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Title: From the Oak to the Olive - A Plain record of a Pleasant Journey
Author: Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910
Language: English
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FROM THE

OAK TO THE OLIVE.

A PLAIN RECORD OF A PLEASANT JOURNEY.

BY
JULIA WARD HOWE

BOSTON:
LEE AND SHEPARD.
1868.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, In the year 1868, by

JULIA WARD HOWE,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court
of the District of Massachusetts.

STEREOTYPED AT THE
BOSTON STEREOTYPE FOUNDRY,
19 Spring Lane.



TO

S. G. H.,

_THE STRENUOUS CHAMPION OF GREEK LIBERTY
AND OF HUMAN RIGHTS_,

IS OFFERED SUCH SMALL HOMAGE AS THE
DEDICATION OF THIS VOLUME
CAN CONFER.



CONTENTS


                                   PAGE

PRELIMINARIES.                        1

THE VOYAGE.                           3

LIVERPOOL.                            9

CHESTER--LICHFIELD.                  11

LONDON.                              17

ST. PAUL'S--THE JAPANESE.            23

SOCIETY.                             28

THE CHANNEL.                         36

PARIS AND THENCE.                    37

MARSEILLES.                          42

ROME.                                45

ST. PETER'S.                         50

SUPPER OF THE PILGRIMS.              55

EASTER.                              58

WORKS OF ART.                        60

PIAZZA NAVONA--THE TOMBOLA.          65

SUNDAYS IN ROME.                     70

CATACOMBS.                           74

VIA APPIA AND THE COLUMBARIA.        81

NAPLES--THE JOURNEY.                 88

THE MUSEUM.                          92

NAPLES--EXCURSIONS.                  96

THE CAPUCHIN.                       102

BAJA.                               106

CAPRI.                              110

SORRENTO.                           119

FLORENCE.                           122

PALAZZO PITTI.                      124

VENICE.                             133

GREECE AND THE VOYAGE THITHER.      153

SYRA.                               164

PIRÆUS--ATHENS.                     169

EXPEDITIONS--NAUPLIA.               175

ARGOS.                              183

EGINA.                              196

DAYS IN ATHENS.                     198

EXCURSIONS.                         205

HYMETTUS.                           214

ITEMS.                              221

THE PALACE.                         222

THE CATHEDRAL.                      227

THE MISSIONARIES.                   231

THE PIAZZA.                         234

DEPARTURE.                          237

RETURN VOYAGE.                      239

FARTHER.                            249

FRAGMENTS.                          253

FLYING FOOTSTEPS.                   270

MUNICH.                             275

SWITZERLAND.                        284

THE GREAT EXPOSITION.               290

PICTURES IN ANTWERP.                299



FROM THE OAK TO THE OLIVE.



PRELIMINARIES.


Not being, at this moment, in the pay of any press, whether foreign or
domestic, I will not, at this my third landing in English country, be in
haste to accomplish the correspondent's office of extroversion, and to
expose all the inner processes of thought and of nature to the gaze of
an imaginary public, often, alas! a delusory one, and difficult to be
met with. No individual editor, nor joint stock company, bespoke my
emotions before my departure. I am, therefore, under no obligation to
furnish for the market, with the elements of time and of postage
unhandsomely curtailed. Instead, then, of that breathless steeple chase
after the butterfly of the moment, with whose risks and hurry I am
intimately acquainted, I feel myself enabled to look around me at every
step which I shall take on paper, and to represent, in my small literary
operations, the three dimensions of time, instead of the flat disc of
the present.

And first as to my pronoun. The augmentative _We_ is essential for
newspaper writing, because people are liable to be horsewhipped for what
they put in the sacred columns of a daily journal. _We_ may represent a
vague number of individuals, less inviting to, and safer from, the
cowhide, than the provoking _egomet ipse_. Or perhaps the _We_ derives
from the New Testament incorporation of devils, whose name was legion,
for we are many. In the Fichtean philosophy, also, there are three
pronouns comprised in the personal unity whose corporeal effort applies
this pen to this paper, to wit, the _I_ absolute, the _I_ limited, and
the _I_ resulting from the union of these two. So that a philosopher may
say _we_ as well as a monarch or a penny-a-liner. Yet I, at the present
moment, incline to fall back upon my record of baptism, and to confront
the white sheet, whose blankness I trust to overcome, in the character
of an agent one and indivisible.

Nor let it be supposed that these preliminary remarks undervalue the
merits and dignity of those who write for ready money, whose meals and
travels are at the expense of mysterious corporations, the very cocktail
which fringes their daily experience being thrown in as a brightener of
their wits and fancies. Thus would I, too, have written, had anybody
ordered me to do so. I can hurry up my hot cakes like another, when
there is any one to pay for them. But, leisure being accorded me, I
shall stand with my tablets in the marketplace, hoping in the end to
receive my penny, upon a footing of equality with those who have borne
the burden and heat of the day.

With the rights of translation, however, already arranged for in the
Russian, Sclavonian, Hindustanee, and Fijian dialects, I reserve to
myself the right to convert my pronoun, and to write a chapter in _we_
whenever the individual _I_ shall seem to be insufficient. With these
little points agreed upon beforehand, to prevent mistakes,--since a book
always represents a bargain,--I will enter, without further delay, upon
what I intend as a very brief but cogent chronicle of a third visit to
Europe, the first two having attained no personal record.



THE VOYAGE.

The steamer voyage is now become a fact so trite and familiar as to call
for no special illustration at these or any other hands. Yet voyages and
lives resemble each other in many particulars, and differ in as many
others. Ours proves almost unprecedented for smoothness, as well as for
safety. We start on the fatal Wednesday, as twice before, expecting the
fatal pang. Our last vicarious purchase on shore was a box of that
energetic mustard, so useful as a counter-irritant in cases of internal
commotion. The bitter partings are over, the dear ones heartily
commended to Heaven, we see, as in a dream, the figure of command
mounted upon the paddle-box. We cling to a camp stool near the red
smoke-stack, and cruelly murmur to the two rosy neophytes who are our
companions, "In five minutes you will be more unhappy than you ever were
or ever dreamed of being." They reply with sweet, unconscious looks of
wonder, that ignorance of danger which the recruit carries into his
first battle, or which carries him into it. But five minutes pass, and
twelve times five, and the moment for going below does not come. In the
expected shape, in fact, it does not arrive at all. We do not resolve
upon locomotion, nor venture into the dining saloon; but leaning back
upon a borrowed _chaise longue_, we receive hurried and fragmentary
instalments of victuals, and discuss with an improvised acquaintance the
aspects of foreign and domestic travel. The plunge into the state-room
at bedtime, and the crawl into the narrow berth, are not without their
direr features, which the sea-smells and confined air aggravate. We hear
bad accounts of A, B, and C, but our neophytes patrol the deck to the
last moment, and rise from their dive, on the second morning, fresher
than ever.

Our steamer is an old one, but a favorite, and as steady as a
Massachusetts matron of forty. Our captain is a kindly old sea-dog, who
understands his business, and does not mind much else. To the innocent
flatteries of the neophytes he opposes a resolute front. They will
forget him, he says, as soon as they touch land. They protest that they
will not, and assure him that he shall breakfast, dine, and sup with
them in Boston, six months hence, and that he shall always remain their
sole, single, and ideal captain; at all of which he laughs as grimly as
Jove is said to do at lovers' perjuries.

Our company is a small one, after the debarkation at Halifax, where
sixty-five passengers leave us,--among whom are some of the most
strenuous _euchreists_. The remaining thirty-six are composed partly of
our own country people,--of whom praise or blame would be impertinent in
this connection,--partly of the Anglo-Saxon of the day, in the
pre-puritan variety. Of the latter, as of the former, we will waive all
discriminating mention, having porrigated to them the dexter of
good-will, with no hint of aboriginal tomahawks to be exhumed hereafter.
Some traits, however, of the _Anglais de voyage_, as seen on his return
from an American trip, may be vaguely given, without personality or fear
of offence.

The higher in grade the culture of the European traveller in America,
the more reverently does he speak of what he has seen and learned. To
the gentle-hearted, childhood and its defects are no less sacred than
age and its decrepitude; withal, much dearer, because full of hope and
of promise. The French barber sneezes out "Paris" at every step taken on
the new land. That is the utmost his ratiocination can do; he can
perceive that Boston, Washington, Chicago, are not Paris. The French
exquisite flirts, flatters the individual, and depreciates the
commonwealth. The English bagman hazards the glibbest sentences as to
the falsity of the whole American foundation. Not much behind him lags
the fox-hunting squire. The folly and uselessness of our late war supply
the theme of diatribes as eloquent as twenty-_five_ letters can make
them. Obliging _aperçus_ of the degradation and misery in store for us
are vouchsafed at every opportunity. But it is when primogeniture is
touched upon, or the neutrality of England in the late war criticised,
that the bellowing of the sacred bulls becomes a brazen thunder. After
listening to their voluminous complaints of the shortcomings of western
civilization, we are tempted to go back to a set of questions asked and
answered many centuries ago.

"What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A man clothed in soft
raiment? Behold, they that live delicately dwell in kings' houses. But
what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, And more
than a prophet." For the prophet only foretells what is to be, but the
prophetic nation is working out and fulfilling the prophet's future.

Peace, however, peace between us and them. Let the bagman return to his
business, the squire to his five-barred gate. We wish them nothing worse
than to stay at home, once they have got there. Not thus do the Goldwin
Smiths, the Liulph Stanleys, take the altitude of things under a new
horizon. They have those tools and appliances of scientific thought
which build just theories and strait conclusions. The imperfection and
the value of human phenomena are too well understood by them to allow
them to place all of the values in the old world, and all of the
imperfections in the new. And, _apropos_ of this, we have an antidote to
all the poison of gratuitous malignity in the shape of M. Auguste
Laugel's thorough and appreciative treatise entitled The United States
during the War. From depths of misconception which we cannot fathom we
turn to his pages, and see the truths of our record and of our
conviction set forth with a simplicity and elegance which should give
his work a permanent value. To Americans it must be dear as a righteous
judgment; to Europeans as a vindication of their power of judging.

It must not, however, be supposed that our whole _traversée_ is a
squabble, open or suppressed, between nationalities which should contend
only in good will. The dreamy sea-days bring, on the contrary, much
social chat and comfort. Two of the Britons exercise hospitality of tea,
of fresh butter, of drinks cunningly compounded. One of these glows at
night like a smelting furnace, and goes about humming in privileged
ears, "The great brew is about to begin." For this same great brew he
ties a white apron before his stout person, breaks ten eggs into a bowl,
inflicting flagellation on the same, empties as many bottles of ale in a
tin pan, and flies off to the galley, whence he returns with a smoking,
frothing mixture, which is dispensed in tumblers, and much appreciated
by the recipients. In good fellowship these two Britons are not
deficient, and the restriction of the alphabet, dimly alluded to above,
does not lie at their door.

After rocking, and dreaming, and tumbling; after drowsy attempts to get
hold of other people's ideas and to disentangle your own; after a week's
wonder over the hot suppers of such as dine copiously at four P. M., and
the morning cocktails of those who drink whiskey in all its varieties
before we separate for the night; after repeated experiments, which end
by suiting our gait and diet to an ever-mobile existence, in which our
prejudices are the only stable points, our personal restraints the only
fixed facts,--we fairly reach the other side. The earliest terrene
object which we behold is a light-house some sixty miles out at sea,
whose occupants, we hope, are not resolutely bent upon social enjoyment.
Here the sending up of blue lights and rockets gives us a cheerful sense
of some one besides ourselves. Queenstown, our next point, is made at
two A. M., and left after weary waiting for the pilot, but still before
convenient hours for being up. Some hours later we heave the lead, and
enjoy the sight of as much _terra firma_ as can be fished up on the
greased end of the same. Our last day on board is marred by a heavy and
penetrating fog. We are in the Channel, but can see neither shore. In
the early morning we arrive at Liverpool, and, after one more of those
good breakfasts, and a mild encounter with the custom-house officers, we
part from our late home, its mingled associations and associates to be
recalled hereafter with various shades of regard and regret. The good
captain, having been without sleep for two nights, does not come to take
leave of us--a neglect which almost moves the neophytes to tears. The
two veterans console them, however; and now all parties are in the
little lighter which carries the steamer's passengers and luggage to the
dock. Here, three shillings' worth of cab and horse convey us and ours,
a respectable show of trunks, to the hotel of our choice--the
Washington by name. We commend this cheapness of conveyance, a novel
feature in American experience. At the hotel we find a comfortable
parlor, and, for the first time in many days, part from our wrappings.
After losing ourselves among the Egyptian china of our toilet set,
wondering at the width of beds and warmth of carpets, we descend to the
coffee-room, order dinner, and feel that we have again taken possession
of ourselves.



LIVERPOOL.


A good deal of our time here is spent in the prosaic but vital
occupation of getting something to eat. If Nature abhors a vacuum, she
does so especially when, after twelve days of a fluctuating and
predatory existence, the well-shaken traveller at last finds a stable
foundation for self and victuals. The Washington being announced as
organized on the American plan, we descend to the coffee-room with the
same happy confidence which would characterize our first appearance at
the buffet of the Tremont House or Fifth Avenue Hotel. But here no
waiter takes possession of you and your wants, hastening to administer
both to the mutual advantage of guest and landlord. You sit long
unnoticed; you attract attention only by a desperate effort. Having at
length secured the medium through which a dinner may be ordered, the
minister (he wears a black dress coat and white trimmings) disappears
with an air of "Will you have it now, or wait till you can get it?"
which our subsequent experience entirely justifies. We learn later that
a meal ordered half an hour beforehand will be punctually served.

And here, except in cases of absolute starvation, we shall dismiss the
meal question altogether, and devote ourselves to nobler themes. We
ransack the smoky and commercial city in search of objects of interest.
The weather being incessantly showery, we lay the foundation of our
English liberty in the purchase of two umbrellas, capable each of
protecting two heads. Of clothes we must henceforward be regardless. In
the streets, barefooted beggary strikes us, running along in the wet,
whining and coaxing. We visit the boasted St. George's Hall, where,
among other statues, is one of the distinguished Stephenson, of railroad
memory. Here the court is in session for the assizes. The wigs and gowns
astound the neophytes. The ushers in green and orange livery shriek
"Silence!" through every sentence of judge or counsel. No one can hear
what is going on. Probably all is known beforehand. At the hotel, the
Greek committee wait upon the veteran, with asseverations and
hiccoughings of to us incomprehensible emotions. We resist the theatre,
with the programme of "Lost in London," expecting soon to experience the
sensation without artistic intervention. We sleep, missing the cradle of
the deep, and on the morrow, by means of an uncanny little ferry-boat,
reach the Birkenhead station, and are booked for Chester.



CHESTER--LICHFIELD.


The Grosvenor Inn receives us, not at all in the fashion of the hostelry
of twenty years ago. A new and spacious building forming a quadrangle
around a small open garden, the style highly architectural and somewhat
inconvenient; waiters got up after fashion plates; chambermaids with
apologetic caps, not smaller than a dime nor larger than a dinner plate;
a handsome sitting-room, difficult to warm; airy sleeping-rooms; a
coffee-room in which our hunger and cold seek food and shelter; a
housekeeper in a striped silk gown,--these are the first features with
which we become familiar at the Grosvenor. The veteran falling ill
detains us there for the better part of two days; and we employ the
interim of his and our necessities in exploring the curious old town,
with its many relics of times long distant. The neophytes here see their
first cathedral, and are in raptures with nothing so much as with its
dilapidation. We happen in during the afternoon hour of cathedral
service, and the sexton, finding that we do not ask for seats, fastens
upon us with the zeal of a starved leech upon a fresh patient, and leads
us as weary a dance as Puck led the Athenian clowns. This chase after
antiquity proves to have something unsubstantial about it. The object is
really long dead and done with. These ancient buildings are only its
external skeleton, the empty shell of the tortoise. No effort of
imagination can show us how people felt when these dark passages and
deserted enclosures were full of the arterial warmth and current of
human life. The monumental tablets tell an impossible tale. The immortal
spirit of things, which is past, present, and future, dwells not in
these relics, but lives in the descent of noble thoughts, in the
perpetuity of moral effort which makes man human. We make these
reflections shivering, while the neophytes explore nave and transept,
gallery and crypt. A long tale does the old sexton tell, to which they
listen with ever-wondering expectation. Meantime the cold cathedral
service has ended. Canon, precentor, and choir have departed, with the
very slender lay attendance. In a commodious apartment, by a bright
fire, we recover our frozen joints a little. Here stands a full-length
portrait of his most gracious etc., etc. The sexton, preparing for a
huge jest, says to us, "Ladies, this represents the last king of
America." The most curious thing we see in the cathedral is the room in
which the ecclesiastical court held its sittings. The judges' seat and
the high-backed benches still form a quadrangular enclosure within a
room of the same shape. Across one corner of this enclosure is mounted a
chair, on which the prisoner, accused of the intangible offence of
heresy or witchcraft, was perforce seated. I seem to see there a face
and figure not unlike my own, the brow seamed with cabalistic wrinkles.
Add a little queerness to the travelling dress, a pinch or two to the
black bonnet, and how easy were it to make a witch out of the sibyl of
these present leaves! The march from one of these types to the other is
one of those retrograde steps whose contrast only attests the world's
progress. The sibylline was an excellent career for a queer and
unexplained old woman. To make her a sorceress was an ingenious device
for getting rid of a much-decried element of the social variety. Poor
Kepler's years of solitary glory and poverty were made more wretched by
the danger which constantly threatened his aged mother, who was in
imminent danger of burning, on account of her supposed occult
intelligences with the powers of darkness.

After a long and chilly wandering, we dismiss our voluble guide with a
guerdon which certainly sends him home to keep a silver wedding with his
ancient wife. The next day, the veteran's illness detained us within the
ancient city, and we contemplated at some leisure its quaint old houses,
which in Boston would not stand five days. They have been much propped
and cherished, and the new architecture of the town does its best to
continue the traditions of the old. The Guide to Chester, in which we
regretfully invest a shilling, presents a list of objects of interest
which a week would not more than exhaust. One of these--the Roodeye--is
an extensive meadow with a silly legend, and is now utilized as a
race-course. We see the winning post, the graduated seats, the track.
For the rest,--

    "The Spanish fleet thou canst not see, because
     It is not yet in sight."

We visit the outside of a tiny church of ancient renown,--St.
Olave's,--but, dreading the eternal sexton with the eternal story, we do
not attempt to effect an entrance. The much-famed Roman bath we find in
connection with a shop at which newspapers are sold. We descend a narrow
staircase, and view much rubbish in a small space. For description, see
Chester Guide. One of our party gets into the bath, and comes out none
the cleaner. Spleen apart, however, the ruin is probably authentic, with
its deep spring and worn arches. Near the Grosvenor Hotel is a curious
arcade, built in a part of the old wall--for Chester was a fortified
place. A portion of the old castle still stands, but we fail to visit
its interior. The third morning sees us depart, having been quite
comfortably entertained at the Grosvenor, even to the indulgence of
sweetmeats with our tea, which American extravagance we propose speedily
to abjure. Our national sins, however, still cling to us.

Although the servants are "put in the bill," the cringing civility with
which they follow us to the coach leads me to suspect that the nimble
sixpence might find its way to their acceptance without too severe a
gymnastic. _En route_, now, in a comfortable compartment, with hot water
to our feet, according to the European custom. Our way to Lichfield lies
through an agricultural region, and the fine English mutton appear to be
forward. Small lambs cuddle near magnificent fat mothers. The wide
domains lie open to the view. Everything attests the concentration of
landed property in the hands of the few. We stop at Lichfield, attracted
by the famous cathedral. The Swan Inn receives, but cannot make us
comfortable, a violent wind sweeping through walls and windows. Having
eaten and drunk, we implore our way to the cathedral, St. Chadde, which
we find beautiful without, and magnificently restored within. Many
monuments, ancient and modern, adorn it, with epitaphs of Latin in every
stage of plagiarism. A costly monument to some hero of the Sutlej war
challenges attention, with its tame and polished modern sphinxes. Tombs
of ancient abbots we also find, and one recumbent carving of a starved
and shrunken figure, whose leanness attests some ascetic period not
famous in sculpture. The pulpit is adorned with shining brass and
stones, principally cornelians and agates. The organ discoursed a sonata
of Beethoven for the practice of the organist, but secondarily for our
delectation. A box with an inscription invites us to contribute our mite
to the restoration of the cathedral, which may easily cost as much as
the original structure. Carving, gilding, inlaid work, stained glass--no
one circumstance of ecclesiastical gewgawry is spared or omitted; and
trusting that some to us unknown centre of sanctification exists, to
make the result of the whole something other than idol worship, we
comply with the gratifying suggestion of our wealth and generosity.
After satisfying ourselves with the cathedral, we look round wonderingly
for the recipient of some further fee. He appears in the shape of a
one-eyed man who invites us to ascend the tower. Guided by a small boy,
Neophyte No. 1 executes this ascent, and of course reports a wonderful
prospect, which we are content to take on hearsay. Leaving the
cathedral, we seek the house in which Dr. Johnson is said to have been
born. It is, strange to say, much like other houses, the lower story
having been turned into a furnishing shop, where we buy a pincushion
tidy for remembrance. In an open space, in front of the house, sits a
statue of the renowned and redoubted doctor, supported by a pedestal
with biographical bas-reliefs. Below one of these is inscribed, "He
hears Sacheverell." The design represents a small child in a father's
arms, presented before a wiggy divine, who can, of course, be none other
than the one in question. While these simple undertakings are planned
and executed, the veteran and elder neophyte engage a one-horse vehicle,
and madly fly to visit an insane asylum. We shiver till dinner in the
chilly parlor of the inn, and inter ourselves at an early hour in the
recesses of a huge feather-bed, where the precious jewel, sleep, is
easily found. And the next morning sees us _en route_ for London.

At one of the stations between Lichfield and London, we encounter a
group whose chief figure is that of a pretty little lady, blithe as a
golden butterfly, apparelled for the chase. Her dress consists of a
narrow-skirted habit, of moderate length, beneath which we perceive a
pair of stout boots, of a description not strictly feminine. A black
plush paletot corresponds with her black skirt. A shining stove-pipe
crowns her yellow tresses. As she emerges from the railway carriage, a
young man of elegant aspect approaches her. He wears white hunting
trousers, high black boots, a black plush coat, and carries a hunting
whip. The similarity of color in the costumes leads us to suppose that
the wearers belong to some hunting association. He is at least Sir
Charles, she, Lady Arabella. He accosts her with evident pleasure, and
is allowed a shake of the hand. An elderly relative in the background, a
servant in top boots, who touches his hat as if it could cure the
plague,--these complete the picture.

At the same station we descry another huntsman in white breeches,
scarlet cap, and overcoat. We learn that there are two _meets_ to-day in
this region, but our interests are with the black and white party.
Farewell, Sir Charles and Lady Arabella. Joyous be your gallop, light
your leap over five-barred gates. The sly fox Cupid may be chasing you,
while you chase poor Renard. _Prosit_.



LONDON.


"Charing Cross Hotel? 'Ere you are, sir;" and a small four-wheeled cab,
with a diminutive horse and beer-tinted driver, has us up at the door of
the same. In front, within the precincts of the hotel court, stands the
ancient cross, or that which replaces it, and around radiate cook-shops
and book-shops, jewellers and victuallers and milliners. The human river
of the Strand fluxes and refluxes before this central spot, and
Trafalgar Square, and Waterloo Place, and Westminster Abbey, and the
Houses of Parliament are near. Cabs spring up like daisies and primroses
beneath the footsteps of spring. At the hotel they make a gratifying
fuss about us. They seize upon all of us but our persons; the lift,
(_Americane_--elevator) does that, and noiselessly lodges us on the
second floor, where we occupy a decent sitting-room, with bedrooms _en
suite_. A fire of soft coal soon glows in the grate. A smart chambermaid
takes our orders. We get out our address-book, rub up our recollections,
enclose and send our cards, then run out and take a dip in the Strand,
and expand to the full consciousness that we are in the mighty city
which cannot fall because there is no hollow deep enough to hold it.

We have a quiet day and a half at the hotel before we receive the echo
of our cards. This interval we improve by visits to the houses of
Parliament and Westminster Abbey, where we pay our full price, and visit
the royal chapels with their many tombs. At the recumbent figures of
Mary Stuart and Elizabeth we pause to think of the dramatic ghosts which
will not allow them to rest in their graves. Poetry is resurrection, and
for us who have seen Rachel and Ristori, Mary and Elizabeth are still
living and speaking lessons of human passion and misfortune. These
marbles hold their crumbling bones, but we have seen them in far
America, doing a night's royalty before a democratic audience, and
demanding to be largely paid for the same.

The frescoes and statues in the long corridors of the Houses of
Parliament deserve a more minute study than we are able to give them.
The former show considerable progress in the pictorial art during the
seventeen years which divide our present from our past observations.
They represent noted events in English history, the last sleep of
Argyle, the execution of Montrose, and so on. Among them we see the
departure of the May Flower, but not the battle of Bunker Hill. The
statues perpetuate the memories of public men, including a great variety
both as to opinion and as to service. The solidity of all these
adornments and arrangements well deserves the praise with which English
authorities have been wont to comment upon them. A little sombre and
sober in their tone, they are expressive of the taste and feeling of the
nation. Parliament is now in session, and various interesting measures
and reforms are under contemplation. Among these are the extension of
the elective franchise, the abolition of flogging in the army, and the
change of the whole long-transmitted system by which commissions in the
latter are conferred or purchased. The last is perhaps a more democratic
measure than is dreamed of. Throw open the military and church benefices
to the competition of the most able and deserving, and the younger sons
of houses esteemed noble will stand no better chance than others. They
will then simply earn their bread where they can get it. Then, down
comes primogeniture, then the union of state and church, then the
prestige of royalty. This last we think to be greatly on the wane. The
English prefer an hereditary to an elective symbol of supreme power. The
permitted descent in the female line prevents the inconvenient issues to
which the failure of an heir male might give rise. The Georges rose to
great respectability in the third person, and sank to a disreputable
level in the fourth. The present queen is an excellently behaved woman,
and has adhered strictly to her public and private duties. Her long and
strict widowhood is a little carped at by people in general, the
personal sentiment having seemed to encroach upon the public career and
office. But the Prince of Wales will be held to strict and sensible
behavior, and, failing of it, will be severely dealt with. The English
people will endure no second season of Carlton House, no letting down of
manly reserve and womanly character by the spectacle of royal favorites,
bankrupt at the fireside, but current in the world. All this John Bull
will not put up with again. Nor will any Christendom, save that Frankish
and monkeyish one which has yet to learn that true freedom of thought is
not to be had without purity of conscience, and which, in its desire to
be polite, holds the door wider open to bad manners than to good ones.

Rash words! What noble, thoughtful Frenchmen have not we known, and the
world with us! Shall boastful Secesh and blustering Yankee, or the
sordid, shining shoddy fool stand for the American? Yet these are the
figures with which Europe is most familiar. So let us fling no smallest
pebble at the nation of Des Cartes, Montesquieu, Pascal, and De
Tocqueville. It is not in one, but in all countries that extremes meet.
And in this connection a word.

The less we know about a thing, the easier to write about it. To give
quite an assured and fluent account of a country, we should lose no time
on our first arrival. The first impression is the strongest. Familiarity
constantly wears off the edge of observation. The face of the new region
astonishes us once, and once only. We soon grow used to it, and forget
to describe it. The first day of our arrival in Liverpool or in London
gave us volumes to write, which have proved as evanescent as the
pictures of a swift panorama, vanishing to return no more. For now we
are seated in London as though we had always lived there. We may sooner
astonish it with our western accent, unconsidered costume, and wild
coiffure, than it can rivet our attention with its splendors and its
queernesses, its squares, fountains, equipages, cabmen, well-dressed and
well-mannered circles. This for the features, for the surface. But for
the depth and spirit of things, the longer we explore, the less sanguine
do we feel of being able to exhaust them. We sink our deepest shaft, and
write upon it, "Thus far our abilities and opportunities; far more
remains than we can ever bring to light."

And, _apropos_ of this terrible familiarity with things once discerned,
let me say that when we shall have been two days in heaven, we shall not
know it any longer, which is one reason why we must always be getting
there, but never arrive. Pope's old-fashioned line, "always to be
blest," expresses profoundly this philosophical necessity, although he
saw it in a simply didactic light, and stated it accordingly. The line
none the less takes its place in the stately train of the ideal
philosophy, to which those have best contributed who have been least
aware of the fact of their having done so. "Lord, when saw I thee naked
and an hungered," etc., etc. On some smallest, obscurest occasion
probably, when, the recognized form and the ignored spirit presenting
themselves together, thy hospitable bosom received the one, and left the
other to take care of itself.

Our neophytes take this great Babel with the charming _at-homeness_ to
which our paragraph alludes. They devour London as if it were the
perpetual bread and butter which their father's house keeps always cut
and spread for them; cab hire, great dinners, distinguished company, the
lofty friend's equipage and livery, lent for precious occasions,--all
this seems as much a matter of course as Lindley Murray's rules, or the
Creed and the Commandments. Joachim? Of course they will hear Joachim,
and the Opera, if it be good enough, and Mr. Dickens. Lady ----, Duke of
So and so. Very well in their way. Presented at court? They wouldn't
mind, provided it were not too tedious. Mr. Carlyle? Herbert Spencer?
Yes, they have heard tell of them.

Happy season of youth, which can find nothing more reverend than its
possibilities, more glorious than its unwasted powers! In spite of all
the new views and theories, I say, let children be born, and let women
nurse them and bring them up, and let us have young people to take our
work where we leave it, laughing at our limitations, and excelling us
with noble strides; to pause some day, and remember our lessons, and
weep over our pains, not the less, O God of the future, surpassing us!
So let children continue to be born, and let no one attempt to
reconstruct society at the expense of one hair of the head of these
little ones, ourselves in hope as well as in memory.



ST. PAUL'S--THE JAPANESE.


The first feature of novelty in visiting St. Paul's Cathedral is the
facility for going thither afforded by the city railways,--one of which
swiftly deposits us in Cannon Street, whence, with the Cathedral in full
sight, we beg our way to the entrance, so far as information goes,--one
only of its several doors being open to the public at all times. The
second is the crypt occupied and solemnized by the ponderous funereal
pomps of the late Duke of Wellington. In conjunction with these must be
mentioned the Nelson monument. These two men have been the great
deliverers of England in modern times, and there is, no doubt, a certain
heartiness in the gratitude that attends their memory. The duke's
mausoleum is of solid porphyry, highly polished, in a quadrangular
enclosure, at each of whose four corners flames a gas-jet, fixed on a
porphyry shaft. Behind this a large space is filled by the huge funereal
car which bore the hero to this place of rest. It is of cast iron,
furnished by the cannon taken in his victories. In it are harnessed
effigies of the six horses that dragged it, in the veritable trappings
worn on the occasion. The heavy black draperies of the car are edged
with a colored border, representing the orders worn by the duke. And
here the care of England will, no doubt, preserve them, with the nodding
hearse-plumes, and all the monuments of that holiday of woe, to moulder
as long as such things can possibly hold together. For there is a point
at which the most illustrious antiquity degenerates into dirt. And in
England the past and present will yet have some awkward controversies to
settle; for the small island cannot always have room for both, and to
cramp and crowd the one for the heraldic display of the other will not
be good housekeeping, according to the theories of to-day. So, when the
fox-hunting squire tells us that his chief public aim and occupation
will be to keep his county conservative, we think that this should mean
to cheat the honest and laborious peasantry out of their eye teeth;
though how they should be ignorant enough to be outwitted by him, is a
question which makes us pause as over an unexplored abyss of
knownothingism.

St. Paul's is clearly organized for the extortion of shillings and
sixpences. So much for seeing the bell, clock, and whispering gallery;
so much for the crypt. You are pressed, too, at every turn, to purchase
guide-books, each more authentic than the last. There, as elsewhere, we
go about spilling our small change at every step, and wondering where it
will all end. We remember the debtors' prisons which still abound in
England, and endeavor to view the younger neophyte in the sober livery
of Little Dorrit.

The only occasion of public amusement that we improve, after the one
happy hearing of Joachim, is an evening performance of the Japanese
jugglers, which remains fresh and vivid in our recollections, with all
its barbaric smoothness and perfection.

The first spectacle which we behold is that of a chattering and
shrieking monkey of a man, who, squatting on his haunches, visibly
fills a tea-cup with water, inverts it upon a pile of papers without
spilling a drop, and pulls out layer after layer of those papers, all
perfectly dry, which he waves at us with a childish joy. By and by, he
restores the cup to its original position, and then empties its contents
into another vessel before our eyes. Another, a top-spinning savage,
continually whirls his top into that state which the boys call "sleep,"
and spins it, thus impelled, along the sharp edge of a steel sword, up
to the point and back again, and along the border of a paper fan, with
other deeds which it were tedious to enumerate. While these feats go on,
two funny little Japanese children, oddly bundled up according to the
patterns of the two sexes, toddle about and chatter with the elders,
probably for the purpose of illustrating the features of family life in
Japan. A young creature, said to be the wife of six unpronounceable
syllables, strums on a monotonous stringed instrument, and screeches,
sometimes striking an octave, but successfully dodging every other
interval. Both in speech and in song the tones of these people betray an
utter want of command over the inflections of the voice. Every elevation
is a scream, every depression, _con rispetto_, a grunt. And when, in
addition to the song and strumming, the little ones lustily beat a large
wooden tea-box with wooden weapons, we begin to waver a little about the
old proverb, _De gustibus non disputandum est_. The beautiful butterfly
trick, however, consoles our eyes for what our ears have suffered. The
conjurer twists first one, then two, butterflies out of a bit of white
paper, and, by means of a fan, causes them to fly and poise as if they
were coquetting with July breezes. When, at last, he presents a basket
of flowers, the illusion is perfect. They settle, fly again, and hover
round, in true coleopteric fashion.

But the acrobatic exhibition is that which beggars all that our
overworked sensibilities have endured at the hands of rope-dancer or
equestrian. Blondin himself, Hanlon in the flying trapeze, are less
perfect and less terrible. Acrobat No. 1 appears in an athlete's costume
of white linen. He binds a stout silken tie around his head--a
precaution whose object is later understood. He then gets into a small
metal triangle with a running cord attached, and is swung up to the
neighborhood of the high, arched ceiling, where various cross-pieces,
slight in appearance, are attached. To one of these he directs his
venturous flight, and letting his triangle depart, he takes his station
with his legs firmly closed upon the cross-piece, his head hanging down,
his hands free. Acrobat No. 2 now comes upon the scene. Mounting in a
second triangle, he is swung to a certain height at a distance of some
twenty or more feet from the first performer. A bamboo pole is here
handed him, of which he manages to convey the upper end within the grasp
of the latter. And now, swinging loose from his triangle, he hangs at
the lower end of the bamboo, his steadfast colleague holding fast the
upper end. And this mere straight line, with only the natural jointings
of the cane, becomes to him a domain, a palace of ease. Now he clings to
it apparently with one finger, throwing out the other hand and both
feet. Now he clings by one foot, his head being down, and his hands
occupied with a fan. There is, in fact, no name for the singularities
with which he amazes us for at least a quarter of an hour. No. 1 always
holds on like grim death. No. 2 seems at times to hold on by nothing.
All the while one of their number chatters volubly in the Japanese
dialect, directing attention to the achievements of the two pendent
heroes. Our thoughts recurred forcibly to a dialogue long familiar in
our own country:--

"Wat's dat darkening up de hole?" asks Cuffee in the she bear's den to
Cuffee without, who is forcibly detaining the returned she bear by one
extremity.

"If de tail slips through my fingers, you'll find out," is the curt
reply, and end of the story.

But the pole did not slip through, and, finally, the second triangle was
swung towards acrobat No. 2, who relinquished his hold of the bamboo,
and intwining his legs about it, pleasantly made his descent with his
head downwards, afterwards setting himself to rights with one shake.
Acrobat No. 1 now condescends to come down from his high position, also
with his head down, and a cool and consummate demeanor. But he walks off
from the stage as if his late inverted view of it had given him
something to think of. And in all this, not one jerk, one hasty snatch,
one fall and recovery. All goes with the rounded smoothness of
machinery. These gymnasts have perfected the mechanism of the body, but
they have given it nothing to do that is worth doing.



SOCIETY.


We bite at the tempting bait of London society a little eagerly. In our
case, as veterans, it is like returning to a delicious element from
which we have long been weaned. The cheerfulness with which English
people respond to the modest presentment of a card _well-motived_, the
cordiality with which they welcome an old friend, once truly a friend,
may well offset the reserve with which they respond to advances made at
random, and the resolute self-defence of the British _Lion_ in
particular against all vague and vagabond enthusiasms. Carlyle's wrath
at the Americans who homaged and tormented him prompted a grandiose
vengeance. He called them a nation of hyperbores. Not for this do we now
vigorously let him alone, but because his spleeny literary utterances
these many years attest the precise moment in which bright Apollo left
him. The most brilliant genius should beware of the infirmity of the
fireside and admiring few, whose friendship applauds his poorest
sayings, and, at the utmost, shrugs its shoulders where praise is out of
the question.

Our remembrance of the London of twenty-four years ago is, indeed
hyperdelightful, and of that description which one does not ask to have
repeated, so perfect is it in the first instance. A second visit was
less social and more secluded in its opportunities. But now--for what
reason it matters not; would it were that of our superior merit--we find
the old delightful account reopened, the friendly visits frequent, and
the luxurious invitations to dinner occupy every evening of our short
week in London, crowding out theatres and opera,--the latter now just in
the bud. To these dissipations a new one has been added, and the
afternoon tea is now a recognized institution. Less formal and expensive
than a New York afternoon reception, it answers the same purpose of a
final object and rest for the day's visiting. In some instances, it
continues through the season; in others, invitations are given for a
single occasion only. You go, if invited, in spruce morning dress, with
as much or as little display of train and bonnet as may suit with your
views. You find a cheerful and broken-up assemblage--people conversing
in twos, or, at most, in threes. And here is the Very Reverend the Dean.
And here is the Catholic Archbishop, renowned for the rank and number of
his proselytes. And here is Sir Charles--not he of the hunting-whip and
breeches, but one renowned in science, and making a practical as well as
a theoretical approximation to the antiquity of man. And here is Sir
Samuel, who has finally discovered those parent lakes of the Nile which
have been among the lost arts of geography for so many centuries. In
this society, no man sees or shows a full-length portrait. A word is
given, a phrase exchanged, and "_tout est dit_." What it all may amount
to must be made out in another book than mine.

Well, having been more or less introduced, you take a cup of tea, with
the option of bread and butter or a fragment of sponge cake. Having
finished this, you vanish; you have shown yourself, reported yourself;
more was not expected of you.

A graver and more important institution is the London dinner, commencing
at half past seven, with good evening clothes--a white neckcloth and
black vest for gentlemen; for _nous autres_, evening dress, not
resplendent. The dinners we attend have perhaps the edge of state a
little taken off, being given at short notice; but we observe female
attire to be less showy than in our recollections of twenty-four years
previous, and our one evening dress, devised to answer for dinner,
evening party, and ball, proves a little over, rather than under, the
golden mean of average appearance. As one dinner is like all, the
briefest sketch of a single possible occasion may suffice. If you have
been at afternoon tea before dinner, your toilet has been perforce a
very hurried one. If it is your first appearance, the _annonce_ of a
French hair-dresser in the upper floor of your hotel may have inspired
you with the insane idea of submitting your precious brain-case to his
manipulations. Having you once in his dreadful seat, he imposes upon you
at his pleasure. You must accept his hair-string, his pins, his rats, at
a price at which angola cats were dear. You are palpitating with haste,
he with the conceit of his character and profession. Fain would he add
swindle to swindle, and perfidy to perfidy. "Don't you want a little
crayon to darken the hair?" and hide the ravages of age; "it is true it
colors a little, since it is made on purpose." You desire it not. "A
cream? a pomade? a hair-wash?" None of all this; only in Heaven's name
to have done with him! He capers behind you, puffing your sober head
with curls, as if he had the breath of Æolus, according to Flaxman's
illustration. Finally he dismisses you at large and unwarranted cost;
but in your imagination he capers at your back for a week to come.

This prelude, which gives to

                "_hairy_ nothing
    A local habitation and a name,"

leaves little time for further adornment. A hired cab takes your
splendors to the door of the inviting mansion, and leaves them there.
When you depart, you request the servant of the house which feeds you to
call another cab, which he does with the air of rendering a familiar
service.

I have no intention of giving a detailed portrait of the entertainment
that follows. Its few characteristic features can be briefly given.
Introductions are not general; and even in case the occasion should have
been invoked and invited for you, the greater part of your fellow-guests
may not directly make your acquaintance. Servants are graver than
senators with us. Dishes follow each other in bewildering and rather
oppressive variety. You could be very happy with any one of them alone,
but with a dozen you fear even to touch and taste. Conversation is not
loud nor general, scarcely audible across the table. As in marriage,
your partner is your fate. One would be very glad to present one brick
so that another could be laid on top of it, or even to attempt an angle
and a corner adjustment. But this conversation is not architectonic. It
aims at nothing more than the requisite small change. If by chance the
society be assembled at an informal house, and composed of artists and
authors, we shall hear jests and laughter, but the themes of these will
scarcely go beyond the most familiar matters. Having told thus much we
have told all, except that ice is not served, as with us, upon the
table, in picturesque variety of form and color, but is usually bestowed
in spoonfuls, one of either kind to each person, the quality being
excellent, and the quantity, after all else that has been offered, quite
sufficient. It is here one of the most expensive articles of
_luxe_--costing thrice its Yankee prices. The ladies leave the table a
little before the gentlemen; but these arrive with no symptoms of
inordinate drinking. The latter, as is well known, is long gone out of
fashion, and with it, we imagine, the description of wit and anecdote,
whose special enjoyment used to be reserved for the time "after the
ladies had left the table." This is all that can be told of the dinner,
which is the _ne plus ultra_ of English social enjoyments; for balls
everywhere are stale affairs, save to the dancing neophytes, and the
enjoyment to be had at them is either official or gymnastic. At a
"select" _soirée_ following a state dinner, we hear Mr. Ap Thomas, the
renowned harpist, whose execution is indeed brilliant and remarkable.
The harp, however, is an instrument that owes its prestige partly to its
beauty of form, partly to the romance of its traditions, from King David
to the Welsh bards. In tone and temper it remains greatly inferior to
the piano-forte, the finger governing the strings far better with than
without the intervention of the keys and hammers.

But while we thankfully accept the offered opportunities of meeting
those whom we desire to see, we are forced, as hygienists and
economists, to enter our protest against the English dinner--this last
joint in the back-bone of luxury. After hearty luncheon and social tea,
it would seem to be a mere superfluity, not needed, a danger if partaken
of, a mockery if neglected. So let New England cherish while she can the
early dinner; for with the extended areas of business and society,
dinner grows ever later, and the man and his family wider apart. By the
time that tea and coffee are got through with, it may well be half past
ten o'clock, and by eleven, at latest, unless there should be music or
some special after-entertainment, you take leave.

Hoping to revisit more fully this ancestral isle before the tocsin of
depart for home, we will now, with a little more of our sketchiness,
take leave of it, which we should do with heartier regret but for the
prospect of a not distant return.

In philosophy, England at the present day does not seem to go beyond
Mill on the one hand, and Stewart on the other. The word "science" is
still used, as it was ten years ago with us, to express the rules and
observances of physical and mathematical study. Science, as the mother
of the rules of thought, generating logic, building metaphysics, and
devising the rules of coherence by which human cogitation is at once
promoted and measured,--this conception of science I did not recognize
in those with whom I spoke, unless I except Rev. H. Martineau, with whom
I had only general conversation, but whose intellectual position is at
once without the walls of form, and within the sanctuary of freedom. I
was referred to Jowett and his friends as the authorities under this
head, but this was not the moment in which to find them. In religion,
Miss Cobbe leads the van, her partial method assuming as an original
conception what the Germans have done, and much better done, before her.
Theodore Parker is, I gather, her great man; and in her case, as in his,
largeness of nature, force and geniality of temperament, take the place
of scientific construction and responsible labor. Mr. Martineau's
position is well known, and is for us New Englanders beyond controversy.
The broad church is best known to us by Kingsley and Maurice. To those
who still stand within the limits of an absolute authority in spiritual
matters, its achievements may appear worthy of surprise and of
gratulation. To those who have passed that barrier they present no
intellectual feature worth remarking.

I well remember to-day my childish astonishment when I first learned
that I and my fellows were outside the earth's crust, not within it. In
connection with this came also the fact of a mysterious force binding us
to the surface of the planet, so that, in its voyages and revolutions,
it can lose nothing of its own.

Something akin to this may be the discovery of believers that they and
those whom they follow are, so far as concerns actual opportunity of
knowledge, on the outside of the world of ideal truth. Eye hath not
seen, nor ear heard, nor heart conceived, any absolute form of its
manifestation. A divine, mysterious force binds us to our place on its
smiling borders. Of what lies beyond we construe as we can--Moses
according to his ability, Christ and Paul according to theirs. Unseen
and unmanifested it must ever remain; for though men say that God has
done so and so, God has never said so. Of this we become sure: religion
spiritualizes, inspires, and consoles us. The strait gate and narrow
path are blessed for all who find them, and are the same for all who
seek them. But this oneness of morals is learned experimentally; it
cannot be taught dogmatically.

Proposing to return to this theme, and to see more of the broad church
before I decide upon its position, I take leave of it and of its domain
together. Farewell, England! farewell, London! For three months to come
thou wilt contain the regalia of all wits, of all capabilities. Fain
would we have lingered beside the hospitable tables, and around the
ancient monuments, considering also the steadfast and slowly-developing
institutions. But the chief veteran is in haste for Greece, and on the
very Sunday on which we should have heard Martineau in the forenoon, and
Dean Stanley in the afternoon, with delightful social recreation in the
evening, we break loose from our moorings, reach Folkstone, and embark
for its French antithesis, _Boulogne sur mer_.



THE CHANNEL.


If the devil is not so black as he is painted, it must be because he has
an occasional day of good humor. Some such wondrous interval is hinted
at by people who profess to have seen the Channel sea smooth and calm.
We remember it piled with mountains of anguish--one's poor head
swimming, one's heart sinking, while an organ more important than either
in this connection underwent a sort of turning inside out which seemed
to wrench the very strings of life. But on this broken Sabbath our
wonderful luck still pursues us. It is in favor of the neophytes that
this new dispensation has been granted. The monsters of the deep respect
their innocence, and cannot visit on them the vulgar offences of their
progenitors. They bind the waves with a garland of roses and lilies,
whose freshness proves a spell of peace. We, the elders, embark,
expecting the usual speedy prostration; but, placing ourselves against
the mast, we determine, like Ulysses, to maintain the integrity of our
position. And it so happens that we do. While a few sensitive mortals
about us execute the irregular symphony of despair, we rest in a calm
and upright silence. Never was the Channel so quiet! We were not
uproarious, certainly, but contemplative. A wretch tucked us up with a
tarpaulin, for which he afterwards demanded a trifle. If civility is
sold for its weight in silver anywhere, it is on English soil and in
English dependencies. We, the veterans, took our quiet ferriage in mute
amazement; the neophytes took it as a thing of course.

Arrived, we rush to the _buffet_ of the railroad station, where every
one speaks French-English. Here a very limited dinner costs us five
francs a head. We accept the imposition with melancholy thoughtfulness.
Then comes the whistle of the locomotive. "_En voiture, messieurs!_" And
away, with a shriek, and a groan, and a rattle,--to borrow Mr. Dickens's
refrain, now that he has done with it,--_en route_ for Paris.



PARIS AND THENCE.


In Paris the fate of Greece still pursues us. Two days the rigid veteran
will grant; no more--the rest promised when the Eastern business shall
have been settled. But those two days suffice to undo our immortal souls
so far as shop windows can do this. The shining sins and vanities of the
world are so insidiously set forth in this Jesuits' college of Satan,
that you catch the contagion of folly and extravagance as you pace the
streets, or saunter through the brilliant arcades. Your purveyor makes a
Sybarite of you, through the inevitable instrumentality of breakfast and
dinner. Your clothier, from boots to bonnet, seduces you into putting
the agreeable before the useful. For if you purchase the latter, you
will be moved to buy by the former, and use becomes an after-thought to
your itching desire and disturbed conscience. Paris is a sweating
furnace in which human beings would turn life everlasting into gold,
provided it were a negotiable value. You, who escape its allurements
solvent, with a franc or two in your pocket, and your resources for a
year to come not mortgaged, should after your own manner cause _Te
Deum_ to be sung or celebrated. Strongly impressed at the time, moved
towards every acquisitive villany, not excluding shop-lifting nor the
picking of pockets, I now regard with a sort of indignation those silken
snares, those diamond, jet, and crystal allurements, which so nearly
brought my self-restraint, and with it my self-respect, to ruin.
Everything in Paris said to me, "Shine, dye your hair, rouge your
cheeks, beggar your purse with real diamonds, or your pride with false
ones. But shine, and, if necessary, beg or steal." Nothing said, "Be
sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, like a roaring lion," etc.,
etc. What a deliverer was therefore the stern Crete-bound veteran, who
cut the Gordian knot of enchantment with, "Pack and begone." And having
ended that inevitable protest against his barbarity with which women
requite the offices of true friendship, I now turn my wrath against
false, fair Paris, and cry, "Avoid thee, _scelestissima_! Away from me,
_nequissima_! I will none of thee; not a franc, not an obolus. Avoid
thee! _Nolo ornari!_"

Touching our journey from Paris to Marseilles, I will only give the
scarce-needed advice that those who have this route to make should
inflict upon themselves a little extra fatigue, and stop only at Lyons,
if at all, rather than risk the damp rooms and musty accommodations of
the smaller places which lie upon the route, offering to the traveller
few objects of interest, or none. For it often happens in travelling
that a choice only of inconveniences is presented to us, and in our
opinion a prolonged day's journey in a luxurious car is far less
grievous to be borne than a succession of stoppages, unpackings, and
plungings into unknown inns and unaired beds. To this opinion, however,
our Greece-bound veteran suffers not himself to be converted, and,
accordingly, we, leaving Paris on the Wednesday at ten A. M., do not
reach Marseilles until four o'clock of the Friday afternoon following.

The features of our first day's journey are those of a country whose
landed possessions are subdivided into the smallest portions cultivable.
Plains and hill-sides are alike covered with the stripes which denote
the limits of property. Fruit trees in blossom abound every where, but
the villages, built of rough stone and lime, are distant from each
other. As we go southward, the vine becomes more apparent, and before we
reach Lyons we see much of that contested gift of God. The trains that
pass us are often loaded with barrels whose precious contents cannot be
bought pure for any money, on the other side of the Atlantic, or even of
the Straits of Dover. To this the procession of the jolly god has come
at last. He leers at us through the two red eyes of the locomotive; its
stout cylinder represents his _embonpoint_. Instead of frantic
Bacchantes, the rattling cars dance after him, and "_Ohe evohe!_"
degenerates into the shrill whew, whew of the engine. At the _buffets_
and hotels _en route_ his mysteries are celebrated. These must be sought
in the labyrinthine state of mind of those who have drunken frequently
and freely. They utter words unintelligible to the sober and uninspired,
sentences of prophetic madness which the prose of modern physiology
condenses into those two words--gout and delirium tremens. Yet these two
dire diseases are rare among the temperate French. They export the
producing medium _au profit de l'étranger_.

We stop the first night at Macon, and sleep in an imposing, chilly room,
without carpets, under down coverlets. The second day's journey brings
us to Lyons an hour before noon. We engage a _fiacre_, drive around the
town, whose growth and improvement in the interval of sixteen years do
not fail to strike us. Fine public squares adorn it, themselves
embellished with bronze statues, among which we observe an equestrian
figure of the first and only Napoleon. The shops are as tormenting as
those of Paris, the Café Casati, where we dine, as elegant. Re-embarking
at four P. M., we reach Valence in about four hours.

The worst of it is, that, arriving at these quaint little places after
dark, you see none of their features, and taste only of their
discomforts. At Valence our inn was so dreary, that, having bestowed the
neophytes in sound slumber, the veteran and I sallied forth in quest of
any pastime whatever, without being at all fastidious as to its source
and character. Passing along the quiet streets, we observe what would
seem to be a theatre, on the other side of the way. Entering, we find a
youthful guardian, who tells us that there is up stairs a "_confèrence
de philosophie_." We enter, and find a very respectable assemblage,
listening attentively to an indistinct orator, who rhapsodizes upon the
poets of modern France, with quotations and personal anecdotes. What he
says has little originality, but is delivered with good taste and
feeling. He speaks without notes; for, indeed, such a _causerie_ spins
itself, like a sailor's yarn, though out of finer materials.

Returning to our hostelry, we sleep with open window in a musty room,
and catch cold. The next day's journey still conducts us through a
vine-growing region, in a more and more advanced condition. The constant
presence of the _morus multicaulis_ also makes us aware of the presence
of the silk-worm--so far, only in the egg-condition; for that prime
minister of vanity is not hatched yet. We learn that the disease which
has for some years devastated the worm is on the decline. The world with
us, meanwhile has become somewhat weaned from the absolute necessity of
the article, and the friendly sheep and alpaca have made great progress
in the æsthetics of the toilet. As we approach Marseilles, we cross a
dreary flat of wide extent, covered with stones and saltish grass, and
said to produce the finest cattle in France. The olive, too, makes his
stiff bow to us as we pass, well remembering his dusty green. The olive
trees seem very small, and are, indeed, of comparatively recent growth;
all the larger ones having been killed by a frost, rare in these
latitudes, whose epoch we are inclined to state as posterior to our last
presence in these parts. Our informant places it at twenty years ago.
After three days of piecemeal travelling, the arrival at Marseilles
seems quite a relief.



MARSEILLES.


At Marseilles we find a quasi tropical aspect--long streets, handsome
and well-shaded, tempting shops, luxurious hotels, a motley company,
and, above all, a friend, one of our own countrymen, divided between the
glitter of the new life and the homesick weaning of the old. Half, he
assumes the cicerone, and guides our ignorance about. Half, he sits to
learn, and we expound to him what has befallen at home, so far as we are
conscious of it. We take half a day for resting, the next day for
sight-seeing. On the third, we must sail, for finding that Holy Week is
still to be, we determine to make our reluctant sacrifice to the
Mediterranean, and to trust our precious comfort and delicate
equilibrium to that blue imposture, that sunniest of humbugs.

On the second day, we climb the steep ascent that leads to the chapel of
La Bonne Mère de la Garde. This hot and panting ascent is not made by us
without many pauses for recovered breath and energy. At every convenient
stopping-place in the steep ascent are stationed elderly women presiding
over small booths, who urgently invite us to purchase candles to give to
the Madonna, medals, rosaries, and photographs, to all of whom we oppose
a steadfast resistance. We have twice in our lives brought home from
Europe boat-loads of trash, and we think that, as Paul says, the time
past of our lives may suffice us. Finally, with a degree of perspiration
more than salutary, we reach the top, and enjoy first the view of the
Mediterranean, including a bird's-eye prospect of the town, which looks
so parched and arid as to make the remembrance of London in the rain
soothing and pleasant. A palace is pointed out which was built in the
expectation of a night's sojourn of the emperor, but to which, they tell
us, he never came. Our point of view is the top of one of the towers of
the church. Going inside, we look down upon the aisles and altars from a
lofty gallery. The silver robes of the Madonna glisten, reflecting the
many wax-lights that devotees have kindled around her. The first sight
of these material expressions of devotion is imposing, the second
instructive, the third, commonplace and wearisome. We are at the last
clause, and gaze at these things with the eyes of people who have seen
enough of them.

The remainder of the disposable day we employ in a drive to the Prado,
the fashionable region for the display of equipage and toilet. This is
not, however, the fashionable day, and we meet only a few grumpy-looking
dowagers in all stages of fatitude. The road is planted with double rows
of lindens, and is skirted by country residences and villas to let. We
stop and alight at the Musée, a spacious and handsome building, erected
and owned by a noble of great wealth, long since dead, who committed
celibacy, and left no personal heir. It is now the property of the city
of Marseilles. The hall is fine. Among the spacious salons, the largest
is used as a gallery of pictures, mostly by artists of this
neighborhood, and of very humble merit. In another we find a very good
collection of Egyptian antiquities, while in yet another the old state
furniture is retained, the rich crimson hangings, long divan of gobelin,
and chairs covered with fine worsted needle-work. Beyond is a pretty
Chinese cabinet, with a full-length _squatue_ of Buddh, gayly gilded and
painted. Above stairs, the state bed and hangings are shown, the latter
matching a handsome landscape chintz, with which the walls are covered.
This museum has in it a good deal of instructive and entertaining
matter, and is kept in first-rate order. Returning, we drive around the
outer skirts of the town, and see something of the summer bathing
hotels, the great storehouses, and the streets frequented by the working
and seafaring portion of the community.

In the evening we walk through the streets, which are brilliant with
gas, and visit the cafés, where ices, coffee, and lemonade are enjoyed.
We finally seat ourselves in a casino, a sort of mixed café and theatre,
where the most motley groups of people are coming, going, and sitting.
At one end is a small stage, with a curtain, which falls at the end of
each separate performance. Here songs and dances succeed each other,
only half heeded by the public, who drink, smoke, and chatter without
stint. After a hornpipe, a dreadful woman in white, with a blue peplum,
hoarsely shouts a song without music, accompanied by drums and barbaric
cymbals. She makes at last a vile courtesy, matching the insufficiency
of her dress below by its utter absence above the waist, and we take
flight. The next morning witnesses our early departure from Marseilles.



ROME.


With feelings much mingled, I approach, for the third time, the city of
Rome. I pause to collect the experience of sixteen years, the period
intervening between my second visit and the present. I left Rome, after
those days, with entire determination, but with infinite reluctance.
America seemed the place of exile, Rome the home of sympathy and
comfort. To console myself for the termination of my travels, I
undertook a mental pilgrimage, which unfolded to me something of the
spirit of that older world, of which I had found the form so congenial.
To the course of private experience were added great public lessons.
Among these I may name the sublime failure of John Brown, the sorrow and
success of the late war. And now I must confess that, after so many
intense and vivid pages of life, this visit to Rome, once a theme of
fervent and solemn desire, becomes a mere page of embellishment in a
serious and instructive volume. So, while my countrymen and women, and
the Roman world in general, hang intent upon the pages of the
picture-book, let me resume my graver argument, and ask and answer such
questions of the present as may seem useful and not ungenial.

The Roman problem has for the American thinker two clauses: first, that
of state and society; secondly, that of his personal relation to the
same. Arriving here, and becoming in some degree acquainted with things
as they are, he asks, first, What is the theory of this society, and how
long will it continue? secondly, What do my countrymen who consent to
pass their lives here gain? what do they give up? I cannot answer either
of these questions exhaustively. The first would lead me far into social
theorizing; the second into some ungracious criticism. So a word, a
friendly one must stand for good intentions where wisdom is at fault.

The theory of this society in policy and religion is that of a symbolism
whose remote significance has long been lost sight of and forgotten.
Here the rulers, whose derived power should represent the _consensus_ of
the people, affect to be greater than those who constitute them, and the
petty statue, raised by the great artist for the convenience and
instruction of the crowd, spurns at the solid basis of the heaven-born
planet, without which it could not stand. Rank here is not a mere
convenience and classification for the encouragement of virtue and
promotion of order. Rank here takes the place of virtue, and repression,
its tool, takes the place of order. A paralysis of thought characterizes
the whole community, for thought deprived of its legitimate results is
like the human race debarred from its productive functions--it becomes
effete, and soon extinct.

Abject poverty and rudeness characterize the lower class (_basso ceto_),
bad taste and want of education the middle, utter arrogance and
superficiality the upper class. The distinctions between one set of
human beings and another are held to be absolute, and the inferiority of
opportunity, carefully preserved and exaggerated, is regarded as
intrinsic, not accidental. Vain is it to plead the democratic allowances
of the Catholic church. The equality of man before God is here purely
abstract and disembodied. The name of God, on the contrary, is invoked
to authorize the most flagrant inequalization that ignorance can prepare
and institutions uphold. The finest churches, the fairest galleries, you
will say, are open to the poorest as to the richest. This is true. But
the man's mind is the castle and edifice of his life. Look at these
rough and ragged people, unwashed, uncombed, untaught. See how little
sensible they are of the decencies and amenities of life. Search their
faces for an intelligent smile, a glance that recognizes beauty or
fitness in any of the stately circumstances that surround them. They are
kept like human cattle, and have been so kept for centuries. And their
dominants suppose themselves to be of one sort, and these of another.
But give us absolutism, and take away education, even in rich and roomy
America, and what shall we have? The cruel and arrogant slaveholder, the
vulgar and miserable poor white, the wronged and degraded negro. The
three classes of men exist in all constituted society. Absolutism allows
them to exist only in this false form.

This race is not a poor, but a robust and kindly one. Inclining more to
artistic illustration than to abstract thought, its gifts, in the
hierarchy of the nations, are eminent and precious. Like the modern
Greek, the modern Celt, and the modern negro, the Italian peasant asks a
century or two of education towards modern ideas. And all that can be
said of his want of comprehension only makes it the more evident that
the sooner we begin, the better.

It should not need, to Americans or Englishmen, to set out any formal
argument against absolutism. Among them it has long since been tried and
judged. Enough of its advocacy only remains to present that opposition
which is the necessary basis of action. And yet a word to my countrymen
and countrywomen, who, lingering on the edge of the vase, are lured by
its sweets, and fall into its imprisonment. It is a false, false
superiority to which you are striving to join yourself. A prince of
puppets is not a prince, but a puppet; a superfluous duke is no dux; a
titular count does not count. Dresses, jewels, and equipages of
tasteless extravagance; the sickly smile of disdain for simple people;
the clinging together, by turns eager and haughty, of a clique that
becomes daily smaller in intention, and whose true decline consists in
its numerical increase,--do not dream that these lift you in any time
way--in any true sense. For Italians to believe that it does, is
natural; for Englishmen to believe it, is discreditable; for Americans,
disgraceful.

Leaving philosophy for the moment, I must renew my sketchy pictures of
the scenes I pass through, lest treacherous memory should relinquish
their best traits unpreserved. Arrived in Rome, at a very prosaic and
commonplace station, I had some difficulty in recognizing the front of
Villa Negroni, an old papal residence belonging to the Massimi family,
in whose wide walls the relatives I now visit had formerly built their
nest. A cosy and pleasant one it was, with the view of the distant
hills, a large _entourage_ of gardens, a fine orange grove, and the
neighborhood of some interesting ruins and churches. With all the
cordiality of the old time these relatives now met me. My labors of
baggage and conveyance were ended. One leads me to the carriage, where
another waits to receive me. Time has been indulgent, we think, to both
of us, for each finds the other little changed.

And now we begin in earnest to tread the fairy land of dreams. Here are
the Quattro Fontane, there is the Quirinal, yonder the dome of domes. We
thread the streets in which I used to hunt for small jewelry and
pictures at a bargain, enacting the part of the prodigal son, and
providing a dinner of husks for the sake of a feast of gewgaws. A
certain salutary tingling of shame visits my cheeks at the remembrance
of the same. I find the personage of those days poor and trivial. But
here is the Forum of Trajan, and soon we drive within a palatial
doorway, and our guides lead us up a stately marble staircase--a long
ascent; but we pause finally, and a great door opens, and they say,
Welcome! We are now at home.

Through a long hall we go, and through a sweep of apartments unmatchable
in Fifth Avenue, at least in architectural dignity, seconded by rich and
measured taste--green parlor, crimson parlor, drab parlor, the lady's
room, the signore's room, the children's room. And in the guest-chamber
I confronted my small and dusty self in the glass--small, not especially
in my human proportions. But the whole of my modest house in B. Place
would easily, as to solid contents, lodge in the largest of those lofty
rooms. The Place itself would equally lodge in the palace. I regard my
re-found friends with wonder, and expect to see them execute some large
and stately manoeuvre, indicating their possession of all this space.

And now, dinner served in irreproachable style, and waited on by two
young men whose air and deportment would amply justify their appearance
at Papanti's Hall on any state occasion. We soon grow used to their
polite services; but at first Mario and Giuseppe somewhat intimidate us.

And after dinner, talk of old times and old friends, question of this
region and the other, the cold limbo as to weather, whence we come. Long
and familiar is our interchange of facts, and sleep comes too soon, yet
is welcome.



ST. PETER'S.


The first day in Rome sees us pursuing the phantom of the St. Peter
ceremonies, for all of which, tickets have been secured for us. Solid
fact as the performance of the _functions_ remains, for us it assumes a
forcible unreality, through the impeding intervention of black dresses
and veils, with what should be women under them. But as these creatures
push like battering-rams, and caper like he-goats, we shall prefer to
adjourn the question of their humanity, and to give it the benefit of a
doubt. We must except, however, our countrywomen from dear Boston, who
were not seen otherwise than decently and in order. Into the
well-remembered _palco_ we now drag the trembling neophyte, dished up
in black in a manner altogether astonishing to herself. And we push her
youthful head this way and that. "See, there are the cardinals; there is
the pope; there, in white-capped row, sit the pilgrims. Now, the pope's
mitre being removed, he proceeds with great state to wash the pilgrims'
feet." But she, like sister Anne in the Blue Beard controversy, might
reply, "I see only a flock of black dresses, heaped helter-skelter, the
one above the other." Some bits of the picture she does get, certainly,
which may thus be catalogued: "Pope's nose, black dress, ditto
skull-cap, black dress, a touch of cardinal's back, black dress--and
now? Bla--ck dre--ss, for the rest of the time. But what is this
commotion?" For now the he-goats begin to jump in the most extraordinary
way, racing out of the tribune as eagerly as they had pressed into it.
Their haste is to see the _tavola_, or pilgrims' table, up stairs, where
the pope and cardinals are to wait upon the twelve elect, whose
foot-washing we have just tried to see. Silence, decency, decorum--all
are forgotten. One in diamonds calls to a friend in the crowd outside,
"Hollo, Hollo! Come along with us!" and at the top of her voice. If "the
devil take the hindmost" be the moving cause of this gymnastic, I would
humbly suggest that, on these occasions, the devil certainly seems to be
in the foremost. With a little suppressed grumbling, we tumble out of
the tribune, and descend to the body of the church, where the double
line of Swiss guards detains us so long as to render our tickets for the
_cupola_, where the pilgrims' feast takes place, nearly useless. This
detention seems to be entirely arbitrary; for when, after endless
entreaty, we are allowed to reach the door, an easy ingress is allowed
us. And here, bit by bit, the neophyte puzzles out the significance of
the scene before her--a table set with massive golden ornaments (silver
gilt at best), the twelve white caps behind; the great church
dignitaries handing plates of fish, vegetables, and fruit towards the
table; the pope hidden behind some black dress or other, and a chanting
of prayers or texts, we know not what. The whole is much like the stage
banquet in Macbeth, the part of Banquo's ghost being played by the
spirit of the Christian religion.

And now away, away! to the door of the Sistine Chapel, where the
_Miserere_ will be sung at six of the clock, it now being one of the
same. So, in profane haste, we reach that door, already occupied by a
small mob of women of the politer sort, and others. Here one maintains
one's position till two o'clock, when the door opens, and, in shocking
disorder, the mob enter. Those who keep the door exclaim, "Do not push
so, ladies; there is room for all." But the savageness of the
Anglo-Saxon race has full scope to-day, not being on its good behavior,
as at home. So the abler-bodied jam and cram the less athletic without
stint. After falling harmlessly on my face, I breathe freely, and obtain
an end seat on the long benches reserved for the unreserved ladies.

And here passed three weary hours before the office began, and another
hour after that before the musical _bonne bouche_, coveted by these
people, and little appreciated by many of them, was offered to their
tired acceptance. The first interval was mostly employed in the
resuscitating process of _chawing_ upon such victuals as had not proved
contraband for such an occasion. And here were exchanged some little
amenities which revived our sinking hopes of the race. Biscuits,
sandwiches, and chocolate pastilles were shared. "Muffin from the Hotel
de Russie" was offered by a face not unknown. Munching thereon with
thankfulness, we interrogate, and find with joy a Boston woman. O
comfort! be my friend; and when the next black rush doth come, if
fisticuffs should become general and dangerous, be so good as to belabor
the woman who belabors me.

The office begins at five. It consists mostly of linked sameness long
drawn out. The chapel is by this time well filled with ceremonial
amateurs in every sort and quality. Men of all nationalities, in
gentlemen's dress, fill the seats and throng the aisle. Priests,
_militaires_, and even Sisters of Charity, vary the monotony of the
strict coat and pantaloon. Upon an upright triangle, as is well known,
are spiked the fifteen burning candles, of which all, save one, must be
quenched before we can enjoy our dear-bought _Miserere_. Much of our
attendant zeal is concentrated upon the progress visible in their
decline. The effect of the chanting is as square and monotonous as would
be the laying down of so many musical paving-stones. We tried to peep at
the Latin text of a book of prayers in the hand of a priest on our left;
but the pitiless Swiss guard caused him and his Breviary to move on, and
this resource was lost. About half way through the office, a pause came
over matters, very unwelcome to our hurry. A door on the left of the
altar opened, and the pope entered, preceded by his guard. He walked to
his throne on the right of the altar, and the chanting was resumed. Some
time before this, however, the _treni_ or lamentations were sung. These
were chanted in a high voice, neither fresh nor exact, and did not make
on me the impression of sixteen years ago. The extinguishing of the
candles was a slow agony, the intervals appearing endless. Finally, all
the lights were out. The one burning taper which represented Christ was
removed out of sight, the pope sank upon his knees before the altar, and
the verses of the _Miserere_ were sung. Twilight and fixed attention
prevailed through the chapel, whose vaulted roof lends a certain magic
of its own to the weird chant. Yet, with the remembrance of sixteen
years since, and with present judgment, I am inclined to consider the
supremacy of the _Miserere_ a musical superstition. I know not what
critical convictions its literal study would develop, but, as I heard
it, much of it seemed out of tune, and deformed by other than musical
discords. The _soprani_, without exception, were husky, and strained
their voices to meet the highest effects. The vaulted roof, indeed,
gives a lovely scope to such melody as there is. The dim, majestic
frescos, which you still feel, though you see them no longer,--the
brilliancy and variety of the company, its temporary stillness,--all
these circumstances in this _ne plus ultra_ of the Roman æsthetic
combine to impress you. But the kneeling pontiff and his cardinals did
not appear to me invested with any true priesthood. I could feel no
religious sympathy with their movements, which seemed a show, and part
of a show--nothing more. And when the verses were all sung, and the
shuffling of feet at the end got through with, I staid not to see the
procession into the Pauline Chapel, nor the adoration of the relics, nor
the mopping of St. Peter's altar. I had seen enough of such sights, and,
quietly wrapping the twilight about my discontent, I thankfully went
where kindred voices and a kindred faith allowed me to claim the shelter
of home.



SUPPER OF THE PILGRIMS.


Faster go these shows than one can describe them. On Good Friday evening
we attempted only to see the supper of the female pilgrims at the
Trinità dei Pellegrini. This again I undertook for the neophytes' sake,
having myself once witnessed the august ceremony. Here, as everywhere at
this time, we found a crowd of black dresses, with and without veils,
which, on this occasion, are optional. Another mob of women, small but
energetic; another rush to see what, under other circumstances, we
should hold to be but a sorry sight. The pilgrims are waited upon by an
association of ladies, who wear a sort of feminine overall in scarlet
cotton, nearly concealing a dress, usually black, of ordinary wear. They
are also distinguished by a pictorial badge, representing, I think, the
Easter Lamb, in some connection. Some of these ladies are of princely
family, others of rank merely civic. Princess Massimo, of first-rate
pretensions, keeps the inner entrance to the rites, and accords it only
to a limited number in turn. We tumble down the dividing stairs in the
usual indecorous manner, and walk through two rooms, in each of which
the pilgrims sit with their feet in tubs of water, the attendant ladies
being employed either in scrubbing them clean, or in wiping them dry.
All were working women from the country, their faces mostly empty of
thought and rude with toil. Some of the heads were not without
character, and would easily have made, with their folded head-dresses, a
_genre_ picture. In general, they and their attire were as rough and
uninteresting as women and their belongings can be. A number of them
carried infants, whose appearance also invited the cleansing
ministration, which did not include them. In either room an ecclesiastic
recited prayers in Latin, and a pretty young lady at intervals rattled a
box, the signal for the participants to make the sign of the cross,
which they did in a business-like manner. From this _lavanda_ we passed
to other rooms, in which the supper tables were in process of
preparation. The materials for the meal were divided into portions. To
each one was allotted a plate of salad and sardines, one of _bacala_, or
fried salt fish, two small loaves of bread, and a little pitcher of
wine, together with figs and oranges. The red-gowned ministrants
bestirred themselves in dividing and arranging these portions, with much
apparent good nature. Many of them wore diamond earrings, and one young
lady, whom we did not see at work, was adorned as to the neck with a
rich collar of jewelled lockets, an article of the latest fashion. All
of these ladies are supposed to be princesses, but several of them
talked house-gossip in homely Italian. To us the time seemed long, but
at length arrived the _minestra_ in a huge kettle. This universal
Italian dish is a watery soup, containing a paste akin to macaroni. And
now the pilgrims, having had all the washing they could endure, came in
to take possession of the goods prepared for them. Those of the same
family tried to sit together, but did not always manage to do so. For
every babe a double portion is allowed, and the coin (ten cents)
received at departure is also doubled. We had feared lest the pilgrims
might have found the presence of numbers a source of embarrassment. But
it did not prove so. They attacked their victuals with the most
practical and evident enjoyment. The babies were fed with _minestra_,
fish, salad, and wine. Of these one was two weeks old, and its mother
had walked four days to get to Rome. Each pilgrim carried either a
bottle or a tin canteen, into which the superior waiting-women decanted
the wine allowed, that they might carry it home with them. A Latin grace
was rehearsed before they fell to. Cardinals and _monsignori_ were seen,
here and there, talking with friends among the spectators. Observing
that pilgrims eat much like other people, we left them still at table,
and came away, to find the Prince Massimo in pink cotton, at the bottom
of the staircase, and a stupid Swiss, with ill-managed bayonet, guarding
the outer entrance. He, a raw recruit, carried his weapon as carelessly
as a lady waves a bouquet. Close to the eye of the neophyte he thrusts
it, through inattention. A scream from me makes her aware of the danger,
but affects him not. Under the weight of my objurgation he falters not,
but makes a vehement pass at a harmless dog, which runs by unhurt. And
my reflections upon his sheer brutishness were the closing ones of the
day.



EASTER.


St. Peter's on Easter called us with the magical summons of the silver
trumpets, blown at the elevation of the host, and remembered by me
through these sixteen years. To the tribunes, however, I did not betake
myself, but, armed with a camp stool, wandered about the church, getting
now a _coup d'oeil_, now a whiff of harmony. The neophytes had our
tickets, and beheld the ceremonies, which, once seen, are of little
interest to those to whom they are not matters of religion. The pope and
cardinals officiate at high mass, with the music of the Sistine singers.
The pope drinks of the consecrated cup through a golden tube, the cup
itself having previously been tasted of by one commissioned for the
purpose. This feature clearly indicates the recognized possibility of
poison. It is probably not observed by most of those present, who have,
after all, but a glimpse of what passes. The effect of the trumpets is
certainly magical. The public has no knowledge of their whereabouts, and
the sound seems to fall from some higher region. Having enjoyed this
æsthetic moment, one hurries out into the piazza in front of the church,
where a great assemblage waits to receive the papal benediction. Here
seats and balconies can be hired, and a wretched boy screeches, "_Ecco
luoghi_," for half an hour, as if he had a watchman's rattle in his
head. At last the blessed father in his palanquin is borne to that upper
window of the church, over which the white canopy rests: his mitres are
all arranged before him. The triple crown, glittering with jewels, is on
his head. On either side of him flutter the peacock fans. Cannons clear
the way for his utterance, and holding up two fingers, he recites the
apostolic benediction in a voice of remarkable distinctness and power.
It is received by good Catholics on their knees. Another cannon shot
closes the performance, and at the same moment two or three papers,
containing indulgences, fall from the pontiff's hand. Then the crowd
disperses, and you yourself, having witnessed "the most impressive
ceremony in the world," become chiefly occupied with the getting home,
the crowd of carriages being very great, and the bridge of St. Angelo
reserved for the passage of the _legni privilegiati_. And on the way,
query as to this impressiveness. If one could suppose that the pope had
any special blessing to bestow, or that he thought he had, one would
certainly be desirous and grateful to share in it. If one could consider
him as consecrated by anything better than a superstition for anything
better than the priestly maintenance of an absolute rule, one might look
in his kindly old face with a feeling stronger than that of personal
good-will or indifference. But I, standing to see and hear him, was in
the position of Macbeth.

    "I had most need of blessing, but Amen
     Stuck in my throat."

And I concluded that common sense, common justice, and civil and
religious liberty,--the noblest gifts of the past and promises of the
future,--had been quite long enough

    "Butchered to make a Roman holiday."

As for the evening illumination, it was just as I remember it on two
former occasions, separated from this and from each other by long
intervals. A magical and unique spectacle it certainly is, with the
well-known change from the paper lanterns to the flaring _lampions_.
Costly is it of human labor, and perilous to human life. And when I
remembered that those employed in it receive the sacrament beforehand,
in order that imminent death may not find them out of a state of grace,
I thought that its beauty did not so much signify.

We have a dome, too, in Washington. The Genius of Liberty poises on its
top; the pediment below it is adorned with the emblems of honest thrift
and civic prosperity. May that dome perish ere it be lit at the risk of
human life, and lit, like this, to make the social darkness around it
more evident by its momentary aureole.



WORKS OF ART.


Enough of shows. Galleries and studios are better. Rome is rich in both,
and with a sort of studious contentment, one embraces one's Murray,
picks out the palace that unfolds its art treasures to-day, and travels
up the stairs, and along the marble corridors, to wonderful suites of
apartments, in which the pasteboard programmes lie about waiting for
you, while the still drama of the pictures acts itself upon the
thronged wall, yourself their small public, and they giving their
color-eloquence, whether any one gives heed or not.

They are precious, the Colonna, Doria, Sciarra, Borghese, and we have
seen them. We have picked out our old favorites, and have carried the
neophytes before them, saying, "I saw this, dear, before you were born."
But this past, whose reflex fold inwraps us, does not exist for the
neophytes, who look at it as out of a moment's puzzle, and then conclude
to begin their own business on their own responsibility, without any
reference to these outstanding credits of ours.

Of the pictures it is little useful to speak. Your description enables
no one to see them, and the narration of the feelings they excite in you
is as likely to be tedious as interesting to those who cultivate
feelings of their own. Copies and engravings have done here what you
cannot do, and the best subjects are familiar to art students and lovers
in all countries. A little sigh of pleasure may be allowed you at this,
your third sight of the Francias, the Raphaels, Titian's Bella, Claude's
landscapes, and the scientific Leonardo's heavily-labored heads and
groups. But do not therefore put the trumpet to your lips, and blow that
sigh across the ocean, to claim the attention of ears that invite the
lesson for the day. The lesson for this day is not written on canvas,
and though it may be read everywhere in the world, you will scarcely
find its clearest type in Rome.

And here, perhaps, I may as well carry further the philosophizing which
I began a week ago with regard to the objects and resources of Roman
life, and their compatibility with the thoughts and pursuits most dear
and valuable to Americans.

Art is, of course, the only solid object which an American can bring
forward to justify a prolonged residence in Rome. Art, health, and
official duty, are among the valid reasons which bring our countrymen
abroad. Two of these admit of no argument. The sick have a right, other
things permitting, to go where they can be bettered; a duty perhaps, to
go where the sum of their waning years and wasting activities admits of
multiplication. Those who live abroad as ministers and consuls have a
twofold opportunity of benefiting their country. If honest and able,
they may benefit her by their presence in foreign lands; if unworthy and
incompetent, by their absence from home. But our artists are those whose
expatriation gives us most to think about. They take leave of us either
in the first bloom or in the full maturity of their powers. The ease of
living in Southern Europe, the abundance of models and of works of art,
the picturesque charms of nature and of scenery, detain them forever
from us, and, save for an abstract sentiment, which itself weakens with
every year, the sacred tie of country is severed. Its sensibilities play
no part in these lives devoted to painting and modelling.

Now, an eminent gift for art is an exceptional circumstance. He who has
it weds his profession, leaves father and mother, and goes where his
slowly-unfolding destiny seems to call him. Against such a course we
have no word to say. It presents itself as a necessary conclusion to
earnest and noble men, who love not their native country less, but their
votive country more. Of the first and its customs they would still
say,--

    "I cannot but remember such things were
     That were most precious to me."

Yet of this career, so often coveted by those to whom its attainment
does not open, I cannot speak in terms of supreme recognition. The
office of art is always as precious as its true ministers are rare. But
the relative importance of sculptural and pictorial art is not to-day
what it was in days of less thought, of smaller culture. Every one who
likes the Bible to-day, likes it best without illustrations. Were Christ
here to speak anew, he would speak without parables. In ruder times,
heavenly fancies could only be illustrated on the one hand, received on
the other, through the mediation of a personal embodiment. Only through
human sympathy was the assent to divine truth obtained. The necessity
which added a feminine personality to the worship of Christ, and
completed the divided Godhead by making it female as well as male, was a
philosophical one, but not recognized as such. The device of the Virgin
was its practical result, counterbalancing the partiality of the
one-sided personal _culte_ of the Savior. Modern religious thought gets
far beyond this, makes in spiritual things no distinction of male and
female, and does not apply sex to the Divine, save in the most vague and
poetic sense. The inner convictions of heart and conscience may now be
spoken in plain prose, or sung in ringing verse. The _vates_, prophet
or reformer, may proclaim his system and publish his belief; and his
audience will best apprehend it in its simplest and most direct form.
The wide spaces of the new continent allow room for the most precious
practical experimentation; and speculative and theoretical liberty keep
pace with liberty of action. The only absolute restraint, the best one,
is a moral one. "Thou shalt not" applies only to what is intrinsically
inhuman and profane. And now, there is no need to puzzle simple souls
with a marble gospel. Faith needs not to digest whole side-walls of
saints and madonnas, who once stood for something, no one now knows
what. The Italian school was to art what the Greek school was to
literature--an original creation and beginning. But life has surpassed
Plato and Aristotle. We are forced to piece their short experiences, and
to say to both, "You are matchless, but insufficient." And so, though
Raphael's art remains immortal and unsurpassed, we are forced to say of
his thought, "It is too small." No one can settle, govern, or moralize a
country by it. It will not even suffice to reform Italy. The golden
transfigurations hang quiet on the walls, and let pope and cardinal do
their worst. We want a world peopled with faithful and intelligent men
and women. The Prometheus of the present day is needed rather to animate
statues than to make them.



PIAZZA NAVONA--THE TOMBOLA.


When, O, when does the bee make his honey? Not while he is sipping from
flower to flower, levying his dainty tribute as lightly as
love--enriching the world with what the flower does not miss, and
cannot.

This question suggests itself in the course of these busy days in Rome,
where pleasures are offered oftener than sensibilities can ripen, and
the edge of appetite is blunted with sweets, instead of rusting with
disuse. In these scarce three weeks how much have we seen, how little
recorded and described! So sweet has been the fable, that the intended
moral has passed like an act in a dream--a thing of illusion and
intention, not of fact. Impotent am I, indeed, to describe the riches of
this Roman world,--its treasures, its pleasures, its flatteries, its
lessons. Of so much that one receives, one can give again but the
smallest shred,--a leaf of each flower, a scrap of each garment, a
proverb for a sermon, a stave for a song. So be it; so, perhaps, is it
best.

Last Sunday I attended a Tombola at Piazza Navona--not a state lottery,
but a private enterprise brought to issue in the most public manner. I
know the Piazza of old. Sixteen years since I made many a pilgrimage
thither, in search of Roman trash. I was not then past the poor
amusement of spending money for the sake of spending it. The foolish
things I brought home moved the laughter of my little Roman public. I
appeared in public with some forlorn brooch or dilapidated earring; the
giddy laughed outright, and the polite gazed quietly. My rooms were the
refuge of all broken-down vases and halting candelabra. I lived on the
third floor of a modest lodging, and all the wrecks of art that neither
first, second, nor fourth would buy, found their way into my parlor, and
staid there at my expense. I recall some of these adornments to-day. Two
heroes, in painted wood, stood in my dark little entry. A gouty Cupid in
bas-relief encumbered my mantel-piece. Two forlorn figures in black and
white glass recalled the auction whose unlucky prize they had been. And
Horace Wallace, coming to talk of art and poetry, on my red sofa,
sometimes saluted me with a paroxysm of merriment, provoked by the sight
of my last purchase. Those days are not now. Of their accumulations I
retain but a fragment or two. Of their delights remain a tender memory,
a childish wonder at my own childishness. To-day, in heathen Rome, I can
find better amusements than those shards and rags were ever able to
represent.

Going now to Piazza Navona with a sober and reasonable companion, I
scarcely recognize it. At the Braschi Palace, which borders it, we
pause, and enter to observe the square hall and the fine staircase of
polished marble. This palace is now offered in a lottery, at five francs
the ticket; and all orders in Rome, no doubt, participate in the venture
it presents. The immense piazza is so filled and thronged with people
that its distinctive features are quite lost. Its numerous balconies are
crowded with that doubtful community comprehended in the title of the
"better class." From many of its windows hang the red cotton draperies,
edged with gilt lace, which supply so much of the color in Roman
_festas_. Soldiers are everywhere mingled with the crowd, so skilfully
as to present no contrast with them, but so effectually that any popular
disorder would be instantly suppressed. The dragoons, mounted and
bearing sabres, are seen here and there in the streets leading to the
piazza. These constitute the police of Rome; and where with us a civil
man with a badge interposes himself and says, "No entrance here, sir,"
in Rome an arbitrary, ignorant beast, mounted upon a lesser brute, waves
his sabre at you, shrieks unintelligible threats and orders, and has the
pleasure of bringing your common sense to a fault, and of making all
understanding of what is or is not to be done impossible. Their greatest
glory, however, culminates on public _festas_, when there are foreigners
as well as Romans to be intimidated. At the Tombola they are only an _en
cas_.

Well, the office of the Tombola is solemnized upon a raised stage,
whereon stand divers officials, two seedy trumpeters, and a small boy in
fancy costume, whose duty soon becomes apparent. Before him rests a
rotatory machine, composed of two disks of glass, bound together by a
band of brass: this urn of fate revolves upon a pivot, and is provided
with an opening, through which the papers bearing the numbers are put
in, to be drawn out, one by one, after certain revolutions of the
machine. Not quite so fast, however, with your drawing. The numbers are
not all in yet. A grave man, in a black coat, holds up each number to
the public view, calls it in his loudest tones, and then hands it to
another, who folds and slips it into the receptacle. When all of the
numbers have been verified and deposited, the opening is closed up, the
trumpeters sound a bar or two, the wheel revolves, the fancy boy paws
the air with his right hand, puts the hand into the opening, and draws
forth a number, which the second black coat presents to the first, who
unfolds it, and announces it to the multitude. At the same moment, a
huge card, some two feet square in dimensions, is placed in a frame, and
upon this we read the number just drawn out. The number is also shown
upon several large wooden frames in other parts of the square. Upon
these it remains, so that the whole count of the drawing may be apparent
to the eager public. This course of action is repeated until a stir in
one part of the piazza announces a candidate for one of the smaller
prizes. A white flag, repeated at all the counting frames, arrests the
public attention. The candidate brings forward his ticket and is
examined. Finally, a _quaterna_ is announced, formed by the agreement of
four numbers on a ticket with four in the order of the drawing. The
crowd applaud, the trumpets sound again, and the drawing proceeds.
Unhappily, at one moment the persons on duty forget to close the valve
through which the numbers are taken out. The omission is not perceived
until several rotations have shaken out many of the precious papers. A
roar of indignation is heard from the populace; the wheel is arrested,
the numbers eagerly sought, counted, and replaced, under the jealous
scrutiny of the public eye. Meanwhile, one of two copious brass bands,
provided with five ophicleides each, and cornets, etc., to match,
discoursed tarantellas and polkas. And we see the _quinquina_ (formed by
five numbers) drawn, and then the first Tombola, and the second. And lo!
there are four tombolas: but we await them not. But in all this crowd,
busy with emotion and reeking with tobacco and Roman filth in all its
varieties, who shall interest us like the _limonaro_ with his basket of
fruit, his bottles of water, his lemon squeezer, and his eager thrifty
countenance? A father of family, surely, he loves no plays as thou dost,
Anthony. Pale, in shirt sleeves, he keeps the sharpest lookout for a
customer, and in voice whose measure is not to be given, hammers out his
endless sentence, "_Chi vuol bere? Ecco, il limonaro._" To the most
doubtful order he responds, carrying his glasses into the thickest of
the throng, and thundering, "_Chi ha comandato questo limone?_" For half
a _bajoco_ he gives a quarter of a lemon, wrung out in a glass of tepid
water, which his customers absorb with relish. Sometimes he varies this
procedure by the sale of an _orzata_, produced by pouring a few drops of
a milky fluid into a glass of water. On our way from the piazza we
encounter other _limonari_,--dark, sleepy, Italian, not trenchant nor
incisive in their offers. But our man, a blond, yet remains a picture to
us, with his business zeal and economy of time. A thread of good blood
he possibly has. We adopt and pity him as a misplaced Yankee.



SUNDAYS IN ROME.


Our first Sunday in Rome was Easter, in St. Peter's, of which we have
elsewhere given a sufficient description. Our second was divided between
the Tombola just described, in the afternoon, and the quiet of the
American Chapel in the morning. We found this an upper chamber, quietly
and appropriately furnished, with a pleasant and well-dressed attendance
of friends and fellow country-people. The prayers of the Episcopal
service were simply read, with no extra formality or aping of more
traditional forms. It was pleasant to find ourselves called upon once
more to pray for the President of the United States, although in our own
country he is considered as past praying for. Still, we remembered the
old adage, "while there is life there is hope," and were able, with a
good conscience, to beseech that he might be plenteously endowed with
heavenly grace, although the reception of such a gift might seriously
compromise him with his own party. The sermon, like others we have heard
of late, shows a certain progress and liberalization even in the holding
of the absolute tenets which constitute what has been hitherto held as
orthodoxy. In our youth, the Episcopal church, like the orthodox
dissenters, preached atonement, atonement, atonement, wrath of God,
birth in sin,--position of sentimental reprobation towards the one fact,
of unavailing repentance concerning the other. The doctrine of atonement
in those days was as literal in the Protestant church as in the
Catholic, while the possibility of profiting by it was hedged about and
encumbered by frightful perils and intangible difficulties. But to-day,
while these doctrines are not repudiated by the denominations which then
held them, they are comparatively set out of sight. The charity and
diligence of Paul are preached, and even the sublime theistic simplicity
of Jesus is not altogether contraband; though he, alas! is as little
understood in doctrine as followed in example. For he has hitherto been
like a beautiful figure set to point out a certain way, and people at
large have been so entranced with worshipping the figure, that they have
neglected to follow the direction it indicates.

Well, our American sermon was dry, but sensible and conscientious. It
did not congratulate those who had accepted the mysterious atonement,
nor threaten those who had neglected to do so. But it exhorted all men
towards a reasonable, religious, and diligent life, and thus afforded
the commonplace man a basis for effort, and a possible gradual
amelioration of his moral condition. One little old-fashioned phrase,
however, the preacher let slip. He cast a slight slur upon the moral, as
distinguished from the religious man. Now, modern ethics do not
recognize this distinction. For it, true morals are religion. He who
exemplifies the standard does it more honor than he who praises, and
pursues it not. And he who prays and plunders is less a saint than he
who does neither. We passed this, however, and went away in peace.

Our third Sunday morning was passed in _S. Andrea delta Valle_, a large
and sumptuous church, where we had been promised a fine _messa-cantata_,
i.e., a mass performed principally in music. Mustafa, of the pope's
choir, was there, with some ten other vocalists, who put into their
_Kyrie_, _Miserere_, and so on, as much operatic emphasis and cadence as
the bars could hold. The organ was harsh, loud, and overpowering, the
music utterly uninteresting. Mustafa's renowned voice, which has
suffered by time and use, has something nasal and _criard_ in it, with
all its power. He still takes and holds A and B with firmness and
persistence, but his middle notes are unequal and husky. Although the
sopranos of to-day are merely falsetto tenors, and their unsexed voices
a fiction, they yet acquire in process of time a tone of old-woman
quality, which contrasts strangely with their usually robust appearance.
On this occasion we did not conjecture whose might be the music to which
we listened. It had a mongrel paternity, and hailed from no noble race
of compositions. Having, however, our comfortable chairs, and being out
of the murderous direct reverberation of the organ, we sat and saw as
outsiders the flux and reflux of life which passed through the church.
It was obviously, this morning, a place of fashionable resort; and many
were the good dresses and comfortable family groups that first appeared,
and then were absorbed among its crowded chairs and their occupants. The
well-dressed people were mostly, I thought, of _medio ceto_,--middling
class,--which in Rome is a term of strict reprobation, and answers to
what we used to call Bowery in New York. Their devotion had mostly a
business-like aspect. They hired their chair, brought it, sat down, made
their crosses and courtesies, accompanied the priest with their books,
went down on their knees at the elevation of the host, had benediction,
and went. Mass was taking place at various side altars, and people were
coming and going, as their devotions were past or future. Dirty and
shabby figures mingled with the others; a group of little children from
the street, holding each other by the hand; a crippled old woman,
hobbling on two crutches, who, wonderfully, did not beg, of us at least;
an elderly dwarf, of composed aspect, some thirty-eight inches high, who
took a chair, but could not get into it, so squatted down beside it, and
stared at us. A loud bell was rung, and one in yellow satin bore an
object under yellow satin across the church. This was the sacrament,
going to one of the altars for the beginning of the mass. Having mused
sufficiently on the music and on the crowd, we desired to hear a Puritan
sermon, and, there being none to be had, we went away.

Away to the Farnesina Palace, lovely with Raphael's frescos of Galatea
and the story of Psyche, with Michael Angelo's grim charcoal head
looming in the distance. The Psyche series has suffered much by
restorations; and though the gracious outline and designs remain, the
coloring, one thinks, is far other than that of the master. The Galatea
has faded less, and has been less restored. The lovely Sodoma fresco up
stairs--the family of Darius--was undergoing repairs, and could not be
seen. The palace belongs to the ex-king of Naples. It was formerly
visible at all times, but may now be seen only on Sunday. He himself now
lives in Rome, and perhaps chooses to tread its banquet halls deserted,
which possibly accounts for the present restriction. In the afternoon we
were bidden to see the embalmed remains of an ancient pontiff,--Pius
V.,--who should be happy to make himself useful to Catholic institutions
at a period so remote from the intentions of Nature. The old body is
shown in a glass case, upon an altar of Santa Maria Maggiore. He lies on
his side, his darkened face adorned by a new white beard composed of
lamb's wool. His hands are concealed by muslin gloves; his garments are
white, and he wears a brilliant mitre. And the devout crowd the church
to touch and kiss the glass case in which he resides. There is,
moreover, a procession of the crucifix, and vespers are sung in pleasing
style by a tolerable choir; and many _pauls_ and _bajocs_ are dropped
hither and thither in pious receptacles by the pious in heart. So, I
repeat it, the mummied pope, sainted also, is of use.



CATACOMBS.


Of all that befell us in the catacombs we may not tell. We betook
ourselves to the neighborhood of St. Calixtus one afternoon. A noted
ecclesiastic of the Romish church soon joined our party, with various of
our countrymen and countrywomen. He wore a white woollen gown and a
black hat. Before descending, he ranged us in a circle, and harangued us
much as follows:--

"You will ask me the meaning of the word 'catacomb,' and I shall tell
you that it is derived from two Greek words--_cata_, hidden, and
_cumba_, tomb. You have doubtless heard that the whole city of Rome is
undermined with catacombs; but this is not true. The American
Encyclopædia says this. I have read the article. But intramural burials
were not allowed in Rome; therefore the catacombs commence outside the
walls. They are, moreover, limited to an irregular extent of some three
miles. Why is this? It is because they were possible only in the tufa
formation. Why only in the tufa? Because it cuts easily and crumbles
easily, hardening afterwards. And as the burials of the Christians were
necessarily concealed, it was important for them to deal with a material
easily worked and easily disposed of. The solid contents of the
catacombs of Rome could be included within a square mile; their series,
if arranged at full length, would not measure less than five hundred
miles. In some places there are no less than seven strata of tombs, one
below the other." All of this, with more repetitions than I can possibly
signify, was delivered under the cogent stimulus of a roasting afternoon
sun of the full Roman power. Being quite calcined as to the head and
shoulders, we somewhat thankfully undertook the descent. The extreme
contrast, however, between the outer heat and the inner chill and damp,
proved an unwelcome alternative to most of us. Had we been allowed a
somewhat brisk motion, we should have dreaded less its effects. But
Father ---- fought his ground inch by inch, and continued to carry on a
stringent controversy with imaginary antagonists. We will not endeavor
to transcribe the catechism, at once tedious and amusing, with which he
held captive a dozen of Yankees prepared to sell their lives dearly, but
uncertain how to deal with his mode of warfare. He kept us long in the
crypt of the pontiffs, where are found two fragments of marble tablets
bearing names in mingled Latin and Greek character. One inscription
records, "_Anteros episcopus_." The other is of another
name--"_episcopus et martyr_." The father now led us into a narrow
crypt, where his stout form wedged us all as closely as possible
together. He showed us on the walls two time-worn frescos, one of
which--Jonah and the whale--represented the resurrection, while the
other depicted that farewell banquet at Emmaus in which Peter received
the thrice-repeated charge, "Feed my sheep." To this symbolical
expression the father added one later and more puzzling. The fish which
appeared in one of the dishes represented, he told us, the anagram of
Christ in the Greek language--_icthus_, the fish, _Jesus Christos
theos_--I forget the rest. The fish was the only hint of the presence of
Christ on this occasion, and its significance could be apprehended only
with this explanation. These pictures, he insisted, sufficiently showed
us that the early Christians had religious images--a point of great
authority and significance in the Catholic church, for us how easily
disposed of! The pictures and the symbolism of the primitive church are
both alike features of its time. In periods when culture is rare and
limited, the picture and the parable have their indispensable office.
The one preserves and presents to the eye much that would otherwise be
overlooked and forgotten; the other presents to the mind that which
could not otherwise be apprehended. The painted Christs, Madonnas, and
so on, were in their time a gospel to the common people. Even in
Raphael's period, even in the Italy of to-day, how few of the populace
at large are able to save their souls by reading the New Testament! The
paintings undoubtedly answered a useful purpose, as all men must
acknowledge; but the Catholic system, carried out in its completeness,
would give a melancholy perpetuity to the class of people who cannot
read otherwise than in pictures. Even where it teaches to read, it
withholds the power of interpretation. Protestantism means direct and
general instruction. It gives to the symbolism of the Bible its plainest
and most practical interpretation, without building upon it a labyrinth
of types whose threading asks the study of a lifetime.

The fear and danger of early times had, no doubt, much to do with the
growth of symbolism, both in pictures and in language. The intercourse
of the early Christians was limited and insecure. It was guarded by
watchwords. Its bodily presence took refuge in pits and caves. Its
thought buried itself in similitudes and allusions. But now, when
Christianity has become the paramount demand of the world, this
obscurity is no longer needed nor legitimate.

The parables of Christ may be supposed to have had a double object. The
most usually recognized is that of popular instruction, in the form best
suited to the comprehension of his hearers. Many of his sayings,
however, point to another meaning; viz., the discrimination between
those who were fitted to receive his doctrine, and those who were not.
How many, among the multitudes who heard him, can we suppose to have
been anxious about the moral lessons intended by his illustrious fables?
Few indeed; and those few alone would be able to understand his
teaching, and, in turn, to teach according to his method. So he
represents the kingdom of heaven which he preached as a net thrown into
the sea. His sermons were such castings of the net; he made his
disciples fishers of men. The Christian church, like the Jewish, rapidly
degenerated into a tissue of legends and observances--at first
representative of morality, soon cumbrous, finally inimical to it.

All this time, however, we are standing wedged by Father ---- in a narrow
compass, and, while the thought of one undertakes this long, swift
retrospect, the temper of the others becomes irritated--not without
reason. So we insist upon breaking out of the small quadrangle, and are
led into the crypt in which were found the remains of St. Cecilia. Here
tradition again holds a long parley with the representatives of modern
thought. St. Cecilia, a noble Roman lady, was beheaded, but survived the
stroke of the executioner three days, which she occupied in describing
and explaining the doctrine of the trinity. (This, therefore, is the
doctrine of those who have lost their head.) For this purpose she
employed two fingers of the right hand and one of the left. All of this
passes without controversy. Her body was found lying on its face, in an
attitude perpetuated by the well-known statue in the church in
Trastevere. But in this crypt are the relics of an altar, erected over
the remains of another saint. The early Christian altars, our guide
says, were always erected above the burial-place of some saint. Hence,
no Catholic church is allowed to dispense with the presence of
consecrated bones. Other graves, moreover, cluster around that which is
supposed to have consecrated this altar: sums of money were paid for the
privilege of interment in this proximity. This clearly shows the early
Christians to have supposed that the saint himself had the power to
benefit them, and the right of intercession. This we concede as quite
possible; but does this go to show, O father, that the saint _had_ any
such power? Let us go back after this fashion in other things. Fingers
were made before knives and forks, skins were worn before tissues, and
nakedness is of earlier authority than either. A predatory existence has
older precedent than agriculture or commerce. Let us go backward like a
crab, if you will, but let us be consistent.

In another crypt we are shown two marble sarcophagi, well carved, in
each of which lies a mouldering human figure once embalmed, and now
black, without features, and with only a dim outline of form. Elsewhere
we are shown a large marble slab handsomely engraved, with the record of
a Christian martyr on one side, and with an inscription concerning the
Emperor Hadrian on the other, presenting the economic expedient of a
second-hand tombstone. We passed also through various dark galleries,
and down one staircase. Some chambers of the catacomb had a
_luminarium_, or light from the top; many of them were entirely dark.
Father ----'s style of explanation threatening to prolong itself till
midnight, impatience became general, and one of our party ventured a
remonstrance, which was made and met something after the following
fashion:--

_Mr. F._ Hem--hem! Sir, I am old and infirm, and--

_Father ----._ O, sir, ask any questions you like. The more you ask, the
better I can explain myself. (Repeated over some three times.)

_Mr. F._ But, sir, I do not wish to ask any questions. I only wish--

_Father ----._ Don't make any excuses, sir. I shall be very glad to have
you ask any questions. I am very ready to answer and explain everything.
(Several repetitions.)

After a number of efforts, the senior member of the party at length
obtained the floor, and succeeded in expressing himself to the effect
that he feared to take death of cold in the catacomb, and would gladly
be piloted out by the commonplace youth who followed Father ---- as
attendant, without views of any kind, except as to a possible _buona
mano_. This suggestion of the elder met with so hearty a response from
the remainder of the party as to bring the present exploration to an
end, and Father ---- and his public simultaneously dispersed to carriages
and horses. In view of the whole expedition, I would advise people in
general to read up on the subject of the catacombs, but not to visit
them in company with one intent on developing theories of any kind. The
underground chill is unwholesome in warm weather, and a conversion made
in these dark galleries and windings would be much akin to baptism at
the sword's point. Meet, therefore, the theorist above ground, and on
equal terms; and for the subterraneous proceeding, elect the society of
swift and prosaic silence.



VIA APPIA AND THE COLUMBARIA.


Since my last visit to Rome, more progress has been made under ground
than above it. Rome is the true antipodes of America. Our business is to
build--her business is to excavate. The tombs on Via Appia are among the
interesting objects which the spade and mattock, during the last
seventeen years, have brought to view. I remember well the beginning of
this work, and the marble tombs and sarcophagi which it brought to
light. I also remember, in those unconscientious days, a marble head, in
exceedingly flat relief, which was desired by me, and stolen for me by
the faithful servant of a friend. At the commencement of the diggings,
we descended from our carriage, and easily walked to the end of the way
then opened. Via Appia now affords a long drive, set with tombs on
either side. Many of these are in brick, and of large dimensions. Most
of the marbles have, however, been removed to the Museum of the Vatican.

On this road, if I mistake not, are the two _columbaria_ discovered and
excavated some seven years ago. They stand in a vineyard, which I saw in
its spring bloom. The proprietor, a civil man, answers the little bell
at the gate, and taking down a bunch of keys, unlocks for you the door
of the small building erected over the vault. The original roof has
fallen. All else looks as if it might have been used the day before for
burial. The descent is by a steep, narrow stairway, of at least thirty
steps, each of which is paved with a single lamina of coarse brick. The
walls are honeycombed with small parallelogrammatic niches, in each of
which was set a funeral vase or box. Over some of these places are such
inscriptions as, "_Non tangite vestes mortales_," "_Vencrare deos
manes_." There are many names, of which I have preserved but one,
"_Castus Germanicus Cæsaris_." This _columbarium_ belonged to the
Flavian family. It has about it an indescribable gloom, like that of a
family vault in our own time, but, it must be confessed, more æsthetic.
One felt the bitter partings that death had made here, the tears, the
unavailing desire to heap all the remaining goods of life upon the altar
of departed friendship. Time healed these wounds then, no doubt, as he
does to-day. The tears were dried, the goods enjoyed again; but, while
Christianity has certainly lightened the dead weight of such sorrows,
the anguish of the first blow remains what it was all those dim
centuries ago. A glance into the _columbarium_ makes you feel this.

The second _columbarium_ is much like the first, excepting that the
stair is not so well preserved. On emerging, the proprietor invited us
to visit an upper room in his own house, in which were a number of
objects, taken, he averred, from the two _columbaria_. These were mostly
vases, tear-bottles, and engraved gems. But I doubted their genuineness
too much to make any purchases from among them. The trade in antiquities
is too cheap and easy a thing in Italy to allow faith in unattested
relics.

Not very far beyond the _columbaria_ stand the catacombs of the ancient
Hebrews, much resembling in general arrangement those of the Christians.
We found in several places the image of the seven-branched candlestick
impressed upon the tufa. In one of the rooms were some remains of
fresco. At each of its corners was painted a date-palm with its fruit.
In two other rooms the frescos were in good preservation. Some of the
graves were sunk in the earth, the head and feet at right angles with
the others. We were shown the graves of two masters of synagogues. The
frescos are not unlike those in the Christian and pagan tombs, though as
I remember them, the Christian paintings are the rudest of all, as
respects artistic merit.

The subjects were usually genii, peacocks, the cock, fruits, garlands,
the latter sometimes painted from end to end of the wall. Some of the
small tombs were still sealed with a marble slab. An entire skeleton was
here shown us, and a number of sarcophagi. Of these, one was sunk into
the ground, and several graves were grouped around it, much after the
fashion of those in the Christian catacombs, from which Dr. Smith
inferred so largely, both concerning the sanctity of the saint's body
and the post-mortem power of the saint.

We were taken also to see some interesting tombs in the Via Latina.
These were recently brought to light from their long concealment in a
tract of the Campagna, belonging to the Barberini family. Descending a
flight of stone steps, the custode admitted us into two fine vaulted
chambers, decorated each after its own manner. The ceiling of the first
was adorned with miniature bas-reliefs in stucco. The small figures,
beautifully modelled, were enclosed in alternate squares and octagons.
The designs were exhibitions of genii, griffins, and of centaurs,
bearing female figures on their backs. The sculptured sarcophagi found
in this tomb were removed to the Lateran Museum.

In the second tomb the walls and ceilings were adorned with miniature
frescos, also enclosed in small compartments. Many of these represented
landscapes, sometimes including a water view, with boats. These were
rather faint in style, but very good. Peacocks, also, were frequent; and
in one compartment was painted a glass dessert vase, with the fruit
showing through its transparency. This design amazed us, both as to its
subject and execution. Some panels in this tomb bore stucco reliefs on
grounds of brilliant red and blue. In its centre was found hanging a
fine bronze lamp, which is now at the Barberini Palace. A large
sarcophagus of stone still remains here, nearly entire, with a pointed
lid. On looking through a small break in one side of it, we perceived
two skeletons, lying side by side, supposed, the custode told us, to
have been husband and wife. These tombs certainly belong to a period
other than that of the _columbaria_ before described. The presence of
sarcophagi, and of these skeletons, attests the burial of the dead in
accordance with the usage of modern society, while the great elegance
and finish of the ornamentation point to a time of wealth and luxury. I
have heard no conjecture as to the original proprietorship of these
tombs. They contain no military or civil emblems, and probably belonged
to wealthy contractors or merchants. That day, no doubt, had its shoddy,
and of the tricks practised upon the government one may read some
account in Titus Livy, who, to be sure, wrote of an earlier time, but
not a more vicious one.

Rome now boasts an archæological society, not indeed of Romans, but
composed of foreign residents, mostly of British origin. The well-known
artist Shakspear Wood is one of its most energetic members. At his
invitation I attended a lecture given by Mr. Charles Hemans, on the
subject of the ancient churches and mosaics of the city. Complementary
to this lecture was an expedition of the society to several of these
churches, which I very gladly joined. Our first and principal object of
interest was the old Church of San Clementi, a building dating from the
eleventh or twelfth century. Here Mr. Hemans first led us to observe an
ancient fresco in the apsis, which represents the twelve apostles in the
guise of twelve lambs, a thirteenth lamb, in the middle of the row, and
crowned with a nimbus, representing Christ. Here we saw also an ancient
marble chair, a marble altar screen, and a pavement in the ribbon
mosaic, of which archæologues have so much to say. This mosaic is so
named from the strips of colored stones which form its various patterns
on the white marble of the pavement.

The church itself, however, occupied us but briefly. Beneath the church
has recently been discovered and excavated a very extensive basilica, of
a date far more ancient. This crypt was now lighted for us. Its original
proportions are marred by walls of masonry built between its long rows
of columns, and essential to the support of the church above. These
walls are adorned by curious paintings of saints, popes, martyrs, and
miracles. Among them is a very rude crucifixion; also a picture of
Christ giving benediction after the fashion of the Greek church, and of
a pontiff in the same act. Upon these things Mr. Hemans made many
interesting comments. From the crypt we descended yet farther into a
house supposed to date back at least to the empire, if not to the
republic. It is a small but heavily-built enclosure, of two chambers,
and contains a curious bas-relief in marble, representing a pagan
sacrifice. In the narrow descent that led to it Mr. Wood showed me in
three consecutive strata the tufa of the time of the kingdom, travertine
of the republic, and brick of the empire.

The presence of the ancient basilica below the ancient church was
suggested to one of the priests of the latter by the presence of a
capital, rising just above the pavement of the church, and not accounted
for by any circumstance in its architecture. This capital belonged to
one of the columns of the basilica; but before so much could be
ascertained, a long and laborious series of excavations had to be
instituted. Father ----, the priest who first conjectured of the presence
of this under building, has been indefatigable in following up the hint
given by the capital, which he alone, in a succession of centuries, was
clever enough to interpret. Most of the expense of this work has been
borne by him.

From San Clementi the worshipful society went to the church of Santi
Quattro. The object of interest here was a small chapel filled with
curious old frescos, one series of which represents the conversion of
Constantine. We see first depicted a dream, in which Sts. Peter and Paul
appear to Constantine, warning him to desist from the murder of innocent
children, whose blood was supposed to be a cure for his leprosy. Not
disobedient to the heavenly vision, Constantine relinquishes the
blood-bath, and releases the children. He sends for St. Sylvester, the
happy possessor of an authentic portrait of the two apostles. The fresco
shows us Sylvester responding to this summons, and bringing in his hand
the portrait, which the emperor immediately recognizes. Farther on we
see Sylvester riding in papal triumph, the emperor leading his
palfrey--a haughty device for those days. Another fresco records the
finding of the true cross by St. Helena. Coming at one time upon the
three crosses she applied each of them in succession to the body of a
dying person, who was healed at once by the contact of the true one.

The archæological society also explores the interesting neighborhoods of
Rome, the villas of emperors, statesmen, and poets. Thus life springs
out from decay, and the crumbling relics of the past incite new
activities in minds that cling, like the ivy, about relics and ruins.
This society, ancient as are the facts about which it occupies itself,
seemed to me one of the most modern features of Rome, especially as it
travels by rail, and carries its luncheon with it. I was not fortunate
enough to join its visits to the environs of the Eternal City, but I
wish that on one of its excursions it would take with it the oldest
nuisance of modern society, and forget to bring it back. There is room
enough outside of Rome for that which, shut within its walls, crowds out
every new impulse of life and progress. No harm to the old man; no
violence to his representative immunity; only let him remember that the
world has room for him, and that Rome has not.



NAPLES--THE JOURNEY.


From these brief, sombre notes of Rome, we slide at once to Naples and
her brilliant surroundings. Here, taking the seven colors as the
equivalents of the seven notes, we are at the upper end of the octave of
color. Rome is painted in purple, gold, olive, and bistre--its shadows
all in the latter pigment. Naples is clear red, white, and yellow.
Orange tawny is its deepest shade. The sounds of Rome awaken memories
of devotion. They call to prayer, although the forms now be empty, and
the religious spirit resident elsewhere. The voice of Naples trills,
shrieks, scolds, mingling laughter, wail, and entreaty, in a new and
confused symphony. Little piano-fortes, played like a barrel organ, go
about the streets, giving a pulse to the quick rhythm of life. The
common people are pictures, the aristocracy caricatures. When you rise
above low life, Italian taste is too splendid for good effects in
costume. The most ill-married colors, the most ill-assorted ornaments,
deform the pale olive faces, and contradict the dignity of the dark eyes
and massive hair. This is somewhat the case in Rome, much more in
Naples. The continual _crescendo_ of glare, as you go southward, points
to the African crisis of orange and crimson, after which the negro
nakedness presents an enforced pause, saying, "I can no more."

This land is the antipodes of the Puritan country. There all is
concentration, inward energy, interior. Here all is external glow and
glitter. If there be any interior, it can only belong to one of these
three--passion, superstition, avarice. Every one who deals with you
speculates upon your credulity. "Will you give four times the value of a
thing, or five, or only twice?" is the question which the seller's eyes
put to the buyer, however the tongue of the one may respond to that of
the other. And here is a sad deforming of the Scripture parable; and he
who has five in value gets ten in money for it, he who has three gets
six, while the one talent, honesty,--the fundamental gift of God to
man,--is indeed ignominiously buried in a dirty napkin, and laid nobody
knows where. And while New England energy is a hundred-armed giant that
labors, Italian sloth is a hundred-handed lazzaro that begs. If this is
the result of the loveliest climate, the most brilliant nature, give me
our snow and ice, ay, the east wind and all.

The journey from Rome to Naples at this season is hot, oppressive.
Railway carriages, even as administered in Europe, make you acquainted
with strange way-fellows. We chance upon a Neapolitan prince, with an
English wife, returning to his own country and possessions after an
absence of six years, the time elapsed since the inauguration of the new
rule. He obviously regrets the changes over which the rest of the
civilized world rejoices. In person, however, he and his partner are
simple and courteous. Our car confines also a female nondescript
carrying a dog, herself quite decently got up, but with an extraordinary
smile, that is either lunatic or wicked, we cannot determine which. A
certain steadiness and self-possession incline us to the latter theory,
but we hold it subject to correction at a later day. She is obviously of
Irish or low English extraction, and may be anything, from a discarded
lady's maid to a reigning mistress. As we approach Naples, our princely
friend begins to take notice. Here is Caserta, here its battle-field,
where poor Francesco would certainly have had the victory, had not the
French and Piedmontese interfered. "_Oh Richard, oh mon Roi!_" But we
remember another saying: "And I tell you, if these had held their peace,
the very stones would have cried out." Ay, those very stones, volcanic
lava and tufa, worn by the chariot wheels of the wicked, from Tiberius
to Napoleon and after, would have sobbed, "Let the feet of the messenger
of peace, the beautiful feet, at last pass this way!" Arrived at the
station, no warning can have taught you what to expect. It costs you
forty cents to have your moderate effects transported from the cars to
the omnibus of the hotel,--this not through any system, but because
various people meddle with them, and shriek after you for recompense. At
the Hotel de Rome, you are shown up many stairs into a dingy little
room, a sort of spider's web. This will not do. You try the Hotel de
Russie, opposite. Here you are forced to take an apartment much too fine
for your means and intentions. The choice being this or none, you shut
your eyes upon consequences, and blindly issue orders for tea and meats.
To-morrow you will surely get a cheaper apartment. But to-morrow you do
not.

The hotel book looks discouraging. Names of your countrymen are in it,
not of your friends. Better remain apart than run the risk of ungenial
society, and enforced fellowship. But the dull waters soon break into
the sparkle of special providences. A bright little Briton, with a mild
husband, hospitably makes your acquaintance. She is from Ireland, and
has not the "thorough-bred British stare." All the more of a lady do we
deem and find her. To her pleasant company is soon added that of an
American of the sincere kind. He accepts us without fear or condition,
and while we remain under the same roof with him, we have no cause to
complain for want of sympathy or of countenance.



THE MUSEUM.


In the Museum we spend two laborious days. The first we give to the
world-renowned marbles, finding again with delight our favorites of
twenty years' standing. Prominent among these are the Amore Delfino, and
the Faun bearing the infant Bacchus.

The Farnese Bull and the Farnese Hercules are admirable for their
execution, but their subject has no special interest for us. We observe
the Atlas, the Athletes, and the Venuses, one of whom is world-famous,
but inexcusable. Here, too, is the quadriform relic of the Psyche, well
known by copies, and the whole Balbo family on horseback. These marble
knights once guarded the Forum of Pompeii. There is a certain melancholy
in their present aspect, whether of fact or imagination we will not
determine. One of the most interesting objects, from the vicissitudes
through which it has passed, is the statue of Caligula, destroyed by the
people with all other mementos of him after his death, the head having
served, even in modern times, to steady the wheels of carriages in a
ferry boat. The Naples Museum does not rival the Vatican in the merit of
its nude marbles; but in draped statues it is far richer, as well as in
statues of personal historical interest. The belief of the past has the
most stately illustration in Rome, its life the most vivid record in
Naples.

Many new treasures have been added to the collection during these years
of our absence. Among them are some exquisite small bronzes, and three
statuettes in marble, of which the eyes are colored blue, and the hair
of a reddish tint. One of them is very pretty. It represents the seated
figure of a little boy, and almost reconciles us to the strictly
inadmissible invasion of color into the abstract domain of sculpture.
Each art has, indeed, its abstraction. Sculpture dispenses with color,
painting with the materiality of form. The one is to the other as
philosophy to poetry.

From the marbles we flit to the Pompeian bronzes and mosaics, rich in
number and in interest. Two tablets in mosaic especially detain us, from
their representation of theatrical subjects. One of these shows the
manager surrounded by several of his actors, to whom he dispenses the
various implements of their art. At his feet, in a basket, lie the comic
and tragic masks. Of the personages around him, one is pulling on his
garment, another is trying the double tubes of a wind instrument. The
second mosaic presents a group of three closely-draped figures. Actor is
written on their faces, though we know not the scene they enact. The
bronzes are numerous and admirable. Miniature art seems to have been
held in great esteem among the Pompeians. Most of these figures are of
small size, and suggest a florid and detailed style of adornment. Among
other objects, we are shown the semicircular model of a Pompeian bath,
on which are arranged the ornaments and water-fixtures just as they were
found. One of these imitates a rampant lion standing on his hind legs,
and delivering water from his mouth; another a serpent nearly upright.
In the upper story of the Museum we see whole rooms floored with mosaic
pavements removed entire from houses in Pompeii. The patterns are mostly
in black and white, but of an endless variety. The contents of these
rooms match well in interest with their pavements. Here, in glass cases,
are carefully ranged and presented the tools and implements of Pompeian
life; the loaves that never left the baker's shop, still fresh and puffy
in outline, although calcined in substance; the jewels and silver
vessels of the wealthy, the painter's colors, the workman's needles and
thread: baths and braziers, armor in bronze and in iron, scarcely more
barbaric than that of the middle ages; helmets, with clumsy metal
network guarding the spaces for the eyes; spades, cooking utensils in
great variety, fruits and provisions as various. Among the bronze
utensils is a pretty and economical arrangement which furnishes at once
hot water, a fire of coals to heat the room, with the convenience of
performing at the same time the solemn rites of cookery. Hot water, both
for bathing and drinking, seems to have been a great desideratum with
the Pompeians. The stone cameos and engraved gems are shown in rows
under glass cases. This Museum contains a well-known tazza, or flat cup,
of onyx entire, elaborately carved in cameo on either side. It also
possesses a vase of double glass, of which the outer or white layer has
been cut, like a cameo, into the most delicate and elaborate designs.
The latter is an object of unique interest and value, as is shown by
the magnificence with which it has been mounted on a base of solid
silver, the whole being placed under glass.

The Cumæan collection is less rich in objects of interest than the
Pompeian. Its treasures are mostly Etruscan. It possesses many vases,
Etruscan and Greek, many rude Etruscan sculptures, with household
articles of various descriptions. It occupies a separate set of rooms,
and is the gift of the Prince of Carignano.

Among the Pompeian remains we forgot to mention a mosaic tablet
representing a cock-fight. One cock already bleeds and droops; above him
the figure of his genius turns desponding away. The genius of the
victorious cock, on the contrary, bears a crown and palm. The design is
worthy of the Island of Cuba at the present day.

The frescos brought and transferred from Pompeii are beautiful and
interesting. One of them shows thirteen dancing figures, all of which
are frequently copied. Many inscriptions in marble are also preserved,
but to decipher them would ask much time. We were interested in a small
painted model of a Pompeian dwelling, called the House of the Poet. It
shows the quadriform arrangement of the dark chambers around the open
courts, of which one is the _atrium_, one the _peristylium_. The
window-panes of the house of Diomed are shown,--not of glass, but talc,
and only translucent. Windows, however, were rare in Pompeii. Perhaps
the most pathetic relic that we observe is the skull of the sentinel in
his helmet, as it was found.

We have here given only the most hurried and imperfect indication of the
mines of wealth which this institution offers to the student of art and
of history. A detailed account of its contents will be found in the
valuable but prosaic Murray, and would here be superfluous. Its
guardians, the custodi, are civil, and are not allowed to ask or receive
any compensation from visitors. Several of them, nevertheless, manage to
suggest that they would be glad to wait on you at your hotel, with
books, objects of antiquity, and other small merchandise, which you
hurriedly decline. You will be fortunate to get out of Naples in any
state short of utter bankruptcy. How you are ever to get home to
America, with temptations and expenses multiplying so frightfully upon
you, sometimes threatens to become a serious question.



NAPLES--EXCURSIONS.


You have been two days in Naples, the hotel expenses and temptations of
the street eating into your little capital. For value received your
intellects have nothing to show. Your eyes and ears have been full, your
brain passive and empty. You rouse yourself, and determine upon an
investment. To learn something, you must spend something. These
cherished napoleons must decrease, and you must, if possible, increase.

The first attempt is scarcely a success. Having heard marvels of the
conventual church of San Martino, formerly belonging to the Cistercian
brotherhood, you consult the porter of the hotel, and engage, for seven
francs, a carriage to transport you thither. The drive is one immense
climb under the heat of the afternoon sun. When you have gained the
difficult ascent, your driver coolly informs you that the church is
always closed at four P. M., the present time being 5.30. "Why did you
not tell me so?" is the natural but useless question. "Because I could
not in that case have got seven francs from you," would be the real
answer. The driver shrugs his shoulders, and expects a scolding, which
you are too indignant to give.

But you are not to be defeated in this way. A second expedition is
planned and executed. To the gates of Pompeii you fly, partly by steam,
and partly by horse-aid. You alight from your cloud of dust, demand a
guide. "Yes; you can have the guide by paying also for the litter. This
being Sunday, the entrance is free, and the government supplies no
guide. You must have the _portantina_, or blunder about alone." The
litter, with its pink gingham frill and cushion, looks hateful to you.
You remember it twenty-three years ago with dislike. The sun of noon is
hot upon you. The men are unpersuadable. Red and fierce as lava, you
storm through the deserted streets of the ancient capital of seaside
luxury. Like the lava, you soon cool, as to your temper--the rest of you
continuing at 120 Fahrenheit. There are two of your party: one finds the
litter convenient; the other also gives way, and you ride and tie, as
the saying is, in very amicable style, and encourage the guide to tell
you all he knows; but he, alas! has cropped but the very top of the
clover. The fragments of history which he is able to give you, measure
only his own ignorance and yours.

"Here is the Forum in which the Balbo statues were found. At the upper
end were the court and seat of justice,--for a figure was found there
bearing a balance; underneath were the prisons." Ah, the broken columns!
Stately did they stand around the mounted statues, that expected to ride
into perpetual fame on their marble horses--now most famous because so
long forgotten. "Wherever four streets met, madam, stood a fountain. The
Exchange stood also in the Forum. Here is the street of abundance, in
which was found a marble bust bearing a horn of plenty. Here is the
Temple of Isis. By this secret staircase the priest ascended and stood
unseen behind the goddess, making the sounds which she was supposed to
utter. Here was the bakery; behold the ovens. This was found filled with
newly baked loaves. [Yes; for I myself beheld them in the Museum at
Naples.] Ah, madam! the baths, with hot water and cold, and vapor. In
those niches running around the wall were placed the vases with
unguents. Here is the House of the Poet; here that of the Faun. See the
frescos. What forms! what colors! Here is a newly excavated house, large
and richly appointed. Each of these marble columns surrounding the inner
court contains a leaden water-pipe with a faucet, so that from all at
once water might flow to cool the extreme heats of summer. Here still
stand two fine dragons carved in white marble, which must formerly have
supported a marble slab. See what a garden this house had! What a
fish-pond! Climb this stair, madam, if you would see the theatre. This
larger one was for day performances. Yonder was the stage. There are
still the grooves for the scenes to slide in. There was the orchestra
[mostly flutes and fiddles]. Here sat the nobles, here the citizens,
here the plebeians. From this eminence you can look over into the
smaller theatre close at hand, in which night performances were given."
And the stately dames, with those jewels which you saw stored at the
Museo, and dressed and undressed like the frescos we have seen to-day,
sat on their cushioned benches, and wafted their perfumes far and wide.

Here was the house of Diomed, rich and very extensive. The skeleton of
Diomed (as is supposed) was found at the garden gate, with the key of
the house and a purse of money. In one of the subterranean rooms is
shown the impression of his wife's figure, merely a darker mark on a
dark wall. Seventeen similar impressions were found. I think it is in
this house that the walls of one of the rooms have an under-coating of
lead to keep the moisture from the frescos, which are still brilliant.
The _luxe_ of fountains was, as is known, great and universal in
Pompeii, and the arrangement of its leaden conduits is ample and
skilful. Besides the well-known frescos, with their airy figures and
brilliant coloring, we are shown a bath, whose vaulted roof is adorned
with stucco reliefs, arranged in small medallions, octagons alternating
with squares.

Presently we come to the street of tombs. Among these I best remember
that which bears the inscription, "_Diomede, sibi suis_." At the upper
end of this street we find a semicircular seat of stone, for the
accommodation of the guard. Close by this was found the skeleton of the
sentinel in armor which we saw in the Museum at Naples. In the prison
were found the iron stocks, with at least one skeleton in them; others
chained in divers ways. A feature new to me is that of various
diminutive temples, with roofs roundly or sharply arched, devoted to the
household gods. These usually stand upon an elevated projection, and
might measure three feet in height and four in depth. The guide pointed
out to us some small, square windows, which are simply open squares in
the masonry, defended by iron gratings, deeply rusted. They are not
numerous. Our guide suggests that there may have been a tax upon
windows, accounting for their rare occurrence. One he shows us still
nearly entire, a narrow slit, measuring, perhaps, eight inches by three,
with a slab of talc in place of glass.

And presently we come to a small museum, whose contents are much the
same in kind with the household remains seen by us in the Museum at
Naples. And farther on is a room in which we are shown the _quattro
morti_--the four dead bodies whose impress on the hardened cinders which
surrounded them has been so ingeniously utilized. It is known that the
masses of cinder within which these bodies had slowly mouldered were
filled with liquid plaster, and the forms of the bodies themselves,
writhing in their last agonies, were thus obtained. One of these
figures--that of a young woman--is full of pathetic expression. She
lies nearly on her face, her hand near her eyes, as if weeping. Her
back, entirely exposed, has the fresh and smooth outline of youth. The
forms of two elder women and one man complete the sad gallery. Of these
women one wears upon her finger a silver ring, the plaster having just
fitted within it. This figure and that of the man are both swollen,
probably from the decomposition that took place before the crust of
ashes hardened around them into the rigid mould which to-day gives us
their outlines.

These four plaster ghosts were the last sights seen by us in Pompeii.
For by this time we had walked and ridden three hours, and those three
the most fervent of the day, beginning soon after noon. The heat was
cruel and intense, but we had not given ourselves time to think of it.
The umbrella and _portantina_ helped us as they could, but the feeling
that the work had to be done now or never helped us most of all. Our
vexation against our guides had long ago cooled into a quiet good will.
Relinquishing the fiery journey, which might have been prolonged some
hours further, we paid the rather heavy fee. The second carrier of the
litter demanded a few extra pence, reminding us that at our first
arrival he had brushed the dust from our dresses with a zeal which then
appeared mysterious, but whose object was now clear. Parting from these,
we passed into the little inn, quite bare and dirty, whose coolness
seemed delicious. We here ordered an afternoon _déjeûner_, and ate,
drank, and rested.



THE CAPUCHIN.


While we waited for our dinner, a Capuchin at another table enjoyed a
moderate repast. Bologna sausage, cheese, fruit, and wine of two sorts
contented him. His robust countenance beamed with health, his eyes were
intelligent. This was one of the personalities of which the little shown
makes one desirous to know more. His refreshment consumed and paid for,
he began a rambling conversation with the _garçon_ who attended us, as
well as with the proprietor of the _locanda_ in which we were. Capuchin
and Garçon mutually deplored the poverty of the poor in Naples. Capuchin
showed two blue silk handkerchiefs which he had been forced to purchase,
for compassion, of a poor woman. Both obviously considered the new state
of things as partly accountable for this poverty, which is, on the
contrary, as old as the monastic orders. The Capuchin had been preaching
Lenten sermons in Greece, and had been well received. Garçon rejoined
that there were good Catholics in Greece, agreeing harmoniously with the
man in brown. But at this juncture another face looks in at the door.
"That is the man who plagues me to give him lucky numbers for play,"
says the _frate_. Here I can keep out of the company no longer. "What
does he play at--cards or dice?" I ask. "Neither, madam; that man ruins
himself with playing at the lottery." Capuchin continues: "If I had the
gift of fortunate numbers, I would not withhold them. I should wish to
benefit my fellow-creatures in this way, if I were able to do so. But I
have it not, this gift of prophecy." And if you had it, thought I, I am
not so sure of the ultimate benefit of gambling to your
fellow-creatures, even were they to win, instead of losing.

The Capuchin and I, however, talk of other things--of monasteries, and
rich libraries, closed to women. "So, father, you consider us the allies
of the devil." "No, signora; the inhibition is mutual: we may not enter
any nunnery." The _padrone_ of the inn here breaks in with the robust
suggestion that these restrictions ought to be removed, and that monks
and nuns should have liberty to visit each the establishments of the
other. While this talk proceeds, I occasionally glance into the smoky
depths of the kitchen opposite, where a mysterious figure, in whose
cleanliness I desire to believe, wafts a frying-pan across a dull fire,
which he stimulates by fanning with a turkey's wing. After each of his
gymnastics, a dish is brought out, and set upon our table--first fish,
then omelet, then cutlet; and we discover that the Capuchin and
ourselves have a mutual friend at Fuligno, the good, intelligent,
accomplished Count ----, in whose praises each of us is eloquent. We
part, exchanging names and addresses. Our Pompeian guide urges us to
return and make the ascent of Vesuvius under his care. But we depart
untrammelled. Every one was satisfied with us except the cripple who
rolled himself in the dust, and the weird, white-haired women with
spindles, who followed us shrieking for a largess. We gave nothing, and
they commented upon us with a gravity of moral reprobation quite fit to
make one's hair stand on end, even with New England versus beggar behind
one. But the train came, and mercifully took us away; and whether in not
giving we did well or ill, is a point upon which theorists will not
agree; so we may be pardoned for giving ourselves the benefit of a
doubt.

After Pompeii a little good fortune awaited us. As before said, we had
encountered an American of the right sort,--kindly, sincere, and of
adequate education. Joining forces with him, we no longer shivered
before the hackman, nor shrank from the _valet de place_. We at once
engaged the latter functionary, ordered the _remise_ of the hotel to
wait for us, and started upon two days of eager but weary sight-seeing.
Our first joint act was to scale again the height of San Martino, this
time to enter the church and convent, and view their boasted riches. A
pleasant court, with a well in the centre of it; a church whose chapels
and altars were gorgeous with lapis lazuli, jasper, agate, and all
precious marbles; a row of seats in wooden mosaic, executed by a monk of
the Cistercian order, vowed to silence; cloisters as spacious and
luxurious as can well be imagined; a great array of relics in golden
boxes, shielded from dust and common sight by rich curtains of heavy
silk and gold--this is all of the establishment that remains in our
recollection. The present government has dismissed the saintly idlers of
the monasteries, saying, perhaps, in the style of Henry VIII., "Go
plough, you drones, go plough." But in what field and for what wages
they henceforth labor is not known to me.

Hence to the Grotto of Siana, half a mile long, and some eight feet
wide. The chill of this long, damp passage, in contrast with the high
temperature from which we entered it, so alarmed us that we turned back
at half the distance, and gave up seeing the den or cave that lay
beyond. At Pozzuoli we view Caligula's Bridge, of which but a few large
stones remain: the guide points out the place at which Paul and Peter
landed. Here are the ruins of a fine amphitheatre. The underground
arrangements still show us the pits in which the wild beasts and the
gladiators were kept. Square openings at the top ventilated each of
these, and a long, open space in the middle separated the cells of the
beasts from those of the gladiators. On public occasions all of these
openings were closed by heavy plates of metal, so as to present the
solid surface desired for the combats.

    "Arise, ye Goths, and glut your ire!"

In this neighborhood we visited what is left of the temple of Jupiter
Serapis. The salt water formerly covered its columns to such a height as
to corrode them badly. The smell caused by the evaporation of the
sea-water in the hot sun was so offensive that the government found it
necessary to apply a thorough drain. These time and tide worn marbles
were of the choicest kinds--African marble, _rosso antico_, and so on.
Their former beauty little avails them now. We drive further to the
cavern with the stratum of carbonic acid gas, and see the dog
victimized, which cruel folly costs us two francs. And then we visit
the sulphur vapor baths, whose fiery, volcanic breath frightens us.
These are near the Lake of Agnano, an ancient volcanic crater. In its
neighborhood are the royal game preserves, in which fratricidal V. E.
hunts and slays the wild boar. Returning, we climb to Virgil's tomb, a
small, empty enclosure, with a stone and inscription dating from 1840.

    "Cecini pascua, rura, duces,"

says the poet, through his commemorator. Item, this steep journey under
a scorching sun did not pay very well. Yet, having ascended the fiery
stair, and stood in the small, dark enclosure, and read the tolerable
inscription, I felt that I had done what I could to honor the great
Mantuan: so, with a good conscience, I returned through cool,
ill-smelling Posilippo, to the hotel, dinner, and the afternoon
meditation.



BAJA.


The excursion to Baja called us up early in the morning. With a tender
hush, a mysterious remembrance of our weaker and still sleeping
brethren, we stole through the hotel, swallowed coffee, and issued forth
with carriage and _valet de place_ for a day's campaigning. As the
functionary just mentioned had invented a hitherto unpatented language,
supposed by him to present some points of advantage over the Queen's
English, I will here, _en passant_, serve up a brief sample, for the
study of those inclined to the practical pursuit of linguistics.

"Zat is ze leg Agnano [lake of.] In vinter he is full of vile dog [wild
duck]." Of Lake Avernus: "Zis was de helty [hell]." Of the ruins of the
amphitheatre at Pozzuoli: "Ruin by de barbions [barbarians]. Zey brok
him in piece and pushed him down. Zar is Caligole's [Caligula's] Bridge.
Tis de Sibyl's Cave, where she gib de ragle [oracle]. Temple Diana,
temple Neptune, ze god of ze sea and ze god of ze land." Here was a
mythological _aperçu_ thrown in. This individual rarely condescended to
speak his native language--Italian. In ours, it required no little
adjustment of the perceptive faculties to meet his views.

Passing through Posilippo, we come first to a piece of ground which
bears the form of an amphitheatre, although the whole structure, if it
exist at all, is thickly overgrown with trees and shrubs. A rustic
proprietor cultivates the vine here, but cannot pass the nights during
July, August, and September, on account of the bad air. The wines, white
and red, are nevertheless excellent. The right of excavation here vests
in a Frenchman, who has purchased the same.

Our next point of exploration is the Temple of Mercury, at Baja--a
circular building, with fine columns partly overthrown. Here exists a
perfect whispering gallery, for at a certain spot in the wall the
slightest utterance is instantly heard at the point directly opposite.
Here two forlorn women, with a tambourine and without costume, dance a
joyless _tarantella_, which costs us a franc. They urge us, also, to buy
sea-shells, and small fragments of mosaic, together with skeletons of
the sea-horse, a queer little fish, some two inches long. After this, we
are shown some _columbaria_, and a bath with stucco reliefs. Adjacent is
the well preserved ruin of a large bathing establishment. Besides the
baths, we here find places for reclining, where vapor baths were
probably enjoyed.

Now come Nero's prisons, gloomy, under-ground galleries, in which he
kept his slaves. Torches here became necessary. These galleries,
destitute of daylight, were quite extensive, frequently crossing each
other at right angles. And then we visited the Piscina Mirabilis, an
immense reservoir which formerly supplied the Roman fleet at Marina with
fresh water. Its tall columns, still entire, are deeply corroded by
water. This was a work of surprising extent and finish. Thereafter,
mindful of Murder considered as a Fine Art, we gave some heed to the
whereabouts of Agrippina's villa, and inquired concerning those
matricidal attempts of her son, which were finally crowned with so
entire a success. The villa of Hortensius, in this neighborhood, lies
chiefly under water, the level of the ground having changed. Perhaps
this villa was anciently built on ground reclaimed from the sea, as
Horace says,--

    "Marisque Baiis obstrepentis urges
     Summovere litora. Parum locuples continente ripa."

We next visited the Lake of Avernus, and Lake Fusano, the River Styx of
Virgil and the Romans. Bordering upon this we found a whole hill-side
honeycombed with _columbaria_. Then came the long sulphurous gallery
leading to the hot spring in which eggs are boiled for your instruction.
Each of these visitations has its fee, so that the pilgrimage, even if
made on foot, would be a costly one. Cuma next claimed us. A long, dark
gallery leads to the cave of the Cumæan Sibyl, described by Virgil. But
the presence of water here makes it necessary for visitors to sit upon
the shoulders of two or three shaggy and uncleanly-looking sprites. We
stoutly decline this adventure, and are afterwards sorry. From this
neighborhood was taken the Cumæan collection, which figures at the
_Museo Nazionale_, presented by the Prince of Carignano. Somewhere in
the course of this crowded and heated day, a dinner was slidden in,
which gave our labor a brief interval of rest and refreshment. It
consisted mostly of dirt, in various forms, flavored with cheese,
garlic, and a variety of savors equally choice. To facilitate its
consumption, we drank a sour-sweet fluid, called white Capri. I found
none of the Italian wines joyous. Despite their want of body, they give
one's nerves a decided shake.

Well, I have narrated all that took place on the day set apart for Baja.
Its results may be prosaically summed up as heat, haste, and headache,
with a confused vision of the past and a most fragmentary sense of the
present.



CAPRI.


I have a fresh chapter of torment for a new Dante, if such an one could
be induced to apply to me. I will not expatiate, nor exhale any
Francesca episodes, any "_Lasciate ogni spiranza!_" I will be succinct
and business-like, furnishing the outlines from which some more
leisurely artist, better paid and employed, shall do his hell-painting.

We leave enchanting Naples,--tear ourselves from our hotel, whose very
impositions grow dear to us; the precious window, too, which shows the
bay and Capri, and close at hand the boats, the fish-market, and the
chairs on which the populace sit at eventide to eat oysters and drink
mineral water. A small boat takes us to a very small steamer, on whose
deck we pay ten francs each to a stout young man, in appearance much
like a southern poor Buckra, who departs in another small boat as soon
as he has plundered us. The voyage to Capri is cool and reasonably
smooth. A pleasant chance companion, bound to the same port, beguiles
the time for us. We exchange our intellectual small wares with a certain
good will, which remains the best part of the bargain. When quite near
the island, the small steamer pauses, and lowers a boat in which we
descend to view the famous Blue Grotto. At the entrance, we are warned
to stoop as low as possible. We do so, and still the entrance seems
dangerous. With some scratching and pushing, however, the boat goes
through, and the lovers of blue feast their eyes with the tender color.
The water is ultramarine, and the roof sapphire. The place seems a toy
of nature--a forced detention of a single ray of the spectrum. Dyes
change with the fashion; the blue of our youth does not color our
daughter's silks and ribbons. The purples of ten years ago cannot be met
with to-day. But this blue is constant, and therefore perfect.

Our enjoyment of it, however, is marred by an old beast in human form
who rushes at us, and insists upon being paid two francs for diving. He
promises us that he will show us wondrous things--that he will fill the
azure cave with silver sparkles. Wearied with his screeching, and a
little deluded by his promises, we weakly offer him a franc and a half;
whereupon he throws off some superfluous clothing, and softly glides
into the deep, without so much as a single sparkle. He certainly
presents an odd appearance; his weird legs look as if twisted out of
silver; his back is dark upon the water. But the refreshing bath he
takes is so little worth thirty sous to us that we feel tempted to
harpoon him as he dodges about, sure that, if pierced, he can shed
nothing more solid than humbug. On our return to the steamer we pay two
francs each for this melancholy expedition, and presently make the
little harbor of Capri.

And here the promised Hell begins. The way to it, remember, is always
pleasant. No sooner does our boat touch the land than a nest of human
rattlesnakes begins to coil and hiss about us, each trying to carry us
off, each pouring into our ears discordant, rapid jargon. "My donkey,
siora." "And mine." "And mine." "How much will you give?" "Will you go
up to Tiberio?" But all this with more repetition and less music than a
chorus of Handel's or an aria of Sebastian Bach. "My donkey," flourish;
"My do-n-onkey," high soprano variation; "My donkey," good grumbling
contralto. "How much?" "How much?" "How much?" "How much?" shriek all in
chorus. And you, the unhappy star in this hell opera, begin with
uncertain utterance--"Let me see, good people. One at a time. What is
just I will pay"--the _motivo_ also repeated; chorus renewed--"Money;"
"Three francs;" "Four francs;" "Five francs;" "A _bottiglia_;" "A _buona
mano_." A _buona mano_? Good hand--would one could administer it in the
right way, in the right place! By this time each of you occupies the
warm saddle of a donkey, and at one P. M., less twenty, the thermometer
at 90 Fahrenheit or more, and being warned to reach the steamer by three
P. M., at latest, the punishment of all your past, and most of your
future sins begins.

_Facile descensus Averni._ Yes; but the _ascensus_? To climb so high
after Tiberio, who went so low! For this is the ruined palace of
Tiberius Cæsar himself, which you go to seek and see, if possible. He
still plagues the world, as he would have wished to do. Your expedition
in search of his stony vestiges is a long network of torment, spun by
you, the donkey, and the donkey-driver, undisguised Apollo standing by
to weld the golden chains by which you suffer. As often as you seem to
approach the object, a new _détour_ leads you at a zigzag from the
straight direction. But this is little. At every turn in the road a
beggar, in some variety, addresses you. Now a deformed wretch shows you
his twisted limbs, and shrieks, "_co cosa, siora_." Now, a
wholesome-looking mother, with a small child, asks a contribution to the
wants of "_questa creatura_" Now, a grandam, with blackened face and
bleached hair, hobbles after you. Children oppress you with flowers,
women with oranges,--all in view of the largest _quid_ for the smallest
_quo_. You grow afraid to look in a pretty face or return a civil nod,
lest the eternal signal of beggary should make itself manifest. And such
women and children!--every one a picture. Such intense eyes, such
sun-ripened complexions! I take note of them, handsome devils that they
are, all foreordained as a part of my fiery probation. For all this time
I am making a steep ascent. Sometimes the donkey takes me up a flight of
stone steps, clutching at each with an uncertain quiver, but stimulated
by the nasal "n--a--a--a," which follows him from the woman who by turns
coaxes and threatens him. Now we clamber along a narrow ledge, whose
height causes my dizzy head to swim; there is nothing but special
providence between me and perdition. A little girl, six years of age,
pulls my donkey by the head; a dignified matron behind me holds the
whip. The little girl leads carelessly, and I quake and grow hot and
cold with terror; but it is of no use. The matron will not take the
rein; her office is to flog, and she will do nought else. And the
sun?--the sun works his miracles upon us until we wish ourselves as well
off as the Niobides, who, at least, look cool. Finally, after an hour of
jolting, roasting, quivering, and general exasperation, we reach the
top. Here we are passively lifted from our donkeys; we mechanically
follow our guide through a white-washed wine-shop into a small outer
space, with a low wall around it, over which we are invited to look down
some hundreds of feet into the sea. This is called the Leap of Tiberio:
from this height, says the barefooted old vagabond who guides us, he
pitched his victims into the deep. The descent here is as straight as
the wall of a house. Farther on, we find some very fragmentary ruins, in
the usual Roman style. Among them is a good mosaic pavement, with some
vaults and broken columns. A sloping way is shown us, carefully paved,
and with a groove on either side. Into this, say they, fitted the wheels
of a certain chariot, in which guests were invited to seat themselves.
The chariot, guided by two cords, then started to go down to the sea.
But at a certain moment the vehicle was arrested by a sudden shock.
Those within it were precipitated into the water, after which the cords
comfortably drew the chariot back.

I have never heard any of the evidence upon which is based the modern
rehabilitation of Tiberius and Nero. I have, however, found in the
stately Tacitus, and even in gossipy Suetonius, a shudder of horror
accompanying the narration of their deeds. The world has seen cruelty in
all ages, and sees it still; but I cannot believe that the average
standard of humanity can justly be lowered so far as to make the acts of
Tiberius simply rigorous, those of Nero a little arbitrary. Mr. Carlyle,
in dealing with the French revolution, reprobates the hysterical style
of reviewing painful events; but in the history of Rome under the Cæsars
we hear too plainly the sobs and shrieks of the victims to be satisfied
with the modern philosophizing which would deprive them of our
compassion. Man is naturally cruel; superstition makes him more so. A
genuine religion alone softens his ferocious instincts, and places the
centre of action and obligation elsewhere than in his own pleasure or
personal advantage. Man is also compassionate; but without the
systematic formation of morals, his weak compassion will not compensate
the ardor of his self-assertion, which may involve all crimes. Luxury
exaggerates cruelty, because it intensifies the action of the selfish
interests, and loosens the rein of restraint--its objects and the
objects of morals being incompatible. The most cruel characters have
been those presenting this admixture of luxury and ferocity. The silken
noose gives finer and more atrocious death than the iron sword.

I think that the (unless vilified) wretch Tiberius built this palace in
fear, and dwelt in it in torment. In its fastnesses he felt himself safe
from the knife of the assassin. In the leisure of its isolation he could
meditate murders with æsthetic deliberation, and hurl his bolts of death
upon the world below, remorseless and unattainable as Jove himself.

Here is an episode of philosophizing in the hell I promised you. But
hell itself would not be complete without the button-bore--the man or
woman who holds you by a theory, and detains you amid life's intensity
to attend the slow circlings of an elaborative brain.

I have now finished Tiberio. The donkeys brought us down with more
danger, more heat, more fear and clatter. Only beggary diminishes, a
little discouraged, in our rear. It seems to have been given out that we
have no small change, as is indeed the fact; so the young and old only
grumble after us enough to keep their hand in. In compensation for this,
however, a new trouble is added, viz., the danger of losing the small
steamboat, which threatens to leave at three P. M., a period by this
time scarce half an hour distant. Yet a bit of bread we must have at the
hotel. It is the former palace of Queen Joanna; but we do not know it at
the moment, and nothing leads us to suspect it. Here two good-natured
English faces make us for the moment at home. A cup of tea,--the English
and American restorative for all fatigues,--a wholesome slice of bread
and butter, a moderate charge, and ten minutes of cool seclusion, make
the Hotel di Tiberio pleasant in our recollection. And then we remount,
and, the little steamer beginning to manoeuvre, our haste and anxiety
become extreme; so we take no more heed of steep or narrow, but the
donkeys and we make one headlong business of it down to the beach, where
we have still to make a secondary embarkation before reaching the
steamer. Here, as we had foreseen, the final crush attends us. The
guide and each of the donkey girls and women insist upon separate
payment. With grim satisfaction I fling a five-franc note for the whole.
It is too much, but the whole island cannot or will not give change for
it. And then ensues much shrieking, expostulation, and gesticulation, in
the midst of which I plunge into the boat, make my bargain with Charon,
and am for the time out of hell. As I looked back, methought I saw
Stefano the guide and the women having it out pretty well with reference
to the undivided fee. Stefano leaped wildly into the sea after me, and
extorted five more _soldi_ from my confusion. Finally, I exhort all good
Christians to beware of Capri, and on no account to throw away a trip
thither, but to undertake the same as a penance, for the mortification
of the flesh and the good of the immortal soul. The island is to-day in
as heathen a condition as Tiberius himself could wish; only from a
golden, it has descended to the perpetual invoking of a copper rain.
That the Beggar's Opera should have been written out of the kingdom of
Naples is a matter of reasonable astonishment to the logically inferring
mind. I could improvise it myself on the spur of the moment, making a
heroine out of the black-eyed woman who drove my animal--black-haired
also, and with a scarlet cotton handkerchief bound around her head in
careless picturesqueness. Gold ear-rings and necklace had she who
screamed and begged so for a penny more than her due. And when I cried
aloud in fear, she replied, "_Non abbia timor--donkey molt' avezzo_;"
which diverted my mind, and caused me to laugh. As we went up and as we
went down, she encountered all her friends and gossips in holiday
attire; for yesterday was _Festa_, and to-day, consequently, is _festa_
also--a saint's day leaving many small arrearages to settle, in the
shape of headache, fight, and so on, so that one does not comfortably
get to work again until the third day. This fact of the antecedent
_festa_ accounted for the unusual amount of good clothes displayed
throughout the island. Our eyes certainly profited by it, and possibly
our purses; for we just remember that one or two groups in velvet
jackets and gold necklaces did not beg.

But all of this is a superfluous after-digression, as I am really, in my
narrative, already on board of the little steamer, with the charitable
waves between me and the brigand Caprians. A pleasant sail--not so
smooth but that it made the Italian passengers ill--brought us to
Sorrento. Here our trunk was hoisted on the head of a stout fellow, all
the small fry of the harbor squabbling for our minor luggage. We climbed
a long, steep flight of stone steps, walked through a shady orange
garden, and came out upon a cool terrace fronting the sea, with the
Rispoli Hotel behind it. Here we were to stay; our bargain was soon
made, with the divine prospect thrown in. Our room was on the ground
floor, behind a shallow arcade paved with majolica. Shaking off the dust
of travel, and ranging our few effects in the rather narrow quarters, we
at once took possession of the prospect, and regulated ourselves
accordingly.



SORRENTO.


Ugh! after the roasting, hurried day at Capri, how delicious was the
first morning's rest at Sorrento! The coral merchant came and went. We
did not allow him to trouble us. They offered us the hotel asses; we did
not engage them. The blue sea, the purple mountains, the green, rustling
orange groves,--these were enough for us, pieced with the writing of
these ragged notes, and a little dipping into our Horace, who, it must
be confessed, goes lamely without a dictionary. A day of lights and
shadows, of sunshine and silence, of pains caressed, and fatigues whose
healing was sweeter than fresh repose. And we dreamed of novels that we
could write beneath this romance-forging sun, and how the commonplace
men and women about us should take grandiose shapes of good and ill, and
figure as ideals, no longer as atoms. We would forsake our scholastic
anatomy, and make studies of real life, with color and action. For this,
as we know, we should need at least six months of freedom, which perhaps
the remnant of our mortal lives does not offer. Meantime we sit and
dream. Each sees the content of the landscape reflected in the other's
eyes. We sit just within our room, the little writing-table half within,
half without the window, that reaches to the ground. The soft breeze
flutters our pages to and fro. We scold it caressingly, as one reproves
the overplay of a gracious child. With the exception of an occasional
straggling visitor, the whole terrace is ours. Now and then we forsake
the writing-table, rush to the railing that borders the terrace, and
take a good look up and down, to assure ourselves that what we see is
real, and founded on terra firma. Here our wearied nerves shall bathe in
seas of heavenly rest. As to our suffering finances, too,--if one word
is not too often profaned for us to profane it, we will quote Horace's

    "mox reficit rates quassas,"

not

    "indociles pauperiem pati"

Here our rapture will cost nothing. We will feed our eyes. The sea and
sky shall wear sapphires and diamonds for us. Our shabbiness will be the
æsthetic complement to their splendors. Do you not remember the figures
in brown or olive green that always lurk in the corners of pictures in
whose centre the Madonna, or some saint, is glorified? They also serve,
who only stand and wait in the shadow. So will we do now. We will lie
forgotten in the corner of this splendid picture, while our time and our
remaining credit equalize themselves a little. The days in Naples
considerably outran our estimate; the days here must make up for it. And
we want nothing; and all is delightful.

It is true, we do not carry out those good intentions quite literally.
Who ever does? But we adhere to our proposed outline of rigid economy
with only an occasional break. We soon begin to take note of small
temptations that lie about the streets. Here we see the little
neck-ribbons that are so cheap and pretty. A handful of them twisted
around the neck of Economy give her something of a choke. Further on in
our days and walks, a sound of saws in motion arrests our attention;
while a sign and tempting show-case urge us at least to _look_ at the
far-famed Sorrento woodwork. We enter; we set the tenth clause of the
Decalogue at nought, coveting wildly. Brackets, tea, glove, and cash
boxes are displayed there for our overthrow; watch-cases, on a new
principle, all either brave with mosaic, or smooth and shining in the
simple beauty of the olive wood. Something of all this we snatched and
fled. We took far too little for our wishes, rather too much for our
means. Silk stockings we did resist by that simplest and best of
measures--not entering the shops in which they were pressingly
advertised. The very passing of those shops gave us, however, vague
dreams of swimming about in silken movements; how grateful in a world of
heat! But the line has to be drawn somewhere, and we draw it here.

A donkey excursion pleasantly varies our experience in Sorrento. Do you
know how much a donkey ride means in Sorrento? It does not mean a
perpetual jolt, and horrible inter-asinicidal contest between the ass
who carries the stick and the ass who carries you. The donkeys of
Sorrento are fat and well-liking: smooth and gray are the pair that come
for us, comfortable as to the saddle and the bridle. And our
donkey-driver is a handsome youth, with a bold, frank countenance, and
the ripest olive and vermilion complexion. His walk is graceful and
robust; he knows every one he meets, and has his bit of fun with sundry
of the groups who pass us. These consist of men and women bearing on
their heads large flat baskets filled with cocoons, or in their hands
bundles of the same; girls leading mules, or carrying household burdens;
soldiers, beggars, Neapolitan princes, the syndic of Sorrento, and other
varieties of the species vaguely called human. He takes us up a steep
and rough ascent to the telegraph station. There are many bad bits in
the road; he is but one, and the donkeys are two; but he has such a
clever way, at critical moments, of holding on to the head of the second
donkey in conjunction with the tail of the first, that he gets the two
cowardly riders through many difficulties and more fears. Once on level
ground, the donkeys amble along delightfully. So pleasant is the whole
in remembrance, that, sitting here, at an interval of many miles in
distance, and ten days in time, we feel a sincere twinge in remembering
that we gave him only a franc for himself, paying by agreement two
francs for either donkey. Forgive us, beauteous and generous Gaetano,
and do not curse us in _aggio_ and _saggio_, the open-mouthed _patois_
of your country.



FLORENCE.


A week is little for the grandeurs of Florence, much for the discomforts
of its summer weather. The last week of May, which we passed there,
mistook itself for June, and governed itself accordingly. We went out as
early as human weakness, unsubdued by special discipline, permitted. We
struggled with church, gallery, painting, sculpture, and antiquities.
We breathlessly read sensible books, guides, and catalogues, in the
little intervals of our sight-seeing. We dropped at night, worn and
greedy for slumber; and the day died, and made no sign.

A hot week, but a happy one. To be overcome in a good cause is glorious,
and our failure, we trust, was quantitative, not qualitative. Good
friends helped us, took away all little troubles and responsibilities;
took us about in carriages of dignity and ease, and landed us before
royal, imperial works of art. With all their aid and cherishing,
Florence was too many for us. So, of her garment of splendors, we were
able only to catch at and hold fast a shred here and there, and whether
these fragments are worth weaving into a chapter at all, will better
appear when we shall have made the experiment of so combining them.

Our first view of her was by night; when, wearied with a day's shaking,
a hot and a long one, we tumbled out of railroad car into arms of
philanthropic friend, who received us and our bundles, selected our
luggage, conquered our porter and hackman, pointed to various
interesting quadrangles of lamps, and said, "This is Florence." But we
had seen such things before, and gave little heed--our thought machinery
being quite run down for lack of fuel. The aspect which we first truly
perceived, and still remember, was that of a clean and friendly
interior, a tea-table set, a good lamp bright with American _petrolio_
(O shade of Downer!), and, behind an alcove, the dim, inviting
perspective of a comfortable bed, which seemed to say, "Come hither,
weary ones. I have waited long enough, and so have you."



PALAZZO PITTI.


The second aspect of Florence was the Pitti Palace, brown and massive;
and the bridges numerously spanning the bright river; and the gay, busy
streets, shady in lengths and sunny only in patches; the picturesque
_mélange_ of business and of leisure, artisans, country people, English
travellers and dressed-up Americans; the jeweller's bridge, displaying
ropes of pearls and flashes of diamonds, with endless knottings and
perplexities of gold and mosaic; alabaster shops, reading-rooms,
book-stores, fashions, cabinets of antiquities--all leading to a welcome
retirement within the walls of the Palazzo Pitti.

Well content was the Medici to live in it, ill content to exchange it,
even for the promised threshold of Paradise. A good little sermon here
suggests itself, of which the text was preached long ago, "For where
your treasure is, there will your heart be also." And Medici's
investments had been large in Pitti, and trifling in Paradise; hence the
difficulty of realizing in the latter. Within the Pitti Palace are
things that astonish the world, and have a right to do so, as have all
the original results of art. The paintings are all--so to speak--set on
doors that open into new avenues of thought and speculation for mankind.
The ideal world, of which the real is but a poor assertion, has, in
these glimpses, its truest portraiture. Their use and dignity have also
limits which the luxury and enthusiasm of mankind transgress. But
indispensable were they in the world's humanization and civilization:
that is enough to say of them.

O, unseen in twenty-three years, and never to be seen again with the
keen relish of youth. What have I kept of you? What good seed from your
abundant harvest has ripened in my stony corner of New England? Your
forms have filled and beautified the blank pages of life, for every life
has its actual blanks, which the ideal must fill up, or which else
remain bare and profitless forever. And you are here, my Seggiola, and
you, my Andreas and Peruginos and Raphael; and Guercino's woman in red
still tenderly clasps the knees of the dead Savior. But O! they have
restored this picture, and daubed the faded red with savage vermilion.

Scarcely less ungrateful than the restoration of a beautiful picture is
the attempt to restore, after the busy intervals of travelling, the
precious impressions made by works and wonders of art. The incessant
labor of sight-seeing in Florence left little time for writing up on the
spot, and that little was necessarily given to recording the then recent
recollections of Naples and Rome. It was in Venice that I first tried to
overtake the subject of Florence. It is in Trieste that I sit down and
despair of doing the poorest justice to either. My meagre notes must
help me out; but, in setting them down, I forgot how rapidly and
entirely the material, of which they gave the outline, would disappear.
I thought that I held it, so far as mind possession goes, forever. At
the feast of the gods we think our joys eternal.

On reference to the notes, then, I find that the best Andreas and Fra
Bartolomeos are to be found here, and quite a number of them in the
Pitti. Some of the first Raphaels also are here, and some Titians. The
Seggiola looked to me a little dim under her glass. The Fates of Michael
Angelo were strong and sincere. Two of the Andreas are the largest I
remember, and very finely composed. Each represents some modification of
the Madonna and Saints, subjects of which we grow very weary. Yet one
perceives the necessity of these pictures at the time in which they were
painted. The æsthetic platform of the time would have them, and accepted
little else. A much smaller picture shows us the heads of Andrea and his
beautiful wife, the _Lucia_, made famous by Browning. The two heads look
a little dim now, both with age, and one with sorrow. Raphael's
pictures, seen here in copious connection with those of his
predecessors, appear as the undoubted culmination of the Florentine
school, grandly drawn, and conceived with the subtlest grace and spirit.
The Florentine school, as compared with others, has a great weight of
æsthetic reason behind it. It reminds me of some rare writing in which
what is given you represents much besides itself. The best Peruginos
share this merit, so do, in a different manner, the works of Beato
Angelico, whose wonderful faces deserve their gold background. How to
overtake these supreme merits in the regions of prose and of verse, one
scarcely knows. By combining bold and immediate conception with untiring
energy, unflinching criticism, and a nicety that stops before no
painfulness, one might do it. Life runs like a centiped; one dreams of
being an artist, and dies.

Here it may not be amiss for me to recur to the form of my diary, whose
inartistic jottings will best give the order of my days and movements.

Wednesday, May 29.--Walked to Santa Croce, hearing that a mass was to be
celebrated there for the Florentine victims of '48. When I arrived, the
mass was nearly over; the attendance had been very numerous, and we
found many people still there. Near the high altar were wreaths and
floral trophies. I should be glad to know whether the priests who
celebrated this mass did so with a good will. The ideas of '48 are the
deadly enemies of the absolute and unbounded assumptions of the Roman
papacy and priesthood. I hear that many of the priests desire a more
liberal construction of their office. Would to God it might be so. It is
most mournful that those who stand, in the public eye, for the religion
of the country, should be pledged to a course utterly out of equilibrium
with the religious ideas of the age. Thus religious forms contradict the
spirit and essence of religion, and the established fountain-heads of
improvement shut the door against social and moral amelioration.

In Santa Croce we hastily visited the monument erected to Alfieri by the
Countess of Albany, and the tombs of Machiavelli, Galileo, and Raphael
Morghen. The last has a mural background of florid marble, of a light
red color, with a recumbent figure in white marble, and an elaborate
medallion of the same material, representing the Madonna, infant and
saints. I fully hoped and intended to revisit this venerable and
interesting church, but was never able to do so. It has lately received,
as all the world knows, a fine front in pure white marble, adorned by
bas-reliefs executed by the popular sculptor Fedi. In the square before
the church stands the new statue of Dante, which I found graceful, but
not grandiose, nor indeed characteristic. The face bears no trace of the
great poem; the awe and dignity of super-human visions do not appear in
its lines. He, making hell and heaven present to our thoughts, did a far
deeper and more difficult work than those accomplished who made their
material semblance present to our eyes.

The remainder of this morning we devoted to the gallery of the Uffizi,
the artistic _pendant_ of the Pitti. We hastily make its circuit with a
friend who points out to us the portraits of Alfieri and the Countess of
Albany, his lady and companion. The head of Alfieri is bold and
striking, the hair red, the temperament showing more of the northern
energy than of the southern passion. The sobriety of his works and
laborious character of his composition also evince this. The countess,
painted from mature life, shows no very marked characteristic. Hers is
the face of an intelligent woman, but her especial charm does not appear
in this portrait.

The Uffizi collection appears to have been at once increased and
rearranged during the three and twenty years of our absence. We find the
Niobides grouped in an order different from that in which we remember
them. The portrait gallery of modern artists is for us a new feature,
and one which, alas! we have not time to study, seeing that the great
_chefs-d'oeuvres_ imperiously challenge our attention, and that our
time is very short for them. We spend a dreamy hour in the Tribune,
whose very circumscription is a relief. Here we are not afraid of
missing anything. This _étui_ of gems is so perfectly arranged and
inventoried that the absence of any one of them would at once be
perceived. Here stands the Venus, in incomparable nudity. Here the Slave
still sharpens his instrument--the classic Boxers hold each other in
close struggle. Raphael, Correggio, Michael Angelo, Carlo Dolce, are all
here in concentration. You can look from one to the other, and read the
pictorial language of their dissents and arguments. A splendid Paul
Veronese, in half figures, merits well its place here. It represents a
Madonna and attendant female saint: the hair and costumes are of the
richest Venetian type; and though the crinkles of the one and the
stripes of the other scarcely suggest the fashions of Palestine, they
make in themselves a very gorgeous presentment. In the other rooms we
remember some of the finest Raphaels, a magnificent Perugino, Sodoma's
beautiful St. Sebastian, a famous Salutation of Mary and Elizabeth, by
Albertinelli, a very tipsy and impudent Silenus by Rubens, with other
pictures of his which I cannot characterize. The Vandykes were all hung
too high to be well seen. They did not seem nearly so fine as the
Vandykes in the Brignoli Palace in Genoa. Here are some of Beato
Angelico's finest works, among others his famous triptych, from whose
bordering of miniature angels so many copies are constantly made. Here
is also a well-known Leonardo da Vinci, as well as Raphael's portraits
of Leo Tenth, attended by a cardinal and another dignitary. A narrow
gallery is occupied by numerous marble alto relievos by Luca della
Robbia and Donatello; here is also a marble bas-relief of the Madonna
and Child, the work of the great Michael.

By knocking at a side door you gain admittance into a small chamber,
whose glass cases contain works of art in gold, crystal, and precious
stones. Here is a famous cup, upon whose cover a golden Hercules
encounters the many heads of the Hydra, brilliant with varied enamels,
the work of Benvenuto Cellini. Miniature busts in agate and jasper,
small columns of the same materials,--these are some of the features
which my treacherous memory records. It has, however, let slip most of
what is precious and characteristic in this collection. The Uffizi
demands at least a week's study for even the slightest sketch of its
contents. We had but a week for all Florence, and tasted of the great
treasure only on this day, and a subsequent one still more hurried. In
remembrance, therefore, we can only salute it with a free confession of
our insufficiency.

Thursday.--A _dies non_ for the galleries. It was a Festa, and they were
all closed. So was the Bargello. The Boboli gardens were not open till
noon, at which time the heat made them scarcely occupable. We visited
the Church of San Michele, which was formerly a Loggia, or building with
open sides and arches, like others still existing in various parts of
the city. The filling up of these open arches changed it into a church.
They tell us that it is to be reconverted into a Loggia, to answer the
present necessities of the over-crowded city. Here we found a curious
tabernacle, carved in marble--a square enclosure, with much detail of
execution, and, on the whole, a Gothic effect. Tombs, monuments, and old
mosaic pavement this temple also contains; but I cannot recall its
details.

The afternoon of this day we employed partly in a visit to the two tombs
beside which American feet will be sure to pause. Here, in this
sculptured sarcophagus, sleeps the dust of E. B. B. Here, beneath this
granite cross, lie the remains of Theodore Parker. At the first, I
seemed to hear the stifled sobs that mourned a private sorrow too great
to take account of the public loss. For what she gave the world, rich
and precious as it was, was less than that inner, unalienable jewel
which she could not give but in giving herself. And he who had both, the
singer and her song, now goes through the world interrogating the ranks
of womanhood for her peer. Seek it not! She was unique. She died and
left no fellow.

A soberer _cortege_, probably, followed Theodore to his final
resting-place. The grief of poets is ecstatic, and cannot be thought of
without dramatic light and shade, imagined, if not known of. A
sorrowing, patient woman, faithful through all reverses, stood beside
the grave of the great preacher, the mighty disputant. She remembered
that it had always been peace between her and this church militant. From
every raid, every foray, into the disputed grounds of theory and
opinion, she kept open for him a return to the orthodoxy of domestic
life. The basis of his days was a calm, well-ordered household, whose
doors were opened or shut in accordance with his desire of the moment.
Would he receive his whole congregation, or a meeting of the clergy, or
a company more mixed and fashionable? The simple, well-appointed rooms
were always in order; the lights were always clear; the carpets swept;
the books and engravings in nice order. The staid New England
women-servants brought in the refreshments, excellent of their kind, and
carefully selected for their suitableness to the occasion. The wife sat
or moved unobtrusively among her guests; but she loved Theodore's
friends, and made his visitors welcome. If Theodore had war without, and
it became his business to have it, he had ever peace within. And this it
was pleasant and exemplary to remember, standing beside his grave.

How often have I, in thought, linked these two graves together, striving
to find a middle term or point of meeting for them both! The distant
image of the spot was sacred and dear to me. The person of the one, the
character of the other, were fixed among my affections. For let me say
here that though I have criticised Parker's theology, adopting neither
his methods nor his conclusions, of Parker himself I have never ceased
to think as of a person with a grand and earnest scope, of large powers
and generous nature. He was tender in large and in little, a sympathist
in practice as well as a philanthropist in theory. My heart still warms
and expands at the remembrance of what he was in the pulpit and at the
fireside. Nor was he the less a stern moralist because he considered the
ordinary theories of sin as unjust and insufficient. No one would better
console you for a sin deplored, no one could more forcibly deprecate a
sin contemplated. He painted his time more wicked than it was, and saw
it so. A modern Dante, all in the force of prose, E. B. B. lies here
like the sweet Beatrice, who was at hand when the cruel task of
criticism was over, to build before the corrected vision of the great
pilgrim the silvery shrines and turrets of the New Jerusalem. So will we
leave them--a lesser Dante, a greater Beatrice, and one who has borne
record of herself.



VENICE.


Venice, which I seek to hold fast, is already a thing of yesterday.
"Haste is of the devil," truly says the Koran, whose prophet yet knew
its value. But the strokes of the pen need deliberation as much as those
of the sword need swiftness. Strength goes with Time, and skill against
him.

Little of either had I after a night in the cars between Florence and
Venice,--hot, dusty Florence, and cool, glassy Venice,--a night of
starts and stops, morsels of sleep set in large frames of uneasy waking.
The steep ascent of the Apennines is only partially descried through the
darkness. It begins at Pistoia, and when it ends, Pistoia lies
vertically under you, at the bottom of what seems in the darkness an
abyss, in which its lights shine brightly. Tunnels there are in plenty
on this road, and one of these threatens us with suffocation. For the
engine was unduly replenished with coal at Pistoia in view of the hard
task before it, and the undigested food vented itself in unwholesome
gases, which the constraints of the tunnel drove in upon us, filling the
lungs with mephitic stuff which caused them to ache for more than an
hour afterwards. This part of the journey was made pleasant to us by the
presence of a Venetian lady, handsome, intelligent, and cordial. At
Bologna we lost her, making also a long stop. The hour was three in the
morning; the place, a bare railroad depot. The hour passed there would
not have been patiently endured by an American public. But Italians
endure every possible inconvenience from the railway management, which
is clearly conducted on _pessimistic_ principles. On reaching the cars
again, another pleasant companion shortened the time with easy
conversation. Not but that we dozed a little after the weary night; and
the priest in the opposite compartment fell asleep over his morning
prayers. But my new companion and I made our way through a shoal of
general remarks to the _terra firma_ of a mutual acquaintance, in whose
praises both of us grew warm. And at length we began to see marshes, and
waters, and a fortress. "That is Venice," said the captain; and I
replied with sincere surprise, "Is it possible?" For Venice, as
approached by the railroad, makes no impression, presents no _coup
d'oeil_. And this marks a precaution for which the devisers of
railroads in this country may deserve praise. Being pure men of
business, and not sentimentalists, they do not wish to find themselves
mixed up with any emotions consequent upon the encounter of the sublime
and beautiful. They cannot become responsible for any enthusiasm. And
so, in their entrances and exits, they sedulously avoid the picturesque,
and lead the traveller into no temptation towards stopping and lingering
by the way. Of two possible routes, they, on principle, choose the more
prosaic; so that the railroad traveller nowhere gets less beauty for his
money than in this same Italy, the flower-garden of the world.

The arrival even in Venice becomes, therefore, vulgar and commonplace in
their management. And soon one gets one's luggage out of the clutches of
guardians and porters, and cheaply, in an omnibus gondola, one swashes
through a great deal of middling water, landing finally at Hotel
Barbesi, where breakfast and the appliances of repose are obtained.

We did not prudently devote this first day to sleep, as we ought to have
done. The energy of travel was still in us, and we aroused ourselves,
and went forth. The _valet de place_, with high cheek-bones, a fresh
color, and vivacious eyes, led us on foot to the Place and Cathedral of
St. Mark, the Ducal Palace, the Bridge of Sighs, and prisons of the
condemned. We visited the great council-halls, superb with fretted
gilding, and endless paintings by Tintoretto and Bellini. We saw the
Lion's Mouth, into which anonymous accusations were dropped; the room of
the Ten; the staircase all in white and gold, sacred to the feet of
Doge and Dogaressa alone. As magnificent as is the palace, so miserable
are the prisons, destitute of light, and almost of air--a series of
small, close parallelograms, with a small hole for a window, opening
only into a dark corridor, containing each a stony elevation, on which,
perhaps, a pallet of straw was placed. Heaven forbid that the blackest
criminal of our day should confront the justice of God with so poor a
report to make of the mercy of man! In the dreaminess of our fatigue, we
next visited a bead factory, and inspected some of its delicate
operations. And then came the _table d'hôte_, and with it a little whiff
of toilet and hotel breeding, sufficiently irksome and distasteful. In
the evening there was to be a Fresco, or procession of gondolas on the
great canal, with lanterns and music, in honor of Prince Plomplon, who
was at Danieli's hotel. Uncertain whether to engage a gondola or not, I
sat in the garden balcony of Barbesi's, immediately over the canal. I
saw the gondolas of high society flit by, gay with flags and colored
lanterns, the gondoliers in full livery. Their attitude in rowing is
singular. They stand slanting forward, so that one almost expects to see
them fall on their faces. In the gondola, however, one becomes aware of
the skill and nicety with which they impel and guide their weird-looking
vehicles.

The Fresco was to be at nine o'clock; but by an hour earlier the
gondolas were frequent. And soon a bark, with lanterns and a placard
announcing an association of artists, stopped beneath our balcony, while
its occupants, with vigorous lungs, shouted a chorus or two in the
Venetian dialect. The effect was good; but when one of the singers asked
for a "_piccola bottiglia_" and proceeded, hat in hand, to collect from
each of us a small contribution, we felt that such an act was rather
compromising for the artists. In truth, these men were artisans, not
artists; but the Italian language has but one word for the two meanings,
contriving to distinguish them in other ways.

The stream of gondolas continued to thicken on the canal, and at nine
o'clock, or thereabouts, a floating theatre made its appearance--a large
platform, brilliantly lighted, and bearing upon it a numerous orchestra
and chorus. The _chef d'orchestre_ was clearly visible as he passed,
energetically dividing the melody and uniting the performers. This
lovely music floated up and down the quiet waters, many lesser lights
clustering around the greater ones. Comparison seems to be the great
trick of descriptive writing; but I, for my part, cannot tell what the
Fresco was like. It was like nothing that I have ever seen.

And I saw it in the intervals of a leaden stupor; for, after the
sleepless night and active day, the quiet of Barbesi's balcony was too
much for me. Fain would I have hired a gondola, have gone forth to
follow the musical crusade, albeit that to homage a Napoleon be small
business for an American. But by a new sort of centaurship, my chair and
I were that evening one, and the idea of dividing the two presented
itself only in the light of an impossibility. Roused by the
exclamations of those about me, I awoke from time to time, and
mechanically took note of what I have here described, returning to sleep
again, until a final wrench, like the partition of soul and body, sent
me with its impetus to the end of all days--bed.

The fatigue of this day made itself severely felt in the waking of the
next morning. Shaking off a deadly stupor and dizziness, I arose and
armed for the day's warfare. My first victim was the American consul,
who, at the sight of a formidable letter of introduction, surrendered at
discretion. Annexing the consul, I bore him in triumph to my gondola,
but not until I had induced him to find me a lodging, which he did
speedily; for of Barbesi and many francs _per diem_ I had already
enough, and preferred charities nearer home to that of enriching him. I
do, moreover, detest hotel life, and the black-coated varlets that
settle, like so many flies, upon your smallest movement. I have more
than once intrenched myself in my room, determining to starve there
rather than summon in the imps of the bell. With the consul's aid, which
was, I must say, freely given, I secured to myself the disposal of a
snug bedroom and parlor, with a balcony leading into a music-haunted
garden, full of shiny foliage, mostly lemon and myrtle trees, having
also a convenient access to the grand canal. After this, we proceeded to
the Church of the Frari, rich with the two monuments of Titian and
Canova. Both are architectural as well as sculptural. That of Canova is
a repetition of his own model, executed in the well-known Vienna
monument, with the addition, I thought, of a winged lion and one or two
figures not included in the other. The monument of Titian stands
opposite to that already described. The upper portion of it presents a
handsome façade enclosed in three arches, each of which contains a
bas-relief of one of his great pictures. The middle one presents the
Assumption, in sculpture; that on the right the Entombment of Christ;
that on the left the St. Peter Martyr--the picture itself being in the
sacristy of the Church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo. The Frari also
contains a curious and elaborate monument to a doge whose name I forget.
Above sits the doge in his ducal chair; below, four black slaves clad in
white marble, their black knees showing through their white trousers,
support the upper part of the monument upon their heads. Two bronze
Deaths, between the doge and the slaves, bear each a scroll in white
marble, with long inscriptions, which we did not read. The choir was
adorned with the usual row of seats, richly carved in black walnut. From
this rich and interesting temple we passed to the Academia delle belle
Arti.

This institution contains many precious and beautiful works of art. The
Venetian school is, however, to the Florentine much as Rossini's
Barbière to Dante's Divina Commedia. Here all is color, vitality,
energy. The superabundance of life and of temperament does not allow the
severer deliberations of thoughtful art. The finest picture of this
school, the Assumption of Titian, is the intense embodiment of the
present, an ideal moment that presupposes no antecedent and no
successor. It is as startling as a sudden vision. But it is a vision of
life, not of paradise. The Madonna is a grand, simple, human woman,
whose attitude is more rapt than her expression. She stands in the
middle of the picture, upon a mass of clouds, which two pendent cherubs
deliciously loop up. Above, the Eternal Father, wonderfully
foreshortened, looks down upon her. Beneath, the apostles are gazing at
the astonishing revelation. All is in the strongest drawing, the most
vigorous coloring. Yet the pale-eyed Raphaels have more of the inward
heaven in them. For this is a dream of sunset, not of transfiguration.
So great a work of art is, however, a boon beyond absolute criticism.
Like a precious personality, its value settles the account of its being,
however widely it may depart from the standard recognized in other
things.

In the same hall is the last work of Titian, a Pieta, or figure of the
dead Christ upon his mother's knees. This picture is so badly placed
that its effects can only be inferred, absolute glare and darkness
putting out its light and shade. Far from the joyous allegro of Titian's
characteristic style, the coloring presents a greenish pallor, rather
negative and monotonous. The composition of the picture is artistic,
tonic, and harmonious; its expression high and pathetic. The ebbing tide
of the great master's vitality left this pearl on the shore of time.

The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, by Titian, is another of
the famous pictures in this collection. The Virgin is represented as a
maiden of ten years, ascending the steps of the temple at Jerusalem.
The figure and the steps are both of them seen in profile. Her pale-blue
dress is relieved by an oblong glory which surrounds her from head to
foot. More famous is a large Paul Veronese, representing Christ at
supper in the house of the Pharisee. The richness of the Venetian
costumes, the vigor and vitality of the figures, give this picture its
great charm. It is no nearer to Christ and Jerusalem "than I to
Hercules." A large painting by a French artist, in this hall, replaces
the great Paul Veronese taken to Paris by Napoleon I.,--the Cena,--and,
to my mind, replaces it very poorly. The huge paintings of Tintoretto
are among the things that amaze one in Venice. How one hand, guided by
one brain, could, in any average human life, have covered such enormous
spaces of canvas, is a problem and a puzzle. The paintings themselves
are full of vigor, color, and variety. But one naturally values them
less on account of their great number. Of course, in the style of
Raphael or Perugino, a single life could not have produced half of them.
The Venetian school is sketchy, and its figures often have more toilet
than anatomy.

I am almost ashamed to speak of these pictures at all, since I speak of
them so inadequately. Yet, gentle reader, all is not criticism that
criticises, all is not enthusiasm that admires. Copious treatises are
written on these subjects by people who know as little of them as is
possible for a person of average education. Americans have especially to
learn that a general tolerable intelligence does not give a man special
knowledge in matters of art. Among the herd of trans-Atlantic travellers
who yearly throng these galleries, they know most who pretend least to
know.

A brief interval of rest and dinner enabled us to visit the Armenian
Convent at San Lazzaro. For this excursion two rowers were requisite.
Starting at five P. M., we reached the convent in half an hour. It
stands upon an island which its walls and enclosures fill. The porter
opens to us. We have a letter of introduction from Ex-Consul Howills to
Padre Giacomo, and bring also a presentation copy of the late consul's
work on Venice. The padre receives us with courteous gravity. We make
acquaintance with his monkey before we make acquaintance with him. The
monkey leaps on the neophyte's hat, tears off a waxen berry, and eats
it. His master thoughtfully leads us through the dreamy rooms and
passages of the convent. Here is the room that Byron occupied; here is
his name, written in Armenian in his own hand. Here also is Prince
Plonplon's name, written by him in the book of illustrious visitors.
After showing it, the padre offers another book, for commonplace
visitors, in which he invites me to enter my name: I humbly comply. We
visit the chapel, which is handsome, and the pleasant garden. The
printing establishment interests us most. These Armenian fathers are
great polyglots, and print books in a variety of languages. Padre
Giacomo, who speaks good English, shows us an Armenian translation of
Napoleon's Life of Julius Cæsar, which we are surprised and rather
sorry to see. We afterwards hear it suggested that the expense of this
work has probably been borne by the French emperor himself, with a view
to the Eastern question. Among the antiquities of the convent we find a
fine Armenian manuscript of the fourth century; among its modern
curiosities, a book of prayers in thirty languages. In the refectory is
a pulpit, from which one monk reads aloud, while the others dine.
Connected with this convent is a college for the education of Armenian
youths, either for the priesthood or for active life. Another
institution, in Venice proper, receives from this those scholars who
decide upon an ecclesiastical profession. Padre Giacomo had already
bought Consul Howill's book for the convent library. He led us, lastly,
into a small room, in which are kept the publications of the convent, to
be sold for its benefit. Here we made a few purchases, and took leave,
trusting to see Padre Giacomo again.

One of my earliest acts in Venice, after the first preliminaries of
living, was to get from a circulating library the first volume of Mr.
Ruskin's Stones of Venice. I have never been a reader of Mr. Ruskin, and
my position towards him is that of an outside unbeliever. I shun his
partisans and disbelieve his theories. The title of this book, however,
seemed to promise a key to the architectural mysteries of the mirror
city, and I, taking him at his word, reached out eagerly after the same.
But Mr. Ruskin's key opens a great many preliminary doors before
admitting you to the point desired, and my one busy week was far too
short to follow the intricacies of his persuasions. I could easily see
that the book, right or wrong, would add to the pleasure and interest of
investigating the city. Mr. Ruskin is an author who gives to his readers
a great deal of thought and of study. His very positive mode of
statement has this advantage; it sums up one side of the matter so
exhaustively as to make comparatively easy the construction of the
opposite argument, and the final decision between the two. Yet, while
the writer's zeal and genius lead us to follow his reasonings with
interest, and often with pleasure, his judgment scarcely possesses that
weight and impartiality which would lead us to acquiesce in his
decisions. Those who fully yield to his individual charm adopt and
follow his opinions to all extremes. This already shows his power. But
they scarcely become as wise as do those who resist, and having fully
heard him, continue to observe and to think for themselves. And as, in
Coleridge's well-known lines, anxiety is expressed as to the human
agency that can cleanse the River Rhine when that river has cleansed the
city of Cologne, we must confess that our expectations always desire the
man who shall criticise Mr. Ruskin, when he has criticised to his full
extent. For there is one person whom he cannot criticise, and that is
himself. To do this would involve a deliberation of thought, an
exactness of style, to which even Mr. Ruskin cannot pretend.

With his help, however, I did observe the two granite columns in the
Piazzetta, to whose shafts he gives fifteen feet of circumference, and
to their octagonal bases fifty-six, a discrepancy exceeding the
difference which the eye would measure. But he certainly ought to know.
And I found also the columns brought from St. Jean d'Acre, which are, as
he does not mention, square, and of a dark marble, with Oriental
capitals and adornments. And I sought out, in the church of SS. Giov. e
Paolo, two dogal monuments, of which he praises one and criticises the
other with stress. The one praised is that of Doge Mocenigo; the other,
that of Doge Vendramin. I did not find in either a significance to
warrant the extensive notice he gives them. Having learned, with great
satisfaction, that the artist of the monument which "dislikes" him was
afterwards exiled from Venice for forgery, he proceeds to speak of "this
forger's work," allowing no benefit of doubt. And this was my account
with Mr. Ruskin, so far as the Stones of Venice are concerned; for time
so shortened, and objects so multiplied, that I was constrained
thereafter to dispense with his complicated instruments of vision, and
to look at things simply with my own eyes.

We made various visits to the Cathedral of San Marco, whose mosaic
saints, on gold backgrounds, greet you in the portico with delight. The
church is very rich in objects of art and in antiquities. It has columns
from Palestine, dogal monuments, tessellated pavements, in endless
variety. But the mosaics in the sacristy were for me its richest
treasure. They comprise the conscientious labors mentioned by George
Sand, in her Maîtres Mosaistes. The easy arch of the ceiling allows one
to admire them without the painful straining usually entailed by the
study of fresco or other ceiling adornment. In a small chapel we were
shown a large baptismal font brought from Palestine, and the very stone
on which John Baptist's head was cut off!

We went in, one Sunday, hoping to see the famous _palle d'oro_, an
altar-covering in massive gold, exhibited only on rare Festas, of which
this day was one. But while we wedged ourselves in among the crowd, one
of our party descried a boy with the pustules of small pox still fresh
upon his face. We fled in precipitation, marvelling at the sanitary
negligence which allows such exposures to take place at the public risk.

We visited the Church of the Scalzi (Barefooted Friars), and found it
very rich in African and other marbles. It boasts some splendid columns
of _nero antico_. One of the side chapels has four doors executed in
Oriental alabaster, together with simulated hangings in _rosso antico_,
the fringe being carved in _giallo_. Another was adorned with oval slabs
of jasper, very beautiful in color and in polish. The ceiling, painted
in fresco by Tiepolo, was full of light and airy grace.

From this, we went to the Church of the Gesuiti, in high repute for the
richness of its adornments. We found it a basilica, its sides divided by
square piers, and the whole interior, piers and walls, covered with a
damasked pattern wrought in verd antique upon a ground of white marble.
The capitals of the piers were heavily gilded. The baldecchino of the
high altar was dome-shaped, and covered on the outside with a scolloped
pattern in verd antique, each scollop having a slender bordering of
white marble. The baldecchino is supported by four twisted columns
formed of small rounded pieces of verd antique closely joined together.
The pulpit has a heavy marble drapery, with simulated fringe, all in the
pattern already mentioned. The whole is more luxurious than beautiful.
Its art bears no proportion to its expense. To those who think of the
Jesuits in general as I do, it will hardly stand as a monument of
saintly service and simplicity. Near the high altar rest the ashes of
the last Doge of Venice. The spot is designated by a simple slab,
forming part of the pavement. On it is written, "_Æternitate suoe
Manini cineres_."

We visited two very good collections of antiquities, in one of which we
found the door of the Bucentaur, and its banner of crimson silk, with
gilded designs. Here were portraits of doges, curious arms, majolicas,
and old Venetian glass, much finer than that of the present day. Here
also are collected many relics of Canova, the most interesting of which
are the small designs for his great works. Over the door of this museum
stands a pathetic inscription to the effect that Michel Correr,
"_vedendo cadere la patria_" had collected here many things of patriotic
and historical interest.

But these prosaic recounts are only the record of actual steps. The
charm, the delight of Venice they do not and cannot express. My
recollections of the city invest her with a solemn and stately
personality. I did not see her bowed beneath the Austrian yoke,
betrayed, but not sold, refusing to be cajoled and comforted. That
cloud was removed. The shops were busy and prosperous, the streets
thronged with people, the canals gay with gondolas, bearing also barges
and large and small boats of very various patterns. The Piazza was
filled at night with social groups of people, less childish, methought,
than other Italians, and with a more visible purpose in them. Still, the
contrast of the past and present, no longer shameful and agonizing, was
full of melancholy. Venice can never be what she has been. The present
world has no room for a repetition of her former career. But she can be
a prosperous and happy Christian commonwealth, with her offices and
dignities vested in her own sons, with education and political rights
secured to all her children. And this is better, in the present day,
than to be the tyrant of one half of the world, the fear and admiration
of the other. For Peace, now, with open hands, bestows the blessings
which War formerly compelled with iron grasp and frowning brow. The true
compulsion now is to compel the world to have need of you, by the
excellence of your service. Industry has a deeper mine of wealth than
piracy or plunder can ever open. A man's success is in strict proportion
to his use; and the servant of all is the master of all. So the new
Venice for which I look is to be no more like the old Venice than the
new Jerusalem will be like the city of David. Moral grandeur must make
her great. Justice must make her people happy. And so beautiful and
delightful is she, that I cannot help echoing the Psalmist's
exclamation, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! They shall prosper who
love thee!"

A wash of waters, a play of lights, a breeze that cools like the
perfumed water of the Narguilé, a constant interchange of accents
musically softened from the soft Italian itself, which seems hard in
comparison with them; rows of palaces that have swallowed their own
story; churches modelled upon the water like wax-flowers upon a mirror;
balconies with hangings of yellow-brown and white; dark canals, that
suggest easy murders and throwing over of victims; music on the water;
robust voices, of well-defined character; columns and arches, over which
Mr. Ruskin raves, and which for him are significant of religion or
irreligion; resolute-looking men and women; a world of history and
legend which he who has to live in to-day can scarcely afford time to
decipher,--this is Venice as I have seen her, and would see her again.
Rejoice, O sister cities, that she is free. Visit her with your golden
rain, O travellers; with your golden sympathy, O poets! Enrich her,
commerce! Protect her, Christian faith of nations, for she is
free--free!

To me she is already a recollection. For after the days of which I have
so briefly told, a far summons carried me to an elder land, a more
mournful mystery. Looking, but not loving my last, I packed the
wearisome trunk, paid for the nights and dinners, owing little else at
my lodging. A certain nightingale, who, at eight precisely every
morning, broke in upon my slumbers with delicious singing, did not
figure in the bill. But remembering his priceless song, I almost regret
my objections to certain items set down in the account against me. And I
had a last row in the gondola, and a last ice in the Piazzetta, and,
last of all, a midnight embarkation on board the Austrian steamer for
Trieste. Farewell, Sebastiano, my trusty gondolier. I shall not hear you
cry, "Oh, juiné" (giovine) again. I see the line of the Piazzetta,
defined by the lamps. Brightly may they burn; glad be the hearts that
beat near them. And now they are all out of sight, and the one outside
light is disappearing, too. Farewell, wonderful Venice. Thou wert
painfully gotten together, no doubt, like other dwelling-places of man.
Thou camest of toiling and moiling, planning, digging, and
stone-breaking. But thou lookest to have risen from the waters like a
dream. And this wholeness of effect makes thee a great work of art, not
henceforth to be plundered by the powerful ones of the earth, but to be
cherished by the lovers of beauty, studied by the lovers of art.

I will return upon my steps to mention one feature in the new Venice, a
small and obscure one, whose significance greatly interested me. Having
heard of a Protestant Italian congregation in the neighborhood of one of
the great Catholic temples, I turned my steps one evening towards one of
its meetings, and found, in a large upper chamber, a numerous assemblage
of Italians of various grades, chiefly people of the poorer class, who
listened with attention to a fervent address from a young clergyman of
their own nation. The discourse had much of the spirit of religion,
little of its technic, and was thereby, I thought, the better adapted
to the feeling of the congregation. A sprinkling of well-dressed men was
observable. A prayer followed the discourse, in which the auditors
joined with a hearty amen. This little kernel of Protestantism, dropped
in a field so new, gave me the assurance of the presence of one of the
most important elements in the progress and prosperity of any state, to
wit, that of religious liberty.

It is quite true that the sects under whose protection the Protestant
Venetian church has sprung up--the Scotch and Swiss Presbyterians--can
in no sense be considered as exponents of liberal ideas in religion.
Calvinism, _per se_, is as absolute as Catholicism, and as cruel. The
Calvinistic hell is but an adjourned Inquisition, in which
controversialists have as great satisfaction in tormenting the souls of
their opponents as Torquemada had in tormenting their bodies. Yet
Calvinism itself is a rough and barbaric symbolization of great truths
which the discipline of Catholicism tended ever more and more to
distance from the efficient lives of men. The principle of individual
responsibility, the impossibility of moral action without religious
liberty, the inward character of religious acts and experiences, in
contradistinction to the precepts and practice of a religion which had
become all form, all observance. These ideas, gathered together by a
vigorous mind, and made efficient by the constitution of a sect or
party, were capable of regenerating modern Europe, and did so. For it
will be found that all of its Protestant piety ran within the bounds of
this somewhat narrow channel. But even here, the liberalizing
influences of time are irresistible, and although the cruel and
insufficient doctrines are still subscribed to by zealous millions, the
practice and culture of the church itself become more and more liberal.
The zeal for propagandism, which characterizes the less tolerant portion
of the Protestant sects, makes their ministration on new ground
efficient and valuable. The material hell, from which, in good faith,
they seek to deliver those who hear them, symbolizes the infinite danger
and loss to man of a life passed without the impulses and restraints of
religion. A more philosophic statement would be far less tangible to the
minds alike of teacher and disciple. Their intervention in communities
characterized by a low grade of religious culture is therefore useful,
perhaps indispensable. And while I value and prize my own religious
connections beyond aught else, I am thankful to the American missions
that support Waldense preaching in Italy. They at least teach that a man
is to think for himself, pray for himself; and their worship, even when
rudest and most uncultured, is more an instruction of the multitude than
a propitiation of the infinite love which is always ready to do for us
more and better than we can ask.

So, little Protestant congregation in Venice, my heart bids you God
speed! But may the love of God be preached to you rather than the
torment of fear, and may the simplicity and beauty of the Christian
doctrine and example preserve you alike from the passional and the
metaphysical dangers of the day.



GREECE AND THE VOYAGE THITHER.

"in a transition state."


We have left Venice. We have passed an intolerable night on board the
Austrian steamer, whose state-rooms are without air, its cabin without
quiet, and its deck without shelter. So inconvenient a transport, in
these days of steamboat luxury, makes one laugh and wonder. Trieste, our
stopping-place, is the strangest mongrel, a perfect cur of a city
(cur-i-o-sity). It is neither Italian, Greek, nor German, but all three
of these, and many more. The hotel servants speak German and Italian,
the shop-keepers also. Paper money passes without fight or _agio_ upon
the prices demanded. It seems to be par, with gold and silver at a
premium. Much Oriental-looking merchandise is seen in the shop windows.
The situation is fine, the port first rate.

Our consul here, Mr. Alex. Thayer, is the author of the Life of
Beethoven, already favorably known to the world as far as the first
volume. The second, not yet completed, is looked for with interest. Mr.
Thayer's kind attentions made our short stay in Trieste pleasant, and
our transit to the Austrian Lloyd's steamer easy, and within thirty-six
hours after our arrival we found ourselves embarked on board the latter,
_en route_ for Syra, where we should find another Austrian Lloyd waiting
to convey us to the Piræus, the well-known port of Athens.

Our voyage began with a stormy day. Incessant rain soaked the deck. A
charming little upper cabin, cushioned and windowed like a luxurious
carriage, gave us shelter, combined with fresh air--the cordial of those
who "_coelum et animum mutant, quia trans mare current_." Here I
pillowed myself in inevitable idleness, now become, alas! too familiar,
and amused myself with the energetic _caquet_ of my companions.

An elderly Greek gentleman, Count Lunzi of Zante, with a pleasing
daughter; a young Austrian, accompanied by a pretty sister; an elderly
Neapolitan bachelor,--these were our fellow-passengers in the first
cabin. In the second cabin were eleven friars, and an intelligent
Venetian apothecary, with whom I subsequently made acquaintance. The
captain, a middle-aged Dalmatian, came and went. He wore over his
uniform a capote of India rubber cloth, which he laid aside when he came
into our deck-parlor for a brief sitting and a whiff of tobacco. The
gentlemen all smoked without apology. The little Greek lady soon became
violently seasick, and the Austrian maiden followed. The neophyte and
the Austrian brother felt no pang, but the neophyte's mother was dizzy
and uncomfortable. Count Lunzi and the Neapolitan kept up a perpetual
conversation in French, having many mutual acquaintances, whose absence
they found it worth while to improve. I blessed their loquacity, which
beguiled for me the weary, helpless hours. We went down to dinner; at
tea-time we were _non compos mensis_. The state-rooms below being
intensely hot and close in consequence of the rain, we all staid up
stairs as long as possible, and our final retreat was made in the order
of our symptoms.

The following morning brought us the sun. The rain was at an end, and
the sea grew less turbulent. The day was Sunday, and the unmistakable
accents of theological controversy saluted my ears as I ascended the
companion-way, and took my place in the deck-parlor. Count Lunzi, a
liberal, and a student of German criticism, was vigorously belaboring
three of the friars, who replied to him whenever they were able to get a
word in, which was not often. His arguments supported the action of the
Italian government in disbanding all monastic fraternities throughout
its dominions, giving to each member a small pension, and inviting all
to live by exercising the duties of their profession as secular priests.
Our friars had concluded to expatriate, rather than secularize,
themselves, and were now _en route_ for Kaiafa, a place concerning which
I could only learn that it was in Syria. They were impugned, according
to the ancient superstition, as the causes of our bad embarkation and
rough voyage. They were young and vigorous men, and the old count not
unreasonably urged them to abandon a career now recognized as useless
and obsolete, and to earn their bread by some availing labor. The circle
of the controversy widened. More friars came up from below. The ship's
surgeon joined himself to them, the Venetian siding with the count. The
Neapolitan stood by to see fair play, and a good part of the day of rest
was occupied by this symphony of discord.

I confess that, although the friars' opinions were abhorrent to mine, I
yet wished that they might have been let alone. Even Puritan Milton
does not set a Calvinistic angel to argue with Adam and Eve concerning
the justice of their expulsion from Paradise. The journey itself was
pain enough, without the reprobation. As the friars had been turned out
of their comfortable nests, and were poor and disconsolate, I myself
would sooner have given them an obolus unjustified by theory than a
diatribe justified by logic. But the old count was sincere and able, and
at least presented to them views greatly in advance of their bigotry and
superstition. While this conversation went on, we passed Lissa, where
the Italian fleet was repulsed by the Austrians, during the war of
Italian unity. Our fellow-passenger of the nation second named quietly
exults over this event. He does well. Austrian victories have been rare
of late. Of the day following my diary says,--

June 17.--In sight of the Acroceraunian mountains and shore of Albania.
Vessel laboring with head wind, I with Guizot's Meditations, which also
have some head wind in them. They seem to me inconclusive in statement,
and insufficient in thought, presenting, nevertheless, some facts and
considerations of interest. At a little before two P. M., we pass Fano,
the island in which Calypso could not console herself; and no wonder. At
two we enter the channel of Corfu, but do not reach the shore itself
until five o'clock. A boat conveys us to the shore, where, with our
Austrian friends, we engage a carriage, and drive to view the environs.

This is my first experience of Greece. The streets are narrow and
irregular, the men mostly in European costume, with here and there a
_fustanella_. Our drive took us to a picturesque eminence, commanding a
lovely prospect. It led us through a sort of Elysian field, planted with
shade trees, where the populace on gala days go to sip coffee, and meet
their friends and neighbors. Returning to the town, we pass several
large hotels and cafés, at one of which we order ices. I puzzle myself
in vain with the Greek signs over the shop windows. Our leave of absence
having expired, we hasten back to the steamer, but find its departure
delayed by the labor of embarking a Turkish dignitary, Achmed Pacha,
who, with a numerous suite, male and female, is to take passage with us
for the Dardanelles.

A steamer, bearing the Crescent flag at her mast-head, was anchored
alongside of our own. Our hitherto quiet quarters were become a little
Babel of strange tongues and costumes. Any costume artist would have
gone mad with delight over the variety of coats and colors which our new
visitors displayed. Those wonderful jackets and capotes, which are the
romance of stage and fancy-ball attire, here appeared as the common
prose of every-day dress. Every man wore a fez. I remember a handsome
youth, whose crimson head-gear contrasted with a white sheepskin jacket
with wide, hanging sleeves--the sleeves not worn on the arms, but at the
back; the close vest, loose, short skirt, and leggings were also
white--the whole very effective. He was only one figure of a brilliant
panorama, but treacherous memory does not give me the features of the
others.

Our vessel, meanwhile, was engaged in swallowing the contents of the
Turkish steamer with the same deliberation with which an anaconda
swallows a bullock. The Turks and Albanians might scream and chatter,
and declaim the whole Koran at their pleasure, the great crane went
steadily on--hoisting bale after bale, and lowering the same into our
hold. This household stuff consisted principally of rugs and bedding,
with trunks, boxes, and kitchen furniture, and some mysterious bundles
whose contents could not be conjectured.

The sight of this unwholesome-looking luggage suggested to some of us
possible communication of cholera, or eastern plague. The neophyte and I
sat hand in hand, looking ruefully on, and wondering how soon we should
break out. But when the dry goods were disposed of, the transfer of the
human merchandise from one vessel to the other seized our attention, and
put our fears out of sight.

Our first view of the pacha's _harem_ showed us a dozen or more women
crouching on the deck of the Turkish steamer, their heads and faces
bundled up with white muslin veils, which concealed hair, forehead,
mouth, and chin, leaving exposed to view only the triangle of the eyes
and nose. Several children were there, who at first sight all appeared
equally dirty and ill-dressed. We were afterwards able to distinguish
differences between them.

The women and children came on board in a body, and took up a position
on the starboard side of the deck. With them came an old man-servant,
in a long garment of whitish woollen cloth, who defined their boundaries
by piling up certain bales of property. In the space thus marked off,
mattresses were at once laid down and spread with coverlets; for these
women were to pass night as well as day on deck. Five ladies of the
pacha's family at once intrenched themselves in one of the small cabins
below, where, with five children, they continued for the remainder of
the voyage, without exercise or ventilation. Too sacred to be seen by
human eyes, these ladies made us aware of their presence by the sound of
their incessant chattering, by the odor of their tobacco, and by the
screaming of one of their little ones, an infant of eight months.

When these things had been accomplished, our captain sent word to the
pacha that he was ready to depart. The great man's easy-chair--by no
means a splendid one--was then carried on board, and the great man
himself, accompanied by his son-in-law and his dragoman, came among us.
He was a short, stout person, some fifty years of age, and wore a dark
military coat, with a gold stripe on the shoulder, and lilac trousers.
His dragoman was a Greek. He and his suite smoked vigorously, and stared
somewhat, as, with the neophyte on one side and the little Austrian lady
on the other, I walked up and down the deck. The women and the old
servant all slept _à la belle étoile_. The pacha and his officers had
state-rooms in the saloon; the other men were in the third cabin. I
forgot to say that at Corfu we left Count Lunzi and his amiable
daughter, whose gracious manners and good English did credit to Mrs.
Hills's excellent tuition, which the young lady had enjoyed for some
years at her well-known school in Athens.

When we came on deck the next morning, we found some of the Turkish
women still recumbent, others seated upon their mattresses. Two of the
children, a girl of ten years and a boy of twelve, went about under
orders, and carried dishes and water-vessels between the cabin and the
deck. We afterwards learned that these were Albanian slaves. The girl
was named Haspir, the boy Ali. The first had large dark eyes and a
melancholy expression of countenance; the boy also had Oriental eyes,
whose mischievous twinkle was tempered by the gravity of his situation.
The old servant, whom they called Baba, ate his breakfast in a corner.
He had a miscellaneous looking dish of fish, bread, and olives. The
women fed chiefly, as far as I could judge, on cucumbers and radishes,
which they held and munched. Water was given from a brazen pitcher, of a
pattern decidedly Oriental. Coffee was served to the invisible family in
the small cabin. I did not see the women on deck partake of it. But from
this time the scope of my observations was limited. A canvas partition,
made fast to the mast overhead, now intervened, to preserve this portion
of the _harem_ from the pollution of external regards. Henceforth, we
had glimpses of its members only when a lurch of the steamer swayed the
canvas wall far out of equilibrium. The _far niente_ seemed to be their
fate, without alternative. Nor book nor needle had they. The children
came outside, and peeped at us. Baba, grim guardian of the household,
sat or squatted among his bales, oftenest quite unoccupied, but
sometimes smoking, or chattering with the children. I took my modest
drawing-book, and, with unsteady hand, began to sketch him in pen and
ink. He soon divined my occupation, and kept as still as a mouse until
by a sign I released him, when he begged, in the same language, to see
what I had drawn. I next tried to get a _croquis_ of a pretty little
girl who played about, wearing a pink wadded sack over a gown and
trousers of common flowered calico, buff and brown. She was disposed to
wriggle out of sight; but Baba threatened her, and she was still.

Presently, the slave-boy, Ali, came up from the select cabin below,
bearing in his arms an ill-conditioned little creature, two years of
age, who had come on board in a cashmere pelisse lined with fur, a pink
wadded under-jacket, and a pair of trousers of dirty common calico. He
had now discarded the fur-pelisse. On his round little head he wore a
cap of pink cashmere, soiled and defaced, with a large gold coin
attached to it. A natural weakness drew me towards the little wretch,
whom I tried to caress. Ali patted him tenderly, and said, "Pacha." This
was indeed the youngest member, save one, of the pacha's family--the
true baby being the infant secluded down stairs, whose frequent cries
appealed in vain for change of air and of scene. The two-year-old had
already the title of bey.

"Can a baby a bey be?" I asked, provoking the disgust which a pun is
sure to awaken in those who have not made it.

We met the pacha at meals, interchanging mute salutations. He had a
pleasant, helpless sort of smile, and ate according to the orthodox
standard of nicety. On deck some attendant constantly brought him a pipe
composed of a large knob of amber, which served as a mouth piece, and a
reed some eight inches in length, bearing a lighted cigar.

As we sat much in our round house, it was inevitable that I should at
last establish communication with him through the mediation of a young
Greek passenger, who spoke both Turkish and French.

It was from the pacha that I learned that Haspir and Ali were slaves.
The little girl whom I had sketched was his daughter. I inquired about a
girl somewhat younger, who played with this one. The pacha signified
that he had given the mother of his daughter to one of his men, and that
the second little girl was born of this connection. The two younger
children already spoken of were born of another mother, probably each of
a different one.

"O Christian marriage!" I thought, as I looked on this miscellaneous and
inorganic family, "let us not complain of thy burdens."

With us the birth of a child is the strongest bond of union between its
parents; with the Oriental it is the signal for separation. No society
will ever permanently increase whose structure rests on an architecture
so feeble. The Turkish empire might spread by conquest and thrive by
plunder. But at home it can never compete with nations in which family
life has individuality of centre and equality of obligation. With Greeks
and Albanians to work for them, and pay them tribute, the Turks are able
to attain a certain wealth. It is the wealth, however, which
impoverishes mankind, exhausting the sources of industry and of
enterprise. Let the Turk live upon what he can earn, and we shall hear
little of him.

The women sometimes struggled out from their canvas enclosure, and went
below on various errands. On these occasions they were enveloped in a
straight striped covering, white and red, much like a summer
counterpane. This was thrown over the head, held together between the
teeth, and reached to the feet. It left in view their muslin
head-dresses, and calico trousers, gathered at the ankle, nothing more.
A few were barefoot--one or two only wore stockings. Most of them were
shod with _brodequins_, of a size usually worn by men.

At a late hour in the afternoon, Ali brought to their enclosure a round
metal dish of stewed meat, cut in small pieces for the convenience of
those whose customs are present proof that fingers were made before
knives and forks. A great dish of rice simultaneously made its
appearance. Baba chattered very much, Ali made himself busy, and a
little internal commotion became perceptible behind the canvas wall.

My opportunity of observing Turkish manners was as brief as it was
limited. Having taken the Moslems on board on Monday, well towards
evening, the Wednesday following saw, at ten A. M., my exit from the
steamer. For we were now in the harbor of Syra. When I came on deck,
soon after five A. M., the pacha sent me coffee in a little cup with a
silver stand. It was prepared after the Turkish manner, and was fragrant
and delicious. While we were at breakfast, Mr. Saponzaki, American
consul at Syra, came on board in search of me, followed soon by an old
friend, Mr. Evangelides. With real regret I took leave of the friendly
captain and pleasant companions of the voyage. I shook hands with the
pacha, not unmindful of the miseries of Crete. Baba also gave me a
parting salutation. He was a nice observer of womanly actions, and his
farewell gesture seemed to say, "Although barefaced, you are
respectable;" which, if he really meant it, was a great deal for him to
allow. Our luggage was now transferred on board the smaller steamer,
which was to sail at six P. M. for the Piræus, and the neophyte and
myself soon found ourselves under the shelter of Mr. Evangelides' roof,
where his Greek wife made us cordially welcome.



SYRA.


Mr. Evangelides was one of a number of youths brought to the United
States, after the war of Greek independence, for aid and education. The
latter was the chief endowment with which his adopted country returned
him to his native land. The value of this gift he was soon to realize,
though not without previous hardships and privations. After a year or
two of trial, he commenced a school in Syra. This school was soon
filled with pupils, and many intelligent and successful Greeks of the
present day are among his old scholars. Besides methods of education, he
brought from America a novel idea--that of the value of real estate.
Looking about Syra, and becoming convinced of its inevitable growth, he
invested the surplus of his earnings in tracts of land in the immediate
neighborhood of the then small town, to the utter mystification of his
neighbors. That one should invest in jewels, arms, a house, or a
vineyard, would have seemed to them natural enough; but what any man
should want of mere land scarcely fit for tillage, was beyond their
comprehension. The expected growth was not slow in coming. Mr.
Evangelides soon began to realize handsomely, as we should say, from his
investment, and is now esteemed a man of wealth. His neighbors
thereafter named him "the Greek Yankee;" and I must say that he seems to
hold equally to the two belongings, in spite of the Scripture caution.

Under the escort of my old friend, I went out to see the town, and to
make acquaintance with the most eminent of the inhabitants, the custom
of the country making the duty of the first call incumbent upon the
person newly arrived.

Unfurling a large umbrella, and trembling with the fear of sun-stroke, I
proceeded to climb the steep and narrow streets of the town. We first
incommode with our presence the governor of the Cyclades, a patriotic
Greek, who speaks good English and good sense. We talk of Cretan
affairs; he is not sanguine as to the efficient intervention of the
European powers.

We next call upon the archbishop, at whose house we are received by a
black servant in Frank dress, speaking good French. Presently the
prelate appeared--a tall, gentlemanly person in a rich costume, one
feature of which was a medallion, brilliant with precious stones of
various colors. His reverence had made his studies in Germany, and spoke
the language of that country quite fluently. Tholuck had been his
especial professor, but he had also known Bauer; and he took some pains
to assure me that the latter was not an irreligious man, in spite of the
hardihood of his criticism. He deplored the absence of a state religion
in America. I told him that the progress of religion in our country
seemed to establish the fact that society attains the best religious
culture through the greatest religious liberty. He replied that the
members should all be united under one head. "Yes," said I, "but the
Head is invisible;" and he repeated after me, "Indeed, the Head is
invisible." I will here remark that nothing could have been more
refreshing to the New England mind than this immediate introduction to
the theological opinions of the East.

Other refreshment, however, was in store for me--the sweetmeats and
water which form the somewhat symbolical staple of Greek hospitality. Of
these I partook in the orthodox manner. One dish only is brought in, but
many spoons, one of which each guest dips into the _gliko_ (sweet), and,
having partaken, drops the spoon into the glass of fresh water which
always follows. Turkish coffee was afterwards served in small cups
without spoons. And now, not knowing what sermons or other duties my
presence might impede, I took leave, much gratified by the interview.

We passed from hence to the house of the Austrian consul, Dr. Hahn, a
writer of scientific travels, and a student of antiquities. He had not
long before visited the Island of Santorin, whose recently-awakened
volcano interests the world of science. He told me of a house newly
excavated in this region, containing tools and implements as old, at
least, as those of the Lacustrine period, and, in his opinion, somewhat
older. This house had been deeply buried in ashes by an ancient
eruption, so violent as to have eviscerated the volcano of that time,
which subsequently collapsed. The depth of ashes he stated as
considerably greater than that found in any part of the Pompeian
excavation, being at least thirty yards. Hewn stones were found here,
but no metal implements, nor traces of any. Caucasian skulls were also
found, and pottery of a finer description than that belonging to the
Lacustrine period. He gave me a model of a small pitcher discovered
among the ruins, of which the nose was shaped like the beak of a bird,
with a further imitation of the eye on either side. Another small vessel
was ornamented by the model of a human breast, to denote plenty. He had
also plaster casts of skulls, arm and jaw bones, and flint saws, upon
which he descanted with great vivacity.

Dr. Hahn's courteous and charming manners caused me to remember him as
one of the many Austrians whose amiable qualities make us doubly regret
the _onus_ which the untimely policy of their government throws upon
them.

These visits at end, Mr. Evangelides took me home to dinner, where the
best Greek dishes were enhanced by Samian wine. We had scarcely dined
when the archbishop, followed by an attendant priest, came to return our
visit. The Greeks present all kissed his hand, and _gliko_ and coffee
were speedily offered. We resumed our conversation of the morning, and
the celibacy of the clerical hierarchy came next in order in our
discussion. The father was in something of a strait between the
Christian dignification of marriage and its ascetic depreciation. The
arrival of other visitors forced us to part, with this interesting point
still unsettled. We next visited the wife of the American
vice-consul--Mr. Saponzaki--a handsome person, who received us with
great cordiality. After a brief sojourn, we walked down to the landing,
visiting the foundery, where they were making brass cannon, and the
_Acadi_, the smart little steamer given by the Greeks of London to the
Cretan cause. She ran our blockade in the late war, but is now engaged
in a more honest service, for she runs the Turkish blockade, and carries
the means of subsistence to the Cretans. Here we met Mr. DeKay, a
youthful Philcandiote of our own country. He had already made himself
familiar with the state of things in Candia, and, like the
blockade-runner, was serving in his second war, with the difference that
his former record showed him to have been always on the side of
Christian loyalty.

Finally, amid thanks and farewells, a small boat took us alongside of
the Austrian steamer, which carried us comfortably, and by magnificent
moonlight, to the Piræus.



PIRÆUS--ATHENS.


We were still soundly asleep when the cameriere knocked at the door of
our cabin, crying, "Signora, here we are at the Piræus." The hour was
four of the morning, but we were now come to the regions in which men
use the two ends of the day, and throw away the middle. We, therefore,
seized the end offered to us, and as briefly as possible made our way on
deck, where we found a commissionaire from the Hotel des Etrangers, at
Athens. We had expected to meet here the chief of our party, who had
gone before us to Athens. The commissionaire, however, brought us a
note, telling of an accident whose fatigues did not allow him to wait
upon us in person. We were soon in the small boat, and soon after in the
carriage, intent upon reaching Athens. Pireo, as they call the classic
port, is quite a bustling place, the harbor gay with shipping and flags
of all nations. The drive to the Capitol occupies three quarters of an
hour. The half-way point of the distance is marked by two rival _khans_,
at one of which the driver of a public vehicle always stops to water his
horses and light his cigar. Here a plate of _lokumia_, a sweetmeat
something like fig-paste, and glasses of fresh water, were brought out
and offered to us. Soon we came in sight of the Acropolis, not without
an indescribable puzzle at beholding, in commonplace existence, one of
those dreams whose mystical beauty we never expect to realize, and fear
to dissipate. Now we drive through many streets and squares, and
finally stop at a hotel in front of one of the prettiest of the latter,
from whose door our chief issues to welcome us. With him is the elder
neophyte, who has so far shared his wanderings, and latterly the near
danger of shipwreck. Under her guidance we walk out, after breakfast, to
look at the shops in Hermes Street, but the glaring sun soon drives us
back to our quarters. We take the midday nap, dine, and at sunset drive
to the Acropolis. On our way thither, we pass the remaining columns of
the Temple of Jupiter Olympius, a Roman-Greek structure, the work of
Adrian. These columns, sixteen in number, stand on a level area of some
extent. One of them, overthrown by an earthquake, lies in ruins, its
separate segments suggesting the image of gigantic vertebræ. The spine
is indeed a column, but it has the advantage of being flexible, and the
method and principle of its unity are not imitable by human architects.
At the Acropolis a wooden gate opens for our admission, and a man in
half-military costume follows our steps.

We visit first the Propylea, or five gates, then the Parthenon. Our
guide points out the beauty of its Doric columns, the perfection of
their execution--the two uniting faces of each of their pieces being
polished, so as to allow of their entire union. Here stood the great
statue of Minerva Medica; here, the table for sacrifice. Here are the
ways on which the ponderous doors opened and shut. And Pericles caused
it to be built; and this, his marble utterance, is now a lame sentence,
with half its sense left out. In this corner is the high Venetian
tower, a solid relic, modern beside that which it guards. And worse than
any wrong _dénouement_ of a novel is the intelligence here given you
that the Parthenon stood entire not two hundred years ago, and that the
explosion of a powder magazine, connected with this Venetian
fortification, shattered its matchless beauty.

Here is the Temple of Victory. Within are the bas-reliefs of the
Victories arriving in the hurry of their glorious errands. Something so
they tumbled in upon us when Sherman conquered the Carolinas, and
Sheridan the valley of the Shenandoah, when Lee surrendered, and the
glad president went to Richmond. One of these Victories is untying her
sandal, in token of her permanent abiding. Yet all of them have trooped
away long since, scared by the hideous havoc of barbarians. And the
bas-reliefs, their marble shadows, have all been battered and mutilated
into the saddest mockery of their original tradition. The statue of
Wingless Victory that stood in the little temple, has long been absent
and unaccounted for. But the only Victory that the Parthenon now can
seize or desire is this very Wingless Victory, the triumph of a power
that retreats not--the power of Truth.

I give heed to all that is told me in a dreamy and desolate manner. It
is true, no doubt--this was, and this, and this; but what I see is none
the less emptiness--the broken eggshell of a civilization which Time has
hatched and devoured. And this incapacity to reconstruct the past goes
with me through most of my days in Athens. The city is so modern, and
its circle so small! The trumpeters who shriek around the Theseum in the
morning, the _café_ keeper who taxes you for a chair beneath the shadow
of the Olympian columns, the _custode_ who hangs about to see that you
do not break the broken marbles further, or carry off their piteous
fragments, all of these are significant of modern Greece; but the ruins
have nothing to do with it.

Poor as these relics are in comparison with what one would wish them to
be, they are still priceless. This Greek marble is the noblest in
descent; it needs no eulogy. These forms have given the model for a
hundred familiar and commonplace works, which caught a little gleam of
their glory, squaring to shapeliness some town-house of the west, or
southern bank or church. So well do we know them in the prose of modern
design, that we are startled at seeing them transfigured in the poetry
of their own conception. Poor old age! poor columns!

And poor Greece, plundered by Roman, Christian, and Mussulman. Hers were
the lovely statues that grace the halls of the Vatican--at least the
loveliest of them. And Rome shows to this day two colossal groups, of
which one bears the inscription, "_Opus Praxitelæ_," the other that of
"_Opus Phidiæ_." And Naples has a Greek treasure or two, one thinks,
besides her wealth of sculptural gems, of which the best are of Greek
workmanship. And in England those bas-reliefs which are the treasure of
art students and the wonder of the world, were pulled from the pediment
of the Parthenon, like the pearly teeth from a fair mouth, the mournful
gaps remaining open in the sight of the unforgiving world. "Thou art old
and decrepit," said England. "I am still in strength and in vigor. All
else has gone, as well thy dower as thy earnings. Thou hast but these
left. I want them; so give them me."

Royal Munich also had his share. The relict of Lola Montes did to the
temple at Egina what Lord Elgin did to the Parthenon, inflicting worse
damage upon its architecture. At the time, the unsettled state of the
country, and the desire to preserve things so costly and beautiful, may
be accepted as excuses for such acts. But when Greece shall have a
museum fit to preserve the marbles now huddled in the Theseum, or left
exposed on the highways, then she may demand back the Elgin and Bavarian
marbles. She will then deserve to receive them again. Nor could she,
methinks, do better than devote to this noble purpose some of the
superfluous extent of Otho's monstrous palace, whose emptiness afflicts
the visitor with sad waste of room and of good material. Making all
allowance for the removal of the Penates of its late occupants, it is
still obvious that these two luxurious wrens occupied but a small
portion of this eagle's nest. A fine gallery could as easily be spared
from its endless apartments as are the public galleries from the
Vatican.

Nor should this new kingling and his Russian bride be encouraged to
people such an extent of masonry with smart aid-de-camps, lying
diplomats, and plundering stewards and _dames d'honneur_. For pity's
sake, let the poor kingdom have a modest representative, who shall
follow the spirit of modern reform, and administer the people's revenues
with clean hands. A sculpture gallery, therefore, in the palace by all
means, open to the public, as are the galleries of Italian palaces. And
these marbles in the Theseum and elsewhere--fie upon them! Not only are
they so crowded that one cannot see them, but so dirty that one cannot
discern their features. "Are they marble?" one asks, for a thick coating
of the sand and dust in which they were embodied for ages still envelops
them, and can only be removed by careful artistic intervention.

A little money, please, king and Parliament, for these unhappy ones. The
gift would repay itself in the end, for a respectable collection of
authentic Greek remains on the very soil in which they were found would
bring here many of the wide-ranging students of art and antiquity. A
little money, please, for good investment is good economy. Moreover,
despite the velvet flatteries and smiling treasons of diplomacy, the
present government of Greece is, as every government should be, on good
behavior before the people. Wonderfully clever, enterprising, and
liberal have the French people made the author of the Life of Julius
Cæsar. Wonderfully reformative did the radicals of twenty years since
make the pope. And the Greek nation, taken in the large, may prove to
have some common sense to impart to its symbolical head, of whom we can
only hope that the something rotten in the state of Denmark may not have
been taken from it to corrupt the state of Greece.



EXPEDITIONS--NAUPLIA.


A few days of midsummer passed in Athens make welcome any summons that
calls one out of it. Majestic as the past is, one likes to have its grim
skeleton a little cushioned over by the æsthetic of the present, and, at
the present season, this is not to be had, even in its poorest and
cheapest forms. The heat, moreover, though tempered by healthful
breezes, is yet of a kind and degree to tell heavily upon a northern
constitution. To take exercise of any kind, between ten A. M. and six P.
M., is uncomfortable and far from safe. How delightful, therefore, to
pack one's little budget, and start upon a cruise!

For the government, we must confess, is very hospitable to us. Our chief
veteran goes about to distribute clothing to the Cretan refugees, who,
in advanced stages of nakedness, congregate in Egina, Syra, Argos, and
other places, as well as in Athens. And he asks the government, and the
government lends its steamer, the Parados, for the philanthropic voyage.
So we drive down to the Pireo and embark, and are on our way. A pleasant
little Athenian lady accompanies us, together with her father, a Cretan
by birth, and a man who has been much in the service of the government.
Our travelling library for this occasion is reduced to a copy of
Machiavelli's Principe, a volume of Muir's Greece, and a Greek
phrase-book on Ollendorff's principle. We have also some worsted work;
but one of us, the writer of these notes, has added to these another
occupation, another interest.

Take note that the beds of the hotel at Athens are defended by
mosquito-nets, which show, here and there, the marks of age. Take note
that we close these nettings the first night a little carelessly,
remembering Cuba, and expecting nothing worse. Take note that we neither
wear gloves at night, nor bandage our arms and wrists, and then take
note of what follows.

A fiery stinging of needle points in every accessible part of your body.
Each new bite is like a new star of torment in the milky way of your
corporeal repose. These creatures warn not, like the honest American
mosquito, rattlesnake, or bore, of their intended descent upon you. In
comparison with their silent impudence, the familiar humming of our
Yankee torments becomes an apologetic murmur, significant of, "We are
very sorry indeed, but we cannot well do otherwise." This is the
language of the dun--the Greek insect has the quiet of the thief.

So much for the action; now for the result. You awake uncomfortably,
and, provoked here and there, begin to retort upon your skin a little.
Never was more salient illustration of the doctrine of the forgiveness
of injuries. Let by-gones be by-gones; suffer the bites to rest. Ah! the
warning comes too late. The fatal process has begun. At every touch you
get worse, but cannot stop. You now realize what a good gift your
Anglo-Saxon skin was, and so clean, and so comfortable! and it cost you
so little! But just because it was so good, these foreign vermin
insisted on sharing it with you. And you exemplify in little the fate of
Italy and of Greece, which have been feasted on for ages, and cursed by
the absolute mosquito for not continuing in perpetuity to yield their
life-blood without remonstrance. This for the moral aspect of the case.
The material aspect is that of intolerable pain and itching,
accompanying a distinct suppuration of every spot punctured by the
insect. For some days and nights the principal occupation of the writer
of these notes was to tear the unhappy hands and arms that aid in their
production. A remedy is casually mentioned--vinegar. Bandages dipped in
this fluid, and closely wrapped around the suffering members, give
instant relief, but have to be frequently renewed, the fever of the skin
rapidly drying them. The sufferings of Job were now understood, and his
eminent but impossible virtue appreciated. Even he, however, had
recourse to a potsherd. Never were my human sympathies so called out
towards the afflicted Scotch nation! Well, let this subject rest.
Recovery is now an established fact. From the height of experience we
can look down upon future sufferers and say, "This, too, shall pass
away."

But now, to return to the deck of the Parados. Scenery, worsted work,
the Principe, and a little conversation caused the time to pass very
agreeably. We took also the Ollendorff book, and made a short trial of
its lumbering machinery. And we had _déjeûner_ on board, and dinner. And
Georgi, the cameriere, had the features of Edwin Booth--the strong eyes,
the less forcible mouth, something even of the general expression. At
about 7.30 P. M., we made the harbor of Nauplia, otherwise called
Napoli de Romania. The harbor being shallow, the steamer anchored at
some distance from the land, whither its boats conveyed us. On the quay
stood a crowd of people, waiting to see us. They had discerned the
steamer afar, and had flocked together from mere curiosity. Something in
the landing made me think of that portion of the quay at Naples which
lies before the Hotel de Russie. Much of the present town was built by
the Turks. The streets are narrow and irregular, and many of the houses
have balconies. One of these streets is nearly blocked by a crowd. We
inquire, and learn that the head of a brigand has just been brought in.
For the brigands, long tolerated in some regions by usage and indolence,
have now set foot in a region in which they will not be endured. The
Peloponnesus will not have them, and the peasants, who elsewhere aid the
brigands, here aid the _gens d'armes_. Upon the head of their leader,
Kitzos, a large price has been set. But the head which causes the
commotion of this evening is not that of Kitzos. Getting through the
crowd at length, we come upon a pretty square, surrounded by houses, and
planted with pepper-trees.

Here is the house of the prefect, at whose door we knock, imploring
shelter. Our Cretan friend, M. Antoniades, is well known to the prefect;
hence the daring of this summons. The prefecture receives us. The
prefect--a vivacious little man, with blue eyes and light hair--capers
about in great excitement. He has to do with the war against the
brigands, and joy at the bringing in of the head before mentioned nearly
causes him to lose his own. His large _salon_ is thronged with
visitors, who come partly to talk over these matters, partly to see the
strangers. We, the ladies, meanwhile take refuge on a roomy balcony,
where we have chairs, and where _gliko_ and cold water are offered to
us. I make my usual piteous request for vinegar, and renew my bandages,
while the others enjoy cool air and starlight. The prefect goes off to
supper at nine, having first signified to us that his wife is occupied
with a baby two days old, and cannot wait upon us; that his house is at
our disposal, and that he will send out among his neighbors and obtain
all that we may require. One of his visitors--M. Zampacopolus, a major
of cavalry--promises to wait upon us at five in the morning, to conduct
us up the steep ascent of the fortress Palamides. By ten o'clock the
mattresses are brought. They are spread in a row on the floor, and we
weary women, four in number, lie down and sleep as only weary people
can.

The summons that arouses us at five the next morning does not awaken
enthusiasm. We struggle up, however, and get each a minimum of the
limited basin and towel privilege. Descending, we find Major
Zampacopolus in full uniform, and are admonished by him for being so
late. He came for us at four o'clock; but the chief veteran would not
suffer us to be disturbed. The sun had already risen, and the ascent
looked most formidable. Invoking the courage of our ancestors, we
unfolded the umbrellas and began. We had six hundred steps to climb, and
steep ones at that. The labor caused such perspiration that at any turn
commanding the breeze we were forced to shield ourselves, the sudden
evaporation being attended with great danger. The ascent is everywhere
guarded by loopholes for musketry, and could not be carried by any party
of human assailants. There is, however, another route of access to the
fortress, which may be pursued on horseback. It was by this latter path
that the Greeks ascended during the war of independence. They took the
fortress from the Turks, but were admitted within the gates by
treachery. After weary efforts and pauses, we reach the plane of the
main structure, which consists of a number of independent bastions in
strong positions, commanding each other and the pass. It was built by
the Venetians, and vouches for their skill and thoroughness in military
architecture. The officers receive us, and accommodate us in an airy
bedroom, whose draughts of air we avoid, being _en nage_ with
perspiration. We cool by degrees, and enjoy the balcony. A pot of basil
is offered us for fragrance, at which we smell with little pleasure. We
are then told the legend of the discovery of the true cross beneath a
growth of this plant, which circumstance consecrates it among Eastern
traditions forever. In the mean time a functionary enters, and furtively
carries away a small box. Not very long afterwards its contents are
returned in the shape of a cup of delicious coffee for each of us, with
a piece of the ration bread of the garrison. "This bread," said the
major, "is made with the hands, as we know, for it is made by the
soldiers; but the bread you commonly eat in Greece is made with the
feet." Here was indeed a heightening of present enjoyment by a somewhat
unwelcome disparagement of unavoidable past and future experiences. We
now proceeded to visit the bastions in detail. Each of them has its own
name. One is called Miltiades. The most formidable one is called Satan.
The view from the highest parapet is very grand. We go about, wondering
at the grim walls and the manifold openings for musketry. They show us
an enormous cistern for rain water. The place contains several of these,
and is thus capable of standing a very long siege. We pass an enclosure
in which are detained "the military prisoners," whoever they may be. As
a _bonne bouche_ we are promised a sight of the criminals condemned to
death. These are kept in the strongest recess of the fortress. They lead
us to it, and bid us look down into a court below, in which we perceive
twenty-five or more unfortunates refreshing themselves in the open air.
At the door and grated window of the prison behind them appear the faces
of others. Stationed on a narrow bridge above stand the military guard,
whose muskets command the court. These men have all been convicted of
crimes of violence against the person. Sentence has been passed upon
them, and its execution follows the convenience and pleasure of the
officers of the law. At short intervals a little group of them is led
out to endure the last penalty. "Do not pity them, madam," said the
major; "they have all done deeds worthy of death." But how not to pity
them, when they and we are made of the same fragile human stuff, that
corrupts so easily to crime, and is always redeemable, if society would
only afford the costly process of redemption. A sad listlessness hung
over the melancholy group. Some of them were busied in preparing
breakfast--coffee, probably. Most of them sat or stood quite idly, with
the terrible guns bristling above them. They looked up in our women's
faces as if they sought there something, some compassionate glance that
might recall mother or sweetheart--if such people have them. One old
brigand lifted his voice, and petitioned the officers that his single
daily hour of fresh air might be extended to two hours, pleading the
pain he suffered in his eyes. This was granted. Our guides directed our
attention to a man of elastic figure and marked face--tall, athletic,
and blond. All that they could tell us was, that there seemed to be
something remarkable about this man, as, indeed, his appearance
indicated. In his face, more than in those of the others, we observed
the blank that Hope leaves when her light is extinguished. All days, all
things, were alike to him now; the dark, close prison behind, before him
only the day when one in command shall say, "This is thy last!" If the
priest shall then have any hidden comfort to bestow upon him! Shade of
Jesus, we will hope so!

These men, however, go to death with bold defiance, singing and
laughing. A rude sympathy and admiration from the multitude gives them
the last thrill of pleasure. As I looked at them, I was struck by a
feeling of their helplessness. What is there in the world so helpless
as a disarmed criminal? No inner armor has he to beat back the rude
visiting of society; no secure soul-citadel, where scorn and anger
cannot reach him. He has thrown away the jewel of his manhood; human law
crushes its empty case. But the final Possessor and Creditor is unseen.

In our wanderings we catch glimpses of a pretty little garden, disposed
in terraces, and planted with flowers, vegetables, and vines. This
garden recalls to memory a gentle-hearted commandant who planted it,
loving flowers, and therefore not hating men. It is a little gone to
decay since he left it, but its presence here is a welcome and useful
boon. After visiting its beds and borders, we take leave of the
hospitable officers, and by rapid and easy descent return to the
prefecture, where the breakfast-table is set, and where a large tea-pot
and heaped dish of rice attest the hospitable efforts of our host.

I have only forgotten to say that on one of the ramparts of the fortress
they showed us two old Venetian cannon, both of which served in the last
revolution; and further, that, in returning, passing through the old
gate of the town, we saw sculptured in stone the winged lion of St.
Mark, the valorous device of Venice.



ARGOS.


We found the prefect at the very maximum of excitement. Another telegram
concerning the brigands, and yet another. Kitzos is closely beleaguered
by peasants and gens-d'armes; he cannot get away. Another head will be
brought in, and the country will be free of its scourge. With much
jumping up and declaiming, our entertainer shared the morning meal with
us. We feed the discontented servant, whose views of life appeared to be
dismal, kissed the sweet-eyed children of the family, and, as a party,
leaped into two carriages, leaving the prefect intent upon welcoming
with grim hospitality the prospective heads of bandits, which did not
hinder him from shaking hands with us, cordially inviting us to return
to the shelter of his roof. But shelter was not for us under any roof,
save the ambulating cover of the carriage. We were now _en route_ for
Argos. Our drivers were clothed alike, in well-worn bags of blue
homespun, peaked babouches without stockings, and handkerchiefs bound
about the head. The thermometer was ranging in the upper regions. Dust
and overwhelming heat assail us. Stopping to water the well-flogged
horses, we take refuge for a few minutes in a shady garden, planted with
flowers, vines, and merciful trees with flat, not pointed, foliage. We
sit around a tiny fountain, at whose small spouts the smaller bees
refresh themselves on the wing. This sojourn is brief; our next halt is
on the burning, dusty high-road, where the chief veteran says, "Tiryns,"
and leads a very forlorn hope across thorny fields and stony ditches to
a Cyclopean ruin--a side and angle of old wall, built after the manner
so denominated, and so solidly that it outlasts at least three thousand
years. We stand and consider this grim old remnant as long and as
attentively as the fear of sun-stroke will permit. The veteran,
however, leads us farther in pursuit of a cave in which, during the war
of Greek independence, he was wont to seek shelter from sun and rain.
This cave is probably one of the galleries of the ancient fortress; for
that the ruin was a fortress, they say who know. It is perhaps twenty
yards in length, and three in its greatest height; for it has a pointed
roof, laboriously formed by the fitting and approximation of the two
sides, no arch being then invented. The stones that form this roof are
very large, rather broken than hewn, and are laid together with great
care. Some of them are of very hard material. From these most venerable
relics we creep back, under the deadly fire of the sun, to the carriage.
The remainder of our drive leads across the plain of Argos, the "courser
feeding," as Homer denominates it. We come in sight of its lofty
Acropolis long before we reach the town, through whose narrow streets we
drive, and after a brief pause at the prefecture, find rest and shelter
in a private house.

The proprietors of this house ranked among the best people of the
place--_oi megaloi_, as the multitude naively denominate them. They
received us in a large _salon_ without carpets, darkened by green
blinds, and furnished with a mahogany centre table and chairs, all of a
European pattern, with a cushioned divan occupying one corner of the
room, according to the favorite fashion of these parts. The lady of the
house wore a dress of ordinary figured jacconet, open at the neck, and a
red fez, around which her own hair was bound in a braid. Her husband
appeared in full Palicari dress, with an irrepproachable fustanella,
and handsome jacket and leggings. They welcomed us with great
cordiality, and bestirred themselves to minister to our necessities.
Gliko and water were immediately brought us, together with the vinegar
for my fevered hands. We next begged for mattresses, which were brought
and spread on the floor of a bedroom adjoining. The four feminines, as
usual, dropped down in a row. In the drawing-room mattresses were
arranged for the gentlemen. We rested from 12.30 until 2 P. M., the hour
appointed for the distribution of clothing to the destitute Cretans, of
whom there is a large settlement at Argos. For I may as well mention
here that our pursuit of pleasures and antiquities in the terms of this
expedition was entirely secondary to the plans of our veteran for
clothing the nakedness of these poor exiles. In his energetic company we
now walked to a large building with court enclosed--a former convent, in
whose corridors our eager customers, restrained by one or two officials,
were in waiting. We were ushered into a well-sized room, in which lay
heaps of cotton under-clothing, and of calico dresses, most of them in
the shape of sacks and skirts. These were the contents of one or two
boxes recently arrived from Boston. Some of them were recognized as
having connection with a hive of busy bees who used to gather weekly in
our own New England parlor. And what stress there was! and what
hurrying! And how the little maidens took off their feathery bonnets and
dainty gloves, wielding the heavy implements of cutting, and eagerly
adjusting the arms and legs, the gores and gathers! With patient pride
the mother trotted off to the bakery, that a few buns might sustain
these strenuous little cutters and sewers, whose tongues, however active
over the charitable work, talked, we may be sure, no empty nonsense nor
unkind gossip. For charity begins indeed at home, in the heart, and,
descending to the fingers, rules also the rebellious member whose
mischief is often done before it is meditated. At the sight of these
well-made garments a little swelling of the heart seized us, with the
love and pride of remembrance so dear. But sooner than we could turn
from it to set about our business, the Cretans were in presence.

Here they come, called in order from a list, with names nine syllables
long, mostly ending in _poulos_, a term signifying descent, like the
Russian "witzch." Here they come, the shapely maiden, the sturdy matron,
the gray-haired grandmother, with little ones of all small sizes and
ages. Many of the women carried infants at the breast; many were
expectant of maternity. Not a few of them were followed by groups of
boys and girls. Most of them were ill-clothed; many of them appeared
extremely destitute of attire. A strong, marked race of people, with
powerful eyes, fine black hair, healthy complexions, and symmetrical
figures. They bear traces of suffering. Some of the infants have pined;
but most of them promise to do well. Each mother cherishes and shows her
little beggar in the approved way. The children are usually robust,
although showing in their appearance the very limited resources of
their parents. Some of the women have tolerable gowns; to these we give
only under-clothing. Others have but the rag of a gown--a few stripes of
stuff over their coarse chemises. These we make haste to cover with the
beneficent growth of New England factories. They are admitted in groups
of three or four at a time. As many of us fly to the heaps of clothing,
and hastily measure them by the length and breadth of the individual. A
papa, or priest, keeps order among them. He wears his black hair uncut,
a narrow robe much patched, and holds in his hand a rosary of beads,
which he fingers mechanically. We work at this distribution for a couple
of hours, and return to the house to take some necessary refreshment. We
find a dinner-table set for us in one of the sleeping-rooms, and are
cordially invited to partake of fish cooked in oil, bread, acrid cheese,
cucumbers, olives, and cherries, together with wine which our Greek
companions praised as highly stomachic, but which to us seemed at once
bitter, sour, and insipid--a wine without either sugar or sparkle, dull
as a drug, sufficient of itself to overthrow the whole Bacchic
dispensation. Having enjoyed the repast, we returned to the Cretan
settlement, and continued the distribution of the clothing until all
were provided. The dresses did not quite hold out, but sufficed to
supply the most needy, and, in fact, the greater number. Of the
under-clothes we carried back a portion, having given to every one. To
an old papa (priest) who came, looking ill and disconsolate, I sent two
shirts and a good dark woollen jacket. Among all of these, only one
discontented old lady demurred at the gift bestowed. She wanted a gown,
but there was none; so that she was forced to content herself, much
against her will, with some under-clothing. The garments supplied, of
which many were sent by the Boston Sewing Circle, under the
superintendence of Miss Abby W. May, proved to be very suitable in
pattern and in quality. The good taste of their assortment gave them an
air of superiority over the usual dress of the poor in this and other
countries of the old world. The proportion of children's clothing was
insufficient; but who could have foreseen that the Cretans would have
had such large families of such little children? Finally, we rejoiced in
the philanthropic energy of our countrywomen, and in the good appearance
of our domestic manufactures. As we descended the steps, we met with
some of the children, already arrayed in their little clean shirts, and
strutting about with the inspiration of fresh clothing, long unfelt by
them.

We now went on foot to visit a fine amphitheatre in the neighborhood of
the town, called by the ignorant "the tomb of Helen." The seats are hewn
out of the solid rock, and occupy the whole ascent of a lofty hill-side.
From the ground to the middle row they were faced with fine white
marble. The remainder consisted simply of the stone itself, without
covering. The division first mentioned is in better condition than the
second, the marble incasement having protected the softer stone against
the action of the elements. In front are some remains which probably
represent the stage and its background. The extent embraced is
unusually large; and as we sat in the chief seats and looked towards
the proscenium, we wondered a little as to what manner of entertainment
could be given to an assembly so vast. The ancient masks were indeed
necessary to enable the distant portion of the audience to have any idea
of the expression of countenance intended to be conveyed. But I should
suppose that games of strength and agility, races, combats of wild
beasts, would have been best suited to such an arena. To us it was
sufficiently melancholy in its desertion and desecration--grass and
thorny shrubs growing profusely between its defaced stones, the heavy
twilight forming the background, while the stars that enlivened the
evening were real ones, not their human symbols. As we descended,
however, from our half hour of contemplation, we received notice of the
incursion of busy western life even into this charmed domain. In a field
hard by, a threshing machine was winnowing the Argive grain,--a thing of
wonder to the inhabitants, probably an object of suspicion,--the
property of a rich land-owner. Beggars are rare in Greece; but the Argos
children followed us both to and from the amphitheatre with mendicant
solicitations. They went thither under the plea of showing us the way,
and pursued our return under that of being paid for the same. We
endeavored to satisfy two or three of them; but, the whole troop
following and tormenting, one of our companions appealed in Greek to the
parents, as we passed their thatched dwellings. These called off the
little hounds with threats of the bastinado. We reached the hospitable
roof of our entertainers, first taking a lemonade at a little booth in
the dark street. The mattresses were spread, the sick hands bathed, and
we lay down to rest as we could, an early start being before us. A
variety of insects preyed upon us, and made not very unwelcome the
dawning of the early hour that saw us roused and dressed.

But here I have forgotten to make mention of a fact which had much to do
with our immediate movements at this time. The evening of our sojourn in
Argos saw an excitement much like that which blocked the street in
Nauplia. The occasion was the same--the bringing home of a brigand's
head; but this the very head and front of all the brigands, Kitzos
himself, upon whose head had been set a prize of several thousand
drachmas. Our veteran with difficulty obtained a view of the same, and
reported accordingly. The robber chief, the original of Edmond About's
"Hadji Stauros," had been shot while sighting at his gun. He had fallen
with one eye shut and one open, and in this form of feature his
dissevered head remained. The soldier who was its fortunate captor
carried it concealed in a bag, with its long elf-locks lying loose about
it. He showed it with some unwillingness, fearing to have the prize
wrested from him. It was, however, taken on board of our steamer, and
carried to Athens, there to be identified and buried.

All this imported to us that Mycenæ, which we desired to visit, had for
some time been considered unsafe on account of the presence of this very
Kitzos and his band. But at this moment the band were closely besieged
in the mountains. They wanted their Head, and so did Kitzos. We, in
consequence, were fully able to visit the treasure of Atreus and the
ruins of Mycenæ without fear or risk from those acephalous enemies.
Taking leave therefore of our friendly entertainers with many thanks,
"polloi, polloi," we sprang again into the dusty carriages, and the
sunburnt youths in blue bagging drove us out upon the wide plain to a
spot where we were desired to dismount and make our way over a thorny
and flinty hill-side to the spot in question. Such walking, in all of
Greece with which I became acquainted, is difficult and painful. It is
scarcely possible to avoid treading on the closely-growing bushes of
nettles. To come in contact with these is like putting one's foot on a
cushion of needles whose sharp points should be uppermost. Where you
shun these, the small, pointed stones present difficulty as great.
Creeping up from the plain, crying out for assistance and sympathy,
beneath a sun already burning, we came to the entrance of the cave to
which they give the name of the tomb of Agamemnon. This is an opening in
the hill-side. Its door has long been wanting, but the formidable
door-posts still remain. Two heavily-built stone sides support a single,
horizontal stone, twenty-seven feet in length, by perhaps eight in
breadth, and about the same in thickness. The door obviously swung open
from the bottom; the traces in the stone-work make this clear. The cave
itself is hollowed out from the height and depth of the hill. It is
lined with large stones, carefully fitted to each other, and is in the
shape of a rounded cone, whose gradual diminution to the top is very
symmetrical. Here a small aperture, partly covered by a stone, admits
the light. The perfection of the work in its kind is singular. From this
outer chamber, an opening admits you to an inner cave, without light, in
which they suppose the treasure to have been kept. This is much smaller
than the first chamber, and, like it, is heavily lined with squared
stone. A fire of dry brush enables us to distinguish so much; but our
observations are somewhat hurried, for the chill of these interterranean
passages, acting upon the perspiration that bathes our limbs, suggests
terrible fears of an untimely end to be attained in some inflammatory
and painful way.

The outer structure, of which I have endeavored to give some idea, is,
however, indescribable, and the manner of its building scarcely
comprehensible in these days. It suggests a time whose art must be as
far removed from ours as its nature, and whose solid and simple
construction takes little heed of the passage of time.

From the treasure of Atreus to the old citadel and gate of Mycenæ, we
pass, by a few painful steps, through thorns, stones, and dust. Here we
sit and meditate, as well as we are able. Mycenæ was in ruins in Homer's
time. This gate and citadel go back at least to the time of Agamemnon.
In one of the tragedies of Sophocles, Electra and Orestes meet before
the gate of Mycenæ, which we naturally suppose to have been this one.
Its heavy stone masonry is surmounted by a curious sculpture, a
bas-relief, representing two lions aspiring to a column that stands
between them. The column is one of the ancient symbols of Apollo, and
is met with in some of the coins of the period. Agamemnon, Cassandra,
Clytemnestra,--this trio of ghosts will serve to fill up for us the
ancient gateway. Of the city nothing remains save the walls of the
citadel, the space within being now piled up and grassed over by the
action of time. At the present day, this citadel would be of little
avail, being itself commanded by an adjacent hill, from which artillery
would soon knock it into pieces. The walls just mentioned are solidly
built of squared stone, laid together without mortar. The briefness of
our time hurried us away before we had taken in half the significance of
the spot. But so it was, and we turned with regret from a mere survey of
objects that deserve much study.

We were now to find our way back to Nauplia, but our fasting condition
compelled us to pause for a moment at a little khan, whose energetic
mistress bestirred herself, with small materials, to make us
comfortable. The morning shadow threw her window in the dark. We
gathered around it, escaping for the moment the scorching heat of the
sun. Near us a traveller on a donkey rested himself and his patient
beast. The little woman had blue eyes and chestnut hair, bound with a
handkerchief. She offered us cold fish, fried in oil, from her frying
pan. Each of us took a fish by the tail, and devoured it as we could.
Cucumbers were next handed to us. Of these we ate with salt, which the
mistress strewed with her fingers on the wooden window-sill, together
with a little pepper. Wine and water she dipped out for us, the one
from a barrel, the other from an earthen jar. We had brought with us two
large loaves of bread from Argos, which greatly assisted our pedestrian
meal. The mistress rinsed the glasses with her own hands, not over
clean. When we had eaten, she poured water over our hands, offering us a
piece of soap and a towel. As we laughed, she laughed--we at her want of
accommodation, she probably rejoicing in its sufficiency. We now
returned to our carriages, and drove back to Nauplia, and through
Nauplia down to the quay, where our boats were waiting for us. The
remainder of the day we passed on board the steamer, reaching Porus at
sunset, and going on shore to visit its fine arsenal, and narrow, dirty
streets. In the arsenal, with other heroes, hangs the portrait of
Bouboulina, the famous woman who did such good naval service in the war
of Greek independence. She commanded a ship, and her patriotic efforts
were acknowledged by conferring on her the style and title of admiral.

From the roof of the arsenal we enjoyed a beautiful view of the harbor.
The town, as seen at a little distance, has rather an inviting aspect.
On a nearer view, it offers little to detain the traveller. We passed
along the quay, looking at the groups of men, occupied with coffee or
the narghilé, and soon regained our boat and steamer. The Greeks, we are
told, give Porus a nickname which signifies "Pig-city," just as our
Cincinnati is sometimes called "Porkopolis." But the pigs in Porus are
human.



EGINA.


We passed this night on board of the steamer, first supping luxuriously
on deck, by the light of various lanterns fastened to the masts and
bulwarks of the ship. The next morning saw us early awake and on foot to
visit the Temple of Egina. The steamer came to anchor near the shore,
and its boats soon conveyed us to land. We found on the shore two
donkeys with pack-saddles, upon which two of us adventured to ascend the
long and weary eminence. The temple is one of the most beautiful remains
that we have seen. Its columns are of the noblest Doric structure. A
number of them are still standing. His majesty of Munich and Montes
robbed this temple, at some convenient moment of political confusion. He
had a statue or so, perhaps several, and pulled down the architrave to
obtain the bas-reliefs. Can we wonder that the Greeks do not punish
brigandage after such royal precedents in its favor. A fine lion in
marble, twenty feet in length, was taken from this temple, either by
this or a similar marauding. The lion was sawn in three pieces, that it
might be more conveniently conveyed by boat. But, being left over night,
the peasants, in their rage, came and destroyed with their hammers what
they were not able to protect. Here no diplomatic interference was
possible, and the fact accomplished had to be accepted.

This temple stands upon one of those breezy eminences so often selected
by the Greeks for their places of worship and defence. It commands a
wide view of the sea and surrounding islands. On the opposite island of
Salamis they show you Xerxes' Seat, the spot from which he contemplated
the land he intended to enslave. Here the inexorable veteran conceded to
us a pleasant half hour, enabling us to survey the fine columns from
various points of view, and to enjoy fully the beauty of their
surroundings. Too soon, however, came the summons to descend. I again
mounted the ass, but found my sideward and unsupported seat only
maintainable by a gymnastic of the severest order. I yielded, therefore,
this uneasy accommodation to one who might bestride the beast at his
ease, being quite of the opinion of the Irishman, who, having been
regaled with a ride in a bottomless sedan chair, said that, if it was
not for the name of it, it was not much better than walking. In the same
way I concluded that to be so badly carried by the ass was almost as bad
as to carry him myself. We were soon on board and afloat again, and a
few hours of sea travel, cherished for their coolness, brought us back
to busy Piræus, and thence to torrid Athens, where the great heats now
begin. We had meditated a change of hotel at the time of our leaving
Athens, and had contemplated a fine apartment at lower charges in an
establishment opposite to our own. But our hitherto landlord was too
much for us. He was down at Piræus to receive us. The veteran yielded to
his dangerous smile, and after a brief parley, implying a slight
enlargement in accommodations, we found ourselves bagged, and carried
back to the Hotel des Etrangers. Here the servants cordially welcomed
us, and made us much at home. I regretted a certain beautiful view of
the Acropolis commanded by the hotel opposite, but my view was outvoted;
and we gave ourselves up again to the imprisonment of our small rooms,
and to the darkness which is a necessary attendant upon summer life in
Athens. And the gallant vision of the Parados, with its prow turned to
the sea, and of lofty climbings, and monument-seeking wanderings, faded
from all but these notes, in which so much of it as may live is
faithfully preserved.



DAYS IN ATHENS.

    "As idle as a painted ship
     Upon a painted ocean."


O, there were many of them, each hotter and stiller than the other. All
night we steamed and sleepily suffered beneath the mosquito-net. In the
morning we arose betimes. We smiled to each other at breakfast, sighed
at dinner, were dumb at tea-time. The whole long day held its flaming
sword at our door. Sun-stroke and fever threatened us, should we cross
the threshold. Visits were tame, and carriages expensive. For many days
we sat still, doing little. This is what people call "being thrown upon
one's own resources." But to those accustomed to active and energetic
life it is rather a being thrown off from all that usually renders the
passage of time pleasurable and useful. Even those dull days had,
however, their distinctions. And, like a picture of our Indian summer,
hazy, dreamy, and indistinct, so will I try to give a color picture of
that unheroic time, in which we grew ungrateful for classic
surroundings, forgetful of great names and histories, and sat and
sewed, and said, "How long?"

First, the little newsboys in the street who shriek, "_Pende leptà!_"
calling the price of the paper for the paper itself. This music one may
hear at any hour of the day when there is news from Crete, or when a
steamer has arrived from England for the Cretan service, or when
anything takes place that can motive the publishing of an extra. The
veteran catches one day one of these curious little insects. He is
barefoot, his hair is wild, his eyes are wilder. His extra is a single
column, scarcely ten inches long; and over this he dares to make as much
noise as if it were an issue of the New York Herald, or the Tribune
itself, with white-haired Greeley at its back.

Next, the funerals, starting always with music, and bearing flat disks
of gilded metal, something in the style of the Roman eagles. At one time
a mortality prevailed among children, and the little coffins were
carried through the street, with mournful sounds of wind instruments. We
saw several military funerals. In these the deceased is carried by hand
in a crimson velvet coffin, bound with silver lace. A glass cover shows
him at full length. The velvet cover that corresponds with the coffin
itself is carried before in an upright position. The hearse, drawn by
four or five horses, follows. Priests walk along, and chant prayers in
the intervals of the music, which on these occasions is supplied by a
full band. A body of soldiers also makes part of the pageant. Friends
and relatives walk after, carrying the large cambric parasols so much
in vogue here. As the cemetery is at some distance from the town, the
hearse probably serves later for the transport of the body. But I from
my window always saw it following in empty state. The friends all go to
the church, where the prayers and orations occupy from one to two hours.
The deceased is usually in full dress, and the countenance is often
painted in white and red. The gilded symbols which are carried, and the
wild tones of the wind instruments, give to those processions a somewhat
barbaric aspect, as compared with the sober mourning of countries more
familiar to ourselves. But there is nothing grim in the Greek funeral;
it seems rather a cheerful and friendly attendance, and compares
favorably with the _luxe_ of English burials, their ingenious ugliness
and tasteless exaggeration of all that is gloomy and uncongenial to
life.

Next, the out-of-door life and music. The first is, of course, limited
by the severe heat of the day. Eight A. M. is a fashionable hour for
being abroad. You will then find the market thronged. You will encounter
seated groups, who take their coffee or smoke their cigar. Many
carriages drive past, conveying people in easy circumstances to Faleran,
a small harbor three miles distant from Athens, where the luxury of
sea-bathing is enjoyed. At nine A. M. the best of the military bands
begins to play before the palace. I have their _repertoire_ pretty well
in mind, having listened to its repetition for three weeks past. They
play most of the airs from the Barbiere di Seviglia, the overture to
Othello, and sundry marches and polkas. With the early morning period
begins the crying of fruit in the streets. These cries proceed from men
who drive before them donkeys laden with rude baskets, in which you see
potatoes, tomatoes, small squashes, apricots, and other fruits. They
stop at various doors in our neighborhood, and serve their customers.
The maid-servants come out. From one of those doors issues with his
nurse a little child, who is set upon the donkey's back, and allowed to
stay there while the dealer supplies the houses in the vicinity. This
little one wears a white cambric weed on his hat to prevent sun-stroke,
after the manner of greater people.

From ten A. M. to five P. M., the streets are quiet. After the latter
hour the carriages begin again to roll, though the fashionable drive
scarcely begins earlier than six o'clock. One drives to Faleran, to the
Piræus, or, if it be Sunday, to the Polygonon, where the band plays, and
whither the regent, mounted on a well-bred steed, is sure to betake
himself. This Polygonon is simply a several-sided pavilion, at a
distance of a mile and a half from the palace. A crowd of people flock
to it on Sunday afternoons, either in carriages or on foot, and all in
their best clothes. At a little distance stands a small café, where
lemonade and lokumia may be enjoyed, but no ince. The view of the
Acropolis from this spot is a very pleasant one. But to return to our
Athenian streets. Carriages are very dear in the afternoon, being in
request for drives to the bath, which is taken either at Faleran or at
Pireo. A visit to either place refreshes after the long, hot day. When
you return in the evening, you see the streets and squares about the
cafés thronged with people sitting at little tables and enjoying ices or
coffee. The narghilé, or water-pipe, is much in use here. At these
tables one often sees it. The sacred herb basil, also, whose legend we
have elsewhere recounted, appears upon these tables, growing in earthen
pots. You will somewhere encounter the military band, which nightly
performs in some stated place. But the café opposite our hotel has a
band every evening, and our discussions of Greek politics and of Cretan
prospects are frequently interrupted by strains from Norma, Trovatore,
Traviata, and other late abortions of the muse. From this phrase let me,
however, even in passing, deliver Norma. This statement carefully
enumerates the external resources of Athens during waking hours.

Within doors, besides our grave studies, we have visits. Many Greeks and
Cretans wait upon the veteran, together with American consuls, and
Cretan women bringing silks, laces, and stockings of their own
manufacture, or petitioning for little special helps over and above the
forty lepta per diem allowed to each of them by the committee. Some
mysterious consultations are there, bent on merciful conspiracies and
Heaven-approved stratagems. Omer Pacha and his army have surrounded the
unhappy Island of Candia, and are tightening their folds like a huge
serpent. The severity of the blockade is starving to death the women and
children who are shut up in the towns, or hidden in caves and recesses
of the mountains. England meanwhile feasts the sultan, and pledges the
bloody toast of non-interference. How comfortable is the water-proof by
which my Lords Derby and Stanley ward off the approach of any fact that
might induce compassion or compel indignation! Sympathy at every
entrance quite shut out, and at every appeal for mercy a fat English
laugh, echoed by the House, which may make the angels weep. Smart Argyle
keeps heart of grace against this squad of the heartless. He even takes
the trouble to get facts from Greece from sources less poisoned with
prejudice than the Times' correspondent.[A] And I am fain to believe
that a Scotch Presbyterian may easily have more heart, brains, and
religion than one who combines church and state with the betting-book,
and, among all races, honors least the human race.

      [A] It is only fair to state here that the Times'
          correspondent, minus his Mishellenism, is a most genial,
          accomplished, and hospitable person.

Our war upon the Turks is a war of biscuit and of cotton cloth. We run
every permissible risk to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, both of
these terms being of literal application. Our agent lands his
insufficient cargo, and before his errand is known, the moan and wail of
the suffering ones break out from hill-side and cavern. _Psomi!_
_psomi!_ for God's sake, bread! And here comes the sad procession. The
merciful man is ashamed to look at the women; their rags do not cover
them. Hunted are they and starved like beasts. But the sultan feasts in
England well. O, brave and merciful hearts of men and women, be lifted
up to help them. And O, noble people, poor and hard-working,
unsophisticated by theories which make the Turk's dominion a necessary
nuisance, and his religion a form of Christianity, do you come forward,
and make common cause with Christ's poor and oppressed, whose faces are
ground, whose chains are riveted, in his name.

Last evening the veteran received his Cretan mail. The biscuits arrived
safely. The letters which acknowledge them begin with, "Glory to the
triune God!" They then invoke blessings on the American people, and
fervently thank the veteran, who has been at once the provoker of their
zeal and the distributor of their bounty. Such thanks are painful; they
make us feel the agonized suffering to which our small largess gives a
momentary relief. The Arkadi, our blockade-runner, after landing her
cargo, took on board more than three hundred women and children, fleeing
from the last extremities of want and misery. This morning appears at
the door of our hotel a little group of these unfortunates--a mother
with four small children, the youngest a little nursing babe. Bread we
give them, and a line to the committee. We ask the woman if she would
not go back to Crete. "O God! no," she replies: "the Turks would murder
us."

Before the letters came, last evening, we heard continual cries of
"Pende lepta," betokening the issue of an extra. The servant buys one
and brings it. The news from Crete is, that Mechmet Pacha has been in a
measure surrounded by the Cretans. Our veteran shakes his head, and
fears that it is otherwise. A little later come in some of our Cretan
friends, together with one or two new faces. They are hopeful and in
some excitement. In the midst of this arrives the Cretan budget, as
before mentioned. Eagerly indeed are the letters devoured. But the
veteran remains thoughtful, and not sanguine. And when we are alone, I
find that he will go at once to France and England, jog the easy
conscience of diplomacy, and appeal to the sense and sympathy of the
people. I utter a hearty "God speed!" We had intended visiting
Constantinople; but that is now given up, and scarcely regretted, so
urgent is the need of doing all that can be done for Crete.



EXCURSIONS.


To return to matters purely personal. I must not set down the heat and
monotony of long days in Athens without stating also the _per contras_
of freshness and enjoyment which have been paid in by various small
undertakings and excursions. First among these I will mention a morning
meeting under the columns of Jupiter Olympius. A small party of us, by
appointment, started at five A. M., and reached the columns, some ten
minutes later. They stand quite flatly on a large plain, lifting their
Corinthian capitals high in the blue empyrean. But this we have already
described elsewhere. On this occasion we take seats in the comforting
shadow, around a little table, and call for coffee, lemonade, and
lokumias. The early morning is very beautiful. A company of soldiers
goes through its drill quite near us. Presently its officers also
retreat under the shadows, take chairs and a table, and call for what
pleases them best. The regimental band plays an air or two, perhaps in
compliment to the neophytes, who are of our company. We enjoy the unique
scene and combination--the picturesque costumes, the beauties and
associations of the spot. So rampant does this effort make us, that we
determine to have a meeting in the Acropolis in the afternoon of this
very day, of cloudless promise, like its fellows.

We disperse and return home before the severe heat of the morning sets
in; and this is well, for between the shade of the pepper-tree walk and
the shade of the columns there is a long tract of sunny expanse. At this
hour it is quite endurable; an hour later it becomes overpowering. We
pass the day after the usual fashion. At six o'clock in the afternoon we
do meet in the Acropolis, and hold poetic session in a sheltered corner
of the Parthenon. She who was there invited to read her own and other
verses felt an especial joy and honor in so doing. And we had
recitations besides, and singing, and Bengal lights, which the fairest
of moons put to shame. And we went home afterwards with great
reluctance.

We had three windy days in Athens, really of a cool and boisterous
quality. We took advantage of one of them to visit Eleusis, where stood
the great Temple of Ceres, famous as the scene of initiation into the
Eleusinian mysteries, which formed an epoch in the youth of every Greek.
The road to it leads through Daphne, the spot on which Apollo is
supposed to have chased the classic nymph. The rose laurels (oleanders)
still bloom on its somewhat barren soil. The way leads also by the sea,
commanding a refreshing outlook on the same. A modern Albanian village
covers the greater part of the space formerly occupied by the temple. As
the day is Sunday, we find the inhabitants walking about in picturesque
costumes, the men in embroidered jackets or goatskin capotes, the
shoulder of the garment expanding into a wide, short sleeve; the women
in narrow skirts, wearing long, narrow redingotes without sleeves, in a
coarse white woollen material, with two rows of black embroidery down
the back, between which falls their long, braided hair, tied at the end
with a black ribbon. Some of them wore at the waist large girdle-clasps,
composed of two disks of silvered copper, not unlike a belt ornament
worn by ladies in our own country. We asked leave to enter one of the
small thatched cottages. It consisted of a single room. The walls were
neatly whitewashed. An earthen pot was boiling upon a fire of sticks. I
saw no furniture except a low wooden chest, on which was seated an old
woman, the grandmother of the family. Several young women occupied the
hut with her; all had small children with them. They stood about, all
but one, who sat on the floor in a corner, soothing a sick and crying
child. Of the ruins of the temple a small angle only is exposed. It
includes some square yards of marble pavement, fragments of pillars, and
one very large and fine Corinthian capital. It shows, besides this, some
remnants of masonry indicating a number of small chambers. Near it is a
wall, piled up of large pieces of the finest Greek marble, roughly
broken with a hammer--the wreck, obviously, of former walls or columns.
The magnitude of the temple is marked by some stones lying quite at the
other end of the village street: the space between these and those first
mentioned would indicate a building of enormous extent. Much of its
ruined material probably underlies the little village, and will scarcely
be brought to light in these times. A small cabin adjacent is dignified
with the title of museum. To this we were admitted by a custode, an old
soldier, who has it in charge. The collection consists of a mass of
small fragments, some of which formerly belonged to statues, some to
architectural sculptures. We saw little to move the cupidity of the
visitor, but tried to bargain for one relic less ugly than the rest; in
vain, however. A Frenchman, not long ago, took from these ruins many
valuable objects, marbles, and even jewelry; since which time the
government has strictly forbidden these Elgin thefts. The custode's
domestic arrangements amused me more than did his museum. There was one
very poor little tin, in which he boiled his coffee; another, smaller
and more miserable, held oil and a wick. He had gunpowder in a gourd.
His bed was small and much dilapidated. A fragment of mat thrown upon a
heap of stones was his only seat. Few beggars in America are, probably,
so ill provided with the appliances of life.

One of the women of the cabin I had visited followed me to the museum,
and naturally held out her hand for "pende lepta." Yet beggary is very
rare in Greece, and this petitioner asked in rather a shamefaced
manner, pointing to the little baby on her arm. And this is all that
there is to narrate of the expedition to Eleusis.

Of a more stately character was the expedition to Kephissia. We started
at seven in the morning. There were two carriage-loads of our party;
for, in addition to the veteran's six-syllabled secretary, we were
accompanied by an amiable Greek family, whose guests we became for the
day. In the villages that surround Athens there are no hotels or
lodging-houses of any description. The traveller perforce implores
hospitality, and usually receives it. On this occasion our friends had
asked and obtained the key of a large and sumptuous house at Kephissia,
whose owners are absent. They had also secured the company of three
_gens d'armes_, who galloped along the dusty road beside us. The drive
at this early hour was cool and most refreshing. The only drawback to
its comfort was the dust, which the foremost carriage could not avoid
sending back to that which followed. We reached first the village of
Maroussi, a pretty, shady little place, in whose café we saw a group of
peasants playing at cards. The usual appliances, coffee and tobacco,
were also visible. Here we stopped to water the horses. A handsome
marble fountain, beneath a shady clump of trees, bears the names of the
family who caused it to be erected for the public good. Shade and water
are, indeed, the two luxuries of regions such as these. A little farther
on, we came to Kephissia, and stopped at the door of the palatial
residence that was to give us shelter for the day. We entered a hall
paved with white marble, and ascended a marble staircase. We now found
ourselves in a spacious set of apartments, well kept, and furnished
according to the Greek theory of summer furniture. Roomy divans extended
with the walls of each _salon_, of which there were three, opening one
into the other. Tables and chairs there were; and, had the proprietors
resided there, handsome Turkish mats would, no doubt, have variegated
the bare floors. The chief _salon_ opened upon a balcony commanding an
extensive view. The fresh wind blew to quite a gale, greatly raising our
languid energies. On the walls of this apartment hung two
portraits--those of the former master and mistress of the house. She was
sumptuous in dark blue velvet, with a collar of Valenciennes lace and a
fastening bow of blue plaid ribbon. Her fingers were adorned with rings.
Her husband appeared in his best broadcloth, wearing on his head a red
fez with a white under edge. He had begun life in a humble station, and
had raised himself to great opulence by his own exertions. Something of
the consciousness of this was expressed in his countenance, which was a
good-natured one. He and his wife did not long enjoy the fortune so
justly earned. They died almost before the house at Kephissia was
finished, bequeathing its magnificence to two young nephews, also rich,
but resident in Italy.

The freedom of our day here made amends for the many days of hot
imprisonment passed in the hotel at Athens. Breakfast was necessary on
first arriving. We then surveyed the bedrooms and made arrangements for
our midday nap. We found comfortable bedsteads of bright metal. The
servants brought clean mattresses, and unrolled them for us. Water and
towels we enjoyed in abundance. We then walked out to view the environs.
And first our steps brought us to an enormous plane tree, under whose
far-reaching shade the gossips of the village hold their daily meetings.
The boughs of this tree, with the cleared space under them, formed a
sort of rustic _salon_, cool and delightful even in the heat of the day.
The unfailing café was near at hand; its chairs and tables were
scattered about these rustic purlieus, and its servants waited for
orders. Here our companions encountered various acquaintances from the
city, who have come hither to pass the season of the great heats. They
wore white veils on their straw hats, as is much the custom here, and
had altogether the enfranchised air which city men are wont to assume in
country retirement. Mail and public conveyance they had none. One of our
party brought them letters, and took the answers back to Athens. We now
went in search of the source of the Kephisus, called Kefalari. We found
a deep spring of the purest water, very cool for these parts, and
constantly welling up. So clear was this pool that one saw without
impediment the smallest objects at the bottom of the water. There were
waving trees beside it. We sat down, and drank, and rested. Our walk
next brought us to a wine factory, and, as we entered to look at it, the
sound of a grand piano, skilfully touched, arrested us. Our friends
guessed the unseen artist, and knocked at her door for admittance.
Entering, we found two ladies, mother and daughter, of whom the elder
was the mistress of the musical instrument. The daughter, very young,
but already married, bears the historical name of Colocotroni, her
husband being the grandson of the old revolutionary chieftain of that
name. These ladies own extensive possessions in this vicinity, and the
establishment in which we were belonged to them. They have a large villa
at some distance; but fear of the brigands induces them to be satisfied
with the shelter of two or three rooms, divided off from the rest of the
factory, in which they live in comfortable simplicity. The table was
laid for their _déjeûner_ in a little arbor made of pine tree branches.
Dinner they took at twilight, without shelter. They entertained us with
the invariable _gliko_ and water, and, at our request, the elder lady
gave us a specimen of her skill in dealing with the piano-forte. Madame
Colocotroni speaks both French and English, and the books and pamphlets
in her drawing-room had quite a cosmopolitan air of culture.

After these doings, we returned to the great house, and sheltered
ourselves in its shady rooms. Here reading, worsted work, and
conversation beguiled the time until dinner was announced. The
gentlemen, meanwhile, had retired to smoke and discuss political
questions. The dinner was much too well-appointed for a country picnic.
Our munificent entertainers had sent out their own valets and _chef de
cuisine_. And so we had potage, and entrées, and dessert, with Kephissia
wine, both white and red, of which I found the former much like a
Sauterne wine, and very mild and pure in quality. One of the guests was
an Asiatic Greek from Broussa. His politics were of the backward
sort--those of the Greek Greeks were radical and progressive. The dinner
arena developed therefore some amicable differences of opinion. He from
Broussa gave me a few characteristic particulars of his life. When he
was but a year old, his father chartered a ship, put much of his
property on board of her, and sent therewith his children to be educated
in Europe. After many years of absence, M. L. returned to Broussa, to
seek some traces of his family. Such as remained of them had been
compelled by the pressure of circumstances to adopt the Turkish
language, and to profess Mohammedanism. Their Christian prayers they
always continued to recite in private, but were fain by every outward
expedient to escape the ill treatment which Christians receive in a
country in which Turkish authority is dominant. He told me--what I hear
strongly corroborated by other testimony--that the Turks had often cut
out the tongues of Greek women, in order that they should not be able to
teach their children either their own language or their own religion.
Under these circumstances the gradual absorption of the race in those
regions seems almost inevitable.

An after-dinner nap and a ramble completed our experience of Kephissia.
At sunset we started homeward, the carriages all open, the _gens
d'armes_ galloping, the dust playing a thousand solid antics, and
writing hieroglyphics of movement all over our garments and faces. We
found the little village of Maroussi cool with the evening shadows, and
the women and children with their pitchers gathered around the marble
fountain. We ourselves came back to Athens in a cooled and consoled
condition, and said at parting, commanding the little Greek we knew,
_Poly kalá-evkaristò_.



HYMETTUS.


It happened that the next day was fixed upon for a visit to Hymettus,
whose water is celebrated, as well as its honey. A certain monkless
monastery on the side of the mountain receives travellers within its
shady courts, and allows them to feed, rest, and amuse themselves
according to their own pleasure. We started on this classic journey soon
after five A. M., carrying with us a basket containing cold chicken,
bread, and fruit. We filled one carriage; a party of friends accompanied
us in another. The road to Hymettus is hilly and difficult; and our own
troubles in travelling it were augmented by those of our friends in the
foremost carriages, whose horses, at an early period in the ascent,
began to back and balk. As these horses, who go so ill, insist upon
going first, and refuse to stir the moment we take the lead, it comes to
pass that in some steep ascents they press back upon us, to our
discomfort and danger.

An anxious hour brings us to the convent, which stands at no great
elevation on the side of the mountain. The sun is already burning, and
we are glad to take refuge in the shady inner court of the convent,
where we are to pass the day. Our friends of the other carriage have
brought with them Hatty, a child two years of age, and Marigo, a little
servant of thirteen. The latter has somewhat the complexion of a
potato-skin, with vivacious eyes, and dark hair, bound, after the Greek
fashion, with a handkerchief. A young brother follows on a slow donkey,
which he belabors to his heart's content.

The court just spoken of is a small enclosure, surrounded on all sides
by whitewashed walls, of which one includes a small chapel, with its
tapers and painted images. In one corner a doorway leads into a den
which must once have served as a kitchen. It is roughly built of stone,
with no chimney, its roof presenting various apertures for the issue of
smoke. Here a fire of sticks is hastily kindled on a layer of stones,
and the coffee, boiled at home, is made hot for us. A wooden table is
allowed us from the convent, which we decorate with a white cloth and
green leaves. Rolls, butter, hard-boiled eggs, and fruits, together with
the coffee, constitute a very presentable breakfast. We have around us
the shade of vines and of lemon trees. Our repast is gay. When it is
ended, we amuse ourselves with books, work, and conversation of a scope
suited to the weather. An Athenian Plato could discourse philosophy in
the present state of the thermometer. We need it more than ever he did,
but we cannot attain it.

While we sit cheerful and quiescent, dodging the sharp sunlight, which
slyly carries one position after another, sounds of laughter from the
outer court reach our ears. This is a feast day, and in this outer court
a company of Athenian artisans, of the Snug and Bottom order, are
keeping it after their fashion. Following their voices, we come to a
shady terrace, where some eight or ten men are seated on the ground
around a wooden table, one foot in height, while two or three of their
comrades are employed in cutting up a lamb newly roasted, spitted on a
long, slender pole.

The cooking apparatus consisted of two or three stones, on which the
fire of sticks was kindled, and of two forked stakes, planted upright,
across which the spit and roast were laid. While the two before
mentioned were hacking the paschal lamb with rude anatomy, a third was
occupied with the salad, consisting of cucumbers sliced, with green
herbs, oil, and vinegar. Olives, bread, and wine completed the repast.
As we stood surveying them, one of their number approached us, bearing
in one hand a plate containing choice morsels of the roasted meat. This
he offered to each of us in turn, with great courtesy. In the other hand
he carried a rather dirty fragment of cotton cloth, which he also
presented to each in turn, as a towel. We took the meat with our
fingers, and ate it standing, in true Passover fashion. The doubtful
accommodation of the table napkin also we were glad to accept. Having
fed each of us, he presently returned with a glass and bottle of wine,
which he poured out and offered, saying, "_Eleuthera, eleuthera_" which
signifies "free, free." The wine, however, was a little out of rule for
us, and was therefore declined.

This man wore neither coat nor shoes, but his manners were full dress.
His comrades, meanwhile, had fallen to attacking their provisions with a
hearty good will. When the wine was poured out, a toast was proposed,
and "_Eleutheria tis Cretis_" ("the liberty of Crete") rang from every
lip. "Amen, amen," answered we, and the _entente cordiale_ was at once
established. Having eaten and drunk, they began to sing in a monotonous
strain, keeping time by clapping their hands. Retiring to our court, we
still heard this cadence from theirs. Their song, though little musical,
had no brutal intonations. It breathed a rather refined good nature and
hilarity. When we again visited our neighbors, they were dancing. All,
save two of them, formed a line, joining hands, the leader and the one
next him holding together by a pocket handkerchief. They sang all the
while, stepping rather slowly. The leader, at intervals, made as though
he would sit upon the ground, and then suddenly sprang high, with an
_oich!_ something like the shout in a Highland fling. In another figure,
they all lay upon their backs, springing up again quite abruptly, and
continuing their round.

These doings, together with talking, writing, and needle-work, brought
on the hour at which, in these climates, sleep becomes necessary. In
Greece, if you have risen early in the morning, by noon, or soon after,
you are sensible of a sudden ebb of energy. The marrow seems to forsake
your bones, the volition your muscles. You may not feel common
sleepiness, but your skeleton demands instant release from its upright
effort. You ask to become a heap, instead of a pile, and on the offer of
the first accommodation, you fall like the disjointed column of Jupiter
Olympius, more fortunate only in the easier renewal of your
architecture. Such a fall, at this moment, the stiffest of us coveted.

Meanwhile, an ancient hag, from the inner recesses of the building, had
waited upon us, with copious chattering of her pleasure in seeing us,
and of the drawback which the brigands had offered to her little
business of serving the strangers who used to visit the convent before
Kitzos and others made them afraid. For, the convent no longer
containing monks, those who occupy it are glad to accommodate visitors
from Athens and elsewhere. And the hag brought some heavy mats and
quilts, and spread them on the floor of a little whitewashed out-house.
And on these the little two-year-old child and others of the party lay
down and slept. But "_e megale kyrie_"--meaning here the elder
lady,--said the hag, "cannot sleep on the floor. I have a good bed up
stairs; she shall lie there."

So up stairs mounted the _megale kyrie_, and found a quiet room, and a
bed spread with clean sheets in one corner. A rude chintz lounge, a
wooden chest, and an eight-inch mirror completed the furniture of this
apartment. Here, in the bed-corner, the Olympian column of _e megale_
fell, and barbarian sleep, sleep of the _middle ages_, at once seized
upon it and kept it prostrate. After a brief interval of Gothic
darkness, the column rose again, and confronted the windows commanding a
view of the court. On one of its wooden settles lay the young Greek
secretary in wholesome slumber. Not far from him rested the Greek
missionary, a graduate of Amherst, and a genial and energetic man. And
presently the two-year-old, waking, desires to waken these also, and
makes divers attempts against their peace, causing _e megale_ to descend
for their protection. On her way, in an outer passage, she encounters a
poor woman, lying on a heap of cedar boughs, and bewailing a bitter
headache. Dinner-time next arrives. The wooden tables are once more set
out with meat and fruit. We exert ourselves to give the feast a
picturesque aspect, and are not altogether unsuccessful in so doing. The
true feast, however, seems to consist in saying over to one's self,
"This is Greece--this is Hymettus. I am I, and I am here." And now the
greatest heat of the day being overpast, a ramble is proposed.

The young people, escorted by the missionary, climb half the steep
ascent of the mountain. _E megale_ and the secretary pause in the outer
court, to whose festivities a new feature is now added. Our friends, the
artisans, have feasted again, and little of the lamb remains save the
bones. They are singing and dancing as before, but a strange figure from
the mountain has joined them. He calls himself a shepherd, but looks
much like a brigand. He wears a jacket, fustanella, and leggings, of the
dirtiest possible white--a white which mocks at all washings, past and
future. He has taken the leadership of the coryphées, and now executes a
dance which is called the "Klepht." His sly movements express cunning,
to which the twinkle of his sinister eyes responds. Now he pretends to
be stabbed from behind; now he creeps cautiously upon a pretended foe.
His dancing, which is very quiet, fatigues him extremely; but before
making an end, he performs the feat of carrying a glass of wine on his
head through various movements, not spilling a drop of it. The artisans
are now intending to break up. They cork the bottles of wine and
vinegar, empty and repack the dishes. We have brought them some fruit
from our dessert. One of them makes a little speech to us, in behalf of
all, thanking for our interest in the freedom of Crete and in the
prosperity of their country. And "_Zeto! zeto!_" (live! live!) was the
pleasant termination of the discourse, to which we were obliged to
respond through the medium of a friendly interpretation.

Finally the day began to wane, and we to pack and embark. The bell of
the little church now made itself heard, and, looking in, we saw the
priest engaged in going through his service, while a very homespun
assistant stood at the reading-desk, wearing spectacles upon his nose,
and making responses through it. A circlet of tapers was burning before
the altar. One old woman or so, a peasant mother with her child,--these
were the congregation. The idea of the Greek as of the Catholic mass is,
that it effects a propitiation of the Divine Being; so the priest
performs his office, often with little or no following. As to those who
should attend, I believe that one pays one's money and has one's choice;
there is nothing absolute about it. And now _e megale_ bestows a
trifling largess upon the hag, who has also dined off the relics of our
feast. The books and work are gathered, the carriages summoned. Item,
our driver wore a Palicari dress, and took part, very lamely, in the
dances we witnessed. Farewell, Hymettus! farewell, shady convent, clear
and sparkling water! We kiss our hands to you, and cherish you in our
remembrance.

On our homeward way we soon passed the Athenian party, riding ten or
twelve in a one-horse cart, carrying with them for an ensign the pole on
which their lamb had been spitted. They saluted us, and we shouted back,
"_Eleutheria tis Kritis!_" Amen, simple souls! your instincts are wiser
than the reasons of diplomatists.



ITEMS.


My remaining chronicles of Athens will be brief and simple--gleanings at
large from the field of memory, whose harvests grow more uncertain as
the memorizer grows older. In youth the die is new and sharp, and the
impression distinct and clean cut. This sharpness of outline wears with
age; all things observed give us more the common material of human life,
less its individual features. In this point of view it may well be that
I shall often speak of things trivial, and omit matters of greater
importance. Yet even these trifles, sketched in surroundings so
grandiose, may serve to shadow out the features of something greater
than themselves, always inwardly felt, even when not especially
depicted. It is in this hope that I bind together my few and precious
reminiscences of Grecian life, and present them, inadequate as they
are, as almost better than anything else I have.



THE PALACE.


Armed with a permit, and accompanied by a Greek friend, we walked, one
bitter hot afternoon, to see the royal palace built by King Otho, it is
said, out of his own appanage, or private income. As an investment even
for his own ultimate benefit, he would have done much better in
expending the money on some of the improvements so much needed in his
capital. The salary of the King of Greece amounts to two hundred and
fifty thousand dollars; and this sum is sufficiently disproportionate to
the slender monetary resources of the kingdom, without the additional
testimony of this palatial monument of a monarch who wished to live like
a rich man in a poor country. The palace is a very large one. It not
only encloses a hollow square, but divides that square by an extension
running across it. The internal arrangements and adornments are mostly
in good taste, and one can imagine that when the king and queen held
their state there, the state apartments may have made a brave show. The
rooms now appear rather scantily furnished; the hangings are faded; and
one can make one's own reflections upon the vanity and folly of
ambitious expense, unperverted by the witchery of present luxury, which
always argues, "Yes, the peasants have no beds, but see--this arm-chair
is so comfortable!" Now, luxury was for the time absent on leave, and
we thought much of the peasant, and little of the prince. For the
peasant is a fact, and the prince but a symbol, and a symbol of that
which to-day can be represented without him; viz., the unity of will and
action essential to the existence of the state. This unity to-day is
accomplished by the coöperation of the multitude, not by its exclusion.
The symbol remains useful, but no longer sublime. No need, therefore, to
exaggerate the difference between the common symbol and the common man.
Fortify your unity in the will and understanding of the people, not in
their fear and imagination. And let the king be moderate in his
following, and illustrious in his character and office. So shall he be a
leader as well as a banner--a fact as well as a symbol.

While I thought these things, I admired Queen Amalia's blue, pink, and
green rooms, the lustres of fine Bohemian glass, the suite of apartments
for royal visitors, the ball-room and its marble columns, running
through two stories in height, and altogether well-appointed. "The court
balls were beautiful," said my companion, "and the hall is very
brilliant when lighted and filled." "Is the queen regretted?" I asked.
"Not much," was the moderate reply.

The theatre interested me more, with its scenes still standing. In the
same hall, at the other end, is a frame and enclosure for "tableaux
vivants," of which the court were very fond. The prettiest girls in
Athens came here, and _posed_ as Muses, Minervas, and what not. I have
the photograph of one, with her white robe and lyre. And this brings to
me the only good word I can say for Otho and Amalia, in the historic
light in which I view them. They were not gross, nor cruel, nor
sluttish. Their tastes and pleasures were of the refined, social order,
and in so far their influence and example were softening and civilizing
in tendency. The temporary prevalence of the German element has
introduced a tendency towards German culture. And while the Greeks who
seek commercial education very generally migrate to London or Liverpool,
the men most accomplished in letters and philosophy have studied in
Germany. All this may not have hindered the German patronage from
becoming oppressive, nor the German rule from becoming intolerable to
the people at large. But, with the examples of this and other ages
before one, one thanks a monarch for not becoming either a beast or a
butcher. Otho was neither. But neither was he, on the other hand, a
Greek, nor a lover of Greeks. Nor could he and his queen present the
people with a successor Greek in birth, if not in parentage. This
absence of offspring, which is said to have sorely galled the queen, was
really a weak point in their case before the people. To be ruled by a
Greek is their natural and just desire.

Europe, which has so little charity for their divergence from her
absolute standard, must remember that it is not at their request that
this expensive and uncongenial condition of a foreign prince has been
annexed to their system of government. The superstitions of the old
world have here planted a seed of mischief in the gardens of the new.
England finds it most convenient to be governed by a German; France, by
an Italian; Russia, by a Tartar line. What more natural than that they
should muffle new-born Greece in their own antiquated fashions? The
Greeks assassinated Capo d'Istrias for acts of tyranny from which they
knew no other escape. For, indeed, the head of their state was very
clumsily adjusted to its body by the same powers who left out of their
construction several of its most important members. An arbitrary
president was no head for a nation which had just conquered its own
liberty. A foreign absolute prince was only the same thing, with another
name and a larger salary. By their last resolution the Greeks have
attained a constitutional government. If their present king cannot
administer such a one properly, he will make room for some one who can.
To his political duties, meanwhile, military ones will be added. Greece
for the Greeks,--Candia, Thessaly, and Epirus delivered from the Moslem
yoke,--this will be the watchword, to which he must reply or vanish.

It is in the face of America that the new nations, Greece and Italy,
must look for encouragement and recognition. The old diplomacy has no
solution for their difficulties, no cure for their distresses. The
experience of the present century has developed new political methods,
new social combinations. In the domestic economy of France and England
these new features are felt and acknowledged. But in the foreign policy
of those nations the element of progress scarcely appears. In this,
force still takes the place of reason; the right of conquest depends
upon the power of him who undertakes it; and in the farthest regions
visited by their flags, organized barbarism gets the better of
disorganized barbarism. The English in India, the French in Algeria,
were first brigands, then brokers. Of these two, we need not tell the
civilized world that the broker plunders best.

Greece is a poor democracy; America, a rich one. The second commands all
the luxuries and commodities of life; the first, little more than its
necessaries. Yet we, coming from our own state of things, can understand
how the Greek values himself upon being a man, and upon having a part in
the efficient action of the commonwealth. Greece is reproached with
giving too ambitious an education to her sons and daughters. Her
institutions form teachers, not maids and valets, mistresses and
masters, not servants. But for this America will not reproach
her--America, whose shop-girls take music lessons, whose poorest menials
attend lectures, concerts, and balls. A democratic people does not
acquiesce either in priestly or in diplomatic precedence. Let people
perform their uses, earn their bread, enjoy their own, and respect their
neighbors; these are the maxims of good life in a democratic country.
"Love God, love thy neighbor," is better than "fear God, honor the
king." As to the sycophancy of snobs, the corruption of office, the
contingent insufficiency alike of electors and elected,--these are the
accidents of all human governments, to be arrested only by the constant
watchfulness of the wiser spirits, the true pilots of the state.

By the time that I had excogitated all this, my feet had visited many
square yards of palace, comprising bed-room, banqueting-room, chief
lady's room, chapel, and so on. I had seen the queen's garden, and the
_palmas qui meruit ferat_, and which she has left for her successor. I
had seen, too, the fine view from the upper windows, sweeping from the
Acropolis to the sea. I had exchanged various remarks with my Athenian
companion. New furniture was expected with the Russian princess, but
scarcely new enthusiasm. The little king had stopped the movement in
Thessaly, which would have diverted the Turkish force now concentrated
upon Crete, giving that laboring island a chance of rising above the
bloody waters that drown her. Little love did the little king earn by
this course. One might say that he is on probation, and will, in the
end, get his deserts, and no more. And here my friend has slipped some
suitable coin into the hand of the smiling major-domo, who showed us
over the royal house. Farewell, palace: the day of kings is over.
Peoples have now their turn, and God wills it.



THE CATHEDRAL.


In close juxtaposition with the state is the church. In America we have
religious liberty. This does not mean that a man has morally the right
to have no religion, but that the very nature of religion requires that
he should hold his own convictions above the ordinances of others. The
Greeks have religious liberty, whose idea is rather this, that people
may believe much as they please, provided they adhere outwardly to the
national church. The reason assigned for this is, that any change in the
form or discipline of this church would weaken the bond that unites the
Greeks out of Greece proper with those within her limits. This outward
compression and inward latitude is always a dangerous symptom. It points
to practical irreligion, an ever widening distance between a man's
inward convictions and his outward practice. Passing this by, however,
let us have a few words on the familiar aspect and practical working of
the Greek church as at present administered. Like other bodies politic
and individual already known to us, it consists of a reconciled
opposition, which, held within bounds, secures its efficiency. The same,
passing those bounds, would cause its annihilation. Like other churches,
it is at once aristocratic and democratic. It binds and looses. It is
less intellectual than either Catholicism or Protestantism; perhaps less
intolerant than either, so far as dogma goes. I still think it narrower
than either in the scope of its sympathies, lower than either in its
social and individual standard. Taken with the others, it makes up the
desired three of human conditions; but before it can meet them
harmoniously, it has a long way to go.

Refusing images, but clinging to pictures; allowing the Scriptures to
the common people, but discouraging their use of the same; with an
unmarried hierarchy of some education, and a married secular clergy of
none,--the Greek church seems to me to be too flatly in contradiction
with itself and with the spirit of the age to maintain long a social
supremacy, a moral efficiency. The department of the clergy last
mentioned receive no other support than that of the contingent
contributions of the people, paid in small sums, as the wages of
services better withheld than rendered. Exorcisms, benedictions, prayers
recited over graves, or secured as a cure for sick cattle,--these are
some of the sacerdotal acts by which the lesser clergy live. Those who
wish to keep these resources open must, of course, discourage the
reading of the New Testament, whose great aim and tendency are to
substitute a religion of life and doctrine for a religion of
observances. Congregations reading this book for themselves, no matter
how poor or ignorant in other matters, will ask something other of the
priest than the exorcism of demons or the cure of cattle.

Of the higher clergy, some have studied in Germany, and, reversing Mr.
Emerson's sentence, must know, one thinks, better than they build.
Orthodox their will may be, firm their adherence to the establishment,
strict their administration of it. But they must be aware of the limits
that it sets to religious progress. And so long as they cannot preach to
their congregations the full sincerity and power of their inward
convictions, their ministration loses in moral power,--the house is
divided against itself.

I visited the Cathedral of Athens but once. It is a spacious and
handsome church, in what I should call a modern Eastern style. It was
on Sunday, and mass was going on. The middle and right aisles were
filled with men, the left aisle with women. I do not know whether I have
mentioned elsewhere that in the Greek and Russian, as in the Quaker
church, men and women stand separately--stand, for seats are neither
provided nor allowed. I found a place among the women, commanding a view
of the high altar. The archbishop, a venerable-looking man, in gold
brocade and golden head-dress, went through various functions, which,
though not identical with those of the Romish mass, seemed to amount to
about the same thing. There were bowings, appearings and retirings, the
swinging of censers, and the presentation of tapers fixed in silver
candelabras, and tied in the middle with black ribbon, so as to form a
sheaf. These candelabras the archbishop from time to time took, one
under each arm, and made a step or two towards the congregation. The
dresses of the assistant priests were very rich, and their heads
altogether Oriental in aspect. One of them, with his gold-bronzed face
and golden hair, looked like pictures of St. John. The vocal part of the
performance consisted of a sort of chant, with responses intensely nasal
and unmusical. This psalmody, which is little relished by Greeks of
culture, is yet maintained, like the discipline, intact, lest the most
trifling amelioration should weaken the tie of Christian brotherhood
between the free Greek church and the church that is in bondage with her
children. To one familiar with the pretexts of conservatism, this plea
of union before improvement is not new nor availing. One laughs, and
remembers the respectabilities who tried to paralyze the American
intellect and conscience in order to save the Union, which, after all,
was saved only by the measures they abhorred and denounced. I had soon
enough of what I was able to hear and see of the Greek mass. As I stole
softly away, I passed a sort of lesser altar, before which was burning a
circular row of tapers. An old woman had similar tapers on a small
table, for sale, I suppose. I was invited, by gesture, to consummate a
pious act by the purchase of some of these, but declined, not without
remembering that I was some time since elected a lay delegate from a
certain Unitarian church to a certain Unitarian conference. This fact,
if communicated, would not have heightened my standing in the
approbation of the sisters who then surrounded me. "What, no candle?"
said their indignant glances. I was silent, and fled.



THE MISSIONARIES.


In the presence of the contradictions alluded to above, the position of
the Greek church and of American Protestant missionaries becomes one of
mutual delicacy and difficulty. The church allows religious liberty, and
assumes religious tolerance. Yet it naturally holds fast its own
children within its own borders. The Protestants are pledged to labor
for the world's Christianization. When they see its progress opposed by
antiquated usage and insufficient method, they cannot acquiesce in these
obstacles, nor teach others to revere them. Here we must say at once
that no act is so irreligious as the resistance of progress. Thought and
conscience are progressive. Christ's progressive labor carried further
the Jewish faith and tenets which were religious before he came, but
which became irreligious in resisting the further and finer conclusions
to which he led. "I come not to destroy, but to fulfil." Progress does
fulfil in the spirit, even though it destroy in the letter.
Protestantism acknowledges this, and this acknowledgment constitutes its
superiority over the Greek and Catholic churches. The sincere reader of
the New Testament will be ever more and more disposed to make his
religion a matter lying directly between himself and the Divine Being.
His outward conformity to all just laws and good institutions will be,
not the less, but the more, perfect because his scale of obligation is
an individual one, the spring and motive of his actions a deeply inward
one. Church and state gain in soundness and efficiency by every
individual conscience that functions within their bounds. Religion of
this sort leads away from human mediations, from confessions,
benedictions, injunctions, and permissions of merely human authority. It
confesses first to God, afterwards, if at all, to those whom its
confessions can benefit. It brings its own thought to aid and illustrate
the general thought. It cannot abdicate its own conclusions before any
magnitude either of intellect or of age.

The Protestant, therefore, would be much straitened within the Greek
limits. He is forced to teach those who will listen to him that God is
much nearer than the priest, and that their own simple and sincere
understanding of Christian doctrine is at once more just and more
precious than the fallacies and sophisms of an absolute theology. Such
teaching will scarcely be more relished by the Greek than by the Romish
clergy; yet the Protestant must teach this, or be silent.

And this, after their fashion, the American missionaries do set forth
and illustrate. Their merits and demerits I am not here to discuss. How
much of polite culture, of sufficient philosophy, goes with their honest
purpose, it is not at this time my business to know or to say. Neither
is their special theology mine. They believe in a literal atonement,
while I believe in the symbolism which makes a pure and blameless
sufferer a victim offered in behalf of his enemies. They look for a
miraculous, I for a moral regeneration. They make Christ divine of
birth, I make him simply divine of life. Their dogmas would reconcile
God to man, mine would only reconcile man to God. Finally, they revere
as absolute and divine a book which I hold to be a human record of
surpassing thoughts and actions, but with the short-comings, omissions,
and errors of the human historiographer stamped upon them. With all this
diversity of opinion between the church of their communion and that of
mine, I still honor, beyond all difference, the Protestant cause for
which they stand in Greece, and consider their representation a just and
genuine one.

In writing this I have had in mind the three dissenting missionaries,
Messrs. Kalopothaki, Constantine, and Zacularius. The older mission of
Dr. and Mrs. Hill is an educational one. I believe it to have borne the
happiest fruits for Greece. Whenever I have met a scholar of Mrs. Hill,
I have seen the traces of a firm, pure, and gentle hand--one to which
the wisest and tenderest of us would willingly confide our daughters. In
raising the whole scale of feminine education in Greece, she has applied
the most potent and subtle agent for the elevation of its whole society.
She herself is childless; but she need scarcely regret it, since whole
generations are sure to rise up and call her blessed.

Dr. Hill is at present chaplain to the English embassy, at whose chapel
he preaches weekly. Mrs. Hill and himself seem to stand in very
harmonious relations with Athenian society, as well as with the
travelling and visiting world.

The missionaries preach and practise with unremitting zeal. They also
publish a weekly religious paper. Their wives labor faithfully in the
aid and employment of the Cretan women and children, and, I doubt not,
in other good works. But of these things I have now told the little that
I know.



THE PIAZZA.


Venice has a Piazza, gorgeous with shops, lights, music, and, above all,
the joyous life of the people. Athens also has a Piazza, bordered with
hotels and cafés, with a square of trees and flowering shrubs in the
middle. It lies broadly open to the sun all day long, and gives back his
rays with a torrid refraction. When day declines, the evening breezes
sweep it refreshingly. Accordingly, as soon as the shadows permit, the
spaces in front of the cafés--or, in Greek, _cafféneions_--are crowded
with chairs and tables, the chairs being filled by human beings, many of
whom have ripened, so far as the head goes, into a fez--have unfolded,
so far as the costume goes, into pali-kari petticoats and leggings.
Between the two hotels is mortal antipathy. Ours--"Des Etrangers"--has
taken the lead, and manages to keep it. The prices of the other are
lower, the _cuisine_ much the same, the upper windows set to command a
view of the Acropolis, which is in itself an unsurpassable picture.
Where the magic resides which keeps our hotel full and the other empty,
I know not, unless it be in the slippery Eastern smile of the
landlord--an expression of countenance so singular that it inevitably
leads you, from curiosity, to follow it further. In our case it led to
no profound of wickedness. We were not cheated, nor plundered, nor got
the better of in any way that I remember. Our food was good, our rooms
proper, our charges just. Yet I felt, whenever I encountered the smile,
that it angled for me, and caught me on a hook cunningly baited.

I must say that our landlord was even generous. Besides our three meals
_per diem_,--which grew to be very slender affairs, so far as we were
concerned,--we often required lemonades and lokumia, besides sending of
errands innumerable. For these indulgences no extra charge was made. In
an Italian, French, or English hotel, each one of them would have had
its penitentiary record. So the mystery of the smile must have had
reference to matters deeply personal to its wearer, and never made known
to me.

The cafés seemed to maintain a thrifty existence. But one of them took
especial pains to secure the services of a band of music. Hence, on the
evenings when the public band did not play, emanated the usual
capriccios from Norma, Trovatore, and the agonies of Traviata. Something
better and worse than all this was given to us in the shape of certain
ancient Greek or Turkish melodies, obviously composed in ignorance of
all rules of thorough-bass, with a confusion of majors and minors most
perplexing to the classic, but interesting to the historic sense. I
rejoiced especially in one of these, which bore the same relation to
good harmony that Eastern dress bears to good composition of color. It
was obviously well liked by the public, as it was usually played more
than once during the same evening.

Before the shadows grew quite dark, a barouche or two, with ladies and
livery, would drive across the Piazza, giving a whiff of fashion like
the gleam of red costume that heightens a landscape. And the people sat,
ate and drank, came and went, in sober gladness, not laughing
open-mouthed--rather smiling with their eyes. From our narrow hotel
balcony we used to look down and wonder whether we should ever be cool
again. For though the evenings were not sultry, their length did not
suffice to reduce the fever of the day. And the night within the
mosquito-nettings was an agony of perspiration. I now sit in Venice, and
am cool; but I would gladly suffer something to hear the weird music,
and to see the cheerful Piazza again. Yet when I was there, for ten
minutes of this sea-breeze over the lagoons I would have given--Heaven
knows what. O Esau!



DEPARTURE.


Too soon, too soon for all of us, these rare and costly delights were
ended. We had indeed suffered days of Fahrenheit at 100° in the shade.
We had made experience of states of body which are termed bilious, of
states of mind more or less splenetic, lethargic, and irritable. We
dreamed always of islands we were never to visit, of ruins which we
shall know, according to the flesh, never. We pored over Muir and Miss
Bremer, and feebly devised outbreaks towards the islands, towards the
Cyclades, Santorini, but especially towards Corinth, whose acropolis
rested steadily in our wishes, resting in our memory only as a wish.
Towards Constantinople, too, our uncertain destinies had one moment
pointed. But when the word of command came, it despatched us westward,
and not eastward. By this time our life had become somewhat too
literally a vapor, and our sublimated brains were with difficulty
condensed to the act of packing. Perpetual thirst tormented us. And of
this as of other Eastern temptations, I must say, "Resist it." Drinking
does not relieve this symptom of hot climates. It, moreover, utterly
destroys the tone of the stomach. A little tea is the safest
refreshment; and even this should not be taken in copious draughts.
Patience and self-control are essential to bodily health and comfort
under these torrid skies. The little food one can take should be of the
order usually characterized as "nutritious and easy of digestion." But
so far as health goes, "Avoid Athens in midsummer" will be the safest
direction, and will obviate the necessity of all others.

In spite, however, of all symptoms and inconveniences, the mandate that
said, "Pack and go," struck a chill to our collective heart. We visited
all the dear spots, gave pledges of constancy to all the kind friends,
tried with our weak sight to photograph the precious views upon our
memory. Then, with a sort of agony, we hurried our possessions, new and
old, into the usual narrow receptacles, saw all accounts discharged,
feed the hotel servants, took the smile for the last time, and found
ourselves dashing along the road to the Piræus with feelings very unlike
the jubilation in which we first passed that classic transit. It was all
over now, like a first love, like a first authorship, like a honey-moon.
It was over. We could not say that we had not had it. But O, the void of
not having it now, of never expecting to have it again!

Kind friends went with us to soften the journey. At the boat, Dr. and
Mrs. Hill met and waited with us. I parted from the apostolic woman with
sincere good-will and regret. Warned to be on board by six P. M., the
boat did not start till half-past seven. We waved last adieus. We clung
to the last glimpses of the Acropolis, of the mountains; but they soon
passed out of sight. We savagely went below and to bed. The diary bears
this little extract: "The Ægean was calm and blue. Thus, with great
pleasure and interest, and with some drawbacks, ends my visit to Athens.
A dream--a dream!"



RETURN VOYAGE.


To narrate the circumstances of our return voyage would seem much like
descending from the poetic _dénouement_ of a novel to all the prosaic
steps by which the commonplace regains its inevitable ascendency after
no matter what abdication in favor of the heroic. Yet, as travel is
travel, whether outward or inward bound, and as our homeward cruise had
features, I will try, with the help of the diary, to pick them out of
the vanishing chaos of memory, premising only that I have no further
_dénouement_ to give.

    "Story? Lord bless you, I have none to tell, sir."

On referring, therefore, to Clayton's quarto, of the date of July 21,
1867, I find the day to have been passed by us all in the hot harbor of
Syra, on board the boat that brought us there. At seven A. M. we did
indeed land in a small boat with Vice-Consul Saponsaki, and betake
ourselves through several of the steep and sunny streets of the town. At
one of the two hotels we staid long enough to order lemonades and drink
them. The said hotel appeared, on a cursory survey, to be as dirty and
disorderly as need be; but we soon escaped therefrom, and visited the
theatre, the Casino, and the Austrian consul. The Casino is spacious and
handsome, giving evidence at once of wealth and of taste in those who
caused it to be built. Such an establishment would be a boon in Athens,
where there is no good public reading-room of any kind. The theatre is
reasonable. Here, in winter, a short opera season is enjoyed, and, in
consequence, the music books of the young ladies teem with arrangements
of Verdi and of Donizetti. We found the square near the quay lively with
the early enjoyers of coffee and the narghilé. Every precious inch of
shade was, as usual, carefully appropriated; but the sun was rapidly
narrowing the boundaries of the shadow district. Our chief errand
resulted in the purchase of an ok of _lokumias_, which we virtuously
resolved to carry to America, if possible. The little boat now returned
us to the steamer, where breakfast and dinner quietly succeeded each
other, little worthy of record occurring between. One interesting half
hour reached us in the shape of a visit from Papa Parthenius, a young
and active member of the Cretan Syn-eleusis. He came with tidings for
our chief veteran,--tales of the Turks, and how they could get no water
at Svakia; tidings also of brave young DeKay, and of his good service in
behalf of the island. While these, in the dreadful secrecy of an unknown
tongue, impart he did, I seized pen and ink, and ennobled my unworthy
sketch-book with a _croquis_ of his finely-bronzed visage. His
countenance was such as Miss Bremer would have called dark and
energetic. He wore the dress of his calling, which was that of the
secular priesthood. He soon detected my occupation, and said, in Greek,
"I regret that the kyrie should make my portrait without my arms."

We parted from him very cordially. Consul Campfield afterwards gave us a
refreshing row about the harbor, bringing us within view of the two
iron-clads newly purchased and brought out to run the Turkish blockade.
One of these was famous in the annals of Secessia. Both served that more
than doubtful cause. Then we went back to the vessel, and the rest of
the day did not get beyond perspiration and patience.

Towards evening a spirited breeze began to lash the waters of the harbor
into hilly madness. White caps showed themselves, and we, who were to
embark on board another vessel, for another voyage, took note of the
same. The friendly Evangelides now came on board, and scolded us for not
having sent him word of our arrival. We pleaded the extreme heat of the
day, which had made dreadful the idea of visiting and of locomotion of
any sort. He was clad from head to foot in white linen, and looked most
comfortable. While he was yet with us, the summons of departure came. In
our chief's plans, meanwhile, a change had taken place. Determining
causes induced him to return to Athens, minus his female _impedimenta_:
so the little boat that danced with us from the Lloyd's Syra to the
Lloyd's Trieste steamer danced back with him, leaving three disconsolate
ones, bereft of Greece, and unprotected of all and any. Nor did we make
this second start without a _contretemps_. Having bidden the chief
farewell, we proceeded at once to take account of our luggage; and lo!
the shawl bundle was not. Now, every knowing traveller is aware that
this article of travelling furniture contains much besides the shawl,
which is but the envelope of all the odds and ends usually most
essential to comfort. For the second in command, therefore, previously
designated as _a megale_, there was but one course to pursue. To hire a
boat, refuse to be cheated in its price, tumble down the ship's side,
row to the Syra steamer, pick up the missing bundle, astonish the chief
in a pensive reverie, "_sibi et suis_," on the cabin sofa, and return
triumphant, was the work of ten minutes. But the sea ran high, the
little boat danced like a cockle-shell, and the neophytes were afraid,
and much relieved in mind when the ancient reappeared.

The America (the Trieste steamer) did not weigh anchor before midnight.
Soon after the adventure of the shawl bundle, the Syra steamer fired a
gun, and slipped out to sea. We had seen the last of the chief for a
fortnight at least, and our attention was now turned to the quarters we
were to occupy for four days to come. These did not at first sight seem
very promising. Our state-rooms were small, and bare of all furniture,
except the bed and washing fixtures. Just outside of them, on the deck,
was the tent under which the Turkish women horded. For we found, on
coming on board, a Turkish pacha and suite, bound from Constantinople to
Janina, to take the place of him whom we had, a month before,
accompanied on his way from Janina to Constantinople, via Corfu, where
we were to be quit of the present dignitary. But before I get to the
Turks, I must mention that good Christian, the Austrian consul at Syra,
who came on board before we left, and introduced to me a young man in an
alarming condition of health, a Venetian by birth, and an officer in the
Austrian navy. His illness had been induced by exposure incident to his
profession in the hot harbor of Kanea.

The first night we made acquaintance only with various screaming babies,
the torment of young mothers who did not know how to take care of them,
their nurses having been left at home. The night was sufficiently
disturbed up to the period of departure, and these little ones vented
their displeasure in tones which argued well for their lungs. The next
morning showed us a rough sea, the vessel pitching and tossing, the
ladies mostly sea sick--we ourselves well and about, but much incommoded
by heat and want of room. A tall member of the pacha's suite came into
our little round house, dressed principally in a short, quilted sack of
bright red calico. He carried in his arms a teething baby, very dirty
and ill-dressed, and tried to nurse and soothe it on his knee, the
mother being totally incapacitated by seasickness. This man was tall and
fair. I thought he might be an Albanian. I made some incautious remarks
in French concerning his dress, which he obviously understood, for he
disappeared, and then reappeared dressed in a handsome European suit,
with a bran-new fez on his head, but carrying no baby. Another of the
suite, unmistakably a Turk, pestered the round-house. This individual
wore white cotton drawers under a long calico night shirt of a faded
lilac pattern, which was bound about his waist with a strip of yellow
calico. The articles of this toilet were far from clean. Glasses and a
fez completed it. The wearer we learned to be a fanatical Turk, who came
among us in this disorderly dress to show his contempt for Christians in
general. His motive was held to be, in his creed, a religious one. It
further caused him to take his meals separately from us--a circumstance
which we scarcely regretted. He was much amazed at the worsted work in
the hands of one of the neophytes, and went so far as to take it up, and
to ask a bystander who spoke his language whether the young girl spun
the wools herself before she began her tapestry. He then asked the price
of the wools, and on hearing the reply exclaimed, "What land on earth
equals Turkey, where you can buy the finest wool for twelve píastres an
ok!"

Besides these not very appetizing figures, we had on board some
Fanariote Greeks, of aristocratic pretensions and Turkish principles;
some Hellenes of the true Greek stamp; a Dalmatian sea captain, his wife
and daughters, who spoke Italian and looked German; an Armenian lady and
young daughter from Constantinople, bound to Paris; several Greeks
resident in Transylvania, speaking Greek and German with equal facility;
two Armenian priests returning from an Eastern mission, and _en route_
for Vienna; the Austro-Italian before spoken of; a Bohemian glass
merchant; and an array of deck passengers as varied and motley as those
already enumerated as belonging to the first cabin. With all of the
latter we made acquaintance; but although we moved among them with
cordiality and good-will, the equilibrium of sympathy was difficult to
find. The Fanariotes were no Philhellenes, the Armenian ladies were
frequenters of the sultan's palace; the Italian was thoroughly German in
his inclinations, and spoke in utter dispraise of his own country when
his feeble condition allowed him to speak. Of the Armenian priests, one
was quite a man of the world, and somewhat reserved and suspicious. The
other showed something of the infirmity of advanced age in the prolixity
of his speech, as well as in its matter. In this Noah's ark _e megale_
moved about, mindful of the bull in the china shop, and tried not to
upset this one's mustard-pot and that one's vase of perfume. And as all
were whole when she parted from them, she has reason to hope that her
efforts were tolerably successful.

In the human variety shop just described, I must not forget to speak of
my sisters, the Turkish women, imprisoned in a small portion of the
deck, protected by a curtain from all intrusion or inspection. As this
sacred precinct lay along the outside partition of the ladies' cabin, I
became aware of a remote window, through which a practicable breach
might be made in their fortress. Thither, on the first day, I repaired,
and paid my compliments. They were, I think, five in number, and lay
along on mattresses, disconsolately enough. With the help of the
stewardess, I inquired after their health, and learned that seasickness
held them prostrate and helpless. Nothing ate they, nothing drank they.
Two of them were young and pretty. Of these, one was the wife of the bey
who accompanied the pacha. She had a delicate cast of features,
melancholy dark eyes, and dark hair bound up with a lilac crape
handkerchief. The other was the mother of the teething child spoken of
above, and the wife of the tall parent who nursed it. By noon on the
second day the sea had sunk to almost glassy smoothness. All of the
patients were up and about; the children were freshly washed and
dressed, and became coaxable. One of the Armenian ladies now volunteered
to go with me to look in upon our Turkish friends. We found them up and
stirring, making themselves ready to land at Corfu. And to my companion
they told what good messes they had brought from Constantinople, and
thrown into the blue Ægean; for the heat of the vessel spoiled their
victuals much faster than they, being seasick, could keep them from
spoiling. And they laughed over their past sufferings much after the
fashion of other women. The pretty mother now appeared in a loose gown
of yellow calico, holding up her baby. I made a hasty sketch of the pair
as they showed themselves at the cabin window; but the flat, glaring
light did not allow me to do even as well as usual, which is saying
little. The oval face, smooth, black brows, and long, liquid eyes, were
beautiful, and her smile was touchingly child-like and innocent. The
bey's wife wore a lilac calico; another wore pale green. These dresses
consisted of loose gowns, with under-trousers of the same material; they
were utterly unneat and tasteless. I presently saw them put on their
yashmacs, and draw over their calicoes a sort of cloak of black stuff,
not unlike alpaca. They now looked very decently, and, being covered,
were allowed to sit on deck until the time of the arrival in Corfu. The
pretty one whom I sketched begged to look at my work. On seeing it she
exclaimed, "Let no man ever behold this!" Nor could I blame her, for it
maligned her sadly. Concerning the landing in Corfu, the meagre diary
shows this passage:--

"Went on shore at Corfu at 5.45 P. M., returning at 6.50. Expenses in
all, ten francs, including boat, ices, and _valet de place_. The steamer
was so hot that this short visit on shore was a great relief, Corfu
being at this hour very breezy and shady. Every one says that the Ionian
Islands are going to ruin since the departure of the English. This is
from the want of capital and of enterprise. So it would seem as if
people who have no enterprise of their own must be content to thrive
secondarily upon that of other people. The whole type of Greek life,
however, is opposed to the Occidental type. Its luxury is to be in
health, and to be satisfied with little. We Westerns illustrate the
multiplication of wants with that of resources, or _vice versa_. [The
diary, prudently, does not attempt to decide the question of antecedence
and consequence between these two.] The Greeks seem, so far, to
illustrate the converse. Whether this opposition can endure in the
present day, I cannot foresee. But this I can see--that Greece will not
have more luxury without more poverty. The circle of wealth, enlarging,
will more and more crowd those who are unfitted to attain it, and who
must be content with the minimum even of food and raiment."

So far the pitiful, sea-addled diary. It does not recount how mercifully
the captain of our steamer found a _valet de place_ for us, and told him
to take care of us, and bring us back at a given moment. Nor how our
payment of ten francs for three persons, instead of Heaven knows what
exorbitation, was owing to this circumstance. For it may not be known to
the inexperienced that the boatmen of Corfu are wont to make a very
moderate charge for setting people ashore on the island. This is done in
order to disarm suspicion: _facile descensus Averni--sed revocare
gradum_! But when you wish to return to your vessel, the need being
pressing, and the time admitting of no delay, the same boatmen are wont
to demand fifteen or twenty francs _per capita_, and the more you swear
the more they laugh. Among the arrearages of justice adjourned to that
supreme chancery term, the Day of Judgment, I fear there must be many of
English et al. _vs._ boatmen. But under the captain's happy
administration, I made bold, when the boatman insisted on being paid for
the return trip in mid-sea, to refuse a single copper. Now, the gift of
unknown tongues sometimes resides in the person who hears them. And I
received it as a decided advantage that I understood no phrase of the
boatmen's low muttering and grumbling. So they were forced to carry us
to the gangway of the steamer, where the captain stood to receive us.
And I paid the men and the valet under the captain's supervision, and
when the former demanded a _bottiglia_, the captain cried out, in
energetic tones, "Get off of my ship at once, you scoundrels; you have
been well paid already;" the which indeed befell.

Neither does the diary recount how the drivers of public carriages
followed us up and down the streets, insisting upon our engaging them,
first at their price, and then at ours, for a trip which we had neither
time nor mind to make, desisting after half an hour's annoyance; nor how
a money changer, given a napoleon, contrived to make up one of its
francs by slipping in two miserable Turkish _paras_, not worth half a
franc; nor how the whistle of the steamer made our return very anxious
and hurried, the passengers accusing us of having delayed the departure,
while the captain confided to us that he had assumed this air of extreme
hurry, in order to stimulate the disembarkation of the Turks, whose
theory of taking one's own time was somewhat loosely applied in the
present instance. Well, this is all I know of Corfu. It is little
enough, and yet, perhaps, too much.



FARTHER.


Corfu was the last of Greece to us. A tightening at our heartstrings
told us so. We consented to depart, but conquered the agony of making
farewell verses, dear at any price, in the then state of the
thermometer. Our feelings, such as they were, were mutely exchanged with
the bronze statue of that late governor, who brought the water into the
town. Unless he should prove as frisky as the Commendatore in Don
Giovanni, they will never be divulged.

We now set our faces, in conjunction with the tide of conquest,
westward. We all suffered heat, ennui, and baby-yell. The Italian
invalid languished in his hot state-room, or in our cabin, his weak
condition increasing the dangerous discomfort of perspiration--a grave
matter when a chill would be death. Worsted work progressed, the hungry
sketch-book got a nibble or two, and the mild good-wills of the voyage
ripened, never, we fear, to bear future harvests of profit and
intercourse. Not the less were we beholden to them for the time. And we
will even praise thee here, Armenian Anna, with thy young graces, thy
Eastern beauty, thy charming English, and thoroughly genial behavior.
Mother and daughter had _distinction_, in the French sense of the word.
From the former I had many _aperçus_ of Eastern life. She was married at
the early age of fourteen, and wore on that occasion the traditional
veiling of threads of gold, bound on her brow and falling to her feet.
"How glad I was to remove it," she said, "it was so heavy!" "What did
you do with it?" I asked. "I divided it into several portions, and
endowed with them the marriage of poorer girls, who could not afford it
for themselves." But madame informed me that this cumbrous ornament has
now passed out of fashion, the tulle veil and orange flowers of French
usage having generally taken its place. This lady was supposed by most
people to be the elder sister of her pretty daughter. In her soberer
beauty one seemed to see the dancing eyes and pouting cheeks of the
other carried only a little farther on. And both were among the chief
comforts of the voyage.

Of the two Armenian priests, the younger held himself aloof, as if he
understood full well the inconveniences of sympathy--a dry, steely,
well-balanced man, without enthusiasm, but fine in temperament, well
bred, and with at least the culture of a man of the present world. But
Père Michel, the elder, was more willing to impart his mental gifts and
experiences to such as would hear them. And he was a man of another age,
with obsolete opinions, which he produced like the unconscious bearer of
uncurrent coin.

Here is a little specimen of his talk, the subject being that of dreams
and revelations: "What is to happen, that God alone can know. But that
which is already happening, or which has happened at a distance, this
the _demonio_ may know and reveal. And he will reveal it to you in a
dream, or in a vision, or by a presentiment."

"But what does the _demonio_ get, Père Michel, for the trouble of
revealing it to us?"

"The satisfaction of making men superstitious?"

_Non c'e male, Père Michel._ And what, thought I, is the chief advantage
of being pope, cardinal, arch-priest, confessor? The satisfaction of
making men superstitious. At another time I remarked upon the fact that
the monasteries in Greece are usually situated at some height on a
mountain side. "They are of the order of St. Basil," said the old man;
"he always loved the retirement of the mountains, and his followers
imitate him in this." Père Michel had a pleasant smile, with just enough
of second childhood to be guileless, not foolish. And I may here say
that the Armenian priesthood appear to me to have quite an individuality
of their own, corresponding to no order of the Romish priesthood with
which I am acquainted.

The excessive heat of the cabins and after deck one day induced me to
head a valorous invasion of the forward deck, followed by as many of the
sisterhood as I was able to recruit. The steamer being a very long one,
we had to make quite a journey before we entered that almost interdicted
region, crossing a long bridge, and passing the captain's sacred office.
We carried books and work; our _fauteuils_ followed us. And here we
found cool breezes and delicious shade. The sailors and deck passengers
lay in heaps about the boards, taking their noonday nap in a very
primitive manner. We profited by this discovery so far as to repeat the
invasion daily while the voyage lasted.

But it came to end sooner than one might suppose from this long
description. We had left Syra on Sunday night; on Thursday afternoon we
landed in Trieste. Farewell, Turco-Italians, Austro-Italians, Sieben
Gebirgers, Transylvanians, Dalmatians, ladies, babies, priests, and all.
When shall we meet again? Scarcely before that great and final analysis
which promises to distinguish, once for all, the sheep from the goats.
And even for that supreme consummation and its results, all of you may
command my best wishes.



FRAGMENTS.


Up to the point last reached, my jottings down had been made with
tolerable regularity. Living is so much more rapid than writing, that an
impossible babe, who should begin his diary at his birth, would be sure
to have large arrears between that period and the day of his death,
however indefatigable he might be in his recording. A man cannot live
his life and write it too; hence the work that men who live much leave
to their biographers. So, of the space that here intervened between
Trieste and Paris, I lived the maximum and wrote the minimum; that is,
the little death's-head and cross-bone mementos with which the diary is
forced to record the spot at which each day fell and lay, together with
the current expenses of its interment. In some places even these are
wanting, and the stricken soul, looking over the diary, cries out, "O,
my leanness!" or words to that effect. Yet the poor document referred to
shall help us what it can, beginning with the return from cheap, cosy
Trieste to that polished jewel of the Adriatic, which now shines doubly
in its new setting of liberty.

We went, as we came, in the Lloyd steamer, declining, however, to engage
a state-room, mindful of the exceeding closeness of that in which we
suffered on our outward voyage. The embarkation was made, like that from
Venice, at the mysterious hour of midnight; and we, coming on board at
half past ten, secured such sofa and easy-chair privileges as moved the
wrath of a high-talking German party who came at the last moment, and
shouted for a quarter of an hour the assertion that his Damen were fully
equal, if not superior, to any other Damen on board the steamer, and
that if the other Damen had places, his surely ought much more to have
them. The cameriere merely shrugged his shoulders, and we failed to be
convinced that our first duty would be to vacate our limited
accommodations, and stand at large for the benefit of these or any other
virgins of the tardy and oily description. The blatant champion thereon
took himself and his Damen up stairs. We reserved to ourselves the good
intention of sharing our advantages with them at a later period, when
the passage of the present acerbity should make intercourse possible.
The cabin soon became insufferably hot and close. After various
ineffectual attempts at repose, in a cramped position on the sofa, with
a shawl bundle for a pillow, I went on deck, where I at least found
fresh air and darkness, the blazing lamp in the cabin being enough, of
itself, to banish sleep. Every available spot here was occupied by
groups or single figures, whose _tout ensemble_, what with the darkness
and their draping, constituted a very respectable gallery of figures,
much resembling the conspirators in Ernani, or Mme. Tussaud's Chamber of
Horrors, in the absence of the illuminating medium. I unconsciously
seated myself on one sleeping figure, which kicked and cried, O! With
difficulty I found a narrow vacancy on one of the side benches, after
occupation of which I wrapped my shawl about me, and gave up to the
situation.

    "For we were tired, my back and I."

Seasick women sobbed and gasped around me, not having, as we, graduated
in the great college of ocean passage. The night was very black.
Presently a form nestled at my right. It was the elder neophyte,
disgusted with the cabin, and willing to be anywhere else. The moon rose
late, a de-crescent. The whole time was amphibious, neither sleeping nor
waking, neither day nor night. Suddenly, a perceptible chill seized upon
us; a little later the black sky grew gray, and the series of groups
that filled the deck were all revealed, like hidden motives in the light
of some new doctrine. The sunrise was showery, and attended by a
rainbow. The people bestirred themselves, stretched their benumbed
limbs, and shook their tumbled garments into shape. Black coffee could
now be had for ten sous a cup, and _café au lait_ for twenty, with a
crust of bread which defied gnawing. The diary says, "L. and I grew
quite tearful as we saw beautiful Venice come out of the water, just as
we had seen her disappear. At the health station we were fumigated with
chloride of lime--an unpleasant and useless process. We arrived opposite
the Piazzetta at half past seven A. M. The captain was kind in helping
us to find our effects and to get off. The gondoliers asked five francs
for bringing us to our lodgings, and got them. The Barbiers could not
receive us at our former snug abode, but monsieur went round to show us
some rooms in Palazzo Gambaro, which he offered for seven francs _per
diem_. We were glad to take them. Went to Florian's café for breakfast,
visited San Marco, and then proceeded to install ourselves in our new
lodging. Ordered a dinner for six francs, which proved abundant. Took a
long sleep,--from one to four P. M.,--having only dozed a little during
the night. Our lodgings are very roomy and pleasant--two large rooms
well furnished, and two smaller ones. We expect to enjoy many things
here, and all the more because we now know something of what is to be
seen."

This expectation was fully realized during the week that followed,
although the meagre entries of the diary give little assistance in
recalling the strict outlines of the brilliant picture. It was now
height of season in Venice. The grand canal was brilliant, every
evening, with gondolas, and gondoliers in costumes. Now we admired full
suits of white, with scarlet sashes, trimmed with gold fringe, now gray
and blue, edged with silver. Now an ugly jockey costume, got up by some
Anglo-maniac, insulted the Italian _beau-idéal_, and, indeed, every
other. For the short coat and heavy clothes, suited at once to the
saddle and the English climate, were utterly unsuited to the action of
rowing, as well as to the full bloom of an Italian summer. I cannot help
remarking upon this unsightly livery, because it was an eyesore, and
because it was obviously considered by its proprietor as a brilliant
success. In stylish gondolas, the rowers are two in number, and always
dressed in livery. The fashionables, in height of millinery bliss, float
up and down the grand canal, until it is time for the rendezvous on the
Piazza. As you pass the palaces, you often see the gondola in waiting
below, while in a balcony or arched window above, the fresh, smiling
faces make their bright picture; and the domestic stands draped in the
white opera-cloaks or bournooses. And I remember a hundred little
nonsensical songs about this very passage in Venetian life.

            "Prent'e la gondoletta,
            Tutt'e serena il mar,
            Ninetta, mia diletta,
            Vieni solcar il mar
    Il marinar, che gioja--che gioja il marinar!"

Which I translate into English equivalency as follows:--

    The two-in-hand is waiting,
      The groom is in his boots;
    The lover's fondly prating,
      The lady's humor suits:
        Susanna! Susanna!
      What joy to flog the brutes!
    What joy, what joy in driving!
    What joy, what joy to drive!

Like all other poetical visions, these, once seen, speedily become
matters of course. Still, we found always a fairy element in the "_Gita
in gondoletta_." Our gondolier had always a weird charm in our eyes. He
seemed almost a feudal retainer, a servant for life or death. His shrewd
glance showed that he was not easily to be astonished. He could tip over
an obnoxious person in the dark, stab at a street corner, carry the most
audacious of letters, and deliver the contraband answer under the very
nose of high-snuffing authority. Nought of all this did we desire of
him: in fact, nothing but safe conduct and moderate charges. Yet we
admired his mysterious talents, and wondered in what unwritten novels he
might have figured. For, indeed, the watery streets of Venice, no less
than her gondoliers, suggest the idea of romantic and desperate
adventure. What balconies from which to throw a rival, dead or alive!
What silent, know-nothing waters to receive him! What clever assistants
to aid and abet!

But enough of the evening row, which ends at the Piazzetta. Here you
dismiss your man-at-oars, naming the hour at which you shall require his
presence, he being meanwhile at liberty to sleep in his gondola, or lo
leave it in charge with a friend, and to follow you to the Piazza, where
you will amuse yourself after your fashion, he after his. Here the
banners are floating, the lights glancing, the band stormily performing.
Florian's café is represented by a crowd of well-dressed people sitting
in the open air, with the appliances of chair and table covered by their
voluminous draperies. If you arrive late, you may wait some time before
a table, fourteen inches by ten, is vouchsafed to you. Ices are very
good, very cheap, and very small. Tea and bread and butter are
excellent. While you wait and while you feast, a succession of venders
endeavor to impose upon you every small article which the streets of
Venice show for sale. Shoes, slippers, alabaster work, shell work, tin
gondolas concealing inkstands, nets, bracelets, necklaces,--all these
things are offered to you in succession, together with allumettes,
cigars, journals, and caramels, or candied fruits strung upon straws.
If you are mild in your discouragement of these venders, they will
fasten upon you like other vermin, and refuse to depart until they shall
have drawn the last drop of your change. I found a brisk charge
necessary, with appeals to Florian's _garçon_, after whose interference,
life on the Piazza became practicable.

To the mere enjoyment of good victuals, with squabbles intervening, may
be superadded the perception of fashionable life, as it goes on in these
regions. When your eyes have taken the standard of light of the Piazza,
you recognize in some of the groups about you persons whom you have
seen, either in the balcony or in the gondola. Here are two young women
whom I saw emerge from a narrow passage, this evening, rowed by a
fine-looking servant, who stood bareheaded, and one other. They have
diamond earrings, fashionable bonnets, and dresses dripping from a
baptism of beads. One by one a group of young men, probably of the first
water, forms about them. One of the ladies is handsome and quiet, the
other plain and voluble. The latter becomes perforce the prominent
figure in what goes on, which indeed amounts to nothing worth repeating.
These were on my right. On my left soon appeared a lady of a certain
age, with "world" written in large letters all over her countenance. She
chaperons a daughter, got up with hair _à l'Anglaise_, whose pantomimic
countenance suggests that she has been drilled by an English governess
with _papa_, _prunes_, _prism_, or some equivalent gymnastic. When
addressed, she looks down into her fan, and rolls her eyes as if she
saw her face in it. And lady friends come up: "Ah, marchesa! ah, signora
contessa!" and the young bloods, hat in hand. So here we are, really, on
the borders of high life, without intending it. And the baroness
introduces a female relative--_una sorella maritata_--who has been
handsome, and whose smile seems accustomed to fold the cloak of her
beauty around the poverty of her character. And there is coffee, and
there come ices. The ladies sip and gossip, the beaux come and go,
talking of intended _villeggiaturas_; for the greatest social
illustration for an Italian is that of travel. A third group immediately
in front of us shows a young lady in an advanced stage of ambition,
attired in a conspicuous tone, accompanied by quieter female relatives
and a young boy. She regards with envious eyes the two popular
associations on my right and left. She is dying to be noticed, and does
not know how to manage it. And while I take note of these and other
vanities, beggars whine for pence, or insist upon carrying off our
superfluous bread or cake, for which, indeed, we must pay; but they eat
the bread before your eyes with such evident relish that you are
satisfied.

By and by this palls upon you. You have seen and heard enough. The
society to which you belong is over the water. Here your heart finds no
place; and from the crowd of strangers even your lodging and quiet bed
seem a refuge. So you settle with Florian's _garçon_, close your account
with all beggars for the night, wander to the Piazzetta, and cry,
"Bastiano!" and he of the mysterious intelligence sooner or later
responds. You give a penny to the crab,--the man who superfluously holds
the boat while you get in,--and are at home after a brief dream of
smooth motion under a starry sky. And in this way end all midsummer days
in Venice. Not so smooth, however, is your climbing of three flights of
stone stairs in the dark, with thumping and bumping. But you are up at
last, and Gianetta--the shrewd maid--receives you with a candle-end.
Frugal orders for breakfast, and to rest, with the cherubs of the
mantel-piece watching over you.

For over the said mantel-piece, two fair, fat babes, modelled in
flat-relief, playfully contended for the mastery, their laughing faces
near together, their swinging heels wide apart, as the festoon required.
Elsewhere in the same relief were arabesques with birds and flowers.
This bedroom of ours has been a room of state in its day. A passage-way
and dressing-room have been taken from its stately proportions, and
still it remains very spacious for our pretensions. Our _salon_ is
larger still, and largely mirrored. Two of its windows give upon a leafy
garden, whose tree-tops lie nearer to us than to their owners. Its
furniture has been hastily thrown together, and is mostly composed of
odds and ends. But one of its pieces moves our admiration. It is a
toilet table, enclosing a complete set of utensils in the finest
Venetian glass--basins, ewers, toilet bottles and glasses, and the
little boxes for soap and powder, all cut after the finest pattern. This
toilet was made for a royal personage, a queen of something, whose
effects somehow seem to have been sold at auction in these parts.
Another relic of her we discover in a bureau entirely incrusted with
mother-of-pearl, an article that makes one's mouth water, if one has any
mouth, which all men, like all horses, have not. The doors which divide
our sitting from our sleeping room are at once objects of wonder and of
fear to us. Their size is monstrous, and each of them hangs, or rather
clings, by the upper hinge, the lower being dismounted. These doors are
left all day at a conciliatory angle between closing and opening. We
fear their falling on our heads whenever we approach them. We hear
vaguely of some one who shall come to put them in order; but he never
appears. Our own veteran, arriving at last, sets this right in as
summary a manner as he has dealt with other nuisances. For the veteran,
worn with travel, does arrive from Greece one morning, rowing up to our
palace just as we have stepped from it to meet our gondola. He has a
tale to tell like the wanderings of Ulysses. But between this event and
those that precede it, the diary shows the following important entry:--

Thursday, Aug. 1.--To Malamocco this A. M., with three rowers--our own,
and two others, who received one florin between them. The row, both in
going and returning, was delightful. Arrived at Malamocco, the men
demanded one franc for breakfast, and disappeared within the shades of
the Osteria. This is a small settlement at the very entrance of the
lagoons. It was strongly fortified by the Austrians. The heat, however,
did not permit us to inspect the fortifications. We saw little of
interest, but visited the church and a peasant's house. One of the
daughters was engaged in stringing beads for sale. The beads were in a
tray, and she plunged into them a bunch of wire needles some six inches
in length, each carrying its slender thread. The merchant, she said,
came weekly to bring the beads, and to take away those ready strung for
the market. "To earn a penny, signora," said the mother, a
substantial-looking person, wearing large gold earrings. The houses here
looked very comfortable for people of the plain sort. The men seemed to
be mostly away, whether engaged in fishing, or following the sea to
foreign parts. On our way back we stopped at San Clementi, an ancient
church upon a little island, now undergoing repairs. Within the church
we found a marble tabernacle with solid walls, built behind the high
altar. It may have been forty feet in length by twenty in breadth, and
twelve or more feet in height. A massive door of bronze gave entrance to
this huge strong-box, which was formerly used as a prison for refractory
priests. We found the interior divided into two compartments. The larger
of these was fitted up as a chapel; the smaller had served as the cell
of confinement. The altar was erected at the partition which separated
the two, and a grating inserted behind the altar figure allowed the
prisoner the benefit of the religious services carried on in the chapel.
The dreariness of this little prison can scarcely be described. No light
had it, unless that of a lamp was allowed. A church within a church,
and within the inner church a place of torment! This arrangement seemed
to violate even the Catholic immunity of sanctuary. Think of the
unfortunate shut up within on a feast day, when faint sounds of outward
jubilee might penetrate the marble walls, and heighten his pain by its
contrast with the general joyous thrill of life. Think of the cheerless
mass or vespers vouchsafed to him,--no friendly face, no brother voice,
to sweeten worship. And if he continued recalcitrant, how convenient was
this isolation for the final disposition to be made of him! _De
profundis clamavit_, doubtless, and the church did not know that God
could hear him.

The diary does not record our second visit to the Armenian convent,
which took place in these days. I do not even find in its irregular
columns any mention of a franc which I am sure I paid to the porter, and
which, I faintly hope, has been put to my credit elsewhere. Despite this
absence of _pièces justificatives_, the visit still remains so freshly
in my memory that I may venture to speak of it. The elder neophyte not
having been with us before in Venice, the convent was new ground to her.
We who had already seen it felt much more at home on the occasion of our
second visit than of our first. For Padre Giacomo had answered our
invasion by a friendly call; and did we not now know him to be a most
genial and hospitable person? Had we not, moreover, made ourselves
familiar with his religion, on our late voyage, by frequent converse
with two priests of his profession? Did I not possess Father Michel's
views concerning the _demonio_, as well as his version of the Book of
Job? And of Père Isaak did I not know the polished, uncommunicative side
which covered his intimate convictions, whatever they may have been? The
Armenian ladies, too,--had they not made me free of the guild? One of
them had shown me her prayer-book. The other, being but fifteen years of
age, had no prayer-book. So, with an assured step, we entered the sacred
parlor, and demanded news of Padre Giacomo, and of his monkey. And the
father came, smiling a little better than before, but with a sweet
Oriental gravity. And he showed us again the library, and hall, and
chapel, with the refectory, from whose cruel pulpit one brother is set
to read while the others feast. We saw again the printing presses,
worked by hand. And in the sacristy he commanded two of the younger
brethren to bring the chiefest embroidered garments, reserved for high
occasions, judging of us unjustly by our sex. And these satin and velvet
wonders were, indeed, embossed with lambs, and birds, and flowers, in
needlework of silver and gold, and of various colors, meet for the necks
of them that divide the spoil. And we saw also a very fine mummy, as
black, and dried, and wizened, as any old Pharaoh could be. A splendid
bead covering lay over him, in open rows of blue and white, with
hieroglyphic-looking men in black and yellow. This covering had been
lately cleaned and repaired at the glass-works of Murano, as Padre
Giacomo recounted with pride. He showed us in the old part of the work
some curious double beads, which Venice itself, he said, was unable to
imitate. The colors were as fresh and clear as if the mummy had clothed
himself from the last fancy fair, with a description of afghan well
suited to the Egyptian climate.

Having done justice to this human preserve, the padre now regaled us
with a preparation of rose leaves embalmed in sugar. He also bestowed
upon us one of the convent publications, a tolerable copy of verses
composed on the spot itself by the late Louis of Bavaria, celebrating
its calm and retirement. I myself could have responded to the royal
_suspiria_ with one distich.

    "Here no people comes to beg thee,
     Here no Lola comes to plague thee."

As we passed from the building to the garden, the wicked monkey, chained
and lying in wait, sprang at my hat, and, snatching my lilac veil, bore
it off with a flying leap of animal grace and malice. Padre Giacomo
anxiously apologized for his pet's misconduct, which was certainly
surprising. But the monkey's education, as every one knows, is
dependent, not upon precept, but upon example, and Padre Giacomo's
example, to the monkey, was only a negative. We parted from our
cloistered friend, sincerely desiring, if not hoping, to see him again.

Of our last day in fairest Venice the diary gives this meagre account:--

Sunday, August 4. Early to Piazza, where we encountered the Bishop of
Rhode Island. At San Marco's, visited Luccati's beautiful mosaics in
the sacristy. The three figures over the door are especially
fine--Madonna in the middle, and a saint on either side. A colossal
cross adorns the ceiling, and the wall on one side is occupied by
figures of twelve prophets; on the other, by the twelve disciples. The
cross almost seems to bloom with beautiful devices. Luccati was
imprisoned, they say, in the Piombi.

To the Italian Protestant service, held in a good hall in the
neighborhood of the Church of San Giovanni e Paolo. The hall was densely
crowded. I found no seat, and barely room to stand. The audience seemed
a mixed one, so far as worldly position goes, but was entirely
respectable in aspect and demeanor, the masculine element largely
predominating. Signor Comba, a young man, is quite eloquent and taking.
He delivers himself clearly, and with energy. He criticised at some
length the unchristian doctrines of the Romish church--this is part of
his work.

The service ended, I passed into the Church of San Giovanni e Paolo, and
enjoyed my visit unusually. The vivid light of the day and hour made
many of the monuments appear new to me. The doges in this, as in other
churches, are stowed away on shelves, like mummies. Found a monument to
Doge Sterno, dated early in the fifteenth century, and beside it the
effigy of a youth designated as Aloysius Trevisano, æt. 23, deeply
regretted, and commemorated for his attainments in Greek, Latin, and
philosophy. The figure is recumbent, the face of a high and refined
character, with the unmistakable charm of youth impressed upon it. The
date is also of the fifteen century. From the church to the sacristy, to
take a last look at the two pictures, Titian's Death of St. Peter,
martyr, and a fine Madonna of Gian Bellini. The Titian was glorious
to-day. It has great life and action. The Dominican in the foreground,
who has his arm raised as if appealing to heaven and earth against the
barbarous act, seems to have communicated a touch of his passion to the
two cherubs above, who bear the martyr palm. They are stormy little
cherubs, and seem in haste to bring in sight the recompense of so much
suffering.

Of the Protestant preaching I will once more and finally say, that it is
a genuine missionary work, and commend it to the good wishes and good
offices of those whose benefactions do not fear to cross the ocean. May
it permanently thrive and prosper.

Of the pictures I can only say, that I doubly congratulate myself on
having paid them my last homage before leaving Titian's lovely city.
For, not long after, a cruel fire broke out in or near that sacristy,
precious with carvings in wood and marble bas-reliefs; and all the
treasures were destroyed, including the two pictures, only temporarily
bestowed there, and many square yards of multitude by Tintoretto,
bearing, as usual, his own portrait in a sly corner, representative, no
doubt, of his wish to watch the effect of his masterpieces upon humanity
at large. The Madonna by Bellini was a charming picture, but the St.
Peter is a loss that concerns the world. The saint, one hopes, has been
comfortable in Paradise these many years. But the artist? What Paradise
would console him for the burning of one of his _chefs-d'oeuvre_? He
would be like Rachel weeping for her children, which reminds me that
ideal parentage is of no sex. The artist, the poet, the reformer, are
father and mother, all in one.

We left Venice, the diary tells me, on the 5th of August, with what
regret we need not say. The same venerable authority records a grave
disagreement with the custom-house officers, of whose ministrations we
had received no previous warning. So, two very modest pieces of dress
goods, delayed in the making, caused me to be branded as a
_contrabandista_, with a fine, and record to my discredit. I confess to
some indecorous manifestations of displeasure at these circumstances.
The truth is, forewarned is forearmed. Venice is a free port, and the
traveller who leaves her by railroad for the first time may not be aware
of the strict account to which he will be held for every little
indulgence in Venetian traffic. Now, to have the spoons presented to you
in the house, and to be arrested as a thief when you would pass the
door, is a grievous ending to a hospitable beginning. So it came to pass
that I anathematized beautiful Venice as I departed, gathering up the
broken fragments of my peace, past diamond cement. But here, in
trunk-upsetting Boston, I bethink me, and confess. I was wrong, utterly
wrong, O custom-house officers, when I frowned and stormed at you,
contending inch by inch and phrase by phrase. You were neither unjust
nor uncivil, although I was both. Only I still attest and obsecrate to
the fact that I did not intend to smuggle, and entered your jealous
domain with no sense of contraband about me. Yet to such wrath did your
perquisitions bring me, that the angry thoughts slackened only at
Verona, where the tombs of the Scaligers and the rounds of the
amphitheatre compelled me to quiet small distempers with great thoughts.

At railroad speed, however, we visited these rare monuments. Can Grande
and his horse looked flat and heavy from their eminence. We admired the
beautiful iron screen of one of the tombs, hammer-wrought, and flexible
as a shirt of mail. And we remembered Dante, paid two francs to the
guardian of the enclosure, and drove away. The afternoon's journey
whirled us past some strange antique towns, with walls and battlements,
and at night we were in Bolsena, Germanicè _Bottsen_. And when we asked
the hotel maid if she had ever been in Verona, she replied, "O, no; that
is in Italy." And so we knew that we were not.



FLYING FOOTSTEPS.


The journey which we now commenced was too rapid to allow of more than
the briefest record of its route. The breathlessness of haste, and the
number of things to be seen and visited, left no time for writing up on
the subjects suggested by the meagre notes of the diary. To the latter,
therefore, I am forced to betake myself, piecing its fragmentary
statements, where I can do so, from memory.

Tuesday, August 6. Started with vetturino for Innspruck, via Brenner
pass. A splendid day's journey. Stopped to dine at a pretty
village,--name forgotten,--at whose principal inn a smart, bustling
maid-servant in costume, very clean and civil, came to the carriage,
helped us to alight, and carried our travelling bags up stairs to a
parlor with a stout bed in it, upon which our chief threw himself and
slept until the cutlets were ready. This old-fashioned zeal and civility
were pleasant to contemplate once more, probably for the last time. For
a railroad has been built over the Brenner pass, the which will go into
operation next week. Then will these pleasant manners insensibly fade
away, with the up-to-time curtness of modern travel. The porter who
helps you to carry your hand luggage from the car to the depot will
sternly demand his fee for that laborious service. All officials will
grow as reticent of doing you the smallest pleasure as if civility were
a contraband of war. And it does indeed become so, for the railroad
develops the antagonisms of trade. Its flaming sword allows of no
wanderings in wayside Paradises. Its steam trumpet shrieks in your ear
the lesson that the straight line is the shortest distance between two
points. It swallows you at one point and vomits you at another, with
extreme risk of your life between. And it vulgarizes every place that it
touches. The mixed stir and quiet of the little town become concentrated
into fixed crises of excitement. For the postilion's horn and whip, and
the pleasant rattling of the coming and going post-chaise, you will
have, three or four times in the day, those shrill bars whose infernal
symphony is mercifully allowed to proceed no farther; and a cross and
steaming crowd; and a cool and supercilious few in the first or second
class _wart-saal_; and then a dull and dead quiet in the little town, as
if steam and stir came and went together, and left nothing behind them.

The buxom maid-servant mourned over the impending ruin of the small
tavern business, as she showed us the curious arrangements of the old
house. It had formerly been a convent of nuns, and was very solidly put
together. The back windows commanded a lovely view of the mountains. In
the garden we found a pleasant open house, no doubt formerly a place for
devout assemblages and meditations, but now chiefly devoted to the
consumption of beer.

After dinner we walked to the church near by, and looked at the curious
iron crosses and small mural tablets which marked the final
resting-place of the village worthies. Their petty offices and cherished
distinctions were all preserved here. All of them had received the "holy
death sacrament," and had started on the mysterious voyage in good hope.
Through this whole extent of country, the crucifixes by the wayside were
numerous. Resuming our journey, we reached Mittelwald, a picturesque
hamlet, composed of a small church, a stream, a bridge, and a short
string of houses. Here we defeated the future machinations of all
officers of customs, by causing the two offending dress-patterns,
already twice paid for, and treated at length in various printed and
written documents, to be cut into breadths, which we hastily managed to
sew up, reserving their fuller treatment for the purlieus of civilized
life.

Our two days' drive over the mountains was refreshing and most charming.
Our vetturino was not less despondent than the maid-servant before
alluded to. In our progress we were much in sight of the scarcely
completed railroad, whose locomotive and working cars constantly
appeared and disappeared before us, plunging into the numerous tunnels
that defeat the designs of the mountain fortresses, and mocking our slow
progress, as the money-getting train of success and sensation mocks the
tedious steps of learning and the painful elaboration of art.

"This is my last journey," said the vetturino; "the railway opens on
Monday of next week."

"What will you do thereafter?" I inquired.

"Sell all out, and go to work as I can," he answered; adding, however,
"In case you should intend going as far as Munich by carriage, I beg to
be honored,"--of which the Yankee rendering would be, "I shouldn't mind
putting you through."

This, however, was hardly to be thought of, and at Innspruck we took
leave of this honest and polite man, whose species must soon become
extinct, whether he survive or no. Here recommenced for us the prosaic
chapter of the railroad. Our route, however, for a good part of the way,
lay within sight of the mountains. The depots at which we took fiery
breath were in the style of Swiss châlets, quite ornamental in
themselves, and further graced by vines and flowers. The travellers we
encountered were not commonplacely cosmopolite. The young women were
often in Tyrolese costume, wearing gilt tassels on their broad, black
felt hats. We encountered parties of archers going to attend shooting
matches, attired in picturesque uniforms of green and gold. At the
depots, too, we encountered a new medium of enlivenment. We were now in
a land of beer, and foaming glasses were offered to us in the cars, and
at the railway buffets. Mild and cheerful we found this Bavarian
beverage,--less verse-inspiring than wine,--and valuable as tending to
reduce the number of poets who tease the world by putting all its
lessons into rhymes, chimes, and jingles. Whatever we ourselves may have
done, it is certain that our companions of both sexes embraced these
frequent opportunities of refreshment, and that the color in their
cheeks and the tone of their good-natured laughter were heightened by
the same. One of these, a young maiden, told us how she had climbed the
mountain during four hours of the day before, visiting the huts of the
cowherds, who, during summer, pasture their cows high up on the green
slopes. The existence of these people she described as hard and solitary
in the extreme. The rich butter and cheese they make are all for the
market. They themselves eat only what they cannot sell, according to the
rule whereby small farmers live and thrive in all lands. The young girl
wore in her hat a bunch of the blossom called _edelweiss_, which she had
brought from her lofty wanderings. It is held in great esteem here, and
is often offered for sale.

In the afternoon we turned our back upon the mountains. A flat land lay
before us, green and well tilled. And long before sunset we saw the
spires of Munich, and the lifted arm of the great statue of Bavaria. Our
arrival was prosperous, and through the streets of the handsome modern
city we attained the quiet of an upper chamber in a hotel filled with
Americans.



MUNICH.


Our two days in Munich were characterized by the most laborious
sight-seeing. A week, even in our rapid scale of travelling, would not
have been too much for this gorgeous city. We gave what we had, and
cannot give a good account of it.

My first visit was to the Pinakothek, which I had thoroughly explored
some twenty-three years earlier, when the galleries of Italy and the
Louvre were unknown to me. Coming now quite freshly from Venice, with
Rome and Florence still recent in my experience, I found the Munich
gallery less grandiose than my former remembrance had made it. The diary
says, "The Rubenses are the best feature. I note also two fine heads by
Rembrandt, and a first-rate Paris Bordone--a female head with golden
hair and dark-red dress; four peasant pictures by Murillo, excellent in
their kind, quite familiar through copies and engravings; some of the
best Albert Dürers. The Italian pictures not all genuine. None of the
Raphaels, I should say, would be accepted as such in Italy. The Fra
Angelicos not good. Two good Andrea del Sartos; a Leonardo da Vinci,
which seems to me a little caricatured; a room full of Vander Wertes,
very smooth and finely finished; many Vandycks, scarcely first rate."

The afternoon of this day we devoted to the Glyptothek, or gallery of
sculpture. Here our first objects of interest were the Æginetan marbles,
whose vacant places we had so recently seen on the breezy height of the
temple from which they were taken.

We found these rough, and attesting a period of art far more remote than
that of the Elgin marbles. They are arranged in the order in which they
stood before the pediment of the temple, a standing figure of Minerva in
the middle, the other figures tapering off on either side, and ending
with two seated warriors, the feet of either turned towards the outer
angle of his side of the pediment. All seemed to have belonged to a
dispensation of ugliness; they reminded us of some of the Etruscan
sculptures.

This gallery possesses a famous torso called the Ilioneus, concerning
which Mrs. Jamieson rhapsodizes somewhat in her Munich book. The
Barberini Faun, too, is among its treasures. As my readers may not be
acquainted with the artistic antecedents of this statue, I will subjoin
for their benefit the following narration, which I abridge from the
"Ricordi" of the Marquis Massimo d' Azeglio, recently published.

At the time of the French domination in Italy, the Roman nobles were
subjected to the levying of heavy contributions. The inconvenience of
these requisitions often taxed the resources of the wealthiest families,
and led to the sale of furniture, jewels, and the multifarious
denomination of articles classed together as _objets d'art_. Among
others, the Barberini family, in their palace at the Quattro Fontane,
exposed for sale various antiquitties, and especially the torso of a
male figure, of Greek execution and in Pentelican marble, a relic of the
palmy days of Hellenic art.

A certain sculptor, Cavalier Pacetti, purchased this last fragment, sold
at auction for the sum of seven or eight hundred dollars. The arms and
legs were wholly wanting--the narrator is uncertain as to the head.
Pacetti had made this purchase with the view of restoring the mutilated
statue to entireness. He proceeded to model for himself the parts that
were wanting, and in time produced the sleeping figure known as the
Barberini Faun.

This work was esteemed a great success. Besides the value of its long
and uncertain labor must be mentioned the difficulty of matching the
original marble. To effect this the artist was obliged to purchase and
destroy another Greek statue, of less merit, whose marble supplied the
material for the restoration.

In the mean time the Napoleonic era had passed away; the pope had
returned to Rome. Foreigners from all parts now flocked to the Eternal
City, and to one of these Pacetti sold his work for many thousands of
dollars. Before it could be packed and delivered, however, a
governmental veto annulled the sale, directing the artist to restore the
statue to the Barberini family, under the plea of its being subject to a
_fidei commissa_, and offering him the sum of money expended by him in
the first purchase, together with such further compensation for his
labor and materials as a committee of experts should award.

The unfortunate Pacetti resisted this injustice to the extent of his
ability. He demonstrated the sale of the torso to have been made without
reserve, the money for its purchase to have been raised by him with
considerable effort. The further expense of the secondary statue was a
heavy item. As an artist, he could not allow any one but himself to set
a price upon his work.

In spite of these arguments, the Barberinis, remembering that possession
is nine points of the law, managed to confiscate the statue by armed
force. Before this last measure, however, a mandate informed the artist
that the pitiful sum offered to him in exchange (not in compensation)
for his work, had been placed in the bank, subject to his order, and
that from this sum a steady discount would mark every day of his delay
to close with the shameful bargain.

Pacetti now fell ill with a bilious fever, the result of this bitter
disappointment. His recovery was only partial, and his death soon
followed. His sons commenced and continued a suit against the Barberini
family. They obtained a favorable judgment, but did not obtain their
property, which the Barberinis sold to the King of Bavaria.

I have thought it worth while to quote this history of a world-renowned
work of art. I do not know that a more perfect and successful
combination of modern with ancient art exists than that achieved in
this Munich Faun. The mutilated honor of the Barberini name is, we
should fear, beyond restoration by any artist.

The Glyptothek closed much too soon for us. With the exception of the
sculptures just enumerated, it possesses nothing that can compete in
interest with the noted Italian galleries, or perhaps with the Louvre.
But the few valuables that it has are first rate of their kind, and it
contains many duplicates of well-known subjects. The building and
arrangements are very elegant, and seem to cast a certain pathos over
the follies of the old king, to whom it owes its origin, making one more
sorry than angry that one who knew the Graces so well should not have
fraternized more with the Virtues. The Æginetan Minerva is stern and
hideous, however, and may have exercised an unfortunate influence over
her _protegé_.

We closed the labors of this day by visiting the colossal statue of
Bavaria, who, with a strange hospitality, throws open her skull to the
public. The external effect of the figure is not grandiose, and the
sudden slope of the ground in front makes it very difficult to get a
good view of it. With the help of a lamp, and in consideration of a
small fee, we ascended the spinal column, and made ourselves comfortable
within the sacred precincts of phrenology. The circulation, however,
soon became so rapid as to produce a pressure at the base of the brain.
Calling to the guardian below to impede for the moment all further
ascent, we flowed down, and the congestion was relieved. Of this statue
an artist once said to us, "As for such a thing as the Munich Bavaria,
the bigger it is, the smaller it is"--a saying not unintelligible to
those who have seen it.

Our remaining day we devoted, in the first place, to the new Pinakothek.
Here we saw a large picture, by Kaulbach, representing the fall of
Jerusalem. Although full of historical and artistic interest, it seemed
to me less individual and remarkable than his cartoons. A series of
small pictures by the same artist appeared quite unworthy of his great
powers and reputation. They were exceedingly well executed, certainly,
but poorly conceived, representing matters merely personal to artistic
and other society in Munich, and of little value to the world at large.

Here was also a holy family by Overbeck, closely imitated from Raphael.
The diary speaks vaguely of "many interesting pictures, the religious
ones the poorest." I remember that we greatly regretted the limitation
of our time in visiting this gallery. In the vestibule of the building
we were shown a splendid Bavaria, in a triumphal car, driving four lions
abreast, the work of Schwanthaler. This noble design so far exists only
in plaster; one would wish to see it in fine Munich bronze. Apropos of
which I must mention, but cannot describe, a visit to the celebrated
foundery in which many of the best modern statues have been cast. Here
were Crawford's noble works; here the more recent compositions of
Rogers, Miss Stebbins, and Miss Hosmer. An American naturally first
seeks acquaintance here with the works of his countrymen. He finds them
in distinguished company. The foundery keeps a plaster cast of each of
its models, and the ghosts of our heroes appear with tie-wig princes and
generals of other times, as also with poets and _littérateurs_. The
group of Goethe and Schiller, crowned and hand in hand, suggests one of
the noblest of literary reminiscences--that of the devoted and genuine
friendship of two most eminent authors, within the narrow limits of one
small society. The entireness and sincerity of each in his own
department of art alone made this possible. He who dares to be himself,
and to work out his own ideal, fears no other, however praised and
distinguished.

We visited the new and old palaces in company with a small mob of
travellers of all nations, whose disorderly tendencies were restrained
by the palace _cicerones_. These worthies did the honors of the place,
told the stories, and kept the company together. In the new palace we
were shown the frescos, the hall of the battlepieces, the famous gallery
of beauties, and the throne-room, whose whole length is adorned with
life-size statues of royal and ducal Bavarian ancestors in gilded
bronze. The throne is a great gilded chair, cushioned with crimson
velvet, the seat adorned with a huge _L_ in gold embroidery.

Of the gallery mentioned just before, I must say that its portraits are
those of society belles, not of artist beauties. However handsome,
therefore, they may have been in their ball and court dresses, there is
something conventional and unlovely in their _toute ensemble_, as a
collection of female heads. I would agree to find artists who should
make better pictures from women of the people, taken in their ordinary
costume, and with the freedom of common life in their actions and
expressions. An intangible armor of formality seems to guard the persons
of those great ladies. One imagines that one could understand their
faces better, were they translated into human nature.

In the old palace, which has now rather a deserted and denuded aspect,
we still found traces of former splendor. Among these, I remember a
state bed with a covering so heavily embroidered with gold, that eight
men are requisite to lift it. The _valet de place_ astonished us with
the price of this article; but having forgotten his statement, I cannot
astonish any one with it. Of greater interest was a room, whose walls
bore everywhere small brackets, supporting costly pieces of porcelain,
cups, _flacons_, and statuettes. Beyond this was a _boudoir_, whose
vermilion sides were nearly covered by miniature paintings, set into
them. Many of these miniatures were of great beauty and value. Clearly
the tastes of the Bavarian family were always of the most expensive.
They looked after the flower garden, and allowed the kitchen garden to
take care of itself. Of this sort was the farming of Otho and Amalia.
But peace be to them. Otho is just dead of measles, Amalia nearly dead
of vexations.

Our two days allowed us little time for the churches of Munich. The
Frauenkirche has many antiquities more interesting than its splendid
restorations. On one of its altars I found the inscription, "Holy
mother Ann, pray for us." I suppose that ever since the dogma of the
immaculate conception has become part of church discipline, the sacred
person just mentioned has found her clientele much enlarged. The new
Basilica is quite gorgeous in its adornments, but I have preserved no
minutes of them.

We had the satisfaction of seeing a number of Kaulbach's drawings, among
which were his Goethe and Schiller series, very fine and full of
interest.

One of the last of these represents Tell stepping from Gessler's boat at
the critical moment described in Schiller's drama. One of the newest to
me was a figure of Ottilie, from the Wahlverwandtschaften, hanging with
mingled horror and affection over the innocent babe of the story. The
intense distress of the young girl's countenance contrasts strongly with
the reposeful attitude of the little one. It made me ponder this
ingenious and laboriously achieved distress. The very exuberance of
Goethe's temperament, I must think, caused him to seek his sorrows in
regions quite remote from common disaster. The miseries of his
personages (vide Werther and the Wahlverwandtschaften) are far-fetched;
and the alchemy by which he turns wholesome life into sentimental
anguish brings to light no life-treasure more substantial than the fairy
gold which genius is bound to convert into value more solid.

And this was all of Munich, a place of polite tastes surely, in which
life must flow on, adorned with many pleasantnesses. Neither would
business seem to be deficient, judging from the handsome shops and
general air of prosperity. Our view of its resources was certainly most
cursory. But life is the richer even for adjourned pleasures, and we
shall never think of Munich without desiring its better acquaintance.



SWITZERLAND.


Travelling in Switzerland is now become so common and conventional as to
invite little comment, except from those who remain in the country long
enough to study out scientific and social questions, which the hasty
traveller has not time to entertain in even the most cursory matter. I
confess, for one, that I was content to be enchanted with the wonderful
beauty which feasts the eye without intermission. I was willing to
believe that the mountains had done for this people all that they should
have done, giving them political immunities, and a sort of necessary
independence, while the hardships of climate and situation keep
stringent the social bond, and temper the fierceness of individuality
with the sense of mutual need and protection. It would be, I think, an
instructive study for an American to become intimately acquainted with
the domestic features of Swiss republicanism. It is undoubtedly a system
less lax and more carefully administered than our own. The door is not
thrown open for beggary, ignorance, and rascality to vote themselves, in
the shape of their representatives, the first places in outward dignity
and efficient power. The old traditions of breeding and education are
carefully held to. Without the nonsense of aristocratic absolutism,
there is yet no confusion of orders. The mistress is mistress, and the
maid is maid. Wealth and landed property persevere in families. Great
changes of position without great talents are rare.

To our American pretensions, and to our brilliant style of
manoeuvring, the Swiss mode of life would appear a very slow business.
It seems rather to develop a high mediocrity than an array of startling
superiorities. It has, moreover, no room for daring theories and
experiments. It cannot afford a Mormon corner, a woman's-rights
platform, an endless intricacy of speculating and swindling rings.
Whether we can afford these things, future generations will determine.
There is a great deal of moral and political fancy-work done in America
which another age may put out of sight to make room for necessary
scrubbing, sweeping, and getting rid of vermin. Meantime the poor
present age works, and deceives, and dawdles, hoping to be dismissed
with the absolving edict, "She hath done what she could."

Hotels, railways, and depots in Switzerland are comfortable, and managed
with great order and system. The telegraph arrangements are admirable,
cheap, and punctual, as they might be here, if they were administered
for the people's interest, and not for the aggrandizement of private
fortunes. Living and comfort are expensive to the traveller, not
exorbitant. Subordinates neither insult nor cringe. Churches are well
filled; intelligent and intelligible doctrine is preached. Education is
valued, and liberal provision is made for those classes in which
natural disability calls for special modes of instruction. I dare not go
more into generals, from my very limited opportunity of observation.
Everything, however, in the aspect of town and country, leads one to
suppose that the average of crime must be a low one, and that the
preventing influences--so much more efficient than remedial
measures--have long, been at work. It is Protestant Switzerland which
makes this impression most strongly. In the Catholic cantons, beggary
exists and is tolerated as a thing of course; yet the Protestant element
has everywhere its representation and its influence.

Swiss Catholicism has not the slavish ignorance of Roman Catholicism.
The little painted crucifixes by the wayside indeed afflict one by their
impotence and insignificance. Not thus shall Christ be recognized in
these days. In some places their frequency reminded me of the recurrence
of the pattern on a calico or a wall paper. Yet, as a whole, one feels
that Switzerland is a Protestant power.

For specials, I must have recourse to the insufficient pages of the
diary, which give the following:--

August 13. Museum at Zurich. Lacustrine remains, in stone, flint, and
bronze; fragments of the old piles, cut with stone knives. Hand-mill for
corn, consisting of a hollow stone and a round one, concave and convex.
Toilet ornaments, in bone and bronze; a few in gold.--The Library. Lady
Jane Grey's letters, three in number; Zwingle's Greek Bible.--The
Armory. Zwingle's helmet and battle-axe; three suits of female armor;
curious shields, cannon, pikes, and every variety of personal defence.

August 14. Left Zurich at half past six A. M. for Lucerne, reaching the
latter place at half past eight. Visited Thorwaldsen's lion, whose
majestic presence I had not forgotten in twenty-three years. Yet the
Swiss hireling under foreign pay is a mischievous institution. At two P.
M. took the boat for Hergeswyl, intending to ascend from that point the
Mount Pilatus. At half past three began this ascension. The road is very
fine, and my leader was excellent; yet I had some uncomfortable moments
in the latter part of the ascent, which was in zigzag, and very steep.
Each horse cost ten francs, and each leader was to have a _trink-geld_
besides. We stopped very gladly at the earliest reached of the two
hotels which render habitable the heights of the mountain. We learned
too late that it would have been better to proceed at once to that which
stands nearly on the summit. We should thus have gained time for the
great spectacle of the sunrise on the following morning. Our view of the
sunset, too, would have been more extended. Yet we were well content
with it. Near the hotel was a very small Catholic chapel, through whose
painted windows we tried to peep. A herd of goats feeding near by made
music with their tinkling bells. Swiss sounds are as individual as Swiss
sights. Voices, horns, bells, all have their peculiar ring in these high
atmospheres.

We lay down at night with the intention of rising at a quarter of four
next morning, in order to witness the sunrise from the highest point of
the mountain. Mistaking some sounds which disturbed my slumbers for the
guide's summons, I sprang out of bed, and having no match, made a hasty
toilet in the dark, and then ran to arouse my companions. One of these,
fortunately, was able to strike a light and look at his watch. It was
just twelve, and my zeal and energy had been misdirected. When I again
awoke, it was at four A. M., already rather late for our purpose. We
dressed hastily, and vehemently started on the upward zigzag. As the
guide had not yet appeared, I carried our night bundle, but for which I
should have kept the lead of the party. Small as was its weight, I felt
it sensibly in this painful ascent, and was thankful to relinquish it
when the tardy guide came up with us. In spite of his aid, I was much
distressed for breath, and suffered from a thirst surpassing that of
fever. My ears also ached exceedingly in consequence of the rarefaction
of the atmosphere. The last effort of the ascent was made upon a ladder
pitched at such an angle that one could climb it only on hands and
knees. We reached the last peak a little late for the sunrise, but
enjoyed a near and magnificent view of the snow Alps. The diary contains
no description of this prospect. I can only remember that its coloring
and extent were wonderful. But a day of fatigue was still before us.
Breakfasting at six o'clock, we soon commenced the painful downward
journey. No "_facilis descensus_" was this, but a climbing down which
lasted three full hours. We had kept but one horse for this part of our
journey, but this was such an uncertain and stumbling beast that we
gladly surrendered him to our chief, who, in spite of this assistance,
was found more than once lying on a log, assuring us that his end was at
hand. We had little breath to spare for his consolation, but gave him a
silent and aching sympathy. A pleasant party of English girls left the
hotel when we did, one on horseback and three on foot. The hardships of
the way brought us together. I can still recall the ring of their
voices, and the freshness and sparkle of their faces, which really
encouraged my efforts. The pleasures of this descent were as intense as
its pains. The brilliant grass was enamelled with wild flowers,
exquisite in color and fragrance. The mountain air was bracing and
delightful, the details of tree and stream most picturesque. For some
reason, which I now forget, we stopped but little to take rest. At a
small châlet half way down, we enjoyed a glass of beer, and were waited
upon by a maiden in white sleeves and black bodice, her fair hair being
braided with a strip of white linen, and secured in its place by a large
pin with an ornamented head. We reached Alpenach in a state of body and
of wardrobe scarcely describable. But our minds at least were at ease.
We had done something to make a note of. We had been to the top of Mons
Pilatus.

Of Interlaken the diary preserves nothing worth transcribing. The great
beauty of the scenery made us reluctant to leave it after a few hours of
enjoyment. The appalling fashionable and watering-place aspect of the
streets and hotels, on the other hand, rendered it uncongenial to quiet
travellers, whose strength did not lie in the _clothes_ line. Our brief
stay showed us the greatest mixture and variety of people; the hotels
were splendid with showy costumes, the shops tempting with onyx,
amethyst, and crystal ornaments. We saw here also a great display of
carvings in wood. The unpaved streets were gay with equipages and donkey
parties. A sousing rain soon made confusion among them, and reconciled
us to a speedy departure.

Of Berne and Fribourg I will chronicle only the organ concerts, given to
exhibit the resources of two famous instruments. At both places we found
the organ very fine, and the musical performance very trashy. No real
organ music was given on either occasion, the _pièce de resistance_
being an imitation of a thunderstorm. Both instruments seemed to me to
surpass our own great organ in beauty and variety of tone. The larger
proportions of the buildings in which they are heard may contribute to
this result. Both of these are cathedrals, with fine vaulted roofs and
long aisles, very different from the essentially civic character of the
music hall, whose compact squareness cannot deal with the immense volume
of sound thrown upon its hands by the present overgrown incum--bent.



THE GREAT EXPOSITION.


It would be unfair to American journalism not to suppose that all
possible information concerning the Great Exposition has already been
given to the great republic. There have doubtless been quires upon
quires of brilliant writing devoted to that absorbing theme. Columns
from the most authentic sources have been commanded and paid for.
American writing is rich in epithets, and we may suppose that all the
adjective splendors have been put in requisition to aid imagination to
take the place of sight. Yet, as the diversities of landscape painting
show the different views which may be taken of one nature, even so the
view taken by my sober instrument may possibly show something that has
escaped another.

I here refer to the pages of my oft-quoted diary. But alas! the wretch
deserts me in the hour of my greatest need. I find a record of my first
visit only, and that couched in one prosaic phrase as follows:
Exposition--valet, six francs.

Now, I am not a Cuvier, to reconstruct a whole animal from a single
fossil bone; nor am I a German historian, to present the picture of a
period by inventing the opposite of its records. Yet what I can report
of this great feature of the summer must take as its starting-point this
phrase: Exposition--valet, six francs.

This extravagant attendance was secured by us on the occasion of our
first visit, when, passing inside the narrow turnstile, with ready
change and eager mind, we encountered the great reality we had to deal
with, and felt, to our dismay, that spirit would help us little, and
that flesh and blood, eyes and muscles, must do their utmost, and begin
by acknowledging a defeat. Looking on the diverse paths, and flags and
buildings, we sought an Ariadne, and found at least a guide whom Bacchus
might console. Escorted by him, we entered the first great hall, with
massive machines partially displayed on one side. A _coup d'oeil_ was
what we sought on this occasion, and our movements were rapid. The Sèvre
porcelains, the magnificent French and English glasses, the weighty
majolicas, the Gobelin tapestries, and the galleries of paintings,
chiefly consumed our six francs, which represented some three hours.
Magnificent services of plate, some in silver, and some in imitation of
silver, were shown to us. In another place the close clustering of men
and women around certain glass cases made us suspect the attraction of
jewelry, which may be called the sugar-plummery of æsthetics.
Insinuating ourselves among the human bees, we, too, fed our eyes on
these sweets. Diadems, necklaces, earrings, sufficient, in the hands of
a skilful Satan, to accomplish the damnation of the whole female sex,
were here displayed. I was glad to see these dangerous implements of
temptation restrained within cases of solid glass. I myself would fain
have written upon them, "Deadly poison." There are enough, however, to
preach, and I practised by running off from these disputed
neighborhoods, and passing to the contemplation of treasures which to
see is to have.

Among the Gobelins I was amazed to see a fine presentation of Titian's
Sacred and Profane Love, a picture of universal reputation. The
difficulty of copying so old and so perfect a work in tapestry made this
success a very remarkable one. Very beautiful, too, was their copy of
Guido's Aurora, and yet less difficult than the other, the coloring
being at once less subtile and more brilliant.

I remember a gigantic pyramid of glass, which arose, like a
frost-stricken fountain, in the middle of the English china and glass
department. I remember huge vases, cups as thin as egg-shell, pellucid
crystals in all shapes, a glory of hard materials and tender colors. And
I remember a department of raw material, fibres, minerals, germs, and
grains, and a department of Eastern confectionery, and one of Algerine
small work, to wit, jewelry and embroidery. An American soda fountain
caused us to tingle with renewed associations. And we hear, with
shamefaced satisfaction, that American drinks have proved a feature in
this great phenomenon. Machines have, of course, been creditable to us.
Chickering and Steinway have carried off prizes in a piano-forte tilt,
each grudging the other his share of the common victory. And our
veteran's maps for the blind have received a silver medal. Tiffany, the
New York jeweller, presents a good silver miniature of Crawford's
beautiful America. And with these successes our patriotism must now be
content. We are not ahead of all creation, so far as the Exposition is
concerned, and the things that do us most credit must be seen and
studied in our midst.

Our longest lingerings in the halls of the Exposition were among the
galleries of art. Among these the French pictures were preëminent in
interest. The group of Jerome's paintings were the most striking of
their kind, uniting finish with intensity, and both with ease. In his
choice of subjects, Jerome is not a Puritan. The much admired Almée is a
picture of low scope, excusable only as an historic representation. The
judgment of Phryne will not commend itself more to maids and matrons who
love their limits. Both pictures, however, are powerfully conceived and
colored. The "Ave Cesar" of the _morituri_ before Vitellius is better
inspired, if less well executed, and holds the mirror close in the cruel
face of absolute power.

Study of the Italian masters was clearly visible in many of the best
works of the French gallery. I recall a fine triptych representing the
story of the prodigal son in which the chief picture spoke plainly of
Paul Veronese, and his Venetian life and coloring. In this picture the
prodigal appeared as the lavish entertainer of gay company. A banquet,
shared by joyous _hetairæ_, occupied the canvas. A slender compartment
on the right showed the second act of the drama--hunger, swine-feeding,
and repentance. A similar one on the left gave the pleasanter
_dénouement_--the return, the welcome, the feast of forgiveness. Both of
the latter subjects were treated in _chiaro-scuro_, a manner that
heightened the contrast between the flush of pleasure and the pallor of
its consequences. Rosa Bonheur's part in the Exposition was scarcely
equal to her reputation. One charming picture of a boat-load of sheep
crossing a Highland loch still dwells in my memory like a limpid
sapphire, so lovely was the color of the water. The Russian, Swedish,
and Danish pictures surprised me by their good points. If we may judge
of Russian art by these specimens, it is not behind the European
standard of attainment. Of the Bavarian gallery, rich in works of
interest, I can here mention but two. The first must be a very large and
magnificent cartoon by Kaulbach, representing a fancied assemblage of
illustrious personages at the period of the Reformation. Luther,
Erasmus, and Melanchthon were prominent among these, the whole belonging
to a large style of historical composition.

The second was already familiar to us through a photograph seen and
admired in Munich. It is called Ste. Julie, and represents a young
Christian martyr, dead upon the cross, at whose foot a young man is
depositing an offering of flowers. The pale beauty and repose of the
figure, the massive hair and lovely head, the modesty of attitude and
attire, are very striking. The sky is subdued, clear, and gray, the
black hair standing out powerfully against it. The whole palette seems
to have been set with pure and pearly tints. One thinks the brushes that
painted this fair dove could never paint a courtesan. A single star, the
first of evening, breaks the continuity of the twilight sky. This
picture seemed as if it should make those who look at it thenceforward
more tender, and more devout. Among the English pictures, the Enemy
sowing Tares, by Millais, was particularly original--a malignant sky,
full of blight and destruction, and a malignant wretch, smiling at
mischief, and scowling at good,--a powerful figure, mighty and mean.
This picture makes one start and shudder; such must have been its
intention, and such is its success.

Among sculptures, the most conspicuous was one called the Last Hour of
Napoleon--a figure in an invalid's chair, with drooping head and worn
countenance, the map of the globe lying spread upon his passive knees.
Every trait already says, "This _was_ Napoleon," the man of modern times
who longest survived himself, who was dead and could not expire. Wreaths
of immortelles always lay at the foot of this statue. It is the work of
an Italian artist, and the only sculpture in the whole exhibition which
I can recall as easily and deservedly remembered.

Our American part in the art-exhibition was not great. William Hunt's
pictures were badly placed, and not grouped, as they should have been,
to give an adequate idea of the variety of his merits. Bierstadt's Rocky
Mountains looked thin in coloring, and showed a want of design. Church's
Niagara was effective. Johnston's Old Kentucky Home was excellent in its
kind, and characteristic. Kensett had a good landscape. But America has
still more to learn than to teach in the way of high art. Success among
us is too cheap and easy. Art-critics are wordy and ignorant, praising
from caprice rather than from conscience. It would be most important for
us to form at least one gallery of art in which American artists might
study something better than themselves. The presence of twenty
first-rate pictures in one of our great cities would save a great deal
of going abroad, and help to form a sincere and intelligent standard of
æsthetic judgment. Such pictures should, of course, be constantly open
to the public, as no private collection can well be. We should have a
Titian, a Rubens, an Andrea, a Paul Veronese, and so on. But these
pictures should be of historical authenticity. The most responsible
artists of the country should be empowered to negotiate for them, and
the money might be afforded from the heavy gains of late years with far
more honor and profit than the superfluous splendors with which the
fortunate of this period bedizen their houses and their persons.

Among American sculptures I may mention a pleasing medallion or two by
Miss Foley. Miss Hosmer's Faun is a near relative in descent from the
Barberini Faun, and, however good in execution, has little originality
of conception. And these things I say, Beloved, in the bosom of our
American family, because I think they ought to be said, and not out of
pride or fancied superiority.

I am ashamed to say that I have already told the little I am able to
tell of the Exposition as seen by daylight--the little, at least, that
every one else has not told. But I visited the enclosure once in the
evening, when only the cafés were open. Among these I sought a beer-shop
characterized as the Bavarian brewery, and sought it long and with
trouble; for the long, winding paths showed us, one after the other,
many agglomerations of light, which were obviously places of public
entertainment, and in each of which we expected to find our Bavarian
brewery, famous for the musical performances of certain gypsies much
spoken of in Parisian circles. In the pursuit of this we entered half a
dozen buildings, in each of which some characteristic entertainment was
proceeding. Coming finally to the object of our search, we found it a
plain room with small tables, half filled with visitors. Opposite the
entrance was a small orchestral stage, on which were seated the wild
musicians whom we sought. A franc each person was the entrance fee, and
we were scarcely seated before a functionary authoritatively invited us
to command some refreshment, in a tone which was itself the order of the
day. In obedience, one ordered beer, another _gloria_, a third
cigars--all at extortionate prices. But then the music was given for
nothing, and must be paid for somehow. And it proved worth paying for.
At first the body of sound seemed overpowering, for there was no
pianissimo, and not one of the regular orchestral effects. A
weird-looking leader in high boots stood and fiddled, holding his violin
now on a level with his eyes, now with his nose, now with his stomach,
writhing and swaying with excitement, his excitable troupe following the
ups and downs of his movement like a track of gaunt hounds dashing after
a spectre. The café gradually filled, and orders were asked and given.
But little disturbance did these give either to the band or its hearers.
They played various wild airs and symphonies (not technical ones), being
partially advised therein by an elegant male personage who sat leaning
his head upon his jewelled hand, absorbed in attention. These melodies
were obviously compositions of the most eccentric and accidental sort.
Not thus do great or small harmonists mate their tones and arch their
passages. But there was a vivacity and a passion in all that these men
did which made every bar seem full of electric fire; and these must be,
I thought, traditional vestiges of another time, when music was not yet
an art, but only nature. Here Dwight's Journal has no power. Beethoven
or Handel may do as he likes; these do as they please, also. This is the
heathendom of art, in which feeling is all, authority nothing; in which
rules are only suspected, not created. After an hour or more of this
entertainment, we left it, not unwillingly, being a little weary of its
labyrinthine character and unmoderated ecstasy. Yet we left it much
impressed with the musical material presented in it. Our civilized
orchestras have no such enthusiasts as that nervous leader, with his
leaping violin and restraining high boots. And this, with the lights and
shadows, and broken music of the outside walks, is all that I saw of
evening at the Exposition.



PICTURES IN ANTWERP.


As you cannot, with rare exceptions, see Raphael out of Italy, so, I
should almost say, you cannot see Rubens and Vandyck out of Belgium.
This is especially true of the former; for one does, I confess, see
marvellous portraits of Vandyck's in Genoa and in other places. But one
judges a painter best by seeing a group of his best works, which show
his sphere of thought with some completeness. A single sentence suffices
to show the great poet; but no one will assume that a sentence will give
you to know as much of him as a poem or volume. So the detached
sentences of the two great Flemish painters, easily met with in
European galleries, bear genuine evidence of the master's hand; but the
collections of Antwerp and Bruges show us the master himself. Intending
no disrespect to Florence, Munich, or the Medicean series at the Louvre,
I must say that I had no just measure of the dignity of Rubens as a man
and as an artist, until I stood before his two great pictures in the
Cathedral of Antwerp. One of these represents the Elevation of the
Cross. Mathematically it offends one--the cross, the principal object in
the picture, being seen diagonally, in an uneasy and awkward posture. On
the other hand, the face of the Christ corresponds fully to the heroism
of the moment; it expresses the human horror and agony, but, triumphing
over all, the steadfastness of resolve and faith. It is a
transfiguration--the spiritual glory holding its own above all
circumstances of pain and infamy. A sort of beautiful surprise is in the
eyes--the first deadly pang of an organism unused to suffer. It is a
face that lifts one above the weakness and meanness of ordinary human
life. This soul, one sees, had the true talisman, the true treasure. If
we earn what he did, we can afford to let all else go. The Descent from
the Cross is better known than its fellow-picture. It had not to me the
wonderful interest of the living face of Christ in the supreme moment of
his great life; for I shall always consider that the Christ represented
in the Elevation is a true Christ, not a mere fancy figure or dramatic
ghost. The Descent is, however, more grand and satisfactory in its
grouping, and the contrast between the agony of the friendly faces that
surround the chief figure and the dead peace of his expression and
attitude is profound and pathetic. The head and body fall heavily upon
the arms of those who support it, and who seem to bear an inward weight
far transcending the outward one. The pale face of the Virgin is
stricken and compressed with sorrow. Each of the pictures is the centre
of a triptych, the two smaller paintings representing subjects in
harmony with the chief groups. On the right of the Descent we have Mary
making her historical visit to the house of Elisabeth; on the left, the
presentation of the infant Christ in the temple. On the right of the
Elevation is a group of those daughters of Jerusalem to whom Christ
said, "Weep not for me." The subject on the left is less significant.

With these pictures deserves to rank the Flagellation of Christ, by the
same artist, in the Church of St. Paul. The resplendent fairness of the
body, the cruel reality of the bleeding which follows the scourge, and
the expression of genuine but noble suffering, seize upon the very quick
of sympathy, weakened by mythicism and sentimentalism. This fair body,
sensitive as yours or mine, endured bitter and agonizing blows. This
great heart was content to endure them as the penalty of bequeathing to
mankind its priceless secret.

The churches of Antwerp are rich in architecture, paintings, and
marbles. In the latter the Church of St. Jacques excels, the high altar
and side chapels being adorned with twisted columns of white marble, and
with various sculptures. The Musée contains many pictures of great
reputation and merit. Among these are a miniature painting of the
Descent from the Cross, by Rubens himself, closely, but not wholly,
corresponding with his great picture; the Education of the Virgin, and
the Vierge au Perroquet, both by Rubens, in his most brilliant style.
Another composition represents St. Theresa imploring the Savior to
release from purgatory the soul of a benefactor of her order. Rubens is
said to have given to this benefactor the features of Vandyck, and to
one of the angels releasing him those of his young wife, Helena Forman;
while the face of an old man still in suffering represents his own.

This gallery contains three Vandycks of first-class merit, each of which
will detain the attention of lovers of art. The one that first meets
your eye is a Pietà, in which the body of Christ is stretched
horizontally, his head lying on the lap of his mother. The strongest
point of the picture is the Virgin's sorrow, expressed in her pallid
face, eyes worn with weeping, and outstretched hands. The second is a
small crucifix, very harmonious and expressive. The third is a life-size
picture of the crucifixion, with a very individual tone of color. The
Virgin, at the foot of the cross, has great truth and dignity, but is
rather a modern figure for the subject. But the pride of the whole
collection is a unique triptych by Quintin Matsys, his greatest work,
and one without which the extent of his power can never be realized. The
central picture represents a dead Christ, surrounded by the men and
women who ministered to him, preparing him for sepulture. The right
hand of the Christ lies half open, with a wonderful expression of
acquiescence. The faces of those who surround him are full of intense
interest and tenderness; the Virgin's countenance expresses heart-break.
The whole picture disposes you to weep, not from sentimentalism, but
from real sympathy. Of the side pieces, one represents the wicked women
with the head of John the Baptist, the other the martyrdom of Ste.
Barbe. Add to these some of the best Teniers, Ostades, Ruysdaels, and
Vanderweldes, with many excellent works of second-class merit, and you
will understand, as well as words can tell you, what treasures lie
within the Musée of Antwerp.

       *       *       *       *       *

Copy is exhausted, say the printers. Perhaps patience gave out first. My
MS. is at end--not handsomely rounded off, nor even shortened by a
surgical amputation, but broken at some point in which facts left no
room for words. Observation became absorbing, and description was
adjourned, as it now proves, forever. The few sentences which I shall
add to what is already written will merely apologize for my sudden
disappearance, lest the clown's "Here we are" should find a comic
_pendant_ in my "Here we are not."

I have only to say that I have endeavored in good faith to set down this
simple and hurried record of a journey crowded with interests and
pleasures. I was afraid to receive so freely of these without attempting
to give what I could in return, under the advantages and disadvantages
of immediate transcription. In sketches executed upon the spot, one
hopes that the vividness of the impression under which one labors may
atone for the want of finish and of elaboration. If read at all, these
notes may be called to account for many insufficiencies. Some pages may
appear careless, some sentences Quixotic. I am still inclined to think
that with more leisure and deliberation I should not have done the work
as well. I should, perhaps, like Tintoretto, have occupied acres and
acres of attention with superfluous delineation, putting, as he did, my
own portrait in the corner. Rejoice, therefore, good reader, in my
limitations. They are your enfranchisement.

Touching Quixotism, I will plead guilty to the sounding of various
parleys before some stately buildings and unshaken fortresses. "Who is
this that blows so sharp a summons?" may the inmates ask. I may answer,
"One who believes in the twelve legions of angels that wait upon the
endeavors of faithful souls." Should they further threaten or deride, I
will borrow Elizabeth Browning's sweet refrain,--

    "I am no trumpet, but a reed,"--

and trust not to become a broken one.

Conscious of my many shortcomings, and asking attention only for the
message I have tried to bring, I ask also for that charity which
recognizes that good will is the best part of action, and good faith the
first condition of knowledge.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following typogrphical errors were corrected by the etext
transcriber:

embarassment=>embarrassment

Minature=>Miniature

procesison=>procession

pivations=>privations

the shonlder of the garment=>the shoulder of the garment

fortutunate=>fortunate

Bronner pass.=>Brenner pass.

Pinakethek=>Pinakothek

antiquitties=>antiquities

Macchiavelli's Principe=>Machiavelli's Principe





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