the children were laughing at night, for
remember, I never inquired into the parentage of the little ducks. On
learning the truth, I was rejoiced to feel that they had not gone to the
residence of the old gentleman before alluded to, and I made resolutions
to restrain my temper in future. After a night's rest, with a cup of hot
_café au lait_ before you, how easy and pleasant good resolutions are.

Having finished a hasty breakfast, we tumbled into an omnibus, packed
like herrings in a barrel, for our number was "Legion," and the omnibus
was "Zoar." Off we went to the railway; such a mass of mud I never saw.
Is it from this peculiarity that the city takes its name? This, however,
does not prevent it from being a very thriving place, and destined, I
believe, to be a town of considerable importance, as soon as the grain
and mineral wealth of Michigan, Wisconsin, &c., get more fully
developed, and when the new canal pours the commerce of Lake Superior
into Lake Erie. Cleveland is situated on the slope of a hill commanding
a beautiful and extensive view; the latter I was told, for as it rained
incessantly, I had no opportunity of judging. Here we are at the
station, i.e., two hundred yards off it, which we are allowed to walk,
so as to damp ourselves pleasantly before we start. Places taken, in we
get; we move a few hundred yards, and come to a stand-still, waiting for
another train, which allows us the excitement of suspense for nearly an
hour and a half, and then we really start for Cincinnati. The cars have
the usual attractions formerly enumerated: grin and bear it is the order
of the day; scenery is shrouded in mist, night closes in with her sable
mantle, and about eleven we reach the hotel, where, by the blessing of
a happy contrast, we soon forget the wretched day's work we have gone
through.

Here we are in the "Queen City of the West," the rapid rise whereof is
astounding. By a statistical work, I find that in 1800 it numbered only
750 inhabitants; in 1840, 46,338--1850, 115,438: these calculations
merely include its corporate limits. If the suburbs be added, the
population will reach 150,000: of which number only about 3000 are
coloured. The Americans constitute 54 per cent.; Germans, 28; English,
16; other foreigners, 2 per cent. of the population. They have 102
schools, and 357 teachers, and 20,737 pupils are yearly instructed by
these means. Of these schools 19 are free, instructing 12,240 pupils,
not in mere writing and reading, but rising in the scale to "algebra,
grammar, history, composition, declamation, music, drawing," &c. The
annual cost of these schools is between 13,000l. and 14,000l. There
is also a "Central School," where the higher branches of literature and
science are taught to those who have time and talent; in short, a "Free
College."

According to the ordinance for the North-Western territory of 1787,
"religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government
and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall
for ever be encouraged." Congress, in pursuance of this laudable object,
"has reserved one thirty-sixth part of all public lands for the support
of education in the States in which the lands lie; besides which, it has
added endowments for numerous universities, &c." We have seen that the
public schools in this city cost 13,500l., of which sum they receive
from the State fund above alluded to 1500l., the remainder being
raised by a direct tax upon the property of the city, and increased from
time to time in proportion to the wants of the schools. One of the
schools is for coloured children, and contains 360 pupils. There are 91
churches and 4 synagogues, and the population is thus classed--Jews, 3
per cent.; Roman Catholics, 35; Protestant, 62. The Press is represented
by 12 daily and 20 weekly papers. From these statistics, dry though they
may appear, one must confess that the means of education and religious
instruction are provided for in a manner that reflects the highest
credit on this "Queen City of the West."

It is chiefly owing to the untiring perseverance of Mr. Longworth, that
they have partially succeeded in producing wine. As far as I could
ascertain, they made about fifty thousand gallons a year. The wine is
called "Catawba," from the grape, and is made both still and sparkling.
Thanks to the kind hospitality of a friend, I was enabled to taste the
best of each. I found the still wine rather thin and tart, but, as the
weather was very cold, that need not affect the truth of my friend's
assertion, that in summer it was a very pleasant beverage. The sparkling
wine was much more palatable, and reminded me of a very superior kind of
perry. They cannot afford to sell it on the spot under four shillings a
bottle, and of course the hotels double that price immediately. I think
there can be no doubt that a decided improvement must be made in it
before it can become valuable enough to find its way into the European
market; although I must confess that, as it is, I should be most happy
to see it supplant the poisonous liquids called champagne which appear
at our "suppers," and at many of our hotels.

The "Burnet House" is the principal hotel here, and afforded me every
comfort I could have expected, not the least being the satisfaction I
derived from the sight of the proprietor, who, in the spotless
cleanliness of his person and his "dimity," and surrounded by hosts of
his travelling inmates--myself among the number--stood forth in bold
relief, like a snowball in a coal-hole.

But we must now visit the great lion of the place, whence the city
obtains the _sobriquet_ of "Porkopolis," i.e., the _auto da fé_ of the
unclean animal. We will stroll down and begin at the beginning; but
first let me warn you, if your nerves are at all delicate, to pass this
description over, for, though perfectly true, it is very horrid. "Poor
piggy must die" is a very old saying; whence it came I cannot tell; but
were it not for its great antiquity, Cincinnati might claim the honour.
Let us however to the deadly work!

The post of slaughter is at the outskirts of the town, and as you
approach it, the squeaking of endless droves proceeding to their doom
fills the air, and in wet weather the muck they make is beyond
description, as the roads and streets are carelessly made, and as
carelessly left to fate. When we were within a couple of hundred yards
of the slaughter-house, they were absolutely knee-deep, and, there being
no trottoir, we were compelled to wait till an empty cart came by, when,
for a small consideration, Jonathan ferried us through the mud-pond.
Behind the house is the large pen in which the pigs are first gathered,
and hence they are driven up an inclined plane into a small partition
about twelve feet square, capable of containing from ten to fifteen pigs
at once. In this inclosure stands the executioner, armed with a
hammer,--something in shape like that used to break stones for the roads
in England--his shirt-sleeves turned up, so that nothing may impede the
free use of his brawny arms. The time arrived, down comes the hammer
with deadly accuracy on the forehead of poor piggy, generally killing
but sometimes only stunning him, in which case, as he awakes to
consciousness in the scalding caldron, his struggles are frightful to
look at, but happily very short. A trap-hatch opens at the side of this
enclosure, through which the corpses are thrust into the sticking-room,
whence the blood flows into tanks beneath, to be sold, together with the
hoofs and hair, to the manufacturers of prussiate of potash and Prussian
blue. Thence they are pushed down an inclined plane into a trough
containing a thousand gallons of boiling water, and broad enough to take
in piggy lengthways. By the time they have passed down this caldron,
they are ready for scraping, for which purpose a large table is joined
on to the lower end of the caldron, and on which they are artistically
thrown. Five men stand in a row on each side of the table, armed with
scrapers, and, as piggy passes down, he gets scraped cleaner and
cleaner, till the last polishes him as smooth as a yearling baby. Having
thus reached the lower end of the table, there are a quantity of hooks
fitted to strong wooden arms, which revolve round a stout pillar, and
which, in describing the circle, plumb the lower end of the table. On
these piggy is hooked, and the operation of cutting open and cleansing
is performed--at the rate of three a minute--by operators steeped in
blood, and standing in an ocean of the same, despite the eternal buckets
of water with which a host of boys keep deluging the floor. These
operations finished, piggy is hung up on hooks to cool, and, when
sufficiently so, he is removed thence to the other end of the building,
ready for sending to the preparing-houses, whither he and his defunct
brethren are convoyed in carts, open at the side, and containing about
thirty pigs each.

The whole of this part of the town during porking season is alive with
these carts, and we will now follow one, so that we may see how piggy is
finally disposed of. The cart ascends the hill till it comes to a line
of buildings with the canal running at the back thereof; a huge and
solid block lies ready for the corpse, and at each side appear a pair of
brawny arms grasping a long cleaver made scimitar-shape; smaller tables
are around, and artists with sharp knives attend thereat. Piggy is
brought in from the cart, and laid on the solid block; one blow of the
scimitar-shaped cleaver severs his head, which is thrown aside and sold
in the town, chiefly, I believe, to Germans, though of course a Hebrew
might purchase if he had a fancy therefor. The head off, two blows sever
him lengthways; the hams, the shoulders, and the rib-pieces fly off at a
blow each, and it has been stated that "two hands, in less than thirteen
hours, cut up eight hundred and fifty hogs, averaging over two hundred
pounds each, two others placing them on the blocks for the purpose. All
these hogs were weighed singly on the scales, in the course of eleven
hours. Another hand trimmed the hams--seventeen hundred pieces--as fast
as they were separated from the carcasses. The hogs were thus cut up and
disposed of at the rate of more than one to the minute." Knifemen then
come into play, cutting out the inner fat, and trimming the hams neatly,
to send across the way for careful curing; the other parts are put in
the pickle-barrels, except the fat, which, after carefully removing all
the small pieces of meat that the first hasty cutting may have left, is
thrown into a boiling caldron to be melted down into lard. Barring the
time taken up in the transit from the slaughter-house to these
cutting-up stores, and the time he hangs to cool, it may be safely
asserted, that from the moment piggy gets his first blow till his
carcass is curing and his fat boiling into lard, not more than five
minutes elapse.

A table of piggy statistics for one year may not be uninteresting to my
reader, or, at all events, to an Irish pig-driver:--

  180,000 Barrels of Pork, 196 lbs. each       35,280,000 lbs.
  Bacon                                        25,000,000
  No. 1 Lard                                   16,500,000
  Star Candles, made by Hydraulic pressure.     2,500,000
  Bar Soap                                      6,200,000
  Fancy Soap, &c.                               8,800,000
                                               ----------
                                               94,280,000
Besides Lard Oil, 1,200,000 gallons.

Some idea of the activity exhibited may be formed, when I tell you that
the season for these labours averages only ten weeks, beginning with the
second week in November and closing in January; and that the annual
number cured at Cincinnati is about 500,000 head, and the value of these
animals when cured, &c., was estimated in 1851 at about 1,155,000l.
What touching statistics the foregoing would be for a Hebrew or a
Mussulman! The wonder to me is, that the former can locate in such an
unclean atmosphere; at all events, I hold it as a sure sign that there
is money to be made.

They are very proud of their beef here, and it is very good; for they
possess all the best English breeds, both here and across the river in
Kentucky. They stall-feed very fat, no doubt; but though generally very
good, I have never, in any part of the States, tasted beef equal to the
best in England. All the fat is on the outside; it is never marbled as
the best beef is with us. The price is very moderate, being about
fourpence a pound.

Monongahela whisky is a most important article of manufacture in the
neighbourhood, being produced annually to the value of 560,000l. There
are forty-four foundries, one-third of which are employed in the
stove-trade; as many as a thousand stoves have been made in one day. The
value of foundry products is estimated at 725,000l. annually.

If commerce be the true wealth and prosperity of a nation, there never
was a nation in the history of the world that possessed by nature the
advantages which this country enjoys. Take the map, and look at the
position of this city; nay, go two hundred miles higher up, to Marietta.
From that port, which is nearly two thousand miles from the ocean, the
"Muskingum," a barque of three hundred and fifty tons, went laden with
provisions, direct to Liverpool, in 1845, and various other vessels have
since that time been built at Cincinnati; one, a vessel of eight hundred
and fifty tons, called the "Minnesota:" in short, there is quite an
active business going on; shipbuilders from Maine coming here to carry
on their trade--wood, labour, and lodging being much cheaper than on
the Eastern coast.

It is now time to continue our journey, and as the water is high enough,
we will embark on the "Ohio," and steam away to Louisville. The place
you embark from is called the levee: and as all the large towns on the
river have a levee, I may as well explain the term at once. It is
nothing more nor less than the sloping off of the banks of a river, and
then paving them, by which operation two objects are gained:--first, the
banks are secured from the inroads of the stream; secondly, the boats
are thereby enabled at all times to land passengers and cargo with
perfect facility. These levees extend the whole length of the town, and
are lined with steamers of all kinds and classes, but all built on a
similar plan; and the number of them gives sure indication of the
commercial activity of Cincinnati. When a steamer is about to start,
book-pedlers crowd on board with baskets full of their--generally
speaking--trashy ware. Sometimes these pedlers are grown-up men, but
generally boys about twelve or fourteen years of age. On going up to one
of these latter, what was my astonishment to find in his basket, volume
after volume of publications such as Holywell-street scarce ever dared
to exhibit; these he offered and commended with the most unblushing
effrontery. The first lad having such a collection, I thought I would
look at the others, to see if their baskets were similarly supplied; I
found them all alike without exception, I then became curious to know if
these debauched little urchins found any purchasers, and, to ascertain
the fact, I ensconced myself among some of the freight, and watched one
of them. Presently a passenger came up, and these books were brought to
his notice: he looked cautiously round, and, thinking himself
unobserved, he began to examine them. The lad, finding the bait had
taken, then looked cautiously round on his side, and stealthily drew two
more books from his breast, evidently of the same kind, and it is
reasonable to suppose infinitely worse. After a careful examination of
the various volumes, the passenger pulled out his purse, paid his money,
and walked off with eight of these Holywell-street publications, taking
them immediately into his cabin. I saw one or two more purchasers,
before I left my concealment. And now I may as well observe, that the
sale of those works is not confined to one place; wherever I went on
board a steamer, I was sure to find boys with baskets of books, and
among them many of the kind above alluded to. In talking to an American
gentleman on this subject, he told me that it was indeed but too common
a practice, although by law nominally prohibited; and he further added,
that once asking a vendor why he had such blackguard books which nobody
would buy, he took up one of the worst, and said, "Why, sir, this book
is so eagerly sought after, that I have the utmost difficulty in keeping
up the requisite supply." It is a melancholy reflection, that in a
country where education is at every one's door, and poverty at no one's,
such unblushing exhibitions of immorality should exist.

We embarked in the "Lady Franklin," and were soon "floating down the
river of the O-hi-o." The banks are undulating, and prettily
interspersed with cottage villas, which peep out from the woods, and are
clotted about the more cultivated parts; but, despite this, the dreary
mantle of winter threw a cold churlishness over everything. The boat I
shall describe hereafter, when I have seen more of them, for their
general features are the same; but there was a specimen of the fair sex
on board, to whom I must introduce you, as I may never see her like
again.

The main piece was the counterpart of a large steamer's funnel cut off
at about four feet two inches high, a most perfect cylinder, and of a
dark greyish hue: a sombre coloured riband supported a ditto coloured
apron. If asked where this was fastened, I suppose she would have
replied, "Round the waist, to be sure;" yet, if Lord Rosse's telescope
had been applied, no such break in the smooth surface of the cylinder
could have been descried. The arms hung down on either side like the
funnel of a cabin stove, exciting the greatest wonder and the liveliest
curiosity to know how the skin of the shoulder obtained the elasticity
requisite to exhibit such a phenomenon. On the top of the cylinder was
a beautifully polished ebony pedestal, about two inches high on one
side, tapering away to nothing at the other, so that whatever might be
placed thereon, would lie at an angle of forty-five degrees. This
pedestal did duty for a neck; and upon it was placed a thing which,
viewed as a whole, resembled a demijohn. The lower part was pillowed on
the cylinder, no gleam of light ever penetrating between the two. Upon
the upper surface, at a proper distance from the extremity, two lips
appeared, very like two pieces of raw beefsteak picked up off a dusty
road.

While wrapt in admiration of this interesting spot, the owner thereof
was seized with a desire to yawn, to obtain which luxury it was
requisite to throw back the demijohn into nearly a horizontal line, so
as to relieve the lower end from its pressure on the cylinder. The aid
of both hands was called in to assist in supporting her intellectual
depository. This feat accomplished, a roseate gulf was revealed, which
would have made the stout heart of Quintus Curtius quail ere he took the
awful plunge. Time or contest had removed the ivory obstructions in the
centre, but the shores on each side of the gulf were terrifically
iron-bound, and appeared equal to crushing the hardest granite; the
shinbone of an ox would have been to her like an oyster to ordinary
mortals. She revelled in this luxurious operation so long, that I began
to fear she was suffering from the antipodes to a lockjaw, and that she
was unable to close the chasm; but at last the demijohn rose slowly and
solemnly from the horizontal, the gulf gradually closed until, obtaining
the old angle of forty-five degrees, the two dusty pieces of beefsteak
once more stood sentry over the abyss. Prosecuting my observations along
the upper surface, I next came to the proboscis, which suggested the
idea of a Bologna sausage after a passage through a cotton-press. Along
the upper part, the limits were invisible, so beautifully did it blend
with the sable cheek on each side; but the lower part seemed to have
been outside the press during the process, and therefore to have
obtained unusual rotundity, thanks to which two nostrils appeared, which
would, for size, have excited the envy of the best bred Arab that was
ever foaled; and the division between them was nearly equal to that of
the horse. I longed to hear her sneeze; it must have been something
quite appallingly grand. Continuing my examination, I was forced to the
conclusion that the poor delicate creature was bilious; for the dark
eyes gleamed from their round yellow beds like pieces of cannel-coal set
in a gum-cistus. The forehead was a splendid prairie of flat table-land,
beyond which stretched a jungle of curly locks, like horse-hair ready
picked for stuffing sofas, and being tied tightly round near the apex,
the neck of the bottle was formed, and the demijohn complete.

[Illustration: STEWARDESS OF "THE LADY FRANKLIN"]

I was very curious to see this twenty-five stone sylph in motion, and
especially anxious to have an opportunity of examining the pedestals by
which she was supported and set in motion. After a little patience, I
was gratified to a certain extent, as the stately mass was summoned to
her duties. By careful observation, I discovered the pedestals resembled
flounders, out of which grew, from their centre, two cylinders, the
ankles deeply imbedded therein, and in no way disturbing the smooth
surface. All higher information was of course wrapt in the mystery of
conjecture; but from the waddling gait and the shoulders working to and
fro at every step, the concealed cylinders doubtless increased in size
to such an extent, that the passing one before the other was a task of
considerable difficulty; and if the motion was not dignified, it was
imposingly slow, and seemed to call all the energies of the various
members into action to accomplish its end. Even the demijohn rolled as
if it were on a pivot, nodding grandly as the mighty stewardess of the
"Franklin" proceeded to obey the summons. I watched her receding form,
and felt that I had never before thoroughly realized the meaning of an
"armsful of joy," and I could not but wonder who was the happy possessor
of this great blessing.

Ibrahim Pacha, when in England, was said to have had an intense desire
to purchase two ladies, one aristocratic, the other horticultural, the
solidity of these ladies being their great point of attraction in his
estimation. Had he but seen my lovely stewardess, I am sure he would
instantly have given up negotiations for both, could he thereby have
hoped to obtain such a massive treasure as the "Sylph of the
'Franklin.'"


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote J: Since I was there, General Cadwallader has taken the place
into his own hands.]

[Footnote K: In case the expression is new to the reader, I beg to
inform him that to "whittle" is to cut little chips of wood--if, when
the fit comes on, no stick is available, the table is sometimes operated
on.]

[Footnote L: I believe the plan of making the canal-boats in sections is
original; but the idea of dragging them up inclines to avoid expenses of
lockage, &c., is of old date, having been practised as far back as 1792,
upon a canal in the neighbourhood of Colebrook Dale, where the boats
were raised by stationary engines up two inclines, one of 207 feet, and
the other of 126 feet. I believe this is the first instance of the
adoption of this plan, and the engineers were Messrs. Reynolds and
Williams. The American inclines being so much greater, the dividing the
boat into sections appears to me an improvement.]



CHAPTER IX.

_Scenes Ashore and Afloat_.


A trip on a muddy river, whose banks are fringed with a leafless forest
resembling a huge store of Brobdignagian stable brooms, may be
favourable to reflection; but, if description be attempted, there is
danger lest the brooms sweep the ideas into the muddy water of dulness.
Out of consideration therefore to the reader, we will suppose ourselves
disembarked at Louisville, with the intention of travelling inland to
visit the leviathan wonder--the would-be rival to Niagara,--yclept "The
Mammoth Cave." Its distance from Louisville is ninety-five miles. There
is no such thing as a relay of horses to be met with--at all events, it
is problematical; therefore, as the roads were execrable, we were
informed it would take us two long days, and our informant strongly
advised us to go by the mail, which only employs twenty-one hours to
make the ninety-five miles' journey. There was no help for it; so, with
a sigh of sad expectation, I resigned myself to my fate, of which I had
experienced a short foretaste on my way to Pittsburg. I then inquired
what lions the town offered to interest a traveller. I found there was
little in that way, unless I wished to go through the pig-killing,
scalding, and cutting process again; but stomach and imagination
rebelled at the bare thought of a second edition of the bloody scene, so
I was fain to content myself with the novelty of the tobacco pressing;
and, as tobacco is the favourite _bonbon_ of the country, I may as well
describe the process which the precious vegetable goes through ere it
mingles with the human saliva.

A due admixture of whites and blacks assemble together, and, damping the
tobacco, extract all the large stems and fibres, which are then
carefully laid aside ready for export to Europe, there to be cooked up
for the noses of monarchs, old maids, and all others who aspire to the
honour and glory of carrying a box--not forgetting those who carry it in
the waistcoat-pocket, and funnel it up the nose with a goose-quill. How
beautifully simple and unanswerable is the oft-told tale, of the reply
of a testy old gentleman who hated snuff as much as a certain elderly
person is said to hate holy-water--when offered a pinch by an
"extensive" young man with an elaborate gold-box. "Sir," said the
indignant patriarch, "I never take the filthy stuff! If the Almighty had
intended my nostrils for a dust-pan, he would have turned them the other
way."--But I wander from the subject. We will leave the fibre to find
its way to Europe and its noses, and follow the leaf to America and its
mouths. In another apartment niggers and whites re-pick the fibres out
more carefully, and then roll up the pure loaf in a cylindrical shape,
according to the measure provided for the purpose. It is then taken to
another apartment, and placed in duly prepared compartments under a
strong screw-press, by which operation it is transformed from a loose
cylinder to a well squashed parallelogram. It is hard work, and the
swarthy descendants of Ham look as if they were in a vapour-bath, and
doubtless bedew the leaf with superfluous heat.

After the first pressing, it goes to a more artistic old negro, who,
with two buckets of water--one like pea-soup, the other as dark as if
some of his children had been boiled down in it--and armed with a sponge
of most uninviting appearance, applies these liquids with most
scientific touch, thereby managing to change the colour, and marble it,
darken it, or lighten it, so as to suit the various tastes. This
operation completed, and perspiring negroes screwing down frantically,
it is forced into the box prepared for its reception, which is imbedded
in a strong iron-bound outer case during the process, to prevent the
more fragile one from bursting under the pressure. All this over, and
the top fixed, a master-painter covers it with red and black paint,
recording its virtues and its charms. What a pity it could not lie in
its snug bed for ever! But, alas! fate and the transatlantic Anglo-Saxon
have decreed otherwise. Too short are its slumbers, too soon it bursts
again, to suffer fresh pressure under the molars of the free and
enlightened, and to fall in filthy showers over the length and breadth
of the land, deluging every house and every vehicle to a degree that
must be seen to be believed, and filling the stranger with much wonder,
but far more disgust. I really think it must be chewing tobacco which
makes the Americans so much more restless, so much more like armadillos
than any other nation. It often has excited my wonder, how the more
intelligent and civilized portion of the community, who do not generally
indulge in the loathsome practice, can reconcile themselves to the
annoyance of it as kindly as they do. Habit and necessity are powerful
masters.

Having finished this exhibition--which, by the way, kept me sneezing all
the time--I went next to see a steam sawing, planing, and fitting mill.
Labour being very expensive, these establishments are invaluable here;
such an establishment as I saw could supply, from the raw wood in logs,
all the doors and window-frames of "Stafford House" in three days,
barring the polish and paint. If Mr. Cubitt is not up to this machinery,
this hint may be the means of making his fortune double itself in
"quarter-less no time."[M] As we knew that our journey to-morrow must be
inexpressibly tedious, we beat an early retreat, requesting a cup of hot
tea or coffee might be ready for us half an hour before our departure.
Poor simple creatures that we were, to expect such a thing! The free and
enlightened get their breakfast after being two hours _en route_, and
can do without anything before starting--_ergo_, we must do the same:
thus, though there were literally servants enough in the house to form a
substantial militia regiment, a cup of tea was impossible to be obtained
for love or money. All we had for it was to bury our disappointment in
sleep.

Soon after three the next morning we were roused from our slumbers, and,
finishing our toilet, cheered our insides with an unadulterated draught
from the Ohio. All outside the door was dark, cheerless, solitary, and
still. Presently the silence was broken by some violent puffs from a
penny trumpet. "Dat's de mayle, massa," said a nigger in the hall,
accompanying his observation with a mysterious grin, evidently meant to
convey the idea, "You'll have enough of her before you've done." Up she
came to the door--I believe, by custom if not by grammar, a man-of-war
and a mail-coach are shes--a heavy, lumbering machine, with springs,
&c., apparently intended for scaling the Rocky Mountains. The inside
was about three feet broad and five feet long, and was intended for the
convenience (?) of nine people, the three who occupied the centre seat
having a moveable leather strap to support their backs. Outside, there
was one seat by the coachman; and if the correspondence was not great,
three more might sit behind the coachman, in all the full enjoyment of a
splendidly cramped position. The sides of the carriage were made of
leather, and fitted with buttons, for the purpose of opening in summer.
Being a nasty drizzling morning, we got inside, with our two servants,
and found we had it all to ourselves. "I am sure this is comfortable
enough," observed my companion, who was one of the mildest and most
contented of human beings. "Too good to last long," thought I.

The penny trumpet sounds, and off we go--not on our journey, but all
over the town to the different hotels, to pick up live freight. I
heartily hoped they might all oversleep themselves that morning. Alas!
no such luck. Jonathan and a weasel are two animals that are very rarely
caught napping. Passengers kept coming in until we were six, and
"comfortable enough" became a misnomer. A furious blast of the tin tube,
with a few spicy impromptu variations, portended something important,
and, as we pulled up, we saw it was the post-office; but, murder of
murders! we saw four more passengers! One got up outside; another was
following; Jarvey stopped him, with--"I guess there aint no room up here
for you; the mail's a-coming here." The door opened,--the three damp
bodkins in line commenced their assault,--the last came between my
companion and myself, I could not see much of him, it was so dark;
but--woe is me!--there are other senses besides sight, and my
unfortunate nostrils drank in a most foetid polecatty odour, ever
increasing as he drew nearer and nearer. Room to sit there was none;
but, at the blast of the tube, the rattle over the pitty pavement soon
shook the obnoxious animal down between us, squeezing the poisonous
exhalation out of him at each successive jolt. As dawn rose, we saw he
was a German, and doubtless the poor fellow was very hard-up for money,
and had been feeding for some time past on putrid pork. As for his hide
and his linen, it would have been an unwarrantable tax upon his memory
to have asked him when they had last come in contact with soap and
water. My stomach felt like the Bay of Biscay in an equinoctial gale,
and I heartily wished I could have dispensed with the two holes at the
bottom of my nose. I dreaded asking how far he was going; but another
passenger--under the influence of the human nosegay he was constrained
to inhale--summed up the courage to pop the question, and received a
reply which extinguished in my breast the last flickering ray of Hope's
dim taper--"Sair, I vosh go to Nashveele." Only conceive the horror of
being squashed into such a neighbour for twenty-one long hours, and over
a road that necessarily kept jerking the unwashed and polecatty head
into your face ten times in a minute! Who that has bowels of compassion
but must commiserate me in such "untoward circumstances?"

Although we had left the hotel at four, it was five before we left the
town, and about seven before we unpacked for breakfast, nine miles out
of town. The stench of my neighbour had effectually banished all idea of
eating or drinking from my mind; so I walked up and down outside,
smoking my cigar, and thinking "What can I do?" At last, the bright idea
struck me--I will get in next time with my cigar; what if we are nine
herrings in the barrel?--everybody smokes in this country--they won't
object--and I think, by keeping the steam well up, I can neutralize a
little of the polecat. So when the time came for starting, I got my big
cigar-case, &c., out on my knees--as getting at your pockets, when once
packed, was impossible--and entering boldly with my weed at high
pressure, down I sat. We all gradually shook into our places. Very soon
a passenger looked me steadily in the face; he evidently was going to
speak; I quailed inwardly, dreading he was going to object to the smell
of smoke. Oh, joyous sight! a cigar appeared between his fingers, and
the re-assuring words came forth--"A light, sir, if you please." I never
gave one more readily in my life. Gradually, passenger after passenger
produced cigars; the aroma filled the coach, and the fragrance of the
weed triumphed over the foetor of the polecat. Six insides out of nine
hard at it, and four of them with knock-me-down Virginia tobacco, the
single human odour could not contend against such powerful odds; as well
might a musquito sneeze against thunder. I always loved a cigar; but
here I learnt its true value in a desperate emergency.

On we went, puffing, pumping, and jolting, till at last we came to a
stand on the banks of a river. As there was a reasonable probability of
the mail shooting into the stream on its descent, we were told to get
out, on doing which we found ourselves pleasantly situated about a foot
deep in mud; the mail got down safe into an open ferry-boat with two
oars, and space for passengers before the horses or behind the coach.
The ferry was but for a few minutes, and we then had to ascend another
bank of mud, at the top of which we retook our seats in the mail,
bringing with us in the aggregate, about a hundredweight of fine clay
soil, with which additional cargo we continued our journey. One o'clock
brought us to Elizabeth Town, and dinner; the latter was very primitive,
tough, and greasy.

Once more we entered our cells, and continued our route, the bad road
getting worse and worse, rarely allowing us to go out of a walk. Two of
our fellow-passengers managed to make themselves as offensive as
possible. They seemed to be travelling bagmen of the lowest class.
Conversation they had none, but by way of appearing witty, they kept
repeating over and over again some four or five stories, laughing at one
another's tales, which were either blasphemous or beastly--so much so,
that I would most willingly have compounded for two more human polecats
in lieu of them. I must say, that although all classes mix together in
public conveyances, this was the first time I had ever found people
conduct themselves in so disgusting a manner. We soon came to another
river, and getting out, enjoyed a second mud walk, bringing in with us
as before a rich cargo of clay soil; and after a continuous and
increasing jolting, which threatened momentary and universal
dislocation, we arrived, after a drive of twenty-one hours, at our
journey's end--i.e., at "Old Bell's," so called from the proprietor of
the inn. Here we were to pass the night, or rather the remainder of it,
the mail going on to Nashville, and taking our foetid bodkin on with it.
But, alas! the two more disagreeable passengers before alluded to
remained, as they had suddenly made up their minds to stay and visit the
Mammoth Cave.

Old Bell is a venerable specimen of seventy odd years of age, and has
been here, I believe, half a century nearly. One of his daughters, I am
told, is very pretty. She is married to a senator of the United States,
and keeps one of the most agreeable houses in Washington. The old
gentleman is said to be worth some money, but he evidently is determined
to die in harness. As regularly as the mail arrives, about one in the
morning, so regularly does he turn out and welcome the passengers with a
glass of mixed honey, brandy, and water. The beverage and the donor
reminded me forcibly of "Old Crerer," and the "Athole Brose," with which
he always welcomed those who visited him in his Highland cottage. Having
got beds to ourselves--after repeated requests to roost two in a nest,
as the house was small--I soon tumbled into my lair, and in the blessed
forgetfulness of sleep the miseries of the day became mingled with the
things that were. The next morning, after breakfast, we got a conveyance
to take the party over to the Cave, a distance of seven miles. One may
really say there is no road. For at least one half of the way there is
nothing but a rugged track of rock and roots of trees, ever threatening
the springs of the carriage and the limbs of the passenger with
frightful fractures. However, by walking over the worst of it, you
protect the latter and save the former, thus rendering accidents of rare
occurrence.

The hotel is a straggling building, chiefly ground floor, and with a
verandah all round. The air is deliriously pure, and in summer it must
be lovely. It is situated on a plateau, from the extremity of which the
bank descends to the Green River. On both sides is the wild forest, and
round the giant trunks the enamoured vine twines itself with the
affectionate pertinacity of a hungry boa-constrictor, and boars its head
in triumph to the topmost branches. But vegetable life is not like a
Venus who, "when unadorned, is adorned the most;" and, the forest having
cast off its summer attire, presents an uninviting aspect in the cold
nudity of winter. When the virgin foliage of spring appears, and ripens
into the full verdure of summer, the shade of these banks must be
delicious; the broad-leaved and loving vine extending its matrimonial
embrace as freely and universally through the forest as Joe Smith and
his brethren do theirs among the ladies at the Salt Lake; and when
autumn arrives, with those gorgeous glowing tints unknown to the Old
World, the scene must be altogether lovely; then the admirer of nature,
floating between the banks on the light-green bosom of the stream below,
and watching the ever-changing tints, as the sun dropped softly into his
couch in the west, would enjoy a feast that memory might in vain try to
exhaust itself in recalling.

There are guides appointed who provide lanterns and torches for visitors
who wish to examine the Mammoth Cave; and its interior is such a
labyrinth, that, without their aid, the task would be a dangerous one.
Rough clothing is provided at the hotel, the excursion being one of
scramble and difficulty.

Thus prepared, we started on our exploring expedition, passing at the
entry the remnants of old saltpetre works, which were established here
during the struggle at New Orleans. The extent of this cave would render
a detail tedious, as there are comparatively few objects of interest.
The greatest marvel is a breed of small white fish without eyes, several
of which are always to be seen. Like all similar places, it varies in
size in the most arbitrary manner. At one minute you are struggling for
space, and suddenly you emerge upon a Gothic-looking hall, full of
gracefully pendent stalactites. Again you proceed along corridors, at
one time lofty, at another threatening your head, if pride do not give
way to humility. Then you come to rivers, of which there are two. At one
time you are rowing under a magnificent vault, and then, anon, you are
forced to lie flat down in the boat, or leave your head behind you, as
you float through a passage, the roof whereof grazes the gunwale of the
boat. My guide informed me that there was a peculiarity in these rivers
nobody could satisfactorily account for, viz., that the more it rained,
the lower these waters fell. I expect the problem resembled that which
is attributed to King Charles, viz., "How it was, that if a dead fish
was put into a vessel full of water it immediately overflowed, but that,
if a live fish was put in, it did not do so;" and I have some suspicion
the solution is the same in both cases. Among other strange places, is
one which rejoices in the name of "Fat Man's Misery." At one minute the
feet get fixed as in the stocks; at another, the upper portion of the
body is called upon to make a right angle with the lower; even then, a
projecting point of the rock above will sometimes prod you upon the
upturned angle, in endeavouring to save which, by a too rapid act of
humility, you knock all the skin off the more vulnerable knee. Emerging
from this difficulty, and, perhaps, rising too hastily, a crack on the
head closes your eyes, filling them with a vision of forked lightning.
Recovering from this agreeable sensation, you find a gap like the edge
of a razor, in going through which, you feel the buttons of your
waistcoat rubbing against your backbone. It certainly would be no bad
half-hour's recreation to watch a rotund Lord Mayor, followed by a court
of aldermen to match, forcing their way through this pass after a turtle
dinner.

The last place I shall mention is the one which, to me, afforded the
greatest pleasure: it is a large hall, in which, after being placed in a
particular position, the guide retires to a distance, taking with him
all the lights; and knowing by experience what portion of them to
conceal, bids you, when he is ready, look overhead. In a few seconds it
has the appearance of the sky upon a dark night; but, as the eye becomes
accustomed to the darkness, small spots are seen like stars; and they
keep increasing till the vaulted roof has the appearance of a lovely
star-light night. I never saw a more pleasing or perfect illusion. It
would be difficult to estimate correctly the size of the Mammoth Cave.
The American gazetteers say it extends ten or twelve miles, and has
lateral branches, which, altogether, amount to forty miles. It is, I
imagine, second in size only to the Cacuhuainilpa, in Mexico, which, if
the accounts given are accurate, would take half a dozen such as the
Mammoth inside. I fear it is almost superfluous to inform the reader,
that the Anglo-Saxon keeps up his unenviable character for disfiguring
every place he visits; and you consequently see the names of Smith,
Brown, Snooks, &c., smoked on the rocks in all directions--an
appropriate sooty record of a barbarous practice.[N]


Having enjoyed two days in exploring this "gigantic freak of Nature,"
we commenced our return about half-past four in the afternoon, so as to
get over the break-neck track before dark. Old Bell[O] welcomed us as
usual with his honey, brandy, and water. He then prepared us some
dinner, as we wished to snatch a few hours' sleep before commencing our
return to Louisville, with its twenty-one hours of pleasure. About
half-past ten at night, a blast in the breeze, mixed with a confused
slushy sound, as sixteen hoofs plashed in the mud, rang the knell in our
ears, "Your time has come!" I anxiously looked as the mail pulled up in
the middle of the road opposite to the door--they always allow the
passengers the privilege of wading through the mud to the door of the
inn--to see if by any chance it was empty, having been told that but few
people comparatively travelled the back route--no wonder, if they could
help it. Alas! the steam on the window announced, with fatal certainty,
some humanities inside. The door opened; out they came, one, two, three,
four. It was a small coach, with three seats, having only space for two
persons on each, thus leaving places inside for my friend and myself.
"Any room outside, there?"

"Room for one, sir!"

There was no help for it, and we were therefore obliged to leave one
servant behind, to follow next night.

Horses changed, honey-toddy all drank, in we got into the centre seat.
"What is this all round?" "Thick drugget, sir; they nail it round in
winter to keep the cold out."--Thank Heaven, it is only nailed at the
bottom. Suffocation began; down goes my window. Presently a
sixteen-stone kind of overgrown Pickwickian "Fat Boy," sitting opposite
me, exclaims aloud, with a polar shudder, "Ugh! it's very cold!" and
finding I was inattentive, he added, "Don't you find it very cold?" "Me,
sir? I'm nearly fainting from heat," I replied; and then, in charity, I
lent him a heavy full-sized Inverness plaid, in which he speedily
enveloped his fat carcass. What with the plaids, and his five inches
deep of fat, his bones must have been in a vapour bath. The other
_vis-à-vis_ was a source of uneasiness to me on a different score. He
kept up a perpetual expectorating discharge; and, as my open window
was the only outlet, and it did not come that way, I naturally felt
anxious for my clothes. Daylight gradually dawned upon the scene, and
then the ingenuity of my friend was made manifest in a way calculated to
move any stomach not hardened by American travelling. Whenever he had
expressed the maximum quantity of juice from the tobacco, the drugget
lining was moved sufficiently for him to discharge his cargo against the
inside of the carriage; after which, the drugget was replaced, and the
effect of the discharge concealed thereby. This drugget lining must have
been invaluable to him; for upon another occasion, it did duty for a
pocket-handkerchief. I must say, that when I saw the otherwise
respectable appearance of the culprit, his filthy practices astounded
me. Behind us were two gentlemen who were returning to Louisville, and
whom we found very agreeable.

We stopped for breakfast at a wayside pot-house sort of place; but,
before feasting, we wanted to wash ourselves. The conveniences for that
purpose were a jug, a basin, and a piece of soap, on a bench in the open
court, which, as it was raining pretty smartly, was a very ingenious
method of dissuasion, particularly as your pocket-handkerchief, or the
sleeve of your shirt, had to supply the place of a towel. The meal was
as dissuasive as the washing arrangements, and I was glad when the
trumpet summoned us to coach. I made an effort to sleep, for which
purpose I closed my eyes, but in vain; however, the expectorating
_vis-à-vis,_ who was also a chilly bird, thought he had caught me
napping, and said to his fat neighbour,--"I say, the old gentleman's
asleep, pull up the window." The fat 'un did so, and I kept perfectly
quiet. In a few minutes I began to breathe heavily, and then, awaking as
it were with a groan, I complained of suffocation, and, dashing down the
window, poked out my head and panted for fresh air: they were very civil
all the rest of the journey, and never asked for the window to be shut
again. In the course of the day, I found out that the fat boy opposite
was connected with a circus company, and from him I gleaned something of
their history, which I hope may not be uninteresting to the reader.

Each company has a puffer, or advertiser, who is sent on a week before
the company, to get bills printed, and see them posted up and
distributed to the best advantage, in the places at which the company
intend to perform. This was the fat boy's occupation, and for it he
received eight pounds a month and his travelling expenses.

His company consisted of seventy-five bipeds and one hundred and
twenty-five quadrupeds. Of the bipeds, twelve were performers, two being
women; the pay varied from sixteen pounds a month to the chief Amazonian
lady, down as low as five pounds a month to the least efficient of the
corps. They work all the year round, sucking their cents from the North
in summer, and from the South in winter. They carry everything with
them, except it may be fuel and provisions. Each has his special duty
appointed. After acting at night they retire to their tents to sleep,
and the proper people take the circus-tent down, and start at once for
the next place they are to appear at; the performers and their tent-men
rise early in the morning, and start so as to reach the ground about
eleven; they then rest and prepare, so as to be ready, after the people
of the village have dined, to give their first performance; then they
rest and refresh ready for their evening repetition. Some companies used
to make their own gas, but experience has proved that wax-lights are
sweeter and cheaper in the long run, so gas making is nearly exploded.
After this second performance they retire to rest; the circus tent-men
strike and pack the tent, then start off for the next place of
exhibition, the actors and their tents following as before mentioned:
thus they go on throughout the year, bipeds and quadrupeds scarcely ever
entering a house.

There are numbers of these circus companies in the States, of which the
largest is the one to which Van Amburgh is attached, and which, the fat
boy told me, is about three times the size of his own--Van Amburgh
taking always upwards of a dozen cages of his wild beasts. The work, he
says, is very hard, but the money comes in pretty freely, which I can
readily believe, as the bump of Inquisitiveness grows here with a
luxuriance unknown elsewhere, and is only exceeded by its sister bump of
Acquisitiveness, which two organs constitute audience and actors.

I give you no account of scenery on the road for two reasons: first,
because there are no striking features to relieve the alternations of
rude cultivation and ruder forest; and secondly, because in winter,
Nature being despoiled of the life-giving lines of herbage and foliage,
a sketch of dreariness would be all that truth could permit. I will
therefore beg you to consider the twenty-one hours past, and Louisville
reached in safety, where hot tea and "trimmings"--as the astute young
Samivel hath it--soon restored us from the fatigues of a snail-paced
journey, over the most abominable road a man can imagine, although it is
the mail route between the flourishing towns of Louisville and
Nashville. Should any ambitious spirit feel a burning desire to visit
the Mammoth Cave, let me advise him to slake the said flame with the
waters of Patience, and take for his motto--"I bide my time." Snoring
has been the order of the day in these parts for many years; but the
kettle-screaming roads of the North have at last disturbed the Southern
slumberers, and, like giants refreshed, they are now working vigorously
at their own kettle, which will soon hiss all the way from Louisville to
Nashville. Till then, I say, Patience.--One of our companions in the
stage very kindly offered to take us to the club, which is newly formed
here, and which, if not large, is very comfortable. I mention this as
one among the many instances which have occurred to me while travelling
in this country, of the desire exhibited by the better classes to show
civility and attention to any gentleman who they observe is a stranger
among them.

The following morning we were obliged to continue our route, for which
purpose it was necessary to embark two miles below the town, as the
river was not high enough to allow the steamers to pass over a kind of
bar called "The Falls." The road was one continuous bog of foot-deep
mud, but that difficulty concerned the horses, and they got over it with
perfect ease, despite the heavy drag. Once more we were floating down
the Ohio, and, curiously enough, in, another "Franklin;" but she could
not boast of such a massive cylindrical stewardess as her sister
possessed. A host of people, as usual, were gathered round the bar,
drinking, smoking, and arguing. Jonathan is "first-chop" at an argument.
Two of them were hard at it as I walked up.

Says the Colonel--"I tell you, Major, it is more than a hundred miles."

Major--"Well, but I tell you, Colonel, it aint not no such thing."

Colonel--"But, sir'ree, I know it is."

Judge--"Well, Colonel, I tell you what it is; I reckon you're wrong."

Colonel--getting evidently excited--"No, sir'ree, I aint, and,"--holding
out a brawny hand capable of scrunching a nine-pound shot into infant
pap--"darned if I wont lay you, or any other gentleman, six Kentucky
niggers to a julep I'm right."

After offering these tremendous odds, he travelled his fiery eagle eyes
from the major to the judge, and from the judge to the major, to
ascertain which of them would have it; and as they were silent, he
extended the radius of his glance to the company around, chucking his
head, and looking out of the corner of his eye, from time to time,
towards major and judge with a triumphant sneer, as much as to say,
"I've fixed you, anyhow." The argument was over; whether the major and
the judge were right about the distance, or not, I cannot decide; but if
the bet, when accepted, had to be ratified in the grasp of the muscular
hand which the colonel extended, they were decidedly right in not
accepting it, as some painful surgical operation must have followed such
a crushing and dislocation as his gripe inevitably portended. I would as
soon have put my hand between the rollers of a cane-press.

The feeding arrangements for the humanities on board were, if
disagreeable, sufficiently amusing once in a way. A table extends nearly
the whole length of the gentlemen's saloon; on each side are ranged low
wooden straight-back arm-chairs, of a breadth well suited for the ghost
_qui n'avait pas de quoi_. But the unfortunate man who happened to be
very well supplied therewith, ran considerable risk of finding the chair
a permanent appendage. At the sound of the bell, all the seats being
arranged opposite the respective places, the men rush forward and place
themselves behind the said chairs, and, like true cavaliers, stand there
till the ladies are seated. I was standing waiting among the rest, and
getting impatient as time flew on. One lady had not yet arrived. At last
the steward came with the said article on his arm, and having deposited
her in the seat nearly opposite mine, at a knowing wink from him, a
second steward sounded another bell, and the men dropped into their
seats like magic. Soup having been already served, the spoons rattled
away furiously. I was wondering who the lady--all females are ladies
here--could be, for whom we had been so long waiting, and who had
eventually come in with the steward, or gentleman--all men are gentlemen
here--in so friendly a manner. She did not appear burdened with any
refined manners, but, judge of my astonishment when, after she had got
quit of her soup-plate and was waiting for her next helping, I observed
the lady poking the point of her knife into a sweet dish near her, and
sucking off the precious morsel she had captured, which interesting
operation she kept repeating till her roast turkey arrived. There was an
air of such perfect innocence about her, as she was employed in the
sucking process, that you could not help feeling she was unconscious any
eye fixed upon her could find her occupation offensive or extraordinary.

A gentleman seated near me next attracted my attention. They had helped
him to a piece of meat the size and shape of a Holborn-hill
paving-stone. How insulted he must be at having his plate filled in that
way. Look! look! how he seizes vegetable after vegetable, building his
plate all round, like a fortification, the junk of beef in the middle
forming the citadel. It would have taken Napoleon a whole day to have
captured such a fortress; but, remember, poor Napoleon did not belong to
the nation that can "whip creation." See how Jonathan batters down
bastion after bastion! Now he stops!--his piercing eye scrutinizes
around!--a pie is seen! With raised body and lengthened arm, he pounces
on it, and drags it under the guns of his fortress. Knives and forks are
scarce--his own will do very well. A breach is made--the pastry parapet
is thrown at the foot of the half-demolished citadel; spoons are not at
hand, the knife plunges into the abyss, the fork follows--'tis a chicken
pie--pillage ensues; all the white meat is captured, the dish is raised
on high, from the horizontal it is turned to the "slantindicular," and
the citadel is deluged in the shower. "Catch who can," is not confined
to school-boys, I see. I was curious to witness the end of this attack,
and, as he had enough to occupy his ivories for half an hour--if they
did not give in before--I turned quietly to my own affairs, and began
eating my dinner; but, curiosity is impatient. In a few minutes, I
turned back to gaze on the fortress. By Jupiter Tonans! the plate lay
before him, clean as if a cat had licked it; and, having succeeded in
capturing another plate, he was organizing on this new plateau various
battalions of sweets, for which he skirmished around with incomparable
skill.

The parade-ground being full, I expected to see an instant attack; but
he was too knowing to be caught napping in that way. He looked around,
and with a masterly eye scanned apples, oranges, and nuts. The two
former he selected with great judgment; the latter he brought home in
quantities sufficient to secure plenty of good ones. Then pouncing upon
a pair of nutcrackers, and extending them like a chevaux-de-frise round
his prizes, he began his onslaught upon the battalion of sweets before
him.

The great general now set seriously to work. Scarce had he commenced,
when an innocent young man, who had finished his sweets and was
meditating an attack on some nuts, espied the crackers lying idle before
the gastronomic general, and said, "Will you lend me the nutcrackers,
sir?" The great general raised his head, and gave the youth one of those
piercing looks with which Napoleon used to galvanize all askers of
impertinent questions. The youth, understanding the refusal conveyed in
that terrible glance, had however enough courage to add, "You don't want
them, sir!" This was too much to bear in silence; so he replied with
awful distinctness, "But I reckon I shall, sir!" Then dropping his head
to the original position, he balanced a large piece of pumpkin-pie on
the point of his knife, and gallantly charged with it down his throat.
Poor youth! a neighbour relieved his distress, and saved his ivories.

Nearly a quarter of an hour has elapsed; dinner is all over, the nuts
are all cracked and put in the pockets, and away the company go either
to the other end of the saloon, where the stove is placed, round which
they eat their nuts and smoke their cigars, or to drink at the bar. When
the smoking is over, clasp-knives are opened. Don't be alarmed; there is
no bloodshed intended, although half a dozen people strolling about with
these weapons may appear ominous. Watch their faces; the lower part of
their cheeks goes in with high-sucking pressure, then swells again, and
the active tongue sweeps with restless energy along and around the
ivory barriers within its range. In vain--in vain it strives to
dispossess the intruders; rebellious particles of nut burrow deep
between the ivories, like rabbits in an old stone dike. The knife comes
to the rescue, and, plunging fearlessly into the dark abyss, the victory
is won. Then the victors commence chewing _à l'outrance,_ and
expectorate on the red-hot stove, till it hisses like a steam-engine, or
else they deluge the floor until there is no alternative but thick shoes
or damp feet. The fumes of every known alcohol exhale from the bar, and
mix with the head-bursting fragrance of the strongest "Warginny." Some
seek safety in flight; others luxuriate in the poisonous atmosphere, and
scream out, like deeply-injured men, if any door by chance be left open.

Behold! the table is laid again for dinner; piles of food keep coming
in; the company arrive--some in coats, some in waistcoats only; some in
coloured shirts, some in red flannel shirts; one, with sleeves turned up
to the elbow. "Who on earth are these?" I ask, in my ignorance. "Oh!
those, I guess, are the officers of the ship." Truly, they are "free,"
but whether "enlightened" also I had no opportunity of ascertaining. A
short ten minutes, and they are all scattered, and the piles of food
with them. Once more I look, and, behold! the table is again preparing.
Who can this be for? Doubts are speedily solved, as a mixture of niggers
and whites sit down to the festive hoard; it is the boys--_alias_
waiters--whose turn has come at last. Their meal over, the spare leaves
of the table are removed, half a dozen square tables dot the centre line
of the saloon, and all is comparatively quiet. This process takes place
at every meal--8 A.M., 1 P.M., and 5 P.M.--with the most rigid
punctuality.

Fancy my distress one evening, when, on opening my cabin-door, I beheld
a fellow-creature doubled up at the entry of the door opposite. I
thought the poor sufferer had a fit of cholera, and I was expecting each
instant to hear his screams; but hearing nothing, I examined the person
in question more minutely. It was merely a gentleman, who had
dispossessed himself of his jacket, waistcoat, trousers, and boots, not
forgetting his stockings; and then deliberately planting his chair in
the open entry of the door, and gathering up one foot on the seat
thereof, was amusing himself by cutting and picking the horny
excrescences of his pedal digits, for the benefit of the passengers in
the gentlemen's saloon; and, unfortunately, you could not be sure that
his hands would be washed before he sat next to you at breakfast in the
morning,--for I can testify that I have, over and over again, sat next
to people, on these Western waters, whose hands were scarce fit to take
coals out of a scuttle.

There is nothing I have here set down but what actually passed under my
own eye. You will, of course, find gentlemen on board, and many whose
manners there is nothing to complain of, and whose conversation is both
instructive and amusing; but you evidently are liable to find others to
realize the picture I have given of scenes in the gentlemen's saloon,
and, unless you have some acquaintance among the ladies, their saloon is
as sacred from a gentleman as the Sultan's harem. And whence comes all
this, except from that famous bugbear "equality?" Is there any real
gentleman throughout the Empire State who would, in his heart, approve
of this ridiculous hustling together of well-bred and ill-bred? But it
pleases the masses, and they must submit to this incongruous herding and
feeding, like the hungry dogs of a "Dotheboys Hall" kennel.

It may be useful information for the traveller, and is only fair to the
Mississippi boat proprietors, to observe, that if you succeed in getting
a passage in a perfectly new boat, there is always more care, more
safety, better living, and better company. In all the boats there is one
brush and comb for the use of the passengers.

By the aid of steam and stream, we at last reached Cairo, which is on
the southern bank of the Ohio and the eastern of the Mississippi; its
advantageous position has not passed unnoticed, but much money has been
thrown away upon it, owing to the company's not sitting down and
counting the cost before they began. There can be no question that,
geographically, it is _par excellence_ the site for the largest inland
town of America, situated as it is at the confluence of the two giant
arteries; and not merely is its position so excellent but mountains of
coal are in its neighbourhood. The difficulty which has to be contended
against is the inundation of these rivers. Former speculators built up
levees; but either from want of pluck or purse, they were inefficiently
constructed; the Mississippi overflowed them and overwhelmed the
speculators. Latterly, however, another company has taken the task in
hand, and having sufficient capital, it embraces the coal mines as well
as the site, &c., of the new town, to which the coal will of course be
brought by rail, and thus be enabled to supply the steamers on both
rivers at the cheapest rate, and considerably less than one-third the
price of wood; and if the indefatigable Swede's calorie-engine should
ever become practicable, every steamer will easily carry sufficient coal
from Cairo to last till her return; in short, I think it requires no
prophetic eye to foresee that Cairo in fifty years, if the Union
continues, will be one of the greatest, most important, and most
flourishing inland towns in America; and curiously enough, this effect
will be essentially brought about by the British capital embarked in the
enterprise.

A few hours' run up the river brought us to St. Louis, whose nose, I
prophesy, is to be put out of joint by Cairo some future day.
Nevertheless, what a wonderful place is this same St. Louis; its rapid
increase is almost as extraordinary as that of Cincinnati, and perhaps
more so, when you consider, not only that it is further west by hundreds
of miles, but that it has to contend with the overflowing of the
Mississippi, which has, on more than one occasion, risen to the first
floor of the houses and stores built on the edge of the levee;
fortunately, the greater part of the town, being built on higher ground,
escapes the ruinous periodical duckings. It is situated seven hundred
and fifty miles below the falls of St. Anthony, and twelve hundred miles
above New Orleans.

Le Clede and his party appreciated the value of its position as early as
1764, and named it in honour of Louis the Fifteenth. Subsequently it was
transferred to the Spaniards, in 1768: however, it made but little
progress until it passed into the hands of the United States, in 1804.
The energy of the American character soon changed the face of affairs,
and there are now 3000 steam-boats arriving annually, which I believe to
be a greater number than there were inhabitants at the date of its
cession to them. But the more active impulse seems to have commenced in
1830, at which time the population was under 7000, since which date it
has so rapidly increased, that in 1852 its population was bordering on
100,000. The natives of the United States form about one-half of the
community, and those of Germany one-fourth; the remainder are chiefly
Irish. There are twenty newspapers, of which four are published in
German. There are forty churches, one-fourth of which are Roman
Catholic, and a liberal provision is made for education; the material
prosperity of this thriving community is evidenced by the fact, that the
annual value of the produce of their manufacturing-establishments
exceeds 3,000,000l.; flour-mills, sugar refineries, and carpenters,
contributing more largely than other occupations; after which come the
tailors, thanks probably to the Germans, who appear to have a strong
predilection for this trade, at which there are more hands employed than
at any other.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote M: Messrs. Wallis and Whitworth, in their Report on the
Industry of the United States, remark at Chapter V.--"In no branch of
manufacture does the application of labour-saving machinery produce, by
simple means, more important results than in the working of wood."]

[Footnote N: Since my return to England, I have seen it asserted, by a
correspondent in the _Morning Chronicle_, that Colonel Crogan, of
Louisville, purchased this cave for 2000l., and that, shortly after,
he was offered 20,000l. for his bargain. It is further stated that,
in his will, he tied it up in his family for two generations. If this
latter be true, it proves that entails are not quite unknown even in the
Democratic Republic.]

[Footnote O: I have heard, since my return to England, that old Mr. Bell
is dead.]



CHAPTER X.

_River Scenes_.


I felt very anxious to make an excursion from St. Louis, and get a
little shooting, either to the north-west or down near Cairo, where
there are deer; but my companion was dying to get to New Orleans, and
strongly urged me not to delay, "fiddling after sport." I always looked
upon myself as a model of good-natured easiness, ever ready to sacrifice
self for a friend; but I have been told by some intimates, that such is
not my character, and some have even said, "You're a obstinate follow."
If they were wrong, I suffered enough for my easiness; if they were
right, I must have yielded the only time that I ought to have been firm;
at all events, I gave up my shooting expedition, which I had intended to
occupy the time with till a first-class boat started for New Orleans;
and, in an evil hour, I allowed myself to be inveigled on board the
"Western World." The steam was up, and we were soon bowling down the
leviathan artery of the North American continent. Why the said artery
should keep the name of the Mississippi, I cannot explain; for, not only
is the Missouri the larger river above the confluence, but the
Mississippi is a clear stream, with solid, and, in some instances,
granite-bound shores, and perfectly free from "snags;" whereas the
Missouri has muddy banks, and revels in snags, which, as many have sadly
experienced, is the case with the stream on which they are borne
throughout its whole length, thereby fully evincing its true parentage,
and painfully exhibiting its just right to be termed Missouri; but the
rights of men and women are difficult enough to settle, without entering
into the rights of rivers, although from them, as from men and women,
flow both good and evil. A truce to rights, then, especially in this
"Far West," where every one is obliged to maintain his own for himself.

This river is one of the places assigned as the scene of the
conversation between the philosopher and the boatman--a tale so old,
that it had probably died out before some of my younger readers were
born; I therefore insert it for their benefit exclusively.--A
philosopher, having arrived at a ferry, entered a boat, rowed by one of
those rare articles in this enlightened Republic--a man without any
education.

PHILOSOPHER _(loquitur)._--Can you write?

BOATMAN.--I guess I can't.

PHILOSOPHER.--How sad! why, you've lost one-third of your life! Of
course you can read?

BOATMAN,--Well, I guess I can't that neither.

PHILOSOPHER.--Good gracious me! why, you've lost two-thirds of your
life.

When the conversation had proceeded thus far, the boatman discovered
that, in listening to his learned passenger, he had neglected that
vigilance which the danger of the river rendered indispensable. The
stream was hurrying them into a most frightful snag; escape was
hopeless; so the boatman opened the conversation with this startling
question:

BOATMAN.--Can you swim, sir?

PHILOSOPHER.--No, that I can't.

BOATMAN.--Then, I guess, you've lost all your life.

Ere the sentence was finished, the boat upset; the sturdy rower
struggled manfully, and reached the shore in safety. On looking round,
nought was to be seen of the philosopher save his hat, floating down to
New Orleans. The boatman sat down on the bank, reflecting on the fate of
the philosopher; and, as the beaver disappeared in the bend of the
river, he rose up and gave vent to his reflections in the following
terms: "I guess that gentleman was never taught much of the useful;
learning is a good thing in its place, but I guess swimming is the thing
on the Mississippi, fix it how you will."

As I have alluded to that _rara avis_ in the United States, a totally
uneducated man, I may as well give an amusing specimen of the production
of another Western, whose studies were evidently in their infancy. It is
a certificate of marriage, and runs thus:--

  "State of Illenois Peoria County ss

  "To all the world Greeting. Know ye that John Smith and Peggy Myres is
  hereby certified to go together and do as old folks does, anywhere
  inside coperas precinct, and when my commission comes I am to marry em
  good, and date em back to _kivver accidents_.

  "O---- M---- R---- [ss]

  "Justice of the Peace."

Let us now return to the "Western World."

Having committed the indiscretion of taking my passage on board of her,
the next step I took--i.e., paying for it--was worse, and proclaimed
me a griffin. The old stagers know these waters too well to think of
paying before they are at, or about, the end of their journey. Having,
however, both taken and paid for my passage, and committed what old
maids and sailors would call the audacious folly of starting upon a
Friday, I may as well give you a description of the boat.

The river at many places and in many seasons being very low, these
steamers are built as light as possible; in short, I believe they are
built as light as any company can be found to insure them. Above the
natural load-line they flam out like the rim of a washing-basin, so as
to give breadth for the superstructure; on the deck is placed the engine
and appurtenances, fuel, &c.; whatever is not so occupied is for
freight. This deck is open all round, and has pillars placed at
convenient distances, about fifteen to twenty feet high, to support the
cabin deck. The cabin deck is occupied in the centre by a saloon,
extending nearly the whole length of the vessel, with sleeping
cabins--two beds in each--opening off it on both sides. The saloon is
entered from forward; about one-third of its length at the after-end is
shut off by doors, forming the ladies' sanctum, which is provided with
sofas, arm-chairs, piano, &c.; about one-fifth of the length at the
foremost-end, but not separated in any way, is the smoking-place, with
the bar quite handy, and the stove in the centre. The floor of this
place may with propriety be termed the great expectorating deposit,
owing to the inducements it offers for centralization, though, of
course, no creek or cranny of the vessel is free from this American
tobacco-tax--if I may presume so to dignify and designate it. Having
thus taken off one-third and one-fifth, the remaining portion is the
"gentlemen's share"--how many 'eenths it may be, I leave to fractional
calculators. Their average size is about sixteen feet broad, and from
seven and a half to eight and a half feet high; the centre part is
further raised about eighteen inches, having glass along the sides
thereof, to give light; they are always well painted and elaborately
gilt--in some vessels, such as the "Eclipse," of Louisville, they are
quite gorgeous. The cabins are about six feet by seven, the same height
as the saloon, and lit by a door on the outside part, the upper portion
of which is glass, protected, if required, by folding _jalousies_,
intended chiefly for summer use. Outside these cabins a gallery runs
round, covered at the top, and about four feet broad, and with entries
to the main cabin on each side. The box which covers the paddle-wheel,
&c., helps to make a break in this gallery, separating the gentlemen
from the ladies.

Some boats have a narrow passage connecting the two galleries, but
fitted with a _grille_ door, to prevent intrusion into the harem
gallery; before, the paddle-box, on one side, is the steward's pantry,
and on the other, that indispensable luxury to an American, the barber's
shop; where, at all hours of the day, the free and enlightened, mounted
on throne-like chairs and lofty footstools, stretch their carcases at
full length, to enjoy the tweaking of their noses and the scraping of
their chins, by the artistic nigger who officiates. This distinguished
official is also the solo dispenser of the luxury of oysters, upon which
fish the Anglo-Saxon in this hemisphere is intensely ravenous. It looks
funny enough to a stranger, to see a notice hung up (generally near the
bar), "Oysters to be had in the barber's saloon." Everything is saloon
in America. Above this saloon deck, and its auxiliaries of barber-shop,
gallery, &c., is the hurricane-deck, whereon is a small collection of
cabins for the captain, pilots, &c.--there are always two of the latter,
and their pay each, the captain told me, is forty pounds a month--and
towering above these cabins is the wheel-house, lit all round by large
windows, whence all orders to the engineers are readily transmitted by
the sound of a good bell. The remainder of the deck--which is, in
fact, only the roof of the saloon-cabins and gallery--is open to all
those who feel disposed to admire distant views under the soothing
influence of an eternal shower of wood-cinders and soot. These vessels
vary in breadth from thirty-five to fifty feet, and from one hundred and
fifty to--the "Eclipse"--three hundred and sixty-five feet in length;
the saloons extending the whole length, except about thirty feet at each
end. They have obtained the name of "palace-steamers," and at a _coup
d'oeil_ they appear to deserve it, for they are grand and imposing, both
outside and inside; but many an European who has travelled in them will
agree with me in the assertion, that they might, with more propriety, be
termed "palace sepulchres;" not merely from the loss of life to which
their constant disasters give rise, but also from the contrast between
the grandeur outside and the uncleanliness within, of which latter I
have already given a sketch in my trip from Louisville.

Some idea may be formed of their solidity, when I tell you they are only
calculated to last five years; but at the end of three, it is generally
admitted that they have paid for themselves, with good interest. I give
you this, on the information derived from a captain who was sole owner,
and I have also heard many others repeat the same thing; and yet the
"Eclipse" cost 120,000 dollars, or about 25,000l. In the saloon you
will always see an account of the goodness of the hull and the soundness
of the boilers hung up, and duly attested by the proper inspectors of
the same. The way these duties of the inspectors are performed makes it
a perfect farce, at least on most occasions.

The inspector comes on board; the captain and engineer see him, and, of
course, they shake hands, for here everybody shakes hands with everybody
the moment they meet, if only for the first time; the only variation
being in the words addressed: if for the first time, it may run
thus:--"Sir, I'm happy to make your acquaintance;" which may be replied
to by an additional squeeze, and perhaps a "Sir, I reciprocate."
N.B.--Hats off always the first time. If it is a previous acquaintance,
then a "Glad to see you, sir," is sufficient.--But to return from this
digression. The captain and engineer greet the inspector--"I s'pose
you're come to look at our bilers, sir?" "Yes, sir, I am." The parties
all instinctively drawing nearer and nearer to the bar. "Well, sir,
let's have a drink."--"Well, sir, let's."--"A cigar, sir?"--"Thank'ee,
sir!" Parties smoke and drink. Ingeniously enough, the required document
and pen and ink are all lying handy: the obdurate heart of the inspector
is quite melted by kindness. "Well, sir, I s'pose your bilers are all
right?"--"I guess they are that, sir, and nurthin else; you can't go and
for to bust them bilers of mine, fix it anyhow you will; you can't that,
I do assure you, sir."--What inspector can doubt such clear
evidence.--"Take another glass, sir, do."--"Thank'ee, I'll sign this
paper first." The inspection is over, all except the "glass" and the
"'bacco," which continue to flow and fume. The skippers of these boats
are rough enough; but I always found them very civil, plain spoken, and
ready to give all the information in their power; and many of them have
confessed to me that the inspection was but too often conducted in the
manner above described.

There is little to interest in the account of a trip down the river. The
style of society met with on board these vessels, I have already given
you a sketch of; it may sometimes be better, and sometimes worse. One of
my "messmates" in this boat, was a young fellow who had been second
captain of the mizen-top on board of H.M.S. "Vengeance;" but not liking
the style of discipline, especially--as he said--the irritating
substitutes for flogging which have been introduced of late years into
the Navy, to suit the mawkish sensibility of public opinion in England,
as well as the clamours of the all-ruling Press, he took the first
opportunity of running away, to seek his fortune in the Far West. He
observed to me one day, "Those chaps who kick up such a devil of a row
about flogging in the Navy, whatever their intentions may be, are no
real friends to the sailor or the service."

As a slight illustration of the truth of his remarks, I may here observe
that a purser in the American Navy, in which service they have lately
abolished flogging, told me, that soon after the paying off of a
line-of-battle ship in which he had been serving, he happened to meet
fifty of his old shipmates in the port, and asking them what they were
going to do, they told him they were about to embark for England, to
take service in the English Navy; for said they, "Since corporal
punishment has been abolished, the good men have to do all the work, and
that wont pay." Only three of the fifty had ever been in the English
service. There can be no doubt that many gentlemen of sensitive minds,
seeing the names of their brother officers dragged before the public,
through the House of Commons or the columns of an anonymous Press,
endeavour to keep up discipline by other means, which annoy Jack far
more, or else, slackening the bonds of discipline, leave all the work to
be done by the willing and the good; anything, rather than be branded as
a tyrant in every quarter of the globe by an anonymous assailant,
knowing full well that, however explicit a denial may be inserted, ten
people will read the charge for every one that reads its contradiction.
But I am wandering from my young friend, the captain of the mizen-top.

If he did not look very well "got up" in his red shirt, at all events he
was clean in his person, thus forming a pleasing contrast to a young
chap who came in the evening, and seated himself on the table, where I
was playing a game at écarté with my companion. His hands absolutely
appeared the hands of a nigger, though his voice was the voice of a
white; travelling my eyes up to and beyond his face, I found it was all
in keeping; his hair looked like an Indian jungle. If some one could
only have caught him by the heels, and swung him round and round on a
carding machine, like a handful of hemp, it would have improved him
immensely; especially if, after going through that process, he had been
passed between two of the pigs through the scalding-trough at
Cincinnati. Among others of our fellow-voyagers, we found one or two
very agreeable and intelligent American gentlemen, who, though more
accustomed to the _désagréments_ of travel, were fully alive to it, and
expressed their disgust in the freest manner.

Let us now turn from company to scenery.--What is there to be said on
this latter subject? Truly it is nought but sameness on a gigantic
scale. What there is of grand is all in the imagination, or rather the
reflection, that you are on the bosom of the largest artery of commerce
in the world. What meets the eye is an average breadth of from half a
mile to a mile of muddy water, tenanted by uprooted trees, and bristling
with formidable snags. On either side a continuous forest confines the
view, thus depriving the scene of that solemn grandeur which the
horizonless desert or the boundless main is calculated to inspire. The
signs of human life, like angels' visits, are few and far between. No
beast is seen in the forest, no bird in the air, except from time to
time a flight of water-fowl. At times the eye is gratified by a
convocation of wild swans, geese, and ducks, assembled in conclave upon
the edge of some bank; or, if perchance at sunrise or sunset you happen
to come to some broad bend of the river, the gorgeous rays light up its
surface till it appears a lake of liquid fire, rendered brighter by the
surrounding darkness of the dense and leafless forest. Occasionally the
trumpet-toned pipe of the engine--fit music for the woods--bursts forth;
but there are no mountains or valleys to echo its strains far and wide.
The grenadier ranks of vegetable life, standing like sentries along the
margin of the stream, refuse it either an entry or an answer, and the
rude voice of mechanism finds a speedy and certain sepulture in the
muddy banks. This savage refusal of Nature to hold converse is
occasionally relieved by the sight of a log hut, surrounded with cords
of wood[P] prepared for sale to the steamers. At other times a few
straggling huts, and piles of goods ready for transport, vary the scene.
Sometimes you come to a real village, and there you generally find an
old steamer doing duty for wharf-boat and hotel, in case of passengers
landing at unseasonable hours of the night. Thanks also to the great
commercial activity of the larger towns above, the monotony of the river
is occasionally relieved by the sight of steam-boats, barges,
coal-boats, salt-boats, &c. Now and then one's heart is cheered and
one's spirits fortified by the sight of a vessel or two that has been
snagged, and which the indignant stream appears to have left there as a
gentle hint for travellers.

Thus the day passes on, and, when night closes in, you bid adieu to your
friends, not with "Pleasant dreams to you!" but with a kind of
mysterious smile, and a "I hope we sha'n't be snagged to-night!" You
then retire to your cabin, and ... what you do there depends on
yourself; but a man whose mind is not sobered when travelling on these
waters is not to be envied.

When you leave your cabin in the morning, as you enter the saloon, you
fancy a cask of spirits has burst. A little observation will show you
your mistake, and the cause of it; which is merely that the free and
enlightened are taking their morning drink at the bar. Truly they are a
wonderful race; or, as they themselves sometimes express it, "We are a
tall nation, sir; a big people." Though they drink on all occasions,
whether from sociability or self-indulgence, and at all times, from rosy
morn to dewy eve, and long after;--though breath and clothes are "alive"
with the odour of alcohol, you will scarcely ever see a passenger drunk.
Cards are also going all day long, and there is generally a
Fancy-man--or blackleg--ready to oblige a friend. These card-playings
are conducted quietly enough at present; but an old traveller told me he
remembered, some fifteen years ago, when things were very different, and
when every player came armed with a pistol and bowie-knife, by which all
little difficulties as to an odd trick or a bet were speedily settled on
the spot. In those days the sun never rose and set without witnessing
one or more of these exciting little adjustments of difficulties, with
which the bystanders were too good judges ever to interfere. In fact,
they seem to have been considered as merely pleasing little breaks in
the monotony of the trip.

As it may interest some of _my_ readers, I will endeavour to retail for
their amusement a sketch which was given me of a scene of boat-racing in
the olden time. The "Screecher" was a vessel belonging to Louisville,
having a cargo of wild Kentuckians and other passengers on board, among
whom was an old lady, who, having bought a winter stock of bacon, pork,
&c., was returning to her home on the banks of the Mississippi. The
"Burster" was a St. Louis boat, having on board a lot of wild
back-woodsmen, &c. The two rivals met at the confluence of the Ohio and
the Mississippi. Beat or burst was the alternative. Victory hung in one
scale; in the other, defeat and death. The "Screecher" was a little
ahead; gradually the "Burster" closes. The silence of a death-struggle
prevails. The Screechers put on more wood, and place more weight on the
safety-valve; she bounds ahead. Slowly, but surely, the "Burster" draws
nearer. The captain of the "Screecher" looks wistfully at the fires, for
the boilers are well-nigh worn out. The "Burster" is almost abreast. The
enraged Kentuckians gather round the captain, and, in fury, ask--"Why
don't you put more weight on?"

CAPTAIN--"Boilers are done; can't bear it nohow."

KENTUCKIANS--"Can't bear it? You chicken-hearted coward--"

Knives are drawn, pistols click, a hundred voices exclaim, "Get on it
yourself, or I'll bury this knife below your outer skin." Their eyes
gleam--their hands are raised for the deadly blow. Wild boys, these
Kentuckians; the captain knows it too well. A choice of deaths is before
him; excitement decides--he mounts the breach. The "Screecher" shoots
through the waters, quivering from head to stern. The Kentucky boys yell
with delight and defiance. Again the "Burster" closes on her rival.
Kentuckians brandish their knives, and call to the negroes, who are
already half-roasted, "Pile on the wood; pile like agony; I'll ram a
nigger into the fire for every foot the 'Burster' gains." Soon a cry of
exultation is heard on board the "Burster," as she shoots up close to
her rival. The enraged Kentuckians shout out, "Oil, I swear!--oil, by
all creation!" "I smell it!" exclaims the old lady with the store of
bacon. Her eyes flash fire; a few words to her slaves Pompey and Caesar,
and casks of bacon, smashed quick as thought, lay before the furnace. In
it all goes; the "Screecher" is wild; the captain bounds up and down
like a parched pea on a filing-pan; once more she flies ahead of her
rival "like a streak of greased lightning." Suddenly--horror of
horrors!--the river throbs beneath; the forest trees quake like aspen
leaves; the voice of many thunders rends the air; clouds of splinters
and human limbs darken the sky. The "Burster" is blown to atoms! The
captain jumps down, and joins the wild Kentucky boys in a yell of
victory, through the bass notes of which may be heard the shrill voice
of the old lady, crying, "I did it, I did it--it's all my bacon!"

The struggle over, and the excitement passed, they return and pick up
such portions of the human frame as may be found worth preserving.--To
resume.

Our captain was overtaken by a telegraphic message, requiring his
appearance on a certain day to answer a charge of libel. From what I
could glean, it seems that the captain, considering himself cheated by a
person with whom he had been transacting business, took the liberty of
saying to him, "Well, you're a darned infernal rascal, fix it anyhow you
will!" The insulted person sued for 2500 dollars damages, and the
captain was obliged to leave us, that he might go and defend his cause.
He was a good type of a "hard-a-weather-bird," and I was sorry to see
him obliged to quit the ship. I told him so, adding, that if he deserted
us, we should be sure to get snagged, or something worse. He
replied,--"Oh, no, sir; I guess you'll be safe enough; I shall leave my
clerk in charge; he's been a captain of these boats; you'll be right
enough, sir." And away he went ashore at Memphis, leaving us to continue
our course to New Orleans.

Night came on, and we all toddled off to roost. I am habitually a very
sound sleeper, dropping off the moment I turn in, and never awaking till
daylight. On this occasion, however, I awoke about two o'clock A.M.,
and, do what I would, I could not coax myself to sleep again. While
tossing from side to side, I felt the vessel strike as if gently
touching a bank; and wood being a good conductor of sound, I heard the
water, as it were, gurgling in. My first idea was, "We are snagged;"
then, remembering how slight the concussion had been, I calmed my fears
and turned over on my side, determined to bottle off a little more sleep
if possible. Scarce had the thought crossed the threshold of my mind,
when men with hasty steps rushed into the saloon, banging frantically at
the cabin-doors, and the piercing cry was heard--"Turn out! turn
out!--we're sinking!" Passengers flew from their beds, and opened their
doors to get what scanty light the lamps in the saloon might afford. A
mysterious and solemn silence prevailed; all was action; no time for
words; dress, catch up what you can, and bolt for your life. As I got to
the side of the vessel, I saw a steamer alongside, and felt the boat I
was in careening over. A neighbour, in fear and desperation, caught hold
of me as a drowning man catches at a straw; no time for compliments
this, when it is neck or nothing; so, by a right-hander in the pit of
the stomach, I got quit of his clutch, and, throwing my desk over to the
other boat, I grasped the wooden fender and slid down. Thank God, I was
safe!--my companion was already safe also.

It was about half-past four A.M., a drizzly, wet morning, quite dark,
except the flame of the torches. A plank was got on board of the sinking
boat, along which more passengers and even some luggage were saved. The
crew of the sound boat had hard work to keep people from trying to
return and save their luggage, thus risking not only their own lives but
at the same time impeding the escape of others. From the gallery above
I was looking down upon the wreck, lit up by the lurid light of some
dozen torches, when, with a crash like thunder, she went clean over and
broke into a thousand pieces; eighty head of cattle, fastened by the
horns, vainly struggled to escape a watery grave. It was indeed a
terrific and awful scene to witness. From the first striking till she
went to pieces, not a quarter of an hour had elapsed; but who was saved?
Who knew, and--alas! that I must add--who cared?

The crew worked hard enough to rescue all, and to them be every credit
for their exertions; but the indifference exhibited by those who had
been snatched from the jaws of death was absolutely appalling. The
moment they escaped, they found their way to the bar and the stove, and
there they were smoking, drinking, and passing the ribald jest, even
before the wreck had gone to pieces, or the fate of one-half of their
companions been ascertained. Yet there was a scene before their eyes
sufficient, one would have imagined, to have softened the hardest heart
and made the most thoughtless think. There, among them, at the very
stove round which they were gathered, stood one with a haggard eye and
vacant gaze, and at his feet clung two half-naked infants; a quarter of
an hour before he was a hale man, a husband, with five children; now, he
was an idiot and a widower, with two. No tear dimmed his eye, no trace
of grief was to be read in his countenance; though the two pledges of
the love of one now no more hung helplessly round his legs, he heeded
them not; they sought a father's smile--they found an idiot's stare.
They cried: was it for their mother's embrace, or did they miss their
brother and sisters? Not even the piteous cry of motherless infancy
could light one spark of emotion in the widowed husband's breast--all
was one awful blank of idiocy. A wife and three children, buried beneath
piles of freight, had found a wretched grave; his heart and his reason
had fled after them--never, apparently, to return.

Surely this was a scene pre-eminently calculated to excite in those who
wore, by their very escape, living monuments of God's mercy, the deepest
feelings of gratitude and commiseration; yet, there stood the poor
idiot, as if he had not been; and the jest, the glass, and cigar went on
with as much indifference as if the party had just come out of a
theatre, instead of having providentially escaped from a struggle
between life and death. A more perfect exhibition of heartlessness
cannot be conceived, nor do I believe any other part of the world could
produce its equal.

The immediate cause of the wreck was the steamer "H.R.W. Hill" running
into us, owing to misunderstanding the bell signal; most providentially
she caught alongside of us after striking; if she had not done so, God
alone knows who could have been saved. As far as I could ascertain, all
the first-class passengers were saved. Do not stare at the word
first-class, for although in this country of so-called equality no
difference of classes is acknowledged, poor helpless emigrants are taken
as deck-passengers, and, as freight is the great object, no space is set
apart for them; they are stowed away among the cargo as best they can
be, with no avenue of escape in case of accidents, and with the
additional prospect of being buried beneath bales and barrels. I believe
fifteen passengers perished in this way: one poor English-woman among
the deck-passengers fought her way through the freight, and, after being
nearly drowned and trampled to death under the hoofs of the cattle,
succeeded in escaping. A slave-merchant with a dozen negroes managed to
save all of them, inasmuch as, being valuable, he had them stowed away
in a better place. The moment the wreck was completed, we proceeded up
the river, wasting no time in trying to save any part of the cargo or
luggage. My own position was anything but a pleasant one, though I trust
I was truly thankful for my preservation. I found I had managed to throw
my desk between the two steamers, and it was therefore irrecoverably
lost, with all my papers, letters of credit, journal, &c. I had also
lost everything else except what T had on,--rifle, guns, clothes,--all
were gone. A few things, such as money, watch, note-book, which I always
kept in my pockets, were all my stock in trade. Fortunately, my friend
had saved his papers, and thus our identity could be established at New
Orleans. In the course of a few hours we saw a fine steamer coming down
the river, in which we embarked, and again pursued our journey south.

In the afternoon we passed several pieces of the wreck: the shores were
covered with the casks of pork and mustang liniment which had formed a
great part of our freight. At one place, a large portion of the wreck,
was made fast ashore, and being plundered by the settlers on the bank;
boxes and trunks were all broken open and cleaned out; little boats were
flying across the river full of pork and other prizes: it was an
universal scramble in all directions, and appeared to be considered as
lawful plunder by them as if they had been Cornish wreckers. It was
hopeless to try and recover anything, so we continued our journey, and
left our goods to the tender mercies of the landsharks on the banks.
Having lost all my papers, I was obliged to forego the pleasure I had
anticipated from a visit to Natchez, or rather to the gentlemen and
plantations in the neighbourhood.

As you approach the lower part of the river, signs of human life become
more frequent; the forest recedes, the banks of the river are leveed up,
and legions of Uncle Tom's Cabins stud the banks; some, clustered near
the more luxurious but still simple building wherein dwells the
proprietor, surrounded by orange groves and the rich flowers and foliage
of southern climes. These little spots appear like bright oases in the
otherwise dreary, uninteresting flats, which extend from the banks on
either side; yet it is only as a scene they are uninteresting; as a
reality, they have a peculiar interest. On these Hats the negro slave
expends his labour and closes his life, and from the bitter of his
career the white man draws the sweet luxury of his own. How few reflect
upon this, even for as many seconds as it takes to melt the clarified
lump in the smoking bohea. But here we are at La Fayette, which is the
upper or American end of New Orleans, where steamers always stop if
there are any cattle on board, which being our case, we preferred
landing and taking an omnibus, to waiting for the discharge of the
live-stock. Half an hour brought us to the St. Louis Hotel, and there
you may sit down a minute or two while I make some observations on the
steaming in Western rivers.

The whole system and management is a most grievous reproach to the
American nation. I speak not of the architecture, which is good, nor of
the absurd inconsistency in uniting such palatial appearance with such
absolute discomfort, which perhaps, with their institutions and ideas,
it would be very difficult to remedy. My observations refer more to
that by which human life is endangered, and the valuable produce of
human labour recklessly destroyed. The following extract from a
Louisville paper will more than justify any animadversions which I may
make:--

  DISASTERS ON WESTERN RIVERS.--The Louisville _Courier_ has published a
  list of disasters on Western waters during the year 1852. It is a
  formidable one, embracing 78 steam-boats, 4 barges, 73 coal-boats, 3
  salt-boats, and 4 others, flat-boats. It appears that 47 boats were
  lost by being snagged, 16 by explosions, 4 were burnt, and the others
  lost by collision and other mishaps. The greatest number of lives lost
  by one disaster was the explosion of the "Saluda," 100. The total loss
  of life exceeds 400 persons.[Q]

Here is a list of one hundred and sixty-two vessels of different kinds,
and four hundred human beings, lost in one year; of which vessels it
appears forty-six were snagged. You will naturally ask here, what
precautions are taken to avoid such frightful casualties? The answer is
short--None. They had a few boats employed once to raise the snags, but
the thirst for annexation ran them into a war, and the money was wanted
for that purpose. The Westerns say they are ridden over by the Easterns,
and that Government will do nothing for them.[R]

It is not for me to decide the reasons, but the fact is but too clear,
that in a country boasting of its wealth, its power, its resources, and
not burdened with one farthing of debt, not a cent is being expended in
making the slightest endeavours to remove the dangers of this gigantic
artery of commerce. And what would be the cost of this national object?
The captains of the boats told me that two dozen snag-boats in three
years would clear the river; and that half that number could keep it
clear; yet, rather than vote the money requisite, they exhibit a
national indifference to the safety of life and property such as, I may
confidently affirm, cannot be found in any other civilized nation. A
very small tax on the steamers would pay the expenses; but the Westerns
say, and say with truth, "This is not a local, this is a national question.
Government builds lighthouses, harbours, &c., for the eastern board, and
we are entitled to the same care for our commerce." A navigation of two
thousand miles is most certainly as thoroughly a national question as a
seaboard is. It should also be remembered that, if the navigable
tributaries be added, the total presents an unbroken highway of internal
commerce amounting to 16,700 miles--a distance which, it has been
remarked, "is sufficient to encircle Europe and leave a remnant which
would span the Atlantic."

Next on the list comes the "explosions." I have already given you an
account of how the so-called examinations are too often made. Surely
these inspections might be signed upon oath before a magistrate; and as
surely, I should hope, men might be found who would not perjure
themselves. The burnt vessels are few in number, and more than one case
has, I believe, been tried on suspicion of being set fire to
intentionally.

The last on the list is "collisions, &c." By the "&c.," I suppose, is
mount vessels which, having run on the river till they wore only fit for
firewood, still continued "just one more trip;" and then, of course, the
slightest concussion, either on a bank or a floating log, would break
them up like a chip basket. The examination on this point is conducted
like that of the boilers, and the same remedy might readily be applied.
I think, however, that the greater number of losses from collisions,
&c., may be chiefly ascribed to the collisions. The cause of these
collisions is easily understood, when you are informed that vessels
meeting indicate the side they intend to take by sounding a bell. They
have no fixed rule, like vessels meeting at sea. The sound of the toll
of the second bell may easily be blended with the first, if it be struck
hurriedly, which in cases of danger is more than probable; or, the sound
of a single toll may find an echo and be mistaken for two tolls. The
collision we met with was caused by this very misunderstanding; at
least, so the captains mutually explained it. The reason given me for
this unsettled system was, that, owing to banks and currents, vessels
could not always take the same side. Supposing this to be so, still, a
more correct indication of the side intended to be taken might be
obtained by lights kept burning for that purpose in a box with a
sliding front, removeable at pleasure by a line leading to the
wheel-house, in the same way as the lanyard of the bell is at present
fitted; and a further palpable advantage would be obtained by obliging
vessels meeting in the night to stop the engines and pass at "slow
speed." In addition to these precautions, a stout cork fender, extending
round the bows some ten feet on each side, and fixed every night at
dark, would materially lessen the chances of destruction, even if
collision did take place.

There is, however, another cause of accident which the Louisville paper
does not allude to, and that is overloading. We started about two and a
half feet out of the water when leaving St. Louis, and, long before we
met with our accident, we had taken in cargo till we were scarce five
inches above the river. Not only do they cram the lower or freight deck,
but the gallery outside the saloons and cabins is filled till all the
use and comfort thereof is destroyed, and scarce a passage along them to
be obtained. Seeing the accidents such reckless freighting must
necessarily give rise to, what more simple than obliging every vessel to
have a float or loading line painted from stem to stern at a certain
elevation, making the captain and owners liable to a heavy penalty if
the said line be brought below the water by the freight. There is one
other point which I may as well notice here, and that is the manner in
which these boats are allowed to carry deck-passengers. There is no
clear portion of deck for them, and they are driven by necessity among
the bales and boxes of freight, with no avenue of escape in case of
accident. These are the people who suffer in cases of snagging and
collision, &c. These hardy sons of toil, migrating with their families,
are all but penniless, and therefore, despite all vaunt of equality,
they are friendless. Had every deck-passenger that has perished in the
agony of a crushing and drowning death been a Member of Senate or
Congress, the Government would have interfered long ere this; but these
miserable wretches perish in their agony, and there is no one to re-echo
that cry in the halls of Congress. They are chiefly poor emigrants, and
plenty more will come to fill their places.

If the Government took any such steps as those above recommended, the
fear of losing insurance by neglecting them would tend greatly to make
them respected. Companies would insure at a lower rate, and all parties
would be gainers in the long run; for, if the Government obtained no
pecuniary profit, it would gain in national character by the removal of
a reproach such as no other commercial country at the present day
labours under.

There is, moreover, a moral point of view to be taken of this
question--viz., "the recklessness of human life engendered by things as
they are."

The anecdotes which one hears are of themselves sufficient to leave
little doubt on this point. Take, for instance, the following:--A vessel
having been blown up during the high pressure of a race, among the
witnesses called was one who thus replied to the questions put to him:--

EXAMINER.--"Were you on board when the accident took place?"

WITNESS.--"I guess I was, and nurthing else."

EXAMINER.--"Was the captain sober?"

WITNESS.--"Can't tell that, nohow."

EXAMINER.--"Did you not see the captain during the day?"

WITNESS.--"I guess I did."

EXAMINER.--"Then can, you not state your opinion whether he was drunk or
not?"

WITNESS.--"I guess I had not much time for observation; he was not on
board when I saw him."

EXAMINER.--"When did you see him, then?"

WITNESS.--"As I was coming down, I passed the gentleman going up."

The court, of course, was highly amused at his coolness, and called
another witness.--But let us turn from this fictitious anecdote to fact.

It was only the other day that I read in a Louisville paper of a
gentleman going into the Gait-house Hotel, and deliberately shooting at
another in the dining-saloon when full of people, missing his aim, and
the hall lodging in the back of a stranger's chair who was quietly
sitting at his dinner. Again, I read of an occurrence--at Memphis, I
think--equally outrageous. A man hard pressed by creditors, who had
assembled at his house and were urgent in their demands, called to them
to keep back, and upon their still pressing on, he seized a bowie-knife
in each hand, and rushed among them, stabbing and ripping right and
left, till checked in his mad career of assassination by a creditor, in
self-defence, burying a cleaver in his skull.

In a Natchez paper I read as follows:--"Levi Tarver, formerly a resident
of Atala county, was recently killed in Texas. Tarver interrupted a
gentleman on the highway; high words ensued, when Tarver gave the
gentleman the lie; whereupon the latter drew a bowie-knife, and
completely severed, at one blow, Levi's head from his body."

In a St. Louis paper, I read of a German, Hoffman by name, who was
supposed by Baker to be too intimate with his wife, and who was
consequently desired to discontinue his visits. Hoffman remonstrated in
his reply, assuring the husband that his suspicions were groundless. A
short time after he received a letter from Mrs. Baker, requesting him to
call upon her: he obeyed the summons, and was shown into her bedroom at
the hotel. The moment he got there, Mrs. Baker pulled two pistols from
under the pillow, and discharged both at his head. Hoffman rushed out of
the house; scarce was he in the street, when Mr. Baker and three other
ruffians pounced upon him, dragged him back to the hotel, and placed
guards at the door to prevent any further ingress from the street. They
then stripped him perfectly naked, lashed him with cow-hides till there
was scarce a sound piece of flesh in his body, dashing cold water over
him at intervals, and then recommencing their barbarities. When tired of
this brutality, they emasculated their wretched victim with a common
table-knife. And who were these ruffians? Were they uneducated villains,
whom poverty and distress had hardened into crime? Far from it. Mr.
Baker was the owner of a grocery store; of the others, one was the
proprietor of the St. Charles hotel, New Bremen; the second was a young
lawyer, the third was a clerk in the "Planter's House." Can the sinks of
ignorance and vice in any community present a more bloody scene of
brutality than was here deliberately enacted, by educated people in
respectable positions, in the middle of the day? What can be thought of
the value of human life, when I add that all these miscreants were
bailed?

These are merely the accounts which have met my eye in the natural
course of reading the newspaper, for I can most truthfully declare I
have not taken the slightest trouble to hunt them up. The following,
which bears upon the same point, was related to me in the course of
conversation at dinner, and it occurred in New Orleans. Mr. A. treads on
Mr. B.'s too several times; Mr. B. kicks Mr. A. down stairs, and this at
a respectable evening party. Now what does Mr. A. do? He goes outside
and borrows a bowie-knife from a hack-cabman, then returns to the party,
watches and follows Mr. B. to the room where the hats and cloaks were
placed, seizes a favourable moment, and rips Mr. B.'s bowels open. He is
tried for murder, with evidence sufficient to hang a dozen men; and, to
the astonishment of even the Westerns themselves, he is acquitted. These
facts occurred not many years since, and they were narrated to me by a
gentleman who was at the party.

When two members of the Legislature disgraced the halls at Washington,
by descending into the political arena with pistols and bowie-knives,
and there entering into deadly conflict, were they not two Western
members? Now, what do these occurrences prove? Certainly not that all
Westerns are bloodthirsty, for many of them are the most kind, quiet,
and amiable men I have ever met; but, when taken in connexion with the
free use of the bowie-knife, they afford strong evidence that there is a
general and extraordinary recklessness of human life; and surely, common
sense and experience would both endorse the assertion, that habituating
men to bloody disputes or fatal accidents has a tendency to harden both
actors and spectators into utter indifference. And what is the whole of
the Western river navigation but one daily--I might almost say,
continual--scene of accidents and loss of life, tending to nourish those
very feelings which it is the duty of every government to use all
possible means to allay and humanize?

The heartless apathy with which all classes of society, with scarce
individual exceptions, speak of these events is quite revolting to a
stranger, and a manifest proof of the injurious moral effect of
familiarizing people with such horrors. The bowie-knife, the revolver,
and the river accidents, mutually act and react upon each other, and no
moral improvement can reasonably be expected until some great change be
effected. Government can interfere with the accidents;--deadly weapons
are, to a certain extent, still necessary for self-protection. Let us
hope, then, that something will ore long be done to prevent disasters
pregnant with so many evils to the community, and reflecting so strongly
on the United States as a nation.[S] Having gone off at a tangent, like
a boomerang, I had better, like the same weapon, return whence I
started--in military language, "as you was."


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote P: On the Mississippi a cord contains one definite quantity,
being a pile 1 feet high, 4 feet broad, and 8 feet long, and does not
vary in size in the same absurd manner as it does in various parts of
England: the price paid is from eight to thirteen shillings, increasing
as you descend the river.]

[Footnote Q: A committee of the United States calculated that, in 1846,
the losses on the Mississippi amounted to 500,000l.; and as commerce has
increased enormously, while precautions have remained all but stagnant,
I think it may be fairly estimated, that the annual losses at the
present day amount to at least 750,000l.]

[Footnote R: _Vide_ chapter on "Watery Highways."]

[Footnote S: Since writing the above, some more stringent regulations as
to inspection have appeared, similar to those advocated in the text; but
they contain nothing respecting loading, steering, &c. In fact, they are
general laws, having 110 especial bearing on Western waters.]



CHAPTER XI.

_New Orleans_.


New Orleans is a surprising evidence of what men will endure, when
cheered by the hopes of an ever-flowing tide of all-mighty dollars and
cents. It is situated on a marsh, and bounded by the river on one side,
and on the other by a continuation of the marsh on which it is built,
beyond which extends a forest swamp. All sewerage and drainage is
superficial--more generally covered in, but in very many places dragging
its sluggish stream, under the broad light of day, along the edges of
the footway. The chief business is, of course, in those streets skirting
the river; and at this season--December--when the cotton and sugar mania
is at its height, the bustle and activity is marvellous. Streets are
piled in every direction with mounds of cotton, which rise as high as
the roofs; storehouses are bursting with bales; steam and hydraulic
presses hiss in your ear at every tenth step, and beneath their power
the downy fibre is compressed into a substance as hard as Aberdeen
granite, which semi-nude negroes bind, roll, and wheel in all
directions, the exertion keeping them in perpetual self-supplying animal
steam-baths. Gigantic mules arrive incessantly, dragging fresh freight
for pressure; while others as incessantly depart, bearing freight for
embarkation to Europe. If a pair of cotton socks could be made vocal,
what a tale of sorrow and labour their history would reveal, from the
nigger who picked with a sigh to the maiden who donned with a smile.

Some idea may be formed of the extent of this branch of trade, from the
statistical fact that last year the export amounted to 1,435,815
bales[T]--or, in round numbers, one and a half millions--which was an
increase of half a million upon the exports of the preceding twelve
months. Tobacco is also an article of great export, and amounted last
year to 94,000 hogsheads, being an increase of two-thirds upon the
previous twelve months. The great staple produce of the neighbourhood is
sugar and molasses. In good years, fifty gallons of molasses go to a
thousand pounds of sugar; but, when the maturity of the cane is impeded
by late rains, as was the case last year, seventy gallons go to the
thousand pounds of sugar. Thus, in 1853, 10,500,000 gallons of molasses
were produced, representing 210,000,000 pounds of sugar; while, in 1854,
18,300,000 gallons of molasses were produced, being nearly double the
produce of the preceding year, but representing only 261,500,000 pounds
of sugar,--owing, as before explained, to the wet weather. Some general
idea of the commercial activity of New Orleans may be formed from the
following statistics for 1853:--2266 vessels, representing 911,000 tons,
entered New Orleans; and 2202 vessels, representing 930,000 tons,
cleared.

Now, of course, the greater portion--or I might almost say the whole--of
the goods exported reach New Orleans by the Mississippi, and therefore
justify the assertion that the safe navigation of that river is, in the
fullest sense of the term, a national and not a local interest, bearing
as it does on its bosom an essential portion of the industrial produce
of eleven different States of the Union.

It is quite astounding to see the legions of steamers from the upper
country which are congregated here; for miles and miles the levee forms
one unbroken line of them, all lying with their noses on shore--no room
for broadsides. On arriving, piled up with goods mountain high, scarce
does a bow touch the levee, when swarms of Irish and niggers rush down,
and the mountainous pile is landed, and then dragged off by sturdy mules
to its destination. Scarce is she cleared, when the same hardy sons of
toil build another mountainous pile on board; the bell rings, passengers
run, and she is facing the current and the dangers of the snaggy
Mississippi. The labour of loading and unloading steamers is, as you may
suppose, very severe, and is done for the most part by niggers and
Irishmen. The average wages are from 7l. to 8l. per month; but, in
times of great pressure from sudden demand, &c., they rise as high as
from. 12l. to 14l. per month, which was the case just before my
arrival. The same wages are paid to those who embark in the steamers to
load and unload at the different stations on the river. Every day is
a working day; and as, by the law, the slave has his Sunday to himself
to earn what he can, the master who hires him out on the river is
supposed to give him one-seventh of the wages earned; but I believe they
only receive one-seventh of the ordinary wages--i.e., 1l. per month.

[Illustration: THE NEW ST. CHARLES HOTEL, NEW ORLEANS.]

Let us now turn from the shipping to the town. In the old, or French
part, the streets are generally very narrow; but in the American, or the
La Fayette quarter, they are very broad, and, whether from indolence or
some other reason, badly paved and worse cleansed; nevertheless, if the
streets are dirty and muddy, the houses have the advantage of being
airy. There are no buildings of any importance except the new
Custom-house, and, of course, the hotels. The St. Louis is at present
the largest; but the St. Charles, which is being rebuilt, was, and will
again be, the hotel pride of New Orleans.[U] They are both enormous
establishments, well arranged, and, with the locomotive propensities of
the people, sure to be well filled during the winter months, at which
period only they are open. When I arrived at the St. Louis, it was so
full that the only room I could get was like a large Newfoundland dog's
kennel, with but little light and less air. The hotel was originally
built for an Exchange, and the rotundo in the centre is one of the
finest pieces of architecture in the States. It is a lofty, vaulted
hall, eighty feet in diameter, with an aisle running all round,
supported by a row of fine pillars fifty feet in height; the dome rises
nearly as many-feet more, and has a large skylight in the centre; the
sides thereof are ornamented by well-executed works in _chiaroscuro_,
representing various successful actions gained during the struggle for
independence, and several of the leading men who figured during that
eventful period. A great portion of the aisle is occupied by the
all-important bar, where drinks flow as freely as the river outside; but
there is another feature in the aisles which contrasts strangely with
the pictorial ornaments round the dome above--a succession of platforms
are to be seen, on which human flesh and blood is exposed to public
auction, and the champions of the equal rights of man are thus made to
endorse, as it were, the sale of their fellow-creatures.

I had only been in the hotel one day when a gentleman to whom I had a
letter kindly offered me a room in his house. The offer was too
tempting, so I left my kennel without delay, and in my new quarters
found every comfort and a hearty welcome, rendered more acceptable from
the agreeable society which it included, and the tender nursing I
received at the hands of one of the young ladies during the week I was
confined to the house by illness. Among all the kind and hospitable
friends I met with in my travels, none have a stronger claim on my
grateful recollection than Mr. Egerton and his family. When able to get
out, I took a drive with mine host: as you may easily imagine, there is
not much scenery to be found in a marsh bounded by a forest swamp, but
the effect is very curious; all the trees are covered with Spanish moss,
a long, dark, fibrous substance which hangs gracefully down from every
bough and twig; it is often used for stuffing beds, pillows, &e. This
most solemn drapery gave the forest the appearance of a legion of mute
mourners attending the funeral of some beloved patriarch, and one felt
disposed to admire the patience with which they stood, with their feet
in the wet, their heads nodding to and fro as if distracted with grief,
and their fibrous weeds quivering, as though convulsed with the
intensity of agony. The open space around is a kind of convalescent
marsh; that is, canals and deep ditch drains have been opened all
through it, and into these the waters of the marsh flow, as a token of
gratitude for the delicate little attention; at the same time, the
adjacent soil, freed from its liquid encumbrance, courts the attractive
charms of the sun, and has already risen from two and a half to three
and a half feet above its marshy level.

The extremity of this open space furthest from the town has been
appropriately fixed upon as the site of various cemeteries. The
lugubrious forest is enough to give a man the blue devils, and the
ditches and drains into which the sewers, &c., of the town are pumped,
dragging their sluggish and all but stagnant course under a broiling
summer gun, are sufficient to prepare most mortals for the calm repose
towards which the cypress and the cenotaph beckon them with greedy
welcome. The open space I have been describing is the "Hyde Park" and
"Rotten Row" of New Orleans, and the drive round it is one of the best
roads I ever travelled; it is called the "Shell Road," from the
top-dressing thereof being entirely composed of small shells, which soon
bind together and make it as smooth as a bowling-green. The Two-forty
trotters--when there are any--come out here in the afternoon, and show
off their paces, and if you fail in finding any of that first flight, at
all events you are pretty sure to see some good teams, that can hug the
three minutes very closely. Custom is second nature, and necessity is
the autocrat of autocrats, which even the free and enlightened must
obey; the consequence is, that the inhabitants of New Orleans look
forward to the Shell-road ride, or drive, with as much interest and
satisfaction as our metropolitan swells do to the Serpentine or the Row.

Having had our drive, let us now say a few words about the society. In
the first place, you will not see such grand houses as in New York; but
at the same time it is to be observed, that the tenants here occupy and
enjoy all their houses, while in New York, as I have before observed,
the owners of many of the finest residences live almost exclusively in
the basements thereof. This more social system at New Orleans, I am
inclined to attribute essentially to the French--or Creole--habits with
which society is leavened, and into which, it appears to me, the
Americans naturally and fortunately drop. On the other hand, the rivalry
which too often taints a money-making community has found its way here.
If A. gives a party which costs 200l., B. will try and get up one at
300l., and so on. This false pride--foolish enough anywhere--is more
striking in New Orleans, from the fact that the houses are not
calculated for such displays, and when they are attempted, it involves
unfurnishing bed-rooms and upsetting the whole establishment. I should
add they are comparatively rare, perhaps as rare as those parties which
are sometimes given in London at the expense of six weeks' fasting, in
order that the donor's name and the swells who attended the festive
scene may go forth to the world in the fashionable column of the
_Morning Post_. Whenever they do occur, they are invariably attended
with some such observations as the following:--

"What did Mrs. B.'s party cost last night?"

"Not less than 300l."

"Well, I'm sure they have not the means to afford such extravagant
expense; and I suppose the bed-rooms upstairs were all cleared out?"

"Oh, yes! three of them."

"Well I know that house, and, fix it how you will, if they cleared out
three bed-rooms, I'm sure they must have slept on the sofas or the
tables. I declare it's worse than foolish--it's wicked to have so much
pride," &c.

If those who thus indulged their vanity, only heard one-half of the
observations made by those who accent their hospitalities, or who strive
to get invitations and cannot, they would speedily give up their folly;
but money is the great Juggernaut, at the feet of which all the nations
of the earth fall down and worship; whether it be the coronets that
bowed themselves down in the temple of the Railway King in Hyde Park,
who could afford the expense; or the free and enlightened who do homage
in Mrs. ----'s temple at New Orleans, though perhaps she could not
afford the expense; one thing is clear--where the money is spent, there
will the masses be gathered together. General society is, however, more
sober and sociable, many families opening their houses one day in the
week to all their friends. The difference of caste is going out fast:
the Creoles found that their intermarriages were gradually introducing a
race as effete as the Bourbons appear to be in France; they are now
therefore very sensibly seeking alliances with the go-ahead blood of the
Anglo-Saxon, which will gradually absorb them entirely, and I expect
that but little Trench will be spoken in New Orleans by the year 1900.
Another advantage of the Creole element, is the taste it appears to have
given for French wines. As far as I am capable of judging, the claret,
champagne, and sauterne which I tasted here were superior in quality and
more generally in use than I ever found them in any other city. The
hours of dinner vary from half-past three to half-past five, and an
unostentatious hospitality usually prevails.

Servants here are expensive articles. In the hotels you find Irishmen
almost exclusively, and their wages vary from 2l. 8s. to 10l. per
month. In private houses, women's wages range from 2l. 8s. to 4l.
and men's from 6l. to 8l. the month. The residents who find it
inconvenient to go to the north during the summer, cross the lake to
their country villas at Passe Christianne, a pretty enough little place,
far cooler and more shady than the town, and where they get bathing, &c.
A small steamer carries you across in a few hours; but competition is
much wanted, for their charges are treble those of the boats in the
north, and the accommodation poor in comparison.

When crossing over in the steamer, I overheard a conversation which
showed how early in life savage ideas are imbibed here. Two lads, the
eldest about fifteen, had gone over from New Orleans to shoot ducks.
They were both very gentlemanly-looking boys, and evidently attending
some school. Their conversation of course turned upon fighting--when did
schoolboys meet that it was not so? At last, the younger lad said--

"Well, what do you think of Mike Maloney?", "Oh! Mike is very good with
his fists; but I can whip him right off at rough-and-tumble."

Now, what is "rough-and-tumble?" It consists of clawing, scratching,
kicking, hair-pulling, and every other atrocity, for which, I am happy
to think, a boy at an English school would be well flogged by the
master, and sent to Coventry by his companions. Yet, here was as nice a
looking lad as one could wish to see, evidently the son of well-to-do
parents, glorying in this savage, and, as we should call it, cowardly
accomplishment. I merely mention this to show how early the mind is
tutored to feelings which doubtless help to pave the way for the
bowie-knife in more mature years.

The theatres at New Orleans are neat and airy. Lola Montez succeeded in
creating a great _furore_, at last. I say "at last," because, as there
really is nothing in her acting above mediocrity, she received no
especial encouragement at first, although she had chosen her own career
in Bavaria as the subject in which to make her _débût._ She waited with
considerable tact till she was approaching those scenes in which the mob
triumph over order; and then, pretending to discover a cabal in the
meagre applause she was receiving, she stopped in the middle of her
acting, and, her eyes flashing fire, her face beaming brass, and her
voice wild with well-assumed indignation, she cried--"I'm anxious to do
my best to please the company; but if this cabal continues, I must
retire!" The effect was electric. Thunders of applause followed, and
"Bravo, Lolly!" resounded through the theatre, from the nigger-girl in
the upper gallery to the octogenarian in the pit. When the clamour had
subsided, some spicy attacks on kingcraft and the nobles followed most
opportunely; the shouts were redoubled; her victory was complete. When
the piece was over, she came forward to assure the company that the
scenes she had been enacting were all facts in which she had, in
reality, played the same part she had been representing that evening.
Thunders of "Go it, Lolly! you're a game 'un, and nurthin' else!" rang
all through the house as she retired, bowing. She did not appear in the
character of "bowie-knifing a policeman at Berlin;" and of course she
omitted some scenes said to have taken place during interviews with the
king, and in which her conduct might not have been considered, strictly
speaking, quite correct. She obtained further notoriety after my
departure, by kicking and cuffing a prompter, and calling the proprietor
a d--d scoundrel, a d--d liar, and a d--d thief, for which she was
committed for trial. I may as well mention here, that the theatre was
well attended by ladies. This fact must satisfy every unprejudiced mind
how utterly devoid of foundation is the rumour of the ladies of America
putting the legs of their pianofortes in petticoats, that their
sensitive delicacy may not receive too rude a shock. Besides the
theatres here, there is also an opera, the music of which, vocal and
instrumental, is very second-rate. Nevertheless, I think it is highly to
the credit of New Orleans that they support one at all, and sincerely do
I wish them better success.

The town is liberally supplied with churches of all denominations. I
went one Sunday to a Presbyterian church, and was much struck on my
entry at seeing all the congregation reading newspapers. Seating myself
in my pew, I found a paper lying alongside of me, and, taking it up, I
discovered it was a religious paper, full of anecdotes and experiences,
&c., and was supplied _gratis_ to the congregation. There were much
shorter prayers than in Scotland, more reading of the Bible, the same
amount of singing, but performed by a choir accompanied by an organ, the
congregation joining but little. The sermon was about the usual length
of one in Scotland, lasting about an hour, and extemporized from notes.
The preacher was eloquent, and possessed of a strong voice, which he
gave the reins to in a manner which would have captivated the wildest
Highlander. The discourse delivered was in aid of foreign missions, and
the method he adopted in dealing with it was--first, powerfully to
attack monarchical forms of government and priestly influence, by which
soft solder he seemed to win his way to their republican hearts; and
from this position, he secondly set to work and fed their vanity freely,
by glowing encomiums on their national deeds and greatness, and the
superior perfections of their glorious constitution; whence he deduced,
thirdly, that the Almighty had more especially committed to them the
great work of evangelizing mankind. This discourse sounded like the
political essay of an able enthusiast, and fell strangely on my ears
from the lips of a Christian minister, whose province, I had always been
taught to consider, was rather to foster humility than to inflame
vanity. It is to be presumed he knew his congregation well, and felt
that he was treading the surest road to their dollars and cents.

Among other curiosities in this town is a human one, known as the Golden
Man, from the quantity of that metal with which he bedizens waistcoat,
fingers, &c. During my stay at New Orleans, he appeared decked with such
an astounding gem, that it called forth the following notice from the
press:--

  ANOTHER RING.--The "gold" individual who exhibits himself and any
  quantity of golden ornaments, of Sunday mornings, in the vicinity of
  the Verandah and City Hotels, will shortly appear with a new wonder
  wherewith to astonish the natives. One would think that he had already
  ornaments enough to satisfy any mortal; but he, it appears, is not of
  the stuff every-day people are made of, and he could not rest
  satisfied until his fingers boasted another ring. The new prodigy is,
  like its predecessors, of pure solid gold. It is worth 500 dollars,
  and weighs nearly, if not quite, a pound. This small treasure is
  intended for the owner's "little" finger. It is the work of Mr. Melon,
  jeweller and goldsmith, on Camp-street, and is adorned with small
  carved figures, standing out in bold relief, and of very diminutive
  size, yet distinct and expressive. The right outer surface represents
  the flight of Joseph, the Virgin, and the infant Jesus into Egypt.
  Joseph, bearing a palm-branch, leads the way, the Virgin follows,
  seated on a donkey, and holding the Saviour in her lap. On the left
  outer edge of the ring is seen the prophet Daniel, standing between
  two lions. The prophet has not got a blue umbrella under his arm to
  distinguish him from the lions. The face of the ring exhibits an
  excellent design of the crucifixion, with the three crosses and the
  Saviour and the two thieves suspended thereto. This ring is certainly
  a curiosity.

There is a strong body of police here, and some of their powers are
autocratically autocratic: thus, a person once committed as a vagrant is
liable to be re-imprisoned by them if met in the street unemployed. Now,
as it is impossible to expect that people in business will take the
trouble to hunt up vagrants, what can be conceived more cruelly
arbitrary than preventing them from hunting up places for themselves?
Yet such is the law in this democratic city.[V] A gentleman told me of a
vagrant once coming to him and asking for employment, and, on his
declining to employ him, begging to be allowed to lie concealed in his
store during the day, lest the police should re-imprison him before he
could get on board one of the steamers to take him up the river to try
his fortunes elsewhere. At the same time, a person in good circumstances
getting into difficulties can generally manage to buy his way out.

The authorities, on the return of Christmas, having come to the
conclusion that the letting off of magazines of crackers in the streets
by the juvenile population was a practice attended with much
inconvenience and danger to those who were riding and driving, gave
orders that it should be discontinued. The order was complied with in
some places, but in others the youngsters set it at defiance. It will
hardly be credited that, in a nation boasting of its intelligence and
proud of its education, the press should take part with the youngsters,
and censure the magistrates for their sensible orders. Yet such was the
case at New Orleans. The press abused the authorities for interfering
with the innocent amusements of the children, and expressed their
satisfaction at the latter having asserted their independence and
successfully defied the law. The same want of intelligence was exhibited
by the press in censuring the authorities for discontinuing the
processions on the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans--"a ceremony
calculated to excite the courage and patriotism of the people." They
seem to lose sight of the fact, that it is a reflection on the courage
of their countrymen to suppose that they require such processions to
animate their patriotism, and that the continuance of such public
demonstrations parading the streets betokens rather pride of past deeds
than confidence in their power to re-enact them. Although such
demonstrations may be readily excused, or even reasonably encouraged, in
an infant community struggling for liberty, they are childish and
undignified in a powerful nation. What would be more ridiculous than
Scotland having grand processions on the anniversary of Bannockburn, or
England on that of Waterloo? Moreover, in a political point of view, it
should not be lost sight of, that if such demonstrations have any effect
at all on the community, it must be that of reviving hostile feelings
towards those to whom they are united most closely by the ties of blood,
sense, and--though last, not least--cents. I merely mention these
trivial things to show the punyizing effects which the democratic
element has on the press.

Formerly, duels were as innumerable here as bales of cotton; they have
considerably decreased latterly, one cause of which has been, the State
of Louisiana passing a law by which any person engaging in a duel is at
once deprived of his vote, and disabled from holding any state
employment. John Bull may profit by this hint.

I was much amused, during my stay at New Orleans, by hearing the remarks
of the natives upon the anti-slavery meeting at Stafford House, of which
the papers were then full. If the poor duchess and her lady allies had
been fiends, there could scarcely have been more indignation at her
"presumptuous interference" and "mock humility." Her "sisters, indeed!
as if she would not be too proud to stretch out her hand to any one of
them," &c. Then another would break out with, "I should like to know by
what right she presumes to interfere with us and offer advice? If she
wants to do good, she has opportunities enough of exercising her charity
in London. Let any one read _The Times_, and then visit a plantation
here, and say whether the negroes are not happier and better off than
one-half of the lower classes in England," &c. If every animadversion
which the duchess and her colleagues' kind intentions and inoffensive
wording of them called forth in America had been a pebble, and if they
had all been gathered together, the monument of old Cheops at Ghizeh
would have sunk into insignificance when contrasted with the gigantic
mass; in short, no one unacquainted with the sensitiveness of the
American character can form a conception of the violent state of
indignation which followed the perusal of the proceedings of that small
conclave of English lady philanthropists. Mrs. Jones, Smith, Adams, and
Brown might have had their meeting on the same subject without producing
much excitement; but when the aristocratic element was introduced, it
acted as a spark in a barrel of gunpowder. As an illustration of the
excitement produced, I subjoin an extract from one of their daily
papers, under the heading of "Mrs. Stowe in Great Britain:"--

  "The principles of free government developed here, and urging our
  people on with unexampled rapidity in the career of wealth and
  greatness, have always been subjects of alarm to monarchs and
  aristocracies--of pleasure and hope to the people. It has, of course,
  been the object of the former to blacken us in every conceivable way,
  and to make us detestable in the eyes of the world. There has been
  nothing since the revolution so well calculated to advance this end,
  as the exhibition which Mrs. Stowe is making in England.

  "It is because they have a deep and abiding hostility to this country,
  and to republicanism in general, that the aristocracy, not only of
  England, but of all Europe, have seized with so much avidity upon
  _Uncle Tom_, and have been at so much pains to procure a triumphal
  march for its author through all the regions she may choose to visit.
  They are delighted to see a native of the United States--of that
  republic which has taught that a people can flourish without an
  aristocracy or a monarch--of that republic, the example of whose
  prosperity was gradually undermining thrones and digging a pit for
  privileged classes--describing her country as the worst, the most
  abandoned, the most detestable that ever existed. Royalty draws a long
  breath, and privilege recovers from its fears. Among the people of the
  continent, especially among the Germans, Italians, and Russians, there
  are thousands who believe that murder is but a pastime here--that the
  bowie-knife and pistol are used upon any provocation--that, in fact,
  we are a nation of assassins, without law, without morality, and
  without religion. They are taught to believe these things by their
  newspapers, which, published under the eye of Government, allow no
  intelligence but of murders, bowie-knife fights, &c., coming from
  America, to appear in their columns. By these, therefore, only is
  America known to their readers; and they are very careful to instil
  the belief, that if America is a land of murderers, it is so because
  it has had the folly to establish a republican form of government.

  "These ideas are very general in England, even where the hostility is
  greater than it is on the Continent. To British avarice we owe slavery
  in this country. To British hatred we owe the encouragement of
  anti-slavery agitation now. The vile hypocrisy which has
  characterised the whole proceeding is not the least objectionable part
  of it. The English care not one farthing about slavery. If they did,
  why do they keep it up in such a terrific form in their own country?
  Where was there ever true charity that did not begin at home? It is
  because there is a deep-rooted hostility to this country pervading the
  whole British mind, that these things have taken place."

The wounded sensitiveness, however, which the foregoing paragraph
exhibits, found some consolation from an article which appeared in _The
Times_. They poured over its lines with intense delight, soothing
themselves with each animadversion it made upon the meeting, and
deducing from the whole--though how, I could never understand--that they
had found in the columns of that journal a powerful advocate for
slavery. Thus was peace restored within their indignant breasts, and
perhaps a war with the ladies of the British aristocracy averted. Of two
facts, however, I feel perfectly certain; one is, that the
animadversions made in America will not in the least degree impair her
Grace's healthy condition; and the other is, that the meeting held at
Stafford House will in no way improve the condition of the negro.

There are two or three clubs established here, into one of which
strangers are admitted as visitors, but the one which is considered the
"first chop" does not admit strangers, except by regular ballot; one
reason, I believe, for their objecting to strangers, is the immense
number of them, and the quality of the article. Their ideas of an
English gentleman, if formed from the mass of English they see in this
city, must be sufficiently small: there is a preponderating portion of
the "cotton bagman," many of whom seek to make themselves important by
talking large. Although probably more than nine out of ten never have
"thrown their leg" over anything except a bale of cotton, since the
innocent days of the rocking-horse, they try to impress Jonathan by
pulling up their shirt-collar consequentially, and informing him,--"When
I was in England, I was used to 'unt with the Dook's 'ounds; first-rate,
sir, first-rate style--no 'ats, all 'unting-caps." Then, passing his
left thumb down one side of his cheek, his fingers making a parallel
course down the opposite cheek, with an important air and an expression
indicative of great intimacy, he would condescendingly add,--"The Dook
wasn't a bad chap, after all: he used to give me a capital weed now and
then." With this style of John Bull in numerical ascendency, you cannot
wonder at the club-doors not being freely opened to "the Dook's
friends," or at the character of an English gentleman being imperfectly
understood.

Time hurries on, a passport must be obtained, and that done, it must be
_viséd_ before the Spanish consul, as Cuba is my destination. The
Filibusteros seem to have frightened this functionary out of his
proprieties. A Spaniard is proverbially proud and courteous--the present
specimen was neither; perhaps the reason may have been that I was an
Englishman, and that the English consul had done all his work for him
_gratis_ when the Filibustero rows obliged him to fly. Kindness is a
thing which the Spaniards as a nation find it very difficult to forgive.
However, I got his signature, which was far more valuable than his
courtesy; most of his countrymen would have given me both, but the one
sufficed on the present occasion. Portmanteaus are packed--my time is
come.

Adieu, New Orleans!--adieu, kind host and amiable family, and a thousand
thanks for the happy days I spent under your roof. Adieu, all ye
hospitable friends, not forgetting my worthy countryman the British
consul. The ocean teapot is hissing, the bell rings, friends cry, kiss,
and smoke--handkerchiefs flutter in the breeze, a few parting gifts are
thrown on board by friends who arrive just too late; one big-whiskered
fellow with bushy moustache picks up the parting _cadeau_--gracious me!
he opens it, and discloses a paper bag of lollipops; another unfolds a
precious roll of chewing tobacco. Verily, extremes do meet. The
"Cherokee" is off, and I'm aboard. Down we go, sugar plantations
studding either shore; those past, flat dreary banks succeed; ships of
all nations are coming up and going down by the aid of tugboats; two
large vessels look unpleasantly "fixed"--they are John Bull and
Jonathan, brothers in misfortune and both on a bank.

"I guess the pilots will make a good thing out of that job!" says my
neighbour.--

"Pilots!" I exclaimed, "how can that be? I should think they stood a
fair chance of losing their licence."

"Ah! sir, we don't fix things that way here; the pilots are too 'cute,
sir." Upon inquiry, I found that, as the banks were continually
shifting, it was, as my friend said, very difficult "to fix the
pilots,"--a fact which these worthies take every advantage of, for the
purpose of driving a most profitable trade in the following manner.
Pilot goes to tug and says, "What do you charge for getting a ship off?"
The price understood, a division of the spoil is easily agreed upon.
Away goes the pilot, runs the ship on shore on the freshest sandbank,
curses the Mississippi and everything else in creation; a tug comes up
very opportunely, a tidy bargain is concluded; the unfortunate pilot
forfeits 100l., his pilotage from the ship, and consoles himself the
following evening by pocketing 500l. from the tugman as his share of the
spoil, and then starts off again in search of another victim. Such, I
was informed by practical people, is a common feature in the pilotage of
these waters, and such it appears likely to continue.

The "Cherokee" is one of those vessels which belong to Mr. Law, of whom
I could get no information, expect that he had sprung up like a mushroom
to wealth and Filibustero notoriety. He is also the custodian, I
believe, of the three hundred thousand stand of arms ordered by Kossuth
for the purpose of "whipping" Russia and Austria, and establishing the
Republic of Hungary, unless by accident he found brains enough to become
a Hungarian Louis Napoleon; but Mr. Law's other vessel, called the
"Crescent City," and the Cuban Black Douglas, yclept "Purser Smith," are
perhaps better known. Peradventure, you imagine this latter to be a wild
hyena-looking man, with radiant red hair, fiery ferret eyes, and his
pockets swelled out with revolutionary documents for the benefit of the
discontented Cubans; but I can inform you, on the best authority, such
is not the case, for he was purser of the "Cherokee" this voyage. He
looks neither wild nor rabid, and is a grey-headed man, about fifty
years of age, with a dash of the Israelite in his appearance: he may or
he may not have Filibustero predilections--I did not presume to make
inquiry on the subject. And here I cannot but remark upon the childish
conduct of the parties concerned in the ridiculous "Crescent City and
Cuba question," although, having taken the view they did, the Spaniards
were of course perfectly right in maintaining it. It was unworthy of
the Spanish nation to take notice of the arrival of so uninfluential a
person as Purser Smith; and it was imprudent, inasmuch as it made him a
person of importance, and gave the party with whom he was supposed to be
connected a peg to hang grievances upon, and thus added to their
strength. It was equally unworthy of Mr. Law, when objection was made,
and a notification sent that Mr. Smith would not be admitted nor the
vessel that carried him, to persist in a course of conduct obnoxious to
a friendly power; and it was imprudent, when it must have been obvious
that he could not carry his point; thereby eventually adding strength to
the Spanish authority. When, all the fuss and vapour was made by Mr. Law
and his friends, they seemed to have forgotten the old adage, "People
who live in glass houses should not throw stones." President Filmore, in
his statesmanlike observations, when the subject was brought before him,
could not help delicately alluding to Charleston, a city of America.
Americans at Charleston claim to exercise the right--what a prostitution
of the term right!--of imprisoning any of the free subjects of another
nation who may enter their ports, if they are men of colour. Thus, if a
captain arrives in a ship with twenty men, of whom ten are black, he is
instantly robbed of half his crew during his whole stay in the harbour;
and on what plea is this done? Is any previous offence charged against
them? None whatever. The only plea is that it is a municipal regulation
which their slave population renders indispensable. In other words, it
is done lest the sacred truth should spread, that man has no right to
bind his fellow-man in the fetters of slavery.[W]

Was there ever such a farce as for a nation that tolerates such a
municipal regulation as this to take umbrage at any of their citizens
being, on strong suspicions of unfriendly feeling, denied entry into any
port? Why, if there was a Chartist riot in monarchical England, and the
ports thereof were closed against the sailors of republican America,
they could have no just cause of offence, so long as the present
municipal law of Charleston exists. What lawful boast of freedom can
there ever be, where contact with freemen is dreaded, be their skins
black or any colour of the rainbow? Why can England offer an asylum to
the turbulent and unfortunate of all countries and climes?--Because she
is perfectly free! Don't be angry, my dear Anglo-Saxon brother; you
know, "if what I say bayn't true, there's no snakes in Warginny." I feel
sure you regret it; but then why call forth the observations, by
supporting the childish obstinacy in the "Crescent City" affair.
However, as the housemaids say, in making up quarrels, "Let bygones be
bygones." Spain has maintained her rights; you have satisfied her, and
quiet Mr. Smith enters the Havana periodically, without disturbing the
Governor's sleep or exciting the hopes of the malcontents. May we never
see the Great Empire States in such an undignified position again!

Here we are still in the "Cherokee;" she is calculated to hold some
hundreds of passengers. Thank God! there are only some sixty on board;
but I do not feel equally grateful for their allowing me to pay double
price for a cabin to myself when two-thirds of them are empty, not to
mention that the single fare is eight guineas. She is a regular old tub
of a boat; the cabins are profitably fitted with three beds in each, one
above the other; the consequence is, that if you wish to sneeze at
night, you must turn on your side, or you'll break your nose against the
bed above you in the little jerk that usually accompanies the
sternutatory process. The feeding on board is the worst I ever
saw--tough, cold, and greasy, the whole unpleasantly accompanied with
dirt.

Having parted from my travelling companion at New Orleans, one of my
first endeavours was, by the aid of physiognomy, to discover some
passenger on whom it might suit me to inflict my society. Casting my
eyes around, they soon lit upon a fair-haired youth with a countenance
to match, the expression thereof bespeaking kindness and intelligence;
and when, upon further examination, I saw the most indubitable and
agreeable evidence that his person and apparel were on the most
successful and intimate terms with soap and water, I pounced upon him
without delay, and soon found that he was a German gentleman travelling
with his brother-in-law, and they both had assumed an _incognito_, being
desirous of avoiding that curious observation which, had their real
position in life been known, they would most inevitably have been
subject to. Reader, be not you too curious, for I cannot withdraw the
veil they chose to travel under; suffice it to know, their society added
much to my enjoyment, both on the passage and at the Havana. The sailing
of the vessel is so ingeniously managed, that you arrive at the
harbour's mouth just after sunset, and are consequently allowed the
privilege of waiting outside all night, no vessels except men-of-war
being allowed to enter between sunset and daybreak. The hopes of the
morrow were our only consolation, until at early dawn we ran through the
narrow battery-girt entrance, and dropped anchor in the land-locked
harbour of Havana.

[Illustration]


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote T: This was written in January, 1853.--The bale may be roughly
estimated at 450 lbs.]

[Footnote U: This hotel has long since been re-opened.]

[Footnote V: All large cities in America must of necessity be
democratic.]

[Footnote W: I have since heard that the Charleston authorities allow
the captains of vessels to keep their coloured crew on board, under
penalty of a heavy fine in case they land.]



CHAPTER XII.

_The Queen of the Antilles_.


It was a lovely morning, not a cloud in the sky; the harbour was as
smooth as a mirror, and bright with the rays of a sun which had reached
that height at which--in tropical climates--it gilds and gladdens the
scene without scorching the spectator; the quay was lined with ships
loading and unloading; small boats were flying about in every direction;
all around was gay and fresh, but the filthy steamer was still beneath
me. I lost no time in calling a skiff alongside; then, shaking the dust
from off my feet, I was soon pulling away for the shore.

As a matter of course, the Custom-house is the landing-place, and the
great object of search seems to be for Filibustero papers, or books
which advocate that cause. Having passed this ordeal, you take your
first drive in the national vehicle of the island, which rejoices in the
appellation of a "Volante," a name given it, I suppose, in bitter
sarcasm; a "Tortugante" would have been far more appropriate, inasmuch
as the pace resembles that of a tortoise far more than that of a bird. I
may here as well describe one of the best, of which, in spite of its gay
appearance, I feel sure the bare sight would have broken the heart of
"Humanity Dick of Galway."

From the point of the shaft to the axle of the wheel measures fifteen
feet, and as the wheel varies in diameter from six to seven feet, it of
course extends three feet beyond the axle. The body is something like a
swell private cab, the leather at the back being moveable, so as to
admit air, and a curtain is fitted in front joining the head of the cab
and the splash-board, for the sake of shade, if needed; this body is
suspended on strong leather springs, attached to the axle at one end,
and to a strengthening-piece across the shafts, seven and a half feet
distance from the axle, at the other. The point of the shaft is fitted
with rings, by which it hangs on the back-pad of the horse, whose head
necessarily extends about four feet beyond; thus you will observe, that
from the outer tire of the wheel to the horse's nose occupies at least
twenty-two feet, and that the poor little animal has the weight of the
carriage lying on him at the end of a lever fifteen feet long. Owing to
their great length, it is excessively difficult to turn them; a "Tommy
Onslow" would cut in and out with a four-in-hand fifteen miles an hour,
where the poor Volante would come to a regular fix--if the horses in
Cuba came into power, they would burn every one of them the next minute.
It must however be admitted that they are excessively easy to ride in,
and peculiarly suited to a country with bad roads, besides being the
gayest-looking vehicles imaginable; the boxes of the wheels, the ends of
the axle, the springs for the head, the bar to keep the feet off the
splash-board, the steps, the points of the fastenings of carriage and
harness are all silvered and kept bright. Nor does the use of the
precious metal stop here; the niggers who bestride the poor horses are
put into high jack-boots fitted with plated buckles and huge spurs, both
equally brilliant. These niggers have a most comical appearance; they
wear a skull-cap, or a handkerchief under a gold-banded hat; some wear a
red short-tailed jacket, the seams and the front of the collar covered
with bright yellow, on which are dispersed innumerable emblazonments of
heraldry, even to the very tails, which I should hardly have expected to
find thus gaily decorated,--it may have been from this practice we have
derived the expression of the seat of honour. The jack-boots they wear
sometimes fit very tight to the legs, in which case poor Sambo has to
roll up his pants till they assume the appearance of small bolsters tied
round the knee, presenting a most ludicrous caricature. The poor little
horses are all hog-maned, and their tails are neatly plaited down the
whole length, the point thereof being then tied up to the crupper, so
that they are as badly off as a certain class of British sheep-dog. This
is probably an ancient custom, originating from a deputation of flies
waiting upon the authorities, and binding themselves by treaty to leave
the bipeds in peace if they would allow them the unmolested torture of
the quadruped.

If the owner wishes to "make a splash," another horse, equally silvered,
is harnessed abreast, something like the Russian Furieux; and in the
country, where the roads on the plantations are execrable, and quite
impassable for any spring carriage, a third horse is often added, the
postilion always riding the near, or left-hand horse. The body of the
carriage is comfortably cushioned, and lined with bright gay colours,
and generally has a stunning piece of carpet for a rug. Such is the
Cuban Volante, in which the Hidalgos and the Corazoncitas with glowing
lustrous eyes roll about in soft undulating motion from place to place;
and, believe me, such a Volante, tenanted by fairy forms lightly and
gaily dressed, with a pleasant smile on their lips and an encyclopedia
of language beaming from the orbs above, would arrest the attention of
the most inveterate old bachelor that ever lived; nay, it might possibly
give birth to a deep penitential sigh and a host of good and sensible
resolutions. Ordinary Volantes are the same style of thing, only not so
gay, and the usual pace is from three to five and a half miles an hour,
always allowing five minutes for turning at the corner of every street.
If you are curious to know why I am in such a hurry to describe a
Volante, as if it were the great feature of Cuba, the reason is, simply,
that my first act on landing was to get into one of the said vehicles
and drive to the hotel.

The horses are generally very neat and compact, and about the size of a
very small English hack. For riding there are two kinds--the Spanish,
which goes at the "rack" or amble pace, and the American, which goes the
regular pace; the broad foreheads, short heads, and open nostrils show
plenty of good breeding. The charges both for horses and Volante, if you
wish to go out of the town, are, like everything else in Cuba,
ridiculously exorbitant. An American here is doing a tolerably good
business in letting horses and carriages. For a short evening drive, we
had the pleasure of paying him thirty-five shillings. He says his best
customers are a gang of healthy young priests, whom he takes out nearly
daily to a retired country village famous for the youth and beauty of
its fair sex, and who appear to be very dutiful daughters of the Church,
as they are said to appreciate and profit by the kind visits of these
excellent young men and their zealous labours of love.

There is a very good view of the town from the top of the hotel[X]. Most
of the houses have both flat and sloping roofs, the latter covered with
concave red tiles, cemented together with white, thus giving them a
strange freckled appearance; while in many cases the dust and dew have
produced a little soil, upon which a spontaneous growth of shrubbery has
sprung up; the flat roofs have usually a collection of little urn-shaped
turrets round the battlement, between which are stretched clothes-lines.
Here the ebony daughters of Eve, with their bullet-heads and polished
faces and necks, may be seen at all hours hanging up washed clothes,
their capacious mouths ornamented with long cigars, at which they puff
away like steam-engines.

One of the first sights I witnessed was a funeral, but not the solemn,
imposing ceremony which that word conveys to English ears. The sides of
the hearse and the upper part of the coffin were made of glass; inside
lay a little girl, six or seven years old, dressed as if going to a
wedding, and decorated with gay flowers. Volantes followed, bearing the
mourners--or the rejoicers; I know not which is the more correct term.
One or two were attired in black, but generally the colours were gay;
some were quietly smoking cigars, which it is to be hoped they did that
the ashes at the end thereof might afford them food for profitable
reflection. Custom is said to be second nature, and I suppose,
therefore, one could get habituated to this system if brought up under
it; but, seen for the first time, it is more calculated to excite
feelings of curiosity than solemnity. Doubtless, some fond parent's
heart was bleeding deeply, and tears such as a mother only can shed were
flowing freely, despite the gay bridal appearance of the whole ceremony.

On my return to the hotel, I found the Press--if the slavish tool of a
government can justly be designated by such a term--full of remarks upon
the new British Ministry[Y], many of which were amusing enough; they
showed a certain knowledge of political parties in England, and laughed
good-humouredly at the bundling together in one faggot of such
differently-seasoned sticks. Even the name of the Secretary of the
Admiralty was honoured by them with a notice, in which they scorned to
look upon him as a wild democrat. They criticised the great Peel's tail
going over in a body to the enemy's camp and placing themselves at the
head of the troops; but what puzzled them most was, how _aquellos Grey's
tan famosos por el nepotismo_ had not formed part of the ministry. I
confess they were not more puzzled than I was to account for the
mysterious combination; the only solution whereof which presented itself
to my mind, was the supposition that power has the same influence on
public men that lollipops have on the juvenile population, and that the
one and the other are ready to sacrifice a great deal to obtain
possession of the luscious morsel. However, as we live in an age of
miracles, we may yet see even a rope of sand, mud, and steel-filings,
hold together.--Pardon this digression, and let us back to Cuba.

The Cubans usually dine about half-past three; after dinner some go to
the _Paseo_ in their Volantes, others lounge on the quay or gather round
the military band before the Governor-General's palace. Look at that man
with swarthy countenance, dark hair, and bright eyes--he is seated on a
 stone bench listening to the music; a preserved bladder full of
tobacco is open before him, a small piece of thin paper is in his hand;
quick as thought a cigarette is made, and the tobacco returned to his
pocket. Now he rises, and walks towards a gentleman who is smoking; when
close, he raises his right hand, which holds the cigarette, nearly level
with his chin, then gracefully throwing his hand forward, accompanies
the act with the simple word _Favor_; having taken his light, the same
action is repeated, followed by a courteous inclination of the head as a
faintly expressed _Gracias_ escapes his lips. In this man you have a
type of a very essential portion of the male population. Reader, it is
no use your trying to imitate him; the whole scene, is peculiar to the
Spaniard, in its every act, movement and expression. Old Hippo at the
Zoological might as well try to rival the grace of a Taglioni.

The promenade over, many spend their evenings at billiards, dominoes,
&c., adjourning from time to time to some _café_ for the purpose of
eating ices or sucking goodies, and where any trifling conversation or
dispute is carried on with so much vivacity, both of tongue and of
fingers, that the uninitiated become alarmed with apprehensions of some
serious quarrel. Others again, who are ladies' men, or of domestic
habits, either go home or meet at some friend's house, where they all
sit in the front room on the ground-floor, with the windows wide open to
the street, from which they are separated only by a few perpendicular
iron bars. Yankee rocking-chairs and cane chairs are placed abreast of
these windows, and facing each other like lines of sentinels; there they
chat, smoke cigars, or suck their fingers, according to their sex and
fancy. Occasionally a merry laugh is heard, but I cannot say it is very
general. Sometimes they dance, which with them is a slow undulating
movement, suited to a marble floor and a thermometer at eighty degrees.
At a small village in the neighbourhood I saw a nigger hall,--the dance
was precisely the same, being a mixture of country-dance and waltz; and
I can assure you, Sambo and his ebony partner acquitted themselves
admirably: they were all well dressed, looked very jolly and
comfortable, and were by no means uproarious.

You must not imagine, from my observations on the fair tenant of the
Volante, that this is a land of beauty--far from it: one feature of
beauty, and one only, is general--good eyes: with that exception, it
is rare; but there are some few lovely daughters of Eve that would make
the mouth of a marble statue water. Old age here is anything but
attractive, either producing a mountainous obesity, or a skeleton on
which the loose dried skin hangs in countless wrinkles. But such is
generally the case in warm climates, as far as my observation goes. Any
one wishing to verify these remarks, has only to go on the Paseo a
little before sunset upon a Sunday evening, when he will be sure to meet
nine-tenths of the population and the Volantes all in gayest attire. The
weather on my arrival was very wet, and I was therefore unable to go
into the country for some days; but having cleared up, I got my passport
and took a trip into the interior.

[Illustration: "EL CASERO," THE PARISH HAWKER IN CUBA.]

The railway cars are built on the American models, i.e., long cars,
capable of containing about forty or fifty people; but they have had the
good sense to establish first, second, and third-class carriages; and,
at the end of each first-class carriage, there is a partition, shutting
off eight seats, so that any party wishing to be private can easily be
so. They travel at a very fair pace, but waste much time at the
stopping-places, and whole hours at junctions. By one of these
conveyances I went to Matanzas, which is very prettily situated in a
lovely bay. There is a ridge, about three miles from the town, which is
called the Cumbre, from the summit whereof you obtain a beautiful view
of the valley of the Yumuri, so called from a river of that name, and
concerning which there is a legend that it is famous for the slaughter
of the Indians by the Spaniards; a legend which, too probably, rests on
the foundation of truth, if we are to judge by the barbarities which
dimmed the brilliancy of all their western conquests. The valley is now
fruitful in sugar-canes, and surrounded with hills and woods; and the
_coup-d'oeil,_ when seen in the quick changing lights and shadows of the
setting sun, is quite, enchanting. Continuing our ride, we crossed the
valley as the moon was beginning to throw her dubious and silvery light
upon the cane fields. A light breeze springing up, their flowery heads
swayed to and fro like waving plumes, while their long leaves, striking
one against the other, swept like a mournful sigh across the vale, as
though Nature were offering its tribute of compassion to the fettered
sons of Adam that had helped to give it birth.

There is a very important personage frequently met with in Cuba, who is
called _El Casero_--in other words, the parish commissariat pedler. He
travels on horseback, seated between two huge panniers, and goes round
to all the cottages collecting what they wish to sell, and selling what
they wish to buy, and every one who addresses him on business he styles,
in reply, _Caserita_. This pedlering system may be very primitive, but
it doubtless is a great convenience to the rural population, especially
in an island which is so deficient in roads and communication. In short,
I consider _El Casero_ the representative of so useful and peculiar a
class of the community, that I have honoured him with a wood-cut wherein
he is seen bargaining with a negress for fowls, or _vice
versâ_,--whichever the reader prefers,--for not being the artist, I
cannot undertake to decide which idea he meant to convey.

There is nothing in the town of Matanzas worth seeing except the views
of it and around it. The population amounts to about twenty-five
thousand, and the shipping always helps to give it a gay appearance. My
chief object in visiting these parts was to see something of the sugar
plantations in the island; but as they resemble each other in essential
features, I shall merely describe one of the best, which I visited when
retracing my steps to Havana, and which belongs to one of the most
wealthy men in the island. On driving up to it, you see a large airy
house,--windows and doors all open, a tall chimney rearing its proud
head in another building, and a kind of barrack-looking building round
about. The hospitable owner appears to delight in having an opportunity
of showing kindness to strangers. He speaks English fluently; but alas!
the ladies do not; so we must look up our old rusty armoury of Spanish,
and take the field with what courage we may. Kindness and good-will
smooth all difficulties, and we feel astonished how well we get on; in
short, if we stay here too long we shall get vain, and think we really
can speak Spanish,--we must dine, we must stay, we must make the house
our own, and truly I rejoiced that it was so. The house had every
comfort, the society every charm, and the welcome was as warm as it was
unostentatious. We--for you must know our party was four in number--most
decidedly lit upon our legs, and the cuisine and the cellar lent
effectual aid. The proprietor is an elderly man, and the son, who has
travelled a good deal in Europe, manages the properties, which consist
of several plantations, and employ about twelve hundred slaves. The
sound of the lash is rarely heard, and the negroes are all healthy and
happy-looking; several of them have means to purchase their liberty, but
prefer their present lot. A doctor is kept on the estate for them; their
houses are clean and decent; there is an airy hospital for them if sick,
and there is a large nursery, with three old women who are appointed to
take charge during the day of all children too young to work: at night
they go to their respective families. On the whole property there was
only one man under punishment, and he was placed to work in chains for
having fired one of his master's buildings, which he was supposed to
have been led to do, owing to his master refusing to allow him to take
his infant home to his new wife till it was weaned; his former wife had
died in child-bed, and he wished to rear it on arrowroot, &c. This the
master--having found a good wet nurse for it--would not permit. The man
had generally borne a very good character, and the master, whose
_entourage_ bears strong testimony to his kind rule, seized the
opportunity of my visit to let him free at my request, as he had already
been working four months in chains similar to those convicts sometimes
wear; thus were three parties gratified by this act of grace.

It is well known that there are various ways of making sugar; but as the
method adopted on this plantation contains all the newest improvements,
I may as well give a short detail of the process as I witnessed it. The
cane when brought from the field is placed between two heavy rollers,
worked by steam, and the juice falls into a conductor below--the
squashed cane being carried away to dry for fuel--whence it is raised by
what is termed a "_monte jus_" into a tank above the "clarifier," which
is a copper boiler, with iron jacket and steam between. A proper
proportion of lime is introduced, sufficient to neutralize the acidity.
When brought to the boiling-point the steam is shut off, and the liquid
subsides. This operation is one of the most important in the whole
process; from the clarifier it is run through an animal charcoal
filterer, which, by its chemical properties, purifies it; from the
filterer it runs into a tank, whence it is pumped up above the
condensers, i.e., tubes, about fifteen in number, laid horizontally,
one above the other, and containing the steam from the vacuum pans. The
cold juice in falling over these hot tubes, condenses the steam-therein,
and at the same time evaporates the water, which is always a
considerable ingredient in the juice of the cane; the liquor then passes
into a vacuum pan, which is fitted with a bull's-eye on one side, and a
corresponding bull's-eye with a lamp on the opposite side, by which the
process can be watched. Having boiled here sufficiently, it passes
through a second filtration of animal charcoal, and then returns to a
second vacuum pan, where it is boiled to the point of granulation; it is
then run off into heaters below, whence it is ladled into moulds of an
irregular conical shape, in which it is left to cool and to drain off
any molasses that remain; when cooled it is taken to the purging-house.
The house where the operations which we have been describing were going
on, was two hundred yards long, forty yards broad, and built of solid
cedar and mahogany.

In the purging-house, these moulds are all ranged with the point of the
cone down, and gutters below. A layer of moist clay, about two inches
deep, is then placed upon the sugar at the broad end of the cone, and,
by the gradual percolation of its thick liquid, carries off the
remaining impurities. When this operation is finished, the cones are
brought out, and the sugar contained therein is divided into three
parts, the apex of the cone being the least pure, the middle rather
better, and the base the most pure and looking very white. This latter
portion is then placed upon strong wooden troughs, about six or eight
feet square. There, negroes and negresses break it up with long poles
armed with hard-wood head, trampling it under their delicate pettitoes
to such an extent as to give rise to the question whether sugar-tongs
are not a useless invention. When well smashed and trodden, it is packed
in boxes, and starts forth on its journeys; a very large proportion goes
to Spain. The two least pure portions are sent to Europe, to be there
refined. Such is a rough sketch of the sugar-making process, as I saw
it. All the machinery was English, and the proprietor had a corps of
English engineers, three in number, to superintend the work. In our
roadless trips to various parts of the plantation, we found the
advantage of the Volante, before described; and though three horses
were harnessed, they had in many places enough to do. We stayed a couple
of days with our kind and hospitable friends, and then returned to
Havana.

No pen can convey the least idea of the wonderful luxuriance of
vegetation which charms the eye at every step. There is a richness of
colour and a fatness of substance in the foliage of every tree and shrub
which I never met with before in any of my travels. The stately palm,
with its smooth white stem glittering in the sunbeams like a column of
burnished silver; the waving bamboo growing in little clumps, and
nodding in the gentle breeze with all the graceful appearance of a
gigantic ostrich plume; groves of the mango, with its deep and dark
foliage defying the sun's rays; the guava, growing at its feet, like an
infant of the same family; the mammee--or _abricot de St.
Domingue_--with its rich green fruit hanging in clusters, and a foliage
rivalling the mango; the dark and feathery tamarind; the light and
graceful indigo; the slow-growing arrowroot, with its palmy and feathery
leaves spreading like a tender rampart round its precious fruit;
boundless fields of the rich sugar-cane; acres of the luscious pine
apple; groves of banana and plantain; forests of cedar and mahogany;
flowers of every hue and shade; the very jungle netted over with the
creeping convolvulus,--these, and a thousand others, of which
fortunately for the reader I know not the names, are continually
bursting on the scene with equal profusion and variety, bearing lovely
testimony to the richness of the soil and the mildness of the climate.

Alas! that this fair isle should be at one and the same time the richest
gem in the crown of Spain, and the foulest blot on her escutcheon. Her
treaties are violated with worse than Punic faith, and here horrors have
been enacted which would make the blood of a Nero curdle in his veins.
Do you ask, how are treaties violated? When slaves are brought here by
our cruisers, Spain is bound by treaty to apprentice them out for three
years, so as to teach them how to earn a living, and then to free them.
My dear John Bull, you will be sorry to hear, that despite the activity
of our squadron for the suppression of slavery, that faithless country
which owes a national existence to oceans of British treasure, and the
blood of the finest army the great Wellington ever led, has the
unparalleled audacity to make us slave carriers to Cuba. Yes, thousands
of those who, if honour and truth were to be found in the Government of
Spain, would now be free, are here to be seen pining away their lives in
the galling and accursed chains of slavery, a living reproach to
England, and a black monument of Spanish faith. Yes, John Bull, I repeat
the fact; thousands of negroes are bound here in hopeless fetters, that
were brought here under the British flag. And, that there may be no
doubt of the wilfulness with which the Cuban authorities disregard their
solemn obligations, it is a notorious fact, that in a country where
passports and police abound in every direction, so that a negro cannot
move from his own home, upwards of a hundred were landed in the last
year, 1852, from one vessel, at a place only thirty-five miles from the
Havana, and marched in three days across the island to--where do you
think?--to some Creole's, or to some needy official's estate? no such
thing; but, as if to stamp infamy on Spain, at the highest step of the
ladder, they were marched to the Queen Mother's estate. If this be not
wickedness in high places, what is? The slave trade flourishes
luxuriantly here with the connivance of authority; and what makes the
matter worse is, that the wealth accumulated by this dishonesty and
national perjury is but too generally--and I think too justly--believed
to be the mainspring of that corruption at home for which Spain stands
pre-eminent among the nations of the earth. I will now give you a sketch
of the cruelties which have been enacted here; and, although an old
story, I do not think it is very generally known.

When General O'Donnell obtained the captain-generalship of Cuba, whether
his object was to obtain honours from Spain for quelling an
insurrection, or whether he was deceived, I cannot decide; but an
imaginary insurrection was got up, and a military court was sent in
every direction throughout the island. These courts were to obtain all
information as to the insurrection, and, of course, to flog the negroes
till they confessed. Unfledged ensigns would come with their guard upon
a plantation, and despite the owner's assurance that there was no
feeling of insubordination among the negroes, they would set to work
flogging right and left, till in agony the poor negro would say
something which would be used to criminate some other, who in turn
would be flogged till in agony he made some assertion; and so it went
on, till the blood-thirsty young officer was satiated. On one plantation
a negro lad had been always brought up with one of the sons of the
proprietor, and was, in fact, quite a pet in the family. One of these
military courts visited the plantation, and insisted upon flogging this
pet slave till he confessed what he never knew. In vain his master
strove to convince the officer of his perfect innocence; he would not
listen, and the poor lad was tied up, and received seven hundred lashes,
during which punishment some remarks he made in the writhings of his
agony were noted down, and he was shot at Matanzas for the same. The
master's son, who was forced to witness this barbarity inflicted upon
the constant companion of his early youth, never recovered the shock,
and died the following year insane.

The streets of Matanzas were in some places running with negro blood. An
eye-witness told me that near the village of Guinés he saw a negro
flogged with an aloe-leaf till both hip-bones were perfectly bare; and
there is little doubt that 1500 slaves died under the lash. You will
perhaps be surprised, most excellent John Bull, when I tell you that the
cruelties did not stop at the negroes, but extended even to whites who
claimed British protection. One of them was chained to a log of wood in
the open air for a hundred days and a hundred nights, despite the
strongest remonstrances on the part of the British authorities, and was
eventually unchained, to die two days after in jail. Several others were
imprisoned and cruelly treated; and when this reign of terror, worthy
even of Spain in her bloodiest days, was over, and their case was
inquired into, they were perfectly exonerated, and a compensation was
awarded them. This was in 1844. Some of them have since died from the
treatment they then received; and, if I am correctly informed, Spain--by
way of keeping up her character--has not paid to those who survive one
farthing of the sum awarded. Volumes might be filled with the atrocities
of 1844; but the foregoing is enough of the sickening subject. When I
call to mind the many amiable and high-minded Spaniards I have met, the
national conduct of Spain becomes indeed a mystery. But to return to
present times.

H.M.S. "Vestal," commanded by that active young officer, Captain C.B.
Hamilton, was stationed at Cuba for the suppression of slavery, &c. She
had been watching some suspicious vessels in the harbour for a long
time; but as they showed no symptoms of moving, she unbent sails and
commenced painting, &c. A day or two after, as daylight broke, the
suspicious vessels were missing from the harbour. The "Vestal"
immediately slipped, and, getting the ferry-boat to tow her outside,
commenced a chase, and the next day succeeded in capturing four vessels.
Of course they were brought into Havana, to be tried at the Mixed Court
there; three, I believe, were condemned, but the fourth, called the
"Emilia Arrogante" is the one to which I wish to call your attention,
because she, though the most palpably guilty, belonged to wealthy people
in the island, and therefore, of course, was comparatively safe. When
taken, the slave-deck which she had on board was carefully put into its
place, and every plank and beam exactly fitted, as was witnessed and
testified to by several of the "Vestal's" officers; yet, will you
believe it, when given up to the local authorities, they either burnt or
made away with this only but all-sufficient evidence, so that it became
impossible for the Court to condemn her.

It is curious to hear the open way people speak of the bribery of the
officials in the island, and the consequent endless smuggling that goes
on. A captain of a merchant-vessel told me that in certain articles,
which, for obvious reasons, I omit to mention, it is impossible to trade
except by smuggling; so universal is the practice, that he would be
undersold fifty per cent. He mentioned an instance, when the proper
duties amounted to 1200l., the broker went to the official and
obtained a false entry by which he only paid 400l. duty, and this
favour cost him an additional 400l. bribe to the official, thus saving
400l. This he assured me, after being several years trading to Cuba,
was the necessary practice of the small traders; nobody in Cuba is so
high that a bribe does not reach him, from the Captain-General, who is
handsomely paid for breaking his country's plighted faith in permitting
the landing of negroes, down to the smallest unpaid official. With
two-thirds the excuse is, "We are so ill-paid, we must take bribes;"
with the other third the excuse is, "It is the custom of the island."
Spain could formerly boast pre-eminence in barbarity--she has now
attained to pre-eminence in official corruption; but the day must come,
though it may yet be distant, when her noble sons of toil will burst the
fetters of ignorance in which they are bound, and rescue their fair land
from the paltry nothingness of position which it occupies among the
nations of Europe, despite many generous and noble hearts which even
now, in her degradation, are to be found blushing over present realities
and striving to live on past recollections.

There were some British men-of-war lying in the harbour; and as my two
German friends were anxious to see the great-gun exercise, I went on
board with these gentlemen to witness the drill, with which they were
much pleased. After it was over, and the ship's company had gone to
dinner, they wished to smoke a cigar, the whiffs of Jack's pipe having
reached their olfactories. Great was their astonishment, and infinite my
disgust, when we were walked forward to the galley to enjoy our weed, to
find the crew smoking on the opposite side. It is astonishing to think
that, with so much to be improved and attended to in the Navy, the
authorities in Whitehall-place should fiddle-faddle away precious time
in framing regulations about smoking, for the officers; and, instead of
leaving the place to be fixed by the captain of each vessel, and holding
him responsible, should name a place which, it is not too much to say,
scarce one captain in ten thinks of confining his officers to, for the
obvious reason that discipline is better preserved by keeping the
officers and men apart during such occupations,--and, moreover, that
sending officers to the kitchen to smoke is unnecessarily offensive.
These same orders existed thirty years ago; and, as it was well known
they were never attended to, except by some anti-smoking captain, who
used them as an excuse, the Admiralty very wisely rescinded an order
which, by being all but universally disregarded, tended to weaken the
weight and authority of all other orders; and after the word "galley,"
they then added, "or such other place as the captain shall appoint."
After some years, however, so little was there of greater importance to
engage their attention in naval affairs, that this sensible order was
rescinded, and the original one renewed in full force, and, of course,
with similar bad effect, as only those captains who detest smoking--an
invisible minority--or those who look for promotion from scrupulous
obedience to insignificant details--an equally invisible minority--act
up to the said instructions. Nevertheless, so important an element in
naval warfare is smoking now considered, that in the printed form
supplied to admirals for the inspection of vessels under their command,
as to "State and Preparation for Battle," one of the first questions is,
"Are the orders relative to smoking attended to?" If I am not much
misinformed, when Admiral Collier was appointed to the Channel squadron,
he repaired to the Admiralty, and told the First Lord that he had smoked
in his own cabin for twenty years, and that he could not forego that
pleasure. The First Lord is said to have laughed, and made the sensible
remark, "Of course you'll do as you like;" thereby showing, in my
opinion, his just sense of the ridiculousness of such a childish
regulation. So much for folly _redivivus_.

While on the subject of smoking, I may as well say a few words upon
cigar manufacture. In the first place, all the best tobacco grows at the
lower end of the island, and is therefore called "_Vuelta abajo_." An
idea has found its way into England, that it is impossible to make
cigars at home as well as at the Havana; and the reason given is, the
tobacco is made up at Havana during its first damping, and that, having
to be re-damped in England, it loses thereby its rich flavour and aroma.
Now, this is a most egregious mistake; for in some of the best houses
here you will find tobacco two and even four years old, which is not yet
worked up into cigars, and which, consequently, has to be re-damped for
that purpose. If this be so, perhaps you will ask how is it that
British-made cigars are never so good as those from Havana? There are
two very good reasons for this--the one certain, the other probable. The
probable one is, that the best makers in Havana, whose brand is their
fortune--such as Cabaños y Carvajal--will be jealous of sending the
best tobacco out of the country, lest, being forced to use inferior
tobacco, they might lose their good name; and the other reason is, that
cigars improve in flavour considerably by a sea voyage. So fully is this
fact recognised here, that many merchants pay the duty of three
shillings a thousand to embark their cigars in some of the West India
steamers, and then have them carried about for a month or so, thereby
involving a further payment for freight; and they all express
themselves as amply repaid by the improvement thereby effected in their
cigars. Nevertheless, many old Cubans prefer smoking cigars the same
week that they are made. At the same time, if any honest tobacconist in
England chose to hoist the standard of "small profit and plenty of it,"
he might make very good Havana tobacco cigars, at 50 per cent. profit,
under 16s. per 100. Thus--duty, 3s. 6_d_; tobacco, 5s.; freight and
dues, &c., 6d.; making up, 1s. 6d.--absolute cost of cigars, 10s.
6d. per 100; 50 per cent. profit thereon, 5s. 3d.; total, 15s. 9d.
For this sum a better article could be supplied than is ordinarily
obtained at prices varying from 25s. to 30s.

But 50 per cent. profit will not satisfy the British tobacconist when he
finds John Bull willing to give him 100 per cent. He therefore makes the
cigars at the prices above-mentioned, puts them into old boxes with some
pet brand upon them, and sells them as the genuine article. John Bull is
indebted for this extortionate charge to the supreme wisdom of the
Legislature, which has established a 3s. 6d. duty on the pound of
unmanufactured tobacco, and a 9s. duty on manufactured; instead of
fixing one duty for manufactured and unmanufactured, and making the
difference thereof depend upon the quality--lowering the duty upon the
tobacco used by the poor to 2s. 6d., and establishing on all the
better kinds a uniform rate, say 6s. or 7s. The revenue, I believe,
would gain, and the public have a better protection against the fraud of
which they are now all but universal victims. But to return to Havana.

The price paid for making cigars varies from 8s. to 80s. a thousand,
the average being about 15s. A certain quality of tobacco is made up
into cigars, and from time to time they are handed over to the examiner,
who divides them into three separate classes, the difference being
merely in the make thereof. A second division then takes place,
regulated by the colour of the outside wrapper, making the distinction
of "light" or "brown." Now, the three classes first noticed, you will
observe, are precisely the same tobacco; but knowing how the public are
gulled by the appearance, the prices are very different. Thus, taking
the brand of Cabaños y Carvajal _Prensados_, his first, or prettiest,
are 6l. 8s. per 1000; his second are 5l. 12s.; and his third are
5l.; and yet no real difference of quality exists. The cigars of which
I speak are of the very best quality, and the dearest brand in Havana.
Now, let us see what they cost put into the tobacconist's shop in
London:--32 dollars is 180s.; duty, 90s.; export at Havana, 3s.;
freight and extra expenses, say 7s.--making 230s. a thousand, or
23s. a hundred, for the dearest and best Havana cigars, London size.
But three-fourths of the cigars which leave the Havana for England do
not cost more than 3l. 4s. per thousand, which would bring their
cost price to the tobacconist down to 16s. 5d. The public know what
they pay, and can make their own reflections.

There is another class of cigar known in England as "Plantations," here
called "Vegueros." They are of the richest tobacco, and are all made in
the country by the sable ladies of the island, who use no tables to work
at, if report speaks truth; and as both hands are indispensable in the
process of rolling, what they roll upon must be left to the imagination.
It will not do to be too fastidious in this world. Cooks finger the
dainty cutlets, and keep dipping their fingers into the rich sauces, and
sucking them, to ascertain their progress, and yet the feasters relish
the savoury dish not one whit the less; so smokers relish the Veguero,
though on what rolled modesty forbids me to mention,--nor do they
hesitate to press between their lips the rich "Regalia," though its
beautifully-finished point has been perfected by an indefinite number of
passages of the negro's forefinger from the fragrant weed to his own
rosy tongue. Men must not be too nice; but I think in the above
description a fair objection is to be found to ladies smoking.

With regard to the population of Cuba, the authorities, of course, wish
to give currency to the idea that the whites are the most numerous.
Having asked one of these officials who had the best means of knowing,
he told me there were 550,000 whites and 450,000 negroes; but
prosecuting my inquiries in a far more reliable quarter, I found there
were 600,000 slaves, 200,000 free, and only 500,000 whites,--thus making
the coloured population as eight to five. The military force in the
island consists of 20,000, of which 18,000 are infantry, 1000 cavalry,
and 1000 artillery[Z]. The demand for labour in the island is so great,
that a speculation has been entered into by a mercantile house here to
bring 6000 Chinese. The speculator has already disposed of them at
24l. a-head; they are to serve for five years, and receive four
shillings a day, and they find their own way back. The cost of bringing
them is calculated at 10l. a head,--thus leaving 14l. gain on each,
which, multiplied by 6000, gives 84,000l. profit to the
speculator,--barring, of course, losses from deaths and casualties on
the journey. Chinese have already been tried here, and they prove
admirably suited to all the mechanical labour, but far inferior to the
negroes in the fields.

I find that people in the Havana can he humbugged as well as John Bull.
A Chinese botanist came here, and bethought him of trying his skill as a
doctor. Everybody became mad to consult him; no street was ever so
crowded as the one he lived in, since Berners-street on the day of the
hoax. He got a barrel of flour, or some other innocuous powder, packed
up in little paper parcels, and thus armed he received his patients. On
entering, he felt the pulse with becoming silence and gravity; at last
he said, "Great fire." He then put his hand on the ganglionic centre,
from which he radiated to the circumjacent parts, and then, frowning
deep thought, he observed, "Belly great swell; much wind; pain all
round." His examination being thus accomplished, he handed the patient a
paper of the innocuous powder, pocketed sixteen shillings, and dismissed
him. This scene, without any variety in observation, examination,
prescription, or fee, was going on for two months, at the expiration of
which time he re-embarked for China with 8000l.

As I believe that comparatively little is known in England of the laws
existing in Cuba with respect to domicile, police, slavery, &c., I shall
devote a few pages to the subject, which, in some of its details, is
amusing enough. No person is allowed to land on the island without a
passport from the place whence he arrives, and a _fiador_, or surety, in
the island, who undertakes to supply the authorities with information of
the place of his residence for one year; nor can he remain in the island
more than three months without a "domiciliary ticket." People of colour
arriving in any vessel are to be sent to a government deposit; if the
master prefers to keep them on board he may, but in that case he is
liable to a fine of 200l. if any of them land on the island; after a
certain hour in the evening all gatherings in the street are put a stop
to, and everybody is required to carry a lantern about with him; the
hierarchy and "swells"--_personas de distincion_--being alone exempt.
All purchases made from slaves or children or doubtful parties are at
the risk of the purchaser, who is liable not merely to repay the price
given, but is further subject to a heavy fine: no bad law either. Any
boy between the ages of ten and sixteen who may be found in the streets
as a vagrant may be taken before the president of the _Seccion de
Industria de la Real Sociedad Economica_, by whom he is articled out to
a master of the trade he wishes to learn. No place of education can be
opened without the teacher thereof has been duly licensed. No game of
chance is allowed in any shop or tavern, except in billiard-saloons and
coffee-houses, where draughts and dominoes, chess and backgammon are
tolerated. After a certain fixed hour of the night, no person is allowed
to drive about in a Volante with the head up, unless it rains or the
sitter be an invalid; the penalty is fifteen shillings. No private
individual is allowed to give a ball or a concert without permission of
the authorities. Fancy Londonderry House going to the London
police-office to get permission for a quadrille or a concert. How
pleasant! The specific gravity of milk is accurately calculated, and but
a moderate margin allowed for pump mixture; should that margin be
exceeded, or any adulteration discovered, the whole is forfeited to some
charitable institution. If such a salutary law existed in London, pigs'
brains would fall in the market, and I should not see so many milk-pails
at the spring during my early morning walks to the Serpentine.

Among the regulations for health, the following are to be found. No
private hospital or infirmary is to be opened without a government
licence. All keepers of hotels, coffee or eating houses, &c., are bound
to keep their kitchen "battery" well tinned inside, under a heavy
penalty of 3l. 10s. for every utensil which may be found
insufficiently tinned, besides any further liabilities to which they may
be subject for accidents arising from neglect thereof. Every shop is
obliged to keep a vessel with water at the threshold of the outer door,
to assist in avoiding hydrophobia. All houses that threaten to tumble
down must be rebuilt, and if the owner is unable to bear the expense,
he must sell the house to some one who can bear it. Another clause,
after pointing out the proper places for bathing, enjoins a pair of
bathing breeches, under a penalty of fifteen shillings for each offence;
the particular cut is not specified. Let those who object to put convex
fig-leaves over the little cherubs, and other similar works of art at
the Crystal Palace, take a lesson from the foregoing, and clothe them
all in Cuba pants as soon as possible; scenes are generally more
interesting when the imagination is partially called into play. Boys,
both little and big, are kept in order by a fine of fifteen shillings
for every stone they throw, besides paying in full for all damage caused
thereby. No one is allowed to carry a stick more than one inch in
diameter under a penalty of twelve shillings; but all white people are
allowed to carry swords, provided they are carried openly and in their
scabbards.

The foregoing are sufficient to convey to the reader some idea of the
ban of pains and penalties under which a resident is placed; at the same
time it may be as well to inform him, that, except those enactments
which bear upon espionage, they are about as much attended to as the
laws with regard to the introduction of slaves, respecting which latter
I will now give you a few of the regulations.

Slave owners are bound to give their slaves three meals a-day, and the
substance thereof must be eleven ounces of meat or salt-fish, four
ounces of bread, and farinaceous vegetables equal to six plantains;
besides this, they are bound to give them two suits of clothes--all
specified--yearly. Alas! how appropriate is the slang phrase "Don't you
wish you may get 'em?" So beautifully motherly is Spain regarding her
slaves, that the very substance of infants' clothes under three years of
age is prescribed; another substance from three to six; then comes an
injunction that from six to fourteen the girls are to be shirted and the
boys breeched. I am sure this super-parental solicitude upon the part of
the Government must be admitted to be most touching. By another
regulation, the working time is limited from nine to ten hours daily,
except in the harvest or sugar season, during which time the working
hours are eighteen a-day. No slave under sixteen or over sixty can be
employed on task-work, or at any age at a work not suited to his or her
strength and sex.

Old slaves must be kept by their master, and cannot be freed for the
purpose of getting rid of the support of them. Upon a plantation, the
houses must be built on a dry position, well ventilated, and the sexes
kept apart, and a proper hospital provided for them. By another law,
marriage is inculcated on moral grounds, and the master of the slave is
required to purchase the wife, so that they may both be under one roof;
if he declines the honour, then the owner of the wife is to purchase the
husband; and if that fails, a third party is to buy both: failing all
these efforts, the law appears non-plused, and leaves their fate to
Providence. If the wife has any children under three years of age, they
must be sold with her. The law can compel an owner to sell any slave
upon whom he may be proved to have exercised cruelty; should any party
offer him the price he demands, he may close the bargain at once, but if
they do not agree, his value is to be appraised by two arbiters, one
chosen by each party, and if either decline naming an arbiter, a law
officer acts _ex officio_. Any slave producing fifty dollars (ten
pounds) as a portion of his ransom-money, the master is obliged to fix a
price upon him, at which his ransom may be purchased; he then becomes a
_coartado_, and whatever sums he can save his master is bound to receive
in part payment, and, should he be sold, the price must not exceed the
price originally named, after subtracting therefrom the amount he has
advanced for his ransom. Each successive purchaser must buy him subject
to these conditions. In all disputes as to original price or completion
of the ransom, the Government appoints a law officer on behalf of the
slave. The punishments of the slave are imprisonment, stocks, &c.; when
the lash is used, the number of stripes is limited to twenty-five.

The few regulations I have quoted are sufficient to show how carefully
the law has fenced-in the slave from bad treatment. I believe the laws
of no other country in regard to slaves are so merciful, excepting
always Peru; but, alas! though the law is as fair as the outside of the
whited sepulchre, the practice is as foul as the inside thereof; nor can
one ever expect that it should be otherwise, when we see that, following
the example of the treaty-breaking, slave-importing Queen Mother, every
official, from the highest government authority down to the lowest petty
custom-house officer, exposes his honesty daily in the dirty market of
bribery.

A short summary of the increase of slave population may be interesting,
as showing that the charges made against the Cubans of only keeping up
the numbers of the slaves by importation is not quite correct. In the
year 1835 a treaty was made with Spain, renewing the abolition of slave
traffic, to which she had assented in 1817 by words which her subsequent
deeds belied. At this latter date, the slave population amounted to
290,000, since which period she has proved the value of plighted faith
by introducing upwards of 100,000 slaves, which would bring the total up
to 390,000. The present slave population, I have before remarked,
amounts to 600,000, which would give as the increase by births during
nearly twenty years, 210,000. If we take into consideration the ravages
of epidemics, and the serious additional labour caused by the long
duration of the sugar harvest, we may fairly conclude, as far as
increase by birth is admitted as evidence, that the treatment of slaves
in Cuba will stand comparison with that of the slave in the United
States, especially when it is borne in mind that the addition of slave
territory in the latter has made the breeding of slaves a regular
business.

The increase of the produce of Cuba may very naturally be ascribed to
the augmentation of slave labour, and to the improvements in machinery;
but there is another cause which is very apt to be overlooked, though I
think there can be no doubt it has exercised the most powerful influence
in producing that result: I allude to the comparative monopoly of the
sugar trade, which the events of late years have thrown into her hands.

When England manumitted the 750,000 slaves in the neighbouring islands,
the natural law of reaction came into play, and the negro who had been
forced to work hard, now chose to take his ease, and his absolute
necessities were all that he cared to supply: a little labour sufficed
for that, and he consequently became in his turn almost the master. The
black population, unprepared in any way for the sudden change, became
day by day more idle and vicious, the taxes of the islands increased,
and the circulation issued by the banks decreased in an equally fearful
ratio. When sugar the produce of slave labour was admitted into England,
a short time after the emancipation, upon the same terms as the produce
of the free islands, as a natural consequence, the latter, who could
only command labour at high wages and for uncertain time, were totally
unable to compete with the cheap labour and long hours of work in Cuba;
nearly every proprietor in our West India colonies feel into deep
distress,--some became totally ruined. One property which had cost
118,000l., so totally lost its value, owing to these changes in the
law, that its price fell to 16,000l. In Demerara, the sugar produce
sank from 104,000,000 lbs. to 61,000,000 lbs., and coffee from 9,000,000
lbs. to 91,000 lbs., while 1,500,000 lbs. of cotton disappeared
entirely.

These are no fictions, they are plain facts, borne testimony to in many
instances by the governors of the colonies; and I might quote an
infinite number of similar statements, all tending to prove the rapid
growth of idleness and vice in the emancipated slaves, and the equally
rapid ruin of the unfortunate proprietor. The principles upon which we
legislated when removing the sugar duties is a mystery to me, unless I
accept the solution, so degrading to the nation, "that humanity is a
secondary consideration to _£ s.d._, and that justice goes for nothing."
If such were not the principles on which we legislated, there never was
a more complete failure. Not content with demoralizing the slave and
ruining the owner, by our hasty and ill-matured plan of emancipation, we
gave the latter a dirty kick when he was falling, by removing the little
protection we had all put pledged our national faith that he should
retain; and thus it was we threw nearly the whole West India sugar trade
into the hands of Cuba, stimulating her energy, increasing her produce,
and clinching the fetters of the slave with that hardest holding of all
rivets--the doubled value of his labour.

Perhaps my reader may say I am taking a party and political view of the
question. I repudiate the charge _in toto_: I have nothing to do with
politics: I merely state facts, which I consider it requisite should be
brought forward, in order that the increase of Cuban produce may not be
attributed to erroneous causes. For this purpose it was necessary to
show that the ruin we have brought upon the free West Indian colonies is
the chief cause of the increased and increasing prosperity of their
slave rival; at the same time, it is but just to remark, that the
establishment of many American houses in Cuba has doubtless had some
effect in adding to the commercial activity of the island.

I have, in the preceding pages, shown the retrogression of some parts of
the West Indies, since the passing of the Emancipation and Sugar-Duty
Acts. Let me now take a cursory view of the progression of Cuba during
the same period.--Annual produce--

          Previous to Emancipation.            1852.

  Sugar        300,000,000 lbs.     --     620,000,000 lbs.
  Molasses     125,000,000  "       --     220,000,000  "
  Leaf Tobacco   6,000,000  "       --      10,000,000  "
  Coffee        30,000,000  "       --      19,000,000  "

The sugar manufactories during that time had also increased from eight
hundred to upwards of sixteen hundred. Can any one calmly compare this
marvellous progression of Cuba with the equally astounding retrogression
of our Antilles, and fail to come to the irresistible conclusion that
the prosperity of the one is intimately connected with the distress of
the other.

While stating the annual produce of tobacco, I should observe that
upwards of 180,000,000 of cigars, and nearly 2,000,000 boxes of
cigarettes, were exported in 1852, independent of the tobacco-leaf
before mentioned. Professor J.F.W. Johnston, in that curious and able
work entitled _Chemistry of Common Life_, styles tobacco "the first
subject in the vegetable kingdom in the power of its service to
man,"--some of my lady friends, I fear, will not approve of this
opinion,--and he further asserts that 4,500,000,000 lbs. thereof are
annually dispersed throughout the earth, which, at twopence the pound,
would realize the enormous sum of 37,000,000l.

If smoking may be called the popular enjoyment of the island, billiards
and dominoes may be called the popular games, and the lottery the
popular excitement. There are generally fifteen ordinary lotteries, and
two extraordinary, every year. The ordinary consist of 32,000l. paid,
and 24,000l. thereof as prizes. There are 238 prizes, the highest
being 600l., and the lowest 40l. The extraordinary consist of
54,400l. paid, of which 40,800l. are drawn as prizes. There are 206
prizes, the highest of which is 20,000l., and the lowest 40l.; from
which it will appear, according to Cocker, that the sums drawn annually
as prizes are very nearly 150,000l. less than the sums paid. Pretty
pickings for Government! As may naturally be supposed, the excitement
produced by this constitutional gambling--which has its nearest
counterpart in our own Stock Exchange--is quite intense; and as the time
for drawing approaches, people may be seen in all the _cafés_ and public
places, hawking and auctioning the billets at premium, like so many
Barnums with Jenny Lind tickets. One curious feature in the lotteries
here is the interest the niggers take in them. To understand this, I
must explain to you that the coloured population are composed of various
African tribes, and each tribe keeps comparatively separate from the
others; they then form a kind of club among their own tribe, for the
purpose of purchasing the freedom of some of their enslaved brethren,
who, I believe, receive assistance in proportion as they contribute to
the funds, and bear such a character as shall interpose no obstacle to
their ransom being permitted. A portion of their funds is frequently
employed in the purchase of lottery-tickets, and a deep spirit of
gambling is the natural consequence; for though the stake entered is
dollars, the prize, if won, is freedom. These lotteries date back to
1812; and if they have always been kept up as before explained, they
must have contributed something like ten millions sterling to the
Government during their forty years' working.

A friend told me of a shameful instance of injustice connected with
these lotteries. A poor slave who had saved enough money to buy a
ticket, did so; and, drawing a small prize, immediately went off to his
master, and presented it to him as a part of his redemption-money. The
master having ascertained how he obtained it, explained to him that, as
a slave, he could not hold property; he then quietly pocketed it, and
sent poor Sambo about his business. What a beautiful commentary this is
on the law respecting Coartados, which I inserted a few pages back. I
must, however, remark that, from the inquiries I made, and from my own
observations of their countenances and amusements, the impression left
on my mind is, that the slaves are quite as happy here as in the United
States; the only disadvantage that they labour under being, that the
sugar harvest and manufacture last much longer in Cuba, and the labour
thereof is by far the hardest drain upon the endurance of the slave. The
free negroes I consider fully as well off as those in the Southern
States, and immeasurably more comfortable than those who are domiciled
in the Northern or Free States of the Union. The number of free negroes
in Cuba amounts to one-fourth of the whole coloured population, while in
the United States it only amounts to one-ninth--proving the great
facilities for obtaining freedom which the island offers, or the higher
cultivation of the negro, which makes him strive for it more
laboriously. I will not attempt to draw any comparison between the
scenes of horror with which, doubtless, both parties are chargeable, but
which, for obvious reasons, are carefully concealed from the traveller's
eye.

Among the curious anomalies of some people, is that of a dislike to be
called by the national name, if they have a local one. The islanders
feel quite affronted if you call them Españoles; and a native of Old
Spain would feel even more affronted if you called him a Cubano or an
Havanero. The appellations are as mutually offensive as were in the
olden times those of Southron and Scot, although Cuba is eternally
making a boast of her loyalty. The manner of a Cuban is as stiff and
hidalgoish as that of any old Spaniard; in fact, so far as my short
acquaintance with the mother country and the colony enables me to judge,
I see little or no difference. Some of them, however, have a dash of fun
about them, as the two following little squibs will show.

It appears that a certain Conde de ----, who had lately been decorated,
was a most notorious rogue; in consequence of which, some wag chalked up
on his door in large letters, during the night, the following lines,
which, of course, were in everybody's mouth soon after the sun had
risen:--

  En el tiempo de las barbaras naciones
  A los ladrones se les colgaban en cruces;
  Pero hoy en el siglo de las luces
  A los ladrones se les cuelgan cruces.

A play upon words is at all times a hopeless task to transfer to another
language; nevertheless, for the benefit of those who are unacquainted
with Spanish, I will convey the idea as well as I can in English;--

  Hang the thief on the cross was the ancient decree;
  But the cross on the thief now suspended we see.

The idea is of very ancient date, and equally well known in Italy and
Spain; but I believe the Spanish verses given above are original.

The following was written upon a wealthy man who lived like a hermit,
and was reported to be very averse to paying for anything. He had, to
the astonishment of everybody, given a grand entertainment the night
before. On his door appeared--

  "El Marquis de C---- Hace lo que debe
  Y debe por lo que hace."

It is useless to try and carry this into Saxon. In drawing it from the
Spanish well, the bottom must come out of the translationary bucket. The
best version I can offer is--

  "He gives a party, which he ought to do,
  But, doing that, he _does_ his tradesmen too."

I am aware my English version is tame and insipid, though, perhaps, not
quite as much so as a translation I once met with of the sentence with
which it was said Timoleon, Duc de Brissac, used to apostrophize himself
before the looking-glass every morning. The original runs thus:--
"Timoleon, Duc de Brissac, Dieu t'a fait gentilhomme, le roi t'a fait
duc, fais toi la barbe, pour faire quelque chose." The translation was
charmingly ridiculous, and ran thus:--"Timoleon, Duke of Brissac,
Providence made you a gentleman; the king gave you a dukedom; shave
yourself by way of doing something."--But I wander terribly. Reader, you
must excuse me.

I one day asked an intelligent friend, long resident in the island,
whether any of the governors had ever done any good to the island, or
whether they were all satisfied by filling their pockets with handsome
bribes. He told me that the first governor-general who had rendered real
service to the people was Tacon. On his arrival, the whole place was so
infested with rogues and villains that neither property nor even life
was secure after dusk. Gambling, drunkenness, and vice of every kind
rode rampant. He gave all evil-doers one week's warning, at the
expiration of which all who could not give a satisfactory account of
themselves were to be severely punished. Long accustomed to idle
threats, they treated his warning with utter indifference; but they soon
found their mistake, to their cost. Inflexible in purpose, iron-handed
in rule, unswerving in justice, he treated nobles, clergy, and commoners
alike, and, before the fortnight was concluded, twelve hundred were in
banishment or in durance vile. Their accomplices in guilt stood aghast
at this new order of things, and, foreseeing their fate, either bolted,
reformed, or fell victims to it, and Havana became as quiet and orderly
as a church-parade. Shops, stores, and houses sprung up in every
direction. A magnificent opera-house was built outside the town, on the
Grand Paseo, and named after the governor-general; nothing can exceed
the lightness, airiness, and taste of the interior. I never saw its
equal in any building of a similar nature, and it is in every respect
most perfectly adapted to this lovely climate.

The next governor-general who seems to have left any permanent mark of
usefulness is Valdes, whom I suppose I may be allowed to call their
modern Lycurgus. It was during his rule that the laws were weeded and
improved, and eventually produced in a clear and simple form. The
patience he must have exhibited in this laborious occupation is
evidenced by the minuteness of the details entered into, descending, as
we have seen, even to the pants of bathers and the bibs of the infant
nigger, but, by some unaccountable omission, giving no instructions as
to the tuckers of their mammas. If Tacon was feared and respected,
Valdes was beloved; and each appears to have fairly earned the
reputation he obtained. Valdes was succeeded by O'Donnell, whose rule
was inaugurated in negro blood. Frightful hurricanes soon followed, and
were probably sent in mercy to purify the island from the pollutions of
suffering and slaughter. During the rule of his successor, Roncali, the
rebel Lopez appears on the stage. The American campaign in Mexico had
stirred up a military ardour which extended to the rowdies, and a
piratical expedition was undertaken, with Lopez at the head. He had
acquired a name for courage in the Spanish army, and was much liked by
many of them, partly from indulging in the unofficer-like practice of
gambling and drinking with officers and men. His first attempt at a
landing was ludicrously hopeless, and he was very glad to re-embark
with a whole skin; but he was not the man to allow one failure to
dishearten him, for, independent of his courage, he had a feeling of
revenge to gratify.[AA] Having recruited his forces, he landed the
following year, 1851, with a stronger and better-equipped force of
American piratical brigands, and succeeded in stirring up a few Cubans
to rebellion. He maintained himself for a few days, struggling with a
courage worthy of a better cause. The pirates were defeated; Lopez was
made prisoner, and died by the garotte, at Havana, on the 1st of
September. Others also of the band paid the penalty of the law; and the
ruffian crew, who escaped to the United States, now constitute a kind of
nucleus for the "Lone Star," "Filibustero," and other such pests of the
community to gather round, being ready at any moment to start on a
buccaneering expedition, if they can only find another Lopez ass enough
to lead them.

Concha became governor-general just before Lopez' last expedition, and
the order for his execution was a most painful task for poor Concha, who
had been for many years an intimate friend of his. Concha appears to
have left an excellent name behind him. I always heard him called "the
honest governor." He introduced a great many reforms into the civil
code, and established a great many schools and scientific and literary
societies. During my stay in the island, his successor, Cañedo, was the
governor-general. Whenever I made inquiries about him, the most
favourable answer I could get was, a chuck-up of the head, a slight
"p'tt" with the lips, and an expression of the eyes indicating the sight
of a most unpleasant object. The three combined required no dictionary
of the Academy to interpret.[AB]

The future of this rich and lovely island, who can predict? It is talked
of by its powerful neighbours as "the sick man." Filibustero vultures
hover above it as though it were already a putrid corpse inviting their
descent; young America points to it with the absorbing index of
"manifest destiny;" gold is offered for it; Ostend conferences are held
about it; the most sober senators cry respecting it--"Patience, when the
pear is ripe, it must drop into our lap." Old Spain--torn by faction,
and ruined by corruption--supports its tottering treasury from it. Thus,
plundered by friends, coveted by neighbours, and assailed by pirates, it
lies like a helpless anatomical subject, with the ocean for a
dissecting-table, on one side whereof stands a mother sucking its blood,
and on the other "Lone Stars" gashing its limbs, while in the
background, a young and vigorous republic is seen anxiously waiting for
the whole carcass. If I ask, "Where shall vitality be sought?" Echo
answers "Where?" If I ask, "Where shall I look for hope?" the very
breath of the question extinguishes the flickering taper. Who, then, can
shadow forth the fate that is reserved for this tropical gem of the
ocean, where all around is so dark and louring?... A low voice, borne on
a western breeze, whispers in my ear--"I guess I can."

Cuba, farewell!

[Note: The subsequent squabbles between the Cuban authorities and the
United States have taken place long since my departure, and are too
complicated to enter into without more accurate information than I
possess.]


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote X: I put up at "The Havana House," where I found everything
very clean, and the proprietor, an American, very civil. It is now kept
by his son.]

[Footnote Y: This was written in January, 1853.]

[Footnote Z: The Filibustero movement in the United States has caused
Spain to increase her military force considerably.]

[Footnote AA: When first suspected of treason, he had been hunted with
dogs like a wild beast, and, with considerable difficulty, escaped to
America.]

[Footnote AB: Those who desire more detailed information respecting Cuba
will find it in a work entitled _La Reine des Antilles_. Par LE VICOMTE
GUSTAVE D'HARPONVILLE. 1850.]



CHAPTER XIII.

_Change of Dynasty_.


The month of February was drawing to a close, when I took my passage on
board the "Isabel," bound for Charleston. A small coin removed all
difficulty about embarking luggage, cigars, &c.; the kettle was boiling,
hands shook violently, bells rang rapidly, non-passengers flew down to
shore-boats; round go the wheels, waving go the kerchiefs, and down fall
the tears. The "Isabel" bounds o'er the ripp'less waters; forts and
dungeons, as we gaze astern, fade from the view; an indistinct shade is
all by which the eye can recal the lovely isle of Cuba; and, lest memory
should fail, the piles of oranges, about four feet square, all round the
upper-deck, are ready to refresh it. How different the "Isabel" from the
"Cherokee!" Mr. Law might do well to take a cruise in the former; and,
if he had any emulation, he would sell all his dirty old tubs for
firewood, and invest the proceeds in the "Isabel" style of vessel. Land
a-head!--a flourishing little village appears, with watch-towers high as
minarets. What can all this mean?

This is a thriving, happy community, fixed on the most dreary and
unhealthy-looking point imaginable, and deriving all their wealth and
happiness from the misfortunes of others. It is Key West, a village of
wreckers, who, doubtless, pray earnestly for a continuance and increase
of the changing currents, which are eternally drifting some ill-fated
barque on the ever-growing banks and coral reefs of these treacherous
and dangerous waters; the lofty watch-towers are their Pisgah, and the
stranded barques their Land of Promise. The sight of one is doubtless as
refreshing to their sight as the clustering grapes of Eschol were to the
wandering Israelites of old. So thoroughly does the wrecking spirit
pervade this little community, that they remind one of the "Old Joe
Miller," which gives an account of a clergyman who, seeing all his
congregation rise from their seats at the joyous cry of, "A wreck! a
wreck!" called them to order with an irresistible voice of thunder, and
deliberately commencing to despoil himself of his surplice, added,
"Gentlemen, a fair start, if you please!"

We picked up a couple of captains here, whose ships had tasted these
bitter waters, and who were on their road to New York to try and make
the best of a bad job. We had some very agreeable companions on board;
but we had others very much the contrary, conspicuous among whom was an
undeniable Hebrew but no Nathanael. He was one of those pompous loud
talkers, whose every word and work bespoke vulgarity in its most
obnoxious form, and whose obtuseness in matters of manners was so great
that nothing short of the point of your shoe could have made him
understand how offensive he was. He spoke of courts in Europe, and of
the Vice-regal court in Ireland, as though he had the _entrée_ of them
all; which it was palpable to the most superficial observer he never
could have had, except possibly when, armed with a dingy bag on his
shoulder and an "Ol clo'" on his lips, he sought an investment in
cast-off garments. He was taking cigars, which, from their quantity,
were evidently for sale; and as the American Government is very liberal
in allowing passengers to enter cigars, never--I believe--refusing any
one the privilege of five hundred, he was beating up for friends who had
no cigars to divide his speculations among, so as to avoid the duty; at
last his arrangements were completed, and his mind at ease.

On entering the port of Charleston he got up the box containing his
treasures, and was about to open it, when, to my intense delight and
amusement, an officer of the ship stayed his hasty hand. "What's that
for?" exclaimed the wrathful Israelite. "I guess that box is in the
manifest," was the calm reply, "and you can't touch it till it goes to
the custom-house." Jonathan had "done" the Hebrew; and besides the duty,
he had the pleasure of paying freight on them also; while, to add to his
satisfaction, he enjoyed the sight of all the other passengers taking
their five hundred or so unmolested, while compelled to pay duty on
every cigar himself. But we must leave the Jew, the "Isabel"--ay,
Charleston itself. "Hurry hurry, bubble bubble, toil and trouble!"
Washington must be reached before the 4th of March, or we shall not see
the Senate and the other House in session. Steamer and rail; on we
dash. The boiling horse checks his speed; the inconveniences of the
journey are all forgotten: we are at Washington, and the all-absorbing
thought is, "Where shall we get a bed?"

My companion[AC] and myself drove about from hotel to boarding-house,
from boarding-house to hotel, and from hotel to the Capitol, seeking a
resting-place in vain. Every chink and cranny was crammed; the
reading-rooms of the hotels had from one to two dozen stretcher beds in
each of them. 'Twas getting on for midnight; Hope's taper was flickering
faintly, when a police-officer came to the rescue, and recommended us to
try a small boarding-house at which he was himself lodging. There, as an
especial favour, we got two beds put into a room where another lodger
was already snoring; but fatigue and sleep soon obliterated that fact
from our remembrance. Next morning, while lying in a half doze, I heard
something like the upsetting of a jug near my bedside, and then, a sound
like mopping up; suspicious of my company, I opened my eyes, and lo!
there was the owner of the third bed, deliberately mopping up the
contents of the jug he had upset over the carpet, with--what do you
think? His handkerchief? oh, no--his coat-tails? oh, no--a spare towel?
oh, no; the savage, with the most placid indifference, was mopping it up
with my sponge! He expressed so much astonishment when I remonstrated,
that I supposed the poor man must have been in the habit of using his
own sponge for such purposes, and my ire subsided gradually as he wrung
out the sponge by an endless succession of vigorous squeezes,
accompanying each with a word of apology. So much for my first night at
Washington.

We will pass over breakfast, and away to the Capitol. There it stands,
on a rising knoll, commanding an extensive panoramic view of the town
and surrounding country. The building is on a grand scale, and faced
with marble, which, glittering in the sunbeams, gives it a very imposing
appearance; but the increasing wants of this increasing Republic have
caused two wings to be added, which are now in the course of
construction. Entrance to the Senate and House of Representatives was
afforded to us with that readiness and courtesy which strangers
invariably experience. But, alas! the mighty spirits who had, by their
power of eloquence, so often charmed and spell-bound the tenants of the
senate chamber--where were they? The grave had but recently closed over
the last of those giant spirits; Webster was no more! Like all similar
bodies, they put off and put off, till, in the last few days of the
session, a quantity of business is hustled through, and thus no scope is
left for eloquent speeches; all is matter of fact, and a very
business-looking body they appeared, each senator with his desk and
papers before him; and when anything was to be said, it was expressed in
plain, unadorned language, and free from hesitation. The only
opportunity offered for eloquence was, after the inauguration, on the
discussion of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty. I will not say that the
venerable senator for Delaware--Mr. Clayton--was eloquent, but he was
very clear both in language and delivery, and his bearing altogether
showed the honest conviction of a man who knew he was in the right, and
was certain he would be ultimately so judged. His principal antagonist
was the senator for Illinois--Mr. Douglas--one of the stars of the Young
American party, and an aspirant to the presidential honours of the
Republic. He is a stout-built man, rather short, with a massive
overhanging forehead. When he rose, he did so with the evident
consciousness that the gallery above him was filled with many of his
political school, and thrusting both hands well into the bottom of his
breeches pockets, he commenced his oration with an air of great
self-confidence, occasionally drawing one hand from its concealment to
aid his oratory by significant gesture. He made an excellent
clap-trap--or, as they term it in America, Buncombe--speech, aiding and
emphasizing, by energetic shakings of the forefinger, such passages as
he thought would tell in the gallery above; his voice was loud and
clear, his language blunt and fluent, and amusingly replete with "dares
and daren't;" "England's in the wrong, and she knows it;" if the
original treaty, by which America was to have had the canal exclusively,
had been concluded, "America would have had a rod to hold over all the
nations." Then came "manifest destiny;" then the mare's nest called
"Monroe doctrine;" then more Buncombe about England; and then ... he sat
down--satisfied, no doubt, that he had very considerably increased his
chances for the "tenancy of the White House."

I regretted much not being able to hear Mr. Everett speak, for I believe
he is admitted on all hands to be the most eloquent and classical orator
within the precincts of the senate at the present moment; but I was
obliged to leave Washington before he addressed the assembly. The
absence of all signs of approbation or disapprobation, while a senator
is addressing the House, gives a coldness to the debate, and I should
think must have a damping effect upon the enthusiasm of the speaker. The
"Hear hears" and "cheers" of friends, and the "Oh ohs" or "laughter" of
opponents, certainly give an air of much greater excitement to the
scene, and act as an encouragement to the orator. But such exclamations
are not allowed either in the Senate or the House of Representatives.
The chamber of the latter is of course much larger than that of the
Senators, and, as far as I can judge, a bad room to hear in. When the
new wings are finished, they will move into one of them, and their
present chamber is, I believe, to be a library. I had no opportunity of
hearing any of the oratory of this house, as they were merely hustling a
few money and minor bills through, previous to the inauguration, which
closed their session. They also have each a desk and chair; but with
their increasing numbers I fear that any room large enough to afford
them such accommodation must be bad for speaking in.--Let us now turn to
the great event of the day, i.e., the Inauguration.

The senators are all in their places; ministers of foreign Powers and
their suites are seated on the row of benches under the gallery; the
expectant masses are waiting outside; voices are suddenly hushed, and
all eyes turned towards the door of the senate-chamber; the herald walks
in, and says, "The President Elect of the United States." The chosen of
his country appears with as little form or ceremony as a gentleman
walking into an ordinary drawing-room. All rise as he enters.

I watched the man of the day as he proceeded to his seat on the floor
of the senate. There was neither pride in his eye nor nervousness in his
step, but a calm and dignified composure, well fitted to his high
position, as though gratified ambition were duly tempered by a deep
sense of responsibility. The procession moved out in order to a platform
in front of the Capitol, the late able president walking side by side
with his untried successor, and apparently as calm in resigning office
as his successor appeared to be in entering upon it. Of the inaugural
speech I shall say nothing, as all who care to read it have done so long
since. But one thing should always be remembered, and that is, that the
popular candidates here are all compelled to "do a little Buncombe," and
therefore, under the circumstances, I think it must be admitted there
was as little as was possible. That speech tolled the knell, for the
present at least, of the Whig party, and ushered in the reign of General
Pierce and the Democrats.

Since these lines were penned, the "chosen of the nation" has passed
through his ordeal of four years' administration; and, whatever private
virtues may have adorned his character, I imagine the unanimous voice of
his countrymen would unhesitatingly declare, that so utterly inefficient
a man never filled the presidential chair. He has been succeeded by Mr.
Buchanan, who was well known as the accredited Minister to the Court of
St. James's, and who also made himself ludicrously conspicuous as one of
the famous Ostend manifesto party. However, his talents are undoubted,
and his public career renders it probable that, warned by the failure of
his predecessor, his presidency will reflect more credit upon the
Republic than that of Mr. Pierce. Mr. B.'s inaugural address has been
published in this country, and is, in its way, a contradictory
curiosity. He urges, in diplomacy, "frankness and clearness;" while, to
his fellow-citizens, he offers some very wily diplomatic sentences.
Munroe doctrine and manifest destiny are not named; but they are
shadowed forth in language worthy of a Talleyrand. First, he glories in
his country having never extended its territory by the sword(?); he then
proceeds to say--what everybody says in anticipation of conquest,
annexation, or absorption--"Our past history forbids that, in future, we
should acquire territory, unless this be sanctioned by the laws of
justice and honour" (two very elastic laws among nations). "Acting on
this principle, no nation will have a right to interfere, or to
complain if, in the progress of events, we shall still further extend
our possessions." Leaving these frank and clear sentences to the
consideration of the reader, we return from the digression.

The crowd outside was very orderly, but by no means so numerous as I had
expected; I estimated them at 8000; but a friend who was with me, and
well versed in such matters, calculated the numbers at nearly 10,000,
but certainly, he said, not more. The penny Press, by way of doing
honour to their new ruler, boldly fixed the numbers at 40,000--that was
their bit of Buncombe. One cause, probably, of the crowd not being
greater, was the drizzling snow, which doubtlessly induced many to be
satisfied with seeing the procession pass along Pennsylvania Avenue.

I cannot help remarking here, how little some of their eminent men know
of England. A senator, of great and just reputation, came to me during
the ceremony, and said, "There is one thing which must strike you as
very remarkable, and that is, that we have no soldiers here to keep
order upon an occasion of such political importance." He was evidently
unaware that, not only was such the case invariably in England, but that
soldiers are confined to barracks, or even removed during the excitement
of elections. There is no doubt that the falsehoods and exaggerations
with which the Press here teems, in matters referring to England, are
sufficiently glaring to be almost self-confuting; but if they can so
warp the mind of an enlightened senator, how is it to be wondered at
that, among the masses, many suck in all such trash as if it were Gospel
truth, and look upon England as little else than a land of despotism;
but of that, more anon. The changing of presidents in this country
resembles, practically speaking, the changing of a premier in England;
but, thank Heaven! the changing of a premier in England does not involve
the same changes as does the changing of a president here.

I believe it was General Jackson who first introduced the practice of a
wholesale sweeping out of opponents from all situations, however small;
and this bright idea has been religiously acted upon by all succeeding
presidents. The smallest clerkships, twopenny-halfpenny postmasterships
in unheard-of villages--all, all that can be dispensed with, must make
way for the friends of the incomers to power. Fancy a new premier in
England making a clean sweep of nine-tenths of the clerks, &c., at the
Treasury, Foreign-office, Post-office, Custom-house, Dockyards, &c., &c.
Conceive the jobbing such a system must lead to, not to mention the
comparative inefficiency it must produce in the said departments, and
the ridiculous labour it throws upon the dispensers of these gifts of
place. The following quotation may be taken as a sample:--

  OUR CUSTOM-HOUSE--WHAT A HAUL.--The _New Hampshire Patriot_, in an
  article on proscription, thus refers to the merciless decapitation of
  the Democrats of our Custom-house, by Mr. Collector Maxwell:--

  "Take the New York Custom-house as a sample. There are 626 officers
  there, exclusive of labourers; and it appears from the records that,
  since the Whigs came into power, 427 removals have been there made.
  And to show the greediness of the Whig applicants for the spoils, it
  need only be stated that, on the very day the collector was sworn into
  office he made forty-two removals. He made six before he was sworn. In
  thirty days from the time of his entrance upon his duties he removed
  220 persons; and, in the course of a few months, he had made such a
  clean sweep, that only sixty-two Democrats remained in office, with
  564 Whigs! A like sweep was made in other custom-houses; and so clean
  work did this 'anti-proscription' administration make in the offices,
  that a Democrat could scarcely be found in an office which a Whig
  could be found to take."

  This is ominous, for the 564 Whigs to be turned over to the charity of
  the new collector. Alas! the Democrats are hungry--hard shells and
  soft shells--and charity begins at home. In the course of the coming
  month we may anticipate a large emigration from the custom-house to
  California and Australia. What a blessing to ejected office-holders
  that they can fall back upon the gold mines! Such is the beautiful
  working of our beneficent institutions! What a magnificent country!

As a proof of the excitement which these changes produce, I remember
perfectly there being ten to one more fuss and telegraphing between
Washington and New York, as to who should be collector at the latter
port, than would exist between London and Paris if a revolution was in
full swing at the latter. To this absurd system may no doubt be partly
attributed the frequent irregularities of their inland postage; but it
is an evil which, as far as I can judge from observation and
conversation, will continue till, with an increasing population and
increase of business, necessity re-establishes the old and better order
of things. Political partisanship is so strong that nothing but
imperative necessity can alter it.

The cabmen here, as in every other place I ever visited, make strenuous
efforts to do the new comers. They tried it on me; so, to show them how
knowing I was, I quoted their legitimate fares. "Ah, sir," says Cabby,
"that's very well; but, you see, we charges more at times like these." I
replied, "You've no right to raise your charges; by what authority do
you do it?" "Oh, sir, we meet together and agree what is the proper
thing." "But," says I, "the authorities are the people to settle those
things." "The authorities don't know nothing at all about it; we can
manage our own matters better than they." And they all stoutly stuck to
their own charges, the effect of which was that I scarcely saw a dozen
cabs employed during the ten days I was there.

Nothing could exceed the crowd in the streets, in the hotels, and
everywhere; the whole atmosphere was alive with the smoke of the
fragrant weed, and all the hotels were afloat with the juice thereof.
The city has repeatedly been called the City of Magnificent Distances;
but anything so far behind its fellow cities cannot well be imagined. It
sounds incredible--nevertheless, it is a fact--that, except from the
Capitol to the "White House," there is not a street-light of any kind,
or a watchman. I lost my way one evening, and wandered all over the town
for two hours, without seeing light or guardian of any kind. I suppose
this is intended as a proof of the honest and orderly conduct of the
inhabitants, but I fear it must also be taken as a proof of their
poverty or want of energy. Whatever the reason may be, it certainly is a
reflection on the liberality of the Government, that the capital of this
Great Union should be the worst paved, worst lit, and worst guarded in
the whole Republic.

The system of sweeping changes on the election of a new president tends
materially to stop any increase of householders, the uncertain tenure of
office making the _employés_ prefer clustering in hotels and
boarding-houses to entering on a short career of housekeeping, which
will, of course, militate against any steady increase of the city, and
thus diminish the tax-payers. There are several hotels, but they will
not stand the least comparison with those in any of the leading towns of
the Union. Like the hotels in London, they are crammed during the
season--i.e., session--and during the rest of the year are
comparatively empty, and consequently do not pay very well; but they
are not the only establishments that make hay during the session; if
report speaks truly, the bars and gambling-houses reap an immense
harvest from the representatives of the people in both houses of
congress.

I amused myself here, as I often had done in other towns, by taking a
cigar in some decent-looking shop, and then having a chat with the
owner. On this occasion the subject of conversation was drinking in the
States. He said, in reply to a question I put to him, "Sir, a gentleman
must live a long time in the country before he can form the slightest
idea of the frightful extent to which drinking is carried, even by the
decently educated and well-to-do classes. I do not say that nine-tenths
of the people die drunk, but I firmly believe that with that proportion
death has been very materially hastened from perpetual drinks. It is one
of the greatest curses of this country, and I cannot say that I believe
it to be on the decrease." One reason, doubtless, why it is so
pernicious, is the constant habit of drinking before breakfast. That he
was correct in his per-centage, I do not pretend to say; but I certainly
have seen enough of the practice to feel sure it must have a most
pernicious effect on very many. To what extent it is carried on by the
lowest classes I had no opportunity of judging.

The following observations, however, made by so high an authority as Mr.
Everett, must be admitted as a convincing proof that education has not
been able to cope effectually with drunkenness. Speaking of ardent
spirits, he says:--

  "What has it done in ten years in the States of America? First, it has
  cost the nation a direct expense of 120,000,000l. Secondly, it has
  cost the nation an indirect expense of 120,000,000l. Thirdly, it has
  destroyed 300,000 lives. Fourthly, it has sent 100,000 children to the
  poor-house. Fifthly, it has consigned at least 150,000 persons to
  jails and penitentiaries. Sixthly, it has made at least a thousand
  maniacs. Seventhly, it has instigated to the commission of at least
  fifteen hundred murders. Eighthly, it has caused 2000 persons to
  commit suicide. Ninthly, it has burnt or otherwise destroyed property
  to the amount of 2,000,000l. Tenthly, it has made 200,000 widows,
  and 1,000,000 of orphan children."

When I turn from the contemplation of this sad picture, and think how
many fall victims to the same vice in my own country, I cannot help
feeling that the "myriad-minded poet" wrote the following lines as an
especial warning and legacy to the Anglo-Saxon and the Celt:--

  "Oh, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their
  brains! that we should, with joy, pleasance, revel, and applause,
  transform ourselves into beasts!"

I was very sorry time did not admit of my witnessing one of the new
president's levees, as I much wished to see the olla podrida of
attendants. It must be a quaint scene; the hack-cabman who drives you to
the door will get a boy to look after his shay, and go in with you;
tag-rag and bob-tail, and all their family, go in precisely as they
like; neither soap nor brush is a necessary prelude. By late accounts
from America, it appears that at Mr. Pierce's last levee a gentleman
charged another with picking his pocket: the latter went next day with a
friend to explain the mistake, which the former refusing to accept, he
was struck by the accused, and, in return, shot him dead on the spot. A
pleasant state of society for the metropolis of a civilized community!
How changed since the days of Washington and knee-breeches! It should
however be mentioned as highly creditable to the masses, that they
rarely take advantage of their rights. The building is the size of a
moderately wealthy country gentleman's house in England, and has one or
two fine reception-rooms; between it and the water a monument is being
raised to Washington. I fear it will be a sad failure; the main shaft or
column suggests the idea of a semaphore station, round the base whereof
the goodly things of sculpture are to be clustered. As far as I could
glean from conversation with Americans, they seem themselves to
anticipate anything but success.

The finest buildings here are the Capitol, Patent-office, and
Post-office. Of these the Patent-office, which is modelled after the
Parthenon, is the only one that has any pretensions to architecture. I
fear the Anglo-Saxon of these later days, whether in the old country or
here, is destined to leave no solid traces of architectural
taste--_vide_ National Gallery, London, and Post-office, Washington.

Having seen the lions of Washington, and enjoyed the hospitalities of
our able and agreeable minister, I again trusted myself to the iron
horse, and started for Baltimore. During my residence in Washington, I
had revelled latterly in the comfort of a lodging free from the horrors
of American inns. Profiting by this experience, I had applied to a
friend at Baltimore to engage me rooms in some quiet place there; by
this precaution I got into Guy's, in Monument-square. He keeps a
restaurant, but has a few beds for friends or old customers. I found
myself most comfortably housed, and the living of the cleanest and the
best; besides which, my kind friends gave me the _entrée_ of the Club,
which was almost next door. The hospitalities of which I had enjoyed a
foretaste in November last, now thickened upon me, and though the season
of Lent had put a stop to large and general parties, enough was still
left to make my stay very agreeable.

The town is beautifully situated on undulating ground, commanding a
lovely view of the hay; the streets are of a rational breadth, the town
is rapidly increasing, the new buildings are all large and airy, and
everything indicates prosperity. The cuisine of Baltimore has a very
high, and, as far as I can judge, a very just reputation; not merely
Maxwell Point canvas-back ducks, but the famous Terrapin also, lend
their aid to the enjoyment of the inner man. In fact, so famous is the
Terrapin, that a wicked wag detailed to me an account of a highly
improper scene which he said took place once in the Episcopal Church
here, viz., a gentleman who had a powerful voice and generally led the
responses, had his heart and mind so full of the luscious little animal,
that by a sad fatality he substituted "Terrapin" for "Seraphin" in the
response; and so far was any one from remarking it, that the whole
congregation repeated the mistake after him. The curly twinkle in the
eye with which my friend told me the story, leaves an impression in my
mind that it may be an exaggeration.

While here, I observed a play-bill with "The White Slave of England"
printed on it, evidently intended as a set-off against the dramatizing
of "Uncle Tom" in London, at some of our penny theatres. Of course I
went to see it, and never laughed more in all my life.

The theatre was about the size of a six-stalled stable, and full of
rowdies, &c.--no ladies; our party had a private-box. The tragedy opens
by revealing the under-ground of a coal-pit in England, where is seen a
fainting girl, &c. &c.: the girl is, of course, well licked by a driver;
an explosion takes place; dead and dying bodies are heaped together,
the driver says, "D---- 'em, let 'em lie; we'll get plenty more from the
poor-house." These mines belong to a Lord Overstone; an American arrives
with a negro servant, whom he leaves to seek his own amusement. He then
calls on Lord Overstone, and obtains permission to visit the mines;
there he finds the girl alluded to above all but dying, and, of course,
rescues her. In the meantime, the nigger calls on Lord Overstone as a
foreign prince, is immensely _fêted_, the Duchess of Southernblack and
her friend Lady Cunning are invited to meet his Royal Highness; the
rescued girl is claimed as a slave by Lord Overstone; philanthropic
Jonathan, after some difficulty, succeeds in keeping her, having first
ordered Lord Overstone's servants to the right-about with all the
swagger of a northern negro-driver. It appears that Jonathan was
formerly a boy in the mines himself, and had conceived an affection for
this girl. Lord Overstone finds out that Jonathan has papers requisite
for him to prove his right to his property; he starts with his family
for America, to visit him on his plantation. There the niggers exhibit a
paradise such as never was; nearly the first person is his Royal
Highness the nigger servant. Lady Overstone faints when he comes up to
shake hands. Business proceeds; Lord Overstone bullies,--Jonathan is the
milk of mildness. At last it turns out the girl is a daughter of Lord
Overstone, and that the Yankee is the owner by right of Lord Overstone's
property. He delivers a Buncombe speech, resigning his rights, and
enlarging on the higher privilege of being in the land of true
freedom--a slave plantation. The audience scream frantically, Lord and
Lady Overstone go back humbled, and the curtain falls on one of the most
absurd farces I ever saw; not the least absurd part being Jonathan
refusing to take possession of his inheritance of 17,000l. a-year.
Truly, "Diogenes in his tub" is nothing to "Jonathan in his sugar-cask."

The population of Maryland has increased in whites and free negroes, and
decreased in slaves, between the years 1800 and 1852, in the following
manner:--

         Whites.  Free Negroes.  Slaves.
  1800   216,000      8,000      103,000
  1852   500,000     74,008       90,000.

The state has nearly a thousand educational establishments; and there
are sixty daily and weekly papers for the instruction of the community.
Baltimore has a population of 140,000 whites, 25,000 free blacks, 3000
slaves. Among this population are nearly 30,000 Germans and 20,000
Irish. The value of the industrial establishments of the city is
estimated at considerably above 4,000,000l. From the above, I leave
the reader to judge of its prosperity.

The people in Baltimore who enjoy the widest--if not the most
enviable--reputation, are the fire companies. They are all volunteer,
and their engines are admirable. They are all jealous as Kilkenny cats
of one another, and when they come together, they scarcely ever lose an
opportunity of getting up a bloody fight. They are even accused of doing
occasionally a little bit of arson, so as to get the chance of a row.
The people composing the companies are almost entirely rowdies, and
apparently of any age above sixteen: when extinguishing fires, they
exhibit a courage and reckless daring that cannot be surpassed, and they
are never so happy as when the excitement of danger is at its highest.
Their numbers are so great, that they materially affect the elections of
all candidates for city offices; the style of persons chosen, may hence
be easily guessed. The cup of confusion is fast filling up; and unless
some knowing hands can make a hole in the bottom and drain off the
dregs, the overflow will be frightful.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote AC: I had had the good fortune to pick up an agreeable
companion on board the "Isabel"--the brother of one of our most
distinguished members of the House of Commons--who, like myself, had
been visiting Cuba, and was hastening to Washington, to be present at
the inauguration of the President Elect, and with him I spent many very
pleasant days.]



CHAPTER XIV.

_Philadelphia and Richmond_.


Having spent a very pleasant time at Baltimore, I took rail for
Philadelphia, the city of "loving brotherhood," being provided with
letters to several most amiable families in that town. I took up my
abode at Parkinson's--a restaurant in Chestnut-street--where I found the
people very civil and the house very clean; but I saw little of the
inside of the house, except at bed and breakfast time. The hospitality
for which this city is proverbial soon made me as much at home as if I
had been a resident there all my life. Dinner-party upon dinner-party
succeeded each other like waves of the ocean; the tables groaned under
precious vintages of Madeira, dating back all but to the Flood. I have
never before or since tasted such delicious wine, and in such profusion,
and everybody stuck to it with such leech-like tenacity. On one
occasion, having sat down to dinner at two o'clock, I found myself
getting up from table half an hour after midnight, and quite as fresh as
when I had sat down. There was no possibility of leaving the hospitable
old General's mahogany.[AD] One kind friend, Mr. C.H. Fisher, insisted
that I must make his house my hotel, either he or his wife were always
at dinner at four o'clock, and my cover was always laid. The society of
his amiable lady and himself made it too tempting an offer to refuse,
and I need scarcely say, it added much to the pleasure of my stay in
Philadelphia. The same kind friend had also a seat for me always in his
box at the opera, where that most charming and lady-like of actresses,
the Countess Rossi,[AE] with her sweet voice, was gushing forth
soft melody to crammed houses. On every side I met nothing but
kindness. Happening one day at dinner to mention incidentally, that I
thought the butter unworthy of the reputation of Philadelphia--for it
professes to stand pre-eminent in dairy produce--two ladies present
exclaimed, "Well!" and accompanied the expression by a look of active
benevolence. The next morning, as I was sitting down to breakfast, a
plate arrived from each of the rivals in kindness; the dew of the
morning was on the green leaf, and underneath, such butter as my mouth
waters at the remembrance of, and thus it continued during my whole
stay. The club doors, with all its conveniences--and to a solitary
stranger they are very great--were thrown open to me: in short, my
friends left me nothing to wish, except that my time had permitted me a
longer enjoyment of their hospitalities.

The streets of Philadelphia, which run north and south from the
Schuylkill to the Delaware, are named after the trees, a row whereof
grow on each side; but whether from a poetic spirit, or to aid the
memory, some of the names are changed, that the following couplet,
embracing the eight principal ones, may form a handy guide to the
stranger or the resident:--

  "Chestnut, walnut, spruce, and pine,
  Market, arch, race, and vine."

Mulberry, and sassafras, and juniper, would have dished the poetry. The
cross-streets are all called by numbers; thus any domicile is readily
found. The principal traverse street is an exception, being called
"Broad;" it looks its name well, and extends beyond the town into the
country: strange as it may seem to those who associate stiff white
bonnets, stiff coat-collars, and broad-brimmed hats, with Philadelphia,
on the extremity of this street every Sunday afternoon, all the famous
trotters may be seen dashing along at three-minute pace. The country
round about is pretty and undulating, and the better-to-do inhabitants
of Philadelphia have very snug little country places, in which they
chiefly reside during the summer, and to which, at other seasons, they
often adjourn upon the Saturday, to enjoy the quiet of Sunday in the
country.

One of the first objects of interest I went to visit was the Mint, the
labours of which are of course immensely increased since the working of
the Californian mines. Men are coming in every day with gold in greater
or lesser quantities; it is first assayed, and the per-centage for this
work being deducted, the value is paid in coin to the owner. While I was
there, I saw a wiry-looking fellow arrive, in bright hat and brighter
satin waistcoat, with a beard as bushy as an Indian jungle, and as red
as the furnace into which his precious burden was to be thrown. Two
small leather bags were carefully taken out of a waist-belt, their
contents emptied into a tin can, a number placed in the can, and a
corresponding number given him--no words spoken: in two days he would
return, and, producing his number, receive value in coin. The dust would
all have gone into a good-sized coffee-cup. I asked the officer about
the value. "400l., sir." He had left a New England state some eight
months previous, and was going home to invest in land.

What strikes a stranger most on entering the Mint, is the absence of all
extra defence round it; the building appears as open as any London
house. The process is, of course, essentially the same as elsewhere; but
I was astonished when the director told me that the parties employed in
the establishment are never searched on leaving, though the value of
hundreds of thousands of dollars is daily passing through their hands in
every shape. The water in which the workmen wash their hands runs into a
tank below, and from this water, value to the amount of from 60l. to
80l. is extracted annually. The sweepings, &c., after the most careful
sifting, are packed in casks and sold--chiefly, I believe, to European
Jews--for 4000l. annually. The only peculiarity in the Philadelphian
Mint is a frame-work for counting the number of pieces coined, by which
ingenious contrivance--rendered necessary by Californian pressure--one
man does the work of from twenty to thirty. The operation of weighing
the several pieces of coin being of a delicate nature, it is confided to
the hands of the fair sex, who occupy a room to themselves, where each
daughter of Eve sits with the gravity of a Chancellor opposite a
delicate pair of scales. Most parts of the establishment are open to the
public from ten till two, and they are only excluded from those portions
of the building where intrusion would impede the operations in progress.

This city, like most others in America, is liberally supplied with
water. Magnificent basins are built in a natural mound at Fairmount,
nearly opposite an old family mansion of the Barings, and the water is
forced up into these basins from the river by powerful water-wheels,
worked by the said river, which is dammed up for the purpose of
obtaining sufficient fall, as the stream is sometimes very low.

Perhaps the most interesting, and certainly the most imposing sight in
the neighbourhood of Philadelphia, is "The Gerard College." So singular
and successful a career as that of the founder deserves a slight record.

Stephen Gerard was born of French parents, at Bordeaux, the 21st of May,
1750, and his home--owing to his mother's place having soon been filled
by a step-mother--appears to have left no pleasant reminiscences. At
fourteen years of age he took to the sea. Subsequently, as master and
part owner of a small vessel, he arrived, in the year 1777, at
Philadelphia for the first time, and commenced business as a merchant;
but it appears that in 1786, he took command of one of his own vessels,
leaving the management of his mercantile house to his brother. Returning
in 1788, he dissolved partnership with his brother, and bade a final
adieu to the sea. In the year 1793, the yellow fever raged with fury at
Philadelphia; as the ravage increased, the people fled aghast. A
hospital was organized at Bush Hill, in the neighbourhood, but all was
confusion, for none could be found to face the dreaded enemy, till
Stephen Gerard and Peter Helm boldly volunteered their services at the
risk of their lives. Stephen Gerard was married, but his wife was
consigned to an asylum in 1790, after various ineffectual efforts for
her cure; there she remained till her death, in 1815. His mercantile
pursuits prospered in every direction, and he soon became one of the
most wealthy and influential men in the community; he was possessed of a
vigorous constitution, and was extremely regular and abstemious in his
habits. In 1830 he was knocked down by a passing vehicle as he was
crossing the street; by this accident he was severely injured in the
head, from which he was slowly recovering, when, in 1831, he was seized
with violent influenza, and ultimately pneumonia, of which he died, the
26th of December, aged eighty-one.

His character appears to have been a curious compound. The assiduity
with which he amassed wealth, coupled with his abstemious habits, and
his old knee-breeches patched all over--and still to be seen in the
college--strongly bespoke the miser; while his contributions to public
works, and his liberal transactions in money matters, led to an opposite
conclusion; and from his noble conduct during the yellow fever it is
reasonable to infer he was a humane man. I do not wish to judge people
uncharitably, but, I must say, I can allow but little credit to a man
who legacies the bulk of his fortune away from his relations when he can
no longer enjoy it himself. Mr. Gerard had very many relatives; let us
see how he provided for them. The _résumé_ of his will may be thus
stated: he died worth 1,500,000l., and thus disposes of it:--

  Erection and endowment of college        £400,000
  Different institutions of charity          23,200
  To his relatives and next of kin           28,000
  City of Philadelphia, for improvements    100,000
  Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for
    internal improvements                    60,000
  Sundry friends, &c.                        13,000

The residue left to the city of Philadelphia, for improvement and
maintenance of his college, the establishment of better police, and to
improve the city and diminish taxation. Thus, out of a fortune of one
million and a half, he leaves his relatives 28,000l. Charity, in this
instance, can scarcely be said to have begun at home.

A certain increase of property to the amount of 60,000l. having taken
place since the date of his will, a suit was instituted by the
heirs-at-law to recover the same; in which, I am happy to say, they were
successful.

Perhaps one of the most extraordinary clauses in his will is the
following, viz.:--

"_I enjoin and require that no ecclesiastic, missionary, or Minister of
any sect whatsoever, shall ever hold or exercise any station or duty
whatever in the said college; nor shall any such person ever be admitted
for any purpose, or as a visitor, within the premises appropriated to
the purposes of the said college._"

The general design of the college is taken from the Madeleine.
Thirty-four columns surround it, each column six feet in diameter and
fifty feet high, made of marble, and weighing 103 tons, and costing when
placed 2600l. Some idea of the massiveness of the building may be
formed from the fact that, measuring 111 feet by 169 feet, and 59 of
height, the weight of material employed is estimated at 76,594-1/2 tons.
The effect of the whole is grand and graceful; and although as an orphan
asylum much money has been needlessly turned from its charitable uses,
as a building it does credit to the architect and all employed upon it,
and is, beyond all comparison, the best specimen of architecture I have
seen in the States.

[Illustration: Gerard College, Philadelphia]

The number of orphans receiving instruction is three hundred and one;
they are cleanly and comfortably lodged, and well-boarded; their ages
average from ten to fourteen and a half, and the upper classes of the
school are taught conic sections, geometry, chemistry, natural
philosophy, navigation, astronomy, mechanics, physical geography, &c.

While in the school vein, I visited one appropriated to four hundred
free negroes, whom I found of all ages, from five to fifty, males and
females being kept separate. The master told me that he found the boys
tolerably sharp, but very cunning, and always finding some excuse for
irregular attendance. The mistress said she found the girls very docile,
and the parents very anxious, but too soon satisfied with the first
stages of progress. The patience and pains I saw one of the teachers
exhibiting in the process of enlightening the little woolly heads was
most creditable.

Having finished the negro school, I got a letter to the principal of the
High School, Professor Hart, by whom I was kindly shown over that
admirable institution, which is also free; but, before proceeding to any
observations on the High School, it may be interesting to know something
of the entire provision for instruction which exists in the city and
county of Philadelphia. The number of schools is 256, teachers 727,
scholars 45,383. The teachers are principally females--646; of scholars,
the males rather preponderate. The annual expense of these
establishments is 66,500l., and the average cost of each pupil is
26s. No pupil can be admitted into the High School without producing
satisfactory testimonials from the inferior schools, as well as passing
the requisite examination; the consequence of this arrangement is a vast
improvement in the inferior schools, as bad conduct there would
effectually bar their entry to the High School. The average age of
entry is fourteen, and a lad is required to stay five years before he
can take his degree as Master of Arts, one indispensable requisite for
which is moral character. The school numbers about 500 of all kinds and
positions in society, from the hopes of the tinsmith to the heir of the
toga'd judge.

The instruction is of so high an order that no private establishment can
compete with it; in short, it may be said to embrace a very fair college
education. Read the following list of professors: the Principal, who is
also Professor of Moral, Mental, and Political Science; Professor of
Practical Mathematics; of Theoretical Science and Astronomy; of History
and Belles-Lettres; of Natural History; of Latin and Greek; of French
and Spanish; of Drawing, Writing, and Book-keeping; of Chemistry and
Natural Philosophy; and three assistants. The highest salary received by
these professors is 270l. a-year, except that of Mr. Hart the
Principal, which is 400l.; and in him all the responsibilities centre.
This is the only school where I ever knew the old Saxon regularly
taught. Instruction is given in various other studies not enumerated in
the Professors' list; thus, in the class under the Professor of Natural
History, botany, and anatomy, and such medical information as may be
useful on any of the emergencies of every-day life are taught. No books
are brought to this class; the instruction is entirely by lecture, and
the subjects treated are explained by beautifully-executed
transparencies, placed before a window by day, and before a bright jet
of gas by night, and thus visible easily to all. The readiness with
which I heard the pupils in this class answer the questions propounded
to them showed the interest they took in the subject, and was a
conclusive proof of the efficiency of the system of instruction pursued;
they dived into the arcana of human and vegetable life with an ease that
bore the most satisfactory testimony to the skill of the instructor and
the attention of the pupils.

There is a plan adopted at this school which I never saw before, and
which Professor Hart told me was most admirable in its results. At the
end of every three-quarters of an hour all the doors and windows in the
house are opened simultaneously; the bell is then rung twice: at the
first sound, all lectures, recitations, and exercises cease, and the
students put their books, caps, &c., in readiness to move; at the second
sound, all the classes move simultaneously from the room in which they
have been studying to the room in which the next course of study is to
be followed. The building is so arranged, that in passing from one room
to another, they have to pass through the court round the house. This
operation takes three minutes, and is repeated about eight times a-day,
during which intervals all the doors and windows are open, thus
thoroughly ventilating the rooms; but there is a further advantage,
which is thus described in the Report,--"These movements are found very
useful in giving periodically a fresh impulse both to the bodies and to
the minds of the students, and in interrupting almost mechanically the
dull monotony which is apt to befall school hours." The Principal told
me, that, from careful observation, he looked upon this as one of the
most valuable regulations in the establishment, and that it was
difficult to rate its advantages too highly, the freshness of mind which
it brought infinitely outweighing any loss of time, interruption, &c. I
spent three interesting hours in this admirable institution.

The next establishment I visited was of a very different description;
i.e., the jail of solitary confinement. I much wished to have seen
some of the prisoners who had been confined for a length of time, but
from some informality in the letter I brought, the guardian did not feel
authorized to break through the regulations. The prisoners are sometimes
confined here for twelve years; they are kept totally separate, but they
are allowed to occupy themselves at different trades, &c., in their
cells. My guide told me he had never seen any of them become the least
idiotic or light-headed from long confinement. Their cells were clean
and airy, and some had a little eight-feet-square garden attached; their
food was both plentiful and good, and discipline was preserved by the
rod of diet; "but," says the guide, "if they become very troublesome
and obstinate we" ... what d'ye think?... "give them a shower-bath;"
criminals here seem to hate fresh water as much as the tenants of the
poor-houses in England do. The jail seems very well adapted for
escaping; but I suppose the rifle-armed sentries at the angles of the
wall keep them in sufficient awe, as I was told they very rarely get
away. The number confined was two hundred and eighty.

The last place I visited was the Lunatic Asylum, which appears admirably
placed and admirably conducted. The situation commands a view of two
public roads, where the bustle and stir of life are continually passing
before their eyes, and with no visible fence intervening, the ground
being so undulating and wooded as effectually to conceal the barrier.
The grounds are pleasantly laid out in walks, gardens, hothouses, &c.; a
comfortable reading-room and ten-pin alley[AF] are provided on each
side, one for the males, the other for the females. The rooms and
dormitories are large and airy, and carriages and horses are ready for
such as the physician recommends should take that exercise. The comfort
of the inmates appeared fully equal to that of any similar establishment
I have visited, and the position far superior, for there was no visible
barrier between them and the open country.

But Time says to the traveller what the policeman says to the gathering
crowd, "Move on, if you please, sir; move on." Obey is the word. Kind
friends are left behind, the kettle hisses, the iron horse snorts, the
Hudson is passed, New York is gained, the journey is behind me, bread,
butter, and Bohea before me. "Go on," says Time. The Charleston steamer,
"James Adger," is bursting to be off. Introduced to the agents, they
introduced me to the skipper. The skipper seems to think I am his
father; he insists upon my occupying his cabin--a jolly room, big enough
to polka in--fifteen feet square. Thanks, most excellent skipper, "may
your shadow never be less"--it is substantial enough now. Do you ask why
I go to New York from Philadelphia to reach Charleston? The reply is
simple:--to avoid the purgatory of an American railway, and to enjoy the
life-giving breezes "that sweep o'er the ocean wave." The skipper was
a regular trump; the service was clean, and we fed like fighting-cocks.
The weather was fine, the ship a clipping good one, passengers few, but
with just enough 'bacco-juice flying about the decks to remind me where
I was.

One of our company was a charming rarity in his way. He was an Irish
Yankee, aged eighty-three. A more perfect Paddy never existed; and so,
of course, he talked about fighting, and began detailing to me the
various frays in which "we whipt the Britishers." By way of chaffing
him, I said, "No wonder; they were Anglo-Saxon blood, brought their
courage from England, and were not only fighting at home, but with a
halter round their necks." The old veteran got furious, cursed England
and the Saxon blood, from Harold to the present hour; he then proved to
his own satisfaction that all the great men in America, and all the
soldiers, were Celts. "It was the Celts, sir, that whipt the Britishers;
and, ould as I am, sure I'd like to take 20,000 men over to the ould
counthree, and free it from the bloodthirsty villins, the Saxon brutes."
If poor O'Brien had had half the fire of this old Yankee Paddy, he never
would have been caught snoozing among the old widow's cabbages. I really
thought the old gentleman would have burst outright, or collapsed from
reaction; but it passed over like a white squall, and left the original
octogenarian calm behind. The darkness of the third evening has closed
in upon us, the struggling stream is bellowing for release, hawsers are
flying about, boys running from them, and men after them; the good
"James Adger" is coquetting about with those well-known young ladies,
the Misses "Bakkur and Ternahed;" James seems determined to enjoy it for
an unusually prolonged period this evening; but, like everything else,
it must have an end, and at last good James lies snugly in his berth,
alongside the wharf at Charleston. Cabmen and touters offer an infinity
of services; passengers radiate--my Yankee Paddy, it is to be hoped,
went to an ice-saloon. Your humble servant went to a boarding-house kept
by a most worthy old lady, but where flies occupied one half the house,
and the filthiest negro-boys the other. Several respectable people, out
of regard to the old lady, were performing the penance of residing in
her house: a trip on hot ashes from Dan to Beersheba would have been
luxury by comparison. I resigned myself and got reconciled, as I saw the
sincere desire of the dear old girl to make me as comfortable as she
could; and by learning to eat my meals with my eyes shut, I got on
tolerably well. But scarce had I set foot in this establishment which I
have been describing, ere kind friends sprang up to greet me and offer
me the use of their club-room, which was just opposite my
boarding-house; and as this was only the prelude to endless other
civilities, my lodging saw very little of me; which may be easily
imagined, when it is recollected how famous Charleston is, not only for
the good living which it affords, but for the liberal hospitality with
which it is dispensed. A letter to one gentleman becomes, like magic, an
"Open Sesame" to all the cellars and society in the place; and the only
point in dispute is, who can show you most kindness.

The town is conveniently situated between the Ashley and Cooper rivers,
with a population of 25,000 whites and the same number of blacks; it is
a mixture of all that is lovely and annoying. The houses have mostly
little gardens attached to them, sparkling with tropical flowers, and
the streets are shaded with avenues of trees. This is all very lovely to
look upon; but when you go out to enjoy a stroll, if the air is still, a
beefsteak would frizzle on the crown of your hat; and if there is the
slightest breeze, the sandy dust, like an Egyptian _khamseen_, laughs at
all precautions, blinding your eyes, stuffing your nose, filling your
mouth, and bringing your hide to a state which I can find no other
comparison for but that of a box intended to represent a stone pedestal,
and which, when the paint has half dried, is sprinkled with sand to
perfect the delusion. Thus you can understand the lovely and the
annoying of which I have spoken. When the inhabitants wish to take a
drive, there is a plank road about six miles long, which enables them to
enjoy this luxury. If they are not content with this road, they must
seek their pleasure with the carriages up to their axles in sand. There
are three old royalist buildings still standing--viz., the Episcopal
church, the Court-house, and the Exchange. The first reminds one warmly
of the dear old parish church in England, with its heavy oak pulpit and
the square family pews, and it sobers the mind as it leads the memory to
those days when, if the church was not full of activity, it was not full
of strife--when parishioners were not brought to loggerheads as to the
colour of the preacher's gown--when there was no triangular duel (_vide_
Marryat) as to candles, no candles, and lit candles--when, in short, if
there was but moderate zeal about the substance, there was no
quarrelling about the shadows of religion; and if we were not blessed
with the zeal of a Bennet, we were not cursed with the strife of a
Barnabas. At the time the colonists kicked us out of this place, by way
of not going empty-handed, we bagged the church-bells as a
trophy--(query, is not robbing a church sacrilege?)--and they eventually
found their way into a merchant's store in England, where they remained
for years. Not long since, having been ferreted out, they were replaced
in their original position, and now summon the Republicans of the
nineteenth century to their devotions as lustily as they did the
Royalists in the eighteenth. There is nothing remarkable in the two
other buildings, except their antiquity, and the associations arising
therefrom.[AG]

One of the most striking sights here is the turn-out of the Fire
Companies on any gala day. They consist of eight companies, of one
hundred each; their engines are brilliantly got up, and decorated
tastefully with flowers; banners flying; the men, in gay but
business-like uniform, dragging their engines about, and bands playing
away joyously before them. The peculiarity of the Charleston firemen is
that, instead of being composed of all the rowdies of the town, as is
often the case in the large eastern cities, they are, generally
speaking, the most respectable people in the community. This may partly
be accounted for by the militia service being so hard, and the fines
for the neglect of the same so heavy, from which all those serving in
the Fire Companies are exempt.[AH] The South Carolinians, in
anticipation of any insurrection among the negroes, or in case of being
driven into secession by success attending the efforts of the
Abolitionists, have very prudently established a little miniature West
Point institution,[AI] where lads from fifteen to twenty receive a
thorough military education, and then retire into private life and
follow any pursuits they choose. By this means the nucleus of military
officers requisite for an army is obtained, and the frequent drilling of
the militia forms a solid groundwork for that latter, should the hour of
necessity unfortunately arrive. The gay time of Charleston is during the
races, which take place in February, and have a considerable reputation,
although, perhaps, not quite so high as they had some few years back. I
have never seen any of their racing studs; but, as they import from
England some of the finest stallions that come into the market, and as
the breed of horse in America is very active and enduring, their racers,
it is to be presumed, make a very good show.

Having impregnated my system with turtle, terrapin, mint-julep, and
Madeira--the latter such as only America can show--I bade adieu to my
kind and hospitable friends, and started for Virginia. The first part of
the journey--i.e., as far as Wilmington--I performed in a wretched
little steamer, anything but seaworthy, with horrid cribs, three one
above the other, to sleep in, and a motley mixture of passengers, as
usual. No particular incident occurred; and having fine weather, we
escaped wrecking or putting back. On ascending the river to Wilmington,
you see royal--I beg pardon, republican--sturgeons jumping about in all
directions, and of all sizes, from three to five feet in length. We
reached the town in time to catch the train, and off we started. When
about six miles on our journey, a curious motion of the carriages, added
to their "slantingdicular" position and accompanied by a slight scream,
proclaimed that we were off the rails. Thank God! no lives were lost or
limbs broken. The first person that I saw jump from the train was a
Spanish colonel, who shot out with an activity far beyond his years,
hugging to his bosom a beloved fiddle, which was the joy of his heart,
and about the safety of which he was evidently as anxious as about his
own. He sat down by the side of the carriages, a ludicrous picture of
alarm and composure combined. He was on his way to England with the
intention of presenting some musical compositions to the Queen, and
possibly had a floating idea he might do a bit of Paganini before Her
Gracious Majesty. Gradually, all the party unkenneled; and it was then
discovered that, had we run off the rails a few yards further on, we
should have had a nasty cropper down a thirty-feet bank; fortunately, we
ran off on the level, and merely stuck in the sand.

Upon inquiry as to the cause of the accident, I ascertained that it was
in consequence of a point for turning off on to another set of rails
being broken. Upon examining the said point, I found it was as worn and
rotten as time could make it. I mentioned this to the engineer, who told
me he was perfectly aware of it, and had reported it to the
superintendent a fortnight before, but that he--the superintendent--had
guessed it would do very well for some time yet; consequently, the
engineer always went slower when approaching the spot, to avoid, if
possible, an accident. By this precaution we had been saved the capsize
over the bank, which otherwise would inevitably have been our fate.
Thus, for the sake of twenty shillings, they had smashed an engine,
doing damage to the amount of twenty pounds at least, besides risking
the lives of all the passengers. What was to be done? There was nothing
for it but to go back to Wilmington, chew the cud of disgust, and hope
the rascally superintendent might break every bone in his body the first
favourable opportunity. This done, and a night's rest over, we again
tempted fate, and continued our journey, which for a long time ran
through large pine-forests, every member of which community was a victim
of laceration, inflicted on him for the purpose of drawing off his
life's blood, which dribbled into a box at the root, and, when full, was
carried off to make turpentine.

Arrived at Peterborough, we found the population so far behind the
American age, that they would not allow a railroad to pass through their
town; we were consequently constrained to shift into omnibuses, and
drive some three miles to the station on the other side. As this trip
was peculiarly barren of incident, it may gratify the reader to be
informed, that in the confusion of shifting from one station to the
other I lost my best and only hat. I hope this simple record will be
received as conclusive evidence of the monotony and dullness of the
journey. I do not mention it to excite sympathy, for I am happy to say
that I have since purchased a new and a better one; and in case my old
one is found, I hereby will and bequeath the same to the mayor of
Peterborough, his heirs and successors, hoping that they may wear no
other until a railroad round or through the town connects the termini.
Again we mount the iron horse--time flies--light mingles with
darkness--and at nine o'clock I alight at the Royal Exchange Hotel,
Richmond. Soap and water, tea and bed, follow in quick succession, and
then comes the land of dreams and oblivion.

Richmond is a lovely spot, situated on the northern bank of James River,
one hundred and fifty miles from the sea, and is the capital of
Virginia. It contains nearly 30,000 inhabitants of whom 1000 are slaves.
Being built upon several hills, it is free from the eternal sameness of
level and regularity of lines which tire the eye so much in New York,
Philadelphia, &c., and its site resembles more that of Boston or
Baltimore. The James River is navigable for small vessels as high as
Richmond; but just above the town there is a barrier which arrests alike
the navigator's course and the traveller's eye. This barrier is called
the Rapids, and is a most beautiful feature in the scenery.

The Rapids are about three-quarters of a mile in extent, having a fall
of more than one hundred feet in that distance. The stream is broad, and
interspersed with endless little wooded islands and rocks, around and
above which it dashes the spray and foam in its impetuous descent. The
climate is lovely, the atmosphere pearly; and when, from the height
above, you look down upon the panorama spread beneath your feet, it
recalls to the mind the beautiful view so many of us must have
frequently been entranced with, while inhaling the meditative weed and
strolling along Richmond-terrace on a summer afternoon, gazing on old
Father Thames glowing in the rays of a setting sun, and looking doubly
bright from the sombre shade of the venerable timber which fringes the
margin of this sluggish stream. Pardon this digression; those only who
have wandered so far away can feel the indefinite, indescribable
pleasure with which one grasps at anything that recals the home of one's
affections, the scenes of early days, and the dear friends who are still
enjoying them.

The best place for reviewing the Rapids is from the drive leading to the
Cemetery, which here, as in most large American towns, is one of the
prettiest spots in the neighbourhood; but the Rapids are not only
ornamental, they are eminently useful. They afford a water-power to
several mills, one of which, the Gallego Flour-Mill, is a splendid
establishment, six stories high, nearly one hundred feet square, and
capable of sending out daily 1200 barrels of flour. The flour is of very
superior quality, the brand fetching a higher price than that of most
others in the country. There are also rolling-mills, cotton and tobacco
factories; the latter of course in great quantities, as tobacco is one
of the chief products of the state, and rapidly increasing. The produce
entered in Richmond, which in 1851 was under 16,000 hogsheads, in 1852
amounted to more than 24,000, and is now very probably above 30,000.
Virginia has the honour of being the first State that raised cotton, the
cultivation whereof was commenced in the year 1662.

Let us pass on to the hill at the eastern extremity of the city,
commanding a panoramic view of the river below the town, and all the
surrounding country. One spot arrests the attention, a spot closed with
the deepest and most romantic interest. A solitary tree, to which no
sacrilegious hand has yet dared to apply the axe, stands a few miles
down the river, on the same side as the town, and marks the site of the
lodge of the venerable old chieftain, Powhattan, when as yet the colony
was in its infancy, and when the Indian and the white man--the spoiler
and the spoiled--were looking at each other with mutual distrust, deep
fear on one side and dark foreboding on the other. The Indian is no
more; and nought remains as a memorial of this chief who once ruled this
fertile land with absolute sway, except this solitary tree;--and what an
episode in the history of colonization does that tree recal! Who can
forget that, when despair was the Colonists' daily bread, when nought
but the energy and genius of Smith--a man of very ordinary name, but of
no ordinary character--kept hope flickering in its socket, an attack of
Indians made him a prisoner, and left them hopeless. Then, how romantic
the tale of his captivity! He betrayed no fear, but retained perfect
self-possession; and remembering how easy their superstitious minds
could be worked upon, he drew forth, and with great solemnity commenced
looking steadily at his pocket-compass, and thence to heaven,
alternating between the two, until he impressed them with a feeling of
awe, as though he were a superior being communing with the Great Spirit.
This feeling gradually wearing off, the captors insisted upon his death,
as an expiation for the many injuries they had experienced at the hands
of the whites. The tribe meet, the block is prepared, the captive's neck
is laid ready, the upraised tomahawk, held by a brawny Indian arm, whose
every muscle quivers with revenge, glitters in the sunbeams; swarthy
figures around, thirsting for blood, anxiously await the sacrifice of
the victim, already too long delayed. Hope has fled from the captive's
breast, and he is communing in earnest with the Great Spirit into whose
presence he is about to be so sadly and speedily ushered. Suddenly a
shriek is heard! At that well-known voice the savage arm falls helpless
at its side, as, stretched upon the neck of the despairing captive, lies
the lovely daughter of Powhattan, with tearful eye, and all the wild
energy of her race, vowing she will not survive the butchery of her
kindest friend. Ruthless hands would tear her away, and complete the
bloody tragedy. Who dares lay even a finger upon the noble daughter of
their adored chief? They stand abashed, revenge and doubt striving in
their hearts; the eloquence of love and mercy pleading irresistibly from
the eyes of Pocahontas. The tomahawk, upraised by man's revenge for the
work of a captive's death, descends, when moved by woman's tears, to cut
a captive's bonds.

Callous indeed must that man's heart be, who can gaze upon the spot
where the noble Pocahontas--reared among savages, 'mid the solemn
grandeur of the forest, and beneath, the broad canopy of heaven, with no
Gospel light to guide and soften--received the holy impulses of love and
mercy fresh from her Maker's hand; and how gratifying to remember, that
she who had thus early imbibed these sacred feelings, became soon after
a convert to Christianity. Alas! how short her Christian career.
Marrying Mr. J. Rolfe, she died in childbirth ere she had reached her
twenty-fifth year, and from her many of the oldest families in Virginia
at this day have their origin. Virginia, as is well known, has always
been considered an aristocratic State; and it is a kind of joke--in
allusion to this Indian origin--for other States to speak disparagingly
of the F.F.Vs.--_alias_ first families of Virginia. Let those who sneer,
seek carefully amid their musty ancestral rolls for a nobler heart than
that of Pocahontas, the joy of Powhattan's house and the pride of all
his tribe. How strange, that a scene so well known as the foregoing, and
a life so adventurous as that of Smith, has never yet engaged the pen of
a Cooper or a Bulwer!

One of my friends in New York had given me a letter to a gentleman in
Richmond, at whose house I called soon after my arrival, as my stay was
necessarily short. He was out in the country, at his plantation. This
disappointment I endeavoured to rectify by enclosing the letter; but
when I had done so, Sambo could not tell me how to address it, as he was
in ignorance both of the place and its distance. In this dilemma, and
while ransacking my brain-box how to remedy the difficulty, a lady came
in, and having passed me, Sambo--grinning through a _chevaux-de-frise_
of snow-white ivories--informed me that was "his Missus." I instantly
sent the letter in to her to receive its direction, and in lieu of my
letter received an immediate summons to walk in. Nothing could be more
lady-like and cordial than the reception she gave me. Shy as I am, she
immediately put me quite at my ease; in less than a quarter of an hour I
felt I was in the society of an old friend; and during my stay in
Richmond, each day found me in the same snug corner of the sofa, near
the fire, enjoying the society of one of the most amiable and agreeable
ladies it has ever been my good fortune to meet. The husband soon
returned from the plantation, and then all the hospitalities of the
house were as much at my disposal as if it had been my own, and one or
the other of these kind friends, if not both, daily lionized me over
Richmond or its neighbourhood. I feel sure, that any of my countrymen
who have visited this city when Mr. and Mrs. Stanard were staying in
town, will readily hear testimony to their kind hospitality and
agreeable society.

There are various public buildings here, among the most conspicuous of
which is the Capitol, built in the great public square, and from its
summit commanding a splendid panoramic view. There are also about thirty
churches, one of which, the Monumental Church--which is
Episcopalian--stands upon ground of melancholy recollections; for here,
in 1811, stood the theatre, which during that year was utterly consumed
by a fire, in which the governor and scores of other human beings
perished. One great cause of the destruction of life was, having the
doors of the building fitted to open inwards--a custom, the folly of
which is only equalled by its universality. At the cry of fire, the rush
to the doors was so great that it was impossible to open them, owing to
the pressure. The only avenues of escape were the windows, in retreating
through which, the greater number of those few who succeeded in escaping
suffered the most serious injuries. How is this absurd practice of doors
opening inwards to be stopped? What think you if Insurance Companies
would combine, and make people forfeit their insurance if they entered
any public building whose doors were so fitted; or perhaps the
Chancellor of the Exchequer might bring in a bill to levy a very heavy
tax on all public buildings the doors of which opened in this dangerous
manner, and containing a stringent clause compelling managers and all
parties concerned to support the widows and orphans, and pay the
doctors' fees, arising from accidents caused therefrom. Alas! I fear
until--as Sydney Smith would say--we reduce a few cabinet ministers and
a leading member or two of the House of Peers to cinders, we shall go on
in our folly, because our ancestors did so before us.

Among other places I went to was the public billiard-room, and on
entering, my sympathies were immediately aroused by seeing a lad about
thirteen or fourteen, with a very extensive flaming choker on, above
which was a frightful large swelling. Not being a medical man, I was
very much puzzled when I saw the said swelling move about like a penny
roll in a monkey's cheek; presently the sympathy fled, and the puzzle
was solved, as a shower of 'bacco juice deluged the floor. Poor boy! it
must have taken him an hour's hard work to have got the abominable mass
in, and it could only have been done by instalments: the size it had
reached would have broken any jaw to remove in the lump; but he seemed
to have no idea of parting with his treasure, which, to do him justice,
he rolled about with as much ease as if he had had a monkey-teacher
before him from his cradle; nor did it prevent his betting away in a
style that quite astonished a steady old gentleman like myself.

The State of Virginia, like all the other States of the Union, is
undergoing the increasing pressure of democracy:[AJ] one of its
features--which is peculiarly obnoxious to the more sober-minded of the
community--is the new arrangement for the division of the electoral
districts, and which goes by the name of "Gerymander." In the early days
of the Republic, all divisions were made by straight lines, or as near
straight as possible; but that fair and natural mode of division is not
considered by the autocratic democracy as sufficiently favourable to
their views; and the consequence is, that other divisions have been
substituted, most irregular in shape, so as if possible to annihilate
entirely the already weakened opposition. This operation, my informant
told me, acquired a kind of celebrity in Massachusetts some years ago;
and, in the discussions upon the subject in their State legislature, one
of the speakers is said to have compared some of these arbitrary
divisions to a salamander which, in their outline they somewhat
resembled. The governor of the State was of the democratic party, and
therefore supporting and encouraging these changes, and his name was
"Gery;" so a wag interrupted the speaker, exclaiming, "Don't say
salamander; call it Gerymander,"--by which name it has been known since
that day.

I may here as well mention a little occurrence I witnessed, which,
however pleasant it may have been to the democratic rowdies enacting it,
must have been anything but agreeable to those operated upon. A fire
company was out trying its engine and hoses, and followed of course by a
squad of the idle and unwashed. Arrived at the market-place, they tried
its range; that appeared satisfactory enough; but the idea seems to
have struck the man who held the hose-end, that range without good aim
was useless: he accordingly looked round for a target, and a glass coach
passing by at the time, it struck him as peculiarly suited for his
experiment. Two elderly females were inside, and a white Jehu on the
box. In the most deliberate manner he pointed his weapon, amidst
encouraging shouts from bystanders, and increasing zeal on the part of
the pumpers; lucidly the windows were closed, or the ladies would have
been drenched; as it was, the gushing stream rattled against the
carriage, then fixed itself steadily upon poor Jehu, frightening the
horses and nearly knocking him off the box. Naturally enough Jehu was
highly incensed, and pulled up; then getting off the box, he walked up
to his assailants, who received him with shouts of laughter; the horses,
left without a ruler, started off at a gallop, Jehu ran after them, but
luckily another person and myself rushed up, and stopped them before any
accident occurred.

All this took place at noonday, and not a voice was raised against it.
If I had presumed to interfere with this liberty of the subject, the
chances are I should have been tied to one of the posts of the
market-place and made to stand target for an hour. It must be a charming
thing when the masses rule supreme. Fancy St. James's-street, upon a
drawing-room day, full of a pleasant little water-dispensing community
such as this;--what cheers they would raise as a good shot took off some
Jarvy's cocked-hat and bob-wig, or sent his eighteen-inch-diameter
bouquet flying into the street!--then what fun to play upon the padded
calves and silk stockings of Patagonian John, as he stood behind!--and
only imagine the immense excitement, if by good luck they could smash
some window and deluge a live aristocrat! What a nice thing a pure
democracy must be! how the majority must enjoy themselves! how the
minority must rejoice at the mild rule of bone over brain! What a
glorious idea, equality! only excelled by that gigantic conception of
Messrs. Cobden and Co., yclept the Peace Society, upon which such a
bloody comment was enacted before Sevastopol.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote AD: General Cadwallader, whose hospitality is well known to
all strangers visiting Philadelphia.]

[Footnote AE: Alas! she has since met a melancholy death, being
accidentally poisoned in Mexico, on the 18th of June, 1854; but her fame
is as imperishable as her life was stainless.]

[Footnote AF: The origin of ten-pins is amusing enough, and is as
follows:--The State having passed an act, during a time when religious
fervour was at high pressure, prohibiting nine-pin alleys, a tenth pin
was added, and the law evaded. In the meantime, high pressure went below
the boiling point, and the ten-pin alley remains to this day, an
amusement for the people, and a warning to indiscreet legislators.]

[Footnote AG: The commercial prosperity of South Carolina appears to be
increasing steadily, if not rapidly. The cotton produce was--

                       In 1847.     In 1852.
  Bales, main land     336,562       472,338
  Ditto, sea islands    13,529        20,500
                       -------       -------
  Total                350,091       492,838
                       -------       -------

Rice in 1847     146,260 tierces.
Do. in 1852      137,497 ditto.

The average value of the bale (450lbs.) of main land cotton is from
6l. to 8l. sterling; of the sea-island cotton, from 30_l_ to 36l.
sterling. The average price of a tierce of rice (600lbs.) is from 3l.
5s. to 4l.]

[Footnote AH: Independent of the enormous charge of fifty per cent. on
the taxes you pay, there is also a small fine for each parade missed.]

[Footnote AI: _Vide_ chapter on "Military Education."]

[Footnote AJ: _Vide_ chapter on "The Constitution."]



CHAPTER XV.

_From a River to a Racecourse_.


Having enjoyed as much of the hospitalities of my kind friends as time
permitted, I obtained a letter of introduction, and, embarking in a
steamer, started for Williamsburg, so called after King William III. On
our way down, we picked up as healthy and jolly a set of little ducks in
their 'teens as one could wish to see. On inquiring what this aggregate
of rosy cheeks and sunny smiles represented, I was informed they were
the sum total of a ladies' school at Williamsburg--and a very charming
sum total they were. Having a day's holiday, they had come up by the
early steamer to pic-nic on the banks, and were now returning to
chronology and crotchet-work, or whatever else their studies might be.
Landing at King's Mills, a "'bus" took us all up to Williamsburg, a
distance of three or four miles, one half of which was over as dreary a
road as need be, and the other through a shady forest grove.

This old city is composed of a straight street, at one end of which is
the establishment occupied by the rosy cheeks of whom we have been
speaking, and which is very neat and clean-looking; at the other
end--only with half a mile of country intervening--is the college. On
each side of the said street is a crescent of detached houses, with a
common before them. The population is 1500, and has not varied--as far
as I could learn--in the memory of the oldest inhabitant. I naturally
felt very much interest in visiting this place, as it was originally the
seat of the royal government, and my grandfather had been the last
governor of the state. The body of the old palace was burnt down by
accident, while occupied by French troops, in 1782. The foundations,
which were six feet thick, are still traceable, although most of the
bricks have been used for the buildings in the neighbourhood. The
outlines of the old garden and its terraces may also be traced, and a
very charming spot it must have been. There are two beautiful
lime-trees in a thriving state, which, I was told, he had planted
himself from seeds he had brought from home. His thoughts were evidently
on that far-off home when he planted them; for, as to position
relatively to each other and distance from the old palace, they
precisely coincide with two beneath which many of my early days were
passed, at the old family mansion of Glenfinarl, on Loch Fine, which has
since become the property of Mr. Douglas.

There is an old ditch in the neighbourhood, which goes by the name of
Lord Dunmore's Ditch. The history which my informant gave me thereof is
absurd enough, and there is a negro of the name of Isaac still living
who remembers all the circumstances. It appears that Lord Dunmore,
having found fault with an Irish labourer for not doing sufficient work,
Paddy replied, "'Faith, if 'twas yer 'onnur that had the shpade in yer
hand, maybe one-half would satisfy yer 'onnur." The Governor, who
happened to be a man of iron frame, and not at all averse to a joke,
immediately took up Paddy's challenge, and replied, "Paddy, I'll work
four hours against you in a ditch for a month's wages." The combatants
set to work the following morning, and at the end of four hours Paddy
was obliged to confess himself beaten, and the result of my
grandfather's labours goes by the name of Lord Dunmore's Ditch to this
day.

The only parts of the old palace still standing are the two wings, one
of which is now the parsonage, and the other a school, which is kept by
an Englishman, educated at one of our universities, and living here for
his health. This place is both a well-chosen and a favourite locality
for schools, being situated upon a high plateau of land, with James
River on one side and York River on the other; consequently, the air is
peculiarly healthy and pure.

The most imposing, if not the most useful, of the scholastic
establishments is the college, which was founded by William and Mary in
the year 1692. It contains a very fair library of old books, but
comparatively few additions appear to have been made in latter years.
The building bears every internal mark of neglect and dilapidation,
defaced walls, broken plaster, &c. Upon entering the lecture-room, a
quantity of eighteen-inch square boxes full of moisture suggest the idea
of a rainy day and a roofless chamber. Be not deceived: these are
merely receptacles for the discharge of the students' 'bacco juice; and
the surrounding floor gives painful demonstration that their free
spirits scorn the trammels of eighteen-inch boundaries, however
profusely supplied. From what causes I cannot say, but the college has
been all but deserted until lately. The present authorities are striving
to infuse into it a little vitality of usefulness. With these simple
facts before me, it was amusing to read, in an American gazetteer of the
day, that the college "is at present in a flourishing condition."

In front of the college there is an enclosed green, and in the centre a
statue, erected in honour of one of the old royal governors, Berkeley,
Lord Bowtetort. Whether from a desire to exhibit their anti-aristocratic
sentiments, or from innate Vandalism, or from a childish wish to exhibit
independence by doing mischief, the said statue is the pistol-mark for
the students, who have exhibited their skill as marksmen by its total
mutilation, in spite of all remonstrances from the authorities. The
college was formerly surrounded by magnificent elms, but a few years
since a blight came which destroyed every one of them, leaving the
building in a desert-like nakedness. The inn at Williamsburg is a
miserable building, but it is kept by as kind-hearted, jolly old
John-Bull-looking landlord as ever was seen, and who rejoices in the
name of Uncle Ben. Meat is difficult to get at, as there are no
butchers; the cream and butter are, however, both plentiful and
excellent. The house is almost entirely overshadowed by one magnificent
elm, which has fortunately escaped the blight that annihilated nearly
all its fellows.

After the hustle of most American cities, there was to me an unspeakable
charm in the quiet of this place. Sitting at the inn-door, before you
lies the open green, with its daisies and buttercups; horses and cattle
are peaceably grazing; in the background are the remaining wings of the
old palace; to your left stands the old village church, built with
bricks brought from England, and long since mellowed by the hand of
time, around which the clinging ivy throws the venerable mantle of its
dark and massive foliage. Now, the summoning church-bell tolls its
solemn note; school children, with merry laugh and light step, cross the
common; the village is astir, and a human tide is setting towards its
sacred portals: all, all speaks to the heart and to the imagination of
happy days and happy scenes in a far-off land. You close your eyes, the
better to realize the dream which fancy is painting. When they open upon
the reality again, the illusion is dispelled by the sight of a brawny
negro, with a grin on his face which threatens to split his ears,
jogging merrily along the street with a huge piece of sturgeon for his
Sunday feast. My friends, however, left me little time to indulge in a
contemplative mood, for good old Madeira, a hearty welcome, and a stroll
about and around the place, filled up the day; while the fragrant weed
and the social circle occupied no small portion of the evening. Having
spent a few but very pleasant days here, I took leave of my hospitable
friends--not forgetting that jovial soul, Uncle Ben; then embarking in a
steamer, and armed with a solitary letter of introduction, I started off
to visit a plantation on the banks of James River.

A planter's home, like the good Highland laird's, seems made of India
rubber. Without writing to inquire whether the house is full, or your
company agreeable, you consider the former improbable and the latter
certain. When you approach your victim, a signal is thrown out; the
answer is a boat; in you get, bag and baggage; you land at the foot of
his lawn or of some little adjoining pier, and thus apparently force
yourself upon his hospitality. Reader, if it is ever your good fortune
to be dropped with a letter of introduction at Shirley, one glance from
the eye of the amiable host and hostess, accompanied by a real shake of
the hand, satisfy you beyond doubt you are truly and heartily welcome. A
planter's house on James River reminds one in many ways of the old
country. The building is old, the bricks are of the brownest red, and in
many places concealed by ivy of colonial birth; a few venerable monarchs
of the forest throw their ample shade over the greensward, which slopes
gently down to the water. The garden, the stables, the farm-yard, the
old gates, the time-honoured hues of everything,--all is so different
from the new facing and new painting which prevails throughout the
North, that you feel you are among other elements; and if you go inside
the house, the thoughts also turn homeward irresistibly as the eye
wanders from object to object. The mahogany table and the old
dining-room chairs, bright with that dark ebony polish of time which
human ingenuity vainly endeavours to imitate; the solid bookcases, with
their quaint gothic-windowly-arranged glass-doors, behind which, in calm
and dusty repose, lie heavy patriarchal-looking tomes on the lower
shelves, forming a sold basis above which to place lighter and less
scholastic literature; an arm-chair, that might have held the invading
Caesar, and must have been second-hand in the days of the conquering
William; a carpet, over whose chequered face the great Raleigh might
have strolled in deep contemplation; a rug, on whose surface generations
of spinsters might have watched the purrings of their pet Toms or gazed
on the glutinous eyes and inhaled the loaded breeze that came from the
fat and fragrant Pug: whichever way the eye turned, whatever direction
the imagination took, the conviction forced upon the mind was, that you
were in an inheritance, and that what the wisdom and energy of one
generation had gathered together, succeeding generations had not yet
scattered to the winds by the withering blast of infinitesimal division.
With the imagination thus forcibly filled with home and its
associations, you involuntarily feel disposed to take a stroll on the
lawn; but on reaching the door, your ears are assailed by wild shouts of
infantine laughter, and, raising your eyes, you behold a dozen little
black imps skylarking about in every direction, their fat faces, bright
eyes, and sunny smiles beaming forth joyousness and health. Home and its
varying visions fly at the sight, giving place to the reality that you
are on a slave plantation. Of the slaves I shall say nothing here beyond
the general fact that they appeared healthy, well fed, and well clothed
on all the plantations I visited. Having enjoyed the hospitalities of
Shirley for a few days, it was agreed that I should make a descent upon
another property lower down the river. So, bidding adieu to my good
friends at Shirley, I embarked once more on the steamer, and was landed
at the pier of Brandon, in the most deluging rain imaginable. A walk of
a quarter of a mile brought me to the door like a drowned rat, a note
from my Shirley friends secured me an immediate and cordial welcome.

Brandon is perhaps the plantation which is more thoroughly kept up than
any other on the James River, and which consequently has altered less.
I am alluding now to the house and grounds about, not to the plantation
at large; for I believe the proprietor at Shirley is reckoned A1 as a
farmer. I have before alluded to the blight which destroyed so many fine
elms on both shores of the James River. The withering insect appeared at
Brandon; but the lady of the house soon proved that she knew the use of
tobacco as well as the men, by turning a few hogsheads of the said weed
into water, making thereby a murderous decoction, with which, by the
intervention of a fire-engine, she utterly annihilated the countless
hosts of the all-but invisible enemy, and thus saved some of the finest
elms I ever saw in my life, under the shade of which the old family
mansion had enjoyed shelter from many a summer's sun. Brandon is the
only place I visited where the destroyer had not left marks of his
ravages. The lawn is beautifully laid out, and in the style of one of
our country villas of the olden time, giving every assurance of comfort
and every feeling of repose. The tropical richness and brightness of
leaf and flower added an inexpressible charm to them, as they stood out
in bold relief against the pure and cloudless air around, so different
from that indistinct outline which is but too common in our moist
atmosphere. Then there was the graceful and weeping willow, the
trembling aspen, the wild ivy, its white bloom tinged as with maiden's
blush; the broad-leafed catalpa; the magnolia, rich in foliage and in
flower; while scattered around were beds of bright and lovely colours.
The extremes of this charming view were bounded, either by the venerable
mansion over whose roof the patriarchal elms of which we have been
speaking threw their cool and welcome shade, or by the broad stream
whose bosom was ever and anon enlivened with some trim barque or
rapid-gliding steamer, and whose farther shore was wooded to the water's
edge. There is one of the finest China rose-trees here I ever beheld; it
covers a space of forty feet square, being led over on trellis-work, and
it might extend much beyond that distance: it is one mass of flowers
every year. Unfortunately, I was a week too late to see it in its glory;
but the withered flowers gave ample evidence how splendid it must have
been.

In one of my drives, I went to see an election which took place in the
neighbourhood. The road for some distance lay through a forest full of
magnificent timber; but, like most forest timber, that which gives it a
marketable value destroys its picturesque effect. A few noble
stems--however poor their heads--have a fine effect when surrounded by
others which have had elbow-room; but a forest of stems, with
Lilliputian heads--great though the girth of the stem may be--conveys
rather the idea of Brobdingnagian piles driven in by giants, and
exhibiting the last flickerings of vitality in a few puny sprouts at
their summit. The underwood was enlivened by shrubs of every shade and
hue, the wild flowering ivy predominating. The carriage-springs were
tested by an occasional drop of the wheels into a pit-hole, on merging
from which you came sometimes to a hundred yards of rut of dimensions
similar to those of military approaches to a citadel; nevertheless, I
enjoyed my drive excessively. The place of election was a romantic spot
near a saw-mill, at the edge of what, in a gentleman's park in England,
would be called a pretty little lake, styled in America a small pond. As
each party arrived, the horse was hitched to the bough of some tree, and
the company divided itself into various knots; a good deal of tobacco
was expended in smoke and juice; there was little excitement; all were
jolly and friendly; and, in short, the general scene conveyed the idea
of a gathering together for field-preaching; but that was speedily
replaced by the idea of a pleasant pic-nic of country farmers, as a
dashing charge was made by the whole _posse comitatus_ upon a long table
which was placed under a fine old elm, and lay groaning beneath the
weight of substantial meat and drink. As for drunkenness, they were all
as sober as washerwomen. So much for a rural election-scene in Virginia.

By way of making time pass agreeably, it was proposed to take a sail in
a very nice yacht, called "The Breeze," which belonged to a neighbouring
planter. We all embarked, in the cool of the evening, and the merry
laugh would soon have told you the fair sex was fairly represented.
Unfortunately, the night was so still that not a breath rippled the
surface of the river, except as some inquisitive zephyr came curling
along the stream, filling us with hope, and then, having satisfied its
curiosity, suddenly disappeared, as though in mockery of our distress.
The name of the yacht afforded ample field for punning, which was
cruelly taken advantage of by all of us; and if our cruise was not a
long one, at all events it was very pleasant, and full of fun and
frolic. Pale Cinthia was throwing her soft and silvery light over the
eastern horizon before we landed.

Walking up the lawn, the scene was altogether lovely; the fine trees
around were absolutely alive with myriads of fire-flies. These bright
and living lights, darting to and fro 'mid the dark foliage, formed the
most beautiful illumination imaginable--at one time clustering into a
ball of glowing fire, at another streaking away in a line of lightning
flame; then, bursting into countless sparks, they would for a moment
disappear in the depths of their sombre bower, to come forth again in
some more varied and more lovely form.

Pleasant indeed were the hours I passed here; lovely was the climate,
beautiful was the landscape, hearty was the welcome: every day found
some little plan prepared to make their hospitality more pleasant to the
stranger; nature herself seemed to delight in aiding their efforts, for
though I arrived in a deluge, I scarce ever saw a cloud afterwards. As
the morning light stole through my open window in undimmed transparency,
the robin, the blue-bird, the mocking-bird, the hosts of choral
warblers, held their early oratorio in the patriarchal elms. If
unskilled in music's science, they were unfettered by its laws, and
hymned forth their wild and varied notes as though calling upon man to
admire and adore the greatness and the goodness of his Maker, and to

  "Shake off dull sloth, and early rise,
  To pay his morning sacrifice."

If such were their appeal, it was not made in vain; for both morning and
evening--both here and at Shirley--every member and visitor gathered
round the family altar, the services of which were performed with equal
cheerfulness and reverence. I felt as if I could have lingered on and on
in this charming spot, and amid such warm hospitality, an indefinite
period; it was indeed with sincere regret I was obliged to bid adieu to
my agreeable hosts, and once more embark on board the steamer.

The river James lacks entirely those features that give grandeur to
scenery; the river, it is true, by its tortuous windings, every now and
then presents a broad sheet of water; the banks are also prettily
wooded; but there is a great sameness, and a total absence of that
mountain scenery so indispensable to grandeur. The only thing that
relieves the eye is a glimpse, from time to time, of some lovely spot
like the one I have just been describing; but such charming villas, like
angel's visits, are "few and far between." Here we are, at Norfolk. How
different is this same Norfolk from the other eastern ports I have
visited!--there all is bustle, activity, and increase,--here all is
dreariness, desolation, and stagnation. It is, without exception, the
most uninteresting town I ever set foot in; the only thing that gives it
a semblance of vitality is its proximity to the dockyard, and the
consequent appearance of officers in uniform; but in spite of this
impression, which a two-days' residence confirmed me in, I was told, on
good authority, that it is thriving and improving. By the statistics
which our consul, Mr. James, was kind enough to furnish me, it appears
that 1847 was the great year of its commercial activity, its imports in
that year valuing 94,000l., and its exports 364,000l. In 1852, the
imports were under 25,000l. and the exports a little more than
81,000l., which is certainly, by a comparison with the average of the
ten years preceding, an evidence of decreasing, rather than increasing,
commercial prosperity. Its population is 16,000; and that small
number--when it is remembered that it is the port of entry for the great
state of Virginia--is a strong argument against its asserted prosperity.
Not long before my arrival they had been visited with a perfect deluge
of rain, accompanied with a waterspout, which evidently had whirled up
some of the ponds in the neighbourhood; for quantities of cat-fish fell
during the storm, one of which, measuring ten inches, a friend told me
he had himself picked up at a considerable distance from any water.

The only real object of interest at Norfolk is the dockyard, which of
course I visited. Mr. James was kind enough to accompany me, and it is
needless to say we were treated with the utmost courtesy, and every
facility afforded us for seeing everything of interest, after which we
enjoyed an excellent lunch at the superintendent's. They were building a
splendid frigate, intended to carry 58-inch guns; her length was 250
feet, and her breadth of beam 48. Whether the manifest advantages of
steam will induce them to change her into a screw frigate, I cannot say.
The dockyard was very clean and the buildings airy. Steam, saw-mills,
&c., were in full play, and anchors forging under Nasmyth's hammer, I
found them making large masts of four pieces--one length and no
scarfings--the root part of the tree forming the mast-head, and a very
large air-hole running up and down the centre. The object of this
air-hole is to allow the mast to season itself; the reader may remember
that the mast of the "Black Maria" is made the same way. As far as I
know, this is a plan we have not yet tried in our dockyards. I find that
they use metallic boats far more than we do. I saw some that had
returned after being four years in commission, which were perfectly
sound. To say that I saw fine boats and spars here, would be like a
traveller remarking he saw a great many coals at Newcastle. All waste
wood not used in the yard is given away every Saturday to any old woman
who will come and take it; and no searching of people employed in the
dockyard is ever thought of. The cattle employed in and for the dockyard
have a most splendid airy stable, and are kept as neat and clean as if
in a drawing-room. Materials are abundant; but naturally there is little
bustle and activity when compared to that which exists in a British
yard. Their small navy can hardly find them enough work to keep their
"hands in;" but doubtless the first knell of the accursed tocsin of war,
while it gave them enough to do, would soon fill their dockyards with
able and willing hands to do it. Commodore Ringold's surveying
expedition, consisting of a corvette, schooner, steamer, &c., was
fitting out for service, and most liberally and admirably were they
supplied with all requisites and comforts for their important duties.

During my stay I enjoyed the kind hospitalities of our consul, Mr.
G.P.E. James, who is so well known to the literary world. He was
indulging the good people of Norfolk with lectures, which seem to be all
the fashion with the Anglo-Saxon race wherever they are gathered
together. The subject which I heard him treat of was "The Novelists,"
handling some favourites with severity and others with a gentler touch,
and winding up with a glowing and just eulogy upon the author of _My
Novel_. Altogether I spent a very pleasant hour and a half.

I may here mention a regulation of the Foreign-office, which, however
necessary it may be considered, every one must admit presses very hardly
on British _employés_ in the Slave States. I allude to the regulation by
which officials are prevented from employing other people's slaves as
their servants. White men soon earn enough money to be enabled to set
up in some trade, business, or farm, and, as service is looked down
upon, they seize the first opportunity of quitting it, even although
their comforts may be diminished by the change. Free negroes won't
serve, and the official must not employ a slave; thus, a gentleman sent
out to look after the interest of his country, and in his own person to
uphold its dignity, must either submit to the dictation and extortion of
his white servant--if even then he can keep him--or he may be called
upon suddenly, some fine morning, to do all the work of housemaid, John,
cook, and knife and button boy, to the neglect of those duties he was
appointed by his country to perform, unless he be a married man with a
large family, in which case he may perhaps delegate to them the
honourable occupations, above named. Surely there is something a little
puritanical in the prohibition. To hold a slave is one thing, but to
employ the labour of one who is a slave, and over whose hopes of freedom
you have no control, is quite another thing; and I hold that, under the
actual circumstances, the employment of another's slave could never he
so distorted in argument as to bring home a charge of connivance in a
system we so thoroughly repudiate.

Go to the East, follow in imagination your ambassadors, ministers, and
consular authorities. Behold them on the most friendly terms--or
striving to be so--with people in high places, who are but too often
revelling in crimes, with the very name of which they would scorn even
to pollute their lips; and I would ask, did such a monstrous absurdity
ever enter into any one's head as to doubt from these amicable relations
whether the Government of this country or its agents repudiated such
abomination of abominations? If for political purposes you submit to
this latter, while for commercial purposes you refuse to tolerate the
former, surely you are straining at a black gnat while swallowing a
beastly camel. Such, good people of the Foreign-office, is my decided
view of the case; and if you profit by the hint, you will do what I
believe no public body ever did yet. Perhaps, therefore, the idea of
setting the fashion may possibly induce you to reconsider and rectify an
absurdity, which, while no inconvenience to you, is often a very great
one to those you employ. It is wonderful, the difference in the view
taken of affairs by actors on the spot and spectators at a distance. A
man who sees a fellow-creature half crushed to death and crippled for
life by some horrible accident, is too often satisfied with little more
than a passing "Good gracious!" but if, on his returning homeward, some
gigantic waggon-wheel scrunch the mere tip of his toes, or annihilate a
bare inch of his nose, his ideas of the reality of an accident become
immensely enlarged.

Let the Foreign Secretary try for a couple of days some such _régime_ as
the following:--

  5    A.M. Light fires, fetch water, and put kettle on.
  6     "   Dust room and make beds.
  7     "   Clean shoes, polish knives, and sand kitchen.
  7:30  "   Market for dinner.
  8:30  "   Breakfast.
  9     "   To Downing-street, light fires, and dust office.
  10    "   Sit down comfortably(?) to work.
  1:30 P.M. Off to coal-hole for more coals.
  4     "   Sweep up, and go home.
  5     "   Off coat, up sleeves, and cook.
  6:30  "   Eat dinner.
  7     "   Wash up.
  8     "   Light your pipe, walk to window, and see your
            colleague over the way, with a couple of Patagonian
            footmen flying about amid a dozen guests, while, to
            give additional zest to your feelings of enjoyment,
            a couple of buxom lassies are peeping out of the
            attics, and singing like crickets.
  9     "   Make your own reflections upon the Government
            that dooms you to personal servitude, while your
            colleague is allowed purchaseable service. Sleep
            over the same, and repeat the foregoing _régime_ on
            the second day; and, filled with the happy influences
            so much cause for gratitude must inspire, give
            reflection her full tether, and sleep over her again.
            On the third morning, let your heart and brain
            dictate a despatch upon the subject of your reflections
            to all public servants in slave-holding communities,
            and, while repudiating slavery, you will
            find no difficulty in employing the services of the
            slave, under peculiar circumstances, and with proper
            restrictions.

I embarked from Norfolk per steamer for Baltimore, and thence by rail
through Philadelphia to New York. I took a day's hospitality among my
kind friends at Baltimore. At Philadelphia I was in such a hurry to pass
on, that I exhibited what I fear many will consider a symptom of
inveterate bachelorship; but truth bids me not attempt to cloak my
delinquency. Hear my confession:--

My friend Mr. Fisher, whose hospitality I had drawn most largely upon
during my previous stay, invited me to come and pay him and his charming
lady a visit, at a delightful country house of his a few miles out of
town. Oh, no! that was impossible; my time was so limited; I had so much
to see in the north and Canada. In vain he urged, with hearty warmth,
that I should spend only one night: it was quite impossible--quite. That
point being thoroughly settled, he said, "It is a great pity you are so
pressed for time, because the trotting champion, 'Mac,' runs against a
formidable antagonist, 'Tacony,' to-morrow." In half an hour I was in
his waggon, and in an hour and a half I was enjoying the warm greeting
of his amiable wife in their country-house, the blush of shame and a
guilty conscience tinging my cheeks as each word of welcome passed from
her lips or flashed from her speaking eyes. Why did I thus act? Could I
say, in truth, "'Twas not that I love thee less, but that I love Tacony
more?" Far from it. Was it that I was steeped in ingratitude? I trust
not. Ladies, oh, ladies!--lovely creatures that you are--think not so
harshly of a penitent bachelor. You have all read of one of your sex
through whom Evil--which takes its name from, her--first came upon
earth, and you know the motive power of that act was--curiosity. I plead
guilty to that motive power on the present occasion; and, while throwing
myself unreservedly on your clemency, I freely offer myself as a target
for the censure of each one among you who, in the purity of truth can
say, "I never felt such an influence in all my life." Reader, remember
you cannot be one of these, for the simple fact of casting your eyes
over this page affords sufficient presumptive evidence for any court of
law to bring you in guilty of a curiosity to know what the writer has to
say.--To resume.

The race-course at Philadelphia is a road on a perfect level, and a
circle of one mile; every stone is carefully removed, and it looks as
smooth and clean as a swept floor. The stand commands a perfect view of
the course; but its neglected appearance shows clearly that
trotting-matches here are not as fashionable as they used to be, though
far better attended than at New York. Upon the present occasion the
excitement was intense; you could detect it even in the increased vigour
with which the smoking and spitting was carried on. An antagonist had
been found bold enough to measure speed with "Mac"--the great Mac who,
while "Whipping creation," was also said never to have let out his full
speed. He was thorough-bred, about fifteen and a half hands, and lighter
built than my raw-boned friend Tacony, and he had lately been sold for
1600l. So sure did people apparently feel of Mac's easy victory, that
even betting was out of the question. Unlike the Long Island affair, the
riders appeared in jockey attire, and the whole thing was far better got
up. Ladies, however, had long ceased to grace such scenes.

Various false starts were made, all on the part of Mac, who, trusting to
the bottom of blood, apparently endeavoured to ruffle Tacony's temper
and weary him out a little. How futile were the efforts the sequel
plainly showed. At length a start was effected, and away they went,
Tacony with his hind legs as far apart as the centre arch of Westminster
Bridge, and with strides that would almost clear the Bridgewater Canal.
Mac's rider soon found that, in trying to ginger Tacony's temper, he had
peppered his own horse's, for he broke-up into a gallop twice. Old
Tacony and his rider had evidently got intimate since I had seen them at
New York, and they now thoroughly understood each other. On he went,
with giant strides; Mac fought bravely for the van, but could not get
his nose beyond Tacony's saddle-girth at the winning-post--time, 2m.
25-1/2s.

Then, followed the usual race-course accompaniments of cheers,
squabbles, growling, laughing, betting, drinking, &c. The public were
not convinced. Mac was still the favourite; the champion chaplet was not
thus hastily to be plucked from his hitherto victorious brows. Half an
hour's rest brought them again to the starting-post, where Mac repeated
his old tactics, and with similar bad success. Nothing could ruffle
Tacony, or produce one false step: he flew round the course, every
stride like the ricochet of a 32lb. shot; his adversary broke-up again
and again, losing both his temper and his place, and barely saved his
distance, as the gallant Tacony--his rider with a slack rein, and
patting him on the neck--reached the winning-post--time, 2m. 25s. The
shouts were long and loud; such time had never been made before by fair
trotting, and Tacony evidently could have done it in two, if not three
seconds less. The fastest pacing ever accomplished before was 2m. 13s.,
and the fastest trotting 2m. 26s. The triumph was complete; Tacony nobly
won the victorious garland; and as long as he and his rider go together,
it will take, if not a rum 'un to look at, at all events a d----l to
go, ere he be forced to resign his championship.

The race over, waggons on two wheels and waggons on four wheels, with
trotters in them capable of going the mile in from 2m. 40s. to 3m. 20s.,
began to shoot about in every direction, and your ears were assailed on
all sides with "G'lang, g'lang!" and occasionally a frantic yell, to
which some Jehu would give utterance by way of making some horse that
was passing him "break-up." Thus ended the famous race between Mac and
Tac, which, by the way, gave me an opportunity of having a little fun
with some of my American friends, as I condoled with them on their
champion being beaten by a British subject; for, strange to say, Tac is
a Canadian horse. I therefore of course expressed the charitable wish
that an American horse might be found some day equal to the task of
wearing the champion trotting crown(!)--I beg pardon, not crown, but,
I suppose, cap of liberty. I need scarce say that it is not so much the
horse as the perfect teaming that produces the result; and all Tac's
training is exclusively American, and received in a place not very far
from Philadelphia, from which he gets his name. A friend gave me a lift
into Philadelphia, whence the iron horse speedily bore me to the great
republican Babylon, New York.



CHAPTER XVI.

_Home of the Pilgrim Fathers_.


Having made the necessary preparations, I again put myself behind the
boiling kettle, _en route_ to the republican Athens. The day was
intensely hot; even the natives required the windows open, and the dust
being very lively, we soon became as powdered as a party going down to
the Derby in the ante-railway days. My curiosity was excited on the way,
by seeing a body of men looking like a regiment of fox-hunters--all well
got up, fine stout fellows--who entered, and filled two of the
carriages. On inquiring who kept the hounds, and if they had good runs,
a sly smile stole across my friend's cheek as he told me they were
merely the firemen of the city going to fraternize with the ditto ditto
of Boston. It stupidly never occurred to me to ask him whether any
provision was made in case of a quiet little fire developing itself
during their absence, for their number was legion, and as active,
daring, orderly-looking fellows as ever I set eyes upon. Jolly apopletic
aldermen of our capital may forsake the green fat of their soup-making
deity, to be feasted by their Parisian fraternity, without inconvenience
to anybody, except it be to their fellow-passengers in the steamer upon
their return, if they have been over-fed and have not tempest-tried
organs of digestion. But a useful body like firemen migrating should, I
confess, have suggested to me the propriety of asking what substitutes
were left to perform, if need be, their useful duties; not having done
so, I am constrained to leave this important point in its present
painful obscurity.

A thundering whistle and a cloud of steam announce the top is off the
kettle, and that we have reached Boston. Wishing to take my own luggage
in a hackney, I found that, however valuable for security the ticketing
system may be, it was, under circumstances like mine at present,
painfully trying to patience. In three-quarters of an hour, however, I
managed to get hold of it, and then, by way of improving my temper, I
ascertained that one of my boxes was in a state of "pretty considerable
all mighty smash." At last I got off with my goods and chattels, and
having seen quite enough of the American palace-hotels and their
bountifully-spread tables, and of the unrivalled energy with which the
meals are despatched; remembering, also, how frequently the drum of my
ears had been distracted by the eternal rattling and crackling of plates
and dishes for a couple of hundred people, and how my olfactories had
suffered from the mixed odours of the kitchen produce, I declined going
to the palatial Revere House, which is one of the best hotels in the
Union, and put up at a house of less pretensions, where I found both
quiet and comfort.

To write a description of Boston, when so many others have done so far
better than I can pretend to do, and when voluminous gazetteers record
almost every particular, would be drawing most unreasonably upon the
patience of a reader, and might further be considered as inferring a
doubt of his acquaintance with, I might almost say, a hackneyed subject.
I shall, therefore, only inflict a few short observations to refresh his
memory. The most striking feature in Boston, to my mind, is the common
or park, inasmuch as it is the only piece of ground in or attached to
any city which I saw deserving the name of a park. It was originally a
town cow-pasture, and called the Tower Fields. The size is about fifty
acres; it is surrounded with an iron fencing, and, although not large,
the lay of the ground is very pretty. It contains some very fine old
trees, which every traveller in America must know are a great rarity in
the neighbourhood of any populous town. It is overlooked by the
State-house, which is built upon Beacon Hill, just outside the highest
extremity of the park, and from the top of which a splendid panoramic
view of the whole town and neighbourhood is obtained. The State-house is
a fine building in itself, and contains one of Chantrey's best
works--the statue of Washington. The most interesting building in
Boston, to the Americans, is, undoubtedly, Faneuil Hall, called also the
"Cradle of Liberty." Within those walls the stern oratory of noble
hearts striving to be free, and daring to strike for it, was listened to
by thousands, in whose breasts a ready response was found, and who,
catching the glowing enthusiasm of the orators, determined rather to be
rebels and free than subjects and slaves: the sequel is matter of
history.

I shall not tax the temper of my reader by going through any further
list of the public buildings, which are sufficiently known to those who
take an interest in this flourishing community; but I must hasten to
apologize for my ingratitude in not sooner acknowledging that most
pleasing feature in every traveller's experience in America, which, I
need hardly say, is hospitality.

Scarce was my half-smashed box landed at the hotel, when my young
American friend, who came from England with our party, appeared to
welcome me--perhaps to atone for the lion's share of champagne he had
enjoyed at our table on board the steamer. Then he introduced me to
another, and another introduced me to another another, and another
another introduced me to another another another, and so on, till I
began to feel I must know the _élite_ of Boston. Club-doors flew open,
champagne-corks flew out, cicerones, pedal and vehicular, were ever
ready to guide me by day and feed me by night; and though there are no
drones in a Yankee hive, so thoroughly did they dedicate themselves to
my comfort and amusement, that a person ignorant of the true state of
things might have fancied they were as idle and occupationless as the
cigar-puffers who adorn some of our metropolitan-club steps, the envy of
passing butcher-boys and the liberal distributors of cigar-ends to
unwashed youths who hang about ready to pounce upon the delicious and
rejected morsels. Among other gentlemen whose acquaintance I had the
pleasure of making, and whose hospitalities, of course, I enjoyed, I may
mention Mr. Prescott and Mr. Ticknor, the former highly appreciated in
the old country, and both so widely known and so justly esteemed in the
world of literature. As I consider such men public property, I make no
apology for using their names, while in so doing I feel I am best
conveying to the reader some idea of the society which a traveller meets
with in Yankee Athens.

The town has one charm to me, which it shares in common with Baltimore.
Not only is it built on undulating ground, but there are old parts
remaining, whereby the eye is relieved from the tiring monotony of broad
and straight streets, while the newer parts form a pleasing variety, and
bear gratifying evidence of the increasing wealth of its intelligent
and industrious population. Then, again, the neighbourhood of the town
has a charm for a wanderer from the old country; the roads are
excellent, the fields and gardens are tidied up, creepers are led up the
cottage walls, suburban villas abound, everything looks more clean, more
_soigné_, more snug, more filled and settled than the neighbourhood of
any other city I visited in America, and thus forces back upon the mind
associations and reflections of dear old home.

Having enjoyed a visit to a friend in one of the suburban villas inland,
to which he drove me in his light waggon, another vehicular cicerone
insisted that I should drive out to his uncle's, and spend a day at his
marine villa, about twelve miles distant. I joyfully assented to so
pleasant a proposition, and, "hitching a three-forty before a light
waggon"--as the term is in America--we were soon bowling away merrily
along a capital road. A pleasant drive of nine miles brought us to a
little town called Lynn, after Lynn Regis in England, from which place
some of the early settlers came. How often has the traveller to regret
the annihilation of the wild old Indian names, and the substitution of
appellatives from every creek and corner of the older continents; with
Poquanum, Sagamore, Wenepoykin, with Susquehanna, Wyoming, Miami, and a
thousand other such of every length and sound, all cut-and-dried to
hand, it is more than a pity to see so great a country plagiarizing in
such a wholesale manner Pekins, Cantons, Turing, Troys, Carmels,
Emmauses, Cairos, and a myriad other such borrowed plumes, plucked from
Europe, Asia, and Africa, and hustled higgledy-piggledy side by side,
without a single element or association to justify the uncalled-for
robbery.

Forgive me, reader,--all this digression comes from my wishing Lynn had
kept its old Indian name of Saugus; from such little acorns will such
great oak-trees spring.--To resume. The said town of Lynn supplies
understandings to a very respectable number of human beings, and may be
called a gigantic shoemaker's shop, everything being on the gigantic
scale in America. It employs 11,000, out of its total population of
14,000, in that trade, and produces annually nearly 5,000,000 of women's
and children's boots, shoes, and gaiters, investing in the business a
capital amounting to 250,000l. Moses and Son, Hyam and Co., Nicoll
and Co., and the whole of the three-halfpence-a-shirt-paying
capitalists, can show nothing like my shoemakers' shop, "fix it how you
will,"--as they say in the Great Republic.

The three-forty trotter soon left boots, shoes, and all behind, and
deposited us at the door of the uncle's villa, where a friendly hand
welcomed us to its hospitalities. It was very prettily situated upon a
cliff overlooking Massachusetts Bay, in which said cliff a zigzag
stepway was cut down to the water, for the convenience of bathing. The
grounds were nicely laid out and planted, and promised in time to be
well wooded, if the ocean breeze driving upon them did not lay an
embargo upon their growth, in the same heartless manner as it does upon
the west coast of Scotland, where, the moment a tree gets higher than a
mop handle, its top becomes curved over by the gales, with the same
graceful sweep as that which a successful stable-boy gives a birch broom
after a day's soaking. I hope, for my hospitable friend's sake, it may
not prove true in his case; but I saw an ostrich-feathery curve upon the
tops of some of his trees, which looked ominous. Having spent a very
pleasant day, and enjoyed good cheer and good company, Three-forty was
again "hitched to;" joined hands announced the parting moment had
arrived; wreaths of smoke from fragrant Havanas ascended like incense
from the shrine of Adieu; "G'lang"--the note of advance--was sounded;
Three-forty sprang to the word of command; friends, shoes, and
shoemakers were soon tailed of; and ere long your humble servant was
nestling his nose in his pillow at Boston.

Hearing that the drama was investing its talent in Abolitionism, I went
one evening to the theatre, to see if I could extract as much fun from
the metropolis of a free state as I had previously obtained from the
capital of slave-holding Maryland; for I knew the Americans, both North
and South, were as ticklish as young ladies. I found very much the same
style of thing as at Baltimore, except that her abolitionist highness,
the Duchess of Southernblack, did not appear on the stage by deputy; but
as an atonement for the omission, you had a genuine Yankee abolitionist;
poor Uncle Tom and his fraternity were duly licked and bullied by a
couple of heartless Southern nigger-drivers; and while their victims
were writhing in agony, a genuine abolitionist comes on the stage and
whops the two nigger-drivers, amid shouts of applause. The suppliant
Southerners, midst sobs and tears, plead for mercy, and in vain, until
the happy thought occurs to one of them, to break forth into a wondrous
tale of the atrocities inflicted upon the starving and naked slaves of
English mines and factories, proving by contrast the superior happiness
of the nigger and the greater mercifulness of his treatment. The
indignant abolitionist drops the upraised cowhide, the sobs and tears of
the Southerners cease, the whole house thunders forth the ecstasy of its
delight, the curtain drops, and the enchanted audience adjourn to the
oyster saloons, vividly impressed with British brutality, the charms of
slavery, and the superiority of Abolitionism.

How strange, that in a country like this, boasting of its education, and
certainly with every facility for its prosecution--how strange, that in
the very Athens of the Republic, the deluded masses should exhibit as
complete ignorance as you could find in the gallery of any
twopenny-halfpenny metropolitan theatre of the old country!

Another of the lions of Boston which I determined to witness, if
possible, was "spirit-rapping." A friend undertook the arrangement for
me; but so fully were the hours of the exhibitor taken up, that it was
five days before we could obtain a spare hour. At length the time
arrived, and, fortified with a good dinner and a skinful of "Mumm
Cabinet," we proceeded to the witch's den. The witch was a clean and
decent-looking girl about twenty, rather thin, and apparently very
exhausted; gradually a party of ten assembled, and we gathered round the
witch's table. The majority were ladies--those adorers of the
marvellous! The names of friends were called for; the ladies took the
alphabet, and running over it with the point of a pencil, the spirit
rapped as the wished-for letter was reached. John Davis was soon spelt,
each letter probably having been indicated by the tremulous touch of
affectionate hope. Harriet Mercer was then rapped out by the obliging
spirit. The pencil and the alphabet were then handed to me, and the
spirit being asked if it would answer my inquiries, and a most
satisfactory "Yes" being rapped out, I proceeded to put its powers to
the test. I concentrated my thoughts upon a Mr. L---- and his shop in
Fleet-street, with both of which being thoroughly familiar I had no
difficulty in fixing my attention upon them. The pencil was put in
motion, powerful rappings were heard as it touched the D. I kept my
gravity, and went on again and again, till the name of the illustrious
duke, whose death the civilized world was then deploring with every
token of respect, was fully spelt out. The witch was in despair; she
tried again and again to summon the rebellious spirit, but it would not
come. At last, a gentleman present, and who evidently was an _habitué_
of the witch's den, proposed that the refractory spirit should be asked
if any of the company were objectionable to it. This being done, a
rattling "Yes" came forth, upon which each person asked in succession,
"Am I objectionable to you?" There was a dead silence until it came to
my friend and myself, to each of whom it gave a most rappingly emphatic
"Yes." Accordingly, we rose and left the field to those whose greater
gullibility rendered them more plastic objects for working upon. Never
in my life did I witness greater humbug; and yet so intense was the
anxiety of the Boston public to witness the miracle, that during all the
day and half the night the spirit was being invoked by the witch, into
whose pockets were pouring the dollars of thousands of greater gabies
than myself, for many went away believers, receiving the first germs of
impressions which led them to a Lunatic Asylum, or an early grave, as
various statistics in America prove most painfully.

To show the extent to which belief in these absurdities goes, I subjoin
an extract from a paper, by which it appears that even the solemnities
of a funeral cannot sober the minds of their deluded followers. Mr.
Calvin R. Brown--better known as the husband of Mrs. Anne L. Fish, a
famous "spirit medium" in New York--having died, we read the following
notice of the funeral:--"After prayer, the Rev. S. Brittan delivered an
address, in which he dwelt with much earnestness upon the superiority of
the life of the spirit, as compared with that of the body. At various
points in his address there were rappings, sometimes apparently on the
bottom of the coffin, and at others upon the floor, as if in response to
the sentiments uttered. After concluding his address, Professor Brittan
read a communication purporting to have come from the deceased after his
entrance into the spirit world. While it was being read, the reporter
states that the rappings were distinctly heard. Several friends then
sang, "Come, ye disconsolate," after which the Rev. Mr. Denning made a
few remarks, during which the rappings were more audible than before.
Other ceremonies closed the funeral. The whole party, preachers,
physicians, and all, were spiritualists," &c.

But I have before me a letter written by Judge Edmonds, which is a more
painful exemplification of the insanity superinduced by giving way to
these absurdities; in that document you will find him deliberately
stating, that he saw heavy tables flying about without touch, like the
leaves in autumn; bells walking off shelves and ringing themselves, &c.
Also, you will find him classing among his co-believers "Doctors,
lawyers, clergymen, a Protestant bishop, a learned and reverend
president of a college, judges of higher courts, members of congress,
foreign ambassadors (I hope not Mr. Crampton), and ex-members of the
United States Senate."

The ladies of the old country will, no doubt, be astonished to hear that
their sisters of the younger country have medical colleges in various
States; but, I believe, mostly in the northern ones. To what extent
their studies in the healing art are carried, I cannot precisely inform
them; it most probably will not stop at combinations of salts and senna,
or spreading plasters--for which previous nursery practice with bread
and butter might eminently qualify them. How deeply they will dive into
the mysteries of anatomy, unravelling the tangled web of veins and
arteries, and mastering the intricacies of the ganglionic centre; or how
far they will practise the subjugation of their feelings, whether only
enough to whip off some pet finger and darling little toe, or whether
sufficiently to perform more important operations, even such as Sydney
Smith declared a courageous little prime minister was ready to undertake
at a minute's notice; these are questions which I cannot answer: but one
thing is clear, the wedge is entered. How far it will be driven in, time
must show.[AK]


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote AK: The Massachusetts Legislature, in a recent session,
appropriated funds to the New England Female Medical College, located in
Boston, to pay forty students for five years; and I have since observed
in a Boston paper that there are twenty lady physicians, who, confining
themselves to midwifery and diseases of their own sex, have a fair
practice, and enjoy the confidence of the families they visit.]



CHAPTER XVII.

_Teaching of Youth, and a Model Jail_.


I must now turn to a more important and interesting feature of Boston,
viz., education. We all remember how the religious persecution in the
reign of Elizabeth, fettering men's consciences, drove a devoted band of
deep-thinking Christians into caves of concealment, and how, after much
peril, they escaped in 1609, in the reign of James the First, to
Amsterdam, under the leadership of the noble-hearted J. Robinson, where,
after sighing long for a return beneath the flag of the country of their
birth, they obtained a charter from the Virginia Company. The first
division of them embarked on board "The Mayflower," a small vessel of
180 tons, and sailed from Plymouth, 6th September, 1620, landing in
their new and barren home upon the 11th of December. These were the
sturdy champions of liberty of conscience, from whom the New Englanders
may be said to have sprung, and who have leavened the whole community
with their energy and indomitable spirit: such men knew how to
appreciate education, as the leveller of oppression and the bulwark of
freedom; and it is, therefore, no wonder that the American Republic
recognises them as the worthy pioneers of that noble feature in their
institutions--free education, supplied to all by the State.

Let us, then, see how far their descendants are treading in their
footsteps upon this point. I speak of Boston and its 150,000
inhabitants, not of the State. And first, it is important to observe,
that the strict provisions of the State requirements would be met by
three schools, and three teachers with assistants, whose salaries would
amount to 900l. The actual provision made by this energetic community,
is,--Schools: 1 Latin, 1 English, 22 grammar, 194 primary,--total for
salaries, 37,000l. And that it may not be supposed the salaries are
great prizes, it is important to remark, that there are 65 male
teachers, and about 300 female teachers. The highest paid are
head-masters of Latin and English schools, 490l.; sub-masters of same,
and head-masters of grammar, 300l.; ushers, assistants, &c., from
50l. to 160l.; and female teachers, from 45l. to 60l., with
5l. additional for care of the rooms.

All the primary schools have female teachers; and the feeling is
strongly in favour of females for instructing the very young, their
patience and kindness being less likely to foster feelings of dread and
dislike.

The total amount of taxes raised in the city is, in round numbers,
250,000l.; of which 65,000l., or more than one-fourth, is devoted to
schools. The total value of all public school estates of Boston, up to
May, 1851, was 260,000l.; and the salary of the head-master is, within
a few pounds, equal to that of the governor of the State.

Say, then, reader, has some portion of the spirit of the Pilgrim Fathers
descended to the present generation, or not?--a population of 150,000
devoting 260,000l. to education.

Wherever parents are unable to provide books, &c., the children are
supplied with the use of them _gratis_. All corporal punishment is
strongly discouraged, but not prohibited; and all inflictions thereof
are recorded for the information of the Visiting Board. Having omitted
to make personal inquiries on the spot, I obtained, through the kindness
of Mr. Ticknor, answers to the following questions on the point of
religious instruction:--

1. "Are the pupils at your normal schools obliged to receive religious
instruction from some minister, and to attend some place of worship; or
may they, if they prefer, receive no such instruction, and attend no
church?"

"The State has put the normal schools under the charge of the Board of
Education, with no special law or instructions. The Board of Education
endeavours to act on exactly the same principles as those which the law
has laid down with respect to the common schools. The Board requires
that the pupils of the normal schools attend some place of worship, the
pupil making his own choice. These schools are opened every morning with
reading the Scriptures, singing, and prayer. The moral conduct of the
pupils is carefully watched over, and instruction is given in respect to
the best methods of training the young in religion and morals. The
religious teaching is ethical, not doctrinal."

2. "Are the children at your common schools obliged to receive some
religious instruction, or if their parents express a wish they should
not receive any at school, is the wish complied with?"

"The law requires all teachers to instruct their pupils 'in the
principles of piety,' and forbids any sectarian books to be introduced
into the public schools. The school committees of each town prescribe
the class-books to be used, and commonly make the Bible one of those
books. The teacher is expected to follow the law in respect to teaching
the principles of piety, without any instruction from the school
committee, and is almost always allowed to do this in his own way,
unless he is guilty of some impropriety, in which case the school
committee interferes. He usually has devotional exercises at the opening
of the school, and reads the Scriptures, or causes them to be read, as
an act of worship, whether they are prescribed by the committee or not.
Many teachers take that occasion to remark upon topics of morality, and
thereby aim to prevent misconduct. Indeed, the Bible is much relied on
as a means of discipline rather for preventing wrong-doing, than for
correcting it.

"No minister, as such, gives religious instruction in any of our public
schools. Ministers are commonly on the school committees, and when
visiting the schools, as committees, exhort the children to good
behaviour, and to a religious life.

"No cases are known of parents wishing their children to be excused from
such religious instruction, except with the Catholics, who desire that
their children be excused from the devotional exercises, especially from
reading the Protestant version of the Bible. Even this is very rare
where the teacher himself reads the Scriptures in connexion with other
devotional exercises. It occurs most frequently where the children are
required to use the Bible themselves, either in devotional exercises or
in a reading lesson. But those wishes are not often regarded, because
the committee has a legal right to prescribe the Bible as a school-book,
and to require all the pupils to comply with all the regulations of the
school. In some few instances, committees have thought it expedient to
allow the Douay version to be used by Catholic children; but it amounts
to nothing, as it is an abstract point started by the priests, for which
parents care but little; besides, it is objected that the Douay version
with its glosses is 'a sectarian book,' whereas the common English
version without note or comment is not."

Scholars desirous of entering the higher schools are generally required
to pass through the lower, and bring therefrom certificates of capacity
and conduct. In the statute of the State, with reference to education,
all professors, tutors, instructors, &c., are enjoined to impress upon
the minds of those committed to their charge "the principles of piety,
justice, a sacred regard to truth, and love of their country." Among the
various subjects in connexion with education, in which instruction is
given in these schools, it may be as well to mention one, which, I
believe, is all but totally neglected in England. By legislative
enactment, section 2, "All school-teachers shall hereafter be examined
in their knowledge of the elementary principles of physiology and
hygiène, and their ability to give instructions in the same."

The School Committee consists of two members from each of the twelve
wards of the city, chosen annually, and assisted by the Mayor and
President of the Common Council. The average expense of each scholar at
the primary schools is 25s. per annum, at the higher schools three
guineas. Under the foregoing system, 12,000 children are instructed
annually at the primary schools, and 10,000 at the higher schools, which
aggregate of 22,000 will give an attendance of nearly 70 per cent. upon
all children between the ages of five and fifteen, to whom the avenues
of knowledge, from the lisping letters of infancy to the highest
branches of philosophy, are freely opened.

Through the kindness of Mr. B. Seaver, the Mayor of Boston, I was
enabled to visit several of these schools, the cleanliness of which, as
well as their good ventilation, was most satisfactory. The plan adopted
here, of having the stools made of iron and screwed on to the floor,
with a wooden seat fixed on the top for each pupil, and a separate desk
for every two, struck me as admirably calculated to improve ventilation
and check sky-larking and noise. The number of public schools in the
whole State is 4056, which are open for seven months and a half in the
year, and the average attendance of scholars is 145,000; besides which,
there are 749 private schools, with 16,000 scholars. It is a curious
fact, and bears strong testimony to the efficiency of the public
schools, that while they have increased by 69 during the year, the
private schools have decreased by 36. The foregoing sketch is from the
official Reports, printed at Boston in 1853.

In addition to these schools, there are four colleges, three theological
seminaries, and two medical schools. Of these I shall only notice one of
the colleges, which I visited, and which enjoys a high reputation--viz.,
Harvard College, or Cambridge, as it is sometimes called, from the
village where it is situated. The history of this college is a wholesome
proof how a small institution, if duly fostered by a nation, may
eventually repay future generations with liberal interest. Established
in 1636, by a vote of 400l., it obtained the name of Harvard, from the
bequeathment by a reverend gentleman of that name, A.D. 1638, of the sum
of 780l. and 300 volumes. Its property now amounts to upwards of
100,000l., and it is divided into five departments--collegiate, law,
medical, theological, and scientific--affording education to 652
students, of whom one half are undergraduates. There are forty-five
instructors, all men of unquestionable attainments, and capable of
leading the students up to the highest steps of every branch of
knowledge; the necessary expenses of a student are about 45l. a year;
the fee for a master of arts, including the diploma, is 1l. sterling.

Meritorious students, whose circumstances require it, are allowed, at
the discretion of the Faculty, to be absent for thirteen weeks,
including the winter vacation, for the purpose of teaching schools.
Parents who think their sons unable to take care of their own money, may
send it to a patron duly appointed by the college, who will then pay all
bills and keep the accounts, receiving, as compensation two and a half
per cent. I think the expenses of this establishment will astonish those
who have had to "pay the piper" for a smart young man at Oxford, as much
as the said young man would have been astonished, had his allowance,
while there, been paid into the hands of some prudent and trusty
patron. Tandems and tin horns would have been rather at a discount--_cum
pluribus aliis_.

The college has a look of antiquity, which is particularly pleasant in a
land where almost everything is spick-and-span new; but the rooms I
thought low and stuffy, and the walls and passages had a neglected
plaster-broken appearance. There are some very fine old trees in the
green, which, throwing their shade over the time-worn building, help to
give it a venerable appearance. A new school of science has just been
built by the liberality of Mr. Lawrence,[AL] late Minister of the United
States in this country; and I may add that the wealth and prosperity of
the college are almost entirely due to private liberality.

As the phonetic system of education has been made a subject of so much
discussion in the United States, I make no apology for inserting the
following lengthy observations thereon. A joint committee on education,
appointed to inquire into its merits by the Senate, in 1851, reported
that there was evidence tending to show--"That it will enable the pupil
to learn to read phonetically in one-tenth of the time ordinarily
employed. That it will enable the learner to read the common type in
one-fourth of the time necessary according to the usual mode of
instruction. That its acquisition leads the pupil to the correct
pronunciation of every word. That it will present to the missionary a
superior alphabet for the representation of hitherto unwritten
languages," &c. A similar committee, to whom the question was referred
by the House of Representatives in 1852, state that during the past year
the system had been tried in twelve public schools, and that, according
to the testimony of the teachers, children evinced greater attachment to
their books, and learnt to read with comparative ease; and they conclude
their report in these words:--"Impressed with the importance of the
phonetic system, which, if primarily learnt, according to the testimony
presented, would save two years of time to each of the two hundred
thousand children in the State, the committee would recommend to school
committees and teachers, the introduction of the phonetic system of
instruction into all the primary schools of the State, for the purpose
of teaching the reading and spelling of the common orthography, with an
enunciation which can rarely be secured by the usual method, and with a
saving of time and labour to both teachers and pupils, which will enable
the latter to advance in physical and moral education alone until they
are six years of age, without any permanent loss in the information they
will ultimately obtain."

One gentleman of the minority of the committee sent in a very strong
report condemning the system. He declares "the system is nothing but an
absurd attempt to mystify and perplex a subject, which ought to be left
plain and clear to the common apprehensions of common men." Further on
he states, "No human ingenuity can show a reason for believing that the
way to learn the true alphabet, is first to study a false alphabet; that
the way to speak words rightly, is to begin by spelling them wrong; that
the way to teach the right use of a letter, is to begin by giving a
false account of a letter. Yet the phonetic system, so far as it is
anything, is precisely this." Then, again, with reference to the eight
specimen scholars, taken from a school of fifty, and who were exhibited,
he observes, "they were the same as those who were examined a year ago;
nothing is said of the other forty-two. It is not necessary to say
anything more of the character of such evidence as this;" and he winds
up by observing: "Such a mode of instruction would, in his opinion,
waste both the time and the labour employed upon it, and complicate and
embarrass a study, which in its true shape is perfectly simple and
clear." The following old anecdote would rather tend to prove that
spelling and reading were not either "simple or clear" to a Lancashire
judge, who, having asked the name of a witness, and not catching the
word exactly, desired him to spell it, which he proceeded to do
thus:--"O double T, I double U, E double L, double U, double O, D." The
learned judge laid down his pen in astonishment, and after two or three
unsuccessful efforts, at last declared he was unable to record it--so
puzzled was he with the "simple" spelling of that clear name--Ottiwell
Wood.

In the _Massachusetts Teacher_ of January, 1853, there is the report of
a committee, in which they state "that children taught solely by the
phonetic system, and only twenty minutes each day, outstripped all their
compeers." They further add, that "the phonetic system, thus beneficial
in its effects, has been introduced into one hundred and nineteen public
and five private schools, and that they have reason to believe, that no
committee ever appointed to examine its merits have ever reported
adverse to it;" and they conclude by strongly "recommending teachers to
test the merits of the System by actual trial in their schools." Then
again, in the following number of their journal, they strongly condemn
the system as both useless and impracticable.

Having carefully weighed the arguments on both sides, I am led to the
conclusion, that the objections of those who condemn the system are
partly owing to the fact, that while reaching their present advanced
state of knowledge, they have entirely forgotten their own struggles,
and are thus insensibly led to overlook the confusion and difficulty
which must ever arise in the infant mind, where similar combinations
produce similar sounds. An infant mind is incapable of grasping
differences, but understands readily simple facts; if what meets the eye
represent a certain fixed sound, the infant readily acquires that sound;
but if the eye rest on _o, u, g, h,_ as a combination, and the endeavour
is made to teach him the endless varieties of sound produced thereby,
his little mind becomes puzzled, his ideas of truth become confused, his
memory becomes distrusted, and his powers of reading become retarded by
the time occupied in the--to him--most uninteresting task of learning a
host of unmeaning sounds. The inevitable consequence is that the poor
little victim becomes disheartened, rendering a considerable amount of
additional trouble and--which is far more difficult to find--patience
necessary upon the part of the teacher.

Common sense points out, that the reading of phonetic words must be more
easily learnt than the reading of the aphonetic words, of which our
language is essentially composed. The real question is simply
this,--Does the infant mind advance with such rapidity under phonetic
teaching, as to enable it at a certain age to transfer its powers to
orthodox orthography, and reach a given point of knowledge therein,
with less trouble, and in a shorter space of time, than those infants
do who are educated upon the old system? If phonetic teaching has this
effect, it is an inestimable boon, and if not, it is a complete
humbug.[AM] It should also be borne in mind, that the same arguments
which hold good in the case of infants will apply also, in a great
degree, to adults who wish to learn to read, and to foreigners
commencing the study of our language. Whether any further use of
phonetics is either desirable or practicable, would be a discussion out
of place in these pages.

When any startling novelty is proposed, enthusiasts carry their advocacy
of it so far as often to injure the cause they wish to serve: on the
other hand, too many of the educated portion of the community are so
strenuously opposed to innovation, as to raise difficulties rather than
remove them. Has not the common sense of the age been long calling for
changes in the law of partnership, divorce, &c., and is not some
difficulty always arising? Has not the commercial world been crying
aloud for decimal coinage and decimal weights and measures, and are not
educated men constantly finding some objections, and will they not
continue to do so, until some giant mind springs up able to grasp the
herculean task, and force the boon upon the community? Were not
steamboats and railways long opposed as being little better than insane
visions? Did not Doctor Lardner prove to demonstration that railway
carriages could never go more than twenty miles an hour, owing to the
laws of resistance, friction, &c., and did not Brunel take the breath
out of him, and the pith out of his arguments, by carrying the learned
demonstrator with him on a locomotive, and whisking him ten miles out of
London in as many minutes? When I see that among so intelligent and
practical a people as the New Englanders--a people whose thoughts and
energies are so largely devoted to education--one hundred and nineteen
schools have adopted the phonetic system, I cannot but look back to the
infancy of steam, and conclude, that there must be more advantages in
that system than its opponents seem disposed to allow it to possess.

The Committee of Council on Education in England, to whom the funds
set apart for educational purposes are, intrusted, authorized the
printing of phonetic books for schools some years since; but authorizing
books without training masters to teach them, is about as useful as
putting engines into a ship, without supplying engineers to work them.
Besides which, their phonetic system was in itself confusing and
objectionable; they have also informed the public, that the system, in
various forms, is almost universally adopted in the elementary schools
of Holland, Prussia, and Germany.[AN]

I should also mention that other systems have been tried both in England
and Scotland, and that those teachers who employ them speak highly of
their advantages, especially in the latter country. I have now a paper
before me, called _The Reading Reformer_, in which I find the following
sentence, which tends to show that the system is approved of in France
in the highest quarters:--"The phonetic method of primary instruction is
used in the 5th regiment of the line, the 12th Light, the Penitentiary
of St. Germain, and the House of Correction for young prisoners. The
Minister of War has ordered that French should be taught by this method
to the young Arabs, in the three schools of Algiers, Oran, and
Philipville."

One great mistake has been made by the champions of this mode of
teaching, which is more fatal to its success, in my opinion, than any
difficulty raised by its opponents, and that is the adoption by each
champion of his own phonetic alphabet; and for which he claims a
superiority over the alphabets of others. The absurdity of this
perpetual strife must be palpable. If a Fireworshipper were to be
converted, what hopes of success would there be if a Mormonite and a
Mussulman were placed on one side of him, and a Free Kirk man and a
Jesuit on the other? The public, as regards phonetic teaching, are
precisely in that Fireworshipper's position. Reader, you must form your
own opinion: I offer none. And now, with your permission, we will quit
the region of speculation and return to sober fact.

One of the most striking buildings I visited during my stay at Boston
was the jail; the airiness and cleanliness were both perfect, and the
arrangement was to me totally novel. Independent of the ground outside,
which is walled all round, the jail itself is built under a large outer
case, affording abundance of light and ventilation. This outer building
forms a corridor all round the jail, affording protection to the keepers
from all weathers, and thus enables them to keep an efficient watch over
the inmates. Supposing any prisoner to escape from his cell, he is still
hemmed in by this outer case, which has only one door, so situated that
no one can approach it without being seen from a considerable distance;
and, even if these difficulties be overcome, the outer wall common to
all prisons still remains. As far as I could learn, no prisoner has ever
been able to force his way out. At night a blaze of gas in the outer
hall lights all the dormitories and the corridor which runs round
outside the jail, thus rendering escape as difficult at night as in
broad daylight. Water is freely supplied to every room on every storey,
and means of bathing are arranged in various parts of the building.
School-rooms, private rooms, and a chapel are all contained within this
leviathan outer case. In short, to those who take an interest in
improving the airiness of jails and the security of prisoners, this
building is well worth the most careful examination; and I trust we may
some day profit by the improvements which the ingenuity of the New
Englanders has here exhibited, for the frequent escapes from our jails
prove that some change is requisite.

The Bostonians have applied the telegraph to a most important use,
which, I believe, we have totally overlooked in England. The town is
divided into sections, in each of which are a certain number of
stations; all of these latter have a telegraph-office, communicating
with one grand central office, by which means they explain where the
fire is. The central office immediately indicates to every section the
information thus obtained by the ringing of alarm-bells; and, by this
method, every fire-station in the city is informed of the locality of
the danger within a few minutes after its occurrence.

The naval arsenal at Boston is moderate in size, kept very clean; but
when I visited it there were little signs of activity or life. They have
only three building sheds, in one of which a vessel has been in progress
for twenty years; the other two are vacant. The principal feature is the
rope-walk, which is 1640 feet long, and worked by steam-power.

The United States, being on friendly terms with England, and so far
removed from Europe and its politics and its disturbances, pays
comparatively little attention to the navy, which is small, when
considered in reference to the size and wealth of the country and the
extent of its seaboard.

The convention for the amendment of the constitution being in session, I
was enabled, through the kindness of Mr. Sumner, the senator for the
State, to witness their proceedings, which were conducted with becoming
dignity. The speakers, if not eloquent, at least adhered to the subject
under discussion, in a manner some of the wordy and wandering gentlemen
in our House of Commons might imitate with advantage.

The supply of water for the town is brought from Lake Cochitnate, a
distance of twenty miles; and the length of piping in connexion with it
is upwards of 100 miles. The State authorized a city debt of 900,000l.
for the necessary expenses of the undertaking and purchase of the
ground, &c. The annual receipts amount to 36,000l., which will, of
course, increase with the population. Dwelling-houses pay from 1l. as
high as 15l. tax, according to their consumption. The average daily
expenditure in 1853 was about 7,000,000 gallons, or nearly 50 gallons
per head.

Before leaving Boston, I may as well give some evidence of the
prosperity of the State. In the year 1830, the population was 600,000;
at the present date it is 1,000,000. The exports of domestic produce,
which in 1844 amounted to 1,275,000l., now amount to upwards of
2,830,000l.; and the imports, which at the former period amounted to
4,000,000l., now amount to nearly 7,000,000l. The population of
Boston has increased 600 per cent. during the present century. Lowell,
which is the great Manchester of Massachusetts, has increased its
population from 6500 in 1830 to nearly 40,000 at the present date; and
the capital invested, which in 1823 was only 500,000l., is now nearly
2,700,000l. I do not wish to weary my readers with statistics, and
therefore trust I have said enough to convey a tolerable impression of
the go-aheadism of these hardy and energetic descendants of the Pilgrim
Fathers; and, for the same reasons, I have not made any observations
upon their valuable libraries, hospitals, houses of industry,
reformation, &c., the former of which are so largely indebted to private
munificence. But before taking my leave of Boston, I must notice the
great pleasure I derived from hearing in all quarters the favourable
impression which Lord Elgin's visit, on the occasion of opening the
railway in 1851, had produced. His eloquence and urbanity was a constant
theme of conversation with many of my friends, who generally wound up by
saying, "A few such visits as that of the Railway Jubilee would do more
to cement the good feeling between the two countries than the diplomacy
of centuries could effect." I must here add, that upon my visiting
Quebec, I found that the same cordial feeling of fellowship had been
produced on the Canadian mind, by the brotherly reception they had met
with upon that memorable occasion. Farewell to Boston! but not farewell
to the pleasing recollection of the many happy hours I spent, nor of the
many kind friends whose acquaintance I enjoyed there, and which I hope
on same future occasion to renew and improve.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote AL: Such gifts during the lifetime of the donor, are in my
estimation, better evidences of liberality and zeal in a cause, than the
most munificent bequests even of a Stephen Gerard, who only gave what he
could no longer enjoy.]

[Footnote AM: A _Vide_ observation by Mr. H. Mann, chap. 20.]

[Footnote AN: The expense of printing proper books is sometimes
mentioned as an objection, on account of requiring new types for the new
sounds taught. No expense can outweigh the value of a change by which
education can be facilitated; but even this difficulty has been obviated
by Major Beniowski's plan. He obtains the new symbols requisite by
simply inverting a certain number of letters for that purpose.]



CHAPTER XVIII.

_Canada_.


Early morning found me seated in the cars on my way to Quebec. Not being
a good hand at description of scenery, this railway travelling is a
great boon to my unfortunate reader--if he have got thus far. A Nubian
clothed in castor-oil, and descending from the heavens by a slippery
seat upon a rainbow, might as well attempt to describe the beauties of
our sphere as the caged traveller at the tail of the boiling kettle
attempt to convey much idea of the scenery he passes through. Not merely
do the scrunching squeaks of the break, the blasty trumpet whistle, the
slamming of doors, and the squalling of children bewilder his brain and
bedeafen his ears, but the iron tyrant enchains and confuses his eyes. A
beautiful village rivets his attention,--bang he goes into the tunneled
bowels of the earth; a magnificent panorama enchants his sight as he
emerges from the realms of darkness; he calls to a neighbour to share
the enjoyment of the lovely scene with him; the last sounds of the call
have not died away, ere he finds himself wedged in between two
embankments, with nought else but the sky for the eye to rest on. Is it
any wonder, then--nay, rather, is it not an evidence of
truthfulness--that I find the record of my journey thus described in my
note-book:--"7-1/2 A.M., Fizz, fizz; hiss, hiss--waving
fields--undulating ground--sky--varied tints of green--cottages, cattle,
humanities--bridges, bays, rivers, dust, and heat--Rouse's Point, 7-1/2
P.M." At this point we got out of the cage and embarked in a steamer.
The shroud of night hung heavily around us, and the lights of Montreal
and its suburbs, reflected in the unruffled stream, shone all the
brighter from the density of the surrounding darkness, and formed a
brilliant illumination. In half an hour I was comfortably housed in the
hotel, where, to my agreeable surprise, I met one of my countrywomen,
whose many charms had made her a theme of much admiration at Washington,
where I first had the pleasure of making her acquaintance.

Any one who, wandering far from home, finds himself surrounded with
utter strangers, will partially understand the pleasure I enjoyed at
finding one face I had looked upon before; but to understand it fully,
they must know the face I was then gazing upon. Don't be curious,
reader, as to whom it belonged, for I have no intention of enlightening
you, further than to say it belonged to her and her husband. Twelve
hours of railway makes me sleepy; it's my nature, and I can't help it,
so I trust I may be excused, when I confess that I very soon exchanged
the smile of beauty for the snore of Morpheus. What my dreams were, it
concerns nobody to know.

The magnificent brow of hill which overhangs Montreal was named in 1535
Mont Royal, by the famous Jacques Cartier, in honour of his royal
master; the French settlement which arose a century after, in the
neighbourhood of the Indian village of Hochelaga, assumed the name of
the hill, and has at last shaken down into its present combination. What
Goths, not to preserve the Indian name which savours of the land and of
antiquity, instead of substituting a French concoction! With regard to
the site of the town, there is no doubt it is on the island now called
Montreal; but where that island is situated may be considered an open
question; the river Ottawa runs into the St. Lawrence at the western
extremity of the island, and the question is, whether the water on the
northern shore is the Ottawa or the St. Lawrence; upon which depends
whether the island is in the St. Lawrence, or between the St. Lawrence
and the Ottawa. Not wishing to deprive either of their finger in the
pie, I should give my verdict in favour of the latter opinion; but I
leave it an open question to the reader. The population of the town is
increasing rapidly, no doubt owing in great measure to emigration. In
1849 it was 48,000, in 1851, 58,000. The great majority are of the
Church of Rome, 41,000; of the Church of England there are 4000; the
other denominations are in small numbers.

At the time I arrived, the town was full of gloom and excitement, for
it was but a few days previous that the Roman Catholics endeavoured to
murder Gavazzi, while delivering one of his anti-Romanistic lectures,
which, whatever their merits or demerits, were most certainly very
injudicious, considering the elements of which the population of
Montreal is composed; and it cannot be denied, that Signor Gavazzi's
lectures upon sacred subjects are delivered in a style partaking so much
of the theatrical, that a person ignorant of the language of his
address, might readily suppose that he was taking off John Kemble and
Liston alternately, and therefore the uneducated Irish emigrants might
very well conclude his sole object was to turn their creed into
ridicule. I certainly never heard or saw a person, lecturing on sacred
subjects, whose tone and manner were so ridiculously yet painfully at
variance with the solemnity due to such a theme. The excitement
produced, the constant calling out of the military, and the melancholy
sequel, are too recent and well known to require recapitulation here. It
is but just to the French Romanists to state, that as a body they
repudiated and took no part in the villanous attempt upon Gavazzi's
life; the assailants were almost exclusively Irish Romanists, who form
nearly one-fifth of the population. Would that they could leaven their
faith with those Christian virtues of peacefulness and moderation which
shine so creditably in their co-religionists of French origin.

While touching upon the subject of the military being called out in aid
of the civil power, I am reminded of a passage extracted from some
journal which a friend showed me, and which I consider so well
expressed, that I make no apology for giving it at length.

  "THE MOB.--The mob is a demon fierce and ungovernable. It will not
  listen to reason: it will not be influenced by fear, or pity, or
  self-preservation. It has no sense of justice. Its energy is exerted
  in frenzied fits; its forbearance is apathy or ignorance. It is a
  grievous error to suppose that this cruel, this worthless hydra has
  any political feeling. In its triumph, it breaks windows; in its
  anger, it breaks heads. Gratify it, and it creates a disturbance;
  disappoint it, and it grows furious; attempt to appease it, and it
  becomes outrageous; meet it boldly, and it turns away. It is
  accessible to no feeling but one of personal suffering; it submits to
  no argument but that of the strong hand. The point of the bayonet
  convinces; the edge of the sabre speaks keenly; the noise of musketry
  is listened to with respect; the roar of artillery is unanswerable.
  How deep, how grievous, how burdensome is the responsibility that lies
  on him who would rouse this fury from its den! It is astonishing, it
  is too little known, how much individual character is lost in the
  aggregate character of a multitude. Men may be rational, moderate,
  peaceful, loyal, and sober, as individuals; yet heap them by the
  thousand, and in the very progress of congregation, loyalty,
  quietness, moderation, and reason evaporate, and a multitude of
  rational beings is an unreasonable and intemperate being--a wild,
  infuriated monster, which may be driven, but not led, except to
  mischief--which has an appetite for blood, and a savage joy in
  destruction, for the mere gratification of destroying."

The various fires with which the city has been visited, however
distressing to the sufferers, have not been without their good effect,
of which the eye has most satisfactory evidence in the numerous public
and other buildings now built of stone. The only monument in the city is
one which was raised to Nelson. Whether the memory of the hero has
passed away, or the ravages of the weather call too heavily on the
public purse, I cannot say; but it would be more creditable to the town
to remove it entirely, than to allow it to remain in its present
disgraceful state. It is reported that its restoration is to be effected
by private subscription; if so, more shame to the authorities.

As nay first object was to reach Quebec, I only stayed one day at
Montreal, which I employed in driving about to see what changes had
taken place in the town and neighbourhood since my former visit in 1826.
I started by steamer in the evening, and arrived early the next morning.

Is there any scene more glorious to look upon than that which greets the
eye from the citadel at Quebec? The only scene I know more glorious is
Rio Janeiro, which I believe to be by far the grandest in the world; but
the Rio lacks the associations of Quebec. Who can ever forget that
beneath its walls two chieftains, the bravest of the brave, fell on the
same battle-field--the one in the arms of victory, the other in defence
of his country and her honour? The spot where our hero fell is marked by
a pillar thus simply inscribed:--

  HERE DIED
    WOLFE,
  VICTORIOUS.

Nor has the noble foe been forgotten, though for a long time unnoticed.
In the year 1827, the Earl of Dalhousie being Governor-General, a
monument was raised in Quebec to Wolfe and Montcalm; and the death they
both met at the post of honour is commemorated on the same column,--a
column on which an Englishman may gaze with pride and a Frenchman
without a blush. The following words, forming part of the inscription, I
think well worthy of insertion: "Military prowess gave them a common
death, History a common fame, Posterity a common monument."

It is a curious fact, that when the foundation-stone was laid, an old
soldier from Ross-shire, the last living veteran of the gallant band who
fought under Wolfe, was present at the ceremony, being then in his
ninety-fifth year. Everybody who has seen or read of Quebec must
remember the magnificent towering rock overhanging the river, on the
summit of which the citadel is placed, forming at once the chief
stronghold of its defence, and the grandest feature of its scenery. But
perhaps everybody does not know that to this same glorious feature the
city owes its name. The puny exclamation of Jacques Cartier's Norman
pilot upon beholding it was, "_Que bec_!" and this expression of
admiration has buried, in all but total oblivion, the old Algonquin name
of Stadacona. What a pity that old pilot was not born dumb.

The increase of population here does not seem, to be very rapid. In
1844, it was about 36,000; now, it is little more than 42,000. There can
be no doubt that the severity of the climate is one great cause of so
small an increase. When it is remembered that the average arrival of the
first vessel after the breaking up of the ice is between the last week
of April and the first week in May, this need not he much wondered at.

The Governor-General's residence, is removed from the town, and a
beautiful little country villa, called Spencer Wood, has been assigned
him in lieu. It is situated on the banks of the river, about half a mile
inland; the only objection to it is, that the size thereof is not
sufficient for vice-regal entertainments; but a very slight addition
would remedy that defect. In all other respects it is a charming place,
as I can gratefully testify. The drives and sights around the city are
too well known to need much notice from me.

Montmorenci, with its frozen cone in winter, is one of the chief
resorts for pic-nickers in their sleighs. The trackless path over the
frozen snow during the season is as full of life as Windsor park was in
the old Ascot days. Bright eyes beaming from rosy cheeks, and half
buried in furs, anxiously watch for the excitement of a capsize, and
laugh merrily as the mixed tenants of some sleigh are seen rolling over
one another in most ludicrous confusion; the sun shines brightly, the
bells ring cheerily, all is jollity and fun, and a misanthrope would be
as much out of his element in one of these pic-nics as a bear in a
ballet.

The falls of Lorette afford another pleasant excursion, not forgetting
old Paul and his wife--a venerable Indian chief and his squaw--whom I
visited, and the cleanliness of whose cottage I had great pleasure in
complimenting him upon, as also upon his various medals, which extended
from Château Gai down to the Exhibition of 1851. He appeared as much
struck with my venerable appearance as I was with his; for, upon being
asked my age, he bestowed a searching glance from head to foot, and then
gravely replied, "Seventy-five." I rebelled against his decision, and
appealed to his wife, who kindly took my part, and after a steady gaze,
said, "Oh, Paul! that gentleman is not more than seventy-two." It was in
vain I tried to satisfy them, that thirty summers would have to pass
over my head before I reached that honourable time of life. However, it
is not only Indians who miscalculate age, for a young lady, fresh from
Ireland, having the same question put to her, said "Sixty;" and upon
being told she was seventeen years out in her calculation, she replied,
with painful coolness, "Which way?" I never felt a confirmed old
bachelor till I heard that awful "Which way?"

The roads round about in all directions are admirable; not so if you
cross the river to the Falls of the Chaudière; but the abomination of
abominations is the ferry-boat, and the facilities, or rather obstacles,
for entering and exiting. To any one who has seen the New York
ferry-boats, and all the conveniences connected with them, the contrast
is painfully humiliating. In the one case you drive on board as readily
as into a court-yard, and find plenty of room when you get there; in the
other, you have half a dozen men holding horses and carriages, screaming
in all directions, and more time is wasted in embarking than a Yankee
boat would employ to deposit you safely on the other side; and it would
puzzle a Philadelphia lawyer to decide which is the more abominable, the
exit or the entry. Nevertheless, the traveller will find himself
compensated for all his troubles--especially if the horse and carriage
be a friend's--by the lovely drive which takes him to the Chaudière
Falls, a trip I had the pleasure of making in company with a jolly party
of good fellows belonging to the 72nd Highlanders, then in garrison at
Quebec, and whose hospitalities during my stay I gratefully remember.

If, however, an Englishman feels humiliated in crossing the Quebec
ferry, he feels a compensating satisfaction upon entering the Quebec
Legislative Council Chamber, which in its aspect of cleanliness,
furniture, &c., has an appearance of refinement far superior to that at
Washington. As they were not sitting during my stay in Canada, I had no
opportunity of drawing any comparison on their different modes of
carrying on public business. I had heard so much during my absence from
England of the famous Rebellion Losses Bill, and all the obloquy which
had been heaped upon the Governor-General in consequence, that I was
very anxious to get some insight into the true state of the case,
although perhaps the justification of the Earl of Elgin's conduct by Sir
Robert Peel ought to have satisfied me.

I soon became convinced that in this, as in most similar cases, the
violence of party spirit had clouded truth; and the bitterness of
defeat, in minds thus prejudiced, had sought relief in the too-common
channels of violence and abuse. However much to be deplored, I fear that
the foregoing opinions will be found, on most occasions of political
excitement, to be true. The old party, who may be said to have enjoyed
the undisguised support of the Queen's representatives from time
immemorial, were not likely to feel very well disposed to Lord Elgin,
when they found that he was determined to identify himself with no
particular party, but that, being sent to govern Canada
constitutionally, he was resolved to follow the example of his
sovereign, and give his confidence and assistance to whichever party
proved, by its majority, to be the legitimate representative of the
opinions of the governed, at the same time ever upholding the right and
dignity of the Crown. This was, of course, a first step in unpopularity
with the party who, long triumphant, now found themselves in a minority;
then, again, it must be remembered that a majority which had for so many
years been out of power was not likely, in the excitement of victory, to
exercise such moderation as would be calculated to soothe the irritated
feelings of their opponents, who, they considered, had enjoyed too long
the colonial loaves and fishes.

With all these elements at work, it is not to be wondered at that a
question which admitted of misinterpretation should be greedily laid
hold of, and that, thus misinterpreted, the passions of the mob should
be successfully roused. I believe there is little question that the
Government brought forward the Rebellion Losses Bill in the Senate in a
manner, if not arrogant, at all events most offensive, and thus added
fuel to the flames; but, viewed dispassionately, what is the truth of
this far-famed bill? It was framed upon the precedent of that for the
payment of similar losses in Upper Canada on a previous occasion, and I
believe the very same commissioners were appointed to carry out its
provisions. It received the sanction of the Governor-General in the same
way as all other bills, and was never smuggled through, as the irritated
opposition and infuriated mobs would have us believe. The
Governor-General clearly states that it never was intended in any way
"to compensate the losses of persons guilty of the heinous crime of
treason," and the names of the commissioners appointed to decide upon
the claims of the sufferers might alone have been a sufficient guarantee
that such an abominable idea was never entertained. Without mentioning
others, take Colonel W.C. Hanson: schooled in the field of honour and
patriotism, whose courage has been tried in many a bloody struggle
during the Peninsular war, and is attested by the honourable badges that
adorn his breast. Is a recreant rebel likely to find sympathy in that
breast which for half a century stood unchallenged for loyalty and
truth? What do his letters, as one of the commissioners, prove beyond
the shadow of a doubt? I have them now before me; and, so far from
claims being hastily admitted, I find the gallant old soldier constantly
advocating the cause of some claimant whom the commissioners declined to
indemnify, but never yet have I seen his name as opposed to any
compensation granted; possessing that still more noble quality which is
ever the lovely handmaid of true courage, his voice is raised again and
again for mercy.

I could quote from numerous letters of this veteran, extracts similar to
the following:--The claimants were inhabitants of St. Benoit, some
portion of which population had been in arms as rebels, but upon the
approach of the Queen's troops they had all laid down their arms. As to
the facts of the case, Colonel Hanson writes to Lord Seaton, who
replies:--"The soldiers were regularly put up in the village by the
Quartermaster-General's department, and strict orders were issued to
each officer to protect the inhabitants and their property; Lieut.-Col.
Townsend to remain in the village of St. Benoit for its protection, the
remainder of the troops to return to Montreal. The utmost compassion and
consideration should be felt for the families of the sufferers plunged
into affliction by the reckless conduct of their relatives; every house
injured or destroyed at St. Benoit was a wanton destruction, perpetrated
in defiance of guards placed to protect property." Thus writes Lord
Seaton. Colonel Hanson, after quoting the above, proceeds to state that
the evidence before the commissioners proves that "immediately after
Lieut.-Col. Townsend assembled his regiment for the purpose of marching
back to Montreal, the volunteers from the northern townships commenced
plundering the village, carrying off the whole of the effects belonging
to the inhabitants, burning the church, and nearly every house in the
village ... wilfully and wantonly destroying houses, and in many
instances burning valuable barns and granaries.... Therefore I humbly
pretend that every such individual who thus suffered should be
indemnified, as his loss was a wanton destruction of the dwellings,
buildings, property, and effects of the said inhabitants." Yet such was
the jealous way in which the commissioners excluded all doubtful
claimants, that Colonel Hanson found himself in a minority upon the
consideration of the foregoing claims, and, as a man of honour and
anxious for justice, felt it his duty to address a letter to the
Governor-General upon the subject, from which letter, bearing date
January, 1852, the foregoing extracts have been taken.

I have very many of such complaints of justice being withheld from
claimants, in the opinion of the gallant colonel, now lying before me,
but "_ex uno disce omnes_." I have read a great portion of the Report,
and the conclusion is irresistibly forced upon my mind, that everything
which could possibly be brought to assume the slightest shade of
rebellion was made fatal to an applicant's claim; but if anything were
wanting to satisfy my mind that the vilifiers of the "Losses Bill" had
not any ground of complaint against the measure, it would be found in
the fact, that among its various opponents to whom I spoke, they one and
all exclaimed, "Look at the case of Nelson, absolutely a rebel in arms,
and his claims listened to!" This was their invariable reply; and, until
I made inquiry, it looked very bad. But what was the real state of the
case? Simply that Nelson, having been ruined by his rebellion, many
loyal and faithful subjects to whom he owed debts suffered for his
faults; and the money awarded for the losses sustained by the rebel went
to pay the loyal debtors, except a small portion which was granted to
his wife, who was well known to be strongly opposed to the course he had
pursued, and who had lost considerable property which she held in her
own right. I say that the fact of Nelson's case being always brought up
as the great enormity carried more conviction to my mind of the utter
weakness of the opponents' cause than anything else; and it also proved
to me how ignorant many of them were of the truth, for several of them
who vilified the Bill, the Government, and the Governor-General, had not
the slightest idea, till I informed them, how the Nelson award was
applied.

There is no doubt that the atrocities of which Montreal was the scene
constitute the most discreditable features in modern Canadian history,
and which, it is to be hoped, the instigators to and actors in are long
since fully ashamed of; nor can the temper and judgment of the
Governor-General on this trying occasion be too highly extolled. When it
was imperative to dissolve the Parliament, he foresaw that his not doing
so in person would be misconstrued by his enemies, and that he would be
branded by them with that most galling of all accusations to a noble
heart--cowardice. With a high-minded sense of duty, he put all such
personal considerations aside. There were two courses open to him: one,
to call out the military, and in their safe keeping dissolve the
Assembly; the other, to depute the Commander of the Forces to perform
that duty. The former must have produced a collision with the populace,
and the blood of many whom he believed to be as loyal as he knew they
were misguided and excited would have flowed freely; the latter, he
foresaw, would be misconstrued into an act of personal cowardice, but he
knew it would prevent a flow of blood, the remembrance of which would
keep alive the bitterest elements of political animosity for years to
come. With true patriotism, he sacrificed himself at the shrine of the
country he was sent to govern, preferring to be the subject of the most
galling accusations rather than shed unnecessarily one drop of the blood
of those committed to his rule.

During the whole of Lord Elgin's able and prosperous administration, I
can scarcely conceive any one act of his to which he can look back with
more satisfaction, than this triumph of his judgment over his feelings,
when he offered up just pride and dignity on the altar of mercy, and
retired to Quebec. A shallow-pated fellow, who had probably figured
personally in the outrages of that period, in talking to me on the
subject, thus described it,--"he bolted off in a funk to Quebec;" and
doubtless hundreds of others, as shallow-pated as himself, had been made
to believe such was the case, and vituperation being the easiest of all
ignoble occupations, they had probably done their best to circulate the
paltry slander. Lord Elgin, however, needs no goose-quill defender; the
unprecedented increasing prosperity of the colony under his
administration is the most valuable testimony he could desire. It is not
every governor who, on his arrival, finding a colony in confusion and
rebellion, has the satisfaction, on his resignation of office, of
leaving harmony and loyalty in their place, and the revenue during the
same period increased from 400,000l. to 1,500,000l.: and if any
doubt ever rested upon his mind as to whether his services were approved
of and appreciated at home, it must have been removed in the most
gratifying manner, when, upon a public dinner being given him at the
London Tavern, 1854, all shades of politicals gathered readily to do him
honour; and while the chairman, Lord John Russell, was eulogizing his
talents and his administration, five other colonial and ex-colonial
ministers were present at the same board to endorse the compliment; the
American Minister also bearing his testimony to the happy growth of
good feeling between the two countries, which Lord Elgin had so
successfully fostered and developed. I cannot recal to my memory any
other instance of so great an honour having been paid to a colonial
governor.

I was astonished to find so little had been done in Canada for the
organization of a militia force, especially when their republican
neighbours afford them an example of so much activity and efficiency in
that department. It may not be desirable as yet for the colony to
establish any military school, such as West Point; but it might be
agreeable and advantageous to the colonists, if we allowed a given
number of young men to be educated at each of our military colleges in
England; those only being eligible, who, by a severe examination, had
proved their capabilities, and whose conduct at the places of their
education had been noted as exemplary. By such simple means, a certain
amount of military knowledge would gradually be diffused amongst the
colonists, which would render them more efficient to repress internal
troubles or repel foreign aggression.

As it may be interesting to some of my readers, I shall here give a
slight sketch of the Canadian parliaments. The Legislative Assembly, or
House of Commons, is composed of eighty-four members, being forty-two
for each province. The qualification for membership is 500l., and the
franchise 40s. freehold, or 7l. 10s. the householder; it is also
granted to wealthy leaseholders and to farmers renting largely; the term
is for four years, and members are paid 1l. per day while sitting, and
6d. per mile travelling expenses. The Legislative Council consists of
forty members, and is named by the Crown for life. The Cabinet, or
Executive Council, are ten in number, and selected from both Houses by
the Governor-General. Their Chancellor of the Exchequer is the Prime
Minister. The Canadians wish to do away with the qualification for
members of the Assembly, retaining the qualification for the franchise,
and to increase the number of members to sixty-five for each province.
They also desire to supersede the nomination of the Crown, and to make
the Legislative Council elective,[AO] with a property qualification of
1000l., thirty members for each province; these latter to be elected
for six years.

With regard to the proposed change in the Legislative Council, I confess
I look upon its supposed advantages--if carried out--with considerable
doubt, inasmuch as the electors being the same as those for the other
Chamber, it will become merely a lower house, elected for a longer
period, and will lose that prestige which might have been obtained by
exacting a higher qualification from the electors. Then, again, I think
the period for which they are elected decidedly too short, being fully
convinced that an increase in duration will usually produce an increase
in the respectability of the candidates offering themselves for
election; an opinion in which I am fully borne out by many of the wisest
heads who assisted in framing the government of the United States, and
who deplored excessively the shortness of the period for which the
senators were elected.[AP] I cannot believe, either, that the removing
the power of nomination entirely from the Crown will prove beneficial to
the colony. Had the experiment been commenced with the Crown resigning
the nomination of one-half of the members, I think it would have been
more prudent, and would have helped to keep alive those feelings of
association with, and loyalty to, the Crown which I am fully certain the
majority of the Canadians deeply feel; a phalanx of senators, removed
from all the sinister influences of the periodical simoons common to all
countries would thus have been retained, and the Governor-General would
have had the power of calling the highest talent and patriotism to his
councils, in those times of political excitement when the passions of
electors are too likely to be enlisted in favour of voluble agitators,
who have neither cash nor character to lose. However, as these questions
are to be decided, as far as this country is concerned, by those who
probably care but little for my opinions, and as the question is not one
likely to interest the general reader, I shall not dilate further upon
it.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote AO: Since my return to England the proposed increase in the
Legislative Assembly has taken place. The Imperial Government has also
empowered the colony to alter the constitution of the Legislative
Council, and to render it elective if they thought proper so to do.]

[Footnote AP: _Vide_ Chapter on the "Constitution of the United
States."]



CHAPTER XIX.

_A Trip to the Uttawa_.


Having spent a fortnight in the enjoyment of lovely scenery and warm
hospitality, and taken a last and lingering gaze at the glorious
panoramic view from the citadel, I embarked once more on the St.
Lawrence. It was evening; and, as the moon rose bright and clear, the
wooded banks and silvered stream formed as charming a picture as the eye
of man could wish to rest upon. Morning found us at Montreal. Among my
fellow-passengers were two members of the Cabinet, or Executive Council,
Mr. Hincks and Mr. Drummond, both on their way to the Ottawa, the
commercial importance of that river to the prosperity of the colony
having induced them to take the trip with a view of ascertaining, by
actual observation and examination, what steps were most advisable to
improve its navigation.

My intention was to start at once for Kingston; but when they kindly
asked me to accompany them, I joyfully accepted, and an hour after I
landed at Montreal I was on the rail with my friends, hissing away to
Lachine, where the chief office of the Hudson's Bay Company is fixed.
There we embarked in a steamer on Lake St. Louis, which is a struggling
compound of the dark brown Ottawa and the light blue St. Lawrence. The
lake was studded with islands, and the scenery rendered peculiarly
lovely by the ever-changing lights and shades from the rising sun. We
soon left the St. Lawrence compound and reached that part of the
Ottawa[AQ] which the poet has immortalized by his beautiful "Canadian
Boat Song."

St. Anne's is a small village, and the rapids being impassable in low
water they have built a lock to enable steamers to ascend; but
fortunately, when we passed, there was sufficient water, and we steamed
up the song-famed rapids, above which the river spreads out into the
Lake of the Two Mountains. It is proposed to build a railway bridge for
the main trunk line, just above the rapids. How utterly the whizzing,
whistling kettle spoils the poetry of scenery, undeniable though its
utility be! There is no doubt that the Lake of the Two Mountains has
many great beauties; but, whatever they may be, a merciless storm of
rain effectually curtained them from us, and we traversed the whole lake
to Point Fortune in a mist worthy of the Western Highlands. There we
took coach, as the locks at Carillon are not yet large enough for
full-sized steamers to pass. The road was alike good and uninteresting,
running by the side of the canal, whose banks were here and there
enlivened by groups of wild flowers.

A stage of twelve miles brought us to Grenville, where we again took
steamer on the Ottawa, and, the weather being finer, we had an
opportunity of enjoying the scenery, which is very peculiar. It has none
of the wild features of grandeur which one associates with comparatively
unknown streams, in a country where all is gigantesque. There is nothing
mountainous or craggy, but the banks and hills at the back being
luxuriously wooded, and conveying the idea of being well tenanted, the
absence of human habitations seems unnatural, and gives the solitude an
air of mystery, only broken at long intervals by a bowered cottage or a
wreath of smoke. The most remarkable building is the French château of
M. Papineau, very prettily situated on the northern bank, commanding an
extensive view of the river, and looking in its isolation as though its
occupant was a second Robinson Crusoe, and monarch of all he surveyed.
Night soon buried all scenery in its sable mantle, and, after sixty
miles steaming, we reached Bytown, where we found friends and
conveyances ready to take us over to Aylmer, there to sleep preparatory
to a further excursion up the river early in the morning. As the
distance was only eight miles, we were soon at Mr. Egan's hospitable
board, from which we speedily retired to rest, so as to be ready for the
morrow's trip.

Early dawn found us on hoard and steaming merrily up the glorious
stream, which, spreading out very widely, has been lakefied, and is
called Lake Chaudière and Du Chêne, thus named, I suppose, because the
water is cold and there are few oaks to be seen. Be that as it may, the
scenery, though possessing neither striking features nor variety, is
very pretty and cheerful. A quantity of lovely little villas stud the
banks, some ensconced snugly in cosy nooks, others standing out boldly
upon the rich greensward; and, for a background, you have full-bosomed
hills, rich in forest monarchs, clad in their dense and dark mantles.
Suddenly the scene changes, the Chats Falls burst upon the sight; and
well does the magnificent view repay the traveller for any difficulty he
may have had in his endeavours to reach this spot. About three miles
above the rocky and well-wooded island that creates the falls, the river
contracts very considerably, and in its rushing impetuosity seems as
though it were determined to sweep the whole island into the lake below;
then there appears to have been a compromise between the indignant
stream and the obstinate island, and the latter seems to have offered up
a great portion of its timber at the shrine of Peace, and to have
further granted various rights of way to its excited neighbour. The
river seems to have taken advantage of both these concessions very
largely, but it appears that in nature, as it often occurs in politics,
concessions only breed increased demands, and the ungrateful Ottawa,
while sweeping away forest timber and baring the granite rock in a dozen
different channels, thunders its foaming waters along with an angry
voice, ever crying "More, more."

I never saw anything more beautiful than these falls. They are generally
from twenty to forty feet broad, and about the same in height; but from
the shape of the island you cannot see them all at once; and as you
steam along there is a continual succession of them, each revealing some
new beauty. It was at this place that I, for the first time, saw a slide
for the descent of lumber, to which I shall have to refer hereafter. For
many years the porterage of goods across this island to the Ottawa
above--which is called Lake Chats--was a work of much difficulty and
expense. Mr. E., with that enterprise and energy which mark his
character, got two friends of kindred spirit to join him, and made a
railway across, about three miles and a half long. It is a single line,
constructed upon piles, and the car is rattled over at a jolly pace by
two spicy ponies. As the piles are in some places from twenty to thirty
feet in the air, it looks nervous work; and if one of the ponies bolted,
it might produce a serious accident; but they seem aware of the danger,
and trot away as steadily as an engine, if not quite so rapidly.

On reaching the north-western end of the island, another steamer was
waiting for us, and we again breasted the stream of the Ottawa. After
passing the first three miles, which, as before mentioned, are very
narrow, and thus produce that additional impetus which ends in the
lovely Chats Falls, the river opens out into the Lake. The shores are
low and with a gentle rise, and there is comparatively little appearance
of agricultural activity, the settler having found the ground at the
back of the rise better suited for farming purposes.

Some distance up the lake, and close to its margin, is the farm of Mr.
McDonnell, thus forming an exception to the general rule. His residence
is an excessively pretty cottage, commanding a grand panoramic view.
Here we stopped to pay a visit to the energetic old Highlander and his
family, and to enjoy his hospitalities. If he is to be taken as a
specimen of the salubrity of the climate, I never saw so healthy a
place. He came here as a lad to push his fortunes, with nothing but a
good axe and a stout heart. He has left fifty summers far behind him; he
looks the embodiment of health, and he carries his six feet two inches
in a way that might well excite the envy of a model drill-sergeant; and
when he took my hand to welcome me, I felt all my little bones
scrunching under his iron grasp, as if they were so many bits of pith.

I could not help contrasting the heartiness of his welcome with the two
stiff fingers which in highly-civilized life are so often proffered
either from pride or indifference; and though he did very nearly make me
cry "Enough!" I would a thousand times rather suffer and enjoy his
hearty grasp than the cold formality of conventional humbug. The hardy
old pioneer has realized a very comfortable independence, and he told me
his only neighbours were a band of his countrymen at the back of the
hill, who speak Gaelic exclusively and scarce know a word of English.
They mostly came out with "The Macnab," but from time to time they are
refreshed by arrivals from the Old Country.

Having a long day's work before us, we were enabled to make but a short
stay, so, bidding him and his family a sincere good-bye and good speed,
we renewed our journey. We soon came in sight of the black stumpy
monuments of one of the most disastrous conflagrations which ever
victimized a forest. Some idea may be formed of the ravages of the
"devouring element," from the simple fact that it all but totally
consumed every stick of timber covering a space of forty-five miles by
twenty-five; and the value of what was thus destroyed may be partially
estimated, when it is considered that one good raft of timber is worth
from three to five thousand pounds. These rafts, which are seen dotted
about the lake in every direction, have a very pretty effect, with their
little distinguishing flags floating in the breeze, some from the top of
a pole, some from the top of the little shanty in which their hardy
navigators live; and a dreary, fatiguing, and dangerous career it must
be; but Providence, in his mercy, has so constituted man, that habit
grows into a new nature; and these hardy sons of creation sing as
merrily, smile as cheerfully, smoke as calmly, and unquestionably sleep
as soundly, as any veteran in idleness, though pampered with luxuries,
and with a balance at his banker's which he is at a loss how to
squander.

These sons of toil bear practical testimony to the truth of what the
late lamented Sir J. Franklin always declared to be his conviction, from
long experience, viz., that the use of spirits is enfeebling rather than
invigorating to those who have to work in the most severe climates. The
Lumberers are nearly all teetotallers, and I am told they declare that
they find their health bettered, their endurance strengthened, their
muscles hardened, and their spirits enlivened by the change. If this be
so, and if we find that the natives of warm climates are, as a mass,
also teetotallers, and that when they forsake their temperance colours
they deteriorate and eventually disappear, I fear we must come to the
conclusion, that however delicious iced champagne or sherry-cobbler may
be, or however enjoyable "a long pull at the pewter-pot," they are not
in any way necessary to health or cheerfulness, and that, like all
actions, they have their reactions, and thus create a desire for their
repetition, until by habit they become a second nature, to the great
comfort and consolation of worthy wine-merchants and fashionable medical
men, whose balance-sheets would suffer about equally by the
discontinuance of their use; not to mention the sad effects of their
misuse, as daily exhibited in police reports and other features, if
possible worse, which the records of "hells" would reveal.

So strong does the passion become, that I know of a lady who weighs
nearly a ton, and is proud of displaying more of her precious substance
than society generally approves of, in whom the taste "for a wee drop"
is so strong, that, to enable her to gratify it more freely, she has the
pleasure of paying two medical men a guinea each daily, to stave off as
long as they can its insidious attacks upon her gigantic frame. You must
not, however, suppose that I am a teetotaller. I have tried it, and
never found myself better than while practising it; still I never lose a
chance if a bottle of iced champagne is circulating, for I confess--I
love it dearly.

Pardon this digression.--We are again on the Ottawa; as we advance, the
river narrows and becomes studded with little islands covered with wild
shrubs and forest trees, from whose stiff unyielding boughs the more
pliant shoots droop playfully into the foaming stream below, like the
children of Gravity coquetting with the family of Passion. Of course
these islands form rapids in every direction: we soon, approach the one
selected as the channel in which to try our strength. On we dash
boldly--down rushes the stream with a roar of defiance; arrived midway,
a deadly struggle ensues between boiling water and running water; we
tremble in the balance of victory--the rushing waters triumph; we sound
a retreat, which is put in practice with the caution of a Xenophon, and
down we glide into the stiller waters below.

Poke the fires,--pile the coals! Again we dash onwards--again we reach
midway--again the moment of struggle--again the ignominy of
defeat--again the council of war in the stiller waters below. We now
summon all our energies, determined that defeat shall but nerve us to
greater exertion. We go lower down, so as to obtain greater initial
velocity; the fires are made to glow one spotless mass of living heat.
Again the charge is sounded: on we rush, our little boat throbbing from
stem to stern; again the angry waters roar defiance--again the deadly
struggle--again for a moment we tremble in the balance of victory.
Suddenly a universal shout of triumph is heard, and as the joyous cheers
die in echoes through the forest, we are breasting the smoother waters
of the Ottawa above the rapids.

This is all very well on paper, but I assure you it was a time of
intense excitement to us; if in the moment of deadly struggle the tiller
ropes had broken, or the helmsman had made one false turn of the wheel,
we might have got across the boiling rapids, and then good-bye to
sublunary friends; our bones might have been floating past Quebec before
the news of our destruction had reached it.

The Ottawa is by no means the only channel in these parts for conveying
the produce of the lumberer's toil: there are tributaries innumerable,
affording hundreds of miles of raft navigation; so that an almost
indefinite field for their labour is open, and years, if not centuries,
must elapse before the population can increase sufficiently to effect
any very material inroad on these all but inexhaustible forests.

After proceeding a few miles beyond the scene of our late severe
struggle, we reached the little village of Portage du Fort, above which
the rapids are perfectly impassable. The inhabitants of this little wild
forest community are not very numerous, as may be supposed, and the only
object of interest is a flour-mill, which supplies the lumberers for
many miles, both above and below. Our little steamer being unable to
ascend higher, we were compelled to make a Scotchman's cruise of
it--"There and bock agin." So, turning our head eastward, we bowled
along merrily with the stream, dashing down our late antagonist like a
flash of lightning, then across the lake, and through a fleet of
bannered rafts, till we landed on the Chats Falls Island, where we found
our ponies ready to whisk us along the mid-air railway. Re-embarking on
the steamer of the morning, we found a capital dinner ready for us, and
ere the shades of evening had closed in, we were once more enjoying the
hospitalities of Aylmer.

Aylmer has only a population of 1100 inhabitants, but they are not idle.
The house of Mr. E. does business with the lumberers to the tune of
200,000l. annually, and supplies them with 15,000 lb. of tea every
year. Grog-shops are at a discount in these parts. The increasing
prosperity of this neighbourhood is mainly owing to the energy and
enterprise of Mr. Egan and his friend M. Aumond. It was by these two
gentlemen that the steam-boats were put on the lakes, and the rail made
across the island. Everybody feels how much the facility of conveyance
has increased the prosperity of this locality; and the value of Mr. E.'s
services is honourably recognised, by his unopposed election as the
representative of the district. Having had a good night's rest, and
taken in a substantial breakfast, we started off on our return to
Bytown, which city may he considered as the headquarters of the
lumberers.

The ground upon which the greater part of Bytown stands was offered some
years since to a servant, as payment for a debt of 70l.; he found the
bargain so bad, that he tried to get out of it. The value of the same
land is now estimated at 200,000l.!!! As late as 1826, there was not
one stone put upon another; now the population is 10,000, and steadily
increasing. Nothing can exceed the beauty of the panoramic view from the
verge of the Barrack Hill, which is a dark, frowning, perpendicular rock
several hundred feet high. To the west are the Chaudière Falls, 200 feet
broad and 60 feet high, irregular in shape, and broken here and there by
rocks, around which the rapids leap in unceasing frenzy, ere they take
their last plunge into the maddened gulf below, thence rolling their
dark waters beneath your feet. Below the falls the river is spanned by a
very light and beautiful suspension-bridge. This part of the scene is
enlivened by the continual descent of timber-rafts rushing down the
slides, skilfully guided by their hardy and experienced navigators.
Around you is a splendid expanse of waving field and sombre forest, far
as the eye can stretch, and bounded towards the north by mountains
looming and half lost in distance, whence comes the mighty Gatineau--a
watery highway for forest treasure, threading its course like a stream
of liquid silver as the sun's rays dance upon its bosom,--the whole
forming one of the most beautiful panoramas imaginable.

No place was ever better calculated for the capital of a great country.
Bordering upon Upper and Lower Canada, only twelve hours from Montreal,
easily capable of defence, with a trade increasing in value as rapidly
as the source thereof is inexhaustible, at the confluence of two rivers
whose banks are alike rich in timber and arable land--requiring but
nineteen miles of lockage to unite the St. Lawrence, the Ottawa, and the
Gatineau with the boundless inland lakes of America--possessing the
magnificent Rideau Canal, which affords a ready transport down to
Kingston on Lake Ontario--rich with scenery, unsurpassed in beauty and
grandeur, and enjoying a climate as healthy as any the world can
produce,--Nature seems to have marked out Bytown as the site for a
Canadian metropolis. In short, were I a prophet instead of a traveller,
I should boldly predict that such it must be some day, if Canada remain
united and independent.

I must here explain the slides for lumber, before alluded to. In days
gone by, all lumber was shot down the rapids, to find its way as best it
could, the natural consequence being that large quantities were
irrecoverably lost. It occurred to Mr. Wright that this waste of toil
and timber might be obviated, and he accordingly, after great labour and
expense, succeeded in inventing what is termed a slide--in other words,
an inclined wooden frame--upon which a certain number of the huge logs
that compose a portion of a raft can be floated down together in perfect
security, under the guidance of one or two expert men. The invention
answered admirably, as is proved by the fact that, through its
instrumentality, timber which formerly took two seasons to reach Quebec,
now does so in five months. Like many other inventors, I fear Mr. Wright
has not received justice at the hands of the Government, who, by
building slides of their own, and granting advantages to those who use
them, have thus removed the traffic from Mr. Wright's--an injustice
which it is to be hoped it is not too late to repair; at all events, the
Imperial Legislature, which felt bound to vote 4000l. to a man that
invented a machine for making little holes between penny stamps, on the
ground of commercial utility, must agree with me that it is unworthy of
a lumbering colony to neglect the claims of a man whose invention has
proved to be a benefit to the lumber trade, absolutely beyond
calculation.

The chief proprietor at Bytown is the Hon. Mr. Mackay, and of his career
in Canada he may indeed be justly proud. Arriving in the country as a
labourer without a friend, he has, by his integrity and intellectual
capability, fought his way up nobly to the highest position in the
colony, and is one of the most respected members of the Legislative
Council. Nor has he, while battling for senatorial honours, neglected
his more material interests, and the energy he has brought to bear upon
them has been rewarded to his heart's desire. He has a charming little
country place, called Rideau Hall, about three miles out of town, and is
the owner of several carding, saw, and flour mills, besides an
extensive cloth factory, from the produce of which I am at this moment
most comfortably clad. Mr. Mackay's career may fairly be termed a useful
colonial monument, to encourage the aspirations of noble ambition, and
to scourge the consciences of those drones who always see "a lion in the
way." We had the pleasure of enjoying his hospitalities at a grand
breakfast which he gave in honour of my two travelling friends, who
were, I believe, the first members of the Executive Council that had
been here for very many years.

One object of their present visit was to ascertain, from personal
observation and inquiry, how far it was desirable the Government should
grant money for the purpose of making any of the locks requisite to
connect the Ottawa, &c., with Montreal and Quebec. I cannot for an
instant doubt their being most thoroughly convinced both of its perfect
practicability and of its immense importance. It only requires the
construction of nineteen miles of canal, to complete an unbroken water
communication from Quebec to the Ottawa and all its gigantic
tributaries, extending even to Lake Temiscaming; and if a canal were cut
from this latter to Lake Nipissing, the communication would then be
complete through the heart of Canada across all the inland ocean waters
of the American continent, and thence to New York _viâ_ Erie Canal and
Hudson, or to New Orleans _viâ_ Illinois Canal, River, and Mississippi.
Already 50,000l. have been, voted for this purpose, and this first
instalment is mainly due to the energy of Mr. Egan. As a mark of respect
for their representative, he was to be honoured with a public dinner, at
which my two companions of the Executive Council were to attend.
Unfortunately, my time was limited, and I was obliged to decline
participating in the compliment which Mr. Egan had so well earned; so,
bidding adieu to my friends, and casting one last and lingering glance
at that glorious panorama--the remembrance of which time can never
efface, I got into an open shay, and began prosecuting my solitary way
towards Prescott.

I left the hotel as the guests were all arriving, and the fumes of the
coming feast proclaiming in the most appetizing way the object of their
meeting. I had two hours' daylight still left, and thus was enabled to
see a little of that part of the neighbourhood, which alone was
concealed when standing on the Barrack-hill. The more I saw of it, the
more convinced was I of the peculiar adaptation of Bytown for a great
city; the ground is admirably suited for building, and possesses a
water-power which is inexhaustible. My road, as may naturally be
supposed in a new country, lay through alternations of forest and
cultivation; if it was not well macadamized, at least it was far better
than I had expected, and there is some pleasure in being agreeably
disappointed, and able to jog along without eternally bumping in some
deep rut, which shakes the ash off your cigar inside your waistcoat.
Here and there, of course, I came across a break-neck tract, but that
only made the contrast more enjoyable.

At half-past twelve at night the little horses began to feel the effects
of six hours' work, so I stopped at a tolerably miserable wayside inn
for four hours, which was distributed between washing, feeding, and
sleeping. Sharp work, but I was anxious to catch the steamer; so,
snatching what rest I could out of that brief period, and hoping the
horses had done the same, I was again _en route_ at 5 A.M., and by great
exertions reached Prescott in good time to learn that the steamer had
started half an hour before my arrival. I consoled myself, as well as I
could, with a washing basin, a teapot, and auxiliaries. I then went to
look at the town, which consists of about three streets, and 3000
inhabitants; so that operation was accomplished without trouble,
interest, or much loss of time. Ascertaining that if I went over to
Ogdensburg, I could catch a steamer at 2 P.M., I ferried across
instanter, wishing to get a look at Brother Jonathan's town before
starting. A comparison between the two was not flattering to my national
vanity. Instead of finding a population of 3000, with no indication of
progress, I found a population of 8000, with go-aheadism in all
quarters; large houses, large streets, and active prosperity stamped on
everything. Doubtless this disparity is greatly owing to the railway, by
which the latter is connected with the whole State of New York, and also
from the want of reciprocity. Nevertheless, there is a stamp of energy
at Ogdensburg, which the most careless observer cannot but see is
wanting at Prescott.

Mr. Parish is the great proprietor at the former of these towns, and is
said to be a man of considerable wealth, which he appears to be
employing alike usefully and profitably--viz., in reclaiming from the
lake a piece of land, about four hundred square yards, adjoining the
railway terminus, by which means vessels will be able to unload readily
on his new wharf; the reclaimed ground will thereby acquire an enormous
value for storehouses.

Having finished my observations, and been well baked by a vertical
sun, I embarked at 2 P.M. Lovely weather and lovely scenery.

The village of Brockville is very prettily situated on the banks of the
lake, and is considered one of the prettiest towns in Canada. Continuing
our course, numberless neat little villages and lovely villas appear
from time to time; but when fairly on the Lake of The Thousand Isles,
the scenery is altogether charming, and some new beauty is constantly
bursting into view. Upon the present occasion the scene was rendered
more striking by the perfect reflection of all the islands upon the
burnished bosom of the glassy lake. We reached Cape Vincent towards
evening, and, changing into another steamer, landed safely at Kingston
about ten at night, where, finding a young artillery friend, I was soon
immersed in that most absorbing of all pleasures to one long from
home--viz., talking over old friends and old scenes, until you feel as
though you were among both of them. Night, however, has its claims upon
man, and, being honest, I discharged my obligation by going to bed as
the tell-tale clock struck three.

Kingston is but a small place, though once of considerable importance.
The population is about 12,000. In the year 1841, Lord Sydenham having
removed the seat of Government from Toronto to Kingston, the inhabitants
expended large sums of money in the expectation that it would so
continue; but, in 1844, it was removed back again, and consequently a
very heavy loss was incurred by those who had laid out their money. It
is this eternal shifting about of the seat of Government--the
disadvantage of which must be manifest to every one--that makes me hope
Bytown, the position of which is so central, may some day be decided
upon as the city to enjoy that honour permanently. However much Kingston
may be recovering itself, and I was told it is, I must confess that,
despite its cathedral, colleges, university, and other fine buildings,
which it undoubtedly possesses, the grass in the streets and lanes, the
pigs and the cows feeding about in all directions, made me feel ashamed,
especially when I thought of young Ogdensburg, which I had so lately
left. Taking into consideration the extent of lake communication which
it enjoys, and that by the magnificent Rideau Canal the whole country of
the Ottawa is open to it, I must say that I consider the state of
Kingston the strongest reflection upon the energy and enterprise of the
population. The finest view is from the citadel, which commands a
splendid panoramic expanse; the fortifications are in good repair, and
garrisoned by Canadian Rifles and a few Royal Artillerymen. One of the
objects I should have had most interest in visiting was the Provincial
Penitentiary, the arrangements of which, I had heard, were admirable;
but, as I had no time to see them, the reader is saved the details.

At 3 P.M., I was again steaming away on Lake Ontario, which soon spreads
out into an open sea. The boat was tolerably good and clean, and the
food to match, but it was served down below; the cabin was therefore
very stuffy. I selected a bed with great care, and in due time got into
it, quite delighted with my carefully-chosen position, and soon buried
my nose in the pillow, full of peaceful hopes. Luckless mortal! scarce
had my nose extracted the cold from its contact with the pillow-case,
when a sound came rushing forth with a violence which shook not only me
and my bed, but the whole cabin. The tale is soon told. I had built my
nest at the muzzle of the whistle of the engine, and, as they made a
point of screeching forth the moment anything appeared in sight, you may
guess that I had a pleasant night of it, and have scrupulously avoided
repeating the experiment in any subsequent steam excursions. Having
nobody to blame but myself, I lost the little satisfaction I might have
had in abusing somebody else, and calling him a stupid ass for making
such a choice. However, as a matter of justice, I abused myself, and the
point being beyond dispute, no rejoinder was put in. Pleased with the
candour of my confession, I caught such snatches of rest as the engineer
and his whistle in mercy vouchsafed me--the next morning we were in
Toronto.

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTE.--The Bytown mentioned in the foregoing chapter is now called
Ottawa, and is a candidate, in conjunction with Montreal and Toronto,
for the honour of permanent metropolitanism.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote AQ: Originally Uttàwa, wherein Moore has shown alike his good
taste and respect for antiquity by adhering to the original and more
beautiful name.]



CHAPTER XX.

_Colonial Education and Prosperity_.


Toronto is prettily situated, and looks flourishing and prosperous; the
way in which property is increasing in value here is wonderful, and the
hits some people have made are quite fabulous. A property which had been
bought for 30,000l., was, within a month--before even the price was
paid in full--resold in lots for 100,000l. The position of the town is
admirably adapted for a great commercial city: it possesses a secure
harbour; it is situated on a lake about 190 miles long by 50 broad;
thence the St. Lawrence carries its produce to the ocean, and the Rideau
Canal connects it with the lumberers' home on the Ottawa; the main trunk
line of railway, which will extend from the western point of the colony
to Halifax, passes through it; a local line, traversing some of the
richest land in Canada, is now in progress to Lake Simcoe and Lake
Huron; one iron horse already affords it communication with
Waterloo--nearly opposite Buffalo--whence produce descends by the Erie
Canal and the Hudson to New York: besides all which advantages, it
enjoys at present the privilege of being one of the seats of government
and the radiating point of education. Surely, then, if any town in Upper
Canada ought to flourish, it is Toronto; nor is there, I trust, any
reason to doubt that it will become a most wealthy and important place.
The influence of the young railways is already beginning to be felt: the
population, which in 1851 was only 25,000, amounted in 1853 to upwards
of 30,000, and is still rapidly increasing. Having been fortunate enough
to make the acquaintance of Mr. Cumberland, the chief engineer of the
line of railway to Lake Simcoe, he was kind enough to ask me to
accompany him to that lake on a trip of inspection, an offer of which I
gladly availed myself. I was delighted to find that the Canadians had
sufficient good sense to patronize first and second class carriages;
and, also, that they have begun to make their own carriages and
locomotives. The rails appeared very solidly laid down, and the road
fenced off; but, despite the fences, an inquisitive cow managed to get
on the line, and was very near being made beef of in consequence. The
progress of cultivation gave the most satisfactory evidence of
increasing prosperity, while the virgin forest-land told what a rich
harvest was still in store for the industrious emigrant.

Ever and anon you saw on the cleared ground that feature so peculiar to
American scenery, a patriarchal remnant of the once dense forest, as
destitute of branches as the early Adam was of small-clothes, his bark
sabled by the flames, the few summit leaves--which alone indicated
vitality--scarce more in number than the centuries he could boast, and
trembling, as it were, at their perilous weight and doubtful tenure,
while around him stood stumps more sabled, on whom the flames had done
more deadly work, the whole--when the poetry had passed away--reminding
one of a black Paterfamilias standing proudly in the centre of his
nigger brood.

There is a good iron-foundry established here, which turns out some
excellent engines. Some of the public buildings are also fine; but,
there being unfortunately no quarries in the neighbourhood, they are
built of brick. The Lunatic Asylum is one of the best; but it is
surrounded with a high prison-looking wall, which I believe modern
experience condemns strongly as exercising a baneful influence upon the
unfortunate patients. If it be so, let us hope it may be enclosed by
something more light, airy, and open.

Several of the churches are very fine. I visited the Episcopal Church,
which has been burnt down three times; and on my remarking to the
architect the apparent clumsiness of the pews, which destroyed the
effect inside, he smiled, and told me that by the contract he was
obliged to replace them exactly as before. I told him I thought it was a
specimen of conservatism run mad, to which he fully assented. Trinity
Episcopal College is one of the finest edifices in the neighbourhood; at
present it contains only thirty-five students, but it is to be hoped its
sphere of usefulness may be extended as its funds increase. It has the
foundation of a very good library, which is rapidly extending; the
University of Cambridge sent them out a magnificent addition of 3000
volumes. The last building I shall mention is the Normal School, to
visit which was one of my chief objects in stopping at Toronto.

[Illustration: THE NORMAL SCHOOL, TORONTO]

The ceremony of laying the foundation-stone of this building was
inaugurated with all due solemnity, and under the auspices of the able
representative of our gracious Queen, on the 2nd of July, 1851. In his
eloquent speech on that memorable occasion, when referring to the
difficulties on the question of religious instruction, the following
beautiful passage occurs:--

  "I understand, sir, that while the varying views and opinions of a
  mixed religious society are scrupulously respected, while every
  semblance of dictation is carefully avoided, it is desired, it is
  earnestly recommended, it is confidently expected and hoped, that
  every child who attends our common schools shall learn there that he
  is a being who has an interest in eternity as well as in time; that he
  has a Father towards whom he stands in a closer and more affecting and
  more endearing relationship than to any earthly father, and that
  Father is in heaven; that he has a hope far transcending every earthly
  hope--a hope full of immortality--the hope, namely, that that Father's
  kingdom may come; that he has a duty which, like the sun in our
  celestial system, stands in the centre of his moral obligations,
  shedding upon them a hallowing light which they in their turn reflect
  and absorb,--the duty of striving to prove by his life and
  conversation the sincerity of his prayer that that Father's will may
  be done upon earth as it is in heaven. I understand, sir, that upon
  the broad and solemn platform which is raised upon that good
  foundation, we invite the ministers of religion of all
  denominations--the _de facto_ spiritual guides of the people of the
  country--to take their stand along with us; that, so far from
  hampering or impeding them in the exercise of their sacred functions,
  we ask, and we beg them to take the children--the lambs of the flock
  which are committed to their care--aside, and lead them to those
  pastures and streams where they will find, as they believe it, the
  food of life and the waters of consolation.

         *       *       *       *       *

  "Permit me in conclusion, to say, both as an humble Christian man and
  as the head of the civil government of the province, that it gives me
  unfeigned pleasure to perceive that the youth of this country, of all
  denominations, who are destined in their maturer years to meet in the
  discharge of the duties of civil life upon terms of perfect civil and
  religious equality--I say it gives me pleasure to hear and to know
  that they are receiving an education which is fitted so well to
  qualify them for the discharge of these important duties, and that
  while their hearts are yet tender and their affections yet green and
  young, they are associated under conditions which are likely to
  promote among them the growth of those truly Christian graces--mutual
  respect, forbearance, and charity."

The position of the building is well chosen, being surrounded with
cultivated ground sufficiently extensive to be usefully employed in
illustrating the lectures given on vegetable physiology and agricultural
chemistry. The rooms are all very lofty, airy, and scrupulously clean. A
notice at the entrance warns you--"The dirty practice of spitting not
allowed in this building;" and as far as eye could discern, the notice
is rigidly obeyed. I was told that a specific had been found to cure the
filthy habit. I mention it for the benefit of hotel-keepers and
railway-conductors, in all places where such a relic of barbarism may
still find a welcome. On a certain occasion, the lecturer having
received undeniable proof that one of the students had violated the
above-mentioned regulation, stopped in the middle of one of his
sublimest flights, repeated sonorously the notice, called the culprit by
name, informed him that his endeavour to dissipate his filth into
infinity by the sole of his shoe was useless, and ordered him forthwith
to take his handkerchief out and wipe it up clean. Disobedience was
expulsion: with crimson cheek he expiated his offence by obedience to
the order, and doubtless during the hushed silence in which he completed
his labour, he became a confirmed anti-expectorationist.

Great attention is very properly paid to cleanliness, inasmuch as if
these young men, who are destined to teach others, acquire filthy
habits, they naturally encourage the same vice in their pupils, and thus
may be almost said to nationalize it. All the tables and stools are
fitted like those in the schools of the United States, which is an
immense improvement on the one long-desk and long form to match, which
predominate all but universally at home. The instruction given is
essentially by lecture and questioning; and I was particularly struck
with the quiet modulated tones in which the answers were given, and
which clearly proved how much pains were taken upon this apparently
trifling, but really very important, point.[AR] You heard no harsh
declamation grating on your ear; and, on the other hand, you were not
lulled to sleep by dreary, dull monotony.

There are two small schools attached to the establishment, for these
Normal aspirants, male and female, to practise upon, when considered
sufficiently qualified. Those thus employed during my visit seemed to
succeed admirably, for I never saw more merry, cheerful faces, which I
consider one of the best tests of a master's efficiency. The little
girls, taking a fancy for music, purchased among themselves a cottage
piano, which, being their own instrument, I have no doubt increased
their interest in the study amazingly. The boys have a kind of gymnasium
under a shed, which, when released from school, they rush to with an
avidity only equalled by that which the reader may have experienced in
his early days when catching sight of a pastry-cook's shop immediately
after receiving his first tip.[AS]

I believe that to this establishment, which was founded in 1846, belongs
the honour of being the Pioneer Normal School in the Western Hemisphere.
But while giving due credit to the Governor-General and the Government
for their leading parts in its foundation, it should never be forgotten,
how much indebted the establishment is to the unwearying zeal and
patient investigations of Dr. Ryerson, the chief superintendent of
schools in Canada. This gentleman carefully examined the various systems
and internal arrangement of scholastic establishments, not only all over
the States, but in every country of the Old World, selecting from each
those features which seemed to produce the most comfort, the best
instruction, and the greatest harmony. The result of his inquiries I
subjoin from his own pen:--

  "Our system of public elementary instruction is eclectic, and is, to a
  considerable extent, derived from four sources. The conclusions at
  which the present head of the department arrived during his
  observations and investigations of 1845, were, firstly: That the
  machinery, or law part of the system, in the State of New York, was
  the best upon the whole, appearing, however, defective in the
  intricacy of some of its details, in the absence of an efficient
  provision for the visitation and inspection of schools, the
  examination of teachers, religious instruction, and uniform text-books
  for the schools. Secondly. That the principle of supporting schools in
  the State of Massachusetts was the best, supporting them all according
  to property, and opening them to all without distinction; but that the
  application of this principle should not be made by the requirements
  of state or provincial statute, but at the discretion and by the
  action, from year to year, of the inhabitants in each  school
  municipality--thus avoiding the objection which might be made against
  an uniform coercive law on this point, and the possible indifference
  which might in some instances be induced by the provisions of such a
  law--independent of local choice and action. Thirdly: That the series
  of elementary text-books, prepared by experienced teachers, and
  revised and published under the sanction of the National Board of
  Education in Ireland, were, as a whole, the best adapted to schools in
  Upper Canada--having long been tested, having been translated into
  several languages of the continent of Europe, and having been
  introduced more extensively than any other series of text-books into
  the schools of England and Scotland. Fourthly: That the system of
  normal-school training of teachers, and the principles and modes of
  teaching which were found to exist in Germany, and which have been
  largely introduced into other countries, were incomparably the
  best--the system which makes school-teaching a profession, which, at
  every stage, and in every branch of knowledge, teaches things and not
  merely words, which unfolds and illustrates the principles of rules,
  rather than assuming and resting upon their verbal authority, which
  develops all the mental faculties instead of only cultivating and
  loading the memory--a system which is solid rather than showy,
  practical rather than ostentatious, which prompts to independent
  thinking and action rather than to servile imitation.

  "Such are the sources from which the principal features of the school
  system in Upper Canada have been derived, though the application of
  each of them has been modified by the local circumstances of our
  country. There is another feature, or rather cardinal principle of it,
  which is rather indigenous than exotic, which is wanting in the
  educational systems of some countries, and which is made the occasion
  and instrument of invidious distinctions and unnatural proscriptions
  in other countries; we mean the principle of not only making
  Christianity the basis of the system, and the pervading element of all
  its parts, but of recognising and combining in their official
  character, all the clergy of the land, with their people, in its
  practical operations--maintaining absolute parental supremacy in the
  religious instruction of their children, and upon this principle
  providing for it according to the circumstances, and under the
  auspices of the elected trustee-representatives of each school
  municipality. The clergy of the country have access to each of its
  schools; and we know of no instance in which the school has been made
  the place of religious discord; but many instances, especially on
  occasions of quarterly public examinations, in which the school has
  witnessed the assemblage and friendly intercourse of clergy of various
  religious persuasions, and thus become the radiating centre of a
  spirit of Christian charity and potent co-operation in the primary
  work of a people's civilization and happiness."

With reference to religious instruction at the normal schools, Dr.
Ryerson has kindly furnished me with the following statement:--"A part
of each Friday afternoon is set apart for this purpose, and a room
allowed for the minister of each of the religious persuasions of the
students, to give instruction to the members of his church, who are
required to attend, as also to attend the service of such church at
least once every Sunday. Hitherto we have found no difficulty,
reluctance, or neglect, in giving full effect to this system."

The only difficulty in these matters that I have heard of, is a long
dispute with the Roman Catholic bishop of Toronto; but such an event one
must be prepared for when dealing with a church which claims
infallibility. I have no doubt the tact and moderation of Dr. Ryerson
have ere this thrown oil on the troubled waters, and restored the
harmony which existed between the former Roman bishop and the reverend
doctor. To those who take an interest in education, the report of the
system used in Canada, drawn up by Dr. Ryerson, and printed by order of
the Legislative Assembly, will afford much pleasure and information. It
is, of course, far too large a subject to enter upon in these pages,
containing, as it does, so vast an amount of matter worthy of serious
reflection. I will, however, indulge such of my friends as were taught
to read in the last century, with a quotation from page 67, which will
probably astonish them.

Mr. Horace Mann, so long the able Secretary of the Board of Education in
Massachusetts, after pointing out the absurdity of worrying a child's
life out, in teaching the A B C, &c., and their doubtful and
often-varying sounds utterly destitute of meaning, instead of words
which have distinct sounds and distinct meaning, thus winds
up:--"Learning his letters, therefore, gives him no new sound; it even
restricts his attention to a small number of those he already knows. So
far, then, the learning of his letters contracts his practice; and were
it not for keeping up his former habits of speaking, at home and in the
playground, the teacher, during the six months or year in which he
confines him to the twenty-six sounds of the alphabet, would pretty near
deprive him of the faculty of speech."

This extract, from the pen of one who has devoted so much talent and
patient investigation to the subject of education, entitles it to the
serious consideration of all those who are in any way connected with the
same subject in this country, where the old A B C cramming all but
universally prevails.--But to return to Upper Canada and its schools.
Some estimate of the value of its scholastic establishments may be
formed from the fact, that while its sphere of usefulness is rapidly
extending, it has already reached the following honourable position: The
population of Upper Canada is close upon 1,000,000; the number of
children between the ages of 5 and 16 is 263,000; the number of children
on the rolls of the common school establishments is 179,587; and the
grand total of money available for these glorious purposes, is
170,000l. I feel conscious that I have by no means done full justice
to this important subject; but the limits of a work like this render it
impossible so to do. Let it suffice to say, that Upper Canada is
inferior to none of its neighbouring rivals, as regards the quality of
instruction given; and that it is rapidly treading on the heels of the
most liberal of them, as regards the amount raised for its support. The
normal school, I conceive to be a model as nearly perfect as human
agency has yet achieved; and the chemical and agricultural lectures
there given, and practically illustrated on the small farm adjoining the
building, cannot fail to produce most useful and important results in a
young uncultivated country possessing the richest soil imaginable. The
Governor-General and the Government deserve every credit for the support
and encouragement they have given to education; but, if I may draw a
comparison without being invidious, I would repeat, that it is to the
unusual zeal and energy of Dr. Ryerson, to his great powers of
discriminating and selecting what he found most valuable in the
countless methods he examined, and to his combination and adaptation of
them, that the colony is mainly indebted for its present admirable
system. Well may Upper Canada be proud of her educational achievements,
and in her past exertions read a hopeful earnest of a yet more noble
future.[AT]

But it is not in education alone that Canada has been shadowing forth a
noble career. Emancipated from maternal apron-strings by a
constitutional self-government, and aided by the superior administrative
powers of the Earl of Elgin, she has exhibited an innate vitality which
had so long been smothered by Imperial misrule as to cause a doubt of
its existence; and if she has not shown it by the birth of populous
cities, she has proved it by a more general and diffusive prosperity. A
revenue quadrupled in four years needs no Chicagos or Buffalos to
endorse the colony's claims to energy and progress. Internal
improvements have also been undertaken on a large scale: railways are
threading their iron bands through waste and forest, and connecting in
one link all the North American colonies; the tubular bridge at Montreal
will be the most stupendous work yet undertaken by engineering skill;
canals are making a safe way for commerce, where a year or two back the
roaring rapid threw its angry barrier. Population, especially in Upper
Canada, is marching forward with hasty strides; the value of property is
fast increasing; loyalty has supplanted discontent and rebellion; an
imperial baby has become a princely colony, with as national an
existence as any kingdom of the Old World.[AU] These are facts upon
which the colonists may, and do, look with feelings of both pride and
satisfaction; and none can more justly contemplate them with such
emotions, than those through whose administrative talents these
prosperous results have been produced, out of a state of chaos, in eight
short years. Dissatisfied men there ever will be among a large
community, and therefore questions of independence and annexation will
be mooted from time to time; but it seems hardly probable that a colony
which enjoys an almost independent nationality would ever be disposed to
resign that proud position, and to swamp her individuality among the
thirty-three free and slave States of the adjoining Republic. At all
events, the colony, by her conduct with reference to the present war,
has shown that she is filled with a spirit of loyalty, devotion, and
sympathy as true, as fervent, and as deep as those which animate all the
other subjects of our beloved Sovereign.

Farewell, Canada! May the sun of prosperity, which has been rising upon
you steadily for eight years, rise higher and higher, and never know
either a cloud or a meridian! Canada, adieu!


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote AR: My observations at various schools in the United States
satisfied me that no attention is paid by the teachers to the tone of
voice in which the boys give their answers.]

[Footnote AS: The females are regularly taught calisthenics, and the
boys gymnastics, by a professor.]

[Footnote AT: These remarks were made in 1853. The report for the year
1854 is now lying before me, by which I find that the attendance has
increased to 194,376; and the money raised has also increased in a
similar ratio, being at that date 199,674l.]

[Footnote AU:

  Population of Canada         1841,   1,156,139 } Increase,
    Ditto       ditto          1851,   1,842,265 } 59.34 percent.

  Population of Upper Canada   1841,     405,357 } Increase,
    Ditto         ditto        1851,     952,004 } 104.57 percent

  The increase of the United States from 1840 to 1850 was only 37.77
  percent.

  Wheat crop, Upper Canada     1841,   3,221,991 bushels.
     Ditto       ditto         1851,  12,692,852  ditto,
  Wheat crop, Lower Canada     1841,   1,021,405 bushels.
     Ditto       ditto         1851,   3,326,190  ditto.

This table is taken from an able statement sent by the Governor-General
to the Colonial Office, dated Quebec, Dec. 22, 1852.]



CHAPTER XXI.

_A Cataract and a Celebration_.


The convulsive efforts of the truant steam, echoing across the harbour,
told me I had little time to lose: so, bidding farewell to friends, I
hurried down to the quay, and was soon bowling over a lake as smooth and
polished as the bald head of age. The pat of every float in the wheel,
as it struck in the water, echoed with individual distinctness, and the
hubbub created thereby, in the otherwise unruffled lake, left its trace
visible on the mirrory surface for so great a distance as to justify a
disputatious man in questioning whether the term "trackless way" was
applicable to the course a vessel had passed over. Here we are, steaming
away merrily for Niagara.

There is nothing interesting in scenery until you come to the entrance
of the river, on the opposite sides of which stand Lewistown and
Queenstown, and above the latter the ruthlessly mutilated remains of the
monument to the gallant Brock. The miscreant who perpetrated the vile
act in 1841, has since fallen into the clutches of the law, and has
done--and, for aught I know, is now doing--penance in the New York
State Prison at Auburn. I believe the Government are at last repairing
it;--better late than never. The precipitous banks on either side
clearly indicate they are the silent and persevering work of the
ever-rolling stream, and leave no doubt upon any reflecting mind that
they must lead to some fall or cataract, though no reflection can fully
realize the giant cataract of Niagara.

There are several country places on the banks, and the whole appearance
bespeaks comfort and civilization. Far away in the distance is to be
seen the suspension-bridge, high in mid-air, and straight as the arrow's
flight. On either bank rival railroads are in progress; that on the
Canada side is protected from the yawning abyss by a wall calculated to
defy the power of steam. The boat touches at Queenstown, and thence
proceeds to Lewistown, where a stage is waiting for Niagara City. No
botherations of custom-house--what a blessing! The distance to ride is
seven miles, and the time one hour; but in the United States, you are
aware, every chap will "do as he best pleases;" consequently, there is a
little information to be obtained from the fresh arrival, a cock-tail
with a friend or two, a quiet piling on of luggage, &c.; all this takes
a long half-hour, and away we go with four tough little nags. A
tremendous long hill warms their hides and cools their mettle, though by
no means expending it. On we go, merrily; Jehu, a free-and-easy,
well-informed companion, guessing at certainties and calculating on
facts.

At last we reach a spring by the roadside, the steam rising from the
flanks of the team like mist from a marsh. What do I see? Number one nag
with a pailful of water, swigging away like a Glasgow baillie at a bowl
of punch. He drains it dry with a rapidity which says "More, more!" and
sure enough they keep on giving pail after pail, till he has taken in
enough to burst the tough hide of a rhinoceros. I naturally concluded
the horse was an invalid, or a culprit who had got drunk, and that they
were mixing the liquor "black list" fashion, to save his intestines and
to improve his manners; but no--round goes the pailman to every nag,
drenching each to the bursting point.

"Ain't you afraid," I said, "of killing the poor beasts by giving them
such a lot of water?"

"I guess if I was, I shouldn't give it 'em," was the terse reply.

Upon making further inquiries into this mysterious treatment, he told me
that it was a sulphur spring, and that all tired horses having exhibited
an avidity for it far greater than for common water, the instinct of the
animal had been given a fair trial, and subsequent experience had so
ratified that instinct that it had become a "known fact." An intelligent
American, sitting at the feet of a quadruped Gamaliel, humbly learning
from his instincts, should teach the bigots of every class and clime to
let their prejudices hang more loosely upon them. But half an hour has
passed, and Jehu is again on the box, the nags as fresh as daisies, and
as full as a corncob. Half an hour more lands us at Niagara. Avoiding
the hum of men, I took refuge for the night in a snug little cottage
handy to the railway, and, having deposited my traps, started on a
moonlight trip. I need scarce say whither.

Men of the highest and loftiest minds, men of the humblest and simplest
minds, the poet and the philosopher, the shepherd and the Christian,
have alike borne testimony to the fact, that the solitude of night tends
to solemnize and elevate the thoughts. How greatly must this effect be
increased when aided by the contemplation of so grand a work of nature
as Niagara! In the broad blaze of a noonday sun, the power of such
contemplation is weakened by the forced admixture of the earthly
element, interspersed as the scene is with the habitations and works of
man. But, in the hushed repose of night, man stands, as it were, more
alone with his Maker. The mere admirer of the picturesque or the grand
will find much to interest and charm him; but may there not arise in the
Christian's mind far deeper and higher thoughts to feed his
contemplation? In the cataract's mighty roar may he not hear a voice
proclaiming the anger of an unreconciled God? May not the soft beams of
the silvery moon above awaken thoughts of the mercies of a pardoning
God? And as he views those beams, veiled, as it wore, in tears by the
rising spray, may he not think of Him and his tears, through whom alone
those mercies flow to man? May not yon mist rising heavenward recal his
glorious hopes through an ascended Saviour; and as it falls again
perpetually and imperceptibly, may it not typify the dew of the Holy
Spirit--ever invisible, ever descending--the blessed fruit of that Holy
Ascension? And if the mind be thus insensibly led into such a train of
thought, may not the deep and rugged cliff, worn away by centuries
unnumbered by man, shadow forth to him ideas of that past Eternity,
compared to which they are but as a span; and may not the rolling
stream, sweeping onward in rapid and unceasing flight into the abyss
beneath his feet, fill his soul with the contemplation of Time's flight,
which, alike rapid and continuous, is ever bearing him nearer and nearer
to the brink of that future Eternity in which all his highest and
brightest hopes will be more than realized in the enjoyment of a
happiness such as "eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it
entered into the heart of man to conceive." Say, then, reader, is not
every element of thought which can arise between a Christian and his
Creator symbolled forth here in equal beauty and grandeur? One, indeed,
is wanting, which, alas! none of Nature's works but man can supply--that
sad element, which those who search their own hearts the deepest will
feel the most.--I feel I have departed from the legitimate subject of
travels; let the majesty of the scene plead my excuse.

Adieu, Niagara.

Early next morning I put myself into a railway car, and in due time
reached Batavia. On my arrival, being rather hungry, I made a modest
request for a little brandy and some biscuits; fancy my astonishment
when the "help" said, "I guess we only give meals at the fixed hours."
As I disapproved very much of such an unreasonable and ridiculous
refusal, I sought out the chief, and, preferring my modest request to
him, was readily supplied with my simple luncheon. In the meantime a
light fly had been prepared, and off I started for Geneseo. The road
presented the usual features of rich cultivated land, a dash of wild
forest, a bit of bog, and ruts like drains; and each hamlet or village
exhibited a permanent or an ambulating daguerreotype shop. Four hours
housed me with my kind and hospitable friends at Geneseo.

As the chances of travel had brought me to a small country village at
the time of the annual celebration of the 4th of July, I was unable to
witness the ceremony on the grand scale in which it is conducted in the
large cities of the Union; and, as I think it is frequently accompanied
with circumstances which are entitled to some consideration, I shall
revert, in a subsequent chapter, to those points which appear to me
calculated to act upon the national character. On the present occasion I
was delighted to find that, although people all "liquored" freely, there
was scarcely any drunkenness; at all events, they had their little bit
of fun, such as we see at fairs at home. By way of enabling those who
have a turn for the facetious to share in their jokes, I insert a couple
of specimens:--

  "ORDER OF THE DAY.

  "The vast multitude will be assembled on the Public Square, in rear of
  the Candy Factory, under the direction of Marshal JOHN A. DITTO, where
  they will be formed in procession in the following order:

  "1. Officers of the Day, in their stocking feet.

  "2. Revolutionary Relics, under the direction of the venerable G.W.S.
  Mattocks.

  "3. Soldiers of the last War, looking for Bounty Land Warrants.

  "4. The Mayor and Common Council, drawn in a Willow Wagon, by the
  Force of Habit.

  "5. Officers of the Hoodoos, drawn by 13 Shanghai Chickens, and driven
  by Joe Garlinghouse's Shanghai Quail.

  "6. The Bologna Guards, in new dress, counting their money.

  "7. The Ancient Fire Company expecting their treasurer to chuck 42$ 50
  under their windows.

  "The procession will then march to the grove in rear of Smith
  Scovell's barn, where the following exercises will take place:--

  "1. The reading of the Declaration of Independence--by the Tinker,
  Dan.

  "2. Oration--by Bill Garrison.

  "3. Hymn--There was three Crows sit on a Tree--by the Hoodo Choir.

  "4. Benediction--by Elder Bibbins.

  "After which the multitude will repair to Charley Babcock's old stand
  for Refreshments.

  "_Bill of Fare.--_1. Mud Turtle Soup. 2. Boiled Eggs, hard. 3.
  Pea-nuts. 4. Boiled Eggs, soft. 5. More Pea-nuts.

  "_Dessert._--Scotch Herring, dried. 2. Do. do., dead. 3. Do., done
  brown. 4. Sardines, by special request.

  "_Wines and Liquors_.--Hugh Doty's Rattle-Belly Pop. 2.
  Hide-and-go-Seek (a new brand).

  "Precisely at 4 o'clock, P.M., the Double Oven Air Calorie Engine,
  attached to a splendidly decorated Wheel barrow, will make an
  excursion, on the

  _Conhocton Valley Switch_,

  to the old Hemp Factory and back. It is expected that the President
  and Directors will go over the Road, and they are to have the first
  chance, strictly under the direction of the '_Rolling Stock_.'

  "Hail, ye freeborn Sons of Happy America. 'Arouse, Git up, and Git!'
  _Music_--Loud Fifing during the day.

  "June, 1853.

  "By Order of COMMITTEE."

         *       *       *       *       *

  "CLEAR THE TRACK FOR THE LIGHTNING LINE OF MALE AND FEMALE STAGES!!!

  "From Perry to Geneseo and back in a Flash.

  "BAGGAGE, PERSONS, AND EYESIGHT AT RISK OF OWNERS, AND NO QUESTIONS
  ANSWERED.

  "--Having bought out the valuable rights of young Master James Howard
  in this Line, the subscriber will streak it daily between Perry and
  Geneseo, for the conveyance of Uncle Sam's Mails and Family; leaving
  Perry before the Crows wake up in the morning, and arriving at the
  first house on this side Geneseo about the same time; returning,
  leave Geneseo after the Crows have gone to roost, and reach Perry in
  time to join them. Passengers will please to keep their mouths shut
  for fear they should lose their teeth. No Smoking allowed for fear of
  fretting the Horses; no Talking lest it wake the Driver. Fare to suit
  passengers.

  "The public's very much obliged servant, &c. &c."

A quiet and simple stage of rough wood was put up at one end of the
village, close to the Court-house, from whence the Declaration of
Independence was read, after which a flowery orator--summoned for the
occasion, and who travels about to different villages in different years
with his well-digested oration--addressed the multitude. Of course
similes and figures of rhetoric were lugged in by the heels in every
sentence, as is the all but universal practice on such occasions in
every part of the world. The moral of his speech was in the main
decidedly good, and he urged upon his audience strongly, "the undying
advantages of cultivating pluck and education" in preference to "dollars
and shrewdness." All went off in a very orderly manner, and in the
evening there were fireworks and a village ball. It was at once a wild
and interesting sight during the fireworks; the mixture of men, women,
and children, some walking, some carried, some riding, some driving;
empty buggies, some with horses, some without, tied all round; stray
dogs looking for masters as hopelessly as old maids seeking for their
spectacles when raised above their eyes and forgotten. Fire companies
parading ready for any emergency; the son of mine host tugging away at
the rope of the engine in his red shirt, like a juvenile Atlas, as proud
as Lucifer, as pleased as Punch. All busy, all excited, all happy; no
glimpse of poverty to mar the scene; all come with one voice and one
heart to celebrate the glorious anniversary of the birth of a nation,
whose past gigantic strides, unparalleled though they be, are
insufficient to enable any mind to realize what future is in store for
her, if she only prove true to herself.

Leave-takings do not interest the public, so the reader will be
satisfied to know that two days after found me in an open carriage on my
way to Rochester. The road lay entirely through cultivated land, and had
no peculiar features. The only thing I saw worth noticing, was two men
in a light four-wheel one-horse shay, attached to which were at least a
dozen others, some on two wheels, some on four. I of course thought
they were some country productions going to a city manufacturer. What
was my astonishment at finding upon inquiry, that it was merely an
American phase of hawking. The driver told me that these people will go
away from home for weeks together, trying to sell their novel ware at
hamlet, village, farm-house, &c., and that some of the shrewdest of
them, the genuine Sam Slick breed, manage to make a good thing of it.

The shades of evening closed in upon me as I alighted at a very
comfortable hotel at Rochester. The amiable Morpheus soon claimed me as
his own, nor was I well pleased when ruthlessly dragged from his soft
embrace at 6-1/2 A.M. the following morning; but railways will not wait
for Morpheus or any other deity of fancy or fiction; so, making the best
use I could of a tub of water and a beefsteak, and calming my temper
with a fragrant weed, I was soon ensconced in one of their cars, a
passenger to New York.

On reaching Albany, we crossed the river and threw ourselves into the
cars of the Hudson River Railway, which, running close to the margin
nearly all the way, gives you an ever-varying view of the charming
scenery of this magnificent stream. Yankee industry was most
disagreeably prominent at several of the stations, in the shape of a
bevy of unwashed urchins parading the cars with baskets of the eternal
pea-nut and various varieties of lollipop, lemonade, &c., all crying out
their wares, and finding as ready a sale for them as they would at any
school in England. The baiting-place was not very tempting; we all
huddled into one room, where everything was hurry and confusion: besides
which, the appetite was not strengthened by the sight of hands--whose
owners seemed to have "registered a vow in heaven," to forego the use of
soap--turning over the sandwiches, one after another, until they had
made their selection. However, the majority approve of the system; and
as no thought is given to the minority, "if you don't like it, you may
lump it."

But the more permanent inconvenience of this railroad is one for which
the majority cannot be held responsible, i.e., it runs three-fourths
of the way over a bed of granite, and often between cuts in the solid
granite rock, the noise therefore is perfectly stunning; and when to
this you add the echoing nature of their long wooden cars, destitute of
anything to check the vibrations of sound, except the human cargo and
the cushions they sit upon, and when you add further the eternal
slamming of the doors at each end by the superintending conductor and
the inquisitive portion of the passengers, you may well conceive that
this combination is enough to rouse the slumbers of the dead, and rack
the brains of the living. At the same time, I must allow that this line
runs the best pace and keeps the best time of any in the Union.

On reaching the outskirts of New York, I asked, "Is this the proper
place for me to get out at?" And being answered in the affirmative, I
alighted, and found myself in a broad open street. Scarce had I set my
foot on the ground, when I saw the train going on again, and therefore
asked for my luggage. After a few questions and answers, I ascertained
it had gone on in the train about three miles further; and the only
consolation I got, was being told, "I guess you'd best have gone on
too." However, all troubles must have an end; so getting into a hackney,
I drove to my hospitable friend Phelps' house, where, under the
influence of glorious old Madeira--P. had just finished dinner--and most
undeniable claret, the past was soon buried in the present; and by the
time I had knocked the first ash off one of his best "_prensados_," the
stray luggage returned from the involuntary trip it had made on its own
account. What a goodly cheery thing is hospitality, when it flows pure
from a warm heart; nor does it lose aught in my estimation when viewed
through the medium of a first-rate cellar and the social "Havana."

Time progresses--small hours approach--the front door shuts behind some
of the guests--six-foot-two of animal life may be seen going up-stairs
with a bed-candle; the latter is soon out, and your humble servant is
snug in the former.--Reader, good-night!



CHAPTER XXII.

_Education, Civil and Military_.


Having said so much of education in other cities, I will only observe,
that in regard to common schools, New York is on a par with most of her
rivals in this noble strife for superiority; but I must ask those who
are interested in the subject to give me their attention while I enter
into a few details connected with their admirable Free Academy. The
object of this institution is to combine--under one system and under one
roof--high school, academy, polytechnic, and college, and to furnish as
good an education as can be obtained by passing through each of those
places of instruction separately. All this free of cost!

A sum of 10,000l. was authorized for the building, and 4000l.
annually for its support. The course of instruction is divided into
thirteen departments, with a professor at the head of each, aided by
tutors where necessary; the whole under a principal, with a salary of
500l. a year, who is at the same time professor of moral,
intellectual, and political philosophy. The salaries of the other
professors average 300l. a year, those of the tutors 100l. The
course of study embraces all that is taught at the four different places
of education before-named. The student is allowed to make his selection
between the classical languages and the modern--French, Spanish, and
German. The whole course occupies five years. The requisites for
admission are, that the applicant be thirteen years old, living in the
city of New York, and have attended the common schools for eighteen
months; besides which he is required to pass a moderate examination. The
number of students at present is about 350, but they will doubtless
increase. If to the annual expenses of the institution be added the
interest at six per cent, on the outlay, the instruction given will be
found to cost the inconceivably small sum of 13l. 5s. per scholar,
including books, stationery, and etceteras.

Mr. S.B. Ruggles was kind enough to introduce me to Mr. Horace Webster,
by whom I was shown over the whole establishment. The cleanliness and
good ventilation certainly exceeded that of any other similar
establishment which I had visited in the United States. There is a very
good library containing 3000 volumes, besides 8000 which are used as
text-books, or books of reference. Many publishers supplied the
requisite books at reduced prices, which, as long as they retain the
ignominious position of the literary pirates of the world, I suppose
they can afford to do without inconvenience. There is also a fine
studio, full of casts from the best models, and copies of the Elgin
marbles presented by Mr. Leap. Instruments of the best quality abound
for the explanation of all the sciences taught.

In one of the rooms which I entered there was an examination going on.
The subject was astronomy, and it was the first class. I was
particularly struck with the very clear manner in which the lad under
examination replied to the questions put to him, and I began to suspect
it was merely something he had learnt by rote; but the professor dodged
him about in such a heartless manner with his "whys" and his
"wherefores," his "how do you knows" and "how do you proves," that I
quite trembled for the victim. Vain fears on my part; nothing could put
him out; he seemed as much at home as the professor, and answered all
the questions propounded to him in language as clear and simple as that
which the great Faraday employs to instruct his eager listeners at the
Royal Institution. Not once could the professor make him trip during the
long half-hour of his searching examination. Having remarked that the
appearance of the student was rather that of a labouring than of a
wealthy stock, I asked the principal who he was. "That, sir," replied
Mr. Webster, "is one of our best students, and he is the son of a poor
journeyman blacksmith."

New York may point with just pride to her Free Academy, and say, "In
our city the struggling efforts of genius are never cramped by the chill
blast of poverty, for within those walls the avenues to the highest
branches of literature and science are opened without charge to the
humblest and most destitute of our citizens." I spent several hours in
this most admirable and interesting institution, so ably presided over
by Mr. Horace Webster, through whose kindness I was provided with the
full details of all its workings. It would seem that the best class of
schools for young ladies are not very numerous, for the papers announced
the other day that Mrs. Okill had realized 250,000 dollars by her
establishment, which could hardly have been the case in the face of good
opposition.

A few days afterwards Mr. Ruggles offered to accompany me in a visit I
wished to make to the National Military College of West Point. I gladly
accepted his proffered kindness, and in due time we were rattling away
over the granite-bottomed railroad, along the banks of the Hudson. Close
to the station we found a small ferry-boat, ready to take us across to
the southern bank. On landing at West Point, "my pipe was immediately
put out" by a summary order from a sentry on the wharf. Dropping a tear
of sorrow through a parting whiff, and hurling the precious stump into
the still waters of the little bay, I followed my cicerone up the hill,
and soon found myself in the presence of one of the professors, through
whose assistance we were enabled thoroughly to lionize every department.
As many of my military friends who have visited West Point have spoken
to me in terms of the highest admiration of the institution, I propose
entering more into detail than I otherwise might have thought requisite;
and I trust that, as military education is engaging a great deal of
public interest, the following observations may be found worthy of
attention.

The candidates for admission are nominated by the members of Congress,
one for each congressional district, in addition to which the President
of the United States has the nomination of forty from the Republic at
large.[AV] The requisites for admission are--the passing a very easy
examination, being a bachelor between the ages of sixteen and
twenty-one, and having no physical defect. The pay of each cadet is
about five pounds a month, of which his board takes two pounds, and
8s. 6d. is laid aside monthly, whereby to form a fund to assist him
in the expenses of equipment upon leaving. The balance provides for his
dress and other expenses, and a treasurer is appointed to superintend
and keep the accounts. The routine of duty prescribed is the
following:--Rise at 5 A.M. in summer, and 5-1/2 in winter; double up bed
and mattress, &c., and study till 7; then fall in and go to breakfast;
at 7-1/2, guard-mounting--twenty-four cadets are on guard every day; at
8, study; at 1 o'clock, break up, fall in, and go to dinner, which they
rise from at the word of command, and are then free till 2. From 2 P.M.
to 4, study; at 4, drill for one hour and a half, after which they are
free till sunset; at sunset, parade in front of the barracks, and
delinquents' names called over; then follows supper, after which the
cadets are free till 8, at which time there is a call to quarters, and
every cadet is required to retire to his own room and study till 9-1/2,
when the tattoo is beat; at 10, there is a roll of the drum, at sound
whereof every light must be out and every student in bed.

The cadets are organized into a battalion of four companies; the
officers and non-commissioned officers are all appointed by the
superintendent, from a list submitted to him by the commandant of
cadets, the selection being made from those most advanced in their
studies and most exemplary in their conduct; they perform in every
particular the same duties as those of the officers and privates of a
regiment; they have divisions and sub-divisions, with superintendent
cadets attached to each, regular orderlies who sweep and clean out the
room, furniture, &c.: guards are regularly mounted, an officer of the
day duly appointed, and all the duties of a regular barrack punctually
performed, even to the sentinels being supplied with ball-cartridge at
night. Their uniform is of grey cloth, and their hair is kept a close
crop; neither whiskers nor moustache are tolerated, and liquor and
tobacco are strictly prohibited. The punishments consist of privation of
recreation, extra duty, reprimand, arrest or confinement to room or
tent, confinement to light or dark prison, dismission with privilege of
resigning, and public dismission; the former of these are at the will of
the superintendent--confinement to prison and dismission are by sentence
of a court-martial.

The course of studies pursued are classed under twelve heads:--1.
Infantry tactics and military police; 2. Mathematics; 3. French; 4.
Drawing; 5. Chemistry, mineralogy, and geology; 6. Natural and
experimental philosophy; 7. Artillery tactics, science of gunnery, and
the duties of the military laboratory; 8. Cavalry tactics; 9. The use
of the sword; 10. Practical military engineering; 11. Grammar,
geography, ethics, &c.; 12. Military and civil engineering, and the
science of war.

In the preceding pages we have seen that ten hours are daily devoted to
study, besides an hour and a half to drill; and thus, while the brain is
severely taxed, but little leisure is left to get into those minor
scrapes so prevalent at most public schools.

There is a most minute system of merit and demerit established;
everything good and everything bad has a specific value in numbers and
decimals, which is accurately recorded against the owners thereof in the
reports made for each year. The cadet appears to be expected to improve
in conduct as well as knowledge; for, according to the rules, after his
first year is completed, the number expressing his absolute demerit is
increased by one-sixth during the second year, by one-third during the
third year, and by one-half during the fourth year. Thus, suppose a
certain number of faults to be represented by the sum of 36, if faults
which those figures represent are committed during the second year of
the cadet's course, one-sixth would be added, and his name appear on the
demerit list with 42 against it; if in the third year, one-third would
be added to the 36, and 48 would be placed against his name; and if
during the fourth year, one-half would be added, and 54 would appear
against it. It will thus be seen that, supposing offences of equal value
to be committed by the cadet in his first year and by another in his
fourth year, the figures of demerit against the latter would be one-half
more than those placed against the name of the cadet in his first year.
A demerit conduct roll is made out each year, and a copy sent to the War
Department.

There is also a general merit roll of proficiency and good conduct sent
to the same department, an abstract whereof, with demerit added, is sent
to the parents or guardians in a printed book containing the names of
all the cadets, by which they can at once see the relative position of
their son or ward. The following tables will explain the system adopted
for ascertaining the merit, demerit, and qualifications of the
students:--

DEMERIT.

_Degree of Criminality of Offences, arranged in Classes_.

  1. Mutinous conduct                               10
  2. Disobedience of orders of military superior     8
  3. Visiting in study hours                         5
  4. Absence from drill                              4
  5. Idleness in academy                             3
  6. Inattention under arms                          2
  7. Late at roll call                               1

_Form of Conduct Roll made up for the yearly examination_.

The column marked "Class" indicates number of years student has been in
the academy.

  Name.        Class.         Demerit.

  H.L.           1                5
  C.P.           3               10
  W.K.M.         2              192

_A particular case to exemplify the manner of obtaining the numbers in
the column of demerit_:--

  Cadet W.K.M. was charged with 48 delinquencies, to wit:
  of the second class of offences, 2, which being multiplied
  by 8, the number expressing the degree of criminality
  of an offence of that class, is            16
  Of the 3rd class    3 multiplied by 5      15
         4th "        13 "            4      52
         5th "        10 "            3      30
         6th "        11 "            2      22
         7th "         9 "            1       9
                                            ----
                                            144

  The Cadet being a member of the
      2nd class, add 1/3                     48
                                           ----
  Total demerit                             192

The following list of Cadets is attached to the Army Register in
conformity with a regulation for the Government of the United States
Military Academy, requiring the names of the most distinguished Cadets,
not exceeding five in each class, to be reported for this purpose at
each annual examination:--

_Reported at the Examination in June_, 18--.

  No. Names.        Appointed  Science and Art in which each Cadet
                    from       particularly excels.

  1   First Class.  Mass.      Civil and Military Engineering, Ethics,
      G.L.A.                   Mineralogy and Geology, Infantry
                               Tactics, Artillery, Natural and
                               Experimental Philosophy, Chemistry,
                               Drawing, Mathematics, French and
                               English Studies.

  2   J.St.C.M.     Pa.        Civil and Military Engineering, Ethics,
                               Mineralogy and Geology, Infantry
                               Tactics, Artillery, Natural and
                               Experimental Philosophy, Chemistry,
                               Drawing, Mathematics, and French.


_"General Merit Roll," sent also to the War Office._

  Names             A         B        C
  Mathematics       300.0     295.3    276.7
  French            98.7       97.5     69.1
  English Studies   100.0      89.5     98.9
  Philosophy        300.0     295.6    278.2
  Chemistry         150.0     147.5    145.1
  Drawing            91.3     100.0     94.2
  Engineering       300.0     285.3    290.2
  Ethics            200.0     193.4    186.9
  Mineralogy &
    Geology         100.0      96.7     98.2
  Infantry Tactics  150.0     147.5    137.8
  Artillery         158.0     145.1    147.5
  Conduct           297.3     293.8    294.5
  General Merit    2237.3    2187.2   2117.3


_"Official Register of the Cadets" at West Point, printed yearly._

  Order of general merit           1            2             3
  Names                         T.L.C.       N.C.A.        G.H.M.
  State                         At large     Tenn.          Pa.
  Date of Admission            July 1, 1848    do.           do.
  Age at date of admission
    Years / Months                17 / 1     18 / 7        16 / 8
  Order of merit in their
    respective Studies
      Engineering                   1           2             3
      Ethics                        3           4             2
      Mineral. & Geol.              1           2             4
      Infantry Tactics              1           2             5
      Artillery                     2           1             3
  Demerit of the Year              39          18            73

A board with the marks of demerit is always publicly hung up, so that
each cadet may know the exact length of his tether, for if the numbers
amount to 200 he is dismissed. I have dwelt very lengthily upon the
system adopted of recording and publishing the merit and demerit of the
students, because I was informed of the admirable effect produced by it.
As far as I can judge, it certainly appears not only an admirable means
of enabling the War-office to estimate character, but the great
publicity given to it must act as a powerful stimulus to exertion and
good conduct.

A portion of the cadets are instructed every day in fencing and riding.
When well advanced in the latter, they are taught spearing rings or
stuffed heads at the gallop, and the same with the sword. The
riding-school is perfectly abominable, being dark, full of pillars, and
most completely out of harmony with all the rest of the establishment,
which is excellent in every detail. On Sundays all the cadets attend
church, unless excused on conscientious motives, and with the approval
of their parents. The minister is selected by the President, and may be
of any denomination. I was told that an Episcopalian had been most
frequently chosen. The present minister is, I believe, a Presbyterian.
During the months of July and August the cadets all turn out of their
barracks, pitch their tents, and live regular camp life--only going to
the barracks to eat their meals. During the time they are tented, the
education is exclusively military practice; the same hours are kept as
in the barracks; the tents are boarded, and two cadets sleep in each.
They are all pitched with scrupulous accuracy, and they are obliged to
keep their camp as clean as a new pin--performing among themselves every
duty of a complete regiment--cleaning their own shoes, fetching their
own water, &c. They were all in tents at the time of my visit, and I
fear not particularly comfortable, for there had been two days and
nights' hard rain, and the wet mattresses were courting the warm rays of
the afternoon sun. Whatever jobbery is attempted in the selection of
candidates for admission to the Academy, is soon corrected by the
Academy itself; for, though the entrance examination is simple to a
degree, the subsequent examinations are very severe, and those who
cannot come up to the mark get notice to quit; and the unerring
tell-tale column of demerit soon obliges the turbulent to "clear out."

The result of this system is, that when I saw them under arms, their
soldierlike appearance struck me very much; and the effect produced upon
them by discipline was very marked. You might almost guess the time they
had been there by their gentlemanly bearing, a quality which they do not
readily lose; for the officers of the American army who have been
educated at West Point, enjoy a universal reputation for intelligence
and gentlemanly bearing wherever they are to be met with.

The discipline here is no fiction; they do not play at soldiers; they
all work their way up from the ranks, performing every duty of each
rank, and the most rigid obedience is exacted. In the calculations for
demerit, while idleness in the Academy obtains a mark of three,
disobedience to a superior officer is marked eight. There is no bullying
thought of here; the captain of his company would as soon think of
bullying the cadet private as a captain of a regiment of the line would
of bullying any private under his command. An officer who had been for
many years connected with West Point, told me that among all the duels
which unfortunately are so prevalent in the United States, he had never
either known or heard of one between any two gentlemen who had received
their education at this Academy--tricks, of course, are sometimes
played, but nothing oppressive is ever thought of.

I did hear a story of a cadet, who, by way of a joke, came and tried to
take away the musket of a wiry young Kentuckian, who was planted sentry
for the first time; but he found a military ardour he had little
anticipated; for the novice sentry gave him a crack on the side of the
head that turned him round, and before he could recover himself, he felt
a couple of inches of cold steel running into the bank situated at the
juncture of the hips and the back-bone; and thus not only did he suffer
total defeat and an ignominious wound, but he earned a large figure on
the demerit roll. From the way the story was told to me, I imagine it is
a solitary instance of such an outrage being attempted; for one of the
first things they seek to inculcate is a military spirit, and the young
Kentuckian at all events proved that he had caught the spirit; nor can
it be denied that the method he took to impress it upon his assailant,
as a fundamental principle of action, was equally sharp and striking.

Happening to be on the ground at the hour of dinner, I saw them all
marched off to their great dining-ball, where the table was well
supplied with meat, vegetables, and pudding; it was all substantial and
good, but the _tout-ensemble_ was decidedly very rough. If the intention
is to complete the soldier life by making them live like well-fed
privates of the line, the object is attained; but I should be disposed
to think, they might dispense with a good deal of the roughness of the
style with great advantage; though doubtless, where the general
arrangements are so good, they have their own reasons for keeping it as
it is. I paid a visit in the course of the afternoon to the
fencing-room; but being the hour of recreation, I found about thirty
lusty cadets, votaries to Terpsichore, all waltzing and polking merrily
to a fiddle, ably wielded by their instructor: as their capabilities
were various, the confusion was great, and the master bewildered; but
they all seemed heartily enjoying themselves.

The professors and military instructors, &c., have each a small
comfortable house with garden attached, and in the immediate vicinity of
the Academy. There is a comfortable hotel, which in the summer months is
constantly filled with the friends and relatives of the cadets; and
occasionally they get permission to give a little _soirée dansante_ in
the fencing-room. The hotel is prohibited from selling any spirituous
liquors, wines, &c.

The Government property at West Point consists of about three thousand
acres: the Academy, professors' houses, hotel, &c., are built upon a
large plateau, commanding a magnificent view of the Hudson both ways.
The day I was there, the scene was quite lovely; the noble stream was as
smooth as a mirror; a fleet of rakish schooners lay helpless, their
snow-white sails hanging listlessly in the calm; and, as the clear
waters reflected everything with unerring truthfulness, another fleet
appeared beneath, lying keel to keel with those that floated on the
surface. With such beautiful scenery, and so far removed from the bustle
and strife of cities, I cannot conceive any situation better adapted
for health and study, pleasure and exercise.

The great day of the year is that of the annual review of the cadets by
a board of gentlemen belonging to the different States of the Union, and
appointed by the Secretary of War; it takes place early in June, I
believe, and consequently before the cadets take the tented field. The
examination goes on in the library hall, which is a very fine room, and
hung with portraits of some of their leading men; the library is a very
fair one, and the cadets have always easy access to it, to assist them
in their studies. I could have spent many more hours here with much
pleasure, but the setting sun warned us no time was to be lost if we
wished to save the train; so, bidding adieu, to the friends who had so
kindly afforded me every assistance in accomplishing the object of my
visit, I returned to the great Babylon, after one of the most
interesting and gratifying days I had spent in America.[AW]


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote AV: By the published class-list the numbers at present are
224.]

[Footnote AW: An account of a visit to this Academy, from the pen of Sir
J. Alexander, is published in Golburn's _United Service Magazine,_
September, 1854.]



CHAPTER XXIII.

_Watery Highways and Metallic Intercourse._


There is perhaps scarcely any feature in which the United States differ
more from the nations of the Old World, than in the unlimited extent of
their navigable waters, the value of which has been incalculably
increased by the introduction of steam. By massing these waters
together, we shall be the better able to appreciate their importance;
but in endeavouring to do this, I can only offer an approximation as to
the size of the lakes, from the want of any official information, in the
absence of which I am forced to take my data from authorities that
sometimes differ widely. I trust the following statement will be found
sufficiently accurate to convey a tolerably correct idea.

The seaboard on each ocean may be estimated at 1500 miles; the
Mississippi and its tributaries, at 17,000 miles; Lake Ontario, at 190
miles by 50; Lake Erie, at 260 miles by 60; Lake Huron, at 200 miles by
70; the Georgian Bay, at 160 miles, one half whereof is about 50 broad;
Lake Michigan, at 350 miles by 60; and Lake Superior, at 400 miles by
160, containing 32,000 square miles, and almost capable of floating
England, if its soil were as buoyant as its credit. All the lakes
combined contain about 100,000 square miles. The rate at which the
tonnage upon them is increasing, appears quite fabulous. In 1840 it
amounted to 75,000 tons, from which it had risen in 1850 to 216,000
tons. Besides the foregoing, there are the eastern rivers, and the deep
bays on the ocean board. Leaving, however, these latter out of the
question, let us endeavour to realize in one sum the extent of soil
benefited by this bountiful provision of Providence; to do which it is
necessary to calculate both sides of the rivers and the shores of the
lakes, which, of course, must be of greater extent than double the
length of the lakes: nevertheless, if we estimate them at only double,
we shall find that there are 40,120 miles washed by their navigable
waters; and by the constitution of the Union these waters are declared
to be "common property, for ever free, without any tax, duty, or impost
whatever."

The Americans are not free from the infirmities of human nature; and
having got a "good thing" among them, in process of time it became a
bone of contention, which it still remains: the Whigs contending that
the navigable waters having been declared by the constitution "for ever
free," are national waters, and as such, entitled to have all necessary
improvements made at the expense of the Union; their opponents
asserting, that rivers and harbours are not national, but local, and
that their improvements should be exclusively committed to the
respective States. This latter opinion sounds strange indeed, when it is
remembered that the Mississippi and its tributaries bathe the shores of
some thirteen States, carrying on their bosoms produce annually valued
at 55,000,000l. sterling, of which 500,000l. is utterly destroyed
from the want of any sufficient steps to remove the dangers of
navigation.[AX]

Mr. Ruggles has always been a bold and able advocate of the Whig
doctrine of nationality; and, in a lecture delivered by him upon the
subject, he states that during the recent struggle to pass the River and
Harbour Bill through the Senate, Mr. Douglas, a popular democrat from
Illinois, offered as a substitute an amendment giving the consent of
Congress "to the levy of local tonnage dues, not only by each of the
separate States, but even by the authorities of any city or town." One
can hardly conceive any man of the most ordinary intellect deliberately
proposing to inflict upon his country the curse of an unlimited legion
of custom-houses, arresting commerce in every bend of the river and in
every bay of the sea; yet such was the case, though happily the
proposition was not carried. How inferior does the narrow mind which
made the above proposition in 1848 appear, when placed beside the
prescient mind which in 1787 proposed and carried, "That navigable
waters should be for ever free from any tax or impost whatever!"


One of the most extraordinary instances of routine folly which I ever
read or heard of, and which, among so practical and unroutiney a
people as the Americans, appears all but incredible, is the
following:--Congress having resisted the Harbour Improvement Bill, but
acknowledged its duties as to certain lights and beacons, "Ordered, that
a beacon should be placed on a rock in the harbour of New Haven. The
engineer reported, that the cost of removing the rock would be less than
the cost of erecting the beacon; but the President was firm--a great
party doctrine was involved, and the rock remains to uphold the
beacon--a naked pole, with an empty barrel at its head--a suitable type
of the whole class of constitutional obstructions."[AY]

The State of New York may fairly claim the credit of having executed one
of the most--if not the most--valuable public works in the Union--the
Erie Canal. At the time of its first proposal, it received the most
stubborn opposition, especially from that portion of the democratic
party known by the appellation of "Barn-burners," whose creed is thus
described in a pamphlet before me:--"All accumulations of wealth or
power, whether in associations, corporate bodies, public works, or in
the state itself, are anti-democratic and dangerous.... The construction
of public works tends to engender a race of demagogues, who are sure to
lead the people into debt and difficulty," &c. The origin of their name
I have not ascertained.

Another party, possessing the equally euphonical name of "Old Hunkers,"
are thus described:--"Standing midway between this wing of the Democracy
and the Whig party, is that portion who have taken upon themselves the
comfortable title of 'Old Hunkers.' The etymological origin of this
epithet is already lost in obscurity. They embrace a considerable
portion of our citizens who are engaged in banking and other active
business, but at the same time decided lovers of political place and
power. At heart they believe in progress, and are in favour of a liberal
prosecution of works of improvement, but most generally disguise it, in
order to win the Barn-burners' votes. They are by no means deficient
in intelligence or private worth, but are deeply skilled in political
tactics; and their creed, if it is rightly understood, is that public
works ought to be 'judiciously' prosecuted, provided they themselves can
fill all the offices of profit or honour connected with their
administration."[AZ]

Such is the description given of these two parties by the pen of a
political opponent, who found in them the greatest obstacles to the
enlargement of the canal.

The name of De Witt Clinton will ever be associated with this great and
useful work, by which the whole commerce of the ocean lakes is poured
into the Hudson, and thence to the Atlantic. After eight years' hard
struggle, and the insane but undivided opposition of the city of New
York, the law for the construction of the canal was passed in the year
1817. One opponent to the undertaking, when the difficulty of supplying
water was started as an objection, assisted his friend by the
observation, "Give yourself no trouble--the tears of our constituents
will fill it." Many others opposed the act on the ground that, by
bringing the produce of the States on the lake shores so easily to New
York, the property of the State would be depreciated; which appears to
me, in other words, to be--they opposed it on the ground of its utility.
Others again grounded their objections on the doubt that the revenue
raised by the tolls would be sufficient to justify the expense.
Fortunately, however, the act was carried; and in seven years, the
canal, though not quite completed, was receiving tolls to the amount of
upwards of 50,000l. In 1836 the canal debt was paid, and produce
valued at 13,000,000l.--of which 10,000,000l. belonged to the State
of New York--was carried through it; the tolls had risen to 320,000l.
per annum, and 80,000l. of that sum was voted to be appropriated to
the general purposes of the State, the total cost having been under one
and a half million sterling.

One might imagine that such triumphant success would have made the State
ready to vote any reasonable sum of money to enlarge it if required;
but the old opponents took the field in force when the proposition was
made. Even after a certain sum had been granted, and a contract entered
into, they rescinded the grant and paid a forfeit to the contractor of
15,000l. It was in vain that the injury to commerce, resulting from
the small dimensions of the canal,[BA] was represented to them; it was
in vain that statistics were laid before them, showing that the
7,000,000 miles traversed by the 4500 canal-boats might, if the proposed
enlargement took place, reduce the distance traversed to two millions of
miles, and the boats employed to 1500; Barn-burners triumphed, and it
was decided that the enlargements should only be made out of the surplus
proceeds of the tolls and freight; by which arrangement this vast
commercial advantage will be delayed for many years, unless the fruits
of the canal increase more rapidly than even their present wonderful
strides can lead one to anticipate, although amounting at this present
day to upwards of 1,000,000l. yearly.[BB] Such is a short epitome of a
canal through which, when the Sault St. Marie Channel between Lakes
Superior and Huron is completed, an unbroken watery highway will bear
the rich produce of the West from beyond the 90° meridian of longitude
to the Atlantic Ocean.[BC]

Although the Erie is perhaps the canal which bears the most valuable
freight, it is by no means the greatest undertaking of the kind in the
Union. The Chesapeake and Ohio canal, uniting Washington and Pittsburg,
has nearly 400 locks, and is tunnelled four miles through the
Alleghanies; and the Pennsylvania canal, as we have already seen in a
former chapter, runs to the foot of the same ridge, and being unable to
tunnel, uses boats in compartments, and drags them by stationary engines
across the mountains. Nothing daunts American energy. If the people are
once set upon having a canal, go ahead it must; "can't" is an unknown
expression.[BD]

However important the works we have been considering may be to the
United States, there can be no doubt that railways are infinitely more
so; I therefore trust the following remarks upon them may have some
interest.

By the statement of the last Census, it appears that there are no less
than 13,266 miles of railroad in operation, and 12,681 in progress,
giving a total of nearly 26,000 miles; the cost of those which are
completed amounts to a little less than 75,000,000l., and the estimate
for those in progress is a little above 44,000,000l. We thus see that
the United States will possess 26,000 miles of railroad, at the cost of
about 120,000,000l. In England we have 8068 miles of railway, and the
cost of these amounts to 273,860,000l., or at the rate of 34,020l.
per mile. This extraordinary difference between the results produced and
the expenses incurred requires some little explanation. By the Census
report, I learn that the average expense of the railways varies in
different parts of the Union; those in the northern, or New England
States, costing 9250l. per mile; those in the middle States, 8000l.;
and those in the southern and western States, 4000l. per mile. The
railway from Charleston to Augusta, on the Savannah River, only cost
1350l. per mile. From the above we see clearly that the expenses of
their railways are materially affected by density of population and the
consequent value of land, by the comparative absence of forest to supply
material, and by the value of labour. If these three causes produce such
material differences in a country comparatively unoccupied like the
United States, it is but natural to expect that they should be felt with
infinitely more force in England. Moreover, as it has been well observed
by Captain D. Galton, R.E.,[BE] "railways originated in England, and
therefore the experience which is always required to perfect a new
system has been chiefly acquired in this country, and has increased the
cost of our own railways for the benefit of our neighbours."--Some
conception may be formed of the irregular nature of the expense on the
lines in England from the statement subjoined, also taken from the same
paper, viz.:--

  Name of Railway.  Land and                               Total Cost
                    Compensation.      Works.    Rails.     per Mile.
                         £               £          £             £

  London       }
  and          }      113,500          98,000     1,000   253,000[BF]
  Blackwall    }

  Leicester    }
  and          }        1,000           5,700       700     8,700[BF]
  Swannington  }

From the table on the opposite page, it will be seen that the cost of
construction and engineering expenses amounted to 35,526,535l. out of
45,051,217l. Taking the railways quoted as representing a fair average
of the whole, we ascertain that more than one-fourth of the expense of
our railways is incurred for extras comparatively unknown in the United
States. At a general meeting of the London and North Western, in 1854,
Mr. Glyn mentioned as a fact, that a chairman of a certain line, in
giving evidence, had stated that a competition for the privilege of
making 28 miles of railway had cost 250,000l. Such an item of
expenditure can hardly enter into the cost of a railway in a country as
thinly populated as the Republic. There are also two other important
facts which are apt to be overlooked: first, that a great portion of the
railways in the United States are single lines; and secondly, that the
labour performed is of a far less solid and enduring character. A most
competent civil engineer told me that the slovenly and insecure nature
of many of the railway works in the United States was perfectly
inconceivable, and most unquestionably would not stand the inspection
required in England. A friend of mine has travelled upon a railway in
America, between Washington and Virginia, of which a great portion was
composed of merely a wooden rail with a bar of iron screwed on to the
surface.[BG] The carriages are also far less expensive and comfortable;
a carriage in the United States, which carries fifty people, weighs
twelve tons, and costs 450l.; in England it may be fairly asserted,
that for every fifty people in a mixed train there is a carriage weight
of eighteen tons, at a cost of 1500l.

The following Table, extracted from a Return moved for by Lord
Brougham, may help to give a better general idea of the reason why our
Railroads have been so costly:--

  Name of       London &   Great        Midland,  South Eastern  Total
  Railway.      North      Western,     and 12    and 6
                Western,   and 3        branches  branches
                and 12     branches
                branches

  Length/Miles     433      215-3/4      449-1/4    198-1/2      1296-1/2

  Cost of Con-
  struction. £ 13,302,313  6,961,011   9,064,089  5,375,366    34,702,779

  Conveyance
  and Law
  Charges. £      143,479    105,269     119,344    138,034       506,128

  Cost of
  Land. £       3,153,226  1,132,964   1,764,582  1,458,627     7,509,399

  Parliamentary
  Expenses. £     555,698    245,139     287,853    420,467     1,509,157

  Engineering
  and Sur-
  veying. £       289,698    201,909     216,110    116,039       823,756

  Total
  Cost.  £     17,444,414  8,646,292  11,451,978  7,508,533    45,051,217

When all the foregoing facts are taken into consideration, it must
appear clear to the reader, that until the efficiency of the work done,
the actual number of miles of rail laid down, and the comfort enjoyed
are ascertained, any comparison of the relative expenses of the
respective railways must be alike useless and erroneous; at the same
time, it can scarcely be denied that it is impossible to give the
Republic too much credit for the energy, engineering skill, and economy
with which they have railway-netted the whole continent. Much remains
for them to do in the way of organizing the corps of officials, and in
the erection of proper stations, sufficient at all events, to protect
travellers from the weather, for which too common neglect the abundance
of wood and their admirable machinery leave them without excuse; not
that we are without sin ourselves in this last particular. The uncovered
station at Warrington is a disgrace to the wealthy London and North
Western Company, and the inconveniences for changing trains at Gretna
junction is even more disreputable; but these form the rare exceptions,
and as a general rule, there cannot be the slightest comparison between
the admirably arranged corps of railway servants in England, and the
same class of men in the States; nor between the excellent stations in
this country, and the wretched counterpart thereof in the Republic.
Increased intercourse with Europe will, it is to be hoped, gradually
modify these defects; but as long as they continue the absurd system of
running only one class of carriage, the incongruous hustling together of
humanities must totally prevent the travelling in America being as
comfortable as that in the Old World.

Let us now turn from that which carries our bodies at the rate of
forty miles an hour, to that last giant stride of science by which our
words are carried quick as thought itself--the Telegraph. The Americans
soon discovered that this invention was calculated to be peculiarly
useful to them, owing to their enormous extent of territory; and having
come to this conclusion, their energy soon stretched the electric
messenger throughout the length and breadth of the land, and by the last
Census the telegraphic lines extend 16,735 miles, and the length of
wires employed amounts to 23,281. _The Seventh Census_ gives the expense
of construction as 30l. per mile.[BH] The systems in use are Morse's,
House's, and Bain's; the two former of American invention, the latter
imported from this country. Of these three the system most generally
employed is Morse's, the others being only worked upon about 2000 miles
each. It would be out of place to enter into any scientific explanation
of their different methods in these pages; suffice it to say, that all
three record their messages on ribands of paper; Morse employing a kind
of short-hand symbol which indents the paper; Bain, a set of symbols
which by chemical agency discolour the paper instead of indenting it;
and House printing Roman letters in full by the discolouring process.
Those who wish for details and explanations, will find them in the works
of Dr. Lardner and others on the Telegraph.

The following anecdote will give some idea of the rapidity with which
they work. A house in New York expected a synopsis of commercial news by
the steamer from Liverpool. A swift boat was sent down to wait for the
steamer at the quarantine ground. Immediately the steamer arrived, the
synopsis was thrown into the boat, and away she went as fast as oars and
sails could carry her to New York. The news was immediately telegraphed
to New Orleans and its receipt acknowledged back in three hours and five
minutes, and before the steamer that brought it was lashed alongside her
wharf. The distance to New Orleans by telegraph is about 2000 miles. The
most extensive purchases are frequently made at a thousand miles
distance by the medium of the telegraph. Some brokers in Wall-street
average from six to ten messages per day throughout the year. I remember
hearing of a young officer, at Niagara Falls, who, finding himself low
in the purse, telegraphed to New York for credit, and before he had
finished his breakfast the money was brought to him. Cypher is very
generally used for two reasons; first, to obtain the secrecy which is
frequently essential to commercial affairs; and secondly, that by
well-organized cypher a few words are sufficient to convey a long
sentence.

Among other proposed improvements is one to transmit the signature of
individuals, maps and plans, and even the outlines of the human face, so
as to aid in the apprehension of rogues, &c. By a table of precedence,
Government messages, and messages for the furtherance of justice and
detection of criminals, are first attended to; then follow notices of
death, or calls to a dying bed; after which, is the Press, if the news
be important; if not, it takes its turn with the general, commercial,
and other news. The wires in America scorn the railway apron-strings in
which they are led about in this country. They thread their independent
course through forests, along highways and byways, through streets, over
roofs of houses,--everybody welcomes them,--appearance bows down at the
shrine of utility, and in the smallest villages these winged messengers
are seen dropping their communicative wires into the post-office, or
into some grocer's shop where a 'cute lad picks up all the passing
information--which is not in cypher--and probably retails it with an
amount of compound interest commensurate with the trouble he has taken
to obtain it. There is no doubt that many of these village stations are
not sure means of communication, partly perhaps from carelessness, and
partly from the trunk arteries having more important matter to transmit,
and elbowing their weaker neighbours out of the field. Their gradual
increase is, however, a sufficient proof that the population find them
useful, despite the disadvantages they labour under. In some instances,
they have shown a zeal without discretion, for a friend of mine, lately
arrived from the Far West, informs me, that in many places the wires may
be seen broken, and the poles tumbling down for miles and miles
together, the use of the telegraph not being sufficient even to pay for
the keeping up. This fact should be borne in mind when we give them the
full benefit of the 16,735 miles according to their own statement in
_The Seventh Census_.

The very low tariff of charge renders the use of the telegraph universal
throughout the Union. In Messrs. Whitworth's and Wallis's report, they
mention an instance of a manufacturer in New York, who had his office in
one part of the town and his works in an opposite direction, and who, to
keep up a direct communication between the two, erected a telegraph at
his own expense, obtaining leave to carry it along over the tops of the
intervening houses without any difficulty. The tariff alluded to above
will of course vary according to the extent of the useful pressure of
competition. I subjoin two of their charges as an example. From
Washington to Baltimore is forty miles, and the charge is 10d. for ten
words. From New York to New Orleans is two thousand miles, and the
charge for ten words is ten shillings. It must be remembered that these
ten words are exclusive of the names and addresses of the parties
sending and receiving the message.

The extent to which the telegraph is used in the United States, induced
those interested in the matter in England to send over for the most
competent and practical person that could be obtained, with the view of
ascertaining how far any portion of the system employed by them might be
beneficially introduced into our country. The American system is that of
the complete circuit, and therefore requiring only one wire; and the
patent of Bain was the one experimented with, as requiring the slightest
intensity of current. After considerable expense incurred in trials, the
American system was found decidedly inferior to our own, solely owing to
the humidity of our climate, which, after repeated trials, has been
found to require a far more perfect insulation than is necessary either
in the United States or on the Continent, and therefore requiring a
greater outlay of capital in bringing the telegraphic wire into a
practical working state; 260 miles is the greatest length that a battery
is equal to working in this country in the worst weather.

Bain's system was formerly not sufficiently perfected to work
satisfactorily in our climate; recent improvements are removing those
objections, and the employment of it is now rapidly increasing. The
advantages that Bain's possesses over Morse's are twofold: first, the
intensity of current required to work it is lighter; and secondly, the
discoloration it produces is far more easily read than the indentations
of Morse's. The advantage Morse's possesses over Bain's is, that the
latter requires damp paper to be always ready for working, which the
former does not. The advantage Cook and Wheatstone's[BI] possesses over
both the former is, that it does not demand the same skilled hands to
wind and adjust the machine and prepare the paper; it is always ready at
hand, and only needs attention at long intervals, for which reasons it
is more generally employed at all minor and intermediate stations; its
disadvantages are, that it does not trace the message, and consequently
leaves no telegraphic record for reference, and it requires two wires,
while Bain's or Morse's employs but one; the intensity of the current
required to work it is the same as Bain's, and rather less than Morse's.
All three admit of messages going the whole length of the line being
read at all intermediate stations. The proportion of work capable of
being done by Bain's, as compared with Cook and Wheatstone's, is: Bain's
and one wire = 3; Cook and Wheatstone's and two wires = 5. But if Bain's
had a second wire, a second set of clerks would be requisite to attend
to it. The errors from the tracing telegraph are less than those from
the magnetic needle; but the difference is very trifling. No extra clerk
is wanted by Cook and Wheatstone's, as all messages are written out by a
manifold writer. Every message sent by telegraph in England has a
duplicate copy sent by rail to the "Clearing Office," at Lothbury, to be
compared with the original; thanks to which precaution, clerks keep
their eyes open, and the public are efficiently protected from errors.

How strange it is, that with the manifest utility of the telegraph in
case of fire, and the ease with which it could be adapted to that
purpose--as it has now been for some years in Boston--the authorities
take no steps to obtain its invaluable services. The alarm of fire can
be transmitted to every district of London at the small cost of 350l.
a-year. The most competent parties are ready to undertake the contract;
but it is too large a sum for a poor little village, with only 2,500,000
of inhabitants, and not losing more than 500,000l. annually by fires,
to expend. The sums spent at St. Stephen's in giving old gentlemen
colds, and in making those of all ages sneeze from underfoot snuff--in
other words, the attempt at ventilation, which is totally useless--has
cost the country more than would be necessary to supply this vast
metropolis with telegraphic wire communication for a century.

In conclusion, I must state that in this country several establishments
and individuals have their own private telegraphs, in a similar manner
to that referred to at New York, and many more would do the same, did
not vested interests interfere.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote AX: _Vide_ observations on this subject in Chapter X.]

[Footnote AY: Extract from lecture delivered by S.B. Ruggles, at New
York, October, 1852.]

[Footnote AZ: This extract is from a lecture by S.B. Ruggles to the
citizens of Rochester, October, 1849.]

[Footnote BA: The neighbouring colony "whips" the Republic in canals.
Vessels from 350 to 400 tons can pass the St. Lawrence and Welland
Canals. Nothing above 75 tons can use the Erie Canal.]

[Footnote BB: The governor of the State, in his annual message, 1854,
calls attention to the fact, that the toll on the canals is rapidly
decreasing, and will be seriously imperilled if steps are not taken to
enlarge it.]

[Footnote BC: By the Illinois and Michigan Canal the ocean lakes
communicate with the Mississippi; and when the channel is made by Lake
Nipissing, there will be an unbroken watercourse between New Orleans,
New York, Bytown, and Quebec.]

[Footnote BD: There are upwards of 5000 miles of canal in America.]

[Footnote BE: _Vide_ an able paper on railways, written by that officer
and published in that valuable work, _Aide Mémoire to the Military
Sciences_; or for fuller particulars the reader is referred to Report on
the Railways of the United States, by Capt. Douglas Galton, R.N.,
recently issued.]

[Footnote BF: This is without the expenses arising from law and
parliamentary proceedings.]

[Footnote BG: I believe the railway from Charleston to Savannah was
entirely laid down on this plan.]

[Footnote BH: Mr. Jones, in his _Historical Sketch of the Electric
Telegraph_, makes the calculation 40l. a mile, and estimates that, to
erect them durably, would cost 100l. a mile.]

[Footnote BI: Having alluded in the text to the systems of Morse, Bain,
and House, I must apologize for omitting to add, that the system of Cook
and Wheatstone consists simply of a deflecting needle--or needles--which
being acted upon by the currents, are, according to the manipulations of
the operator, made to indicate the required letters by a certain number
of ticks to the right or left.]



CHAPTER XXIV.

_America's Press and England's Censor._


In treating of a free country, the Press must ever be considered as
occupying too important an influence to be passed over in silence. I
therefore propose dedicating a few pages to the subject. The following
Table, arranged from information given in the Census Report of 1850, is
the latest account within my reach:--

_Newspapers Published._

  Daily         Tri-Weekly     Semi-Weekly      Weekly
   254             115             31             1902

  Printed        Printed        Printed         Printed
  Annually       Annually       Annually        Annually
  235,119,966   11,811,140     5,565,176       153,120,708


  Semi-Monthly       Monthly       Quarterly
       95              100             19

  Printed            Printed         Printed
  Annually           Annually        Annually
  11,703,480         8,887,803       103,500

_General Classification._

  Literary and    Neutral and     Political     Religious     Scientific
  Miscellaneous   Independent
  568                 88             1630         191            53

  Printed          Printed         Printed       Printed        Printed
  Annually         Annually        Annually      Annually       Annually
  77,877,276      88,023,953      221,844,133    33,645,484    4,893,932

Total number of newspapers and periodicals, 2526; and copies printed
annually, 426,409,978.

The minute accuracy of the number of copies issued annually is a piece
of startling information: the Republic is most famous for statistics,
but how, without any stamp to test the accuracy of the issues, they have
ascertained the units while dealing with hundreds of millions is a
statistical prodigy that throws the calculating genius of a Babbage and
the miraculous powers of Herr Döbler and Anderson into the shade. I can
therefore no more pretend to explain the method they employ for
statistics, than I can the system adopted by Herr Döbler to mend plates
by firing pistols at them. The exact quantity of reliance that can be
placed upon them, I must leave to my reader's judgment.

As a general rule, it may be said that the literary, religious, and
scientific portions of the Press are printed on good paper, and provided
with useful matter, reflecting credit on the projectors and
contributors. I wish I could say the same of the political Press; but
truth compels me to give a far different account of their publications:
they certainly partake more of the "cheap and nasty" style. The paper is
generally abominable, the type is so small as to be painful to the eyes,
and would almost lead one to suppose it had been adopted at the
suggestion of a conclave of 'cute oculists: the style of language in
attacking adversaries is very low: the terms employed are painfully
coarse, and there is a total absence of dignity; besides which they are
profuse caterers to the vanity of the nation. I do not say there are no
exceptions; I merely speak generally, and as they came under my own eye,
while travelling through the whole length of the States. At the same
time, in justice, it must be stated, that they contain a great deal of
commercial information for the very small price they cost, some of them
being as low as one halfpenny in price.

I do not endorse the following extract, nor do I give it as the opinion
which editors entertain generally of each other, but rather to show the
language in which adverse opinions are expressed. It is taken from the
columns of the _The Liberator_:--"We have been in the editorial harness
for more than a quarter of a century, and, during that period, have had
every facility to ascertain the character of the American Press, in
regard to every form that has struggled for the ascendency during that
period; and we soberly aver, as our conviction, that a majority of the
proprietors and editors of public journals more justly deserve a place
in the penitentiaries of the land than the inmates of those places
generally. No felons are more lost to shame, no liars are so
unscrupulous, no calumniators are so malignant and satanic."--The
language of the foregoing is doubtless unmistakeably clear, but I think
the style can hardly be thought defensible. On general topics of
interest, if nothing occurs to stir the writer's bile, or if the theme
be not calculated to excite the vanity of their countrymen, the language
usually employed is perhaps a little metaphorical, but is at the same
time grammatical and sufficiently clear; and, I believe, that as a
general principle they expend liberally for information, and
consequently the whole Republic may be said to be kept well informed on
all passing events of interest.

If we turn for a moment from considering the American Press, to take a
slight glimpse at our own, how startling does the difference appear!
Great Britain, Ireland, and the Channel Islands, with a population
exceeding that of the United States, and with wealth immeasurably
greater, produce 624 papers, and of these comparatively few are daily;
only 180 issue above 100,000 copies annually, only 32 circulate above
500,000, and only 12 above 1,000,000. It has further been stated, that
there are 75 towns returning 115 members, and representing 1,500,000 of
the population, without any local paper at all.

The information respecting the Press in England is derived from _The
Sixth Annual Report of the Association for promoting the Repeal of the
Taxes on Knowledge_, and _The Newspaper Press Directory_. The issues
subjoined are taken from the Return ordered by the House of Commons, of
newspaper stamps, which is "_A Return of the Number of Newspaper Stamps
at one penny, issued to Newspapers in England, Wales, Scotland and
Ireland, for the year_ 1854."

_In England._

  The Times                  15,975,739
  The News of the World       5,673,525
  Illustrated London News     5,627,866
  Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper    5,572,897
  Weekly Times                3,902,169
  Reynold's Weekly            2,496,256
  Morning Advertiser          2,392,780
  Weekly Dispatch             1,982,933
  Daily News                  1,485,099
  Bell's Life in London       1,161,000
  Morning Herald              1,159,000
  Manchester Guardian         1,066,575
  Liverpool Mercury             912,000
  Morning Chronicle             873,500
  The Globe                     850,000
  The Express                   841,342
  Morning Post                  832,500
  The Sun                       825,000
  Evening Mail                  800,000
  Leeds Mercury                 735,500
  Stamford Mercury              689,000
  Birmingham Journal            650,750
  Shipping Gazette              628,000
  Weekly Messenger              625,500


_In Scotland._

  North British Advertiser      802,000
  Glasgow Saturday Post         727,000
  North British Mail            565,000
  Glasgow Herald                541,000


_In Ireland._

  The Telegraph                 959,000
  Saunders's News Letter        756,000
  Daily Express                 748,000
  General Advertiser            598,000

Various reasons may be given for this great difference between the Press
of the two countries. Many are disposed to attribute it, very naturally,
to the Government stamp, and the securities which are required; some, to
the machinery of Government of this country being necessarily so
complicated by ancient rights and privileges, and the difficulties of
raising a revenue, whereof the item of interest on the national debt
alone amounts to nearly 30,000,000l.; while others, again planting one
foot of the Press compass in London, show that a half circle with a
radius of five hundred miles brings nearly the whole community within
twenty-four hours' post of the metropolis, in which the best information
and the most able writers are to be found, thereby rendering it
questionable if local papers, in any numbers, would obtain sufficient
circulation to enable the editors to retain the services of men of
talent, or to procure valuable general information, without wholesale
plagiarism from their giant metropolitan rivals. Besides, it must he
remembered that in America, each State, being independent, requires a
separate press of its own, while the union of all the States renders it
necessary that the proceedings in each of the others should be known, in
order that the constitutional limits within which they are permitted to
exercise their independence, may be constantly and jealously watched;
from which cause it will be seen that there is a very simple reason for
the Republic requiring comparatively far more papers than this country,
though by no means accounting for the very great disproportion existing.

While, however, I readily admit that the newspapers of Great Britain
are greatly inferior in numbers, I am bound in justice to add, that they
are decidedly superior in tone and character. I am not defending the
wholesale manner in which, when it suits their purpose, they drag an
unfortunate individual before the public, and crucify him on the
anonymous editorial WE, which is at one and the same time their
deadliest weapon and their surest shield. Such acts all honest men must
alike deplore and condemn; but it must be admitted that the language
they employ is more in accordance with the courtesies of civilized life,
than that used by the Press of the Republic under similar circumstances;
and if, in a time of excitement and hope, they do sometimes cater for
the vanity of John Bull, they more generally employ their powers to
"take him down a peg;" and every newspaper which has sought for
popularity in the muddy waters of scurrility, has--to use an Oriental
proverb--"eaten its own dirt, and died a putrid death."

Let me now turn from the Press to the literature of the United States.
Of the higher order of publications, it is needless to say anything in
these pages. Irving, Prescott, Ticknor, Stephens, Longfellow, Hawthorne,
and writers of that stamp, are an honour to any country, and are as well
known in England as they are in America, consequently any encomium from
my pen is as unnecessary as it would be presumptuous.

The literature on which I propose to comment, is that which I may
reasonably presume to be the popular literature of the masses, because
it is the staple commodity for sale on all railways and steamboats. I
need not refer again to the most objectionable works, inasmuch as the
very fact of their being sold by stealth proves that, however numerous
their purchasers, they are at all events an outrage on public opinion. I
made a point of always purchasing whatever books appeared to me to be
selling most freely among my fellow-travellers, and I am sorry to say
that the mass of trash I thus became possessed of was perfectly
inconceivable, and the most vulgar abuse of this country was decidedly
at a premium. But their language was of itself so penny-a-liny, that
they might have lain for weeks on the book-shelf at an ordinary
railway-station in England--price, _gratis_--and nobody but a trunkmaker
or a grocer would have been at the trouble of removing them.

Not content, however, with writing trash, they do not scruple to
deceive the public in the most barefaced way by deliberate falsehood. I
have in my possession two of these specimens of honesty, purchased
solely from seeing my brother's name as the author, which of course I
knew perfectly well to be false, and which they doubtless put there
because the American public had received favourably the volumes he
really had written. Of the contents of these works attributed to him I
will only say, the rubbish was worthy of the robber. I would not convey
the idea that all the books offered for sale are of this calibre; there
are also magazines and other works, some of which are both interesting
and well-written. If I found no quick sale going on, I generally
selected some work treating of either England or the English, so as to
ascertain the popular shape in which my countrymen were represented.

One work which I got hold of, called _Northwood_, amused me much: I
there found the Englishman living under a belief that the Americans were
little better than savages and Pagans, and quite overcome at the
extraordinary scene of a household meeting together for domestic
worship, which of course was never heard of in England. This little
scene affords a charming opportunity for "buttering up" New England
piety at the cheap expense of a libel upon the old country. He then is
taken to hear a sermon, where for his special benefit, I suppose, the
preacher expatiates on the glorious field of Bunker's Hill, foretells
England's decline, and generously promises our countrymen a home in
America when they are quite "used up." The Englishman is quite overcome
with the eloquence and sympathy of the Church militant preacher, whose
discourse being composed by the authoress, I may fairly conclude is
given as a model of New England oratory in her estimation. Justice
requires I should add, that the sermons I heard during my stay in those
States were on religious topics, and not on revolutionary war.

Perhaps it may be said that _Northwood_ was written some years ago, I
will therefore pass from it to what at the present day appears to be
considered a _chef d'oeuvre_ among the popular style of works of which I
have been speaking. I ground my opinion of the high estimation in which
it is held from the flattering encomiums passed upon it by the Press
throughout the whole Republic from Boston to New Orleans. Boston styles
it a "_vigorous volume;"_ Philadelphia, a "_delightful treat;"_ New
York, "_interesting and instructive;"_ Albany admires the Author's
"_keen discriminating powers;"_ Detroit, "a _lively and racy style;" The
Christian Advocate_ styles it "_a skinning operation"_ and then adds, it
is a "_retort courteous"_ to Uncle Tommyism; Rochester honours the
author with the appellation of "_the most chivalrous American that ever
crossed the Atlantic."_ New Orleans winds up a long paragraph with the
following magnificent burst of editorial eloquence:--"_The work is
essentially American. It is the type, the representative,_ THE AGGREGATE
OUTBURST OF THE GREAT AMERICAN HEART, _so well expressed, so admirably
revealing the sentiment of our whole people_--_with the exception of
some puling lovers he speaks of-_--_that it will find sympathy in the
mind of every true son of the soil."_ The work thus heralded over the
Republic with such perfect _e pluribus unum_ concord is entitled
_English Items;_ and the embodiment of the "_aggregate outburst of the
great American heart"_ is a Mr. Matthew F. Ward, whose work is sent
forth to the public from one of the most respectable publishers in New
York--D. Appleton and Co., Broadway.

Before I present the reader specimens of ore from this valuable mine I
must make a few observations. The author is the son of one of the
wealthiest families in Kentucky, a man of education and travel, and has
appeared before the public in a work entitled _The Three Continents:_ I
have given extracts from the opinions of the Press at greater length
than I otherwise should have done, because I think after the reader has
followed me through a short review of _English Items,_ he will see what
strong internal testimony they bear to the truth of my previous
observations. I would also remark that I am not at all thin-skinned as
to travellers giving vent to their true feelings with regard to my own
country. All countries have their weaknesses, their follies, and their
wickednesses. Public opinion in England, taken as a whole, is decidedly
good, and therefore the more the wrong is laid bare the more hope for
its correction; but, while admitting this right in its fullest extent,
it is under two conditions: one that the author speak the truth, the
other that his language be not an outrage on decency or good manners.
Now then, come forth, _thou aggregate outburst of the great American
heart_![BJ] Speak for thyself--let the public be thy judge.

The following extracts are from the chapter on "Our Individual Relations
with England," the chaste style whereof must gratify the reader:--"I am
sorry to observe that it is becoming more and more the fashion,
especially among travelled Americans, to pet the British beast; ...
instead of treating him like other refractory brutes, they
pusillanimously strive to soothe him by a forbearance he cannot
appreciate; ... beasts are ruled through fear, not kindness: they
submissively lick the hand that wields the lash." Then follow
instructions for his treatment, so terrible as to make future tourists
to America tremble:--"Seize him fearlessly by the throat, and once
strangle him into involuntary silence, and the British lion will
hereafter be as fawning as he has been hitherto spiteful." He then
informs his countrymen that the English "cannot appreciate the retiring
nature of true gentility ... nor can they realize how a nation can fail
to be blustering except from cowardice." Towards the conclusion of the
chapter he explains that "hard blows are the only logic the English
understand;" and then, lest the important fact should be forgotten, he
clothes the sentiment in the following burst of genuine _American_
eloquence:--"To affect their understandings, we must punch their heads."
So much for the chapter on "Our Individual Relations with England,"
which promise to be of so friendly a nature that future travellers had
better take with them a supply of bandages, lint, and diachylon plaster,
so as to be ready for the new _genuine American_ process of intellectual
expansion.

Another chapter is dedicated to "Sixpenny Miracles in England," which is
chiefly composed of _réchauffées_ from our own press, and with which the
reader is probably familiar; but there are some passages sufficiently
amusing for quotation:--"English officials are invariably impertinent,
from the policeman at the corner to the minister in Downing-street ...
a stranger might suppose them paid to insult, rather than to oblige ...
from the clerk at the railway depôt to the secretary of the office where
a man is compelled to go about passports, the same laconic rudeness is
observable." How the _American mind_ must have been galled, when a
cabinet minister said, "not at home" to a free and enlightened citizen,
who, on a levee day at the White House, can follow his own
hackney-coachman into the august presence of the President elect.
Conceive him strolling up Charing Cross, then suddenly stopping in the
middle of the pavement, wrapt in thought as to whether he should cowhide
the insulting minister, or give him a chance at twenty yards with a
revolving carbine. Ere the knotty point is settled in his mind, a voice
from beneath a hat with an oilskin top sounds in his ear, "Move on, sir,
don't stop the pathway!" Imagine the sensations of a sovereign citizen
of a sovereign state, being subject to such indignities from stipendiary
ministers and paid police. Who can wonder that he conceives it the duty
of government so to regulate public offices, &c., "as to protect not
only its own subjects, but strangers, from the insults of these
impertinent hirelings." The bile of the author rises with his subject,
and a few pages further on he throws it off in the following beautiful
sentence:--"Better would it be for the honour of the English nation if
they had been born in the degradation, as they are endued with the
propensities, of the modern Egyptians."

At last, among other "sixpenny miracles," he arrives at the Zoological
Gardens,--the beauty of arrangement, the grandness of the scale, &c.,
strike him forcibly; but his keen inquiring mind, and his accurately
recording pen, have enabled him to afford his countrymen information
which most of my co-members in the said Society were previously
unconscious of. He tells them, "It is under control of the English
Government, and subject to the same degradation as Westminster, St.
Paul's, &c."--Starting from this basis, which only wants truth to make
it solid, he complains of "the meanness of reducing the nation to the
condition of a common showman;" the trifling mistake of confounding
public and private property moves his democratic _chivalry_, and he
takes up the cudgels for the masses. I almost fear to give the sentence
publicity, lest it should shake the Ministry, and be a rallying-point
for Filibustero Chartists. My anticipation of but a moderate circulation
for this work must plead my excuse for not withholding it. "The
Government basely use, without permission, the authority of the people's
name, to make them sharers in a disgrace for which they alone are
responsible. A stranger, in paying his shilling for admission into an
exhibition, which has been dubbed nation (by whom?) in contradistinction
from another in the Surrey Gardens, very naturally suspects that the
people are partners in this contemptible transaction.... The English
people are compelled to pay for the ignominy with which their despotic
rulers have loaded them." Having got his foot into this mare's nest, he
finds an egg a little further on, which he thus hatches for the American
public: "Englishmen not only regard eating as the most inestimable
blessing of life, when they enjoy it themselves, but they are always
intensely delighted to see it going on. The Government charge an extra
shilling at the Zoological Gardens on the days that the animals are fed
in public; but, as much as an Englishman dislikes spending money, the
extraordinary attraction never fails to draw," &c.

From the Gardens he visits Chelsea Hospital, where his _keen
discriminating powers_ having been sharpened by the demand for a
shilling--the chief object of which demand is to protect the pensioners
from perpetual intrusion--he bursts forth in a sublime magnifico
Kentuckyo flight of eloquence: "Sordid barbarians might degrade the
wonderful monuments of their more civilized ancestors by charging
visitors to see them; but to drag from their lowly retreat these maimed
and shattered victims of national ambition, to be stared at, and
wondered at, like caged beasts, is an outrage against humanity that even
savages would shrink from." And then, a little further on, he makes the
following profound reflection, which no doubt appears to the _American
mind_ peculiarly appropriate to Chelsea Hospital: "Cringing to the
great, obsequious to the high, the dwarfed souls of Englishmen have no
wide extending sympathy for the humble, no soothing pity for the lowly,"
&c. It would probably astonish some of the readers who have been gulled
by his book, could they but know that the sum paid by Great Britain for
the support and pension of her veterans by sea and land costs annually
nearly enough to buy, equip, and pay the whole army and navy of the
United States.[BK]

The next "sixpenny miracle" he visits is Chatsworth, which calls forth
the following _vigorous_ attack on sundry gentlemen, clothed in the
author's peculiarly _lively and racy_ language: "The showy magnificence
of Chatsworth, Blenheim, and the gloomy grandeur of Warwick and Alnwick
Castles, serve to remind us, like the glittering shell of the tortoise,
what worthless and insignificant animals often inhabit the most splendid
mansions." He follows up this general castigation of the owners of the
above properties with the infliction of a special cowhiding upon the
Duke of Devonshire, who, he says, "would, no doubt, be very reluctant
frankly to confess to the world, that although he had the vanity to
affect liberality, he was too penurious to bear the expense of it. Like
the ostrich, he sticks his head in the sand, and imagines himself in the
profoundest concealment." He then begs the reader to understand, that he
does not mean to intimate "that any portion of the large amounts
collected at the doors of Chatsworth actually goes into the pocket of
His Grace, but they are, nevertheless, remarkably convenient in
defraying the expense of a large household of servants.... The idea of a
private gentleman of wealth and rank deriving a profit from the
exhibition of his grounds must be equally revolting to all classes."
These truthful observations are followed by a description of the
gardens; and the whole is wound up in the following _chivalrous and
genuine American_ reflection: "Does it not appear extraordinary that a
man dwelling in a spot of such fairy loveliness should retain and
indulge the most grovelling instincts of human nature's lowest grade?"
What a _delightful treat_ these passages must be to the rowdy
Americans, and how the Duke must writhe under--what _The Christian
Advocate_ lauds as--the _skinning operation _of the renowned American
champion![BL]

The Press-bespattered author then proceeds to make some observations on
various subjects, in a similar vein of chaste language, lighting at last
upon the system of the sale of army commissions. His vigour is so great
upon this point, that had he only been in the House of Commons when the
subject was under consideration, his eloquence must have hurled the
"hireling ministers" headlong from the government. I can fancy them
sitting pale and trembling as the giant orator thus addressed the House:
"She speculates in glory as a petty hucksterer does in rancid cheese;
but the many who hate, and the few who despise England, cannot exult
over her baseness in selling commissions in her own army. There is a
degree of degradation which changes scorn into pity, and makes us
sincerely sympathize with those whom we most heartily despise." The
annexed extract from his observations on English writers on America is
an equally elegant specimen of _genuine American feeling:_--"When the
ability to calumniate is the only power which has survived the gradual
encroachment of bowels upon intellect in Great Britain, it would be a
pity to rob the English even of this miserable evidence of mind ... she
gloats over us with that sort of appetizing tenderness which might be
supposed to have animated a sow that had eaten her nine farrow." The
subjoined sentiment, if it rested with the author to verify, would
doubtless be true; and I suppose it is the paragraph which earned for
his work the laudations of _The Christian Advocate:_--"Mutual enmity is
the only feeling which can ever exist between the two nations.... She
gave us no assistance in our rise.... She must expect none from us in
her decline." How frightful is the contemplation of this omnipotent and
_Christian_ threat! It is worthy of the consideration of my countrymen
whether they had not better try and bribe the great Matt. Ward to use
his influence in obtaining them recognition as American territory. The
honour of being admitted as a sovereign state is too great to be hoped
for. He has already discovered signs of our decay, and therefore informs
the reader that "the weaker rival ever nurses the bitterest hate." This
information is followed by extracts from various English writers
commenting upon America, at one of whom he gets so indignant, that he
suggests as an appropriate _American_ translation of the F.R.S. which is
added to the author's name, "First Royal Scavenger."

He then gets into a fever about the remarks made by travellers upon what
they conceive to be the filthy practice of indiscriminate spitting. He
becomes quite furious because he has never found any work in which "an
upstart inlander has ever preached a crusade against the Turks because
they did not introduce knives and forks at their tables," &c. Even
Scripture--and this, be it remembered, by the sanction of _The Christian
Advocate_--is blasphemously quoted to extenuate the American practice of
expectoration. "What, after all, is there so unbearably revolting about
spitting? Our Saviour, in one of his early miracles, 'spat upon the
ground and made clay of the spittle, and anointed the eyes of the blind
man with the clay. And he said unto him, Go wash in the pool of Siloam.
He went his way therefore and washed, and came seeing.' I have with a
crowd of pilgrims gone down to drink from this very pool, for the water
had borrowed new virtue from the miracle." He then states his strong
inclination to learn to chew tobacco in order to show his contempt for
the opinions of travellers. What a beautiful picture to contemplate--a
popular author with a quid of Virginia before him; Nausea drawing it
back with one hand, and Vengeance bringing it forward with the other!
Suddenly a bright idea strikes him: others may do what he dare not; so
he makes the following stirring appeal to his countrymen: "Let us spit
out courageously before the whole world ... let us spit fearlessly and
profusely. Spitting on ordinary occasions may be regarded by a portion
of my countrymen as a luxury: it becomes a duty in the presence of an
Englishman. Let us spit around him--above him--beneath him--everywhere
but on him, that he may become perfectly familiar with the habit in all
its phases. I would make it the first law of hospitality to an
Englishman, that every tobacco-twist should be called into requisition,
and every spittoon be flooded, in order thoroughly to initiate him into
the mysteries of chewing. Leave no room for imagination to work. Only
spit him once into a state of friendly familiarity with the barbarous
custom," &c. What a splendid conception!--the population of a whole
continent organized under the expectorating banner of the illustrious
Matt. Ward: field-days twice a week; ammunition supplied _gratis;_
liberal prizes to the best marksmen. The imagination is perfectly
bewildered in the contemplation of so majestic an _aggregate outburst of
the great American_ mouth. I would only suggest that they should gather
round the margin of Lake Superior, lest in their hospitable
entertainment of the "upstart islanders" they destroyed the vegetation
of the whole continent.

In another chapter he informs his countrymen that the four hundred and
thirty nobles in England speak and act for the nation; his knowledge of
history, or his love of truth, ignoring that little community called the
House of Commons. Bankers and wealthy men come under the ban of his
condemnation, as having no time for "enlightened amusements;" he then,
with that truthfulness which makes him so safe a guide to his readers,
adds that "they were never known to manifest a friendship, except for
the warehouse cat; they have no time to talk, and never write except on
business; all hours are office-hours to them, except those they devote
to dinner and sleep; they know nothing, they love nothing, and hope for
nothing beyond the four walls of their counting-room; nobody knows them,
nobody loves them; they are too mean to make friends, and too silent to
make acquaintances," &c. What very interesting information this must be
for Messrs. Baring and their co-fraternity!

In another part of this volume, the author becomes suddenly impressed
with deep reverence for the holy localities of the East, and he falls
foul of Dr. Clarke for his scepticism on these points, winding up his
remarks in the following beautiful Kentucky vein:--"A monster so
atrocious could only have been a Goth or an Englishman." How fortunate
for his countryman, Dr. Robinson, that he had never heard of his three
learned tomes on the same subject! though, perhaps, scepticism in an
American, in his discriminating mind, would have been deep erudition
correcting the upstart islanders. The great interest which he evinces
for holy localities--accompanied as it is by an expression of horror at
some English traveller, who, he asserts, thought that David picked up
his pebbles in a brook between Jordan and the Dead Sea, whereas he knew
it was in an opposite direction--doubtless earned for him the patronage
of _The Christian Advocate_; and the pious indignation he expresses at
an Englishman telling him he would get a good dinner at Mount Carmel, is
a beautiful illustration of his religious feelings.

The curious part of this portion of Mr. Ward's book is, that having
previously informed his countrymen, in every variety of American
phraseology, that the English are composed of every abominable compound
which can exist in human nature, he selects them as his companions, and
courts their friendship to enjoy the pleasure of betraying it. Of
course, if one is to judge by former statements made in the volume,
which are so palpably and ridiculously false, one may reasonably
conclude that truth is equally disregarded here; but it looks to me
rather as if my countrymen had discovered his cloven hoof, as well as
his overweening vanity and pretensions, and, when he got pompously
classical, in his trip through Greece, they amused themselves at his
expense by suggesting that the Acropolis "was a capital place for
lunch;" Parnassus, "a regular sell;" Thermopylae, "great for
water-cresses." Passing on from his companions--one of whom was a fellow
of Oxford, and the other a captain in Her Majesty's service--he becomes
grandly Byronic, and consequently quite frantic at the idea of Mr. A.
Tennyson supplanting him! "Byron and Tennyson!--what an unholy alliance
of names!--what sinful juxtaposition! He who could seriously compare the
insipid effusions of Mr. Tennyson with the mighty genius of Byron, might
commit the sacrilege of likening the tricks of Professor Anderson to the
miracles of Our Saviour."

Having delivered himself of this pious burst, he proceeds to a
castigation of the English for their observations on the nasal twang of
his countrymen, and also for their criticism upon the sense in which
sundry adjectives are used; and, to show the superior purity of the
American language, he informs the reader that in England "the most
elegant and refined talk constantly of "fried 'am" ... they seem very
reluctant to _h_acknowledge this peculiarly _h_exceptionable 'abit, and
_h_insist that _h_it _h_is confined to the low and _h_ignorant of the
country." He then gets indignant that we call "stone" "stun," and
measure the gravity of flesh and blood thereby. "To unsophisticated
ears, 21 stone 6 pounds sounds infinitely less than three hundred
pounds, which weight is a fair average of the avoirdupois density of the
Sir Tunbelly Clumsies of the middle and upper classes."

From this elegant sentence he passes on to the evils of idleness, in
treating of which he supplies _The Christian Advocate_ with the true
cause of original sin. "Does any one imagine that the forbidden fruit
would ever have been tasted if Adam had been daily occupied in tilling
the earth, and Eve, like a good housewife, in darning fig-leaf aprons
for herself and her husband? Never!" The observation would lead one to
imagine that the Bible was a scarce article in Kentucky. He passes on
from Adam to the banker and merchant of the present day, and informs the
reader that they command a high respect in society, but it would be
deemed a shocking misapplication of terms to speak of any of them as
gentlemen. After which truthful statement, he enters into a long
definition of a gentleman, as though he thought his countrymen totally
ignorant on that point: he gets quite _chivalrous_ in his description:
"He ought to touch his hat to his opponent with whom he was about to
engage in mortal combat."[BM] After which remark he communicates two
pieces of information--the one as true as the other is modest:
"Politeness is deemed lessening to the position of a gentleman in
England; in America it is thought his proudest boast." Of course he only
alludes to manner; his writings prove at every page that _genuine
American feeling_ dispenses with it in language. His politeness, I
suppose, may be described in the words Junius applied to
friendship:--"The insidious smile upon the cheek should warn you of the
canker in the heart." By way of encouraging civility, he informs the
reader that an Englishman "never appears so disgusting as when he
attempts to be especially kind; ...in affecting to oblige, he becomes
insulting." He confesses, however, "I have known others in America whom
you would never suspect of being Englishmen--they were such good
fellows; but they had been early transplanted from England. If the sound
oranges be removed from a barrel in which decay has commenced, they may
be saved; but if suffered to remain, they are all soon reduced to the
same disgusting state."

His discriminating powers next penetrate some of the deep mysteries of
animal nature: he discovers that the peculiarities of the bullock and
the sheep have been gradually absorbed into the national character, as
far as conversation is concerned. "They have not become woolly, nor do
they wear horns, but the nobility are eternally bellowing forth the
astounding deeds of their ancestors, whilst the muttonish middle classes
bleat a timorous approval.... Such subjects constitute their fund of
amusing small talk," &c. From the foregoing elegant description of
conversation, he passes onwards to the subject of gentility, and
describes a young honourable, on board a steamer, who refused to shut a
window when asked by a sick and suffering lady, telling the husband, "he
could not consent to be suffocated though his wife was sick." And having
cooked up the story, he gives the following charming reason for his
conduct: "He dreaded the possibility of compromising his own position
and that of his noble family at home by obliging an ordinary person." He
afterwards touches upon English visitors to America, who, he says,
"generally come among us in the undisguised nakedness of their
vulgarity. Wholly freed from the restraints imposed upon them at home by
the different grades in society, they indolently luxuriate in the
inherent brutality of their nature. They constantly violate not only all
rules of decorum, but the laws of decency itself.... They abuse our
hospitality, insult our peculiar institutions, set at defiance all the
refinements of life, and return home, lamenting the social anarchy of
America, and retailing their own indecent conduct as the ordinary
customs of the country.... The pranks which, in a backwoods American,
would be stigmatized as shocking obscenity, become, when perpetrated by
a rich Englishman, charming evidence of sportive humour," &c.

A considerable portion of the volume is dedicated to Church matters; for
which subject the meek and lowly style which characterizes his writing
pre-eminently qualifies him, and to which, doubtless, he is indebted for
the patronage of _The Christian Advocate_. I shall only indulge the
reader with the following beautiful description of the Established
Church:--"It is a bloated, unsightly mass of formalities, hypocrisy,
bigotry, and selfishness, without a single charitable impulse or pious
aspiration." After this touching display of _genuine American feeling_,
he draws the picture of a clergyman in language so opposite, that one is
reminded of a certain mysterious personage, usually represented with
cloven feet, and who is said to be very apt at quoting Scripture.

Heraldry and ancestry succeed the Church in gaining a notice from his
pen; and his researches have gone so deep, that one is led to
imagine--despite his declarations of contempt--that he looks forward to
becoming some day The Most Noble the Duke of Arkansas and Mississippi,
with a second title of Viscount de' Tucky and Ohio;[BN] the "de"
suggestive of his descent from _The Three Continents_. One of the most
remarkable discoveries he has made, is, that "the soap-makers and the
brewers are the compounders of the great staple commodities of
consumption in Great Britain, and therefore surpass even Charles himself
in the number of their additions to the Peerage." This valuable hint
should not be lost upon those employed in these useful occupations, as
hope is calculated to stimulate zeal and ambition.

The last quotations I propose making from this _vigorous volume_ are
taken from the seventh chapter, headed, "English Devotion to Dinner." On
this subject the author seems to have had his _keen discriminating
powers_ peculiarly sharpened; and the observations made are in most
_lively and racy style_, and--according to the Press--perfectly
_courteous_. The Englishman "is never free till armed with a knife and
fork; indeed, he is never completely himself without them[BO] ... which
may he as properly considered integral portions of an Englishman, as
claws are of a cat; ... they are not original even in their gluttony;
... they owe to a foreign nation the mean privilege of bestial
indulgence; ... they make a run into Scotland for the sake of oatmeal
cakes, and sojourn amongst the wild beauties of Switzerland in order to
be convenient to goat's milk.... Like other carnivorous animals, an
Englishman is always surly over his meals. Morose at all times, he
becomes unbearably so at that interesting period of the day, when his
soul appears to cower among plates and dishes; ... though he gorges his
food with the silent deliberation of the anaconda, yet, in descanting
upon the delicacies of the last capital dinner, he makes an approach to
animation altogether unusual to him; ... when, upon such auspicious
occasions, he does go off into something like gaiety, there is such
fearful quivering of vast jelly mounds of flesh, something so
supernaturally tremendous in his efforts, that, like the recoil of an
overloaded musket, he never fails to astound those who happen to be near
him." But his _keen observation_ has discovered a practice before
dinner, which, being introduced into the centre of various censures, may
also be fairly supposed to be considered by him and his friends of the
Press as most objectionable, and as forming one of the aggregate _Items_
which constitute the English beast. "For dinner, he bathes, rubs, and
dresses." How filthy! Yet be not too hard upon him, reader, for this
observation; I have travelled in his neighbourhood, on the Mississippi
steamers, and I can, therefore, well understand how the novelty of the
operation must have struck him with astonishment, and how repugnant the
practice must have been to his habits.

Among other important facts connected with this great question, his
_discriminating_ mind has ascertained that an Englishman "makes it a
rule to enjoy a dinner at his own expense as little as possible." Armed
with this important discovery, he lets drive the following American
shell, thus shivering to atoms the whole framework of our society. The
nation may tremble as it reads these withering words of Kentucky
eloquence:--"When it is remembered that of all the vices, avarice is
most apt to corrupt the heart, and gluttony has the greatest tendency to
brutalize the mind, it no longer continues surprising that an
Englishman has become a proverb of meanness from Paris to Jerusalem. The
hatred and contempt of all classes of society as necessarily attend him
in his wanderings as his own shadow.... Equally repulsive to every grade
of society, he stands isolated and alone, a solitary monument of the
degradation of which human nature is capable."

Feeling that ordinary language is insufficient to convey his _courteous_
and _chivalrous_ sentiments, he ransacks natural history in search of a
sublime metaphor: his triumphant success he records in this beautifully
expressed sentence--"The dilating power of the anaconda and the gizzard
of the cassowary are the highest objects of his ambition." But neither
ordinary language nor metaphor can satisfy his lofty aspirations: it
requires something higher, it requires an embodiment of _genuine
American feeling, vigorous yet courteous_; his giant intellect rises
equal to the task. He warns my countrymen "to use expletives oven with
the danger of being diffuse, rather than be so blunt and so vulgar;" and
then--by way, I suppose, of showing them how to be sarcastic without
being either blunt or vulgar--he delivers himself of the following
magnificent bursts:--"If guts could perform the function of brains,
Greece's seven wise men would cease to be proverbial, for England would
present to the world twenty-seven millions of sages.... To eat, to
drink, to look greasy, and to grow fat, appear to constitute, in their
opinion, the career of a worthy British subject.... The lover never asks
his fair one if she admires Donizetti's compositions, but tenderly
inquires if she loves beef-steak pies. This sordid vice of greediness is
rapidly brutalizing natures not originally spiritual; every other
passion is sinking, oppressed by flabby folds of fat, into helplessness.
All the mental energies are crushed beneath the oily mass. Sensibility
is smothered in, the feculent steams of roast beef, and delicacy stained
by the waste drippings of porter. The brain is slowly softening into
blubber, and the liver is gradually encroaching upon the heart. All the
nobler impulses of man are yielding to those animal propensities which
must soon render Englishmen beasts in all save form alone."

I have now finished my _Elegant Extracts_ from the work of Mr. Ward. The
reader can judge for himself of Boston's "_vigorous volume_," of
Philadelphia's "_delightful treat_," of Rochester's "_chivalrous and
genuine Amercan feeling_," of The Christian Advocate's "_retort
courteous_," and of New Orleans' "_aggregate outburst of the great
American heart_," &c. These compliments from the Press derive additional
value from the following passage in the work they eulogize. Pages 96,
97, Mr. Ward writes: "It is the labour of every author so to adapt his
style and sentiments to the tastes of his readers, as most probably to
secure their approbation.... The consciousness that his success is so
wholly dependent on their approval, will make him, without his being
aware of it, adapt his ideas to theirs." And the New Orleans Press
endorses all the author's sentiments, and insults American gentlemen and
American intelligence, by asserting that it "_admirably reveals the
sentiments of the whole people, and will find sympathy in the mind of
every true son of the soil_."

Before taking a final leave of _English Items_, I owe some apology to
the reader for the length at which I have quoted from it. My only excuse
is, that I desired to show the grounds upon which I spoke disparagingly
of a portion of the Press, and of the low popular literature of the
country. I might have quoted from various works instead of one; but if I
had done so, it might fairly have been said that I selected an isolated
passage for a particular purpose; or else, had I quoted largely, I might
have been justly charged with being tedious. Besides which, to
corroborate my assertions regarding the Press, I should have been bound
to give their opinion also upon each book from which I quoted; and,
beyond all these reasons, I felt that the generality of the works of low
literature which I came across were from the pen of people with far less
education than the author I selected, who, as I have before remarked,
belongs to one of the wealthiest families in Kentucky, and for whom,
consequently, neither the want of education nor the want of
opportunities of mixing in respectable society--had he wished to do
so--can be offered as the slightest extenuation.[BP]


I feel also that I owe some apology to my American friends for dragging
such a work before the public; but I trust they will find sufficient
excuse for my doing so, in the explanation thus afforded, of the way the
mind of Young America gets poisoned, and which will also partly account
for the abuse of this country that is continually appearing in their
Press. I feel sure there is hardly a gentleman in America, whose
acquaintance I had the pleasure of making, who would read even the first
twenty pages of the book; and I am in justice hound to say, that among
all the works of a similar class which I saw, _English Items_ enjoys
unapproachable pre-eminence in misrepresentation and vulgarity, besides
being peculiarly contemptible, from the false being mixed up with many
true statements of various evils and iniquities still existing in
England, and which, being quoted from our own Press, are calculated to
give the currency of truth to the whole work, among that mass of his
countrymen who, with all their intelligence, are utterly ignorant of
England, either socially or politically.

The subsequent career of this censor of English manners and morals is
too remarkable to be passed over in silence. I therefore now proceed to
give you a short epitome of it, as a specimen of morals and manners in
Kentucky, as exhibited by him, and his trial. My information is taken
from the details of the trial published at full length, a copy of which
I obtained in consequence of the extraordinary accounts of the
transaction which I read in the papers. Professor Butler had formerly
been tutor in the family of the Wards, and was equally esteemed by them
and the public of Louisville generally. At the time of the following
occurrence the Professor was Principal of the High School in that city.

One of the boys at the school was William--brother of Mr. Matt. F. Ward:
it appears that in the opinion of the Professor the boy had been guilty
of eating nuts in the school and denying it, for which offence he was
called out and whipped, as the master told him, for telling a lie.
Whether the charge or the punishment was just is not a point of any
moment, though I must say the testimony goes far to justify both.
William goes home, complains to his brother Matt. F., not so much of the
severity of the punishment, as of being called a liar. The elder brother
becomes highly indignant, and determines to go to the Professor and
demand an apology. It must be remembered that the father was all this
time in Louisville, and of course the natural person to have made any
remonstrance with his old friend the Professor. Matt. F.'s family remind
him that he is very weakly, and that one of the masters at the school is
an enemy of his. They therefore beg of him to be calm, and to take his
intermediate brother Robert with him, in case of accidents. He consents.
He then goes to the gun-store of Messrs. Dixon and Gilmore, and
purchases of the latter, about 9 A.M., two small pocket-pistols, three
inches long in the barrel. These he gets Mr. Gilmore to load, but
purchases no further ammunition. After this he proceeds with his brother
Robert, who is armed with a bowie-knife, to the school. Not wishing to
be unjust to Mr. Matt. F. Ward, I give the statement of the subsequent
occurrence in the words of his brother Robert's evidence in court.[BQ]

"On entering the school-room,[BR] Matt. asked for Butler. He came. Matt.
remarked, I wish to have a talk with you. Butler said, Come into my
private room. Matt. said, No; here is the place. Mr. Butler nodded.
Matt. said, What are your ideas of justice? Which is the worst, the boy
who begs chestnuts, and throws the shells on the floor, and lies about
it, or my brother who gives them to him? Mr. Butler said he would not
he interrogated, putting his pencil in his pocket and buttoning up his
coat. Matt, repeated the question. Butler said, There is no such boy
here. Matt. said, That settles the matter: you called my brother a liar,
and for that I must have an apology. Butler said he had no apology to
make. Is your mind made up? said Matt. Butler said it was. Then, said
Matt., you must hear my opinion of you. You are a d----d scoundrel and
a coward. Butler then struck Matt. twice, and pushed him back against
the door. Matt. drew his pistol and fired. Butler held his hand on him
for a moment. As the pistol fired, Sturgus[BS] came to the door. I drew
my knife, and told him to stand back." Thus was Professor Butler,
Principal of the High School of Louisville, shot by the author of
_English Items_, with a pistol bought and loaded only an hour and a half
previous, in broad daylight, and in the middle of his scholars. The
Professor died during the night.

The details of the trial are quite unique as to the language employed by
jury, counsel, and evidence; but I purposely abstain from making
extracts, though I could easily quote passages sufficiently ridiculous
and amusing, and others which leave a painful impression of the state of
law in Kentucky. My reason for abstaining is, that if I quoted at all, I
ought to do so at greater length than the limits of a book of travels
would justify: suffice it that I inform you that Mr. Matthew F. Ward was
tried and acquitted.

When the result of the trial was made known, an indignation meeting was
held in Louisville, presided over by General Thomas Strange, at which
various resolutions were passed unanimously. The first was in the
following terms:--"Resolved--That the verdict of the jury, recently
rendered in the Hardin County Court, by which Matt. F. Ward was declared
innocent of any crime in the killing of William H.G. Butler, is in
opposition to all the evidence in the case, contrary to our ideas of
public justice, and subversive of the fundamental principles of personal
security guaranteed to us by the constitution of the State.

"Secondly: Resolved--That the published evidence given on the trial of
Matt. F. Ward shows, beyond all question, that a most estimable citizen,
and a most amiable, moral, and peaceable man has been wantonly and
cruelly killed while in the performance of his regular and responsible
duties as a teacher of youth; and, notwithstanding the verdict of a
corrupt and venal jury, the deliberate judgment of the heart and
conscience of this community pronounces that killing to be murder." The
committee appointed by the meeting also requested Mr. Wolfe, one of the
counsel for the prisoner, to resign his seat in the State Senate, and
the Honourable Mr. Crittenden, another counsel, to resign his place in
the Senate of the United States; effigies of the two brothers Ward were
burnt, and a public subscription opened to raise a monument to the
murdered Professor. I cannot, of course, decide how far the conclusions
of the committee are just, as I do not pretend to know Kentucky law. I
have, however, given the trial to members of the Bar in this country
accustomed to deal with such cases, and they have without hesitation
asserted that not one man in ten who has been hanged in England has been
condemned on more conclusive evidence. It is also apparent that in some
parts of the Union the same opinion prevails, as the following paragraph
from the _New York Daily Times_ will clearly show:--"The trial is
removed from the scene of the homicide, so that the prisoners shall Dot
be tried by those who knew them best, but is taken to a distant country.
The Press is forbidden, against all law and right, to publish a report
of the proceedings while the trial is in progress. Every particle of
evidence in regard to Butler's character is excluded; while a perfect
army of witnesses--clergymen, colonels, members of Congress, editors,
cabinet officers, &c., who had enjoyed the social intimacy of the
Wards--testified ostentatiously to the prisoner's mildness of temper,
declaring him, with anxious and undisguised exaggeration, to be gentle
and amiable to a fault. All these preparations, laboriously made and
steadily followed up, were for the purpose, not of determining the
truth, which is the only proper object of judicial inquiry--not of
ascertaining accurately and truly whether Matthew Ward did or did not
murder Butler--but to secure impunity for his act. This whole drama was
enacted to induce the jury to affirm a falsehood; and it has succeeded.
We do not believe John J. Crittenden entertains in his heart the shadow
of a doubt that Butler was murdered: we do not believe that a single man
on that jury believes that the man they have acquitted is innocent of
the crime laid to his charge. We regard the issue of this trial as of
the gravest importance: it proves that in one State of this Union,
wealth is stronger than justice; that Kentucky's most distinguished sons
take to their hearts and shield with all their power a murderer who has
money and social position at his command; and that under their auspices,
legal tribunals and the most solemn forms of justice have been made to
confer impunity on one of the blackest and most wanton murders which the
annals of crime record."

I add no comment, leaving the reader to make his own, deductions, and I
only hope, if the foregoing lines should ever meet the eye of a citizen
belonging to the sovereign State of Kentucky, they may stir him up to
amend the law or to purify the juries.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote BJ: The reader is requested to remember that all the words
printed in italics--while dealing with _English Items_--are so done to
show that they are quotations from the eulogies of the American press.
They are as thoroughly repudiated by me as they must be by every
American gentleman.]

[Footnote BK: Did Mr. Ward ever read any account in the gazettes of his
own country, of the poor soldiers going to "Washington to procure land
warrants, and after being detained there till they were reduced to
beggary, receiving no attention? Let me commend the following letter,
taken from the press of his own country, dated July 6, 1853, and
addressed to the President:--

"DEAR SIR,--_In the humblest tone do I implore your charity for three
cents, to enable me to procure something to eat._ Pray be so kind, and
receive the grateful thanks of your humble supplicant of Shenandoah
County, Va."]

[Footnote BL: The reader will be astonished to know that these remarks
are from the pen of a Kentucky man; in which State there is a large hole
in the ground, made by Providence, and called "The Mammoth Cave;" it is
situated on private property, and for the privilege of lionizing it, you
pay 10s. So carefully is it watched, that no one is even allowed to
make a plan of it, lest some entrance should be found available on the
adjoining property.]

[Footnote BM: I must beg the reader to remember this last sentence when
he comes to the interview between the Kentucky author and his old
friend, the schoolmaster.]

[Footnote BN: Kentucky is the State of his birth and family, Arkansas
the State of his adoption, and "The Three Continents" the fruit of his
pen.]

[Footnote BO: The reader will find that, in his interview with the
schoolmaster, his brother was "completely himself" with a bowie-knife
only.]

[Footnote BP: One other instance I must give of the coolness with which
an American writer can pen the most glaring falsehood; _vide_ "English
Traits," by R.W. Emerson. I might quote many fake impressions conveyed,
but I shall confine myself to one of his observations upon a religious
subject, where at least decency might have made him respect truth. At
page 126 I find the following sentence:--"They put up no Socratic
prayer, _much less any saintly prayer, for the Queen's mind_; ask
neither for light nor right, but say bluntly, 'grant her in health and
wealth long to live.'" Now, I will not ask whether the author of this
passage ever saw our Book of Common Prayer, because printing the words
in inverted commas is proof sufficient; nor will I go out of my way to
show the _many_ prayers put up for the bestowal of purely spiritual
blessings; but, when I find the previous sentence to the one quoted by
him to be as follows, "Endow her plenteously with heavenly gifts," what
can I say of such a writer? Either that by heavenly gifts he understands
dollars and cents, or that he has wilfully sacrificed religious truth at
the shrine of democratic popularity. Having placed him on these two
horns of a dilemma, I leave him to arrange his seat.]

[Footnote BQ: Of course the evidence of the brother is the _most
favourable_ to Mr. M.F.W. that the trial produces.]

[Footnote BR: It appears in evidence that the scene described took place
about half-past ten A.M.]

[Footnote BS: Mr. Sturgus is the master who was supposed to be
unfriendly to Mr. Matthew F. Ward.]



CHAPTER XXV.

_The Institution of Slavery._


There is one subject which no person who pretends to convey to the
reader the honest thoughts and impressions which occupied his mind
during his travels in this vast Republic, can pass over in silence; and
that subject, I need scarcely observe, is Slavery. It is an institution
which deserves most serious consideration; for while a general unity of
sentiment binds the various States together in a manner that justifies
the national motto, "_E pluribus unum_," the question of slavery hangs
fearfully over their Union; and the thread by which it is suspended is
more uncertain than the fragile hair of the sword of Damocles, for it is
dependent upon the angry passions of angry man.

So true do I feel this to be, that were I a citizen of one of the Free
States of America, I might hesitate before I committed my opinions to
the Press. I trust, however, that I may so treat the subject that no
cause for ill-blood may be given. Unquestionably, the origin of the evil
is wholly with the mother country. We entered into the diabolical
traffic of our fellow-creatures, and forced the wretched negro upon a
land which had never before received the impress of a slave's foot; and
this we did despite all the remonstrances of the outraged and indignant
colonists; and with this revolting sin upon our shoulders, it is but
natural we should feel deeply interested in the sable ivy-shoot we
planted, and which now covers the whole southern front of the stately
edifice of the Giant Republic. Time was when a Newcastle collier might
have carried the sable shoot back to the soil whence it had been stolen;
now, the keels of many nations combined would scarce suffice to move the
rapid growth.

But, while at England's door lies the original guilt, America has since
put the solemn seal of her paternity upon it; every foot of land which,
in the rapid career of her aggrandisement, has been sullied with the
footsteps of the slave for the first time, mars the beauty of the cap
of liberty, and plants a slave-trader's star in the banner of the
nation. She is only doing a century later what we wickedly did a century
before--viz., planting slavery on a soil hitherto free, and enlarging
the market for the sale of flesh and blood. The futile excuse sometimes
offered, that they were merely moved from one part to another of the
same country, cannot be admitted; or, if it be, upon the same principle
all the Free States might return again to slavery. If it be no sin to
introduce slavery into a free Sovereign State, then was England not so
guilty in the first instance, for she sent slaves from a land of
ignorance, cruelty, and idolatry, to an enlightened and Christian
colony. It is in vain for either England or the United States to shirk
the guilty responsibility of introducing slaves on free soil. England
has the additional guilt of having acted against the wishes of the
colonists; the United States has the additional guilt of increasing
slave territory a century later, and when the philanthropists of every
country were busied in endeavours to solve the problem, "How can slavery
be abolished?"

Without dwelling further upon respective guilt, I will at once proceed
to review the crusades which have been made against the institution, and
the hopes of the slave under it; after which, I will offer for
consideration such proposals as appear to me worthy the attention of all
the true friends of the negro, whether owners or not. While thus
treating the subject, I beg to observe that I fully recognise each
individual State as possessing plenipotentiary powers within the limits
of that constitution by which they are all bound together: and I trust
that, in any observations I may make, no one expression will be so
misconstrued as to give offence; for I know full well the stupendous
difficulties with which the whole question is surrounded, and I feel it
is one which should be approached only in a true spirit of charity and
kindness towards the much-maligned gentlemen of the South.

I open the question by asking--what is the meaning of the cry raised by
the fanatics of the North--the abolition crusaders? In words, it is
freedom to the slave; in fact, it is spoliation of their neighbours. Had
the proposition come from wild Arabs who live in houses they carry on
their backs, and feed on the milk of flocks that pasture at their side,
I might have comprehended the modest proposal; but coming from those
whose energy for business is proverbial, and whose acuteness in all
matters of dollars and cents is unsurpassed, if equalled, by the
shrewdest Hebrew of the Hebrews, I confess it is beyond my puny
imagination to fathom. Were it accompanied with any pecuniary offer
adequate to the sacrifice proposed, I might be able to comprehend it:
but for those, or the descendants of those, who, as they found white
labour more profitable, sold their sable brethren to their southern
neighbours, and thus easily and profitably removed slavery from their
borders,--for those, I say, to turn round and preach a crusade for the
emancipation of the negro, in homilies of contumely, with the voice of
self-righteousness, exhibits a degree of assurance that cannot be
surpassed. Had they known as much of human nature as of the laws of
profit and loss, they might have foreseen that in every epithet heaped
upon their southern countrymen, they were riveting a fresh bolt in the
slave's fetters. On what plea did the American colony rebel? Was it not,
as a broad principle, the right of self-government? Does not their
constitution allow independent action to each State, subject only to
certain obligations, binding alike on all? If those are complied with,
on what principle of patriotism or honour do individuals or societies
hurl torches of discord among their southern co-citizens?

No person who has watched or inquired into the social state of the
slaves during the present century, can fail to have observed that much
has been done to improve their condition among the respectable holders
thereof, both as regards common education and religious instruction; at
the same time, they will perceive that the first law of
nature--self-preservation--compelled them to make common education
penal, as soon as fanatical abolitionists inundated the country with
firebrand pamphlets. No American can deny, that when an oppressed people
feel their chains galling to them, they have a right to follow the
example of the colonists, and strike for freedom. This right doubtless
belongs to the negro, and these inflammable publications were calculated
to lead them on to make the effort. But what reflecting mind can fail to
foresee the horrors consequent upon such a hopeless endeavour? More
especially must it have presented itself to the mind of the
slave-masters; and could they, with sure visions before their eyes of
the fearful sacrifice of human life, the breaking-up of whatever good
feeling now exists between master and slave, and the inauguration of a
reign of terror and unmitigated severity--could they, I say, with such
consequences staring them in the face, have taken a more mild, sensible,
and merciful step than checking that education, through the
instrumentality of which, the abolitionists were hastening forward so
awful a catastrophe?

The following extract may suffice to prove the irritation produced by
the abolitionists in Virginia, though, of course, I do not pretend to
insinuate that the respectable portion of the community in that State
would endorse its barbarous ravings:--

"SLAVERY IN THE SCHOOL-ROOM.--The (American) _Richmond Examiner_, in
connexion with the recent trial of Ward of Kentucky, has the following
theory on the extinction of schoolmasters in general:--'The South has
for years been overrun with hordes of illiterate, unprincipled graduates
of the Yankee free schools (those hot-beds of self-conceit and
ignorance), who have, by dint of unblushing impudence, established
themselves as schoolmasters in our midst. So odious are some of these
"itinerant ignoramuses" to the people of the South; so full of
abolitionism and concealed incendiarism are many of this class; so full
of guile, fraud, and deceit,--that the deliberate shooting one of them
down, in the act of poisoning the minds of our slaves or our children,
we think, if regarded as homicide at all, should always be deemed
perfectly justifiable; and we imagine the propriety of shooting an
abolition schoolmaster, when caught tampering with our slaves, has never
been questioned by any intelligent Southern man. This we take to be the
unwritten common law of the South, and we deem it advisable to
promulgate the law, that it may be copied into all the abolition papers,
thundered at by the three thousand New England preachers, and read with
peculiar emphasis, and terrible upturning of eyes, by Garrison, at the
next meeting of the anti-slavery party at Faneuil Hall. We repeat, that
the shooting of itinerant abolition schoolmasters is frequently a
creditable and laudable act, entitling a respectable Southern man to, at
least, a seat in the Legislature or a place in the Common Council. Let
all Yankee schoolmasters who propose invading the South, endowed with a
strong nasal twang, a long scriptural name, and Webster's lexicographic
book of abominations, seek some more congenial land, where their own
lives will be more secure than in the "vile and homicidal Slave States."
We shall be glad if the ravings of the abolition press about the Ward
acquittal shall have this effect.'"

We now see that the abolitionists have rendered the education of the
negro, with a view to his ultimate fitness for freedom or
self-government, utterly impracticable, however anxious the slave-owner
might have otherwise been to instruct him. Thus, by their imprudent
violence, they have effectually closed the educational pathway to
emancipation. It should not either be forgotten that the Southerners may
have seen good reason to doubt the Christian sincerity of those who
clamoured so loudly for loosening the fetters of the slaves. The freed
slaves in the Northern States must have frequently been seen by them,
year after year, as they went for "the season" to the watering-places,
and could they observe much in his position there to induce the belief
that the Northerners are the friends of the negro? In some cities, he
must not drive a coach or a car; in others, he must not enter a public
conveyance; in places of amusement, he is separated from his white
friend; even in the house of that God with whom "there is no respect of
persons," he is partitioned off as if he were an unclean animal; in some
States he is not admitted at all.

With such evidences of friendship for the negro, might they not question
the honesty of Northern champions of emancipation? Could they really
place confidence in the philanthropic professions of those who treat the
negro as an outcast, and force on him a life of wretchedness instead of
striving to raise him in the social scale? If a negro had the intellect
of a Newton--if he were clothed in purple and fine linen, and if he came
fresh from an Oriental bath, and fragrant as "Araby's spices," a
Northerner would prefer sitting down with a pole-cat--he would rather
pluck a living coal from the fire than grasp the hand of the worthiest
negro that ever stepped. Whoever sees a negro in the North smile at the
approach of the white man? Who has not seen a worthy planter or
slave-owner returning from a short absence, greeted with smiles in
abundance, or perhaps receiving a broad grin of pride and pleasure as
the worthy owner gave his hand to some old faithful slave?

I think I have shown, in the foregoing remarks, that the Southern has
three solid and distinct grounds of objection to the Free States
abolitionist. First,--The natural spirit of man, which rebels against
wholesale vituperation and calumny. Secondly,--The obstacle they have
placed in the way of giving the slave simple education, by introducing
most inflammable pamphlets. Thirdly,--The questionable sincerity of
their professed sympathy for the slave, as evidenced by the antipathy
they exhibit towards the free negro, and by the palpable fact that he is
far worse off in a free than in a slave State.

The same objection cannot justly be taken against English abolitionists,
because they act and think chiefly upon the evidence furnished by
American hands; besides which, slavery in the West Indian colonies was
felt by the majority of the nation to be so dark a stain upon our
national character, that, although burdened with a debt such as the
world never before dreamt of, the sum of 20,000,000l. was readily
voted for the purposes of emancipation. Whether the method in which the
provisions of the act were carried out was very wise or painfully
faulty, we need not stop to inquire: the object was a noble one, and the
sacrifice was worthy of the object.

With all the feelings of that discussion fresh in the public mind, it is
no wonder that philanthropists, reading the accounts published by
American authors of the horrors of slavery, should band themselves
together for the purpose of urging America in a friendly tone to follow
Great Britain's noble example, and to profit by any errors she had
committed as to the method of carrying emancipation into effect. I am
quite aware a slaveholder may reply, "This is all very good; but I must
have a word with you, good gentlemen of England, as to sincerity. If you
hold slavery so damnable a sin, why do you so greedily covet the fruits
of the wages of that sin? The demand of your markets for slave produce
enhances the value of the slave, and in so doing clenches another nail
in the coffin, of his hopes." I confess I can give no reply, except the
humiliating confession which, if the feeling of the nation is to be read
in its Parliamentary acts, amounts to this--"We have removed slavery
from our own soil, and we don't care a farthing if all the rest of the
world are slaves, provided only we can get cheap cotton and sugar, &c.
Mammon! Mammon! Mammon! is ever the presiding deity of the Anglo-Saxon
race, whether in the Old or the New World.

There can be no doubt that the reception of Mrs. Beecher Stowe's work
and person in England was very galling to many a Southerner, and
naturally so; because it conveyed a tacit endorsement of all her
assertions as to the horrors of the slavery system. When I first read
_Uncle Tom_, I said, "This will rather tend to rivet than to loosen the
fetters of the slave, rousing the indignation of all the South against
her and her associates." Everything I have since seen, heard, and read,
only tends to confirm my original impression. While I would readily give
Mrs. Stowe a chaplet of laurel as a clever authoress, I could never
award her a faded leaf as the negro's friend. There can be no doubt that
Mrs. Beecher Stowe has had no small share in the abolition excitement
which has been raging in the States, and which has made Kansas the
battle-field of civil war; but the effect of this agitation has gone
farther: owing to husting speeches and other occurrences, the negro's
mind has been filled with visionary hopes of liberty; insurrections have
been planned, and, worse still, insurrections have been imagined. In
fear for life and property, torture worthy of the worst days of the
Inquisition has been resorted to, to extort confession from those who
had nothing to confess. Some died silent martyrs; others, in their
agony, accused falsely the first negro whose name came to their memory;
thus, injustice bred injustice, and it is estimated that not less than a
thousand wretched victims have closed their lives in agony. One white
man, who was found encouraging revolt, and therefore merited punishment
of the severest kind, was sentenced, in that land of equality, to 900
lashes, and died under the infliction--a sight that would have gladdened
the eyes of Bloody Jeffreys. And why all these horrors? I distinctly
say,--thanks to the rabid Abolitionists.

Let me now for a moment touch upon the treatment of slaves. The farms of
the wealthy planters, and the chapels with negro minister and negro
congregation, bear bright evidence to the fact that negroes have their
bodily and spiritual wants attended to, not forgetting also the oral
teaching they often receive from the wife of the planter. But is that
system universal? Those who would answer that question truthfully need
not travel to the Southern States for documentary evidence. Is any human
being fit to be trusted with absolute power over one of his
fellow-creatures, however deeply his public reputation and his balance
at the banker's may be benefited by the most moderate kindness to them?
If every man were a Howard or a Wilberforce, and every woman a Fry or a
Nightingale, the truth would be ever the same, and they would be the
first to acknowledge it.--Man is unfit for irresponsible power.

Now the only bar before which the proprietor of slaves is likely to be
arraigned, is the bar of public opinion; and the influence which that
knowledge will have upon his conduct is exactly in the inverse ratio to
its need; for the hardened brute, upon whom its influence is most
wanted, is the very person who, if he can escape lynching, is
indifferent to public opinion. No Southerner can be affronted, if I say
that he is not more Christian, kind-hearted, and mild-tempered than his
fellow-man in the Northern States, in France, or in England; and yet how
constantly do we find citizens of those communities evincing
unrestrained passions in the most brutal acts, and that with the
knowledge that the law is hanging over their heads, and that their
victims can give evidence against them; whereas, in the Slave States,
provided the eye of a white man is excluded, there is scarce a limit to
the torture which a savage monster may inflict upon the helpless slave,
whose word cannot be received in evidence. It is as absurd to judge of
the condition of the slave by visiting an amiable planter and his lady,
as it would be to judge of the clothing, feeding, and comfort of our
labouring population by calling at the town-house of the Duke of
Well-to-do and carefully noting the worthy who fills an arm-chair like a
sentry-box, and is yclept the porter. Look at him, with his hair
powdered and fattened down to the head; behold him as the bell rings,
using his arms as levers to force his rotundity out of its case; then
observe the pedestals on which he endeavours to walk; one might imagine
he had been tapped for the dropsy half-a-dozen times, and that all the
water had run into the calves of his legs. Is that a type of the poorer
classes?

Where, then, are we to look for true data on which to form an opinion of
the treatment of the slave?--Simply by studying human nature and
weighing human passions, and then inquiring by what laws they are held
in check. Now, as to the laws, they amount to nothing, inasmuch as slave
evidence is not admissible, and the possibility of any oppression, even
to death itself, must frequently be, without any fear of punishment, in
the hands of the owner. If law, then, affords the negro no efficient
protection from human passions, where are we to look for it in human
nature, except it be in the influences of Christianity, self-interest,
or public opinion? The last of these, we have seen, is upon a
sliding-scale of an inefficiency which increases in proportion to the
necessity for its influence, and is therefore all but impotent for good.

Let us now consider self-interest. Will any one assert that
self-interest is sufficient to restrain anger? How many a hasty word
does man utter, or how many a hasty act does man commit, under the
influence of passion he cannot or will not restrain--and that among his
equals, who may be able to resent it, or in the face of law ready to
avenge it! How prone are we all, if things go wrong from some fault of
our own, to lose our temper and try to throw the blame on others, rather
than admit the failure to be our own fault! Without dwelling upon the
serious injury people often do to themselves by unrestrained passion,
think for a moment of the treatment frequently inflicted upon the poor
animals over whom they rule absolute. Is not kindness to a horse the
interest as well as the duty of the owner? and yet how often is he the
unfortunate victim of the owner's rage or cruel disposition, while
faithfully and willingly expending all his powers in the service of his
tyrant master! If these things be so among equals, or comparative
equals, and also in man's dealings with the lower orders of the
creation, what chance has the poor slave, with the arm of legislative
justice paralysed, and an arm nerved with human passion his only hope of
mercy?--for self-defence, that first law of nature, is the highest crime
he can be guilty of: and, while considering the mercenary view of
self-interest, let it not be forgotten that an awful amount of human
suffering is quite compatible with unimpaired health, and that a slave
may be frequently under the lash and yet fully able to do his day's
work.

The last influence we have to consider is indeed the brightest and best
of all--Christianity: high on the brotherly arch of man's duty to his
fellow-man, and forming its enduring keystone, we read, traced by
Jehovah in imperishable letters, radiant with love, "Do unto others as
you would that they should do unto you;" "Love thy neighbour as
thyself." Surely it needs no words of mine to show, that a faithful
history of the most Christian country in the most Christian times the
world ever witnessed, would contain, fearful evidence of the cruelty of
man setting at nought the above blessed precept. Nay, more--I question
if, viewed in its entire fulness, there is any one single command in
Scripture more habitually disregarded. Proverbs are generally supposed
to be a condensation of facts or experiences. Whence comes "Every one
for himself, and God for us all"? or, the more vulgar one, "Go ahead,
and the d----l take the hindmost?" What are they but concentrations of
the fact that selfishness is man's ruling passion? What are most laws
made for, but to restrain men by human penalties from a broach of the
law of love? and, if these laws be needful in communities, all the
members of which are equal in the eyes of the law, and even then be
found inefficient for their purpose, as may be daily witnessed in every
country, who will say that the influence of Christianity is sufficient
protection to the poor slave?

There is only one other influence that I shall mention--that is habit;
it acts for and against the slave. Thus, the kind and good, brought up
among slaves, very often nursed by them, and grown up in the continual
presence of their gentleness and faithfulness, repay them with
unmeasured kindness, and a sympathy in all their sickness and their
sorrows, to a degree which I feel quite certain the most tender-hearted
Christian breathing could never equal, if landed among slaves, for the
first time, at years of maturity. The Christian planter's wife or
daughter may be seen sitting up at night, cooking, nursing, tending an
old sick and helpless slave, with nearly, if not quite, the same
affectionate care she would bestow upon a sick relation, the very
friendlessness of the negro stimulating the benevolent heart. This is,
indeed, the bright side of the influence of habit.--But the other side
is not less true; and there the effect is, that a coarse, brutal mind,
trained up among those it can bully with impunity, acquires a
heartlessness and indifference to the negro's wants and sufferings, that
grow with the wretched possessor's growth. This is the dark side of the
influence of habit.

Let two examples suffice, both of which I have upon the very best
authority. A faithful slave, having grown up with his master's rising
family, obtained his freedom as a reward for his fidelity, and was
entrusted with the management of the property; realizing some money, he
became the owner of slaves himself, from among whom he selected his
wife, and to all of whom he showed the greatest consideration. Some
time after, lying upon his deathbed, he made his will, in which he
bequeathed his wife and all his other negroes to his old master, giving
as his reason, that, from his own lively recollections of his master's
unvarying kindness to himself and the other slaves, he felt certain that
in so doing he was taking the best means in his power of securing their
future happiness. What stronger evidence of the growth of kindness in
the master's heart could possibly be desired? Here, then, is the effect
of habit in a benevolent owner.--Now, turn to the opposite picture. A
lady of New Orleans was accustomed to strip and flog a slave for the
pleasure of witnessing sufferings which she endeavoured to render more
acute by rubbing soft soap into the broken skin. Here you have the
effect of habit upon a brutal mind.

To the credit of New Orleans be it recorded, that the knowledge of this
atrocity having come to white ears, her house was broken open, every
article it contained pulled out in the street and burnt, and, had she
not succeeded in eluding search, the she-devil would have been most
assuredly reduced to ashes with her own goods. America became too hot
for her, and Providence alone knows the demon's cave of concealment.

Having thus passed in review the various influences bearing upon the
treatment of the slave, and seen how utterly inadequate they are to
protect him from ill-treatment, who can wonder that the tales of real or
supposed cruelty inflicted upon slaves by the Southerners are received
with indignation by both parties in the States?--the virtuous and kind
master, indignant at the thought of being included in the category of
monsters, and the real savage, if possible, still more indignant,
because his conscience brings home to his seared heart the truthfulness
of the picture, even if it be overdrawn almost to caricature. And here
it is curious to observe the different action of these two parties: the
former, in the consciousness of a kind heart and a real desire for the
negro's good, calmly states what has been done and is doing for the
negro, and throws a natural veil of doubt over horrors so utterly
repulsive to the feelings that their existence is discredited; the
latter, with a shallowness which Providence sometimes attaches to guilt,
aware that some such accusations come too painfully and truthfully
home, pronounce their own condemnation by their line of
defence--recrimination.

Take, for example, the following extract from an article in a Slave
State paper, entitled "A Sequel to Uncle Tom's Cabin," and in which
Queen Victoria, under the guidance of a "genius," has the condition of
her subjects laid bare before her. After various other paragraphs of a
similar nature comes the following:--

"The sky was obscured by the smoke of hundreds of small chimneys and
vast edifices, stretching in lines for miles and miles. The latter were
crowded with women and children, young in years, but withered in form
and feature. The countenances of the men were as colourless as the white
fabric in their looms; their eyes sparkled with intelligence, but it was
chiefly the intelligence of suffering, of privation, of keen sense of
wrong, of inability to be better, of rankling hatred against existing
institutions, and a furtive wish that some hideous calamity would bury
them all in one common, undistinguishable ruin.

"'Are these the people? groaned the Queen, as the cold damp of more than
mortal agony moistened her marble forehead.

"'Not all of them!" sounded the voice in her ear, so sharply that her
Majesty looked up eagerly, and saw written, in letters of fire, on the
palace wall:--

"'1. Every twelfth person in your dominions is a pauper, daily receiving
parochial relief.

"'2. Every twentieth person in your dominions is a destitute wanderer,
with no roof but the sky--no home but a prison. They are the Ishmaelites
of modern society; every one's hand is against them, and their hands are
against every one.

"'3. There are in Freeland 10,743,747 females; divide that number by
500,000, and you will find that every twentieth woman in your dominions
is--Oh! horror piled on horror!--a harlot!'"

Then follows the scene of a disconsolate female throwing herself over a
bridge, the whole winding up with this charming piece of information,
addressed by the genius to her Majesty:--

"In your own land, liberty, the absence of which in another is deplored,
is, in its most god-like development, but a name--unless that may be
termed liberty which practically is but vulgar license--license to work
from rosy morn to dark midnight for the most scanty pittances--license
to store up wealth in the hands and for the benefit of the few--license
to bellow lustily for rival politicians--license to send children to
ragged schools--license to sot in the ale-house--license to grow lumpish
and brutal--license to neglect the offices of religion, to swear, to
lie, to blaspheme--license to steal, to pander unchecked to the coarsest
appetites, to fawn and slaver over the little great ones of the
earth--license to creep like a worm through life, or bound through it
like a wild beast; and, last and most precious of all--for it is
untaxed--license to starve, to rot, to die, and be buried in a foetid
pauper's grave, on which the sweet-smelling flowers, sent to strew the
pathway of man and woman with beauty, love, and hope, will refuse to
grow, much less bloom."

Setting aside all exaggerations, who does not recognise in the foregoing
quotations "the galled jade wincing"? Were the writer a kind owner of
slaves, he might have replied to _Uncle Tom's Cabin_ by facts of
habitual kindness to them, sufficient to prove that the authoress had
entered into the region of romance; but in his recrimination he
unconsciously displays the cloven hoof, and leaves no doubt on the mind
that he writes under the impulse of a bitterly-accusing monitor within.
It would be wasting time to point out the difference between a system
which binds millions of its people in bondage to their fellow-man, a
master's sovereign will their only practical protection, and a system
which not only makes all its subjects equal in the eye of the law, and
free to seek their fortunes wherever they list, but which is for ever
striving to mitigate the distress that is invariably attendant upon an
overcrowded population. Even granting that his assertions were not only
true, but that they were entirely produced by tyrannical enactments,
what justification would England's sins be for America's crimes? Suppose
the House of Commons and the Lords Temporal and Spiritual obtained the
royal sanction to an act for kidnapping boys and grilling them daily for
a table-d'hôte in their respective legislative assemblies, would such an
atrocity--or any worse atrocity, if such be possible--in any respect
alter the question of right and wrong between master and slave? Let any
charge of cruelty or injustice in England be advanced on its own simple
grounds, and, wherever it comes from, it will find plenty of people, I
am proud and happy to say, ready to inquire into it and to work hard for
its removal; but when it comes in the shape of recrimination, who can
fail to recognise an accusing conscience striving to throw the cloak of
other people's sins over the abominations which that conscience is ever
ringing in the writer's ears at home.

I must, however, state that, in speaking of the sufferings or injuries
to which the slave is liable, I am not proclaiming them merely on the
authority of Northern abolitionists, or on the deductions which I have
drawn from human nature; many travellers have made similar charges. Miss
Bremer writes:--"I beheld the old slave hunted to death because he dared
to visit his wife--beheld him mangled, beaten, recaptured, fling himself
into the water of the Black River, over which he was retaken into the
power of his hard master--and the law was silent. I beheld a young woman
struck, for a hasty word, upon the temples, so that she fell down
dead!--and the law was silent. I heard the law, through its jury,
adjudicate between a white man and a black, and sentence the latter to
be flogged when the former was guilty--and they who were honest among
the jurymen in vain opposed the verdict. I beheld here on the shores of
the Mississippi, only a few months since, a young negro girl fly from
the maltreatment of her master, and he was a professor of religion, and
fling herself into the river."--_Homes of the New World._ Would Miss
Bremer write these things for the press, as occurring under her own eye,
if they were not true?

Then, again, the Press itself in the South bears witness to what every
one must admit to be an inhuman practice. How often must the reader of a
Southern States' paper see children of the tenderest age, sometimes even
under a year old, advertised for public sale! Did any one every take up
the New Orleans paper without seeing more than one such advertisement as
the following?--

  150 NEGROES FOE SALE.

  Just arrived, and for sale, at my old stand, No. 7, Moreau-street,
  Third Municipality, one hundred and fifty young and likely NEGROES,
  consisting of field-hands, house servants, and mechanics. They will be
  sold on reasonable terms for good paper or cash. Persons wishing to
  purchase will find it to their advantage to give me a call. [Sep.
  30--6m.] Wm. F. TALBOTT.

What happiness can the slave enjoy among a community where such an
advertisement as the following can be tolerated, or, worse still, when,
as in the present instance, it is sent forth under the sanction of the
law? The advertisement is taken from a paper published at Wilmington,
North Carolina.

  $225 REWARD.--STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, NEW HANOVER COUNTY.--_Whereas_,
  complaint upon, oath hath this day been made to us, two of the
  Justices of the Peace for the State and County aforesaid, by BENJAMIN
  HALLET, of the said county, that two certain male slaves belonging to
  him, named LOTT, aged about twenty-two years, five feet four or five
  inches high, and black, formerly belonging to LOTT WILLIAMS, of Onslow
  county; and BOB, aged about sixteen years, five feet high, and black;
  have absented themselves from their said master's service, and are
  supposed to be lurking about this county, committing acts of felony
  and other misdeeds. These are, therefore, in the name of the State
  aforesaid, to command the slaves forthwith to return home to their
  masters; and we do hereby, by virtue of the Act of the General
  Assembly in such cases made and provided, intimate and declare that
  _if the said_ LOTT and BOB _do not return home and surrender
  themselves,_ immediately after the publication of these presents, that
  ANY PERSON MAY KILL AND DESTROY THE SAID SLAVES, by such means as he
  or they may think fit, without accusation or impeachment of any crime
  or offence for so doing, and without incurring any penalty or
  forfeiture thereby.

  Given under our hands and seals, this 28th day of February, 1853.

  W.N. PEDEN, J.P., [Seal]

  W.C. BETTENCOURT, J.P., [Seal.]

  $225 REWARD.--TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS will be given for negro LOTT, EITHER
  DEAD OR ALIVE; and TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR BOB'S HEAD, delivered to
  the subscriber in the town of Wilmington.

  BENJAMIN HALLET.

  March 2nd, 1853.

There is another evidence of a want of happiness among the slaves,
which, though silent and unheard, challenges contradiction: I mean the
annual escape of from one to two thousand into Canada, in spite not only
of the natural difficulties and privations of the journey, but also of
the fearful dread of the consequences of re-capture. Doubtless some of
these may be fleeing from the dread of just punishment for offences
against the law, but none can doubt that many more are endeavouring to
escape from what they feel to be cruelty, injustice, and oppression.

I do not wish to pander to a morbid appetite for horrors by gathering
together under one view all the various tales of woe and misery which I
have heard of, known, or seen. I think I have said enough to prove to
any unprejudiced person that such things do and must ever exist under
the institution of slavery; and that, although the statements of rabid
abolitionists are often the most unwarranted exaggerations, the all but
total denial of their occurrence by the slave-owners is also not
correct. The conviction forced upon my own mind, after much thought and
inquiry on this most interesting topic is, that there are many dark
clouds of cruelty in a sky which is bright with much of the truest and
kindest sympathy for the poor slave.

I now propose to take a short review of the progress and real state of
slavery, and I will commence by giving _in extenso_ an enactment which
materially affects the negro, and, as I have before observed, has more
than once threatened the Republic with disunion:--

Section 2.--Privileges of Citizens.--Clause 3. "No person held to
service or labour in one state under the laws thereof, escaping to
another, shall in consequence of any law or regulation therein be
discharged from such service or labour, but shall be delivered up on
claim of the party to whom such service or labour may be due."

Of course the word "slave" would have read strangely among a community
who set themselves up as the champions of the "equal rights of man;" but
it is clear that, according to this clause in the constitution which
binds the Republic together, every free state is compelled to assist in
the recapture of a fugitive slave.

What was the exact number of slaves at the date of this law being passed
I have not the means of ascertaining: at the beginning of this century
it was under 900,000; in the Census of 1850 they had increased to
3,200,000.[BT] There were originally 13 States. At present there are
31, besides territory not yet incorporated into States. The Slave States
are 15, or nearly half. Thus much for increase of slaves and the slave
soil. But, it will naturally be asked, how did it happen that, as the
additional soil was incorporated, the sable workmen appeared as if by
magic? The answer is very simple. The demand regulated the supply, and
slave breeding became a most important feature in the system: thus the
wants of the more southern States became regularly lessened by large
drafts from Maryland, Kentucky, and Virginia. Anybody desirous of
testing the truth of this statement will find statistical data to assist
him in an unpretending volume by Marshall Hall, M.D., &c., _On Twofold
Slavery,_ which I read with much interest, although I cannot agree with
him in everything.[BV]

I am aware that residents in these breeding States are to be found who
would scorn to utter a wilful falsehood, and who deny this propagation
of the human chattel for the flesh market; but there can be little doubt
that the unbiased seeker after truth will find that such is the case.
And why not? Why should those who make their livelihood by trafficking
in the flesh of their fellow-creatures hesitate to increase their
profits by paying attention to the breeding of them? These facts do not
come under the general traveller's eye, because, armed with letters of
introduction, he consorts more with worthy slave-owners, who, occupied
with the welfare of those around and dependent upon them, know little
of the world beyond; in the same way as in England, a Christian family
may be an example of patriarchal simplicity and of apostolic zeal and
love, and yet beyond the circle of their action, though not very far
from its circumference, the greatest distress and perhaps cruelty may
abound. How many of the dark spots on our community has the single zeal
of the Earl of Shaftesbury forced upon the public mind, of which we were
utterly ignorant, though living in the midst of them. The degraded
female drudge in a coal-pit, the agonized infant in a chimney, and the
death-wrought child in a factory--each and all bear testimony to how
much of suffering may exist while surrounded by those whose lives are
spent in Christian charity. And so it is in every community, Slave
States included. Christian hearts, pregnant with zeal and love, are
diffusing blessings around them; and, occupied with their noble work,
they know little of the dark places that hang on their borders. The
Southern planter and his lady may be filled with the love of St. John,
and radiate the beams thereof on every man, woman, and child under their
guardianship, and then, "measuring other people's corn by their own
lovely bushel," they may well hesitate to believe in the existence of a
profligate breeding Pandemonium within the precincts of their immediate
country. Yet, alas! there can be little doubt that it does exist.

Let us now fix our attention on the actual facts of the case which all
parties admit. First, we have a slave population of 3,200,000. I think,
if I estimate their marketable value at 80_l_ a head, I shall be
considerably below the truth. That gives us in human flesh,
250,000,000l. Secondly, let us take the product of their labour. The
Slave States raise annually--

  Rice             215,000,000 lbs.
  Tobacco          185,000,000  "
  Sugar            248,000,000  "
  Cotton         1,000,000,000  "
  Molasses          12,000,000 gallons.
  Indian Corn.     368,000,000 bushels.

Estimating these at a lower value than they have ever fallen to, you
have here represented 80,000,000l. sterling of annual produce from
the muscle and sinew of the slave.[BW] Surely the wildest enthusiast,
did he but ponder over these facts, could not fail to pause ere he
mounted the breach, shouting the rabid war-cry of abolition, which
involves a capital of 250,000,000_l_, and an annual produce of
80,000,000l.

The misery which an instantaneous deliverance of the slave would cause
by the all but certain loss of the greater portion of the products above
enumerated, must be apparent to the least reflecting mind. If any such
schemer exist, he would do well to study the history of our West India
islands from the period of their sudden emancipation, especially since
free-trade admitted slave produce on equal terms with the produce of
free labour. Complaints of utter ruin are loud and constant from the
proprietors in nearly every island; they state, and state with truth,
that it is impossible for free labour at a high price, and which can
only be got perhaps for six hours a day, to compete with the steady
slave work of twelve hours a day; and they show that slaveholding
communities have materially increased their products, which can only
have been effected by a further taxing of the slave's powers, or a vast
increase of fresh human material.[BX] But they further complain that the
negro himself is sadly retrograding. "They attend less to the
instruction of their religious teachers; they pay less attention to the
education of their children; vice and immorality are on the increase,"
&c.--_Petition to the Imperial Parliament from St. George's, Jamaica,_
July, 1852.

I might multiply such statements from nearly every island, and quote the
authority of even some of their governors to the same effect; but the
above are sufficient for my purpose. They prove three most important
facts for consideration, when treating the question of Slavery. First,
that you may ruin the planter. Secondly, that you may free--without
benefiting--the slave. Thirdly, that each State, as it becomes free,
tends to give additional value to the property of those States which
choose to hold on to slavery; and all these results may occur despite
the wisdom (?) of senators, and an indemnity of 20,000,000l.

Surely, then, the Southern planter may well assert that he sees not
sufficient inducement to follow our hasty wholesale example. But while
such convictions are forced upon him, he will be a degenerate son of
energetic sires, if he be so scared at our ill-success as to fear to
look for some better path to the same noble object; and there is one
most important consideration which should impel him, while avoiding all
rash haste, to brook no dangerous delay; that consideration is, that the
difficulty of dealing with the question is increasing with fearful
rapidity, for the slave population has nearly quadrupled itself since
the beginning of the century. The capital involved is, we have seen,
gigantic; but the question of numbers is by far the most perplexing to
deal with, in a social point of view. The white population of the Slave
States is, in rough numbers, 6,000,000; the slave population is more
than 3,000,000, and the free blacks 250,000. Does any sane man believe
that, if slavery had existed in Great Britain, and that the slaves had
constituted one-third of the population, we should have attempted to
remove the black bar from our escutcheon, by the same rapid and summary
process which we adopted to free the negro in our colonies?

An American writer on Slavery has said, and I think most justly, "that
two distinct races of people, nearly equal in numbers, and unlike in
colour, manners, habits, feelings and state of civilization to such a
degree that amalgamation is impossible, cannot dwell together in the
same community unless the one be in subjection to the other." So fully
am I convinced of the truth of this statement, and so certain am I that
every one who has been in a Slave State must be satisfied of the truth
of it, that I feel sure, if the South freed every slave to-morrow, not a
week would elapse before each State in the Union without exception would
pass stringent laws to prevent them settling within their borders; even
at this moment such a law exists in some States.

With all these difficulties constantly before them, who can wonder that
a kind-hearted planter, while gazing on the cheerful and happy faces of
his well-fed and well-housed slaves, should look distrustfully at
emancipation, and strive to justify to his conscience opposition to any
plan, however gradual, which leads thereto. Nevertheless, however
satisfied in his mind that the slaves are kindly treated, and that
harshness even is never used, he cannot contemplate the institution from
a sufficient distance to be beyond its influences, without feeling that
emancipation is the goal towards which his thoughts should ever bend,
and that in proportion as the steps towards it must be gradual, so
should they speedily commence. But how? Washington, while confessing his
most earnest desire for abolition, declares his conviction that "it can
only be effected by legislative authority."

The next chapter will detail such propositions as, in my humble opinion,
appear most worthy of the consideration of the Legislature, with a view
to the gradual removal of the black star from the striped banner.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote BT: _List of States and Territories forming the Confederation.
Those marked_ S. _are Slave-holding States._

STATES.

  New Hampshire
  Massachusetts
  Rhode Island
  Connecticut
  New York
  New Jersey[BU]
  Pennsylvania
  S. Delaware
  S. Maryland
  S. Virginia
  S. North Carolina
  S. South Carolina
  S. Georgia


NEW STATES.

     Vermont         1791
  S. Kentucky        1792
  S. Tennessee       1796
     Ohio            1802
  S. Louisiana       1812
     Indiana         1816
  S. Mississippi     1817
     Illinois        1818
  S. Alabama         1819
     Maine           1820
  S. Missouri        1821
  S. Arkansas        1836
     Michigan        1837
  S. Florida         1845
  S. Texas           1845
     Iowa            1846
     Wisconsin       1848
     California      1850


DISTRICT.

S. Columbia        1791


TERRITORIES.

     Oregon          1848
     Minnesota       1849
  S. Kansas          1855
  S. Utah            1850
     New Mexico      1850
     Nebraska        1853]

[Footnote BU: I believe the last slave has been removed from New
Jersey.--H.A.M.]

[Footnote BV: Between 1810 and 1850 the slave population in Virginia has
only increased from 392,000 to 470,000, while in Tennessee it has
increased from 44,000 to 240,000; and in Louisiana, from 35,000 to
240,000.]

[Footnote BW: I take no notice of the various other valuable productions
of these States: they may fairly represent the produce of the white
man's labour.]

[Footnote BX: _Vide_ ch. xii., "The Queen of the Antilles."]



CHAPTER XXVI.

_Hints for Master--Hopes for Slave._


I will now suggest certain proposals,[BY] in the hope that while they
can do no harm, they may by chance lead to some good result. The first
proposal is a very old one, and only made by me now, because I consider
it of primary importance--I mean a "Free-Soil" bill. I advocate it upon
two distinct grounds--the one affecting the Republic, the other the
slave. The Republic sanctions and carries on the slave-trade by
introducing the institution into land hitherto free, and the slave
throughout the Union has his fetters tightened by the enhancement of his
value; but the great Channing has so fully and ably argued the truth of
these evils, when treating of the annexation of Texas, that none but the
wilfully blind can fail to be convinced; in short, if Slavery is to be
introduced into land hitherto free, it is perhaps questionable if it be
not better to send for the ill-used and degraded slave from Africa, and
leave the more elevated slave in his comparatively happy home in the Old
Slave States; the plea may be used for bettering the condition of the
former, but that plea cannot be used for the latter.

The next proposal is one which, if it came from the South, would, I
suppose, have the support of all the kind masters in those States, and
most assuredly would find no opposition in the North,--I mean the
expulsion from the Constitution of that law by which fugitive slaves are
forced to be given up. If the proposal came from the North, it would
naturally excite ill-feeling in the South, after all the angry passions
which abolition crusading has set in action; but the South might easily
propose it: and when we see the accounts of the affectionate attachment
of the slaves to their masters, and of the kindness with which they are
treated, in proportion, as such statements are correct, so will it
follow as a consequence, that none but those who are driven to it by
cruelty will wish to leave their snug homes and families, to seek for
peace in the chilly winters of the North. And surely the slaves who are
victims of cruelty, every kind-hearted slave-master would rejoice to see
escaping; it would only be the compulsory giving up of fugitives, except
for criminal offences, which would be expunged; each individual State
would be able, if desirous, to enter into any mutual arrangement with
any other State, according to their respective necessities. This
proposal has two advantages: one, that it removes a bone of bitter
contention ever ready to be thrown down between the North and the South;
and the other, that it opens a small loophole for the oppressed to
escape from the oppressor.

The next proposal I have to make, is one which, as every year makes it
more difficult, merits immediate attention,--and that is, the providing
a territory of refuge. No one for a moment can doubt that the foundation
of Liberia was an act of truly philanthropic intent, reflecting credit
upon all parties concerned in it; but it must, I fear, be acknowledged
that it is totally unequal to the object in view. No further evidence of
this need he adduced, than the simple fact, that, for every negro sent
to Liberia, nearer twenty than ten are born in the States. Dame
Partington's effort to sweep back the incoming tide with a hair-broom
promised better hopes of success; a brigade of energetic firemen would
drain off Lake Superior in a much shorter space of time than Liberian
colonization would remove one-third of the slave population. The scheme
is in the right direction, but as insufficient to overcome the
difficulty as a popgun is to breach a fortified city; the only method of
effectually enabling the system of colonization to be carried out,
is--in my humble opinion--by setting apart some portion of the
unoccupied territory of the Union as a negro colony. In making the
selection, a suitable climate should be considered, in justice to the
health of the negro, as it is clear, from the fate of those who fly from
persecution to Canada, that they are unable to resist cold; and
proximity to the ocean is desirable, as affording a cheap conveyance for
those who become manumitted: the expense of a passage to Liberia is one
great obstacle to its utility.

The quantity of land required for such a purpose would be very small;
and stringent regulations as to the negro leaving the territory so
granted, would effectually prevent any inconvenience to the neighbouring
States. I have before shown that the comparative number of whites and
blacks--whites 6,000,000, and blacks 3,000,000--renders it all but, if
not quite, impossible for the two races to live together free. I have
also shown that the Northern States either refuse to admit them, or pass
such laws respecting them, that slavery under a good master is a
paradise by comparison. I have further shown that Liberia is, from its
distance, so expensive for their removal, as to be of but little
assistance, and Canada too often proves an early grave. If, then, these
difficulties present themselves with a population of 3,000,000 slaves,
and if they are increasing their numbers rapidly--which statistics fully
prove to be the case--it is clear that these difficulties must augment
in a corresponding ratio, until at last they will become insurmountable.
I therefore come to the conclusion, either that territory must be set
apart in America itself for the negro's home, or that the black bar of
slavery must deface the escutcheon of the Republic for ever.

I now propose to make a few remarks on the treatment of slaves. As to
the nature of that treatment, I have already given my calm and unbiased
opinion. My present observations refer to corporal punishment, and the
implements for the infliction thereof. Of the latter I have seen four;
of course there may be many others; I speak only of those that have come
under my own eye. The four I have seen are first, the common
hunting-whip, which is too well known to require description. Secondly,
the cowhide--its name expresses its substance--when wet, it is rolled up
tightly and allowed to dry, by which process it becomes as hard as the
raw hide commonly seen in this country; its shape is that of a
racing-whip, and its length from four to five feet. Thirdly, the strap,
i.e., a piece off the end of a stiff heavy horse's trace, and about
three or three-and-a-half feet in length. Fourthly, the paddle; i.e.,
a piece of white oak about an inch thick all through, the handle about
two inches broad, and rather more than two feet long, the blade about
nine inches long by four and a quarter broad. The two latter implements
I found, upon inquiry, were of modern date, and the reason of their
introduction was, that the marks of the punishment inflicted thereby
became more speedily effaced; and as upon the sale of a slave, if, when
examined, marks of punishment are clearly developed, his price suffers
from the impression of his being obstreperous, the above-named articles
of punishment came into favour.

The foregoing observations--without entering into the respective merits
of the four instruments--are sufficient to prove that no one definite
implement for corporal punishment is established by law, and,
consequently, that any enactment appointing a limit to the number of
stripes which may he given is an absurdity, however well intended. Forty
stripes, is, I believe, the authorized number. A certain number of
blows, if given with a dog-whip, would inflict no injury beyond the
momentary pain, whereas the same number inflicted with a heavy
walking-stick might lame a man for life. Again, I know of no law in the
States prohibiting the corporal punishment of any slave, of whatever age
or sex; at all events, grown-up girls and mothers of families are doomed
to have their persons exposed to receive its infliction. Of this latter
fact, I am positive, though I cannot say whether the practice is general
or of rare occurrence.

I have entered rather fully into a description of the implements of
punishment, to show the grounds upon which I make the following
proposals:--First, that a proper instrument for flogging be authorized
by law, and that the employment of any other be severely punished.
Secondly, that the number of lashes a master may inflict, or order to be
inflicted, be reduced to a minimum, and that while a greater number of
lashes are permitted for grave offences, they be only administered on
the authority of a jury or a given number of magistrates. Thirdly, that
common decency be no longer outraged by any girl above fifteen receiving
corporal punishment.[BZ] Fourthly, that by State enactment--as it now
sometimes is by municipal regulation--no master in any town be permitted
to inflict corporal punishment on a slave above fifteen; those who have
passed that age to be sent to the jail, or some authorized place, to
receive their punishment, a faithful record whereof, including slave and
owner's names, to be kept. My reasons for this proposal are, that a man
will frequently punish on the spur of the moment, when a little
reflection would subdue his anger, and save the culprit. Also, that it
is my firm conviction that a great portion of the cruelty of which
slaves are the victims, is caused by half-educated owners of one or two
slaves, who are chiefly to be found in towns, and upon whom such a law
might operate as a wholesome check. Such a law would doubtless be good
in all cases, but the distances of plantations from towns would render
it impossible to be carried out; and I am sorry to say, I have no
suggestion to make by which the slaves on plantations might be
protected, in those cases where the absence of the owners leaves them
entirely at the mercy of the driver, which I believe the cause of by far
the greatest amount of suffering they endure, though I trust many
drivers are just and merciful. Fifthly, that the law by which negroes
can hold slaves should immediately be abolished. The white man holding a
slave is bad enough, but nothing can justify the toleration of the negro
holding his own flesh and blood in fetters, especially when the door of
Education is hermetically sealed against him.

In addition to the foregoing suggestions for the regulation of
punishment, I would propose that any master proved guilty of inflicting
or tolerating gross cruelty upon a slave, should forfeit every slave he
may possess to the State, and be rendered incapable of again holding
them, and that copies of such decisions be sent to each county in the
State. In connexion with this subject, there is another point of
considerable importance--viz., the testimony of slaves. As matters now
stand, or are likely to stand for some time to come, there appear
insuperable objections to the testimony of a slave being received on a
par with that of a white man, and this constitutes one of the greatest
difficulties in enabling the negro to obtain justice for any injury he
may have sustained. It appears to me, however, that a considerable
portion of this difficulty might he removed by admitting a certain
number of slaves--say three--to constitute one witness.
Cross-examination would easily detect either combination or falsehood,
and a severe punishment attached to such an offence would act as a
powerful antidote to its commission. Until some system is arranged for
receiving negro evidence in some shape, he must continue the hopeless
victim of frequent injustice.

The next subject I propose to consider is a legalized system, having
for its object the freedom of the slave. To accomplish this, I would
suggest that the State should fix a fair scale of prices, at which the
slave might purchase his freedom, one price for males and another for
females under twenty, and a similar arrangement of price between the
ages of twenty and fifty, after which age the slave to be free, and
receive some fixed assistance, either from the State or the master, as
might be thought most just and expedient. To enable the slave to take
advantage of the privilege of purchasing his freedom, it would be
requisite that the State should have banks appointed in which he might
deposit his savings at fair interest; but to enable him to have
something to deposit, it is also requisite that some law should be
passed compelling owners to allow a slave certain portions of time to
work out for himself, or if preferred, to work for the master, receiving
the ordinary wages for the time so employed, and this, of course, in
addition to the Sunday. As, however, among so many masters, some will be
cruel and do their utmost to negative any merciful laws which the State
may enact, I would for the protection of the slave propose that, if he
feel discontented with the treatment of his master, he be allowed to
claim the right of being publicly sold, upon giving a certain number of
days' warning of such desire on his part; or if he can find any
slave-owner who will give the price fixed by law--as before
suggested--and is willing to take him, his master to be bound to deliver
him up. With regard to the sale of slaves, I think humanity will justify
me in proposing that no slave under fifteen years of ago be sold or
transferred to another owner without the parents also; and secondly,
that husband and wife be never sold or transferred separately, except it
be by their own consent. However rarely such separations may take place
at present, there is no law to prevent the cruel act, and I have every
reason to believe it takes place much oftener than many of my
kind-hearted plantation friends would he ready to admit.

Looking forward to the gradual, but ultimately total abolition of
slavery, I would next suggest that, after a certain date--say ten
years--every slave, upon reaching thirty years of age, be apprenticed by
his master to some trade or occupation for five years, at the expiration
of which time he be free; after another fixed period--say ten
years--all slaves above twenty years of age be similarly treated; and
after a third period, I would propose that the United States should
follow the noble example long since set them by _Peru_, and make it an
integral part of their constitution that "_no one is born a slave in the
Republic."_

The next proposal I have to make is one which I cannot but hope that all
Americans will fell the propriety of, inasmuch as the present system is,
in my estimation, one of the blackest features of the institution we are
considering. I allude to the slavery of Americans themselves. In nearly
every civilized nation in the world, blood is considered to run in the
father's line, and although illegitimacy forfeits inheritance, it never
forfeits citizenship. How is it in the United States? _There the white
man's offspring is to be seen in fetters--the blood of the free in the
market of the slave._ No one can have travelled in the Southern States
without having this sad fact forced upon his observation. Over and over
again have I seen features, dark if you will, but which showed
unmistakeably the white man's share in their parentage. Nay, more--I
have seen slaves that in Europe would pass for German blondes. Can
anything be imagined more horrible than a free nation trafficking in the
blood of its co-citizens? Is it not a diabolical premium on iniquity,
that the fruit of sin can be sold for the benefit of the sinner? Though
the bare idea may well nauseate the kind and benevolent among the
Southerners, the proof of parentage is stamped by Providence on the
features of the victims, and their slavery is incontrovertible evidence
that the offspring of Columbia's sons may be sold at human shambles.
Even in Mussulman law, the offspring of the slave girl by her master is
declared free; and shall it be said that the followers of Christ are, in
any point of mercy, behind the followers of the false prophet? My
proposition, then, is, that every slave who is not of pure African
blood, and who has reached, or shall reach, the age of thirty, be
apprenticed to some trade for five years, and then become free; and that
all who shall subsequently be so born, be free from their birth, and of
course, that the mother who is proved thus to have been the victim of
the white man's passion be manumitted as well as her child.

I make no proposal about the spiritual instruction of the slave, as I
believe that as much is given at present as any legislative enactment
would be likely to procure; but I have one more suggestion to make, and
it is one without which I fear any number of acts which might be passed
for the benefit of the slave would lose the greater portion of their
value. That suggestion is, the appointment of a sufficient number of
officers, selected from persons known to be friendly to the slave, to
whom the duty of seeing the enactments strictly carried out should be
delegated.

While ruminating on the foregoing pages, a kind of vision passed before
my mind. I beheld a deputation of Republicans--among whom was one
lady--approaching me. Having stated that they had read my remarks upon
Slavery, I immediately became impressed in their favour, and could not
refuse the audience they requested. I soon found the deputation
consisted of people of totally different views, and consequently each
addressed me separately.

The first was an old gentleman, and a determined advocate of the
institution. He said, "Your remarks are all bosh; the African race were
born slaves, and have been so for centuries, and are fit for nothing
else."--I replied, "I am quite aware of the effect of breeding; we have
a race of dog in England which, from their progenitors of many
successive generations having had their tails cut off in puppyhood, now
breed their species without tails; nay, more--what are all our sporting
dogs, but evidence of the same fact? A pointer puppy stands
instinctively at game, and a young hound will run a fox; take the
trouble, for many generations, to teach the hound to point and the
pointer to run, and their two instincts will become entirely changed.
The fact, sir, is that the African having been bred a slave for so many
generations is one great cause of his lower order of intellect; breed
him free and educate him, and you will find the same result in him as in
the dog."--He was about to reply when another of the deputation rose and
reminded him they had agreed to make but one observation each, and to
receive one answer. I rejoiced at this arrangement, as it saved me
trouble and gave me the last word.

A very touchy little slaveholder next addressed me, saying, "Pray, sir,
why can't you leave us alone, and mind your own business?"--I replied,
"As for leaving you alone, I am quite ready to do so when you have left
the negro alone; but as for exclusively attending to my own business,
that would be far too dull; besides, it is human nature to interfere
with other people's affairs, and I can't go against nature."--He
retired, biting his lip, and as the door closed, I thought I heard the
words "Meddling ass!"--but I wont be sure.

Next came a swaggering bully of a slave-driver, evidently bred in the
North. He said, "This, sir, is a free country; why mayn't every master
wallop his own nigger?"--I thought it best to cut him short; so I said,
"Because, if freedom is perfect, such a permission would involve its
opposite--viz., that every nigger may wallop his own master; and your
antecedents, I guess, might make such a law peculiarly objectionable to
you personally."--He retired, eyeing first me and then his cowhide in a
very significant manner.

The next spokesman was a clerical slaveholder, with a very stiff and
very white neckcloth, hair straight and long, and a sanctified,
reproof-ful voice. "Sir," said he, "why endeavour to disturb an
institution that Scripture sanctions, and which provides so large a
field for the ministrations of kindness and sympathy--two of the most
tender Christian virtues?" A crocodile tear dropped like a full stop to
finish his sentence. Irascibility and astonishment were struggling
within me, when I heard his speech; but memory brought St. Paul to my
aid, who reminded me he had before written certain words to the
Corinthian Church--"Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light;
therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed,"
&e. Thereupon I became calmer, and replied, "Sir, you are perfectly
aware that our Saviour's mission was to the heart of man, and not to the
institutions of man. Did He not instruct his subjugated countrymen to
pay tribute to Caesar? and did He not set the example in his own person?
Did He not instruct his disciples in the same breath, 'Fear God! honour
the king?'--and is it not elsewhere written, 'But I say unto you, that
ye resist not evil?' You are also perfectly aware that the American
colonies refused to pay tribute to their Caesar, refused to honour their
king, and did resist the evil. Now, sir, these things being so, you are
compelled to admit one of two alternatives--either the whole of your
countrymen are rebels against the Most High, and therefore aliens from
God, or else, as I before said, the mission of the Gospel is to the
hearts and not to the institutions of man. I see, sir, by the way you
winced under the term 'rebel,' that you accept the latter alternative.
If, then, it be addressed to the heart of man, it is through that
channel--as it becomes enlarged by those virtues of which you spoke,
kindness and sympathy--that human institutions are to become modified to
suit the growing intelligence and growing wants of the human race, the
golden rule for man's guidance being, Do as you would be done by. Be
kind enough, sir, to look at Mr. Sambo Caesar working under the lash in
a Carolina rice swamp; behold Mrs. Sambo Caesar torn from his bosom, and
working under the same coercive banner in Maryland; and little Master
Pompey, the only pledge of their affections, on his way to Texas. Is not
this a beautiful comment on the Divine command, 'Love thy neighbour as
thyself?' Permit me, sir, with all due respect, to urge you not to rest
satisfied with preaching Christian resignation to the slave, and
Christian kindness to the owner, but to seize every opportunity of
fearlessly asserting that slavery is at variance with the spirit of the
Gospel, and therefore that it behoves all Christians so to modify and
change the laws respecting it, as gradually to lead to its total
extinction. Good morning."--The reverend gentleman, who during the
latter part of my observations had buried his hands in the bottom of his
tail pockets, no sooner saw that I had finished my remarks, than he
hastily withdrew his hands, exhibiting in one a Testament, in the other
a Concordance; he evidently was rampant for controversy, but the next
deputy, who thought I had already devoted an unfair proportion of time
to the minister, reminded him of the regulations, and he was obliged to
retire, another deputy opening the door for him, as both his hands were
full.

The deputy who next rose to address me was accompanied by the lady,
whom, of course, I begged to be seated. The husband--for such he proved
to be--then spoke as follows:--"Sir, my wife and I have been in
possession of a plantation for nearly twenty years. During all that
period the rod has scarcely ever been used, except occasionally to some
turbulent little boy. We have built cottages for our slaves; we allow
them to breed poultry, which we purchase from them; old slaves are
carefully nurtured and exempt from labour; the sick have the best of
medical attendance, and are in many cases ministered to by my wife and
daughter; the practical truths of Christianity are regularly taught to
them; and every slave, I am sure, looks upon me and my family as his
truest friends. This happy state, this patriarchal relationship, your
proposals, if carried out, would completely overthrow." He was then
silent, and his wife bowed an assent to the observations he had made. My
heart was touched with the picture of the little negro paradise which he
had given, and I replied, as mildly as possible, "The sketch you have so
admirably drawn, and every word of which I fully believe, is indeed one
which might dispose me to abandon my proposals for change, did any one
which I had made interfere with the continuance of your benevolent rule,
as long as slavery exists; but I must call your attention to an
important fact which you, I fear, have quite overlooked during your
twenty years of kind rule. To be brief--the cheerful homes of your happy
negro families can afford no possible consolation to the less fortunate
negroes whose wives and children are torn from their bosoms and sold in
separate lots to different parts of the Union; nor will the knowledge
that on your plantation the rod only falls occasionally on some
turbulent child, be any comfort to grown-up negroes and negresses while
writhing under thirty or forty stripes from the cowhide or paddle.
Continue, most excellent people, your present merciful rule; strive to
secure to every negro the same treatment; and if you find that
impossible, join the honourable ranks of the temperate and gradual
abolitionist and colonizer." They listened patiently to my observations,
smiled quietly at the vanity which they thought the last sentence
exhibited, and retired.

Scarce had the last charming couple disappeared, when a deputy arose,
the antipodes of the last speaker; his manner was so arrogant, I
instantly suspected his ignorance, and his observations showed such
painful sensitiveness, that they were evidently the production of an
accusing conscience. His parentage I could not ascertain accurately;
but, being a slight judge of horseflesh, I should suspect he was by
"Slave-bully" out of "Kantankerousina,"--a breed by no means rare in
America, but thought very little of by the knowing ones. On referring to
the list, I found he was entered as "Recriminator," and that the rest of
the deputation had refused to give him a warranty. He sprang up with
angry activity; he placed his left hand on his breast, the right hand he
extended with cataleptic rigidity, and with an expression of countenance
which I can only compare to that of an injured female of spotless
virtue, he began, "You, sir--yes, I say, you, sir--you presume to speak
of the slave--you, sir, who come from a nation of slaves, whose rampant
aristocrats feed on the blood of their serfs, where title is another
word for villany, and treads honesty beneath its iron heel! You, sir,
you offer suggestions for the benefit of a country whose prosperity
excites your jealousy, and whose institutions arouse mingled feelings of
hatred and fear! Go home, sir--go home! no more of your canting
hypocrisy about the lusty negro! go home, sir, I say! enrich your own
poor, clothe your naked, and feed your own starving--the negro here is
better off than most of them! Imitate the example of this free and
enlightened nation, where every citizen is an independent sovereign;
send your royalty and, aristocracy to all mighty smash, raise the cap of
Liberty on the lofty pole of Democracy, and let the sinews of men obtain
their just triumphs over the flimsy rubbish of intellect and capital!
Tyranny alone makes differences. All men are equal!"--He concluded his
harangue just in time to save a fit, for it was given with all the fuss
and fury of a penny theatre King Richard; in fact, I felt at one time
strongly inclined to call for "a horse," but, having accepted the
deputation, I was bound to treat its members with courtesy; so I
replied, "Sir, your elegantly expressed opinions of royalty, &c.,
require nothing but ordinary knowledge to show their absurdity, so I
will not detain you by dwelling on that subject; but, sir, you
studiously avoid alluding to the condition of the slave, and, by seeking
for a fault elsewhere, endeavour to throw a cloak over the subject of
this meeting. You tell me the poor in England need much clothing and
food--that is very true; but, sir, if every pauper had a fur cloak and a
round of beef, I cannot see the advantage the negro would derive
therefrom. Again, sir, you say the negro is better off than many of our
poor; so he is far better off than many of the drunken rowdies of your
own large towns; yet I have never heard it suggested that they should be
transformed into slaves, by way of bettering their condition. Take my
advice, sir; before you throw stones, he sure that there is not a pane
of glass in your Cap of Liberty big enough for 3,000,000 of slaves to
look through. And pray, sir, do not forget, 'Tyranny alone makes
differences. All men are equal!'"

A slam of the door announced the departure and the temper of
Recriminator, and it also brought upon his feet another deputy who had
kept hitherto quite in the background. He evidently was anxious for a
private audience, but that being impossible, he whispered in my ear,
"Sir, I am an abolitionist, slick straight off; and all I have got to
say is, that you are a soap-suddy, milk-and-water friend to the slave,
fix it how you will." Seeing he was impatient to be off, I whispered to
him in reply, "Sir, there is an old prayer that has often been uttered
with great sincerity, and is probably being so uttered now by more than
one intelligent slave: it is this, 'Good Lord, save me from my friends.'
The exertions of your party, sir, remind me much of those of a man who
went to pull a friend out of the mud, but, by a zeal without discretion,
he jumped on his friend's head, and stuck him faster than ever."

When he disappeared, I was in hopes it was all over; but a very
mild-tempered looking man, with a broad intelligent forehead, got up,
and, approaching me in the most friendly manner, said, "Sir, I both
admit and deplore the evil of the institution you have been discussing,
but its stupendous difficulties require a much longer residence than
yours has been to fathom them; and until they are fully fathomed, the
remedies proposed must be in many cases very unsuitable, uncalled for,
and insufficient. However, sir, I accept your remarks in the same
friendly spirit as, I am sure, you have offered them. Permit me, at the
same time, as one many years your senior, to say that, in considering
your proposals, I shall separate the chaff--of which there is a good
deal--from the wheat--of which there is some little; the latter I shall
gather into my mind's garner, and I trust it will fall on good soil." I
took the old gentleman's hand and shook it warmly, and, as he retired, I
made up my mind he was the sensible slave-owner.

I was about to leave the scene, quite delighted that the ordeal was
over, when, to my horror, I heard a strong Northern voice calling out
lustily, "Stranger, I guess I have a word for you." On turning round I
beheld a man with a keen Hebrew eye, an Alleghany ridge nose, and a chin
like the rounded half of a French roll. I was evidently alone with a
'cute man of dollars and cents. On my fronting him, he said, with
Spartan brevity, "Who's to pay?" Conceive, O reader! my consternation at
being called upon to explain who was to make compensation for the
sweeping away--to a considerable extent, at all events--of what
represented, in human flesh, 250,000,000l., and in the produce of its
labour 80,000,000l. annually!

Answer I must; so, putting on an Exchequery expression, I said, "Sir, if
a national stain is to be washed out, the nation are in honour bound to
pay for the soap. England has set you a noble example under similar
circumstances, and the zeal of the abolitionists will, no doubt, make
them tax themselves double; but as for suggesting to you by what tax the
money is to be raised, you must excuse me, sir. I am a Britisher, and
remembering how skittish you were some years ago about a little stamp
and tea affair, I think I may fairly decline answering your question
more in detail; a burnt child dreads the fire."--The 'cute man
disappeared and took the vision with him; in its place came the reality
of 2 A.M. and the candles flickering in their sockets.

Reader, I have now done with the question of the gradual improvement and
ultimate emancipation of the slave. The public institutions of any
country are legitimate subjects of comment for the traveller, and in
proportion as his own countrymen feel an interest in them, so is it
natural he should comment on them at greater or less length. I have,
therefore, dwelt at large upon this subject, from the conviction that it
is one in which the deepest interest is felt at home; and I trust that I
have so treated it as to give no just cause of offence to any one,
whether English or American.

I hope I have impressed my own countrymen with some idea of the gigantic
obstacles that present themselves, of which I will but recapitulate
three;--the enormous pecuniary interests involved; the social difficulty
arising from the amount of negro population; and, though last not least,
the perplexing problem--if Washington's opinion, that "Slavery can only
cease by legislative authority," is received--how Congress can legislate
for independent and sovereign States beyond the limits of the
Constitution by which they are mutually bound to each other. I feel sure
that much of the rabid outcry, the ovation of Mrs. B. Stowe, and other
similar exhibitions, have arisen from an all but total ignorance of the
true facts of the case. This ignorance it has been my object to dispel;
and I unhesitatingly declare that the emancipation of the negroes
throughout the Southern States, if it took place to-morrow, would be the
greatest curse the white man could inflict upon them. I also trust that
I may have shadowed forth some useful idea, to assist my Southern
friends in overtaking a gangrene which lies at their heart's core, and
which every reflecting mind must see is eating into their vitals with
fearful rapidity. My last and not my least sincere hope is, that some
one among the many suggestions I have offered for the negro's present
benefit, may be found available to mitigate the undoubted sufferings and
cruel injustice of which those with bad masters must frequently be the
victims. Should I succeed in even one solitary instance, I shall feel
more than repaid for the many hours of thought and trouble I have spent
over the intricate problem--the best road from Slavery to Emancipation.

Since writing the foregoing, 20,000,000 freemen, by the decision of
their representatives at Washington, have hung another negro's shackle
on their pole of Liberty (?). Kansas is enslaved--freedom is
dishonoured. As a proof how easily those who are brought up under the
institution of Slavery blind themselves to the most simple facts, Mr.
Badger, the senator for North Carolina, after eulogizing the treatment
of slaves, and enlarging upon the affection between them and their
masters, stated that, if Nebraska was not declared a Slave State[CA] it
would preclude him, should he wish to settle there, from taking with him
his "old mammy,"--the negro woman who had nursed him in infancy. Mr.
Wade, from Ohio, replied, "that the senator was labouring under a
mistake; there was nothing to prevent his taking his beloved mammy
with him, though Nebraska remained free, except it were that he could
not sell her when he got there."

Let the Christian learn charity from the despised Mussulman. Read the
following proclamation:--

  "From the Servant of God, the Mushir Ahmed Basha Bey, Prince of the
  Tunisian dominions.

  "To our ally, Sir Thomas Reade, Consul-General of the British
  Government at Tunis.

  "The servitude imposed on a part of the human kind whom God has
  created is a very cruel thing, and our heart shrinks from it.

  "It never ceased to be the object of our attention for years past,
  which we employed in adopting such proper means as could bring us to
  its extirpation, as is well known to you. Now, therefore, we have
  thought proper to publish that we have abolished men's slavery in all
  our dominions, inasmuch as we regard all slaves who are on our
  territory as free, and do not recognise the legality of their being
  kept as a property. We have sent the necessary orders to all the
  governors of our Tunisian kingdom, and inform you thereof, in order
  that you may know that all slaves that shall touch our territory, by
  sea or by land, shall become free.

  "May you live under the protection of God!

  "Written in Moharrem, 1262." (23rd of January, 1846.)

What a bitter satire upon the vaunted "Land of Liberty" have her sons
enacted since the Mahometan Prince penned the above! Not only has the
slave territory been nearly doubled in the present century; but by a
recent decision of the Supreme Court, every law which _has been_ passed
by Congress restricting slavery, is pronounced contrary to the
constitution, and therefore invalid. Congress is declared powerless to
prohibit slavery from any portion of the Federal Territory, or to
authorize the inhabitants to do so; the African race, whether slave or
free, are declared not to be citizens, and consequently to be
incompetent to sue in the United States' Courts, and the slave-owner is
pronounced authorized to carry his rights into every corner of the
Union, despite the decrees of Congress or the will of the inhabitants.

In short, in the year 1857, upwards of eighty years after Washington and
his noble band declared--and at the point of the sword won--their
independence, and after so many States have purified their shields from
the negro's blood, the highest tribunal in the Republic has decreed that
the rights of the slave-owner extend to every inch of the Federal soil,
and that by their Constitution _the United States is a Slave Republic._

What will the end be? A few short years have rolled past since the
foregoing remarks were penned, and in that interval the question of
Slavery has again made the Union tremble to its uttermost borders. The
cloud, not bigger than a man's hand, was sped by President Pierce's
administration to the new State of Kansas, and ere long it burst in a
deluge of ruffianism and blood; the halls of Congress were dishonoured
by the violent assault which Mr. Brookes (a Southern senator) made upon
Mr. Sumner of Massachusetts; the Press spread far and wide the
ignominious fact, that the ladies of his State presented the assailant
with a cane, inscribed "Hit him again!" the State itself endorsed his
act by re-electing him unanimously; North and South are ranged in bitter
hostility; in each large meetings have advocated a separation, in terms
of rancour and enmity; and it is to be feared the Union does not possess
a man of sufficient weight and character to spread oil over the troubled
waters.

How will "Manifest Destiny" unfold itself, and what will the end
be?--The cup must fill first.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote BY: Many of my suggestions, the reader will observe, are drawn
from the Cuba code.]

[Footnote BZ: In Peru, the maximum of stripes the law permits to be
inflicted is twelve; and girls above fourteen, married women, fathers of
children, and old men, are exempt from the lash.]

[Footnote CA: At the time of the discussion, the Nebraska territory
included Nebraska and Kansas]



CHAPTER XXVII.

_Constitution of United States._


The most important subject that claims the attention of the traveller in
any country that pretends to education or civilization, is undoubtedly
its Constitution. The reader cannot expect--and most probably would not
wish--to find, in a work like this, any elaborate account of the
government of so vast and varied a republic as that of the United
States. Those who wish thoroughly to grasp so very extensive a topic
must study the history of each individual State from its foundation;
must watch the changes each has undergone, noting the effect produced;
and must carefully pore over the writings of the great men who
originally planned--if I may so express myself--the Republic, and must
dive deep into the learned and valuable tomes of Story, Kent, &c. Those
who are content with more moderate information, will find a great deal,
very ably condensed, in a volume by Mr. Tremenheere. To the reader, I
pretend to offer nothing but a glance at such elements as appear to me
most useful and interesting; and in so doing, I shall freely borrow such
quotations from Mr. Tremenheere's references to Story and Kent as I
conceive may help to elucidate my subject, not having those authors at
hand to refer to.

The Government of the United States consists of three departments,--the
Executive, Legislative, and Judicial; or the President, the House of
Representatives and Senate, and the Judicial Courts. The President and
Vice-President are chosen by an elective body from all the States, the
said body being selected by popular vote in each State. The
Vice-President is _ex officio_ Speaker or President of the Senate, and
in case of the chief dying, he becomes for the remainder of the term the
President of the United States. They are elected for 4 years, but may be
re-elected indefinitely. Should the votes be equal, the House of
Representatives selects the President from the three on the list who
have most votes, and the Senate selects the Vice in the same way. The
qualifications for President and Vice are--native born, 35 years of age,
and 14 years' residence in the States. The salary of the President is
about 5100l. a year, and a residence at Washington, called "The White
House." The salary of the Vice-President is 1680l. a year. There are
five Secretaries,--State, Interior, Treasury, War, Navy, and a
Postmaster-General; the Attorney-General also forms part of the Cabinet.
These officials also receive the same salary. The Senate is composed of
two members from each State, irrespective of population, so as not to
swamp the small States. The election is by the Legislature of each
State, and for 6 years; one-third of their number go out every 2 years.
The qualification for a senator is that he should be 30 years of age,
have been 9 years a citizen, and living in the State for which he is
elected. The House of Representatives originally consisted of one member
for a certain amount of population, and as the increase in population
was very rapid, the number of Representatives increased as a matter of
course. In 1843, it was one member for every 70,000 of population, but,
to prevent the body from becoming unmanageable owing to numbers, in 1853
the House was limited to 234 Representatives, elected _pro ratâ_ to the
several States. Slaves are reckoned in the proportion of three-fifths of
their number. The preliminary steps are, that every 10 years a census is
taken, after which a bill is passed by Congress, apportioning number of
representatives to each State, according to its population. This done,
each State passes a law, districting the State according to the number
of members assigned it, and each district elects its own representative
for Congress. The election is for 2 years, and the qualification is 7
years a citizen, 25 years of age, and living in the State. The salary is
the same as that of a senator. The names of members composing a division
on any question in either house, are not printed unless they are
demanded by one-fifth of the members present. One of the clauses of
their Constitution is very original, and runs thus:--"Each House may
determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for
disorderly behaviour, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a
member."

All impeachments are tried in the Senate, and a majority of two-thirds
is requisite for a conviction. If the President be on trial, the Chief
Justice, or head of the Supreme Court, presides. While power of trial
rests with the Senate, the power of impeachment rests solely with the
House of Representatives. In addition to the ordinary functions of an
Upper House, the Senate has also what is called "an Executive Session,"
which is held with closed doors; at this Session all treaties and high
appointments are discussed, and the appointments are not held to be
valid till ratified by them. Whenever fresh land becomes sufficiently
populous, the general Government admit it as territory, and appoint an
administration. This was the case with Nebraska and Kansas in 1853; and
the "Missouri Compromise" (which confined slavery south of the 36º 3'
parallel of latitude) having been repealed, it became optional with them
to adopt slavery or not. Kansas fought barbarously for the dishonourable
privilege, and with temporary success: Nebraska has declined the honour
as yet. The interests of territories are watched over at Washington by
delegates in the House of Representatives, who have a seat, but no vote.
This sensible arrangement might, in my humble opinion, be adopted in
this country with reference to our colonies, whose wants at present have
no interpreter intimately acquainted with colonial affairs in either
branch of the Legislature.

Each State in the Union has its own Governor, House of Representatives,
Senate, and Judiciary, and is in every respect a sovereign State--they
like the word as much as they pretend to dislike the reality--acting
perfectly independently within its limits, except in such cases as were
mutually agreed upon by the terms of the Union, and to some of which we
shall refer by and by. This sovereignty of individual States renders the
elective franchise different in different States.

At the date of the first elections after the Declaration of
Independence, no State admitted mere citizenship as a qualification for
the elective franchise. The great men who appeared upon the stage at
that period, profiting by the experience of past ages, threw certain
guards around the franchise in every State in the Union, varying in
different States, but all bearing unmistakeable testimony to the fact,
that a perfect democracy was not the basis on which they ever
contemplated building up the Republic. A few short years have rolled by;
the 13 States are increased to 33, and according to Mr. Tremenheere, "a
grave departure from the theory of the Constitution, as it existed in
the eyes and expectations of its careful and prudent founders, has taken
place, in the gradual lowering throughout nearly all the States of the
Union, and the entire abandonment in two-thirds of them, of those
qualifications for the exercise of the franchise which existed when the
Constitution was adopted." In one State--Illinois--aliens being
residents are entitled to vote. Now, if the great men of 1776 thought
safeguards around the franchise wise and prudent in their day, before
the great tide of emigration had set in to the westward, and when the
population was only 4,000,000, what would they say, could they but rise
from their graves and see how their successors have thrown down the
prudent barriers they had raised, and laid the franchise bare to
citizenship, now that the Union numbers 23,000,000 souls, and that the
tide of emigration is daily flooding them with hordes of the
discontented and turbulent from every country in the Old World?

But perhaps it may be said that I, as an Englishman, am prejudiced
against republican institutions in any shape; let me, then, quote you an
authority which every educated American will respect. Mr. Justice Kent
says, "The progress and impulse of popular opinion, is rapidly
destroying every constitutional check, every conservative element,
intended by the sages who framed the earliest American Constitutions as
safeguards against the abuses of popular suffrage." Let us turn to
another equally eminent American authority, Mr. Justice Story. "It might
be urged, that it is far from being clear, upon reasoning or experience,
that uniformity in the composition of a representative body is either
desirable or expedient, founded in sounder policy, or more promotive of
the general good, than a mixed system, embracing, representing, and
combining distinct interests, classes, and opinions. In England, the
House of Commons, as a representative body, is founded upon no uniform
principle, either of numbers, or classes, or places; ... and in every
system of reform which has found public favour in that country, many of
these diversities have been embodied from choice, as important checks
upon undue legislation, as facilitating the representation of different
interests and different opinions, and as thus securing, by a
well-balanced and intelligent representation of all the various classes
of society, a permanent protection of the public liberties of the
people, and a firm security of the private rights of persons and
property."

Thus far I have quoted the opinions of the highest American authorities
upon the franchise. And, as far as the lowering it in England affords us
any light, I would wish some unbiased and competent person to inform the
public, whether--whatever other benefit it may have procured to the
community--it has increased or decreased bribery and corruption; and how
the balance between advantage and disadvantage will stand, in reference
to the community at large, by a further lowering of the franchise in
this country; and also to what extent--if any--it can be lowered,
without throwing all but unlimited power into the hands of the masses,
and thus destroying that balance of the different interests of the
community which are--thank God--still represented, and which, if once
lost, would reduce our beloved Sovereign to the position of a gaudy
puppet, and the House of Lords to a mere cypher, and be as certainly
followed by all the horrors of a revolution, and all the evils of a
corrupt democracy. How easy is it to find politicians ever ready to
sniff the incense of popularity at the plausible shrine of a descending
franchise!--how difficult to find those who, while granting what is just
and prudent, have the wisdom to plan, and the courage to dare, measures
to arrest a mobular avalanche!

With regard to the frequency of elections, I will only insert the
following sentence from Mr. Justice Story, as, I believe, public opinion
in this country is all but universal in its condemnation: "Men, to act
with vigour and effect, ... must not be hurried on to their conclusions
by the passions of elections has a tendency to create agitation and
dissensions in the public mind, to nourish factions and encourage
restlessness, to favour rash innovations in domestic legislation and
public policy, and to produce violent and sudden changes in the
administration of public affairs, founded upon temporary excitements and
prejudices: ... it operates also as a great discouragement upon suitable
candidates offering themselves for the public service ... the period of
service ought, therefore, to bear some proportion to the variety of
knowledge and practical skill which the duties of the station
demand."--If any annual-parliament maniac still exist, let him profit by
these words of wisdom from the pen of a republican, dipped in the ink of
Prudence and Patriotism; and in the marked difference between the House
of Representatives and the Senate Chamber--the former of whom are
elected for two, the latter for six years--let him behold the most
incontrovertible living proof's of their truth. John Jay, one of the
most able men of America, writing to Washington, expresses his wish that
the Upper House, or Senate, should be elected for life.

I will now turn to a topic which probably interests the British public
more than any other--except the franchise--I mean the Ballot. So much
has been said about the coercion of voters by those on whom they are
dependent, and so much disgraceful jobbery at elections in this country
has been laid bare, that if the Ballot were really a panacea for the
evil, every patriot should exert his utmost energies to forward the
introduction of so essential a measure. In reading any American document
where the word "ballot" is used, it must be remembered that, unless the
word "secret" precede it, the meaning is merely voting by an open piece
of paper on which the name of the candidate is printed, and which he may
enclose in an envelope or not, as he chooses. It is, therefore, only
with the secret ballot we have to deal at present; for although the
power to vote secretly exists, it is obvious, that unless secret voting
is made compulsory, it affords no protection to those who are in a
position to be bribed or coerced, inasmuch as those who did bribe or
coerce would insist upon the vote so obtained being given openly.

It will perhaps astonish an Englishman to be told that "secret" ballot
is all but unknown in the United States. Nevertheless, such is the case.
An act was passed some four years ago in Massachusetts requiring
secrecy; and what was the effect of this act? A large body of the
electors met together to denounce with indignation any attempt at
enforcing that which they repudiated as unworthy of freemen. So strong
was this feeling that in 1853, the act which enforced it was repealed,
and in the convention called to discuss the revision of their
Constitution--according to Mr. Tremenheere--although the democratic
party were in a great majority, the effort to impose secrecy was thrown
out by a majority of 5000[CB].

A friend of mine, who took considerable interest in this question, was
present at the elections for the State of Massachusetts, and when, at
the same time, a popular vote was to be taken on the proposed revision
of the Constitution; this latter was by special enactment made
compulsorily secret. How far this object was attained, the following
statement will show. As the voters came up to the polling-place, tickets
were offered them by the agents of the opposite parties, in a large room
full of people. The voters selected whichever ticket they preferred, in
the presence of the whole room, and then, in compliance with the terms
of the enactment, they sealed it up in an envelope before depositing it
in the voting-box. So much for compulsory secrecy. Of course on this
occasion, as on all electioneering occasions, the voters might have
concealed their votes, had they chosen so to do.

The only States, that I am aware of, where secrecy is enjoined by law
are New York and Indiana; and in the former of these I can most
certainly testify, from personal observation, that in many instances, if
not in most, it is a dead letter. I never met a soul who, in talking
about politics, ever thought of concealing his sentiments. I am
therefore forced to the conclusion that secrecy only exists among the
very lowest; and here it may be as well to introduce the opinions of the
Governor of this important State. Mr. Washington Hunt, in his Message of
January 7, 1851, says, "The alarming increase of bribery in our popular
elections demands your serious attention. The preservation of our
liberties depends on the purity of the elective franchise, and its
independent exercise by the citizen, and I trust you will adopt such
measures as shall effectually protect the ballot-box from all corrupting
influences."


If any efforts were made to stay the tide of corruption, the message of
the same Governor the following year will enable you to judge of their
success. In his address on the 6th of January, 1852, this paragraph
occurs: "The increase of corrupt practices in our elections has become a
subject of general and just complaint: it is represented that in some
localities the suffrages of considerable numbers of voters have been
openly purchased with money. We owe it to ourselves and to posterity,
and to the free institutions which we have inherited, to crush this
hateful evil in its infancy, before it attains sufficient growth to
endanger our political system. The honest and independent exercise of
the right of suffrage is a vital principle in the theory of
representative government. It is the only enduring foundation for a
republic. Not only should the law punish every violation of this
principle as a crime against the integrity of the State, but any person
concerned in giving or receiving any pecuniary consideration for a vote
should, upon challenge, be deprived of the privilege of voting. I submit
the subject to your consideration, in the hope that additional remedies
may be prescribed and enforced."--The two foregoing extracts do equal
credit to the head and heart of Governor Hunt; but what a picture do
they portray of the effects of secret voting!

Let us now turn from Governor Hunt, and see what the Press says on the
subject. The _New York Herald_, which if not highly esteemed is at least
widely circulated, thus writes in the month of May, 1852:--"Look at the
proceedings on Thursday last in the 19th Ward. Voters carried to the
ballot-boxes in scores of waggons from, various localities; and, in
other wards, hundreds of democrats voting for Scott and for Fillmore,
men ignorant and steeped in crime, picked up in all the purlieus of the
city and purchased at a dollar a head; and some, it is said, so low as
half a dollar, to deposit in the ballot-box a vote they had never
seen."--The article then goes on to explain the methods employed at
elections--viz., a lazy fellow who wont work, brawls, and drinks, and
spouts, and defames every honest man in the ward, till he becomes a
semi-deity among the riff-raff, then "his position is found out by those
who want to use him. He is for sale to the highest bidder, either to
defeat his own party by treachery, or to procure a nomination for any
scoundrel who will pay for it. He has no politics of any kind. He has
rascality to sell, and there are those who are willing to purchase it,
in order that they may traffic in it, and sell it to themselves again at
a very high profit.... We have heard of a case in one of the Lower Wards
of the city, in which one man got, at the time of the late democratic
conventions, the enormous sum of two thousand dollars, out of which it
is said he bribed the majority of the electors and kept the balance for
himself."

A few paragraphs further on he suggests remedies for the evil;--and what
do you suppose they are? First, that honest people should not leave
politics to the riff-raff. Secondly, "there ought to be a registration
established, by which no man could sail under false colours, or deposit
a vote at a primary election, unless he belonged to the ward, and
belonged to the party to which he professed to belong." Conceive the
state to which secret voting has reduced the wealthy and intelligent
city of New York; absolutely, a return to open voting is considered
insufficient to reach the vitals of the evil which secrecy has brought
about. Here we have proposed as a remedy _the compulsory register of
political sentiments_; and to prove that things are not mending, in the
"Retrospect of the year 1852," which forms a leading article in the same
journal at the commencement of 1853, after a lengthy panegyric upon the
state of America, &c., during 1852, he winds up with these most serious
drawbacks to the previous eulogy: "if we are bound to admit with crimson
blush that crime is sadly on the increase, and that our municipal
institutions have reached the lowest depths of inefficiency and infamy,
these but remind us that the work which 1852 has bravely carried on is
not yet achieved."--I would wish carefully to guard against being
understood to endorse the violent language employed by the _New York
Herald_. I am aware how unsafe a guide the Press ever is in times of
political excitement; but after making every reasonable allowance,
enough remains to prove the tendency of the secret ballot, corroborated
as it is by the authoritative message of the Governor of the State.

Let us now turn for a moment to that most witty and amusing writer,
Sydney Smith. In speaking of Mr. Grote's proposal for the ballot, the
author says, "He tells us that the bold cannot be free, and bids us
seek for liberty by clothing ourselves in the mask of falsehood, and
trampling on the cross of truth;"--and further on, towards the end of
the pamphlet, he quotes an authority that Americans must respect--"Old
John Randolph, the American orator, was asked one day, at a dinner-party
in London, whether the ballot prevailed in his State of Virginia? 'I
scarcely believe,' he said, 'we have such a fool in all Virginia as to
mention even the vote by ballot; and I do not hesitate to say that the
adoption of the ballot would make any nation a set of scoundrels if it
did not find them so.'"--John Randolph was right; he felt that it was
not necessary that a people should be false in order to be free.
Universal hypocrisy would be the consequence of ballot. We should soon
say, on deliberation, what David only asserted in his haste, that "all
men are liars."[CC]--How strangely prophetic the opinion of John
Randolph appears, when read by the light of the _New York Herald_ of
1852.

It has always appeared to me that the argument in favour of ballot which
is drawn from its use in clubs, if it prove anything at all, is rather
against than for it; its value there arises from the fact of the
independence of the members, which enables any member if asked by the
rejected candidate how he had voted, to decline giving any answer
without fear of consequences. Were he dependent, he must either deny the
black-ball he gave, had he so voted, or, confessing the fact, he must
suffer for it, and silence would be sure to be construed into a
black-ball: therefore, before ballot could be of any value to a
constituency, they must be independent; and if independent, there would
be no need of the ballot. Of course secrecy could be obtained by
falsehood. Moreover, the object of it in a club is to keep out of a
select society not only those who are considered absolutely offensive,
but many with whom, though you might like to meet them in general
society, you do not think it desirable to be on more intimate terms; and
even in a club, who will deny that it is often used to gratify private
malice, and frequently, when candidates are numerous, are black-balls
put in to hasten forward the election of friends? While freely
confessing and deeply regretting the disgraceful jobbery and bribery
which an inquiry into our own elections too often reveals, we ought to
be thankful for the light of experience which a contemplation of the
elective system of the United States affords, warning us as it does that
an imprudent lowering of the franchise and a recourse to the secret
ballot do but aggravate the evils they were intended to cure. Before we
proceed to lower our franchise, should we not do wisely to try and
devise some means for obtaining the votes of those already entitled to
vote? Many an honest and industrious artisan at present entitled to a
vote will not come to the poll on account of the violence which--if not
of the mobular party--he may be subject to; his family depend on his
exertions for their daily bread--a broken limb, or any such accident
happening to him, may bring the whole family to deep distress, if not to
the workhouse. It appears by the _Edinburgh Review_ of October, 1852,
that at a previous general election, 40 per cent, of those possessing
the privilege did not poll their votes. A hasty lowering of the
franchise would certainly increase that number, and thus while losing
more votes of the peaceful and industrious citizens, we should be
increasing those of the more turbulent, and of those who are excited by
designing demagogues.

But to return to the United States. In the former edition I omitted to
explain that "a Congress" meant a Parliament for two years--the term for
which the representatives are elected. One of the sessions is from the
first Monday in December to about the end of August, and is called the
long session; the other commences the same day, and sits till the 4th
March, and is called the short session; but, besides these regular
sittings, there may be extra sessions as often as the President thinks
fit to assemble Congress. At the time I was in the States, by a fiction
very agreeable to the members, if Congress closed the session on Monday,
and the President ordered its reassembling on Tuesday, the members were
supposed to be at their respective homes, and received mileage payment
accordingly. This snug little bonus was called "constructive mileage."

In the year 1856 an act was passed fixing the payment of members at
1260l. each for their services in each Congress of two years, and
abolishing the constructive mileage job. The only deduction from the
above is that made for non-attendance of members. The payment is thus
arranged:--Each member receives 1l. 13s. 6d. for every day he
attends in Congress; the whole number of days a session lasts are
calculated at the above rate, and the difference between that amount and
630l. (the half of 1260l.) is a bonus given, at the end of the first
year's session, and is in lieu of all further payments for any extra
sessions which the President may think it advisable to call during the
year. It will thus be seen that each member receives the same sum, minus
1l. 13s. 6d. for every day's non-attendance.

Mileage is allowed at the rate of 1l. 13s. 6d.. for every twenty
miles distance to and fro, but only for one session each; year. The
advantage Texas and Californian members obtain from this liberal
allowance is obvious, and its injustice is felt by those who live in the
neighbouring States to Washington.

Now, as travelling, in most parts of the Union, is at the rate of less
than 2d. a mile, and living at the rate of two and a half dollars
(10s. 6d.) a day, it is obvious that the situation of a
representative is advantageous in a pecuniary point of view to those who
wish to make a trade of politics. A member coming from a distance, say
of 200 miles, and attending 120 days, would have a clear balance of
about 150l. left for the rest of the year; and a member from Texas
would clear about 500l. How far such a measure is wise, and brings the
most desirable men into the public service, let their own countrymen
tell. Mr. Venables, of North Carolina, in a speech at Richmond, Virginia
(quoted by Mr. Tremenheere) says, "With money enough, any bill can be
carried through Congress." No nation--and, least of all, so very
sensitive a nation as the United States--would pass an act which could
possibly throw a cloud of doubt over the integrity of its
representatives were there not some imperative necessity; the act
referred to below will be found in page 363 of _Appendix_ to
Tremenheere's _Constitution of the United States_, one clause of which
runs thus:--"That any senator or representative in Congress who, after
the passage of this act ... shall receive any gratuity, or any share of,
or interest in, any claim from any claimant against the United States,
&c., on conviction shall pay a fine not exceeding 5000 dollars
(1000l.), suffer imprisonment in the Penitentiary, not exceeding one
year, or both, as the court in its discretion shall adjudge." Another
clause follows, against the knowing and wilful destruction of public
documents; another, against any individual who shall tempt any member of
the Senate or House of Representatives with bribe of any kind to
influence his vote, and against members accepting the same. This act
bears date Feb. 26, 1853, and certainly proves that Mr. Venables'
assertion had some solid foundation in truth.

It will be remembered by some that Collins, finding the Cunard line of
steamers, when supported by Government, too strong for him to contend
against, applied to Congress for a Government grant. In obtaining that
grant, I do not pretend to say that he, or any one on his behalf, used
bribery or corruption, when he took round one of his magnificent vessels
to Washington, and feasted Congress on board in a most champagnely
style; but this I know, that many Americans were most indignant at the
proceeding, for, coupled with the act above referred to, it could not
but excite suspicion; and I feel sure, if Cunard had brought round one
of his splendid steamers to the Thames, and there feasted the
Legislature while his obtaining a Government grant was under discussion,
he could not have taken a more effectual method to mar his object. _La
femme de César ne doit pas être suspecte_. Thus, then, as far as we can
judge of any advantage to be derived from payment of members, we can see
nothing to induce us to adopt such a system; and, if I mistake not, the
American himself feels disposed to give it up, believing that the
standard of the representative will be raised thereby.

We will now make a few remarks upon a body peculiar to America, and
known as "the Lobby." But, first, I would observe that, by a rule in
both Houses, changeable at pleasure, ex-members of Congress, ministers,
secretaries of legation, &c., are allowed the privilege of coming within
the bar to hear debates; and of the people so privileged the Lobby is
chiefly composed. They have no counterpart in this country, but may
perhaps be said to have a faint and distant resemblance to our
Parliamentary agents, and they are in no way recognised by Congress.
Their work consists in endeavouring to force all members who purpose
presenting public or private bills to employ them, which, of course,
involves a "consideration;" and, as their name is "Legion," and their
motto on this point "unanimity," they are enabled, owing to their
influence with the members, to throw the greatest possible obstruction
in the way of most bills which are not passed through their "greased
palms." The result need not be described. The correspondent of the
_Times_, who, if report he correct, has held the highest situations a
citizen of the United States can hold, states, in a letter to be found
in that journal, on the 27th January 1857, that the Minnesota Land Bill
had been said, in the House of Representatives, to be supported by
bribery, and that one member openly avowed in his seat that he had been
offered 1500 dollars for his vote in favour of the bill. The consequence
was an inquiry into the alleged charge, and doubtless it will affect the
weight of the Lobby. He adds--"The Lobby has, no doubt, great influence
on the Legislature, but it is not yet all-powerful." In estimating the
effect of a vote, it must be remembered that there are only 234 members
in the House of Representatives, and 62 in the Senate; and, to give some
idea of the interests concerned, the correspondent states--"It is
scarcely an exaggeration to say that the Federal Congress at Washington
has a disposing power over twice the amount of national property subject
to the votes of the Parliament at Westminster." Those who feel an
interest in this subject I would strongly urge to read the whole of the
very able letter alluded to.

I have before spoken of the very great readiness with which any stranger
gains admittance to Congress to listen to the debates. As a broad
feature, I believe their discussions are carried on in a sober,
practical, business-like manner; nevertheless, most outrageous scenes
have occurred. I subjoin the following extract, not from any one
sentence it contains, but from its continuity, as a proof that the tone
of the House is not worthy of the dignity of so great a country. A
member of any community may get up and use the most gross and offensive
language; but if the offender be immediately called to order, and made
to retract the offensive expressions, the community thus vindicates its
character. Should, however, the most gross and offensive language be
used by two members for any length of time without any interference,
reprobation, retraction, or punishment, the community as a body must
fairly be considered, by their silence, as endorsing such conduct.

The extract is taken from that widely circulating journal, "the
_Illustrated London News_:--

"In the House of Representatives at Washington, on the 11th ult., the
following amusing but disgraceful scene occurred between two of the
members--Messrs. Stanly and Giddings. The former having charged the
latter with uttering a falsehood, the following conversation ensued:--

"Mr. Stanly: 'It is usual for one who has no regard for the decencies of
life to relieve himself from responsibility by pronouncing statements
false, and it is characteristic of the man who sneaked away from this
House, and took his pay for work which he did not do.

"Mr. Giddings: 'When the gentleman descends to low vulgarity, I cannot
follow him, I protest against Dough-faces prompting the gentleman from
South Carolina.

"Mr. Stanly: 'It is the business of a scavenger to have anything to do
with him, and I will have to wash my hands after handling him; but the
thing has to be done, as he has thrust himself on us as a kind of
censor. It is a small business for me, and I don't know how I can
descend any lower than to take hold of the hon. member for Ohio. (Cry of
'Good.')

"Mr. Giddings: 'Will you hear me?

"Mr. Stanly: 'Nobody wants to hear you, but I will indulge you.

"Mr. Giddings: 'The gentleman is barking up the wrong tree.

"Mr. Stanly: 'The galled jade winces again.

"Mr. Giddings: 'The gentleman sha'n't crack the overseer's lash to put
me down.

"Mr. Stanly: 'I hope that the gentleman will not gnash his teeth so
hard; he might hurt himself. Who is here playing the overseer over white
men--who but he, who is throwing his filthy gall and assailing everybody
as Northern Whig Dough-faces, and what he calls the vile slave-holders?
He is the only man who acts in that way. We don't raise the overseer's
lash over our slaves in North Carolina. If that member was in the
southern country, nobody would own him as a black man with a white
skin--(laughter)--but he would be suffered to run wild as a free negro,
and in the course of three weeks he would be brought up to the
whipping-post and lashed, for stealing or slandering his neighbours.
(Laughter.) If I say that he is a gentleman, I tell a falsehood.

"The Speaker (to Mr. Stanly)--'Will the gentleman suspend for a moment?

"Mr. Stanly: 'We ought to suspend that fellow (pointing to Mr. Giddings)
by the neck. (Laughter.)

"Mr. Giddings: 'The gentleman from North Carolina reminds me of the boy
who turned round so fast that the hind part of his breeches was on both
sides. (Laughter.) The gentleman says that I was at Norristown, too; but
where was he and the members of the House? Why, drinking their grog.
(Laughter.)

"Mr. Stanly: 'I charge the official reporters not to let his (Mr.
Giddings') felonious hand touch one word of what I say, for we know how
he on a former occasion misrepresented my colleague from the Orange
district, and his own colleague from the Chillicothe district, having
altered his own speech after he got to his room with his coloured
friends. (Laughter.) He talks about my associates: but has anybody ever
seen him in private decent company? Free negroes may call to see him. He
does not let his right hand know what his left doeth. He alludes to my
absence; but I have not set myself up as a standard. I don't say I'm
always in the house as I ought to be. He says we were here drinking our
grog during Christmas times. Where was he? In Philadelphia, drinking
beer and eating oysters with free negroes. (Laughter.) Which was the
best off? Judge ye. (Laughter.) He thinks he was better off than we
were. [Mr. Stanly paused, and, looking towards Mr. Preston King, who was
standing near Sir. Giddings, remarked, raising his voice to a higher
pitch, "Help him out; he needs a little more poison." (Voices, "Ha, ha!
Good! Ha, ha!")] I quit this subject in disgust. I find that I have been
in a dissecting-room, cutting up a dead dog. I will treat him as an
insane man, who was never taught the decencies of life, proprieties of
conduct--whose associations show that he never mingled with gentlemen.
Let him rave on till doomsday.'

"The conversation then ceased."

Any one who has seen much of American gentlemen, must know that such
language as the above contains would be reprobated by them fully as
strongly as by any gentleman in this country. To doubt that would be to
do them a gross injustice. Does not, therefore, the recurrence of such
scenes go far to prove, that the advance of ultra-democratic principles
has the effect of lowering the tone of the Representative Chamber, and
that men of liberal education and gentlemanly bearing do not constitute
the majority in that House? In the days of Washington, would any member
have dared to use, or would any other member have for a moment
tolerated, such language? It is but justice to say, that the tone of the
Senate Chamber is far more dignified; and many who have been members of
that body have established a world-wide reputation both as orators and
statesmen.

Let us now turn for a few minutes to that important subject, the
Judiciary of the States, one peculiar feature of which is, its being a
co-ordinate branch of the Legislature. The Supreme Court of the United
States is the highest tribunal in the country; it consists of a Chief
Justice and eight associate Justices, the Attorney-General, a reporter,
and a clerk. All questions affecting foreign ambassadors, consuls, &c.,
are tried before this court; and it is a final court of appeal in cases
involving constitutional questions, and various others, too long to
enumerate here. It has even the power of annulling the acts of the
Federal Congress at Washington, if such acts are contrary to the
Constitution.

The following article in the Constitution regulates the terms upon which
alone any change may be made, and which is of so peculiar and
conservative a character that I insert it in full:--

  "ARTICLE V.--_Power of Amendment_.

  "The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses shall deem it
  necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the
  application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the several States,
  shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either
  case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this
  Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three-fourths of
  the several States, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the
  one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress;
  provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one
  thousand eight hundred and eight, shall in any manner affect the first
  and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article, and that
  no State, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage
  in the Senate."

The foregoing article is a remarkable instance of prudence and
forethought, and acts as the strongest safeguard against hasty measures,
which in times of great excitement may sometimes obtain a majority that
would afterwards be regretted by all parties. If the principle involved
in any question is really felt to be of vital importance, the majority
can dissolve the Union if they consider the object in view worth the
sacrifice.

The salary of the Chief Justice is about 1050l. a-year. This court is,
I believe, invariably composed of men of the highest talent and
integrity; their appointment is from the President, and endorsed by the
Senate, and their tenure of office is "during good behaviour."[CD] There
has, fortunately, been no change in the manner or term of these
appointments; but, in the different States, the democratic mania has
removed the old landmarks of prudence bequeathed to them by their
fathers. Mr. Tremenheere tells, that in 1833 only 5 States out of the 24
had adopted the principle of electing Judges, and appointing them for a
term of years; in 1844, 12 States out of the 29 had adopted the
principle; and in 1853, 22 out of the 31 States had come to the same
resolution. We surely have in these facts a most important warning of
the danger of introducing too much of the democratic element into the
constitution of any country. Reflect, if but for a moment, on the danger
to the community, where the selection of the Judges of the land may be
guided by political rancour or public clamour; the bare knowledge that
such may be the case, even if the purity of the masses be so great as
not to admit of such sinister influence, the bare possibility, I say, is
calculated to lower the respect in which it is most desirable the
judiciary should ever be held,[CE] and to deter the most pure and
high-minded citizens from offering their services. The salaries of the
Judges range from 250l. to 400l. a-year.

The next point to which I would call attention, is to be found in Art.
I., sect. 6, of the Constitution of the United States, the last clause
of which runs thus:--"No person holding any office under the United
States shall be a member of either House during his continuance in
office." This was probably one of the most extraordinary blunders such
an able body of men as the framers of the Constitution ever made; and if
their object was to guard against corruption, and the undue influence of
the leading men of the country, it has most signally failed, as the Act
before referred to, of February, 1853, fully testifies. Only conceive
the effect of excluding all the Cabinet and high functionaries from
seats in the Lords and Commons; conceive the great statesmen of this
country being obliged to hand over the introduction of most important
measures, and the defence and explanation of them, to other hands. On
this point, Mr. Justice Story remarks: "Thus, that open and public
responsibility for measures, which properly belongs to the executive in
all governments, especially in a republican government, as its greatest
security and strength, is completely done away. The executive is
compelled to resort to secret and unseen influence,--to private
interviews and private arrangements,--to accomplish its own appropriate
purposes, instead of proposing and sustaining its own duties and
measures by a bold and manly appeal to the nation in the face of its
representatives. One consequence of this state of things is, that there
never can be traced home to the executive any responsibility for the
measures which are planned and carried at its suggestion. Another
consequence will be--if it has not yet been--that measures will be
adopted or defeated by private intrigues, political combinations,
irresponsible recommendations, by all the blandishments of office, and
all the deadening weight of silent patronage; ... ministers may conceal
or evade any expression of their opinions."

In charity it should be presumed that in all nations which possess
anything worthy of the name of free institutions, the ablest men of the
political majority constitute the Cabinet; and, by the enactment we are
considering, all this talent is excluded from the councils of the
nation, whereas all the talent of the Opposition may be there arrayed
against their measures. I confess it is beyond my penetration, to see
how this can be reconciled to justice or common sense; in no one
principle of their Government did they more completely ignore the wisdom
and experience of the mother country, and in the object they had in view
they appear to have most completely failed. It is but fair to the
democrats to say it is no act of theirs; they inherited the misfortune,
and are likely to keep it, as it is one of the fundamental principles of
their Constitution, and they have a salutary dread--much to their
praise--of tinkering up any flaw they find in that document, lest in
mending one hole they make two. They have, as a nation, so greatly
prospered under its combined enactments, and possess such an unlimited
independence in their individual States, that although the exclusion of
the Cabinet is now very generally admitted to be an error, I saw no
inclination to moot the question; probably, lest other questions
affecting the slave and non-slave-holding States might be brought on the
boards, and again disturb the bonds of union.

Another very remarkable--and in a Republic anomalous--feature in the
government, is the power of the President, who, by the Constitution, is
enabled during his four years' tenure of office to rule in total
opposition to the majority, obstructing all the measures they may bring
forward, unless the majority amounts to two-thirds in both Houses of
Congress.

Article I., section 7, clause 2, runs thus:--"Every bill which shall
have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate shall, before
it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if
he approves, he shall sign it, but if not, he shall return it with his
objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall
enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to
re-consider it. If after such re-consideration two-thirds of that House
shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the
objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be
re-considered, and if approved by two-thirds of that House, it shall
become a law," &c.

This power of the President has been used by Washington, Jackson, Tyler,
and Polk; particularly by Tyler, who opposed the wishes of the majority
even when those wishes were backed by his own ministry. During the
discussions on the Constitution, many of the wisest heads at that
eventful period desired to establish the Presidency for life, but
eventually the term of four years was agreed upon; and if such powers of
obstructing the wishes of a majority were to accompany the office, it
certainly was a prudent conclusion they arrived at. In a densely
populated community like Great Britain, such powers, whether in the
hands of the sovereign or the ministers, would produce a revolution in
much less time than four years. It may, however, be questioned, whether
these powers are not productive of evil, by rendering necessary such
frequent elections for the Presidency. On this point, Mr. Justice Story
states: "The inconvenience of such frequently recurring elections of the
chief magistrate, by generating factions, combining intrigues, and
agitating the public mind, seems not hitherto to have attracted as much
attention, as it deserves." And Chancellor Kent remarks, that "the
election of a supreme executive magistrate for a whole nation affects so
many interests, addresses itself so strongly to popular passions, and
holds out such powerful temptations to ambition, that it necessarily
becomes a strong trial to public virtue, and even hazardous to public
tranquillity."

There is another evil which attends these frequent elections of the
chief magistrate--namely, the enormous patronage at his disposal, and
the mass of jobbery and corruption to which the exercise of it almost
invariably leads. Besides the appointment of nearly ever military,
naval, civil, judicial, and revenue-collecting official--some of these
subject, it is true to the approval of the Senate--Mr. Justice Story
remarks, that with regard to inferior offices "his patronage probably
includes ninety-nine out of every hundred of the lucrative offices of
the government." His great rival in patronage is the Postmaster-General,
who has power to appoint and remove all deputy-postmasters, which, as
the number of post-offices is 22,688, amounts to something considerable.

This power was doubtless intended for the public good, and in order that
incompetent or inefficient persons should be removed. To the honour of
Washington, it is recorded that during his eight years' Presidency only
nine removals took place. To President Jackson they are indebted, as I
have before remarked, for the introduction of the present corrupt
system. According to Justice Story, on his entering office he removed
233 _employés_; since then, the snowball has been steadily increasing
till the present moment; it has now reached an amount which it would
require Mr. Babbage's machine to calculate. Who can doubt that such vast
patronage, has far more influence in the selection of a President, than
any personal qualification for the high and important post? Nothing
could prove more clearly that such influences are paramount to all
others than the last election. There were eight candidates on the
democratic side, of whom General Pierce was not one; all the eight had
their special friends, and each party was loth to lose the chance of
patronage which their friend's election might reasonably lead them to
hope for. Thus they fought so vigorously that there was no chance of any
one having the requisite number of votes, i.e., a majority of the
whole number polled.

The Convention being deputed by the different States to select from the
candidates already in the field, how do they get out of the difficulty
at the eleventh hour? They take upon themselves to nominate a candidate
for the Presidential chair, who was not fettered by any particular
followers, and from whom all parties hoped they would receive some share
of the loaves and fishes as a reward for their support. The electors
endorsed the new selection of the Convention, and General Pierce, lately
commanding a brigade in the Mexican war, was elected by a most
astounding majority. Scarcely any President was ever elected with such
all-but unanimity, and the Press was equally undivided in its praises.
Every paper I read, in every place I passed through, was full of the
most unbounded eulogy. But mark the change a few months made. Before
the end of the year, one-half of that Press, which had bespattered him
with such fulsome adulation during the honeymoon of which his
inauguration was the centre, were filling their columns with long and
loud complaints, if not abuse. And what was the chief burden of their
invective? It was the manner in which he distributed his patronage. In
short, they were discontented with the share they received of the loaves
and fishes, and thus the target of their adulation during the summer of
hope, became the butt for their abuse in the winter of disappointment.

There is another subject connected with these elections, which speaks
with warning voice against the presumable advantage of democracy. I
would not be misunderstood as casting the slightest reflection upon the
amiable qualities, intellectual powers, or administrative talents of any
American citizen who has been raised to the Presidency during later
years. Let any candid reader, however, whether English or American, look
at the following lists of Presidents since the Constitution, and he
cannot fail to observe that while the franchise was restricted in nearly
every State, those called to that high post were the marked men of the
highest talent in the country--men whose reputation and abilities were
patent to the whole community; while, with the increase of democracy,
those selected during later years are men who, whatever their virtues
and capabilities, were comparatively unknown. In the case of General
Franklin Pierce, he was never even named by the community; but, as we
have shown, was selected by the Convention at the eleventh hour, as a
compromise of political partisanship. Let us not forget, that while some
of the later Presidents were elected, Calhoun, Clay, and Webster--whose
names are the just pride of the Republic, and household words in every
family--were passed over.[CF] Surely these simple facts may afford us
subject for profitable reflection.


We will now pass on from the Governor of the Republic to the Governors
of individual States. Their salaries vary in different States, and range
from 300l. to 2000l. a-year. Their election is in some States by the
people, in others by the legislature: their term of office varies; in
some States the election is annual, and in all for a very limited
period; and under them each separate State has its own House of
Representatives and its Senate. The chief power, which resides in the
Governor alone, is that of pardon; and here we may observe, that it is
only reasonable to suppose that so enlightened a community as the United
States would not for any considerable number of years have tolerated the
most flagrant abuse of such a power as that of pardon; and consequently
that if it be found that such abuse do now exist, it must have grown
with the ever-growing democratic element.

Mr. Tremenheere quotes largely from a work by Dr. Lieber, Professor of
Political Philosophy in the State College of South Carolina. Among
others of a similar character, the following passage occurs:--"I
consider the indiscriminate pardoning so frequent in many parts of the
United States, one of the most hostile things, now at work in our
country, to a perfect government of law." He elsewhere states "that the
New York Committee had ascertained that there are men who make a regular
trade of procuring pardons for convicts by which they support
themselves." Further on he says, "To this statement we have now to add
the still more appalling fact, which we would pass over in silence if
our duty permitted it, that but a short time ago the Governor of a large
State--a State among the foremost in prison discipline--was openly and
widely accused of taking money for his pardons. We have it not in our
power to state whether this be true or not, but it is obvious that a
state of things which allows suspicions and charges so degrading and so
ruinous to a healthy condition, ought not to be borne with." He then
subjoins this note:--"While these sheets are going through the press,
the papers report that the Governor of a large State has pardoned thirty
criminals, among whom were some of the worst characters, at one stroke,
on leaving the gubernatorial chair."--Among the conclusions Dr. Lieber
draws on this point, is the following astounding one--"That the
executive in our country is so situated that, in the ordinary course of
things, it cannot be expected of him that he will resist the abuse; at
least, that he will not resist it in many cases."

The foregoing extracts are certainly entitled to no small weight when it
is remembered they come from the pen of a republican professor, writing
upon "Civil Liberty and Self-government." I do not pretend to say that
such gross cases as those referred to by him came within my cognizance
during my travels, but I most certainly did hear charges made against
governors, in more than one instance, of granting pardons through
corrupt influence.

I have now given a cursory review of the leading features in the
executive of the United States; and I have endeavoured, while doing so,
to point out the effects which the gradual inroads of the democratic
element have produced. The subject is one of the deepest interest to us
as Englishmen, inasmuch as it is the duty of every government to
enlarge, as far as is consistent with the welfare of the nation, the
liberty of the subject. The foregoing remarks on the constitution of the
United States appear to me conclusive as to one fact--viz., that the
democratic element may be introduced so largely as that, despite a high
standard of national education and worldly prosperity, its influence
will produce the most pernicious effect upon the government of the
country.

This truth cannot be too strongly brought forward, for undoubtedly
change is the mania of the day; and as, in a free country, all
constitutional changes must have a liberal tendency, it behoves our
legislators to study deeply and patiently the effect produced upon any
country whose constitution is more democratic than our own, so as to
enable them, while steadily advancing with the age, to know when the
well-being of their country requires them, as true patriots, to resist
those measures which threaten injury to the social fabric committed to
their guidance. No field can afford them more profitable subjects for
reflection than the United States. Independent of the fact that her
institutions are more democratic than our own, she possesses natural
advantages that enable her to carry them out, such as we do not; and,
therefore, the British statesman may always study her career with
profit when any great liberal movement is being agitated in his own
country.

Lest any one should be disposed to imagine that the statements I have
made, or the deductions I have drawn, are merely the prejudices of a
traveller brought up under a constitutional monarchy, I will add a
passage showing the conclusions at which one of the ablest men in
America has arrived.

Bishop Hopkins, in an address delivered before the House of Convocation
of Trinity College, Hartford, after eulogizing the wisdom and
patriotism, of the founders of his country, as being "the wise master
builders of the noblest republic in the world," asks what is its present
state after seventy years' brief experience? Behold the reply:--"First,
then, we hear on every side the charge of political corruption. Bribery
is practised in all our elections. The spoils of office are expected as
a matter of course by the victorious party. The President of the United
States dares not be impartial; for, if he were, he would lose the
confidence of his friends without gaining the confidence of his enemies.
The oldest statesmen, and the most prominent, cannot follow the dictates
of their own judgment and conscience without being reproached as though
they were laying a trap for the presidential chair. The very laws of
Congress are set down as the results of personal venality or ambition.
The House of Representatives, or even the Senate Chamber, are disgraced
every year by fierce passion and violent denunciation. The barbarous and
unchristian duel is anticipated as quite inevitable unless it be averted
by explanations which may satisfy worldly honour, in utter contempt of
all religious principle. And no member of either House can go to the
performance of his public duties with any security that he may not be
insulted by coarse invective before the day is closed. Yet our rulers
are never weary of lauding the character of Washington, as if they were
quite convinced that the time had passed by when they might be expected
to verify the language of praise by the act of imitation. When we look
into the other classes of the community, the same charge of venality and
corruption meets us again. Our merchants are accused of all sorts of
dishonest management; our brokers, of stock-jobbing; our city aldermen,
of bribery; our lawyers, of knavery; our justices, of complicity with
the guilty. The same worship of Mammon seems to govern the whole, and
the current phrase, 'the almighty dollar,' is a sad but powerful
exponent of the universal sin which involves the mass of our
population."

Being perfectly aware what a "glass house" of corruption we ourselves
are living in, I do not quote the foregoing by way of "throwing a
stone," but insert it merely as a warning of the direction in which we
should not seek for an advance in purification.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote CB: Why is it that, in our yearly debate in Parliament, and in
all the journals of the day, from the _Times_ down even to the _Morning
Advertiser_, the United States are always quoted as a republic where the
ballot succeeds, when there is no excuse for the most commonly educated
man being ignorant of the fact, that the ballot, as understood in this
country, does not exist among them? To their honour be it said, they
hold secret voting in sovereign contempt.]

[Footnote CC: _The Ballot_, by the Rev. SYDNEY SMITH. 1839.]

[Footnote CD: This expression, both in America and England, is
tantamount to--for life.]

[Footnote CE: _Vide ante_, opinion of New York Press upon the trial of
Matthew F. Ward.]

[Footnote CF:

  G. Washington       1789
  J. Adams            1797
  T. Jefferson        1801
  J. Madison          1809
  J. Munroe           1817
  J.Q. Adams          1825
  A. Jackson          1829
  M. Van Buren        1837
  W.H. Harrison       1841
  J. Tyler            1841
  J.K. Polk           1845
  Z. Taylor           1849
  M. Fillmore         1850
  F. Pierce           1853]



CHAPTER XXVIII.

_The Church, the School, and the Law._


Although the Church has no connexion with the State, it must ever be a
most important element in any Christian community. I therefore furnish a
table of the various denominations, so as to enable the reader, at a
glance, to get the particular information he may desire. Some of the
denominations given in this table are, of course, again divided into
other sects, such as "Reformed Methodists," "Episcopal Methodists,"
"Wesleyan Methodists," "Six Principle Baptists," "Seventh-Day Baptists,"
"Anti-mission Baptists," &c.

  Denominations.     Number of          Aggregate            Total Value
                     Churches.        Accommodation.             of
                                                           Church Property.
                                                                  £
  Baptists             8791            3,130,878               2,295,590
  Christian             812              296,050                 177,621
  Congregational       1674              795,177               1,674,532
  Dutch Reformed        324              181,986                 860,313
  Episcopal            1422              625,213               2,365,013
  Free                  361              108,605                  52,973
  Friends               714              282,823                 359,071
  German Reformed       327              156,932                  29,024
  Jewish                 31               16,575                  78,036
  Lutheran             1203              531,100                 602,205
  Mennonite             110               29,900                  19,791
  Methodist          12,467            4,209,333               3,073,700
  Moravian              331              112,185                  93,002
  Presbyterian         4584            2,040,316               3,017,675
  Roman Catholic       1112              620,950               1,884,505
  Swedenborgian          15                5,070                  22,701
  Tunker                 52               35,075                   9,665
  Union                 619              213,552                 144,913
  Unitarian             243              137,367                 686,305
  Universalist          494              205,462                 371,073
  Minor Sects           325              115,347                 155,815

  Total              36,011           13,849,896             £17,973,523

If the foregoing table may be taken as indicative of the whole
population, it will be seen that one person out of every three is a
Methodist, and only one in every twenty-two is a Romanist; but what is
more worthy of remark is, the provision which, under the voluntary
system, has been made for public worship.

We here see accommodation provided for 14,000,000 in a population of
23,000,000--of which 3,000,000 are slaves. At the same time, it must
also be observed, that all these churches are not necessarily supplied
with ministers. Their support being dependent upon their congregation,
it will occasionally happen that a minister gets starved out, and some
time may elapse before a successor is appointed; the inconvenience of
which contingency occurring is obvious. More than one such case came
under my own observation when travelling through the country.

With regard to the distribution of the churches, the only peculiarity I
observe is, that the Unitarian community appear to be nearly all
gathered into one spot, and that spot the Land of the Pilgrim Fathers,
and the State that is considered foremost in education. Out of 243
churches, 163 are situated in Massachusetts. I have never heard any
reason given for this curious fact; doubtless the great talents of
Channing tended to swell their numbers, but could hardly account for the
extraordinary proportion established in this State.

In proportion to its numbers, it will be seen that the Episcopal is the
wealthiest of all Churches; and yet we find complaint made of the
insufficiency of the support for their ministers. Bishop Eastburn, of
Massachusetts, in a pastoral letter, states that in his diocese
"respectable parents will not bring up their children to the clerical
profession, because the salaries hardly keep people from starving." How
far this is true generally, or whether confined to his own
neighbourhood, I cannot say. The Episcopal Church in America is free
from the violent factions that have distracted and thrown obloquy upon
the sister church in this country. The puerile struggle about surplices,
and candles, and steps up to altars, and Brussels lace offerings, appear
to have attracted little attention among those in America, whose
theological views assimilate with the extreme high party in England: and
I never heard, during my residence in the States, any of that violent
and uncharitable language with which discussions on religious topics too
frequently abound in this country; nor is the Episcopal community by any
means so divided as it is here. The Bishop of New Zealand is far nearer
their type than the controversial prelate of Exeter.

The Book of Common Prayer, as arranged by Convention in 1790, is well
worthy of notice, and, in many points, of imitation. These pages are not
the proper place for a theological discussion, and my only reason for
touching upon the subject at all is, that the public voice is constantly
calling for some modification of the great length of our present Sunday
services, and I therefore conclude that the following observations may
be interesting to some of my readers.

The leading points of retrenchment are--removing all repetitions, such
as the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, and the Collect for the day; a portion
of the close of the Litany is omitted at the discretion of the minister.
The Communion Service is not read every Sunday. I suppose the Church
authorizes this omission at the discretion of the minister, as I have
attended service on more than one occasion when the Communion was not
read; when read, Our Lord's commandment, Matthew xxii. 37-40, follows
the Commandments of the Old Testament, and a short Collect, followed by
the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel for the day, finish that portion of the
service. Independent of the regular Psalms, for the day, there are ten
separate short collections, any one of which the minister may substitute
for the proper Psalms, and the Gloria Patri is only said after the last
Psalm.

The leading features of difference from our own "Common Prayer" are as
follow:--They appoint proper Second Lessons for the Sunday, instead of
leaving them, to the chance of the Calendar--they place the Nicene and
Apostles' Creed side by side, and leave the minister to select which he
prefers, and to use, if he think proper, the word "Hades" instead of
Hell. They remove the Athanasian Creed entirely from the Prayer Book,
leaving to the minister to explain the mysteries which that creed so
summarily disposes of. When it is considered how many Episcopalians are
opposed to its damnatory clauses, and how much more nearly the other
creeds resemble that model of simplicity, the Lord's Prayer, they appear
to have exercised a sound discretion in this excision. Few
deep-thinking people, I imagine, can have heard the children of the
parish school reading the responses of that creed after the minister,
without pain.

Lest the passing opinion of a traveller upon the subject be deemed hasty
or irreverent, I beg to quote Bishop Tomline's opinion. He says--"Great
objections have been made to the clauses which denounce eternal
damnation against those who do not believe the faith as here stated; and
it certainly is to be lamented that assertions of so peremptory a
nature, unexplained and unqualified, should have been used in any human
composition.... Though I firmly believe that the doctrines of this creed
are all founded on Scripture, I cannot but conceive it to be both
unnecessary and presumptuous to say that, "except every one do keep them
whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly." Mr.
Wheatley also, when writing on the Creed, says, that the third and
fourth verses constitute the creed, and that what follows "requires our
assent no more than a sermon does, which is made to prove or illustrate
a text."--To resume.

They have proper prayers and thanksgivings for individuals who desire
their use, instead of, as with us, introducing a few words into the
ordinary service. They have provided a liberal collection of psalms and
hymns for singing in church, and no others are allowed to be used. Each
psalm and hymn has the Gloria Patri suited to it marked at the
beginning. The inconvenience of the total want of such a provision in
our Church is most palpable. Not long before I went to America, I was
attending a parish church in the country, where a great proportion of
the psalms and hymns used were the minister's own composition, and if I
recollect right, the book cost half-a-crown. I came up to town, and I
found my parish church there had a selection under the sanction of the
Bishop of London. Since my return from America, I have gone to the same
London church, under the same Bishop, and I have found a totally
different book in use.--The foregoing are the principal alterations in
the Sunday services.

The alterations in the other services are chiefly the following:--In the
full Communion Service, the word "condemnation" is substituted for
"damnation," in the notice of intimation. The whole of the damnatory
clause in the exhortation, from the word "unworthily" to "sundry kinds
of death," is expunged. The first prayer in our Church after the
reception, is modified by them into an oblation and invocation, and
precedes the reception. The remainder of the service is nearly the same
as our own.

They have removed the objectionable opening of the Marriage Service;
but, not content with that, they have also removed the whole of the
service which follows the minister's blessing after the marriage is
pronounced, and thus reduced it to a five minutes' ceremony. While on
this subject, I may as well observe that, from inquiries I made, I
believe but few of those marriages take place by which husband and wife
are prevented from kneeling at the same altar, by which their highest
interests can never be a subject of mutual discussion, and by which
children are either brought up without any fixed religious ideas at all,
or else a compromise is entered into, and the girls are educated in one
church and the boys in another. In short, I believe the Romanists in
America marry but rarely out of the pale of their own church. I cannot
say what the law of divorce is, but it appears to offer far greater
facilities than would be approved of in England. A gentleman mentioned
two cases to me, in one of which the divorce was obtained by the wife
without the husband being aware of it, although living in the same
State; in the other, the wife returned to the State from which her
husband had taken her, and there obtained a divorce without his
knowledge.--To return from this digression. In the Visitation of the
Sick they have removed that individual absolution of the minister, the
wording of which is so objectionable that, if I am rightly informed, it
is rarely used by ministers in England. In the Burial of the Dead, they
have changed the two concluding prayers in those sentences which refer
to the deceased. The Commination they have entirely expunged. They have
added a full service for Visitation of Prisoners, and a Harvest
Thanksgiving; and they have provided a form of morning and evening
prayer for families.

The foregoing constitute the leading points of difference. Of course
there are many minor ones which are merely verbal, such, for instance,
as their expunging the scriptural quotation of "King of kings, Lord of
lords," from the prayer for the President, probably out of deference to
the prejudices of the Republicans, for which omission they have
partially atoned by the substitution of the grander expression of "only
Ruler of the Universe," in lieu of the more limited term "only Ruler of
Princes." To enter into all these verbal changes would be alike tedious
and useless. Enough, I trust, has been written to convey a general idea
of the most striking and interesting points of difference.

Other churches transplanted to this hemisphere seem to differ from the
parent stock most essentially. Thus I find in the almanack for 1853,
"Methodist Episcopal Church (North) 3984 ministers, and 662,315
communicants," and below them "Methodist Episcopal Church (South)"
without any return of statistics. I regret not being able to give the
reader any history of this occidental hierarchy. I do not even know the
Episcopacizing process they go through, whether it is entirely lay or
entirely clerical, or whether it is a fusion of the two. At first I
imagined it was a Wesleyan offshoot, but I can find no indication of
that fact; and, moreover, the Wesleyan is a very small body, numbering
600 ministers and 20,000 communicants. I only allude to it because it
appears to me a totally novel feature in Dissenting bodies--as
understood in England. Another curious change produced by this Western
climate is, that it turns all my Presbyterian friends instrumentally
musical. I do not remember entering any of their churches without
finding an organ, and in many instances a very good choir. Although I
approve highly of the euphonious improvement, I feel sure that many of
my countrymen in the extreme north would rather see a picture
representing Satan in Abraham's bosom inside their kirk than any musical
instrument. Such is the force of habit and prejudice.

The extent to which the churches in America have increased is doubtless
most creditable to the community, when it is remembered that all the
various denominations are supported voluntarily. Nor is their number the
only point worthy of notice: the buildings themselves have all, some
ecclesiastical appearance, and many of them are fine specimens of
architecture. Besides which, they are always kept clean and in good
order; you will never find those unsightly barns, and still less the
dilapidation which is often met with in the mother land. I have myself
been in a church at home where the flooring was all worn away, and
gravel from the outside substituted, and where the seats were so rickety
that a fall might be anticipated at any moment. The parishioners were
poor Highlanders, it is true, but the owner of the soil was a man of
considerable wealth.

I have, since my return to England, been into a beautiful old parish
church in one of the midland counties; the building was in a most
deplorable state of dilapidation, and the communion-rail formed a
music-stand, while inside were placed an orchestra of two fiddles and a
bass-viol. The minister received, for the first three years he
officiated, the exorbitant remuneration of thirty pounds a year; since
which time he has taken the duties of parish schoolmaster, the salary of
which, increased by a small sum from Queen Anne's Bounty, enables him to
keep body and soul together. But of course the school engrossed all his
time, except what was necessary to prepare his discourses, and his
parishioners were unavoidably and totally neglected, till dissenting
ministers came to the rescue. As a natural consequence, they soon
followed the ministers who made them the objects of their care, and when
I attended this beautiful old parish church, the congregation,
independent of the orchestra and the parish school, consisted of eleven
souls, three of whom came from the minister's own house. You might seek
in vain to parallel such a case throughout the whole Republic.

I now propose to make a few observations about disbelief in the United
States. On this point I have no statistics to refer to, nor do I believe
such exist. I therefore can form no idea of its extent; but the open way
in which some parties not only express their doubts of the authenticity
of Scripture, but dispute every doctrine which it contains, and openly
proclaim it the enemy of man, is worthy of some notice. An Ismite
Convention was held for many days at Hartford, in one of the New England
States (Connecticut) where, I suppose, education may be considered as
universal as in any other State in the Union.

The meeting was considered of sufficient importance to occupy daily
several columns of one of the New York leading journals, and to employ a
special reporter. It is thus headed--"MEETING OF PHILOSOPHERS,
THEOLOGIANS, THINKERS, STRONG-MINDED WOMEN, SPIRITUAL RAPPERS,
ATHEISTS, AND NEGROES." Details of this Convention would be too
tedious; I propose only giving a few of their resolutions.
Resolved--"That the Bible, in some parts of the Old and New Testament,
sanctions injustice, concubinage, prostitution, oppression, war,
plunder, and wholesale murder, and, therefore, that the Bible as a
whole, originated,[CG] is false, and injurious to the social and
spiritual growth of man." After which the chairman goes on to prove (?)
it is purely human, &c. Another resolution reiterates the former, and
adds that "the time has come to declare its untruthfulness, and to
unmask those who are guilty of its imposture." Then follows a resolution
for the especial consideration of slave-owners:--"Resolved--That it is
the climax of audacity and impiety for this nation to receive the Bible
as the inspired Word of God, and then to make it a penal offence to give
it to any of the millions who are held as chattel slaves on its soil,
thus conspiring to make them miserable here and hereafter." Then follows
a charitable resolution, declaring their belief that all the clergy
"would readily burn the Bible to-morrow if public sentiment demanded
it." One of the orators brings the Bible to the bar of geology, and
there condemns it, and recommends "that the Hindoos should establish a
mission to enlighten Christians of this and other countries. He believed
that the priesthood and the Bible were opposed to all liberty and
progress, and the deadliest enemies of mankind."

Another member of this blasphemous band becomes highly indignant because
the orthodox clergymen--who probably remembered that "evil
communications corrupt good manners"--would not meet them on their
infidel platform, and he presents a resolution declaring that "by their
absence, they had openly declared their infidelity to their professions
of theological faith, and had thus confessed the weakness and folly of
their arrogant assumptions, and proved that they loved popular favour
more than common good; and they are therefore moral cowards, pharisees
of this nineteenth century, seeking to enslave more and more the mind of
man," &c. Another orator then proposes a resolution, to the effect that
the spirit and genius of Bible religion is not a system of salvation
from sin and its effects, but a system of damnation into sin and its
effects; that it is the friend of moral and spiritual slavery, and
therefore "the foe of human mental and spiritual liberty." Subsequently
a strong-minded woman, called Mrs. Rose, appeared on the platform amid
considerable uproar, followed by extinguishing the gas and singing
songs. After a severe struggle, the lady managed to express her
sentiments in these mild and Christian terms:--"The Church is upon your
neck. Do you want to be free? Then trample the Church, the priest, and
the Bible under your feet."--The last day's proceeding closed by a row
in the gallery, owing to a fight, in which a dirk had been drawn; and
then the Convention adjourned till the following year.

The reader must not imagine that I state this as an indication of the
tone of religious feeling in the New England States,--far from it; but
it appears to me a fact worth noticing, that a Convention of such a
nature and magnitude, and considered of sufficient importance to employ
the special reporter of a leading journal of New York, should by any
possibility assemble for days and days together, and give vent to such
blasphemous sentiments among a people so liberally educated and so amply
supplied with means of religious instruction. I only hope that the
infidelity of the whole Republic was gathered into that one assembly,
and that having met in so uncongenial an atmosphere, they all returned
to their homes impregnated with some of the purer atmosphere of the
great majority of the people.

The subject of Education naturally follows the Church; but, on this
point, any attempt at accuracy is hopeless. Whether it be from the
variety of school systems in the different States, or from some innate
defect in the measures taken to obtain information, I cannot pretend to
say; but the discrepancies between the statements made are so great,
that I can only pretend to give a moderate approximation to the truth,
which is the more to be regretted, as the means provided for education
throughout the length and breadth of the Republic constitute one of its
noblest features. In rough numbers, they may be thus stated:--

  Schools.               Number.    Instructors.       Pupils.

  Public                 81,000       92,000          4,000,000
  Colleges                  220         1500             20,000
  Academies, & others     6,000       12,000            261,000

Of the above colleges, theology claims 44, medicine 37, law 16.

Among the expenses of the various colleges, which I can refer to, I find
University College, Virginia--the terms of which occupy 44 weeks--is the
most expensive. The annual charges for a student are the
following:--College expenses, 40l.; board, 22l.; washing, fuel, and
lights, 4l.--in all, 70l. It is obvious that no provision is here
made for champagne suppers, hunters, tandems, and other "necessaries,"
of our University students, including a few "auxiliaries," in the shape
of I O U's, for red coats, top-boots, Hudson's regalias, and mysterious
jewellery bills for articles that men don't wear. Doubtless some papas
would prefer the Virginian bill of fare; but then, they must remember
that the republican lads go to college to learn something, whereas many
papas send their first-born hopes to Oxford and Cambridge to save
themselves trouble, and to keep the youths out of mischief during the
awkward period of life yclept "hobbledehoyhood." How they succeed is
pretty well known to themselves, and probably their bankers have some
idea also; yet, with all these drawbacks, who will deny that those seats
of learning turn out annually some of the most manly and high-minded,
and some of the best educated and most industrious, young men in the
country?

Having entered into some of the details of education at various places
during my travels, I shall not trespass on the reader's patience by
dwelling further on the subject, except to call attention to the
following important regulation with regard to children in factories; and
I most sincerely hope it may reach the eye of Lord Shaftesbury, or some
other of his coadjutors in the noble work of the protection and
education of helpless youth. The regulation exists in some shape or
other in many States. I subjoin the wording of it from that of
Massachusetts:--

_"No child under the age of fifteen years shall be employed in any
manufacturing establishment, unless such child shall have attended some
public or private day-school, where instruction is given by a teacher
qualified according to law to teach orthography, reading, writing,
English grammar, geography, arithmetic, and good behaviour, at least one
term of eleven weeks of the twelve months next preceding the time of
such employment, and for the same period during any and every twelve
months in which such child shall be so employed."_

Although my salt-fish friends are probably very familiar with
sea-lawyers, the general reader may be astonished to see any allusion to
law made by a sea-captain. I therefore beg to inform him, that the
following observations on a most interesting point are furnished me by a
friend who is legitimately at home in that complicated business, and who
devoted much attention to the study of the method by which land is
conveyed in the United States with so much ease and so little expense:--

"In America all conveyances of land, whether absolute or by way of
mortgage only, are, with the exception of some chattel interests,
required to be registered within a fixed or a reasonable time after
their execution. Registration is constructive notice to all the world;
if not registered, a deed is only valid against the parties to it and
the heirs and devisees of the grantor. Generally, however, notice
obtained by a purchaser previous to his purchase, will, if clearly
proved, prevent his taking the advantage, though he may have been
beforehand in registering his own title.

"By the old laws of Massachusetts, all deeds of conveyance were required
to be recorded, 'that neither creditors might be defrauded, nor courts
troubled with vexatious suits and endless contentions.' In consequence
of the number of registers established in each county--and the
excellence of their arrangements, no inconvenience results from the
accumulation of deeds, notwithstanding the early period to which they go
back. In register for Suffolk county, Massachusetts, are to be seen
copies of deeds from 1640 down to the present time. They are bound up in
640 volumes, and do not as yet take up much space. They have lately
multiplied in an increasing ratio, the volumes having risen from 250 to
their present number in the last 25 years.

"The register for Philadelphia county, Pennsylvania, contains within a
moderate compass deeds from 1683 downwards. They are referred to by
indices on the following plan: All deeds made within a certain time, and
in which the name of the grantor commences with the same letter of the
alphabet, are bound up in one volume; thus, a volume marked "H
1820-1847," contains all deeds executed between those years by grantors
whose names begin with H. One index volume contains the names of all
grantors between those years in alphabetical order, another that of all
grantees, and both refer to volume and page of the books of deeds. A
third index gives the names of grantors and grantees, arranged
chronologically, according to the year in which the deed they were
parties to was executed.

"The original deed remain in the possession of the proprietors, but are
of secondary importance. They are written in a plain, legible hand on
paper, parchment being seldom used. The signatures of the parties are of
course requisite; but the seal, which is essential to a deed in England,
is in many States dispensed with. The custom of registering obviates the
necessity for those long recitals that so swell out an English
conveyance, and the shortest possible forms of covenants are preferred.
The American conveyance only witnesses that the grantor conveys the
property therein described, which, or part of which, was conveyed to him
by such a one by a deed of such a date, and a marginal note states the
volume and page where the deed thus mentioned is to be seen.

"The advantages of registration are,--greater security of title, and
brevity and economy in conveyances. The example of the United States
shows that there is nothing in the Anglo-Saxon laws of real property to
render such a system impracticable. Several of the most eminent lawyers
in Boston declared, that their registration was found to work easily and
safely; the only change desired was by a few, who expressed a wish that
more registers should be established, as, one for every district,
instead of for every county. They all expressed their astonishment that
a similar plan had not long ago been adopted in England. They admitted
that dealings with property were more simple in America, where strict
settlements are either not allowed, or not generally in use, but
maintained that the real obstacles to a registration in this country
lie not so much in the difficulty of carrying it out, as in the
prejudices of landowners, the self-interest of lawyers, and the
superstitious dread entertained by John Bull generally of anything to
which he is unaccustomed."[CH]

I am no lawyer, as I observed before, and therefore I do not pretend to
pass an opinion on the details of the foregoing remarks; but of the
results produced by their system, I certainly can speak, for I have seen
property transferred without the slightest trouble, and for a few
shillings, which, owing to the amount involved, and the complications
connected with it, would, if transferred in this country, have kept the
firm of Screw, Skinflint, and Stickem hard at work for mouths, and when
finished, would have required a week to make up the bill of costs, &c.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote CG: I suppose originated _from the Deity_ is
intended.--H.A.M.]

[Footnote CH: Communicated to me by Mr. J.G. Dodson, son of the Right
Honourable Sir J. Dodson, Dean of the Arches, &c.]



CHAPTER XXIX.

_Inventions and Inveighings.--Palquam qui meruit ferat._


Writing about law makes one litigious; so I seize this opportunity for
making a few observations on American claims. I am not going to open the
question of the Bay of Fundy, &c., fisheries; because British liberality
has resigned a right, the retention of which was a source of continual
irritation to our republican neighbours. I must, however, quote a few
lines from the work of their able Chancellor, Kent, to show how fully
justified we were in claiming the sovereignty of the Bay of Fundy. If
the Chancellor's work on the Law of Nations is consulted, it will be
found that he points out to his countrymen their right to the
sovereignty of lines stretching "from Cape Anne to Cape Cod, Nantucket
to Montauck Point, thence to the Capes of the Delaware, and _from the
South Cape of Florida to the Mississippi."_ With such wholesale claims
asserted on their part, it would require something more than modest
assurance to dispute England's right to the Bay of Fundy. But my
litigation with the Republic is respecting some of their claims to
inventions, which they put forward in so barefaced a manner, that the
unwary or the uninquiring--which two sections of the human family
constitute the great majority--are constantly misled into a belief of
their truth; and the citizens of the Republic would do well to remember,
that by putting forward unwarrantable pretensions to some discoveries,
they afford just grounds for questioning their lawful claims to others.

The first I shall mention is with reference to Fulton and steam. Mr.
Charles King, the President of Columbia College, in a lecture delivered
before the Mechanics' Institute, Broadway, New York, in December, 1851,
claims for Fulton "the application of a known force _in a new manner,
and to new and before unthought-of purposes_." Now what are the real
facts? James Watt, in 1769, patented the double-acting engine, which
was the first step by which the steam-engine was made capable of being
used to propel a vessel. In 1780, James Pickard patented what is no
other than the present connecting rod and crank, and a fly-wheel, the
second and last great improvement in the steam-engine, which enabled it
to be of service in propelling vessels.[CI] In 1785, William Symington
took out a patent, by which he obtained, with economy of fuel, a more
perfect method of condensation of steam and a more perfect vacuum.

In 1787, Mr. Miller, of Dalswinton, a gentleman who had spent a fortune
of nearly 30,000l. in ship-building experiments, was urged by Mr.
Taylor to try and apply the power of steam to vessels. William Symington
was applied to, with the view of knowing if he could apply his engine to
one of Mr. Miller's boats, which he accordingly did, and propelled a
little pleasure vessel on the lake at Dalswinton, at the rate of five
miles an hour, on the 14th November, 1788. In the following year, Mr.
Symington made a double engine for a boat to be tried upon the Forth and
Clyde Canal; and in the month of December, 1789, this trial-vessel was
propelled at the rate of six and a half miles an hour. Lord Dundas, who
was a large proprietor in the Forth and Clyde Canal, employed Symington
to make experiments in 1801. The result of these trials was the
construction of the "Charlotte Dundas," the first practical steam-boat
ever built. The engines of this vessel combined the patents before
mentioned of Watt, Pickard, and Symington, which combinations--made by
the latter patentee--constitute the present system of steam navigation.
The "Charlotte Dundas" made her trial trip in March, 1802, and so
satisfactory was the trial, that the Duke of Bridgewater ordered eight
boats of Symington, for the purpose of running on his canal. The Duke of
Bridgewater died immediately after; and the Forth and Clyde proprietors,
owing to the injury caused to the banks, discontinued the use of the
boat. The foregoing observations prove that if any one individual can
claim the merit of inventing the steam-engine, that man is William
Symington, who, combining previous inventions with his own patent,
constructed the engine as at present in use. At the same time, every
credit is due to Mr. Miller, who first afforded Symington the
opportunity of putting his ingenuity to the test.

[Illustration: HUDSON RIVER STEAMER.]

Let us now look at Mr. Fulton's part in the transaction. In 1801 he
visited Scotland, and was present at one of the experiments making by
Symington on the canal, and from him he obtained permission to make full
sketches and notes of both boat and apparatus. The fact is sworn to on
oath of the presence of an American gentleman, who called himself Mr.
Fulton, during the experiments; and further evidence is found in the
fact that the engines he ordered of Messrs. Boulton and Watt for the
"Clermont" were precisely of the same dimensions as those in the
"Charlotte Dundas," with the exception of two inches more diameter in
the piston; and the patent of Fulton dates from 1809--twenty years after
Symington had propelled a boat by steam on Lake Dalswinton, and eight
years after he had himself taken sketches of Symington's engines in the
Forth and Clyde canal-boat.

Beyond the foregoing evidence, there is the testimony of Mr. Bell that,
at Fulton's request, he sent him information, plans, &c., of Mr.
Miller's first experiments. The long and the short of the story is
clearly this:--Mr. Fulton was a shrewd and clever engineer. He came to
England, copied the steam-engine which Symington had combined--one can
hardly say invented--and then returned to his own country, and applied
it successfully, for which the Republic ought to be thankful to him, and
to honour his name; but, for a president of a college lecturing before a
mechanics' society, to call Fulton the inventor "of applying a known
force _in a new manner and to new and before unthought-of purposes,"_
exhibits an ignorance or an assurance, for neither of which the
slightest excuse can be made.[CJ]


With equal accuracy Mr. King informs the mechanics that "Colonel John
Stevens had clearly worked out in his own mind, long before any
locomotive was constructed in Europe, the theory of such an application
of steam, and the actual form in which it could be advantageously made,
as well as the cost of constructing and working a railway for the use of
locomotives." If this were true, how does it happen that the son of the
Colonel, an able and ingenious mechanician, came over to George
Stephenson, at Liverpool, to learn what he was doing, and to order
engines from him; but Mr. King out-herods Herod, for he claims on behalf
of the Colonel, the working of Steam expansively in 1815, for which Watt
had taken out a patent thirty-five years before. If presidents of
colleges in America cannot in their lectures deal more closely with
facts, the instruction given within the walls of the college will come
under very unfavourable suspicions.

In conclusion, I will only add a few remarks as to ocean steamers, on
which subject, as on the invention of the engine, there is considerable
difficulty in awarding the honours to any single individual. The
Americans were the first to employ steamers along the coast, and the
"Savannah," built by them in 1819, was the first vessel that crossed the
ocean employing steam in any way as an assistant. But in her the steam
was a very small auxiliary power, and upon the sails the vessel mainly
depended. She cannot, therefore, fairly be called an ocean steamer. The
"Enterprise," a vessel of 500 tons burden, with two 120 horse-power
engines, started from London for Calcutta, touching at the Cape of Good
Hope, about the year 1826; and may be fairly considered as the first
vessel that made an ocean journey essentially dependent on steam.
Subsequently the "Royal William," built at Quebec, after running between
that port and Halifax from 1831 to 1833, started in the fall of the
latter year for Falmouth; and to her belongs the honour of being the
first _bonâ fide_ paddle-wheel steamer that crossed the Atlantic. She
was afterwards sold to the Portuguese government, and fitted up as a
man-of-war steamer, under the name of the "Doña Isabella."

If, however, it be asked, where oceanic communication took its rise,
unquestionably that honour belongs to Bristol and the "Great Western," a
steamer of 210 feet in length, 1240 tons, fitted with two engines of 210
horse-power each. This vessel started on the 8th of March, 1838, under
the command of Captain Hosken, reached New York in thirteen days ten
hours, and made the return passage in fifteen days. Since that date
ocean steamers and steam companies have risen up like mushrooms. England
and America have established a kind of weekly Derby, Cunard entering one
horse and Collins the other. Unquestionably the Americans have been
pioneers in improving the build, and a rivalry has sprung up which is as
useful as it is honourable.

The English boats adhere to a greater proportion of sail, in case of
accidents to the engine; the Americans carry less sail than we do, for
the sake of increasing the speed. As to relative comfort on board the
two boats, an American gentleman, who had made several voyages, told me
the only difference he ever discovered was, the same as exists between
the hotels of the respective countries.--To return to litigation.

Another claim frequently set up in America is the invention of the
telegraph. Even in the Census Report--which I suppose may be considered
a Government work--I read the following:--"It is to American ingenuity
that we owe the practical application of the telegraph. While the honour
is due to Professor Morse for the practical application and successful
prosecution of the telegraph, it is mainly owing to the researches and
discoveries of Professor Henry, and other scientific Americans, that he
was enabled to perfect so valuable an invention." It is difficult to
conceive a more unblushing piece of effrontery than the foregoing
sentence, which proclaims throughout the Union that the electric
telegraph in its practical working is the invention of one American, and
in its scientific details the invention of other Americans, neither of
which assertions has truth for its basis, and consequently the
superstructure is a fiction--the only available excuse for which would
be, that the writer had never heard of what was going on in Europe. Had
he taken the least trouble to inquire into the subject before he wrote,
he never would--it is to be hoped--have so grossly deceived his
countrymen.

He might have easily ascertained that such men as Oersted, Ampère,
Arago, Sturgeon, had mastered in detail the various scientific
difficulties that stood in the way of the accomplishment of the
long-desired object; and he might also have known that Cooke in England
and Stienhiel in Germany had both overcome the practical difficulties
before Professor Morse had enlightened the Republic with his system,
which--like Bain's--is simply another method of producing the same
result--i.e., telegraphic communication.

Mr. Cooke took out his patent in conjunction with Professor Wheatstone,
whose attention had long been turned to this subject, and whose name has
been so much before the public, that not a few persons attribute the
telegraph to him exclusively. There was, indeed, some dispute between
them as to their respective claims, and the matter was referred to Sir
I. Brunel and Professor Daniell for arbitration. The burden of their
decision was, that Mr. Cooke was entitled to stand alone as the
gentleman to whom Great Britain is indebted for having practically
introduced and carried out the telegraph as a useful undertaking;
Professor Wheatstone's profound and successful researches having already
prepared the public to receive it.--So much for the justice of the
American claim to the invention, which, like steam, has been the produce
of many heads, and was brought into practical use first by Cooke, then
by Stienhiel in Germany, and lastly by Morse in America.

Another invention of which the public have heard no little discussion
lately is the reaping machine. To the American nation doubtless belongs
the credit of forcing it into notice and into use; but as for any claim
to the invention, it is equally certain they have none. That honour is
due solely to the Rev. Patrick Bell, a Scotch minister in the presbytery
of Arbroath. He first tried his reaping machine in August, 1828, at his
father's farm on Lord Airlie's estate, where it has been in yearly use
ever since; and in October he exhibited it at the Highland Society's
meeting at Glasgow. The principle upon which his first machine was made
differs in nothing from those making at this hour; and, as some of the
people employed on his father's farm migrated to America, it is only
reasonable to suppose they carried sufficient information with them to
explain the machine. American ingenuity soon copied, and American energy
soon gave an impulse to, Mr. Bell's machine, for which, though denying
them the invention, we ought not to deny them our thanks.

But while I thus explain the unwarrantable claims which Americans have
set forth, I must not allow John Bull to lay the flattering unction to
his soul that none of his claimed discoveries are disputed on the other
side of the Atlantic, I have seen a _Book of Facts_ printed in America,
which charges us with more than one geographical robbery in the Arctic
Seas, in which regions, it is well known, American enterprise and
sympathy have been most nobly employed. As I am incapable of balancing
the respective claims, I leave that subject to the Hydrographer's office
of the two countries.

The citizens of the Republic have but little idea of the injurious
effects which the putting forward unwarrantable claims has upon their
just claims. I have now before me a letter from a seafaring man who has
spent a quarter of a century upon the borders of the United States; he
is writing on the subject of their claims to the invention of steam, and
he winds up in these words:--"They are with this, as they are with
every other thing to which either merit or virtue is attached--the sole
and only proprietors and originators, and say both the one and the other
are unknown out of the universal Yankee nation." I do not endorse the
sentiment, but I quote it to show the effect produced on some minds by
the unfounded claims they have put forward.

They have ingenuity and invention enough legitimately belonging to them
for any nation to be justly proud of, without plucking peacock's
feathers from others, and sending them throughout the length and breadth
of the Republic as the plumage of the American eagle. How many useful
inventions have they not made in machinery for working wood? Is not
England daily importing some new improvement therein from the American
shores? Look again at their perfect and beautiful invention for the
manufacture of seamless bags, by Mr. Cyrus Baldwin, and which he has at
work at the Stark Mills. There are 126 looms in operation, all
self-acting and each one making 47 bags daily; the bags are a little
more than three and a half feet long, and chiefly used, I believe, for
flour and grain. When they are finished, sewing-machines are at hand,
which can hem at the rate of 650 bags each daily. This same gentleman
has also adapted his looms to the making hoses for water, of which he
can complete 1000 feet a day by the experimental loom now in use, and it
is more than probable these hoses will entirely supersede the use of the
leather ones, being little more than one-tenth the price, and not
requiring any expense to keep in order.

Another and very important purpose to which their ingenuity has applied
machinery is, the manufacture of fire-arms. It has long been a matter of
surprise to me, why so obvious and useful an application of machinery
was neglected by the Government at home. The advantages of being able to
transfer all screws, springs, nipples, hammers, &c., from one musket to
another, are so manifest to the most infantine comprehension, that I
suppose they considered it beneath their notice; nor can I make out that
they have duly inquired into the various breech-loading systems used in
the States, some of which they have been testing in their Navy for
years. As, however, we are beginning to copy their application of
machinery, I dare say the next generation will take up the question of
breech-loading arms.

A few observations on the Militia appear to follow naturally after
remarks on fire-arms. According to the most reliable information which I
have been able to obtain, every able-bodied male between 18 and 40 years
of age is liable to militia service. Those who do not serve are subject
to a fine, varying in different States, from 3s. upwards; which sum
helps to pay those who do duty. The pay of a private while on duty is
about 10s. a-day, and that of officers in proportion. Formerly, they
only turned out two days in the year; now I believe, they generally turn
out ten, and in some of the cities twenty, days annually. The persons
excused from militia service, are the clergy, medical men, fire
companies, and those who have held a commission for three years. Each
regiment settles its own uniform; and it is a strange sight to see
companies in French, German, and Highland uniforms, all marching gaily
through the streets.

The day of firing at a mark is quite a fête; they parade the town, with
the target untouched, on their road to the ground: there they commence
firing, at 100 yards; if the bull's-eye be not sufficiently riddled,
they get closer and closer, until, perforated and in shreds, it scarce
hangs together as they return through the town bearing it aloft in
triumph, and followed by all the washed, half-washed, and unwashed
aspirants to military glory.

I believe the good sense of the people is endeavouring to break through
the system of nationalizing the companies into French, Germa