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Title: North America — Volume 1
Author: Trollope, Anthony, 1815-1882
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "North America — Volume 1" ***

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and revised by Joseph E. Loewenstein, M.D.



Editorial note:

      Anthony Trollope travelled through the United States from
      August, 1861, to May, 1862, visiting all the states that
      did not secede except California. This book is partly a
      journal of his travels and partly his description of American
      customs and culture including industry, education, government,
      military affairs, religion, transportation, and even
      hotels. To an American of today it provides a revealing and
      fascinating picture of life at the time.

      The book was first published in two volumes by Chapman & Hall
      in 1862.

NORTH AMERICA

by

ANTHONY TROLLOPE

In Two Volumes

VOL. I



CONTENTS


       I. INTRODUCTION.
      II. NEWPORT--RHODE ISLAND.
     III. MAINE, NEW HAMPSHIRE, AND VERMONT.
      IV. LOWER CANADA.
       V. UPPER CANADA.
      VI. THE CONNEXION OF THE CANADAS WITH GREAT BRITAIN.
     VII. NIAGARA.
    VIII. NORTH AND WEST.
      IX. FROM NIAGARA TO THE MISSISSIPPI.
       X. THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI.
      XI. CERES AMERICANA.
     XII. BUFFALO TO NEW YORK.
    XIII. AN APOLOGY FOR THE WAR.
     XIV. NEW YORK.
      XV. THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK.
     XVI. BOSTON.
    XVII. CAMBRIDGE AND LOWELL.
   XVIII. THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN.
     XIX. EDUCATION AND RELIGION.
      XX. FROM BOSTON TO WASHINGTON.



CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTION.


It has been the ambition of my literary life to write a book about
the United States, and I had made up my mind to visit the country
with this object before the intestine troubles of the United States
Government had commenced. I have not allowed the division among
the States and the breaking out of civil war to interfere with my
intention; but I should not purposely have chosen this period either
for my book or for my visit. I say so much, in order that it may not
be supposed that it is my special purpose to write an account of the
struggle as far as it has yet been carried. My wish is to describe as
well as I can the present social and political state of the country.
This I should have attempted, with more personal satisfaction in the
work, had there been no disruption between the North and South; but I
have not allowed that disruption to deter me from an object which, if
it were delayed, might probably never be carried out. I am therefore
forced to take the subject in its present condition, and being so
forced I must write of the war, of the causes which have led to it,
and of its probable termination. But I wish it to be understood that
it was not my selected task to do so, and is not now my primary
object.

Thirty years ago my mother wrote a book about the Americans, to which
I believe I may allude as a well known and successful work without
being guilty of any undue family conceit. That was essentially a
woman's book. She saw with a woman's keen eye, and described with a
woman's light but graphic pen, the social defects and absurdities
which our near relatives had adopted into their domestic life.
All that she told was worth the telling, and the telling, if done
successfully, was sure to produce a good result. I am satisfied that
it did so. But she did not regard it as a part of her work to dilate
on the nature and operation of those political arrangements which had
produced the social absurdities which she saw, or to explain that
though such absurdities were the natural result of those arrangements
in their newness, the defects would certainly pass away, while the
political arrangements, if good, would remain. Such a work is fitter
for a man than for a woman. I am very far from thinking that it is
a task which I can perform with satisfaction either to myself or to
others. It is a work which some man will do who has earned a right
by education, study, and success to rank himself among the political
sages of his age. But I may perhaps be able to add something to the
familiarity of Englishmen with Americans. The writings which have
been most popular in England on the subject of the United States have
hitherto dealt chiefly with social details; and though in most cases
true and useful, have created laughter on one side of the Atlantic,
and soreness on the other. If I could do anything to mitigate the
soreness, if I could in any small degree add to the good feeling
which should exist between two nations which ought to love each other
so well, and which do hang upon each other so constantly, I should
think that I had cause to be proud of my work.

But it is very hard to write about any country a book that does
not represent the country described in a more or less ridiculous
point of view. It is hard at least to do so in such a book
as I must write. A De Tocqueville may do it. It may be done
by any philosophico-political or politico-statistical, or
statistico-scientific writer; but it can hardly be done by a man who
professes to use a light pen, and to manufacture his article for the
use of general readers. Such a writer may tell all that he sees of
the beautiful; but he must also tell, if not all that he sees of the
ludicrous, at any rate the most piquant part of it. How to do this
without being offensive is the problem which a man with such a task
before him has to solve. His first duty is owed to his readers, and
consists mainly in this: that he shall tell the truth, and shall
so tell that truth that what he has written may be readable. But
a second duty is due to those of whom he writes; and he does not
perform that duty well if he gives offence to those, as to whom, on
the summing up of the whole evidence for and against them in his own
mind, he intends to give a favourable verdict. There are of course
those against whom a writer does not intend to give a favourable
verdict;--people and places whom he desires to describe, on the peril
of his own judgment, as bad, ill-educated, ugly, and odious. In such
cases his course is straightforward enough. His judgment may be
in great peril, but his volume or chapter will be easily written.
Ridicule and censure run glibly from the pen, and form themselves
into sharp paragraphs which are pleasant to the reader. Whereas
eulogy is commonly dull, and too frequently sounds as though it were
false. There is much difficulty in expressing a verdict which is
intended to be favourable; but which, though favourable, shall not be
falsely eulogistic; and though true, not offensive.

Who has ever travelled in foreign countries without meeting excellent
stories against the citizens of such countries? And how few can
travel without hearing such stories against themselves? It is
impossible for me to avoid telling of a very excellent gentleman whom
I met before I had been in the United States a week, and who asked me
whether lords in England ever spoke to men who were not lords. Nor
can I omit the opening address of another gentleman to my wife. "You
like our institutions, ma'am?" "Yes, indeed," said my wife,--not with
all that eagerness of assent which the occasion perhaps required.
"Ah," said he, "I never yet met the down-trodden subject of a despot
who did not hug his chains." The first gentleman was certainly
somewhat ignorant of our customs, and the second was rather abrupt in
his condemnation of the political principles of a person whom he only
first saw at that moment. It comes to me in the way of my trade to
repeat such incidents; but I can tell stories which are quite as good
against Englishmen. As for instance, when I was tapped on the back in
one of the galleries of Florence by a countryman of mine, and asked
to show him where stood the medical Venus. Nor is anything that one
can say of the inconveniences attendant upon travel in the United
States to be beaten by what foreigners might truly say of us. I shall
never forget the look of a Frenchman whom I found on a wet afternoon
in the best inn of a provincial town in the west of England. He was
seated on a horsehair-covered chair in the middle of a small dingy
ill-furnished private sitting-room. No eloquence of mine could make
intelligible to a Frenchman or an American the utter desolation of
such an apartment. The world as then seen by that Frenchman offered
him solace of no description. The air without was heavy, dull, and
thick. The street beyond the window was dark and narrow. The room
contained mahogany chairs covered with horsehair, a mahogany table
ricketty in its legs, and a mahogany sideboard ornamented with
inverted glasses and old cruet-stands. The Frenchman had come
to the house for shelter and food, and had been asked whether
he was commercial. Whereupon he shook his head. "Did he want a
sitting-room?" Yes, he did. "He was a leetle tired and vanted to
seet." Whereupon he was presumed to have ordered a private room,
and was shown up to the Eden I have described. I found him there at
death's door. Nothing that I can say with reference to the social
habits of the Americans can tell more against them than the story of
that Frenchman's fate tells against those of our country.

From which remarks I would wish to be understood as deprecating
offence from my American friends, if in the course of my book should
be found aught which may seem to argue against the excellence of
their institutions, and the grace of their social life. Of this at
any rate I can assure them in sober earnestness that I admire what
they have done in the world and for the world with a true and hearty
admiration; and that whether or no all their institutions be at
present excellent, and their social life all graceful, my wishes are
that they should be so, and my convictions are that that improvement
will come for which there may perhaps even yet be some little room.

And now touching this war which had broken out between the North and
South before I left England. I would wish to explain what my feelings
were; or rather what I believe the general feelings of England to
have been, before I found myself among the people by whom it was
being waged. It is very difficult for the people of any one nation to
realize the political relations of another, and to chew the cud and
digest the bearings of those external politics. But it is unjust in
the one to decide upon the political aspirations and doings of that
other without such understanding. Constantly as the name of France
is in our mouth, comparatively few Englishmen understand the way
in which France is governed;--that is, how far absolute despotism
prevails, and how far the power of the one ruler is tempered, or, as
it may be, hampered by the voices and influence of others. And as
regards England, how seldom is it that in common society a foreigner
is met who comprehends the nature of her political arrangements! To
a Frenchman,--I do not of course include great men who have made the
subject a study,--but to the ordinary intelligent Frenchman the thing
is altogether incomprehensible. Language, it may be said, has much
to do with that. But an American speaks English; and how often is an
American met, who has combined in his mind the idea of a monarch, so
called, with that of a republic, properly so named;--a combination of
ideas which I take to be necessary to the understanding of English
politics? The gentleman who scorned my wife for hugging her chains
had certainly not done so, and yet he conceived that he had studied
the subject. The matter is one most difficult of comprehension.
How many Englishmen have failed to understand accurately their own
constitution, or the true bearing of their own politics! But when
this knowledge has been attained, it has generally been filtered into
the mind slowly, and has come from the unconscious study of many
years. An Englishman handles a newspaper for a quarter of an hour
daily, and daily exchanges some few words in politics with those
around him, till drop by drop the pleasant springs of his liberty
creep into his mind and water his heart; and thus, earlier or later
in life according to the nature of his intelligence, he understands
why it is that he is at all points a free man. But if this be so of
our own politics; if it be so rare a thing to find a foreigner who
understands them in all their niceties, why is it that we are so
confident in our remarks on all the niceties of those of other
nations?

I hope that I may not be misunderstood as saying that we should not
discuss foreign politics in our press, our parliament, our public
meetings, or our private houses. No man could be mad enough to preach
such a doctrine. As regards our Parliament, that is probably the best
British school of foreign politics, seeing that the subject is not
there often taken up by men who are absolutely ignorant, and that
mistakes when made are subject to a correction which is both rough
and ready. The press, though very liable to error, labours hard at
its vocation in teaching foreign politics, and spares no expense
in letting in daylight. If the light let in be sometimes moonshine,
excuse may easily be made. Where so much is attempted, there must
necessarily be some failure. But even the moonshine does good, if it
be not offensive moonshine. What I would deprecate is, that aptness
at reproach which we assume;--the readiness with scorn, the quiet
words of insult, the instant judgment and condemnation with which we
are so inclined to visit, not the great outward acts, but the smaller
inward politics of our neighbours.

And do others spare us, will be the instant reply of all who may read
this. In my counter reply I make bold to place myself and my country
on very high ground, and to say that we, the older and therefore
more experienced people as regards the United States, and the better
governed as regards France, and the stronger as regards all the world
beyond, should not throw mud again even though mud be thrown at us.
I yield the path to a small chimney-sweeper as readily as to a lady;
and forbear from an interchange of courtesies with a Billingsgate
heroine, even though at heart I may have a proud consciousness that
I should not altogether go to the wall in such an encounter.

I left England in August last--August 1861. At that time, and for
some months previous, I think that the general English feeling on
the American question was as follows. "This wide-spread nationality
of the United States, with its enormous territorial possessions and
increasing population, has fallen asunder, torn to pieces by the
weight of its own discordant parts,--as a congregation when its
size has become unwieldy will separate, and reform itself into two
wholesome wholes. It is well that this should be so, for the people
are not homogeneous, as a people should be who are called to live
together as one nation. They have attempted to combine free-soil
sentiments with the practice of slavery, and to make these two
antagonists live together in peace and unity under the same roof;
but, as we have long expected, they have failed. Now has come the
period for separation; and if the people would only see this, and
act in accordance with the circumstances which Providence and the
inevitable hand of the world's ruler has prepared for them, all
would be well. But they will not do this. They will go to war with
each other. The South will make her demands for secession with an
arrogance and instant pressure which exasperates the North; and the
North, forgetting that an equable temper in such matters is the most
powerful of all weapons, will not recognize the strength of its own
position. It allows itself to be exasperated, and goes to war for
that which if regained would only be injurious to it. Thus millions
on millions sterling will be spent. A heavy debt will be incurred;
and the North, which divided from the South might take its place
among the greatest of nations, will throw itself back for half a
century, and perhaps injure the splendour of its ultimate prospects.
If only they would be wise, throw down their arms, and agree to part!
But they will not."

This was, I think, the general opinion when I left England. It would
not, however, be necessary to go back many months to reach the time
when Englishmen were saying how impossible it was that so great a
national power should ignore its own greatness, and destroy its own
power by an internecine separation. But in August last all that had
gone by, and we in England had realized the probability of actual
secession.

To these feelings on the subject may be added another, which was
natural enough though perhaps not noble. "These western cocks have
crowed loudly," we said; "too loudly for the comfort of those who
live after all at no such great distance from them. It is well that
their combs should be clipped. Cocks who crow so very loudly are a
nuisance. It might have gone so far that the clipping would become a
work necessarily to be done from without. But it is ten times better
for all parties that it should be done from within; and as the cocks
are now clipping their own combs, in God's name let them do it
and the whole world will be the quieter." That, I say, was not a
very noble idea; but it was natural enough, and certainly has done
somewhat in mitigating that grief which the horrors of civil war and
the want of cotton have caused to us in England.

Such certainly had been my belief as to the country. I speak here of
my opinion as to the ultimate success of secession and the folly of
the war,--repudiating any concurrence of my own in the ignoble but
natural sentiment alluded to in the last paragraph. I certainly did
think that the Northern States, if wise, would have let the Southern
States go. I had blamed Buchanan as a traitor for allowing the germ
of secession to make any growth;--and as I thought him a traitor
then, so do I think him a traitor now. But I had also blamed Lincoln,
or rather the government of which Mr. Lincoln in this matter is
no more than the exponent, for his efforts to avoid that which is
inevitable. In this I think that I--or as I believe I may say we, we
Englishmen--were wrong. I do not see how the North, treated as it was
and had been, could have submitted to secession without resistance.
We all remember what Shakespere says of the great armies which were
led out to fight for a piece of ground not large enough to cover
the bodies of those who would be slain in the battle; but I do not
remember that Shakespere says that the battle was on this account
necessarily unreasonable. It is the old point of honour, which, till
it had been made absurd by certain changes of circumstances, was
always grand and usually beneficent. These changes of circumstances
have altered the manner in which appeal may be made, but have not
altered the point of honour. Had the Southern States sought to obtain
secession by constitutional means, they might or might not have been
successful; but if successful there would have been no war. I do not
mean to brand all the Southern States with treason, nor do I intend
to say that having secession at heart they could have obtained it
by constitutional means. But I do intend to say that acting as they
did, demanding secession not constitutionally but in opposition to
the constitution, taking upon themselves the right of breaking up a
nationality of which they formed only a part, and doing that without
consent of the other part, opposition from the North and war was an
inevitable consequence.

It is, I think, only necessary to look back to the revolution by
which the United States separated themselves from England to see
this. There is hardly to be met, here and there, an Englishman who
now regrets the loss of the revolted American colonies;--who now
thinks that civilization was retarded and the world injured by that
revolt; who now conceives that England should have expended more
treasure and more lives in the hope of retaining those colonies. It
is agreed that the revolt was a good thing; that those who were then
rebels became patriots by success, and that they deserved well of all
coming ages of mankind. But not the less absolutely necessary was it
that England should endeavour to hold her own. She was as the mother
bird when the young bird will fly alone. She suffered those pangs
which Nature calls upon mothers to endure.

As was the necessity of British opposition to American independence,
so was the necessity of Northern opposition to Southern secession.
I do not say that in other respects the two cases were parallel.
The States separated from us because they would not endure taxation
without representation--in other words because they were old enough
and big enough to go alone. The South is seceding from the North
because the two are not homogeneous. They have different instincts,
different appetites, different morals, and a different culture. It is
well for one man to say that slavery has caused the separation; and
for another to say that slavery has not caused it. Each in so saying
speaks the truth. Slavery has caused it, seeing that slavery is the
great point on which the two have agreed to differ. But slavery has
not caused it, seeing that other points of difference are to be found
in every circumstance and feature of the two people. The North and
the South must ever be dissimilar. In the North labour will always
be honourable, and because honourable successful. In the South
labour has ever been servile,--at least in some sense, and therefore
dishonourable; and because dishonourable has not, to itself, been
successful. In the South, I say, labour ever has been dishonourable;
and I am driven to confess that I have not hitherto seen a sign of
any change in the Creator's fiat on this matter. That labour will be
honourable all the world over, as years advance and the millennium
draws nigh, I for one never doubt.

So much for English opinion about America in August last. And now I
will venture to say a word or two as to American feeling respecting
this English opinion at that period. It will of course be remembered
by all my readers that at the beginning of the war Lord Russell, who
was then in the lower house, declared as Foreign Secretary of State
that England would regard the North and South as belligerents, and
would remain neutral as to both of them. This declaration gave
violent offence to the North, and has been taken as indicating
British sympathy with the cause of the seceders. I am not going
to explain--indeed it would be necessary that I should first
understand--the laws of nations with regard to blockaded ports,
privateering, ships and men and goods contraband of war, and all
those semi-nautical semi-military rules and axioms which it is
necessary that all Attorneys-General and such like should at the
present moment have at their fingers' end. But it must be evident
to the most ignorant in those matters, among which large crowd I
certainly include myself, that it was essentially necessary that Lord
John Russell should at that time declare openly what England intended
to do. It was essential that our seamen should know where they would
be protected and where not, and that the course to be taken by
England should be defined. Reticence in the matter was not within the
power of the British Government. It behoved the Foreign Secretary of
State to declare openly that England intended to side either with one
party or with the other, or else to remain neutral between them.

I had heard this matter discussed by Americans before I left England,
and I have of course heard it discussed very frequently in America.
There can be no doubt that the front of the offence given by England
to the Northern States was this declaration of Lord John Russell's.
But it has been always made evident to me that the sin did not
consist in the fact of England's neutrality,--in the fact of
her regarding the two parties as belligerents,--but in the open
declaration made to the world by a Secretary of State that she did
intend so to regard them. If another proof were wanting, this would
afford another proof of the immense weight attached in America to all
the proceedings and to all the feelings of England on this matter.
The very anger of the North is a compliment paid by the North to
England. But not the less is that anger unreasonable. To those in
America who understand our constitution, it must be evident that our
Government cannot take official measures without a public avowal of
such measures. France can do so. Russia can do so. The Government
of the United States can do so, and could do so even before this
rupture. But the Government of England cannot do so. All men
connected with the Government in England have felt themselves from
time to time more or less hampered by the necessity of publicity.
Our statesmen have been forced to fight their battles with the plan
of their tactics open before their adversaries. But we, in England,
are inclined to believe, that the general result is good, and that
battles so fought and so won will be fought with the honestest blows,
and won with the surest results. Reticence in this matter was not
possible, and Lord John Russell in making the open avowal which gave
such offence to the Northern States only did that which, as a servant
of England, England required him to do.

"What would you in England have thought," a gentleman of much weight
in Boston said to me, "if when you were in trouble in India, we had
openly declared that we regarded your opponents there as belligerents
on equal terms with yourselves?" I was forced to say that, as far as
I could see, there was no analogy between the two cases. In India an
army had mutinied, and that an army composed of a subdued, if not a
servile race. The analogy would have been fairer had it referred to
any sympathy shown by us to insurgent negroes. But, nevertheless,
had the army which mutinied in India been in possession of ports and
sea-board; had they held in their hands vast commercial cities and
great agricultural districts; had they owned ships and been masters
of a wide-spread trade, America could have done nothing better
towards us than have remained neutral in such a conflict, and have
regarded the parties as belligerents. The only question is whether
she would have done so well by us. "But," said my friend in answer
to all this, "we should not have proclaimed to the world that we
regarded you and them as standing on an equal footing." There again
appeared the true gist of the offence. A word from England such as
that spoken by Lord John Russell was of such weight to the South,
that the North could not endure to have it spoken. I did not say to
that gentleman,--but here I may say, that had such circumstances
arisen as those conjectured, and had America spoken such a word,
England would not have felt herself called upon to resent it.

But the fairer analogy lies between Ireland and the Southern States.
The monster meetings and O'Connell's triumphs are not so long gone by
but that many of us can remember the first demand for secession made
by Ireland, and the line which was then taken by American sympathies.
It is not too much to say that America then believed that Ireland
would secure secession, and that the great trust of the Irish
repealers was in the moral aid which she did and would receive from
America. "But our Government proclaimed no sympathy with Ireland,"
said my friend. No. The American Government is not called on to make
such proclamations; nor had Ireland ever taken upon herself the
nature and labours of a belligerent.

That this anger on the part of the North is unreasonable I cannot
doubt. That it is unfortunate, grievous, and very bitter I am quite
sure. But I do not think that it is in any degree surprising. I am
inclined to think that did I belong to Boston as I do belong to
London, I should share in the feeling, and rave as loudly as all men
there have raved against the coldness of England. When men have on
hand such a job of work as the North has now undertaken they are
always guided by their feelings rather than their reason. What two
men ever had a quarrel in which each did not think that all the
world, if just, would espouse his own side of the dispute? The North
feels that it has been more than loyal to the South, and that the
South has taken advantage of that over-loyalty to betray the North.
"We have worked for them, and fought for them, and paid for them,"
says the North. "By our labour we have raised their indolence to a
par with our energy. While we have worked like men, we have allowed
them to talk and bluster. We have warmed them in our bosom, and now
they turn against us and sting us. The world sees that this is so.
England, above all, must see it, and seeing it should speak out her
true opinion." The North is hot with such thoughts as these, and
one cannot wonder that she should be angry with her friend, when
her friend, with an expression of certain easy good wishes, bids
her fight out her own battles. The North has been unreasonable with
England;--but I believe that every reader of this page would have
been as unreasonable had that reader been born in Massachusetts.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones are the dearly beloved friends of my family. My
wife and I have lived with Mrs. Jones on terms of intimacy which have
been quite endearing. Jones has had the run of my house with perfect
freedom, and in Mrs. Jones' drawing-room I have always had my own
arm-chair, and have been regaled with large breakfast-cups of tea,
quite as though I were at home. But of a sudden Jones and his wife
have fallen out, and there is for a while in Jones' Hall a cat and
dog life that may end--in one hardly dare to surmise what calamity.
Mrs. Jones begs that I will interfere with her husband, and Jones
entreats the good offices of my wife in moderating the hot temper of
his own. But we know better than that. If we interfere, the chances
are that my dear friends will make it up and turn upon us. I grieve
beyond measure in a general way at the temporary break up of the
Jones' Hall happiness. I express general wishes that it may be
temporary. But as for saying which is right or which is wrong,--as
to expressing special sympathy on either side in such a quarrel,--it
is out of the question. "My dear Jones, you must excuse me. Any news
in the City to-day? Sugars have fell; how are teas?" Of course Jones
thinks that I'm a brute; but what can I do?

I have been somewhat surprised to find the trouble that has been
taken by American orators, statesmen, and logicians to prove that
this secession on the part of the South has been revolutionary;--that
is to say, that it has been undertaken and carried on not in
compliance with the constitution of the United States, but in
defiance of it. This has been done over and over again by some of
the greatest men of the North, and has been done most successfully.
But what then? Of course the movement has been revolutionary and
anti-constitutional. Nobody, no single Southerner, can really believe
that the Constitution of the United States as framed in 1787, or
altered since, intended to give to the separate States the power of
seceding as they pleased. It is surely useless going through long
arguments to prove this, seeing that it is absolutely proved by the
absence of any clause giving such licence to the separate States.
Such licence would have been destructive to the very idea of a great
nationality. Where would New England have been as a part of the
United States, if New York, which stretches from the Atlantic to the
borders of Canada, had been endowed with the power of cutting off the
six Northern States from the rest of the Union? No one will for a
moment doubt that the movement was revolutionary, and yet infinite
pains are taken to prove a fact that is patent to every one.

It is revolutionary, but what then? Have the Northern States of
the American Union taken upon themselves in 1861 to proclaim their
opinion that revolution is a sin? Are they going back to the divine
right of any sovereignty? Are they going to tell the world that
a nation or a people is bound to remain in any political status,
because that status is the recognized form of government under which
such a people have lived? Is this to be the doctrine of United
States' citizens,--of all people? And is this the doctrine preached
now, of all times, when the King of Naples and the Italian dukes
have just been dismissed from their thrones with such enchanting
nonchalance, because their people have not chosen to keep them? Of
course the movement is revolutionary; and why not? It is agreed now
among all men and all nations that any people may change its form of
government to any other, if it wills to do so,--and if it can do so.

There are two other points on which these Northern statesmen and
logicians also insist, and these two other points are at any rate
better worth an argument than that which touches the question of
revolution. It being settled that secession on the part of the
Southerners is revolution, it is argued, firstly, that no occasion
for revolution had been given by the North to the South; and,
secondly, that the South has been dishonest in its revolutionary
tactics. Men certainly should not raise a revolution for nothing; and
it may certainly be declared that whatever men do, they should do
honestly.

But in that matter of the cause and ground for revolution, it
is so very easy for either party to put in a plea that shall be
satisfactory to itself! Mr. and Mrs. Jones each had a separate story.
Mr. Jones was sure that the right lay with him: but Mrs. Jones was
no less sure. No doubt the North had done much for the South;--had
earned money for it; had fed it;--and had moreover in a great measure
fostered all its bad habits. It had not only been generous to the
South, but over-indulgent. But also it had continually irritated the
South by meddling with that which the Southerners believed to be a
question absolutely private to themselves. The matter was illustrated
to me by a New Hampshire man who was conversant with black bears. At
the hotels in the New Hampshire mountains it is customary to find
black bears chained to poles. These bears are caught among the hills,
and are thus imprisoned for the amusement of the hotel guests. "Them
Southerners," said my friend, "are jist as one as that 'ere bear. We
feeds him and gives him a house and his belly is ollers full. But
then, jist becase he's a black bear, we're ollers a poking him with
sticks, and a' course the beast is kinder riled. He wants to be back
to the mountains. He wouldn't have his belly filled, but he'd have
his own way. It's jist so with them Southerners."

It is of no use proving to any man or to any nation that they have
got all they should want, if they have not got all that they do want.
If a servant desires to go, it is of no avail to show him that he
has all he can desire in his present place. The Northerners say that
they have given no offence to the Southerners, and that therefore the
South is wrong to raise a revolution. The very fact that the North is
the North, is an offence to the South. As long as Mr. and Mrs. Jones
were one in heart and one in feeling, having the same hopes and the
same joys, it was well that they should remain together. But when it
is proved that they cannot so live without tearing out each other's
eyes, Sir Cresswell Cresswell, the revolutionary institution of
domestic life, interferes and separates them. This is the age of such
separations. I do not wonder that the North should use its logic to
show that it has received cause of offence but given none. But I
do think that such logic is thrown away. The matter is not one for
argument. The South has thought that it can do better without the
North than with it; and if it has the power to separate itself, it
must be conceded that it has the right.

And then as to that question of honesty. Whatever men do they
certainly should do honestly. Speaking broadly one may say that the
rule applies to nations as strongly as to individuals, and should
be observed in politics as accurately as in other matters. We must,
however, confess that men who are scrupulous in their private
dealings do too constantly drop those scruples when they handle
public affairs,--and especially when they handle them at stirring
moments of great national changes. The name of Napoleon III. stands
fair now before Europe, and yet he filched the French empire with a
falsehood. The union of England and Ireland is a successful fact, but
nevertheless it can hardly be said that it was honestly achieved. I
heartily believe that the whole of Texas is improved in every sense
by having been taken from Mexico and added to the Southern States,
but I much doubt whether that annexation was accomplished with
absolute honesty. We all reverence the name of Cavour, but Cavour did
not consent to abandon Nice to France with clean hands. When men have
political ends to gain they regard their opponents as adversaries,
and then that old rule of war is brought to bear, Deceit or
valour,--either may be used against a foe. Would it were not so! The
rascally rule--rascally in reference to all political contests--is
becoming less universal than it was. But it still exists with
sufficient force to be urged as an excuse; and while it does exist it
seems almost needless to show that a certain amount of fraud has been
used by a certain party in a revolution. If the South be ultimately
successful, the fraud of which it may have been guilty will be
condoned by the world.

The Southern or democratic party of the United States had, as all
men know, been in power for many years. Either Southern Presidents
had been elected, or Northern Presidents with Southern politics. The
South for many years had had the disposition of military matters, and
the power of distributing military appliances of all descriptions. It
is now alleged by the North that a conspiracy had long been hatching
in the South with the view of giving to the Southern States the power
of secession whenever they might think fit to secede; and it is
further alleged that President after President for years back has
unduly sent the military treasure of the nation away from the North
down to the South, in order that the South might be prepared when
the day should come. That a President with Southern instincts should
unduly favour the South, that he should strengthen the South, and
feel that arms and ammunition were stored there with better effect
than they could be stored in the North, is very probable. We all
understand what is the bias of a man's mind, and how strong that
bias may become when the man is not especially scrupulous. But I do
not believe that any President previous to Buchanan sent military
materials to the South with the self-acknowledged purpose of using
them against the Union. That Buchanan did so, or knowingly allowed
this to be done, I do believe, and I think that Buchanan was a
traitor to the country whose servant he was and whose pay he
received.

And now, having said so much in the way of introduction, I will begin
my journey.



CHAPTER II.

NEWPORT--RHODE ISLAND.


We--the we consisting of my wife and myself--left Liverpool for
Boston on the 24th August, 1861, in the "Arabia," one of Cunard's
North American mail packets. We had determined that my wife should
return alone at the beginning of winter, when I intended to go to a
part of the country in which, under the existing circumstances of the
war, a lady might not feel herself altogether comfortable. I proposed
staying in America over the winter, and returning in the spring; and
this programme I have carried out with sufficient exactness.

The "Arabia" touched at Halifax; and as the touch extended from 11
A.M. to 6 P.M. we had an opportunity of seeing a good deal of that
colony;--not quite sufficient to justify me at this critical age in
writing a chapter of travels in Nova Scotia, but enough perhaps to
warrant a paragraph. It chanced that a cousin of mine was then in
command of the troops there, so that we saw the fort with all the
honours. A dinner on shore was, I think, a greater treat to us even
than this. We also inspected sundry specimens of the gold which is
now being found for the first time in Nova Scotia,--as to the glory
and probable profits of which the Nova Scotians seemed to be fully
alive. But still, I think, the dinner on shore took rank with us as
the most memorable and meritorious of all that we did and saw at
Halifax. At seven o'clock on the morning but one after that, we were
landed at Boston.

At Boston I found friends ready to receive us with open arms, though
they were friends we had never known before. I own that I felt myself
burdened with much nervous anxiety at my first introduction to men
and women in Boston. I knew what the feeling there was with reference
to England, and I knew also how impossible it is for an Englishman
to hold his tongue and submit to dispraise of England. As for going
among a people whose whole minds were filled with affairs of the
war, and saying nothing about the war,--I knew that no resolution
to such an effect could be carried out. If one could not trust
oneself to speak, one should have stayed at home in England. I will
here state that I always did speak out openly what I thought and
felt, and that though I encountered very strong--sometimes almost
fierce--opposition, I never was subjected to anything that was
personally disagreeable to me.

In September we did not stay above a week in Boston, having been
fairly driven out of it by the mosquitoes. I had been told that I
should find nobody in Boston whom I cared to see, as everybody was
habitually out of town during the heat of the latter summer and early
autumn; but this was not so. The war and attendant turmoils of war
had made the season of vacation shorter than usual, and most of those
for whom I asked were back at their posts. I know no place at which
an Englishman may drop down suddenly among a pleasanter circle of
acquaintance, or find himself with a more clever set of men, than he
can do at Boston. I confess that in this respect I think that but few
towns are at present more fortunately circumstanced than the capital
of the Bay State, as Massachusetts is called, and that very few towns
make a better use of their advantages. Boston has a right to be proud
of what it has done for the world of letters. It is proud; but I have
not found that its pride was carried too far.

Boston is not in itself a fine city, but it is a very pleasant city.
They say that the harbour is very grand and very beautiful. It
certainly is not so fine as that of Portland in a nautical point of
view, and as certainly it is not as beautiful. It is the entrance
from the sea into Boston of which people say so much; but I did not
think it quite worthy of all I had heard. In such matters, however,
much depends on the peculiar light in which scenery is seen. An
evening light is generally the best for all landscapes; and I did not
see the entrance to Boston harbour by an evening light. It was not
the beauty of the harbour of which I thought the most, but of the tea
that had been sunk there, and of all that came of that successful
speculation. Few towns now standing have a right to be more proud of
their antecedents than Boston.

But as I have said, it is not specially interesting to the eye--what
new town, or even what simply adult town, can be so? There is an
Athenæum, and a State Hall, and a fashionable street,--Beacon Street,
very like Piccadilly as it runs along the Green Park,--and there is
the Green Park opposite to this Piccadilly, called Boston Common.
Beacon Street and Boston Common are very pleasant. Excellent houses
there are, and large churches, and enormous hotels; but of such
things as these a man can write nothing that is worth the reading.
The traveller who desires to tell his experience of North America
must write of people rather than of things.

As I have said, I found myself instantly involved in discussions on
American politics, and the bearing of England upon those politics.
"What do you think, you in England--what do you all believe will
be the upshot of this war?" That was the question always asked in
those or other words. "Secession, certainly," I always said, but not
speaking quite with that abruptness. "And you believe, then, that the
South will beat the North?" I explained that I, personally, had never
so thought, and that I did not believe that to be the general idea.
Men's opinions in England, however, were too divided to enable me to
say that there was any prevailing conviction on the matter. My own
impression was, and is, that the North will, in a military point of
view, have the best of the contest,--will beat the South; but that
the Northerners will not prevent secession, let their success be what
it may. Should the North prevail after a two years' conflict, the
North will not admit the South to an equal participation of good
things with themselves, even though each separate rebellious State
should return suppliant, like a prodigal son, kneeling on the floor
of Congress, each with a separate rope of humiliation round its neck.
Such was my idea as expressed then, and I do not know that I have
since had much cause to change it.

"We will never give it up," one gentleman said to me--and, indeed,
many have said the same,--"till the whole territory is again united
from the Bay to the Gulf! It is impossible that we should allow
of two nationalities within those limits." "And do you think it
possible," I asked, "that you should receive back into your bosom
this people which you now hate with so deep a hatred, and receive
them again into your arms as brothers on equal terms? Is it in
accordance with experience that a conquered people should be so
treated--and that, too, a people whose every habit of life is at
variance with the habits of their presumed conquerors? When you have
flogged them into a return of fraternal affection, are they to keep
their slaves or are they to abolish them?" "No," said my friend; "it
may not be practicable to put those rebellious States at once on an
equality with ourselves. For a time they will probably be treated as
the Territories are now treated." (The Territories are vast outlying
districts belonging to the Union, but not as yet endowed with State
governments, or a participation in the United States Congress.) "For
a time they must, perhaps, lose their full privileges; but the Union
will be anxious to readmit them at the earliest possible period."
"And as to the slaves?" I asked again. "Let them emigrate to Liberia:
back to their own country." I could not say that I thought much of
the solution of the difficulty. It would, I suggested, overtask even
the energy of America to send out an emigration of four million
souls, to provide for their wants in a new and uncultivated country,
and to provide after that for the terrible gap made in the labour
market of the Southern States. "The Israelites went back from
bondage," said my friend. But a way was opened for them by a miracle
across the sea, and food was sent to them from heaven, and they had
among them a Moses for a leader and a Joshua to fight their battles.
I could not but express my fear that the days of such immigrations
were over. This plan of sending back the negroes to Africa did not
reach me only from one or from two mouths; and it was suggested by
men whose opinions respecting their country have weight at home and
are entitled to weight abroad. I mention this merely to show how
insurmountable would be the difficulty of preventing secession, let
which side win that may.

"We will never abandon the right to the mouth of the Mississippi."
That in all such arguments is a strong point with men of the Northern
States;--perhaps the point to which they all return with the greatest
firmness. It is that on which Mr. Everett insists in the last
paragraph of the oration which he made in New York on the 4th of
July, 1861. "The Missouri and the Mississippi rivers," he says, "with
their hundred tributaries give to the great central basin of our
continent its character and destiny. The outlet of this system lies
between the States of Tennessee and Missouri, of Mississippi and
Arkansas, and through the State of Louisiana. The ancient province
so called, the proudest monument of the mighty monarch whose
name it bears, passed from the jurisdiction of France to that of
Spain in 1763. Spain coveted it; not that she might fill it with
prosperous colonies and rising States, but that it might stretch
as a broad waste barrier, infested with warlike tribes, between
the Anglo-American power and the silver mines of Mexico. With the
independence of the United States, the fear of a still more dangerous
neighbour grew upon Spain; and in the insane expectation of checking
the progress of the Union westward, she threatened, and at times
attempted, to close the mouth of the Mississippi on the rapidly
increasing trade of the West. The bare suggestion of such a
policy roused the population upon the banks of the Ohio, then
inconsiderable, as one man. Their confidence in Washington scarcely
restrained them from rushing to the seizure of New Orleans, when
the treaty of San Lorenzo El Real, in 1795, stipulated for them a
precarious right of navigating the noble river to the sea, with a
right of deposit at New Orleans. This subject was for years the
turning-point of the politics of the West; and it was perfectly well
understood that, sooner or later, she would be content with nothing
less than the sovereign control of the mighty stream from its
head-spring to its outlet in the Gulf. _And that is as true now as it
was then._"

This is well put. It describes with force the desires, ambition,
and necessities of a great nation, and it tells with historical truth
the story of the success of that nation. It was a great thing done
when the purchase of the whole of Louisiana was completed by the
United States,--that cession by France, however, having been made
at the instance of Napoleon, and not in consequence of any demand
made by the States. The district then called Louisiana included
the present State of that name, and the States of Missouri and
Arkansas;--included also the right to possess, if not the absolute
possession of, all that enormous expanse of country running from
thence back to the Pacific; a huge amount of territory of which the
most fertile portion is watered by the Mississippi and its vast
tributaries. That river and those tributaries are navigable through
the whole centre of the American continent up to Wisconsin and
Minnesota. To the United States the navigation of the Mississippi
was, we may say, indispensable; and to the States when no longer
united the navigation will be equally indispensable. But the days are
gone when any country, such as Spain was, can interfere to stop the
highways of the world with the all but avowed intention of arresting
the progress of civilization. It may be that the North and the South
can never again be friends as the component parts of one nation. Such
I take it is the belief of all politicians in Europe, and of many of
those who live across the water. But as separate nations they may yet
live together in amity, and share between them the great water-ways
which God has given them for their enrichment. The Rhine is free to
Prussia and to Holland. The Danube is not closed against Austria. It
will be said that the Danube has in fact been closed against Austria,
in spite of treaties to the contrary. But the faults of bad and weak
governments are made known as cautions to the world, and not as facts
to copy. The free use of the waters of a common river between two
nations is an affair for treaty; and it has not yet come to that that
treaties must necessarily be null and void through the falseness of
politicians.

"And what will England do for cotton? Is it not the fact that Lord
John Russell with his professed neutrality intends to express
sympathy with the South, intends to pave the way for the advent
of Southern cotton?" "You ought to love us," so say men in Boston,
"because we have been with you in heart and spirit for long,
long years. But your trade has eaten into your souls, and you
love American cotton better than American loyalty and American
fellowship." This I found to be unfair, and in what politest language
I could use I said so. I had not any special knowledge of the minds
of English statesmen on this matter; but I knew as well as Americans
could do what our statesmen had said and done respecting it. That
cotton, if it came from the South, would be made very welcome in
Liverpool, of course, I knew. If private enterprise could bring it,
it might be brought. But the very declaration made by Lord John
Russell was the surest pledge that England as a nation would not
interfere, even to supply her own wants. It may easily be imagined
what eager words all this would bring about; but I never found that
eager words led to feelings which were personally hostile.

All the world has heard of Newport in Rhode Island as being the
Brighton, and Tenby, and Scarborough of New England. And the glory
of Newport is by no means confined to New England, but is shared by
New York and Washington, and in ordinary years by the extreme South.
It is the habit of Americans to go to some watering place every
summer,--that is, to some place either of sea water or of inland
waters. This is done much in England; more in Ireland than in
England; but, I think, more in the States than even in Ireland.
But of all such summer haunts, Newport is supposed to be in many
ways the most captivating. In the first place it is certainly the
most fashionable, and in the next place it is said to be the most
beautiful. We decided on going to Newport,--led thither by the latter
reputation rather than the former. As we were still in the early part
of September we expected to find the place full, but in this we were
disappointed;--disappointed, I say, rather than gratified, although
a crowded house at such a place is certainly a nuisance. But a house
which is prepared to make up six hundred beds, and which is called
on to make up only twenty-five becomes, after a while, somewhat
melancholy. The natural depression of the landlord communicates
itself to his servants, and from the servants it descends to the
twenty-five guests, who wander about the long passages and deserted
balconies like the ghosts of those of the summer visitors, who cannot
rest quietly in their graves at home.

In England we know nothing of hotels prepared for six hundred
visitors, all of whom are expected to live in common. Domestic
architects would be frightened at the dimensions which are needed,
and at the number of apartments which are required to be clustered
under one roof. We went to the Ocean Hotel at Newport, and fancied,
as we first entered the hall under a verandah as high as the house,
and made our way into the passage, that we had been taken to a
well-arranged barrack. "Have you rooms?" I asked, as a man always
does ask on first reaching his inn. "Rooms enough," the clerk
said. "We have only fifty here." But that fifty dwindled down to
twenty-five during the next day or two.

We were a melancholy set, the ladies appearing to be afflicted in
this way worse than the gentlemen, on account of their enforced
abstinence from tobacco. What can twelve ladies do scattered about
a drawing-room, so-called, intended for the accommodation of two
hundred? The drawing-room at the Ocean Hotel, Newport, is not as big
as Westminster Hall, but would, I should think, make a very good
House of Commons for the British nation. Fancy the feelings of a lady
when she walks into such a room intending to spend her evening there,
and finds six or seven other ladies located on various sofas at
terrible distances,--all strangers to her. She has come to Newport
probably to enjoy herself; and as, in accordance with the customs of
the place, she has dined at two, she has nothing before her for the
evening but the society of that huge furnished cavern. Her husband,
if she have one, or her father, or her lover, has probably entered
the room with her. But a man has never the courage to endure such a
position long. He sidles out with some muttered excuse, and seeks
solace with a cigar. The lady, after half an hour of contemplation,
creeps silently near some companion in the desert, and suggests in a
whisper that Newport does not seem to be very full at present.

We stayed there for a week, and were very melancholy; but in our
melancholy we still talked of the war. Americans are said to be given
to bragging, and it is a sin of which I cannot altogether acquit
them. But I have constantly been surprised at hearing the Northern
men speak of their own military achievements with anything but
self-praise. "We've been whipped, sir; and we shall be whipped again
before we've done; uncommon well whipped we shall be." "We began
cowardly, and were afraid to send our own regiments through one of
our own cities." This alluded to a demand that had been made on
the Government, that troops going to Washington should not be sent
through Baltimore, because of the strong feeling for rebellion which
was known to exist in that city. President Lincoln complied with this
request, thinking it well to avoid a collision between the mob and
the soldiers. "We began cowardly, and now we're going on cowardly,
and darn't attack them. Well; when we've been whipped often enough,
then we shall learn the trade." Now all this,--and I heard much of
such a nature,--could not be called boasting. But yet with it all
there was a substratum of confidence. I have heard northern gentlemen
complaining of the President, complaining of all his ministers one
after another, complaining of the contractors who were robbing the
army, of the commanders who did not know how to command the army,
and of the army itself which did not know how to obey; but I do not
remember that I have discussed the matter with any Northerner who
would admit a doubt as to ultimate success.

We were certainly rather melancholy at Newport, and the empty house
may perhaps have given its tone to the discussions on the war.
I confess that I could not stand the drawing-room--the ladies'
drawing-room as such-like rooms are always called at the hotels,--and
that I basely deserted my wife. I could not stand it either here or
elsewhere, and it seemed to me that other husbands,--ay, and even
lovers,--were as hard pressed as myself. I protest that there is no
spot on the earth's surface so dear to me as my own drawing-room,
or rather my wife's drawing-room at home; that I am not a man
given hugely to clubs, but one rather rejoicing in the rustle of
petticoats. I like to have women in the same room with me. But at
these hotels I found myself driven away,--propelled as it were by
some unknown force,--to absent myself from the feminine haunts.
Anything was more palatable than them; even "liquoring up" at a
nasty bar, or smoking in a comfortless reading-room among a deluge
of American newspapers. And I protest also,--hoping as I do so
that I may say much in these volumes to prove the truth of such
protestation,--that this comes from no fault of the American women.
They are as lovely as our own women. Taken generally, they are better
instructed--though perhaps not better educated. They are seldom
troubled with _mauvaise honte_,--I do not say it in irony, but
begging that the words may be taken at their proper meaning. They
can always talk, and very often can talk well. But when assembled
together in these vast, cavernous, would-be luxurious, but in truth
horribly comfortless hotel drawing-rooms,--they are unapproachable.
I have seen lovers, whom I have known to be lovers, unable to remain
five minutes in the same cavern with their beloved ones.

And then the music! There is always a piano in an hotel drawing-room,
on which, of course, some one of the forlorn ladies is generally
employed. I do not suppose that these pianos are in fact, as a
rule, louder and harsher, more violent and less musical, than other
instruments of the kind. They seem to be so, but that, I take it,
arises from the exceptional mental depression of those who have to
listen to them. Then the ladies, or probably some one lady, will
sing, and as she hears her own voice ring and echo through the lofty
corners and round the empty walls, she is surprised at her own force,
and with increased efforts sings louder and still louder. She is
tempted to fancy that she is suddenly gifted with some power of vocal
melody unknown to her before, and filled with the glory of her own
performance shouts till the whole house rings. At such moments she at
least is happy, if no one else is so. Looking at the general sadness
of her position, who can grudge her such happiness?

And then the children,--babies, I should say if I were speaking of
English bairns of their age; but seeing that they are Americans, I
hardly dare to call them children. The actual age of these perfectly
civilized and highly educated beings may be from three to four. One
will often see five or six such seated at the long dinner-table of
the hotel, breakfasting and dining with their elders, and going
through the ceremony with all the gravity, and more than all the
decorum of their grandfathers. When I was three years old I had not
yet, as I imagine, been promoted beyond a silver spoon of my own
wherewith to eat my bread and milk in the nursery, and I feel assured
that I was under the immediate care of a nursemaid, as I gobbled up
my minced mutton mixed with potatoes and gravy. But at hotel life in
the States the adult infant lisps to the waiter for everything at
table, handles his fish with epicurean delicacy, is choice in his
selection of pickles, very particular that his beefsteak at breakfast
shall be hot, and is instant in his demand for fresh ice in his
water. But perhaps his, or in this case her, retreat from the
room when the meal is over, is the _chef d'oeuvre_ of the whole
performance. The little precocious, full-blown beauty of four
signifies that she has completed her meal,--or is "through" her
dinner, as she would express it,--by carefully extricating herself
from the napkin which has been tucked around her. Then the waiter,
ever attentive to her movements, draws back the chair on which she is
seated, and the young lady glides to the floor. A little girl in Old
England would scramble down, but little girls in New England never
scramble. Her father and mother, who are no more than her chief
ministers, walk before her out of the saloon, and then she--swims
after them. But swimming is not the proper word. Fishes in making
their way through the water assist, or rather impede, their motion
with no dorsal riggle. No animal taught to move directly by its
Creator adopts a gait so useless, and at the same time so graceless.
Many women, having received their lessons in walking from a less
eligible instructor, do move in this way, and such women this
unfortunate little lady has been instructed to copy. The peculiar
step to which I allude is to be seen often on the Boulevards in
Paris. It is to be seen more often in second rate French towns, and
among fourth rate French women. Of all signs in women betokening
vulgarity, bad taste, and aptitude to bad morals, it is the surest.
And this is the gait of going which American mothers,--some American
mothers I should say,--love to teach their daughters! As a comedy at
an hotel, it is very delightful, but in private life I should object
to it.

To me Newport could never be a place charming by reason of its own
charms. That it is a very pleasant place when it is full of people
and the people are in spirits and happy, I do not doubt. But then the
visitors would bring, as far as I am concerned, the pleasantness with
them. The coast is not fine. To those who know the best portions of
the coast of Wales or Cornwall,--or better still, the western coast
of Ireland, of Clare and Kerry for instance,--it would not be in any
way remarkable. It is by no means equal to Dieppe or Biarritz, and
not to be talked of in the same breath with Spezzia. The hotels, too,
are all built away from the sea; so that one cannot sit and watch the
play of the waves from one's window. Nor are there pleasant rambling
paths down among the rocks, and from one short strand to another.
There is excellent bathing for those who like bathing on shelving
sand. I don't. The spot is about half a mile from the hotels, and to
this the bathers are carried in omnibuses. Till one o'clock ladies
bathe;--which operation, however, does not at all militate against
the bathing of men, but rather necessitates it as regards those men
who have ladies with them. For here ladies and gentlemen bathe in
decorous dresses, and are very polite to each other. I must say, that
I think the ladies have the best of it. My idea of sea-bathing for
my own gratification is not compatible with a full suit of clothing.
I own that my tastes are vulgar and perhaps indecent; but I love
to jump into the deep clear sea from off a rock, and I love to be
hampered by no outward impediments as I do so. For ordinary bathers,
for all ladies, and for men less savage in their instincts than I am,
the bathing at Newport is very good.

The private houses--villa residences as they would be termed by an
auctioneer in England--are excellent. Many of them are, in fact,
large mansions, and are surrounded with grounds, which, as the shrubs
grow up, will be very beautiful. Some have large, well-kept lawns,
stretching down to the rocks, and these to my taste give the charm
to Newport. They extend about two miles along the coast. Should my
lot have made me a citizen of the United States, I should have had no
objection to become the possessor of one of these "villa residences,"
but I do not think that I should have "gone in" for hotel life at
Newport.

We hired saddle-horses, and rode out nearly the length of the island.
It was all very well, but there was little in it remarkable either
as regards cultivation or scenery. We found nothing that it would be
possible either to describe or remember. The Americans of the United
States have had time to build and populate vast cities, but they have
not yet had time to surround themselves with pretty scenery. Outlying
grand scenery is given by nature; but the prettiness of home scenery
is a work of art. It comes from the thorough draining of land, from
the planting and subsequent thinning of trees, from the controlling
of waters, and constant use of minute patches of broken land.
In another hundred years or so Rhode Island may be, perhaps, as
pretty as the Isle of Wight. The horses which we got were not good.
They were unhandy and badly mouthed, and that which my wife rode
was altogether ignorant of the art of walking. We hired them
from an Englishman, who had established himself at New York as a
riding-master for ladies, and who had come to Newport for the season
on the same business. He complained to me with much bitterness of the
saddle-horses which came in his way,--of course thinking that it was
the special business of a country to produce saddle-horses,--as I
think it the special business of a country to produce pens, ink, and
paper of good quality. According to him, riding has not yet become
an American art, and hence the awkwardness of American horses. "Lord
bless you, sir! they don't give an animal a chance of a mouth." In
this he alluded only, I presume, to saddle-horses. I know nothing of
the trotting-horses, but I should imagine that a fine mouth must be
an essential requisite for a trotting-match in harness. As regards
riding at Newport, we were not tempted to repeat the experiment. The
number of carriages which we saw there,--remembering as I did that
the place was comparatively empty,--and their general smartness,
surprised me very much. It seemed that every lady with a house of her
own had also her own carriage. These carriages were always open, and
the law of the land imperatively demands that the occupants shall
cover their knees with a worked worsted apron of brilliant colours.
These aprons at first, I confess, seemed tawdry; but the eye soon
becomes used to bright colours, in carriage aprons as well as in
architecture, and I soon learned to like them.

Rhode Island, as the State is usually called, is the smallest State
in the Union. I may perhaps best show its disparity to other States
by saying that New York extends about 250 miles from north to south
and the same distance from east to west; whereas the State called
Rhode Island is about forty miles long by twenty broad, independently
of certain small islands. It would, in fact, not form a considerable
addition, if added on to many of the other States. Nevertheless, it
has all the same powers of self-government as are possessed by such
nationalities as the States of New York and Pennsylvania; and sends
two senators to the Senate at Washington, as do those enormous
States. Small as the State is, Rhode Island itself forms but a
small portion of it. The authorized and proper name of the State is
Providence Plantation and Rhode Island. Roger Williams was the first
founder of the colony, and he established himself on the mainland
at a spot which he called Providence. Here now stands the city of
Providence, the chief town of the State; and a thriving, comfortable
town it seems to be, full of banks, fed by railways and steamers, and
going ahead quite as quickly as Roger Williams could in his fondest
hopes have desired.

Rhode Island, as I have said, has all the attributes of government in
common with her stouter and more famous sisters. She has a governor,
and an upper house, and a lower house of legislature; and she is
somewhat fantastic in the use of these constitutional powers, for she
calls on them to sit now in one town and now in another. Providence
is the capital of the State; but the Rhode Island parliament sits
sometimes at Providence and sometimes at Newport. At stated times
also it has to collect itself at Bristol, and at other stated times
at Kingston, and at others at East Greenwich. Of all legislative
assemblies it is the most peripatetic. Universal suffrage does not
absolutely prevail in this State, a certain property qualification
being necessary to confer a right to vote even for the State
Representatives. I should think it would be well for all parties
if the whole State could be swallowed up by Massachusetts or by
Connecticut, either of which lie conveniently for the feat; but I
presume that any suggestion of such a nature would be regarded as
treason by the men of Providence Plantation.

We returned back to Boston by Attleborough, a town at which in
ordinary times the whole population is supported by the jewellers'
trade. It is a place with a speciality, upon which speciality it has
thriven well and become a town. But the speciality is one ill-adapted
for times of war; and we were assured that the trade was for the
present at an end. What man could now-a-days buy jewels, or even what
woman, seeing that everything would be required for the war? I do not
say that such abstinence from luxury has been begotten altogether by
a feeling of patriotism. The direct taxes which all Americans will
now be called on to pay, have had, and will have much to do with such
abstinence. In the mean time the poor jewellers of Attleborough have
gone altogether to the wall.



CHAPTER III.

MAINE, NEW HAMPSHIRE, AND VERMONT.


Perhaps I ought to assume that all the world in England knows that
that portion of the United States called New England consists of
the six States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,
Connecticut, and Rhode Island. This is especially the land of
Yankees, and none can properly be called Yankees but those who belong
to New England. I have named the States as nearly as may be in order
from the North downwards. Of Rhode Island, the smallest State in the
Union, I have already said what little I have to say. Of these six
States Boston may be called the capital. Not that it is so in any
civil or political sense;--it is simply the capital of Massachusetts.
But as it is the Athens of the Western world; as it was the cradle
of American freedom; as everybody of course knows that into Boston
harbour was thrown the tea which George III. would tax, and that at
Boston, on account of that and similar taxes, sprang up the new
revolution; and as it has grown in wealth, and fame, and size beyond
other towns in New England, it may be allowed to us to regard it as
the capital of these six Northern States, without guilt of _lèse
majesté_ towards the other five. To me, I confess, this Northern
division of our once unruly colonies is, and always has been, the
dearest. I am no Puritan myself, and fancy that had I lived in
the days of the Puritans, I should have been anti-Puritan to the
full extent of my capabilities. But I should have been so through
ignorance and prejudice, and actuated by that love of existing rights
and wrongs which men call loyalty. If the Canadas were to rebel now,
I should be for putting down the Canadians with a strong hand; but
not the less have I an idea that it will become the Canadas to rebel
and assert their independence at some future period;--unless it
be conceded to them without such rebellion. Who, on looking back,
can now refuse to admire the political aspirations of the English
Puritans, or decline to acknowledge the beauty and fitness of what
they did? It was by them that these States of New England were
colonized. They came hither stating themselves to be pilgrims, and as
such they first placed their feet on that hallowed rock at Plymouth,
on the shore of Massachusetts. They came here driven by no thirst of
conquest, by no greed for gold, dreaming of no Western empire such as
Cortez had achieved and Raleigh had meditated. They desired to earn
their bread in the sweat of their brow, worshipping God according to
their own lights, living in harmony under their own laws, and feeling
that no master could claim a right to put a heel upon their necks.
And be it remembered that here in England, in those days, earthly
masters were still apt to put their heels on the necks of men. The
Star Chamber was gone, but Jeffreys had not yet reigned. What earthly
aspirations were ever higher than these, or more manly? And what
earthly efforts ever led to grander results?

We determined to go to Portland, in Maine, from thence to the White
Mountains in New Hampshire--the American Alps, as they love to call
themselves,--and then on to Quebec and up through the two Canadas
to Niagara; and this route we followed. From Boston to Portland we
travelled by railroad,--the carriages on which are in America always
called cars. And here I beg, once for all, to enter my protest loudly
against the manner in which these conveyances are conducted. The one
grand fault--there are other smaller faults--but the one grand fault
is that they admit but one class. Two reasons for this are given.
The first is that the finances of the companies will not admit of
a divided accommodation; and the second is that the republican
nature of the people will not brook a superior or aristocratic
classification of travelling. As regards the first, I do not in the
least believe in it. If a more expensive manner of railway travelling
will pay in England, it would surely do so here. Were a better class
of carriages organized, as large a portion of the population would
use them in the United States as in any country in Europe. And it
seems to be evident that in arranging that there shall be only one
rate of travelling, the price is enhanced on poor travellers exactly
in proportion as it is made cheap to those who are not poor. For the
poorer classes, travelling in America is by no means cheap,--the
average rate being, as far as I can judge, fully three halfpence a
mile. It is manifest that dearer rates for one class would allow
of cheaper rates for the other; and that in this manner general
travelling would be encouraged and increased.

But I do not believe that the question of expenditure has had
anything to do with it. I conceive it to be true that the railways
are afraid to put themselves at variance with the general feeling of
the people. If so the railways may be right. But then, on the other
hand, the general feeling of the people must in such case be wrong.
Such a feeling argues a total mistake as to the nature of that
liberty and equality for the security of which the people are so
anxious, and that mistake the very one which has made shipwreck so
many attempts at freedom in other countries. It argues that confusion
between social and political equality which has led astray multitudes
who have longed for liberty fervently, but who have not thought of
it carefully. If a first-class railway carriage should be held as
offensive, so should a first-class house, or a first-class horse, or
a first-class dinner. But first-class houses, first-class horses,
and first-class dinners are very rife in America. Of course it may
be said that the expenditure shown in these last-named objects is
private expenditure, and cannot be controlled; and that railway
travelling is of a public nature, and can be made subject to public
opinion. But the fault is in that public opinion which desires to
control matters of this nature. Such an arrangement partakes of all
the vice of a sumptuary law, and sumptuary laws are in their very
essence mistakes. It is well that a man should always have all for
which he is willing to pay. If he desires and obtains more than is
good for him, the punishment, and thus also the preventive, will come
from other sources.

It will be said that the American cars are good enough for all
purposes. The seats are not very hard, and the room for sitting is
sufficient. Nevertheless I deny that they are good enough for all
purposes. They are very long, and to enter them and find a place
often requires a struggle and almost a fight. There is rarely any
person to tell a stranger which car he should enter. One never meets
an uncivil or unruly man, but the women of the lower ranks are not
courteous. American ladies love to lie at ease in their carriages, as
thoroughly as do our women in Hyde Park, and to those who are used
to such luxury, travelling by railroad in their own country must be
grievous. I would not wish to be thought a Sybarite myself, or to be
held as complaining because I have been compelled to give up my seat
to women with babies and bandboxes who have accepted the courtesy
with very scanty grace. I have borne worse things than these, and
have roughed it much in my days from want of means and other reasons.
Nor am I yet so old but what I can rough it still. Nevertheless
I like to see things as well done as is practicable, and railway
travelling in the States is not well done. I feel bound to say as
much as this, and now I have said it, once for all.

Few cities, or localities for cities, have fairer natural advantages
than Portland--and I am bound to say that the people of Portland have
done much in turning them to account. This town is not the capital of
the State in a political point of view. Augusta, which is further to
the North, on the Kenebec river, is the seat of the State Government
for Maine. It is very generally the case that the States do not hold
their legislatures and carry on their Government at their chief
towns. Augusta and not Portland is the capital of Maine. Of the State
of New York, Albany is the capital, and not the city which bears the
State's name. And of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg and not Philadelphia
is the capital. I think the idea has been that old-fashioned notions
were bad in that they were old-fashioned; and that a new people,
bound by no prejudices, might certainly make improvement by choosing
for themselves new ways. If so the American politicians have not been
the first in the world who have thought that any change must be a
change for the better. The assigned reason is the centrical position
of the selected political capitals: but I have generally found the
real commercial capital to be easier of access than the smaller
town in which the two legislative houses are obliged to collect
themselves.

What must be the natural excellence of the harbour of Portland will
be understood when it is borne in mind that the Great Eastern can
enter it at all times, and that it can lie along the wharves at any
hour of the tide. The wharves which have been prepared for her--and
of which I will say a word further by-and-by--are joined to and in
fact are a portion of the station of the Grand Trunk Railway, which
runs from Portland up to Canada. So that passengers landing at
Portland out of a vessel so large even as the Great Eastern can walk
at once on shore, and goods can be passed on to the railway without
any of the cost of removal. I will not say that there is no other
harbour in the world that would allow of this, but I do not know any
other that would do so.

From Portland a line of railway, called as a whole by the name of the
Canada Grand Trunk line, runs across the State of Maine through the
Northern parts of New Hampshire and Vermont, to Montreal, a branch
striking from Richmond, a little within the limits of Canada, to
Quebec, and down the St. Lawrence to Rivière du Loup. The main line
is continued from Montreal, through Upper Canada to Toronto, and from
thence to Detroit in the State of Michigan. The total distance thus
traversed is in a direct line about 900 miles. From Detroit there is
railway communication through the immense North-Western States of
Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois, than which perhaps the surface of
the globe affords no finer districts for purposes of agriculture. The
produce of the two Canadas must be poured forth to the Eastern world,
and the men of the Eastern world must throng into these lands, by
means of this railroad,--and, as at present arranged, through the
harbour of Portland. At present the line has been opened, and they
who have opened are sorely suffering in pocket for what they have
done. The question of the railway is rather one applying to Canada
than to the State of Maine, and I will therefore leave it for the
present.

But the Great Eastern has never been to Portland, and as far as I
know has no intention of going there. She was, I believe, built with
that object. At any rate it was proclaimed during her building that
such was her destiny, and the Portlanders believed it with a perfect
faith. They went to work and built wharves expressly for her; two
wharves prepared to fit her two gangways, or ways of exit and
entrance. They built a huge hotel to receive her passengers. They
prepared for her advent with a full conviction that a millennium of
trade was about to be wafted to their happy port. "Sir, the town has
expended two hundred thousand dollars in expectation of that ship,
and that ship has deceived us." So was the matter spoken of to me by
an intelligent Portlander. I explained to that intelligent gentleman
that two hundred thousand dollars would go a very little way towards
making up the loss which the ill-fortuned vessel had occasioned
on the other side of the water. He did not in words express
gratification at this information, but he looked it. The matter
was as it were a partnership without deed of contract between the
Portlanders and the shareholders of the vessel, and the Portlanders,
though they also have suffered their losses, have not had the worst
of it.

But there are still good days in store for the town. Though the Great
Eastern has not gone there, other ships from Europe, more profitable
if less in size, must eventually find their way thither. At present
the Canada line of packets runs to Portland only during those months
in which it is shut out from the St. Lawrence and Quebec by ice.
But the St. Lawrence and Quebec cannot offer the advantages which
Portland enjoys, and that big hotel and those new wharves will not
have been built in vain.

I have said that a good time is coming, but I would by no means wish
to signify that the present times in Portland are bad. So far from
it, that I doubt whether I ever saw a town with more evident signs of
prosperity. It has about it every mark of ample means, and no mark
of poverty. It contains about 27,000 people, and for that population
covers a very large space of ground. The streets are broad and
well built, the main streets not running in those absolutely
straight parallels which are so common in American towns, and are so
distressing to English eyes and English feelings. All these, except
the streets devoted exclusively to business, are shaded on both sides
by trees--generally, if I remember rightly, by the beautiful American
elm, whose drooping boughs have all the grace of the willow without
its fantastic melancholy. What the poorer streets of Portland may be
like I cannot say. I saw no poor street. But in no town of 30,000
inhabitants did I ever see so many houses which must require an
expenditure of from six to eight hundred a year to maintain them.

The place too is beautifully situated. It is on a long promontory,
which takes the shape of a peninsula;--for the neck which joins it
to the mainland is not above half a mile across. But though the
town thus stands out into the sea, it is not exposed and bleak. The
harbour again is surrounded by land, or so guarded and locked by
islands as to form a series of salt-water lakes running round the
town. Of those islands there are, of course, 365. Travellers who
write their travels are constantly called upon to record that
number, so that it may now be considered as a superlative in local
phraseology, signifying a very great many indeed. The town stands
between two hills, the suburbs or outskirts running up on to each of
them. The one looking out towards the sea is called Mountjoy--though
the obstinate Americans will write it Munjoy on their maps. From
thence the view out to the harbour and beyond the harbour to the
islands is, I may not say unequalled, or I shall be guilty of running
into superlatives myself; but it is, in its way, equal to anything I
have seen. Perhaps it is more like Cork harbour, as seen from certain
heights over Passage than anything else I can remember; but Portland
harbour, though equally landlocked, is larger; and then from Portland
harbour there is as it were a river outlet, running through delicious
islands, most unalluring to the navigator, but delicious to the eyes
of an uncommercial traveller. There are in all four outlets to the
sea, one of which appears to have been made expressly for the Great
Eastern. Then there is the hill looking inwards. If it has a name
I forget it. The view from this hill is also over the water on each
side, and though not so extensive is perhaps as pleasing as the
other.

The ways of the people seemed to be quiet, smooth, orderly, and
republican. There is nothing to drink in Portland of course, for,
thanks to Mr. Neal Dow, the Father Mathew of the State of Maine, the
Maine Liquor Law is still in force in that State. There is nothing
to drink, I should say, in such orderly houses as that I selected.
"People do drink some in the town, they say," said my hostess to
me; "and liquor is to be got. But I never venture to sell any. An
ill-natured person might turn on me, and where should I be then?" I
did not press her, and she was good enough to put a bottle of porter
at my right hand at dinner, for which I observed she made no charge.
"But they advertise beer in the shop-windows," I said to a man
who was driving me--"Scotch ale, and bitter beer. A man can get
drunk on them." "Wa'al, yes. If he goes to work hard, and drinks a
bucket-full," said the driver, "perhaps he may." From which and other
things I gathered that the men of Maine drank pottle deep before Mr.
Neal Dow brought his exertions to a successful termination.

The Maine Liquor Law still stands in Maine, and is the law of the
land throughout New England; but it is not actually put in force in
the other States. By this law no man may retail wine, spirits, or, in
truth, beer, except with a special license, which is given only to
those who are presumed to sell them as medicines. A man may have what
he likes in his own cellar for his own use--such at least is the
actual working of the law--but may not obtain it at hotels and
public-houses. This law, like all sumptuary laws, must fail. And it
is fast failing even in Maine. But it did appear to me from such
information as I could collect that the passing of it had done much
to hinder and repress a habit of hard drinking which was becoming
terribly common, not only in the towns of Maine, but among the
farmers and hired labourers in the country.

But if the men and women of Portland may not drink they may eat, and
it is a place, I should say, in which good living on that side of the
question is very rife. It has an air of supreme plenty, as though the
agonies of an empty stomach were never known there. The faces of the
people tell of three regular meals of meat a day, and of digestive
powers in proportion. Oh happy Portlanders, if they only knew their
own good fortune! They get up early, and go to bed early. The women
are comely and sturdy, able to take care of themselves without
any fal-lal of chivalry; and the men are sedate, obliging, and
industrious. I saw the young girls in the streets, coming home from
their tea-parties at nine o'clock, many of them alone, and all with
some basket in their hands which betokened an evening not passed
absolutely in idleness. No fear there of unruly questions on the way,
or of insolence from the ill-conducted of the other sex! All was, or
seemed to be, orderly, sleek, and unobtrusive. Probably of all modes
of life that are allotted to man by his Creator, life such as this is
the most happy. One hint, however, for improvement I must give, even
to Portland! It would be well if they could make their streets of
some material harder than sand.

I must not leave the town without desiring those who may visit it to
mount the Observatory. They will from thence get the best view of the
harbour and of the surrounding land; and, if they chance to do so
under the reign of the present keeper of the signals, they will find
a man there able and willing to tell them everything needful about
the State of Maine in general, and the harbour in particular. He will
come out in his shirt sleeves, and, like a true American, will not
at first be very smooth in his courtesy; but he will wax brighter in
conversation, and if not stroked the wrong way will turn out to be an
uncommonly pleasant fellow. Such I believe to be the case with most
of them.

From Portland we made our way up to the White Mountains, which lay on
our route to Canada. Now I would ask any of my readers who are candid
enough to expose their own ignorance whether they ever heard, or
at any rate whether they know anything of the White Mountains. As
regards myself I confess that the name had reached my ears; that I
had an indefinite idea that they formed an intermediate stage between
the Rocky Mountains and the Alleghenies, and that they were inhabited
either by Mormons, Indians, or simply by black bears. That there was
a district in New England containing mountain scenery superior to
much that is yearly crowded by tourists in Europe, that this is
to be reached with ease by railways and stage-coaches, and that
it is dotted with huge hotels, almost as thickly as they lie in
Switzerland, I had no idea. Much of this scenery, I say, is superior
to the famed and classic lands of Europe. I know nothing, for
instance, on the Rhine equal to the view from Mount Willard, down the
mountain pass called the Notch.

Let the visitor of these regions be as late in the year as he can,
taking care that he is not so late as to find the hotels closed.
October, no doubt, is the most beautiful month among these mountains,
but according to the present arrangement of matters here, the hotels
are shut up by the end of September. With us, August, September, and
October are the holiday months; whereas our rebel children across the
Atlantic love to disport themselves in July and August. The great
beauty of the autumn, or fall, is in the brilliant hues which are
then taken by the foliage. The autumnal tints are fine with us. They
are lovely and bright wherever foliage and vegetation form a part
of the beauty of scenery. But in no other land do they approach the
brilliancy of the fall in America. The bright rose colour, the rich
bronze which is almost purple in its richness, and the glorious
golden yellows must be seen to be understood. By me at any rate they
cannot be described. These begin to show themselves in September, and
perhaps I might name the latter half of that month as the best time
for visiting the White Mountains.

I am not going to write a guide-book, feeling sure that Mr. Murray
will do New England, and Canada, including Niagara and the Hudson
river, with a peep into Boston and New York before many more seasons
have passed by. But I cannot forbear to tell my countrymen that
any enterprising individual with a hundred pounds to spend on his
holiday,--a hundred and twenty would make him more comfortable, in
regard to wine, washing, and other luxuries,--and an absence of two
months from his labours, may see as much and do as much here for the
money as he can see or do elsewhere. In some respects he may do more;
for he will learn more of American nature in such a journey than he
can ever learn of the nature of Frenchmen or Americans by such an
excursion among them. Some three weeks of the time, or perhaps a day
or two over, he must be at sea, and that portion of his trip will
cost him fifty pounds,--presuming that he chooses to go in the most
comfortable and costly way;--but his time on board ship will not be
lost. He will learn to know much of Americans there, and will perhaps
form acquaintances of which he will not altogether lose sight for
many a year. He will land at Boston, and staying a day or two there
will visit Cambridge, Lowell, and Bunker Hill; and, if he be that
way given, will remember that here live, and occasionally are to
be seen alive, men such as Longfellow, Emerson, Hawthorne, and a
host of others whose names and fames have made Boston the throne of
Western Literature. He will then,--if he take my advice and follow
my track,--go by Portland up into the White Mountains. At Gorham, a
station on the Grand Trunk line, he will find an hotel as good as any
of its kind, and from thence he will take a light waggon, so called
in these countries;--and here let me presume that the traveller
is not alone; he has his wife or friend, or perhaps a pair of
sisters,--and in his waggon he will go up through primeval forests to
the Glen House. When there he will ascend Mount Washington on a pony.
That is _de rigueur_, and I do not, therefore, dare to recommend him
to omit the ascent. I did not gain much myself by my labour. He will
not stay at the Glen House, but will go on to--Jackson's I think they
call the next hotel; at which he will sleep. From thence he will take
his waggon on through the Notch to the Crawford House, sleeping there
again; and when here let him of all things remember to go up Mount
Willard. It is but a walk of two hours, up and down, if so much. When
reaching the top he will be startled to find that he looks down into
the ravine without an inch of fore-ground. He will come out suddenly
on a ledge of rock, from whence, as it seems, he might leap down at
once into the valley below. Then going on from the Crawford House
he will be driven through the woods of Cherry Mount, passing,
I fear without toll of custom, the house of my excellent friend
Mr. Plaistead, who keeps an hotel at Jefferson. "Sir," said Mr.
Plaistead, "I have everything here that a man ought to want; air,
sir, that ain't to be got better nowhere; trout, chickens, beef,
mutton, milk,--and all for a dollar a day. A top of that hill, sir,
there's a view that ain't to be beaten this side of the Atlantic, or
I believe the other. And an echo, sir!--We've an echo that comes back
to us six times, sir; floating on the light wind, and wafted about
from rock to rock till you would think the angels were talking to
you. If I could raise that echo, sir, every day at command I'd give a
thousand dollars for it. It would be worth all the money to a house
like this." And he waved his hand about from hill to hill, pointing
out in graceful curves the lines which the sounds would take. Had
destiny not called on Mr. Plaistead to keep an American hotel, he
might have been a poet.

My traveller, however, unless time were plenty with him, would pass
Mr. Plaistead, merely lighting a friendly cigar, or perhaps breaking
the Maine Liquor Law if the weather be warm, and would return to
Gorham on the railway. All this mountain district is in New
Hampshire, and presuming him to be capable of going about the world
with his mouth, ears, and eyes open, he would learn much of the way
in which men are settling themselves in this still sparsely populated
country. Here young farmers go into the woods, as they are doing
far down west in the Territories, and buying some hundred acres at
perhaps six shillings an acre, fell and burn the trees and build
their huts, and take the first steps, as far as man's work is
concerned, towards accomplishing the will of the Creator in those
regions. For such pioneers of civilization there is still ample room
even in the long settled States of New Hampshire and Vermont.

But to return to my traveller, whom having brought so far, I must
send on. Let him go on from Gorham to Quebec, and the heights of
Abraham, stopping at Sherbrooke that he might visit from thence the
lake of Memphra Magog. As to the manner of travelling over this
ground I shall say a little in the next chapter, when I come to the
progress of myself and my wife. From Quebec he will go up the St.
Lawrence to Montreal. He will visit Ottawa, the new capital, and
Toronto. He will cross the Lake to Niagara, resting probably at the
Clifton House on the Canada side. He will then pass on to Albany,
taking the Trenton falls on his way. From Albany he will go down the
Hudson to West-Point. He cannot stop at the Catskill Mountains, for
the hotel will be closed. And then he will take the river boat, and
in a few hours will find himself at New York. If he desires to go
into American city society, he will find New York agreeable; but in
that case he must exceed his two months. If he do not so desire, a
short sojourn at New York will show him all that there is to be seen,
and all that there is not to be seen in that great city. That the
Cunard line of steamers will bring him safely back to Liverpool
in about eleven days, I need not tell to any Englishman, or, as
I believe, to any American. So much, in the spirit of a guide,
I vouchsafe to all who are willing to take my counsel,--thereby
anticipating Murray, and leaving these few pages as a legacy to him
or to his collaborateurs.

I cannot say that I like the hotels in those parts, or indeed the
mode of life at American hotels in general. In order that I may not
unjustly defame them, I will commence these observations by declaring
that they are cheap to those who choose to practise the economy which
they encourage, that the viands are profuse in quantity and wholesome
in quality, that the attendance is quick and unsparing, and that
travellers are never annoyed by that grasping greedy hunger and
thirst after francs and shillings which disgrace in Europe many
English and many continental inns. All this is, as must be admitted,
great praise; and yet I do not like the American hotels.

One is in a free country and has come from a country in which one
has been brought up to hug one's chains,--so at least the English
traveller is constantly assured--and yet in an American inn one can
never do as one likes. A terrific gong sounds early in the morning,
breaking one's sweet slumbers, and then a second gong sounding some
thirty minutes later, makes you understand that you must proceed to
breakfast, whether you be dressed or no. You certainly can go on with
your toilet and obtain your meal after half an hour's delay. Nobody
actually scolds you for so doing, but the breakfast is, as they say
in this country, "through." You sit down alone, and the attendant
stands immediately over you. Probably there are two so standing. They
fill your cup the instant it is empty. They tender you fresh food
before that which has disappeared from your plate has been swallowed.
They begrudge you no amount that you can eat or drink; but they
begrudge you a single moment that you sit there neither eating nor
drinking. This is your fate if you're too late, and therefore as a
rule you are not late. In that case you form one of a long row of
eaters who proceed through their work with a solid energy that is
past all praise. It is wrong to say that Americans will not talk at
their meals. I never met but few who would not talk to me, at any
rate till I got to the far west; but I have rarely found that they
would address me first. Then the dinner comes early; at least it
always does so in New England, and the ceremony is much of the same
kind. You came there to eat, and the food is pressed on you almost
_ad nauseam_. But as far as one can see there is no drinking. In
these days, I am quite aware, that drinking has become improper, even
in England. We are apt at home to speak of wine as a thing tabooed,
wondering how our fathers lived and swilled. I believe that as a fact
we drink as much as they did; but nevertheless that is our theory. I
confess, however, that I like wine. It is very wicked, but it seems
to me that my dinner goes down better with a glass of sherry than
without it. As a rule I always did get it at hotels in America.
But I had no comfort with it. Sherry they do not understand at
all. Of course I am only speaking of hotels. Their claret they get
exclusively from Mr. Gladstone, and looking at the quality, have a
right to quarrel even with Mr. Gladstone's price. But it is not the
quality of the wine that I hereby intend to subject to ignominy, so
much as the want of any opportunity for drinking it. After dinner,
if all that I hear be true, the gentlemen occasionally drop into the
hotel bar and "liquor up." Or rather this is not done specially after
dinner, but without prejudice to the hour at any time that may be
found desirable. I also have "liquored up," but I cannot say that
I enjoy the process. I do not intend hereby to accuse Americans of
drinking much, but I maintain that what they do drink, they drink in
the most uncomfortable manner that the imagination can devise.

The greatest luxury at an English inn is one's tea, one's fire, and
one's book. Such an arrangement is not practicable at an American
hotel. Tea, like breakfast, is a great meal, at which meat should
be eaten, generally with the addition of much jelly, jam, and sweet
preserve; but no person delays over his tea-cup. I love to have my
tea-cup emptied and filled with gradual pauses, so that time for
oblivion may accrue, and no exact record be taken. No such meal is
known at American hotels. It is possible to hire a separate room and
have one's meals served in it; but in doing so a man runs counter to
all the institutions of the country, and a woman does so equally. A
stranger does not wish to be viewed askance by all around him; and
the rule which holds that men at Rome should do as Romans do, if true
anywhere, is true in America. Therefore I say that in an American inn
one can never do as one pleases.

In what I have here said I do not intend to speak of hotels in the
largest cities, such as Boston or New York. At them meals are served
in the public room separately, and pretty nearly at any or at all
hours of the day; but at them also the attendant stands over the
unfortunate eater, and drives him. The guest feels that he is
controlled by laws adapted to the usages of the Medes and Persians.
He is not the master on the occasion, but the slave; a slave well
treated and fattened up to the full endurance of humanity; but yet a
slave.

From Gorham we went on to Island Pond, a station on the same Canada
Trunk Railway, on a Saturday evening, and were forced by the
circumstances of the line to pass a melancholy Sunday at the place.
The cars do not run on Sundays, and run but once a day on other days
over the whole line; so that in fact the impediment to travelling
spreads over two days. Island Pond is a lake with an island in it,
and the place which has taken the name is a small village, about
ten years old, standing in the midst of uncut forests, and has been
created by the railway. In ten years more there will no doubt be
a spreading town at Island Pond; the forests will recede, and men
rushing out from the crowded cities will find here food and space
and wealth. For myself I never remain long in such a spot without
feeling thankful that it has not been my mission to be a pioneer of
civilization.

The farther that I got away from Boston the less strong did I find
the feeling of anger against England. There, as I have said before,
there was a bitter animosity against the mother country in that she
had shown no open sympathy with the North. In Maine and New Hampshire
I did not find this to be the case to any violent degree. Men spoke
of the war as openly as they did at Boston, and in speaking to me
generally connected England with the subject. But they did so simply
to ask questions as to England's policy. What will she do for cotton
when her operatives are really pressed? Will she break the blockade?
Will she insist on a right to trade with Charlestown and New Orleans?
I always answered that she would insist on no such right, if that
right were denied to others and the denial enforced. England, I took
upon myself to say, would not break a veritable blockade, let her be
driven to what shifts she might in providing for her operatives. "Ah;
that's what we fear," a very stanch patriot said to me, if words may
be taken as a proof of stanchness. "If England allies herself with
the Southerners, all our trouble is for nothing." It was impossible
not to feel that all that was said was complimentary to England. It
is her sympathy that the Northern men desire, to her co-operation
that they would willingly trust, on her honesty that they would
choose to depend. It is the same feeling whether it shows itself
in anger or in curiosity. An American whether he be embarked in
politics, in literature, or in commerce, desires English admiration,
English appreciation of his energy, and English encouragement. The
anger of Boston is but a sign of its affectionate friendliness. What
feeling is so hot as that of a friend when his dearest friend refuses
to share his quarrel or to sympathize in his wrongs? To my thinking
the men of Boston are wrong and unreasonable in their anger; but were
I a man of Boston I should be as wrong and as unreasonable as any
of them. All that, however, will come right. I will not believe it
possible that there should in very truth be a quarrel between England
and the Northern States.

In the guidance of those who are not quite _au fait_ at the details
of American Government, I will here in a few words describe the
outlines of State Government as it is arranged in New Hampshire.
The States in this respect are not all alike, the modes of election
of their officers and periods of service being different. Even the
franchise is different in different States. Universal suffrage is not
the rule throughout the United States; though it is I believe very
generally thought in England that such is the fact. I need hardly
say that the laws in the different States may be as various as the
different legislatures may choose to make them.

In New Hampshire universal suffrage does prevail; which means that
any man may vote who lives in the State, supports himself, and
assists to support the poor by means of poor rates. A governor of the
State is elected for one year only, but it is customary or at any
rate not uncustomary to re-elect him for a second year. His salary is
a thousand dollars a year, or £200. It must be presumed therefore
that glory and not money is his object. To him is appended a council,
by whose opinions he must in a great degree be guided. His functions
are to the State what those of the President are to the country, and
for the short period of his reign he is as it were a Prime Minister
of the State with certain very limited regal attributes. He however
by no means enjoys the regal attribute of doing no wrong. In every
State there is an Assembly, consisting of two houses of elected
representatives; the Senate, or upper house, and the House of
Representatives so called. In New Hampshire this Assembly, or
Parliament, is styled The General Court of New Hampshire. It sits
annually; whereas the legislature in many States sits only every
other year. Both Houses are re-elected every year. This Assembly
passes laws with all the power vested in our Parliament, but such
laws apply of course only to the State in question. The Governor
of the State has a veto on all bills passed by the two Houses. But,
after receipt of his veto, any bill so stopped by the Governor can
be passed by a majority of two thirds in each House. The General
Court usually sits for about ten weeks. There are in the State eight
judges, three Supreme who sit at Concord, the capital, as a court
of appeal both in civil and criminal matters; and then five lesser
judges, who go circuit through the State. The salaries of these
lesser judges do not exceed from £250 to £300 a year; but they are, I
believe, allowed to practise as lawyers in any counties except those
in which they sit as judges,--being guided in this respect by the
same law as that which regulates the work of assistant barristers
in Ireland. The assistant barristers in Ireland are attached to the
counties as judges at Quarter Sessions, but they practise or may
practise as advocates in all counties except that to which they
are so attached. The judges in New Hampshire are appointed by
the Governor with the assistance of his Council. No judge in New
Hampshire can hold his seat after he has reached seventy years of
age.

So much at the present moment with reference to the Government of New
Hampshire.



CHAPTER IV.

LOWER CANADA.


The Grand Trunk Railway runs directly from Portland to Montreal,
which latter town is, in fact, the capital of Canada, though it never
has been so exclusively, and, as it seems, never is to be so, as
regards authority, government, and official name. In such matters
authority and government often say one thing while commerce says
another; but commerce always has the best of it and wins the game
whatever Government may decree. Albany in this way is the capital of
the State of New York, as authorized by the State Government; but New
York has made herself the capital of America, and will remain so. So
also Montreal has made herself the capital of Canada. The Grand Trunk
Railway runs from Portland to Montreal; but there is a branch from
Richmond, a township within the limits of Canada, to Quebec; so that
travellers to Quebec, as we were, are not obliged to reach that place
_viâ_ Montreal.

Quebec is the present seat of Canadian Government, its turn for that
honour having come round some two years ago; but it is about to be
deserted in favour of Ottawa, a town which is, in fact, still to be
built on the river of that name. The public edifices are, however, in
a state of forwardness; and if all goes well the Governor, the two
Councils, and the House of Representatives will be there before
two years are over whether there be any town to receive them or no.
Who can think of Ottawa without bidding his brothers to row, and
reminding them that the stream runs fast, that the rapids are near
and the daylight past? I asked, as a matter of course, whether Quebec
was much disgusted at the proposed change, and I was told that the
feeling was not now very strong. Had it been determined to make
Montreal the permanent seat of government Quebec and Toronto would
both have been up in arms.

I must confess that in going from the States into Canada, an
Englishman is struck by the feeling that he is going from a richer
country into one that is poorer, and from a greater country into one
that is less. An Englishman going from a foreign land into a land
which is in one sense his own, of course finds much in the change to
gratify him. He is able to speak as the master, instead of speaking
as the visitor. His tongue becomes more free, and he is able to fall
back to his national habits and national expressions. He no longer
feels that he is admitted on sufferance, or that he must be careful
to respect laws which he does not quite understand. This feeling was
naturally strong in an Englishman in passing from the States into
Canada at the time of my visit. English policy at that moment was
violently abused by Americans, and was upheld as violently in Canada.
But, nevertheless, with all this, I could not enter Canada without
seeing, and hearing, and feeling that there was less of enterprise
around me there than in the States--less of general movement, and
less of commercial success. To say why this is so would require a
long and very difficult discussion, and one which I am not prepared
to hold. It may be that a dependent country, let the feeling of
dependence be ever so much modified by powers of self-governance,
cannot hold its own against countries which are in all respects their
own masters. Few, I believe, would now maintain that the Northern
States of America would have risen in commerce as they have risen,
had they still remained attached to England as colonies. If this be
so, that privilege of self-rule which they have acquired, has been
the cause of their success. It does not follow as a consequence that
the Canadas fighting their battle alone in the world could do as
the States have done. Climate, or size, or geographical position
might stand in their way. But I fear that it does follow, if not as a
logical conclusion at least as a natural result, that they never will
do so well unless some day they shall so fight their battle. It may
be argued that Canada has in fact the power of self-governance; that
she rules herself and makes her own laws as England does; that the
Sovereign of England has but a veto on those laws, and stands in
regard to Canada exactly as she does in regard to England. This is
so, I believe, by the letter of the Constitution, but is not so in
reality, and cannot, in truth, be so in any colony, even of Great
Britain. In England the political power of the Crown is nothing. The
Crown has no such power, and now-a-days makes no attempt at having
any. But the political power of the Crown, as it is felt in Canada,
is everything. The Crown has no such power in England because it must
change its ministers whenever called upon to do so by the House of
Commons. But the Colonial Minister in Downing Street is the Crown's
Prime Minister as regards the Colonies, and he is changed not as any
Colonial House of Assembly may wish, but in accordance with the will
of the British Commons. Both the Houses in Canada--that, namely,
of the Representatives, or Lower House, and of the Legislative
Council, or Upper House--are now elective, and are filled without
direct influence from the Crown. The power of self-government is
as thoroughly developed as perhaps may be possible in a colony. But
after all it is a dependent form of government, and as such may
perhaps not conduce to so thorough a development of the resources of
the country as might be achieved under a ruling power of its own, to
which the welfare of Canada itself would be the chief if not the only
object.

I beg that it may not be considered from this that I would propose to
Canada to set up for itself at once and declare itself independent.
In the first place I do not wish to throw over Canada; and in the
next place I do not wish to throw over England. If such a separation
shall ever take place, I trust that it may be caused, not by Canadian
violence but by British generosity. Such a separation, however, never
can be good till Canada herself shall wish it. That she does not
wish it yet is certain. If Canada ever should wish it, and should
ever press for the accomplishment of such a wish, she must do so in
connection with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. If at any future time
there be formed such a separate political power, it must include the
whole of British North America.

In the meantime, I return to my assertion, that in entering Canada
from the States one clearly comes from a richer to a poorer country.
When I have said so, I have heard no Canadian absolutely deny it;
though in refraining from denying it, they have usually expressed a
general conviction, that in settling himself for life, it is better
for a man to set up his staff in Canada than in the States. "I do not
know that we are richer," a Canadian says, "but on the whole we are
doing better and are happier." Now, I regard the golden rules against
the love of gold, the "_aurum irrepertum et sic melius situm_," and
the rest of it, as very excellent when applied to individuals. Such
teaching has not much effect, perhaps, in inducing men to abstain
from wealth,--but such effect as it may have will be good. Men and
women do, I suppose, learn to be happier when they learn to disregard
riches. But such a doctrine is absolutely false as regards a nation.
National wealth produces education and progress, and through them
produces plenty of food, good morals, and all else that is good.
It produces luxury also, and certain evils attendant on luxury.
But I think it may be clearly shown, and that it is universally
acknowledged, that national wealth produces individual well-being. If
this be so, the argument of my friend the Canadian is nought.

To the feeling of a refined gentleman, or of a lady whose eye loves
to rest always on the beautiful, an agricultural population that
touches its hat, eats plain victuals, and goes to church is more
picturesque and delightful than the thronged crowd of a great city by
which a lady and gentleman is hustled without remorse, which never
touches its hat, and perhaps also never goes to church. And as we
are always tempted to approve of that which we like, and to think
that that which is good to us is good altogether, we--the refined
gentlemen and ladies of England I mean--are very apt to prefer the
hat-touchers to those who are not hat-touchers. In doing so we
intend, and wish, and strive to be philanthropical. We argue to
ourselves that the dear, excellent lower classes receive an immense
amount of consoling happiness from that ceremony of hat-touching,
and quite pity those who, unfortunately for themselves, know nothing
about it. I would ask any such lady or gentleman whether he or she
does not feel a certain amount of commiseration for the rudeness of
the town-bred artisan, who walks about with his hands in his pockets
as though he recognized a superior in no one.

But that which is good and pleasant to us, is often not good and
pleasant altogether. Every man's chief object is himself; and the
philanthropist should endeavour to regard this question, not from
his own point of view, but from that which would be taken by the
individuals for whose happiness he is anxious. The honest, happy
rustic makes a very pretty picture; and I hope that honest rustics
are happy. But the man who earns two shillings a day in the country
would always prefer to earn five in the town. The man who finds
himself bound to touch his hat to the squire would be glad to
dispense with that ceremony, if circumstances would permit. A crowd
of greasy-coated town artisans with grimy hands and pale faces, is
not in itself delectable; but each of that crowd has probably more
of the goods of life than any rural labourer. He thinks more, reads
more, feels more, sees more, hears more, learns more, and lives more.
It is through great cities that the civilization of the world has
progressed, and the charms of life been advanced. Man in his rudest
state begins in the country, and in his most finished state may
retire there. But the battle of the world has to be fought in the
cities; and the country that shows the greatest city population is
ever the one that is going most ahead in the world's history.

If this be so, I say that the argument of my Canadian friend was
nought. It may be that he does not desire crowded cities with
dirty, independent artisans; that to his view small farmers, living
sparingly but with content on the sweat of their brows, are surer
signs of a country's prosperity than hives of men and smoking
chimneys. He has, probably, all the upper classes of England with him
in so thinking, and as far as I know the upper classes of all Europe.
But the crowds themselves, the thick masses of which are composed
those populations which we count by millions, are against him. Up in
those regions which are watered by the great lakes, Lake Michigan,
Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and by the St. Lawrence, the
country is divided between Canada and the States. The cities in
Canada were settled long before those in the States. Quebec and
Montreal were important cities before any of the towns belonging to
the States had been founded. But taking the population of three of
each, including the three largest Canadian towns, we find they are
as follows:--In Canada, Quebec has 60,000; Montreal, 85,000; Toronto,
55,000. In the States, Chicago has 120,000; Detroit, 70,000; and
Buffalo, 80,000. If the population had been equal, it would have
shown a great superiority in the progress of those belonging to the
States, because the towns of Canada had so great a start. But the
numbers are by no means equal, showing instead a vast preponderance
in favour of the States. There can be no stronger proof that the
States are advancing faster than Canada,--and in fact doing better
than Canada. Quebec is a very picturesque town,--from its natural
advantages almost as much so as any town I know. Edinburgh, perhaps,
and Innspruck may beat it. But Quebec has very little to recommend it
beyond the beauty of its situation. Its public buildings and works of
art do not deserve a long narrative. It stands at the confluence of
the St. Lawrence and St. Charles rivers; the best part of the town is
built high upon the rock,--the rock which forms the celebrated plains
of Abram; and the view from thence down to the mountains which shut
in the St. Lawrence is magnificent. The best point of view is, I
think, from the esplanade, which is distant some five minutes' walk
from the hotels. When that has been seen by the light of the setting
sun, and seen again, if possible, by moonlight, the most considerable
lion of Quebec may be regarded as "done," and may be ticked off from
the list.

The most considerable lion according to my taste. Lions which roar
merely by the force of association of ideas are not to me very
valuable beasts. To many the rock over which Wolfe climbed to the
plains of Abram, and on the summit of which he fell in the hour of
victory, gives to Quebec its chiefest charm. But I confess to being
somewhat dull in such matters. I can count up Wolfe, and realize his
glory, and put my hand as it were upon his monument, in my own room
at home as well as I can at Quebec. I do not say this boastingly or
with pride, but truly acknowledging a deficiency. I have never cared
to sit in chairs in which old kings have sat, or to have their crowns
upon my head.

Nevertheless, and as a matter of course, I went to see the rock,
and can only say, as so many have said before me, that it is very
steep. It is not a rock which I think it would be difficult for
any ordinarily active man to climb,--providing, of course, that he
was used to such work. But Wolfe took regiments of men up there at
night--and that in face of enemies who held the summits. One grieves
that he should have fallen there and have never tasted the sweet cup
of his own fame. For fame is sweet, and the praise of one's brother
men the sweetest draught which a man can drain. But now, and for
coming ages, Wolfe's name stands higher than it probably would have
done had he lived to enjoy his reward.

But there is another very worthy lion near Quebec,--the Falls,
namely, of Montmorency. They are eight miles from the town, and the
road lies through the suburb of St. Roch, and the long straggling
French village of Beauport. These are in themselves very interesting,
as showing the quiet, orderly, unimpulsive manner in which the French
Canadians live. Such is their character, although there have been
such men as Papineau, and although there have been times in which
English rule has been unpopular with the French settlers. As far as
I could learn there is no such feeling now. These people are quiet,
contented; and as regards a sufficiency of the simple staples of
living, sufficiently well to do. They are thrifty;--but they do not
thrive. They do not advance, and push ahead, and become a bigger
people from year to year as settlers in a new country should do. They
do not even hold their own in comparison with those around them. But
has not this always been the case with colonists out of France; and
has it not always been the case with Roman Catholics when they have
been forced to measure themselves against Protestants? As to the
ultimate fate in the world of this people, one can hardly form a
speculation. There are, as nearly as I could learn, about 800,000 of
them in Lower Canada; but it seems that the wealth and commercial
enterprise of the country is passing out of their hands. Montreal,
and even Quebec are, I think, becoming less and less French every
day; but in the villages and on the small farms the French remain,
keeping up their language, their habits, and their religion. In the
cities they are becoming hewers of wood and drawers of water. I am
inclined to think that the same will ultimately be their fate in
the country. Surely one may declare as a fact that a Roman Catholic
population can never hold its ground against one that is Protestant.
I do not speak of numbers, for the Roman Catholics will increase
and multiply, and stick by their religion, although their religion
entails poverty and dependence; as they have done and still do in
Ireland. But in progress and wealth the Romanists have always gone
to the wall when the two have been made to compete together. And
yet I love their religion. There is something beautiful and almost
divine in the faith and obedience of a true son of the Holy Mother.
I sometimes fancy that I would fain be a Roman Catholic,--if I
could; as also I would often wish to be still a child, if that were
possible.

All this is on the way to the Falls of Montmorency. These falls are
placed exactly at the mouth of the little river of the same name, so
that it may be said absolutely to fall into the St. Lawrence. The
people of the country, however, declare that the river into which
the waters of the Montmorency fall is not the St. Lawrence, but the
Charles. Without a map I do not know that I can explain this. The
river Charles appears to, and in fact does, run into the St. Lawrence
just below Quebec. But the waters do not mix. The thicker, browner
stream of the lesser river still keeps the north-eastern bank till
it comes to the island of Orleans, which lies in the river five or
six miles below Quebec. Here or hereabouts are the Falls of the
Montmorency, and then the great river is divided for twenty-five
miles by the Isle of Orleans. It is said that the waters of the
Charles and the St. Lawrence do not mix till they meet each other at
the foot of this island.

I do not know that I am particularly happy at describing a waterfall,
and what little capacity I may have in this way I would wish to keep
for Niagara. One thing I can say very positively about Montmorency,
and one piece of advice I can give to those who visit the falls.
The place from which to see them is not the horrible little wooden
temple, which has been built immediately over them on that side which
lies nearest to Quebec. The stranger is put down at a gate through
which a path leads to this temple, and at which a woman demands from
him twenty-five cents for the privilege of entrance. Let him by all
means pay the twenty-five cents. Why should he attempt to see the
falls for nothing, seeing that this woman has a vested interest in
the showing of them? I declare that if I thought that I should hinder
this woman from her perquisites by what I write, I would leave it
unwritten, and let my readers pursue their course to the temple--to
their manifest injury. But they will pay the twenty-five cents. Then
let them cross over the bridge, eschewing the temple, and wander
round on the open field till they get the view of the falls, and the
view of Quebec also, from the other side. It is worth the twenty-five
cents, and the hire of the carriage also. Immediately over the falls
there was a suspension bridge, of which the supporting, or rather
non-supporting, pillars are still to be seen. But the bridge fell
down one day into the river; and, alas, alas! with the bridge fell
down an old woman, and a boy, and a cart,--a cart and horse,--and
all found a watery grave together in the spray. No attempt has been
made since that to renew the suspension bridge; but the present
wooden bridge has been built higher up, in lieu of it.

Strangers naturally visit Quebec in summer or autumn, seeing that
a Canada winter is a season with which a man cannot trifle; but I
imagine that the mid-winter is the best time for seeing the Falls of
Montmorency. The water in its fall is dashed into spray, and that
spray becomes frozen, till a cone of ice is formed immediately under
the cataract, which gradually rises till the temporary glacier
reaches nearly half-way to the level of the higher river. Up this men
climb,--and ladies also, I am told,--and then descend with pleasant
rapidity on sledges of wood, sometimes not without an innocent
tumble in the descent. As we were at Quebec in September, we did not
experience the delights of this pastime.

As I was too early for the ice cone under the Montmorency Falls, so
also was I too late to visit the Saguenay river which runs into the
St. Lawrence some hundred miles below Quebec. I presume that the
scenery of the Saguenay is the finest in Canada. During the summer
steamers run down the St. Lawrence and up the Saguenay, but I was
too late for them. An offer was made to us through the kindness of
Sir Edmund Head, who was then the Governor-General, of the use of a
steam-tug belonging to a gentleman who carries on a large commercial
enterprise at Chicoutimi, far up the Saguenay; but an acceptance
of this offer would have entailed some delay at Quebec, and as we
were anxious to get into the North Western States before the winter
commenced, we were obliged with great regret to decline the journey.

I feel bound to say that a stranger regarding Quebec merely as a
town, finds very much of which he cannot but complain. The foot-paths
through the streets are almost entirely of wood, as indeed seems
to be general throughout Canada. Wood is of course the cheapest
material, and though it may not be altogether good for such a purpose
it would not create animadversion if it were kept in tolerable order.
But in Quebec the paths are intolerably bad. They are full of holes.
The boards are rotten and worn in some places to dirt. The nails have
gone, and the broken planks go up and down under the feet, and in
the dark they are absolutely dangerous. But if the paths are bad the
roadways are worse. The street through the lower town along the quays
is, I think, the most disgraceful thoroughfare I ever saw in any
town. I believe the whole of it, or at any rate a great portion,
has been paved with wood; but the boards have been worked into mud,
and the ground under the boards has been worked into holes, till
the street is more like the bottom of a filthy ditch than a roadway
through one of the most thickly populated parts of a city. Had Quebec
in Wolfe's time been as it is now, Wolfe would have stuck in the mud
between the river and the rock, before he reached the point which he
desired to climb. In the upper town the roads are not so bad as they
are below, but still they are very bad. I was told that this arose
from disputes among the municipal corporations. Everything in Canada
relating to roads, and a very great deal affecting the internal
government of the people, is done by these municipalities. It is made
a subject of great boast in Canada that the communal authorities
do carry on so large a part of the public business, and that they
do it generally so well, and at so cheap a rate. I have nothing to
say against this, and as a whole believe that the boast is true. I
must protest, however, that the streets of the greater cities,--for
Montreal is nearly as bad as Quebec,--prove the rule by a very sad
exception. The municipalities of which I speak extend, I believe, to
all Canada; the two provinces being divided into counties, and the
counties subdivided into townships to which, as a matter of course,
the municipalities are attached.

From Quebec to Montreal there are two modes of travel. There are the
steamers up the St. Lawrence which, as all the world know is, or at
any rate hitherto has been, the high road of the Canadas; and there
is the Grand Trunk Railway. Passengers choosing the latter go towards
Portland as far as Richmond, and there join the main line of the
road, passing from Richmond on to Montreal. We learned while at
Quebec that it behoved us not to leave the colony till we had seen
the lake and mountains of Memphra-Magog, and as we were clearly
neglecting our duty with regard to the Saguenay, we felt bound to
make such amends as lay in our power, by deviating from our way to
the lake above named. In order to do this we were obliged to choose
the railway, and to go back beyond Richmond to the station at
Sherbrooke. Sherbrooke is a large village on the confines of Canada,
and as it is on the railway will no doubt become a large town. It is
very prettily situated on the meeting of two rivers; it has three
or four different churches, and intends to thrive. It possesses two
newspapers, of the prosperity of which I should be inclined to feel
less assured. The annual subscription to such a newspaper published
twice a week is ten shillings per annum. A sale of a thousand copies
is not considered bad. Such a sale would produce £500 a year, and
this would, if entirely devoted to that purpose, give a moderate
income to a gentleman qualified to conduct a newspaper. But the paper
and printing must cost something, and the capital invested should
receive its proper remuneration. And then,--such at least is the
general idea,--the getting together of news and the framing of
intelligence is a costly operation. I can only hope that all this is
paid for by the advertisements, for I must trust that the editors do
not receive less than the moderate sum above named. At Sherbrooke we
are still in Lower Canada. Indeed, as regards distance, we are when
there nearly as far removed from Upper Canada as at Quebec. But the
race of people here is very different. The French population had made
their way down into these townships before the English and American
war broke out, but had not done so in great numbers. The country was
then very unapproachable, being far to the south of the St. Lawrence,
and far also from any great line of internal communication towards
the Atlantic. But, nevertheless, many settlers made their way in here
from the States; men who preferred to live under British rule, and
perhaps doubted the stability of the new order of things. They or
their children have remained here since, and as the whole country
has been opened up by the railway many others have flocked in. Thus
a better class of people than the French hold possession of the
larger farms, and are on the whole doing well. I am told that many
Americans are now coming here, driven over the borders from Maine,
New Hampshire, and Vermont by fears of the war and the weight of
taxation. I do not think that fears of war or the paying of taxes
drive many individuals away from home. Men who would be so influenced
have not the amount of foresight which would induce them to avoid
such evils; or, at any rate, such fears would act slowly. Labourers,
however, will go where work is certain, where work is well paid, and
where the wages to be earned will give plenty in return. It may be
that work will become scarce in the States, as it has done with those
poor jewellers at Attleborough, of whom we spoke, and that food will
become dear. If this be so, labourers from the States will no doubt
find their way into Canada.

From Sherbrooke we went with the mails on a pair-horse waggon to
Magog. Cross country mails are not interesting to the generality
of readers, but I have a professional liking for them myself. I
have spent the best part of my life in looking after and I hope
in improving such mails, and I always endeavour to do a stroke of
work when I come across them. I learned on this occasion that the
conveyance of mails with a pair of horses in Canada costs little more
than half what is paid for the same work in England with one horse,
and something less than what is paid in Ireland, also for one horse.
But in Canada the average pace is only five miles an hour. In Ireland
it is seven, and the time is accurately kept, which does not seem to
be the case in Canada. In England the pace is eight miles an hour.
In Canada and in Ireland these conveyances carry passengers; but in
England they are prohibited from doing so. In Canada the vehicles
are much better got up than they are in England, and the horses too
look better. Taking Ireland as a whole they are more respectable in
appearance there than in England. From all which it appears that pace
is the article that costs the highest price, and that appearance does
not go for much in the bill. In Canada the roads are very bad in
comparison with the English or Irish roads; but to make up for this,
the price of forage is very low.

I have said that the cross mail conveyances in Canada did not seem
to be very closely bound as to time; but they are regulated by
clock-work in comparison with some of them in the United States.
"Are you going this morning?" I said to a mail-driver in Vermont. "I
thought you always started in the evening." "Wa'll; I guess I do. But
it rained some last night, so I jist stayed at home." I do not know
that I ever felt more shocked in my life, and I could hardly keep my
tongue off the man. The mails, however, would have paid no respect to
me in Vermont, and I was obliged to walk away crestfallen.

We went with the mails from Sherbrooke to a village called Magog at
the outlet of the lake, and from thence by a steamer up the lake to a
solitary hotel called the Mountain House, which is built at the foot
of the mountain on the shore, and which is surrounded on every side
by thick forest. There is no road within two miles of the house. The
lake therefore is the only highway, and that is frozen up for four
months in the year. When frozen, however, it is still a road, for it
is passable for sledges. I have seldom been in a house that seemed
so remote from the world, and so little within reach of doctors,
parsons, or butchers. Bakers in this country are not required, as all
persons make their own bread. But in spite of its position the hotel
is well kept, and on the whole we were more comfortable there than at
any other inn in Lower Canada. The Mountain House is but five miles
from the borders of Vermont, in which State the head of the lake
lies. The steamer which brought us runs on to Newport,--or rather
from Newport to Magog and back again. And Newport is in Vermont.

The one thing to be done at the Mountain House is the ascent of the
mountain called the Owl's Head. The world there offers nothing else
of active enterprise to the traveller, unless fishing be considered
an active enterprise. I am not capable of fishing, therefore we
resolved on going up the Owl's Head. To dine in the middle of the day
is absolutely imperative at these hotels, and thus we were driven
to select either the morning or the afternoon. Evening lights we
declared were the best for all views, and therefore we decided on the
afternoon. It is but two miles; but then, as we were told more than
once by those who had spoken to us on the subject, those two miles
are not like other miles. "I doubt if the lady can do it," one man
said to me. I asked if ladies did not sometimes go up. "Yes; young
women do, at times," he said. After that my wife resolved that she
would see the top of the Owl's Head, or die in the attempt, and so
we started. They never think of sending a guide with one in these
places, whereas in Europe a traveller is not allowed to go a step
without one. When I asked for one to show us the way up Mount
Washington, I was told that there were no idle boys about that place.
The path was indicated to us, and off we started with high hopes.

I have been up many mountains, and have climbed some that were
perhaps somewhat dangerous in their ascent. In climbing the Owl's
Head there is no danger. One is closed in by thick trees the whole
way. But I doubt if I ever went up a steeper ascent. It was very hard
work, but we were not beaten. We reached the top, and there sitting
down thoroughly enjoyed our victory. It was then half-past five
o'clock, and the sun was not yet absolutely sinking. It did not seem
to give us any warning that we should especially require its aid,
and as the prospect below us was very lovely we remained there for
a quarter of an hour. The ascent of the Owl's Head is certainly a
thing to do, and I still think, in spite of our following misfortune,
that it is a thing to do late in the afternoon. The view down upon
the lakes and the forests around, and on the wooded hills below, is
wonderfully lovely. I never was on a mountain which gave me a more
perfect command of all the country round. But as we arose to descend
we saw a little cloud coming towards us from over Newport.

The little cloud came on with speed, and we had hardly freed
ourselves from the rocks of the summit before we were surrounded by
rain. As the rain became thicker, we were surrounded by darkness
also, or if not by darkness by so dim a light that it became a task
to find our path. I still thought that the daylight had not gone, and
that as we descended and so escaped from the cloud we should find
light enough to guide us. But it was not so. The rain soon became a
matter of indifference, and so also did the mud and briars beneath
our feet. Even the steepness of the way was almost forgotten as we
endeavoured to thread our path through the forest before it should
become impossible to discern the track. A dog had followed us up, and
though the beast would not stay with us so as to be our guide, he
returned ever and anon and made us aware of his presence by dashing
by us. I may confess now that I became much frightened. We were wet
through, and a night out in the forest would have been unpleasant to
us. At last I did utterly lose the track. It had become quite dark,
so dark that we could hardly see each other. We had succeeded in
getting down the steepest and worst part of the mountain, but we were
still among dense forest-trees, and up to our knees in mud. But the
people at the Mountain House were Christians, and men with lanterns
were sent hallooing after us through the dark night. When we were
thus found we were not many yards from the path, but unfortunately on
the wrong side of a stream. Through that we waded and then made our
way in safety to the inn. In spite of which misadventure I advise all
travellers in Lower Canada to go up the Owl's Head.

On the following day we crossed the lake to Georgeville, and drove
round another lake called the Massawhippi back to Sherbrooke. This
was all very well, for it showed us a part of the country which
is comparatively well tilled, and has been long settled; but the
Massawhippi itself is not worth a visit. The route by which we
returned occupies a longer time than the other, and is more costly
as it must be made in a hired vehicle. The people here are quiet,
orderly, and I should say a little slow. It is manifest that a strong
feeling against the Northern States has lately sprung up. This is
much to be deprecated, but I cannot but say that it is natural. It is
not that the Canadians have any special Secession feelings, or that
they have entered with peculiar warmth into the questions of American
politics; but they have been vexed and acerbated by the braggadocio
of the Northern States. They constantly hear that they are to be
invaded, and translated into citizens of the Union: that British rule
is to be swept off the Continent, and that the star-spangled banner
is to be waved over them in pity. The star-spangled banner is in fact
a fine flag, and has waved to some purpose; but those who live near
it, and not under it, fancy that they hear too much of it. At the
present moment the loyalty of both the Canadas to Great Britain
is beyond all question. From all that I can hear I doubt whether
this feeling in the Provinces was ever so strong, and under such
circumstances American abuse of England and American braggadocio
is more than usually distasteful. All this abuse and all this
braggadocio comes to Canada from the Northern States, and therefore
the Southern cause is at the present moment the more popular with
them.

I have said that the Canadians hereabouts are somewhat slow. As we
were driving back to Sherbrooke it became necessary that we should
rest for an hour or so in the middle of the day, and for this purpose
we stopped at a village inn. It was a large house, in which there
appeared to be three public sitting-rooms of ample size, one of which
was occupied as the bar. In this there were congregated some six or
seven men, seated in arm-chairs round a stove, and among these I
placed myself. No one spoke a word either to me or to any one else.
No one smoked, and no one read, nor did they even whittle sticks. I
asked a question first of one and then of another, and was answered
with monosyllables. So I gave up any hope in that direction, and sat
staring at the big stove in the middle of the room, as the others
did. Presently another stranger entered, having arrived in a waggon
as I had done. He entered the room and sat down, addressing no one,
and addressed by no one. After a while, however, he spoke. "Will
there be any chance of dinner here?" he said. "I guess there'll be
dinner by-and-by," answered the landlord, and then there was silence
for another ten minutes, during which the stranger stared at the
stove. "Is that dinner any way ready?" he asked again. "I guess it
is," said the landlord. And then the stranger went out to see after
his dinner himself. When we started at the end of an hour nobody said
anything to us. The driver "hitched" on the horses, as they call
it, and we started on our way, having been charged nothing for our
accommodation. That some profit arose from the horse provender is to
be hoped.

On the following day we reached Montreal, which, as I have said
before, is the commercial capital of the two Provinces. This question
of the capitals is at the present moment a subject of great interest
in Canada, but as I shall be driven to say something on the matter
when I report myself as being at Ottawa, I will refrain now. There
are two special public affairs at the present moment to interest a
traveller in Canada. The first I have named, and the second is the
Grand Trunk Railway. I have already stated what is the course of this
line. It runs from the Western State of Michigan to Portland on the
Atlantic in the State of Maine, sweeping the whole length of Canada
in its route. It was originally made by three Companies. The Atlantic
and St. Lawrence constructed it from Portland to Island Pond on the
borders of the States. The St. Lawrence and Atlantic took it from the
South Eastern side of the river at Montreal to the same point, viz.,
Island Pond. And the Grand Trunk Company have made it from Detroit to
Montreal, crossing the river there with a stupendous tubular bridge,
and have also made the branch connecting the main line with Quebec
and Rivière du Loup. This latter company is now incorporated with the
St. Lawrence and Atlantic, but has only leased the portion of the
line running through the States. This they have done, guaranteeing
the shareholders an interest of six per cent. There never was a
grander enterprise set on foot. I will not say there never was one
more unfortunate, for is there not the Great Eastern, which by the
weight and constancy of its failures demands for itself a proud
pre-eminence of misfortune? But surely the Grand Trunk comes next
to it. I presume it to be quite out of the question that the
shareholders should get any interest whatever on their shares for
years. The company when I was at Montreal had not paid the interest
due to the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Company for the last year, and
there was a doubt whether the lease would not be broken. No party
that had advanced money to the undertaking was able to recover what
had been advanced. I believe that one firm in London had lent nearly
a million to the Company and is now willing to accept half the sum so
lent in quittance of the whole debt. In 1860 the line could not carry
the freight that offered, not having or being able to obtain the
necessary rolling stock; and on all sides I heard men discussing
whether the line would be kept open for traffic. The Government of
Canada advanced to the Company three millions of money, with an
understanding that neither interest nor principal should be demanded
till all other debts were paid, and all shareholders in receipt of
six per cent. interest. But the three millions were clogged with
conditions which, though they have been of service to the country,
have been so expensive to the Company that it is hardly more solvent
with it than it would have been without it. As it is, the whole
property seems to be involved in ruin; and yet the line is one of the
grandest commercial conceptions that was ever carried out on the face
of the globe, and in the process of a few years will do more to make
bread cheap in England than any other single enterprise that exists.

I do not know that blame is to be attached to any one. I at least
attach no such blame. Probably it might be easy now to show that the
road might have been made with sufficient accommodation for ordinary
purposes without some of the more costly details. The great tubular
bridge on which was expended £1,300,000 might, I should think, have
been dispensed with. The Detroit end of the line might have been
left for later time. As it stands now, however, it is a wonderful
operation carried to a successful issue as far as the public are
concerned, and one can only grieve that it should be so absolute a
failure to those who have placed their money in it. There are schemes
which seem to be too big for men to work out with any ordinary regard
to profit and loss. The Great Eastern is one, and this is another.
The national advantage arising from such enterprises is immense; but
the wonder is that men should be found willing to embark their money
where the risk is so great, and the return even hoped for is so
small.

While I was in Canada some gentlemen were there from the Lower
Provinces--Nova Scotia, that is, and New Brunswick--agitating the
subject of another great line of railway from Quebec to Halifax.
The project is one in favour of which very much may be said. In a
national point of view an Englishman or a Canadian cannot but regret
that there should be no winter mode of exit from, or entrance to,
Canada, except through the United States. The St. Lawrence is blocked
up for four or five months in winter, and the steamers which run
to Quebec in the summer run to Portland during the season of ice.
There is at present no mode of public conveyance between the Canadas
and the Lower Provinces, and an immense district of country on the
borders of Lower Canada, through New Brunswick and into Nova Scotia
is now absolutely closed against civilization, which by such a
railway would be opened up to the light of day. We all know how much
the want of such a road was felt when our troops were being forwarded
to Canada during the last winter. It was necessary they should reach
their destination without delay; and as the river was closed, and
the passing of troops through the States was of course out of the
question, that long overland journey across Nova Scotia and New
Brunswick became a necessity. It would certainly be a very great
thing for British interests if a direct line could be made from such
a port as Halifax, a port which is open throughout the whole year,
up into the Canadas. If these Colonies belonged to France or to any
other despotic Government, the thing would be done. But the Colonies
do not belong to any despotic Government.

Such a line would in fact be a continuance of the Grand Trunk; and
who that looks at the present state of the finances of the Grand
Trunk can think it to be on the cards that private enterprise should
come forward with more money,--with more millions? The idea is that
England will advance the money, and that the English House of Commons
will guarantee the interest, with some counter-guarantee from the
Colonies that this interest shall be duly paid. But it would seem
that if such Colonial guarantee is to go for anything, the Colonies
might raise the money in the money market without the intervention of
the British House of Commons.

Montreal is an exceedingly good commercial town, and business there
is brisk. It has now 85,000 inhabitants. Having said that of it, I do
not know what more there is left to say. Yes; one word there is to
say of Sir William Logan the creator of the Geological Museum there
and the head of all matters geological throughout the Province.
While he was explaining to me with admirable perspicuity the result
of investigations into which he had poured his whole heart, I stood
by understanding almost nothing, but envying everything. That I
understood almost nothing, I know he perceived. That, ever and anon,
with all his graciousness became apparent. But I wonder whether
he perceived also that I did envy everything. I have listened to
geologists by the hour before--have had to listen to them, desirous
simply of escape. I have listened and understood absolutely nothing,
and have only wished myself away. But I could have listened to Sir
William Logan for the whole day, if time allowed. I found even in
that hour that some ideas found their way through to me, and I began
to fancy that even I could become a geologist at Montreal.

Over and beyond Sir William Logan there is at Montreal for strangers
the drive round the mountain, not very exciting; and there is the
tubular bridge over the St. Lawrence. This, it must be understood,
is not made in one tube, as is that over the Menai Straits, but is
divided into, I think, thirteen tubes. To the eye there appear to be
twenty-five tubes; but each of the six side tubes is supported by a
pier in the middle. A great part of the expense of the bridge was
incurred in sinking the shafts for these piers.



CHAPTER V.

UPPER CANADA.


Ottawa is in Upper Canada, but crossing the suspension bridge from
Ottawa into Hull the traveller is in Lower Canada. It is therefore
exactly in the confines, and has been chosen as the site of the new
Government capital very much for this reason. Other reasons have,
no doubt, had a share in the decision. At the time when the choice
was made Ottawa was not large enough to create the jealousy of the
more populous towns. Though not on the main line of railway, it was
connected with it by a branch railway, and it is also connected with
the St. Lawrence by water communication. And then it stands nobly
on a magnificent river, with high overhanging rock, and a natural
grandeur of position which has perhaps gone far in recommending it to
those whose voice in the matter has been potential. Having the world
of Canada from whence to choose the site of a new town, the choosers
have certainly chosen well. It is another question whether or no a
new town should have been deemed necessary.

Perhaps it may be well to explain the circumstances under which it
was thought expedient thus to establish a new Canadian capital. In
1841 when Lord Sydenham was Governor General of the Provinces, the
two Canadas, separate till then, were united under one Government.
At that time the people of Lower or French Canada, and the people
of Upper or English Canada differed much more in their habits and
language than they do now. I do not know that the English have become
in any way Gallicized, but the French have been very materially
Anglicized. But while this has been in progress, national jealousy
has been at work; and even yet that national jealousy is not at an
end. While the two provinces were divided, there were, of course,
two capitals, and two seats of Government. These were at Quebec for
Lower Canada, and at Toronto for Upper Canada, both which towns are
centrically situated as regards the respective provinces. When the
union was effected, it was deemed expedient that there should be but
one capital; and the small town of Kingstown was selected, which is
situated on the lower end of Lake Ontario in the Upper Province.
But Kingstown was found to be inconvenient, lacking space and
accommodation for those who had to follow the Government, and the
Governor removed it and himself to Montreal. Montreal is in the
Lower Province, but is very central to both the provinces; and it is,
moreover, the chief town in Canada. This would have done very well,
but for an unforeseen misfortune.

It will be remembered by most readers that in 1837 took place the
Mackenzie-Papineau rebellion, of which those who were then old enough
to be politicians heard so much in England. I am not going back to
recount the history of the period, otherwise than to say that the
English Canadians at that time, in withstanding and combating the
rebels, did considerable injury to the property of certain French
Canadians, and that when the rebellion had blown over and those
in fault had been pardoned, a question arose whether or no the
Government should make good the losses of those French Canadians who
had been injured. The English Canadians protested that it would be
monstrous that they should be taxed to repair damages suffered by
rebels, and made necessary in the suppression of rebellion. The
French Canadians declared that the rebellion had been only a just
assertion of their rights, that if there had been crime on the part
of those who took up arms that crime had been condoned, and that the
damages had not fallen exclusively or even chiefly on those who had
done so. I will give no opinion on the merits of the question, but
simply say that blood ran very hot when it was discussed. At last
the Houses of the Provincial Parliament, then assembled at Montreal,
decreed that the losses should be made good by the public treasury;
and the English mob in Montreal, when this decree became known, was
roused to great wrath by a decision which seemed to be condemnatory
of English loyalty. It pelted Lord Elgin, the Governor General, with
rotten eggs, and burned down the Parliament House. Hence, there
arose, not unnaturally, a strong feeling of anger on the part of the
local Government against Montreal; and moreover there was no longer a
House in which the Parliament could be held in that town. For these
conjoint reasons it was decided to move the seat of Government again,
and it was resolved that the Governor and the Parliament should
sit alternately at Toronto in Upper Canada, and at Quebec in Lower
Canada, remaining four years at each place. They went at first to
Toronto for two years only, having agreed that they should be there
on this occasion only for the remainder of the term of the then
Parliament. After that they were at Quebec for four years; then at
Toronto for four; and now are again at Quebec. But this arrangement
has been found very inconvenient. In the first place there is a great
national expenditure incurred in moving old records, and in keeping
double records, in moving the library, and as I have been informed
even the pictures. The Government clerks also are called on to
move as the Government moves; and though an allowance is made to
them from the national purse to cover their loss, the arrangement
has nevertheless been felt by them to be a grievance, as may be
well understood. The accommodation also for the ministers of the
Government, and for members of the two Houses has been insufficient.
Hotels, lodgings, and furnished houses could not be provided to the
extent required, seeing that they would be left nearly empty for
every alternate space of four years. Indeed it needs but little
argument to prove that the plan adopted must have been a thoroughly
uncomfortable plan, and the wonder is that it should have been
adopted. Lower Canada had undertaken to make all her leading citizens
wretched, providing Upper Canada would treat hers with equal
severity. This has now gone on for some twelve years, and as the
system was found to be an unendurable nuisance it has been at last
admitted that some steps must be taken towards selecting one capital
for the country.

I should here, in justice to the Canadians, state a remark made to
me on this matter by one of the present leading politicians of the
colony. I cannot think that the migratory scheme was good; but he
defended it, asserting that it had done very much to amalgamate the
people of the two provinces; that it had brought Lower Canadians into
Upper Canada, and Upper Canadians into Lower Canada, teaching English
to those who spoke only French before, and making each pleasantly
acquainted with the other. I have no doubt that something,--perhaps
much,--has been done in this way; but valuable as the result may have
been, I cannot think it worth the cost of the means employed. The
best answer to the above argument consists in the undoubted fact that
a migratory Government would never have been established for such
a reason. It was so established because Montreal, the central town,
had given offence, and because the jealousy of the provinces against
each other would not admit of the Government being placed entirely at
Quebec, or entirely at Toronto.

But it was necessary that some step should be taken; and as it was
found to be unlikely that any resolution should be reached by the
joint provinces themselves, it was loyally and wisely determined to
refer the matter to the Queen. That Her Majesty has constitutionally
the power to call the Parliament of Canada at any town of Canada
which she may select, admits, I conceive, of no doubt. It is, I
imagine, within her prerogative to call the Parliament of England
where she may please within that realm, though her lieges would be
somewhat startled if it were called otherwhere than in London. It
was therefore well done to ask Her Majesty to act as arbiter in
the matter. But there are not wanting those in Canada who say that
in referring the matter to the Queen it was in truth referring it
to those by whom very many of the Canadians were least willing to
be guided in the matter; to the Governor General namely, and the
Colonial Secretary. Many indeed in Canada now declare that the
decision simply placed the matter in the hands of the Governor
General.

Be that as it may, I do not think that any unbiassed traveller will
doubt that the best possible selection has been made, presuming
always, as we may presume in the discussion, that Montreal could
not be selected. I take for granted that the rejection of Montreal
was regarded as a _sine quâ non_ in the decision. To me it appears
grievous that this should have been so. It is a great thing for any
country to have a large, leading, world-known city, and I think that
the Government should combine with the commerce of the country in
carrying out this object. But commerce can do a great deal more
for Government than Government can do for commerce. Government has
selected Ottawa as the capital of Canada; but commerce has already
made Montreal the capital, and Montreal will be the chief city of
Canada, let Government do what it may to foster the other town. The
idea of spiting a town because there has been a row in it seems to
me to be preposterous. The row was not the work of those who have
made Montreal rich and respectable. Montreal is more centrical than
Ottawa,--nay, it is as nearly centrical as any town can be. It is
easier to get to Montreal from Toronto than to Ottawa;--and if from
Toronto, then from all that distant portion of Upper Canada, back of
Toronto. To all Lower Canada Montreal is, as a matter of course, much
easier of access than Ottawa. But having said so much in favour of
Montreal, I will again admit that, putting aside Montreal, the best
possible selection has been made.

When Ottawa was named, no time was lost in setting to work to prepare
for the new migration. In 1859 the Parliament was removed to Quebec,
with the understanding that it should remain there till the new
buildings should be completed. These buildings were absolutely
commenced in April 1860, and it was, and I believe still is, expected
that they will be completed in 1863. I am now writing in the winter
of 1861; and, as is necessary in Canadian winters, the works are
suspended. But unfortunately they were suspended in the early part
of October,--on the 1st of October,--whereas they might have been
continued, as far as the season is concerned, up to the end of
November. We reached Ottawa on the 3rd of October, and more than a
thousand men had then been just dismissed. All the money in hand
had been expended, and the Government,--so it was said,--could give
no more money till Parliament should meet again. This was most
unfortunate. In the first place the suspension was against the
contract as made with the contractors for the building; in the next
place there was the delay; and then, worst of all, the question again
became agitated whether the colonial legislature were really in
earnest with reference to Ottawa. Many men of mark in the colony were
still anxious--I believe are still anxious,--to put an end to the
Ottawa scheme, and think that there still exists for them a chance
of success. And very many men who are not of mark are thus united,
and a feeling of doubt on the subject has been created. £225,000 has
already been spent on these buildings, and I have no doubt myself
that they will be duly completed, and duly used.

We went up to the new town by boat, taking the course of the river
Ottawa. We passed St. Ann's, but no one at St. Ann's seemed to know
anything of the brothers who were to rest there on their weary oars.
At Maxwellstown I could hear nothing of Annie Laurie or of her
trysting place on the braes, and the turnpike man at Tara could
tell me nothing of the site of the hall, and had never even heard
of the harp. When I go down South I shall expect to find that the
negro melodies have not yet reached "Old Virginie." This boat
conveyance from Montreal to Ottawa is not all that could be wished
in convenience, for it is allied too closely with railway travelling.
Those who use it leave Montreal by a railway; after nine miles, they
are changed into a steamboat. Then they encounter another railway,
and at last reach Ottawa in a second steamboat. But the river is
seen, and a better idea of the country is obtained than can be had
solely from the railway cars. The scenery is by no means grand, nor
is it strikingly picturesque; but it is in its way interesting. For a
long portion of the river the old primeval forests come down close to
the water's edge, and in the fall of the year the brilliant colouring
is very lovely. It should not be imagined,--as I think it often is
imagined,--that these forests are made up of splendid trees, or
that splendid trees are even common. When timber grows on undrained
ground, and when it is uncared for, it does not seem to approach
nearer to its perfection than wheat and grass do under similar
circumstances. Seen from a little distance the colour and effect is
good, but the trees themselves have shallow roots and grow up tall,
narrow, and shapeless. It necessarily is so with all timber that is
not thinned in its growth. When fine forest trees are found, and are
left standing alone by any cultivator who may have taste enough to
wish for such adornment, they almost invariably die. They are robbed
of the sickly shelter by which they have been surrounded; the hot
sun strikes the uncovered fibres of the roots, and the poor solitary
invalid languishes and at last dies.

As one ascends the river, which by its breadth forms itself into
lakes, one is shown Indian villages clustering down upon the bank.
Some years ago these Indians were rich, for the price of furs, in
which they dealt, was high; but furs have become cheaper, and the
beavers with which they used to trade are almost valueless. That a
change in the fashion of hats should have assisted to polish these
poor fellows off the face of creation must, one may suppose, be very
unintelligible to them; but nevertheless it is probably a subject of
deep speculation. If the reading world were to take to sermons again
and eschew their novels, Messrs. Thackeray, Dickens, and some others
would look about them and inquire into the causes of such a change
with considerable acuteness. They might not, perhaps, hit the truth,
and these Indians are much in that predicament. It is said that very
few pure-blooded Indians are now to be found in their villages, but I
doubt whether this is not erroneous. The children of the Indians are
now fed upon baked bread, and on cooked meat, and are brought up in
houses. They are nursed somewhat as the children of the white men are
nursed; and these practices no doubt have done much towards altering
their appearance. The negroes who have been bred in the States, and
whose fathers have been so bred before them, differ both in colour
and form from their brothers who have been born and nurtured in
Africa.

I said in the last chapter that the city of Ottawa was still to be
built; but I must explain, lest I should draw down on my head the
wrath of the Ottawaites, that the place already contains a population
of 15,000 inhabitants. As, however, it is being prepared for four
times that number--for eight times that number let us hope--and as it
straggles over a vast extent of ground, it gives one the idea of a
city in an active course of preparation. In England we know nothing
about unbuilt cities. With us four or five blocks of streets together
never assume that ugly, unfledged appearance which belongs to the
half-finished carcase of a house, as they do so often on the other
side of the Atlantic. Ottawa is preparing for itself broad streets,
and grand thoroughfares. The buildings already extend over a length
considerably exceeding two miles, and half a dozen hotels have been
opened, which, if I were writing a guide-book in a complimentary
tone, it would be my duty to describe as first-rate. But the
half-dozen first-rate hotels, though open, as yet enjoy but a
moderate amount of custom. All this justifies me, I think, in saying
that the city has as yet to get itself built. The manner in which
this is being done justifies me also in saying that the Ottawaites
are going about their task with a worthy zeal.

To me I confess that the nature of the situation has great
charms,--regarding it as the site for a town. It is not on a plain,
and from the form of the rock overhanging the river, and of the
hill that falls from thence down to the water, it has been found
impracticable to lay out the place in right-angled parallelograms. A
right-angled parallelogramical city, such as are Philadelphia and the
new portion of New York, is from its very nature odious to me. I know
that much may be said in its favour--that drainage and gas-pipes come
easier to such a shape, and that ground can be better economized.
Nevertheless I prefer a street that is forced to twist itself about.
I enjoy the narrowness of Temple Bar, and the misshapen curvature
of Pickett Street. The disreputable dinginess of Holywell Street is
dear to me, and I love to thread my way up by the Olympic into Covent
Garden. Fifth Avenue in New York is as grand as paint and glass can
make it; but I would not live in a palace in Fifth Avenue if the
corporation of the city would pay my baker's and butcher's bills.

The town of Ottawa lies between two waterfalls. The upper one, or
Rideau Fall, is formed by the confluence of a small river with the
larger one; and the lower fall--designated as lower because it is at
the foot of the hill, though it is higher up the Ottawa river--is
called the Chaudière, from its resemblance to a boiling kettle.
This is on the Ottawa river itself. The Rideau fall is divided into
two branches, thus forming an island in the middle as is the case
at Niagara. It is pretty enough, and worth visiting, even were it
further from the town than it is; but by those who have hunted out
many cataracts in their travels it will not be considered very
remarkable. The Chaudière fall I did think very remarkable. It is of
trifling depth, being formed by fractures in the rocky bed of the
river; but the waters have so cut the rock as to create beautiful
forms in the rush which they make in their descent. Strangers are
told to look at these falls from the suspension bridge; and it
is well that they should do so. But in so looking at them they
obtain but a very small part of their effect. On the Ottawa side
of the bridge is a brewery, which brewery is surrounded by a
huge timber-yard. This timber-yard I found to be very muddy, and
the passing and repassing through it is a work of trouble; but
nevertheless let the traveller by all means make his way through the
mud, and scramble over the timber, and cross the plank bridges which
traverse the streams of the sawmills, and thus take himself to the
outer edge of the woodwork over the water. If he will then seat
himself, about the hour of sunset, he will see the Chaudière fall
aright.

But the glory of Ottawa will be--and, indeed, already is--the set of
public buildings which is now being erected on the rock which guards
as it were the town from the river. How much of the excellence of
these buildings may be due to the taste of Sir Edmund Head, the late
Governor, I do not know. That he has greatly interested himself
in the subject is well known: and as the style of the different
buildings is so much alike as to make one whole, though the designs
of different architects were selected, and these different architects
employed, I imagine that considerable alterations must have been made
in the original drawings. There are three buildings, forming three
sides of a quadrangle; but they are not joined, the vacant spaces
at the corner being of considerable extent. The fourth side of the
quadrangle opens upon one of the principal streets of the town. The
centre building is intended for the Houses of Parliament, and the
two side buildings for the Government offices. Of the first Messrs.
Fuller and Jones are the architects, and of the latter Messrs. Stent
and Laver. I did not have the pleasure of meeting any of these
gentlemen; but I take upon myself to say that as regards purity of
art and manliness of conception their joint work is entitled to the
very highest praise. How far the buildings may be well arranged
for the required purposes, how far they may be economical in
construction, or specially adapted to the severe climate of the
country, I cannot say; but I have no hesitation in risking my
reputation for judgment in giving my warmest commendation to them as
regards beauty of outline and truthful nobility of detail.

I will not attempt to describe them, for I should interest no one in
doing so, and should certainly fail in my attempt to make any reader
understand me. I know no modern Gothic purer of its kind, or less
sullied with fictitious ornamentation. Our own Houses of Parliament
are very fine, but it is, I believe, generally felt that the
ornamentation is too minute; and, moreover, it may be questioned
whether perpendicular Gothic is capable of the highest nobility which
architecture can achieve. I do not pretend to say that these Canadian
public buildings will reach that highest nobility. They must be
finished before any final judgment can be pronounced; but I do feel
very certain that that final judgment will be greatly in their
favour. The total frontage of the quadrangle, including the side
buildings, is 1,200 feet; that of the centre buildings is 475. As
I have said before, £225,000 has already been expended, and it
is estimated that the total cost, including the arrangement and
decoration of the ground behind the building and in the quadrangle,
will be half a million.

The buildings front upon what will, I suppose, be the principal
street of Ottawa, and they stand upon a rock looking immediately down
upon the river. In this way they are blessed with a site peculiarly
happy. Indeed I cannot at this moment remember any so much so. The
castle of Edinburgh stands very well; but then, like many other
castles, it stands on a summit by itself, and can only be approached
by a steep ascent. These buildings at Ottawa, though they look down
from a grand eminence immediately on the river, are approached
from the town without any ascent. The rock, though it falls
almost precipitously down to the water, is covered with trees and
shrubs, and then the river that runs beneath is rapid, bright, and
picturesque in the irregularity of all its lines. The view from the
back of the library, up to the Chaudière falls, and to the saw-mills
by which they are surrounded, is very lovely. So that I will say
again, that I know no site for such a set of buildings so happy as
regards both beauty and grandeur. It is intended that the library, of
which the walls were only ten feet above the ground when I was there,
shall be an octagonal building, in shape and outward character like
the chapter-house of a cathedral. This structure will, I presume, be
surrounded by gravel walks and green sward. Of the library there is a
large model showing all the details of the architecture; and if that
model be ultimately followed, this building alone will be worthy of a
visit from English tourists. To me it was very wonderful to find such
an edifice in the course of erection on the banks of a wild river,
almost at the back of Canada. But if ever I visit Canada again it
will be to see those buildings when completed.

And now, like all friendly critics, having bestowed my modicum of
praise, I must proceed to find fault. I cannot bring myself to
administer my sugar-plum without adding to it some bitter morsel by
way of antidote. The building to the left of the quadrangle as it is
entered is deficient in length, and on that account appears mean to
the eye. The two side buildings are brought up close to the street,
so that each has a frontage immediately on the street. Such being the
case they should be of equal length, or nearly so. Had the centre of
one fronted the centre of the other, a difference of length might
have been allowed; but in this case the side front of the smaller
one would not have reached the street. As it is, the space between
the main building and the smaller wing is disproportionably large,
and the very distance at which it stands will, I fear, give to
it that appearance of meanness of which I have spoken. The clerk
of the works, who explained to me with much courtesy the plan of
the buildings, stated that the design of this wing was capable of
elongation, and had been expressly prepared with that object. If this
be so, I trust that the defect will be remedied.

The great trade of Canada is lumbering; and lumbering consists in
cutting down pine trees up in the far distant forests, in hewing or
sawing them into shape for market, and getting them down the rivers
to Quebec, from whence they are exported to Europe, and chiefly
to England. Timber in Canada is called lumber; those engaged in
the trade are called lumberers, and the business itself is called
lumbering. After a lapse of time it must no doubt become monotonous
to those engaged in it, and the name is not engaging; but there is
much about it that is very picturesque. A saw-mill worked by water
power is almost always a pretty object, and stacks of new cut timber
are pleasant to the smell, and group themselves not amiss on the
water's edge. If I had the time, and were a year or two younger, I
should love well to go up lumbering into the woods. The men for this
purpose are hired in the fall of the year, and are sent up hundreds
of miles away to the pine forests in strong gangs. Everything is
there found for them. They make log huts for their shelter, and food
of the best and the strongest is taken up for their diet. But no
strong drink of any kind is allowed, nor is any within reach of the
men. There are no publics, no shebeen houses, no grog-shops. Sobriety
is an enforced virtue; and so much is this considered by the masters,
and understood by the men, that very little contraband work is done
in the way of taking up spirits to these settlements. It may be said
that the work up in the forests is done with the assistance of no
stronger drink than tea; and it is very hard work. There cannot be
much work that is harder; and it is done amidst the snows and forests
of a Canadian winter. A convict in Bermuda cannot get through his
daily eight hours of light labour without an allowance of rum; but
a Canadian lumberer can manage to do his daily task on tea without
milk. These men, however, are by no means teetotallers. When they
come back to the towns they break out, and reward themselves for
their long enforced moderation. The wages I found to be very various,
running from thirteen or fourteen dollars a month to twenty-eight or
thirty, according to the nature of the work. The men who cut down the
trees receive more than those who hew them when down, and these again
more than the under class who make the roads and clear the ground.
These money wages, however, are in addition to their diet. The
operation requiring the most skill is that of marking the trees for
the axe. The largest only are worth cutting, and form and soundness
must also be considered.

But if I were about to visit a party of lumberers in the forest, I
should not be disposed to pass a whole winter with them. Even of a
very good thing one may have too much. I would go up in the spring,
when the rafts are being formed in the small tributary streams, and
I would come down upon one of them, shooting the rapids of the rivers
as soon as the first freshets had left the way open. A freshet in the
rivers is the rush of waters occasioned by melting snow and ice. The
first freshets take down the winter waters of the nearer lakes and
rivers. Then the streams become for a time navigable, and the rafts
go down. After that comes the second freshet, occasioned by the
melting of far-off snow and ice up in the great northern lakes which
are little known. These rafts are of immense construction, such as
those which we have seen on the Rhone and Rhine, and often contain
timber to the value of two, three, and four thousand pounds. At the
rapids the large rafts are, as it were, unyoked, and divided into
small portions, which go down separately. The excitement and motion
of such transit must, I should say, be very joyous. I was told that
the Prince of Wales desired to go down a rapid on a raft, but that
the men in charge would not undertake to say that there was no
possible danger. Whereupon those who accompanied the prince requested
his Royal Highness to forbear. I fear that in these careful days
crowned heads and their heirs must often find themselves in the
position of Sancho at the banquet. The sailor prince who came after
his brother was allowed to go down a rapid, and got, as I was told,
rather a rough bump as he did so.

Ottawa is a great place for these timber rafts. Indeed, it may, I
think, be called the head-quarters of timber for the world. Nearly
all the best pine wood comes down the Ottawa and its tributaries.
The other rivers by which timber is brought down to the St. Lawrence
are chiefly the St. Maurice, the Madawaska, and the Saguenay; but
the Ottawa and its tributaries water 75,000 square miles; whereas
the other three rivers with their tributaries water only 53,000.
The timber from the Ottawa and St. Maurice finds its way down the
St. Lawrence to Quebec, where, however, it loses the whole of its
picturesque character. The Saguenay and the Madawaska fall into the
St. Lawrence below Quebec.

From Ottawa we went by rail to Prescott, which is surely one of the
most wretched little places to be found in any country. Immediately
opposite to it, on the other side of the St. Lawrence, is the
thriving town of Ogdensburgh. But Ogdensburgh is in the United
States. Had we been able to learn at Ottawa any facts as to the hours
of the river steamers and railways we might have saved time and have
avoided Prescott; but this was out of the question. Had I asked the
exact hour at which I might reach Calcutta by the quickest route, an
accurate reply would not have been more out of the question. I was
much struck at Prescott--and indeed all through Canada, though more
in the upper than in the lower province--by the sturdy roughness,
some would call it insolence, of those of the lower classes of the
people with whom I was brought into contact. If the words "lower
classes" give offence to any reader, I beg to apologize;--to
apologize and to assert that I am one of the last of men to apply
such a term in a sense of reproach to those who earn their bread by
the labour of their hands. But it is hard to find terms which will
be understood; and that term, whether it give offence or no, will be
understood. Of course such a complaint as that I now make is very
common as made against the States. Men in the States with horned
hands and fustian coats are very often most unnecessarily insolent
in asserting their independence. What I now mean to say is that
precisely the same fault is to be found in Canada. I know well what
the men mean when they offend in this manner. And when I think on
the subject with deliberation, at my own desk, I can not only excuse,
but almost approve them. But when one personally encounters their
corduroy braggadocio; when the man to whose services one is entitled
answers one with determined insolence; when one is bidden to follow
"that young lady," meaning the chambermaid, or desired, with a toss
of the head, to wait for the "gentleman who is coming," meaning the
boots, the heart is sickened, and the English traveller pines for the
civility,--for the servility, if my American friends choose to call
it so,--of a well-ordered servant. But the whole scene is easily
construed, and turned into English. A man is asked by a stranger some
question about his employment, and he replies in a tone which seems
to imply anger, insolence, and a dishonest intention to evade the
service for which he is paid. Or if there be no question of service
or payment, the man's manner will be the same, and the stranger feels
that he is slapped in the face and insulted. The translation of
it is this. The man questioned, who is aware that as regards coat,
hat, boots, and outward cleanliness he is below him by whom he is
questioned, unconsciously feels himself called upon to assert his
political equality. It is his shibboleth that he is politically equal
to the best, that he is independent, and that his labour, though it
earn him but a dollar a day by porterage, places him as a citizen on
an equal rank with the most wealthy fellow-man that may employ or
accost him. But being so inferior in that coat, hat and boots matter,
he is forced to assert his equality by some effort. As he improves in
externals he will diminish the roughness of his claim. As long as the
man makes his claim with any roughness, so long does he acknowledge
within himself some feeling of external inferiority. When that has
gone,--when the American has polished himself up by education and
general well being to a feeling of external equality with gentlemen,
he shows, I think, no more of that outward braggadocio of
independence than a Frenchman.

But the blow at the moment of the stroke is very galling. I confess
that I have occasionally all but broken down beneath it. But when it
is thought of afterwards it admits of full excuse. No effort that a
man can make is better than a true effort at independence. But this
insolence is a false effort, it will be said. It should rather be
called a false accompaniment to a life-long true effort. The man
probably is not dishonest, does not desire to shirk any service which
is due from him,--is not even inclined to insolence. Accept his first
declaration of equality for that which it is intended to represent,
and the man afterwards will be found obliging and communicative.
If occasion offer he will sit down in the room with you and will
talk with you on any subject that he may choose; but having once
ascertained that you show no resentment for this assertion of
equality, he will do pretty nearly all that he is asked. He will at
any rate do as much in that way as an Englishman. I say thus much on
this subject now especially, because I was quite as much struck by
the feeling in Canada as I was within the States.

From Prescott we went on by the Grand Trunk Railway to Toronto, and
stayed there for a few days. Toronto is the capital of the province
of Upper Canada, and I presume will in some degree remain so in spite
of Ottawa and its pretensions. That is, the law courts will still
be held there. I do not know that it will enjoy any other supremacy,
unless it be that of trade and population. Some few years ago Toronto
was advancing with rapid strides, and was bidding fair to rival
Quebec, or even perhaps Montreal. Hamilton, also, another town of
Upper Canada, was going a head in the true American style; but
then reverses came in trade, and the towns were checked for a
while. Toronto, with a neighbouring suburb which is a part of it,
as Southwark is of London, contains now over 50,000 inhabitants.
The streets are all parallelogramical, and there is not a single
curvature to rest the eye. It is built down close upon Lake Ontario;
and as it is also on the Grand Trunk Railway it has all the aid which
facility of traffic can give it.

The two sights of Toronto are the Osgoode Hall and the University.
The Osgoode Hall is to Upper Canada what the Four Courts are to
Ireland. The law courts are all held there. Exteriorly little can
be said for Osgoode Hall, whereas the exterior of the Four Courts
in Dublin is very fine; but as an interior the temple of Themis at
Toronto beats hollow that which the goddess owns in Dublin. In Dublin
the Courts themselves are shabby, and the space under the dome is
not so fine as the exterior seems to promise that it should be. In
Toronto the Courts themselves are, I think, the most commodious that
I ever saw, and the passages, vestibules, and hall are very handsome.
In Upper Canada the common law judges and those in Chancery are
divided as they are in England; but it is, as I was told, the opinion
of Canadian lawyers that the work may be thrown together. Appeal is
allowed in criminal cases; but as far as I could learn such power of
appeal is held to be both troublesome and useless. In Lower Canada
the old French laws are still administered.

But the University is the glory of Toronto. This is a Gothic building
and will take rank after, but next to the buildings at Ottawa. It
will be the second piece of noble architecture in Canada, and as far
as I know on the American continent. It is, I believe, intended to be
purely Norman, though I doubt whether the received types of Norman
architecture have not been departed from in many of the windows. Be
this as it may the College is a manly, noble structure, free from
false decoration, and infinitely creditable to those who projected
it. I was informed by the head of the College that it has been open
only two years, and here also I fancy that the colony has been much
indebted to the taste of the late Governor, Sir Edmund Head.

Toronto as a city is not generally attractive to a traveller. The
country around it is flat; and, though it stands on a lake, that
lake has no attributes of beauty. Large inland seas such as are
these great Northern lakes of America never have such attributes.
Picturesque mountains rise from narrow valleys, such as form the beds
of lakes in Switzerland, Scotland, and Northern Italy. But from such
broad waters as those of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and Lake Michigan,
the shores shelve very gradually, and have none of the materials of
lovely scenery.

The streets in Toronto are framed with wood, or rather planked, as
are those of Montreal and Quebec; but they are kept in better order.
I should say that the planks are first used at Toronto, then sent
down by the lake to Montreal, and when all but rotted out there, are
again floated off by the St. Lawrence to be used in the thoroughfares
of the old French capital. But if the streets of Toronto are better
than those of the other towns, the roads round it are worse. I had
the honour of meeting two distinguished members of the Provincial
Parliament at dinner some few miles out of town, and, returning back
a short while after they had left our host's house, was glad to be
of use in picking them up from a ditch into which their carriage had
been upset. To me it appeared all but miraculous that any carriage
should make its way over that road without such misadventure. I may
perhaps be allowed to hope that the discomfiture of those worthy
legislators may lead to some improvement in the thoroughfare.

I had on a previous occasion gone down the St. Lawrence, through the
thousand isles, and over the rapids in one of those large summer
steamboats which ply upon the lake and river. I cannot say that I was
much struck by the scenery, and therefore did not encroach upon my
time by making the journey again. Such an opinion will be regarded
as heresy by many who think much of the thousand islands. I do not
believe that they would be expressly noted by any traveller who was
not expressly bidden to admire them.

From Toronto we went across to Niagara, re-entering the States at
Lewiston in New York.



CHAPTER VI.

THE CONNEXION OF THE CANADAS WITH GREAT BRITAIN.


When the American war began troops were sent out to Canada, and when
I was in the Provinces more troops were then expected. The matter was
much talked of, as a matter of course, in Canada; and it had been
discussed in England before I left. I had seen much said about it
in the English papers since, and it also had become the subject of
very hot question among the politicians of the Northern States.
The measure had at that time given more umbrage to the North than
anything else done or said by England from the beginning of the war
up to that time, except the declaration made by Lord John Russell in
the House of Commons as to the neutrality to be preserved by England
between the two belligerents. The argument used by the Northern
States was this. If France collects men and material of war in the
neighbourhood of England, England considers herself injured, calls
for an explanation, and talks of invasion. Therefore as England is
now collecting men and material of war in our neighbourhood, we
will consider ourselves injured. It does not suit us to ask for an
explanation, because it is not our habit to interfere with other
nations. We will not pretend to say that we think we are to be
invaded. But as we clearly are injured, we will express our anger at
that injury, and when the opportunity shall come will take advantage
of having that new grievance.

As we all know, a very large increase of force was sent when we
were still in doubt as to the termination of the Trent affair, and
imagined that war was imminent. But the sending of that large force
did not anger the Americans, as the first despatch of troops to
Canada had angered them. Things had so turned out that measures of
military precaution were acknowledged by them to be necessary. I
cannot, however, but think that Mr. Seward might have spared that
offer to send British troops across Maine; and so, also, have all his
countrymen thought by whom I have heard the matter discussed.

As to any attempt at invasion of Canada by the Americans, or idea
of punishing the alleged injuries suffered by the States from Great
Britain by the annexation of those provinces, I do not believe that
any sane-minded citizens of the States believe in the possibility of
such retaliation. Some years since the Americans thought that Canada
might shine in the Union firmament as a new star, but that delusion
is, I think, over. Such annexation if ever made, must have been made
not only against the arms of England but must also have been made
in accordance with the wishes of the people so annexed. It was then
believed that the Canadians were not averse to such a change, and
there may possibly have then been among them the remnant of such a
wish. There is certainly no such desire now, not even a remnant of
such a desire; and the truth on this matter is, I think, generally
acknowledged. The feeling in Canada is one of strong aversion to the
United States Government, and of predilection for self-government
under the English Crown. A fainéant Governor and the prestige of
British power is now the political aspiration of the Canadians in
general; and I think that this is understood in the States. Moreover
the States have a job of work on hand which, as they themselves
are well aware, is taxing all their energies. Such being the case
I do not think that England needs to fear any invasion of Canada,
authorized by the States Government.

This feeling of a grievance on the part of the States was a manifest
absurdity. The new reinforcement of the garrisons in Canada did not,
when I was in Canada, amount as I believe to more than 2,000 men. But
had it amounted to 20,000 the States would have had no just ground
for complaint. Of all nationalities that in modern days have risen
to power, they above all others have shown that they would do what
they liked with their own, indifferent to foreign councils, and
deaf to foreign remonstrance. "Do you go your way, and let us go
ours. We will trouble you with no question, nor do you trouble us."
Such has been their national policy, and it has obtained for them
great respect. They have resisted the temptation of putting their
fingers into the caldron of foreign policy; and foreign politicians,
acknowledging their reserve in this respect, have not been offended
at the bristles with which their Noli me tangere has been proclaimed.
Their intelligence has been appreciated, and their conduct has been
respected. But if this has been their line of policy, they must be
entirely out of court in raising any question as to the position of
British troops on British soil.

"It shows us that you doubt us," an American says, with an air of
injured honour--or did say, before that Trent affair. "And it is done
to express sympathy with the South. The Southerners understand it,
and we understand it also. We know where your hearts are--nay, your
very souls. They are among the slave-begotten cotton bales of the
rebel South." Then comes the whole of the long argument, in which it
seems so easy to an Englishman to prove that England in the whole of
this sad matter has been true and loyal to her friend. She could not
interfere when the husband and wife would quarrel. She could only
grieve, and wish that things might come right and smooth for both
parties. But the argument though so easy is never effectual.

It seems to me foolish in an American to quarrel with England for
sending soldiers to Canada; but I cannot say that I thought it was
well done to send them at the beginning of the war. The English
Government did not, I presume, take this step with reference to any
possible invasion of Canada by the Government of the States. We are
fortifying Portsmouth, and Portland, and Plymouth, because we would
fain be safe against the French army acting under a French Emperor.
But we sent 2,000 troops to Canada, if I understand the matter
rightly, to guard our provinces against the filibustering energies of
a mass of unemployed American soldiers, when those soldiers should
come to be disbanded. When this war shall be over--a war during which
not much, if any, under a million of American citizens will have been
under arms--it will not be easy for all who survive to return to
their old homes and old occupations. Nor does a disbanded soldier
always make a good husbandman, notwithstanding the great examples of
Cincinnatus and Bird-o'-freedom Sawin. It may be that a considerable
amount of filibustering energy will be afloat, and that the then
Government of those who neighbour us in Canada will have other
matters in hand more important to them than the controlling of these
unruly spirits. That, as I take it, was the evil against which we of
Great Britain and of Canada desired to guard ourselves.

But I doubt whether 2,000 or 10,000 British soldiers would be any
effective guard against such inroads, and I doubt more strongly
whether any such external guarding will be necessary. If the
Canadians were prepared to fraternize with filibusters from the
States, neither three nor ten thousand soldiers would avail against
such a feeling over a frontier stretching from the State of Maine to
the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Erie. If such a feeling did exist,
if the Canadians wished the change, in God's name let them go. It is
for their sakes and not for our own that we would have them bound to
us. But the Canadians are averse to such a change with a degree of
feeling that amounts to national intensity. Their sympathies are with
the Southern States, not because they care for cotton, not because
they are anti-abolitionists, not because they admire the hearty
pluck of those who are endeavouring to work out for themselves a new
revolution. They sympathize with the South from strong dislike to the
aggression, the braggadocio, and the insolence they have felt upon
their own borders. They dislike Mr. Seward's weak and vulgar joke
with the Duke of Newcastle. They dislike Mr. Everett's flattering
hints to his countrymen as to the one nation that is to occupy the
whole continent. They dislike the Monroe doctrine. They wonder at the
meekness with which England has endured the vauntings of the Northern
States, and are endued with no such meekness of their own. They
would, I believe, be well prepared to meet and give an account of any
filibusters who might visit them; and I am not sure that it is wisely
done on our part to show any intention of taking the work out of
their hands.

But I am led to this opinion in no degree by a feeling that Great
Britain ought to grudge the cost of the soldiers. If Canada will be
safer with them, in heaven's name let her have them. It has been
argued in many places, not only with regard to Canada, but as to all
our self-governed colonies, that military service should not be given
at British expense and with British men to any colony which has its
own representative government, and which levies its own taxes. "While
Great Britain absolutely held the reins of government, and did as it
pleased with the affairs of its dependencies," such politicians say,
"it was just and right that she should pay the bill. As long as her
government of a colony was paternal, so long was it right that the
mother country should put herself in the place of a father, and
enjoy a father's undoubted prerogative of putting his hand into
his breeches pocket to provide for all the wants of his child. But
when the adult son set up for himself in business, having received
education from the parent, and having had his apprentice fees duly
paid, then that son should settle his own bills, and look no longer
to the paternal pocket." Such is the law of the world all over, from
little birds whose young fly away when fledged, upwards to men and
nations. Let the father work for the child while he is a child,
but when the child has become a man let him lean no longer on his
father's staff.

The argument is, I think, very good; but it proves, not that we are
relieved from the necessity of assisting our colonies with payments
made out of British taxes, but that we are still bound to give such
assistance; and that we shall continue to be so bound as long as we
allow these colonies to adhere to us, or as they allow us to adhere
to them. In fact the young bird is not yet fully fledged. That
illustration of the father and the child is a just one, but in order
to make it just it should be followed throughout. When the son is
in fact established on his own bottom, then the father expects that
he will live without assistance. But when the son does so live he
is freed from all paternal control. The father, while he expects to
be obeyed, continues to fill the paternal office of paymaster,--of
paymaster, at any rate, to some extent. And so, I think, it must be
with our colonies. The Canadas at present are not independent, and
have not political power of their own apart from the political power
of Great Britain. England has declared herself neutral as regards the
Northern and Southern States, and by that neutrality the Canadas are
bound; and yet the Canadas were not consulted in the matter. Should
England go to war with France, Canada must close her ports against
French vessels. If England chooses to send her troops to Canadian
barracks, Canada cannot refuse to accept them. If England should send
to Canada an unpopular Governor, Canada has no power to reject his
services. As long as Canada is a colony, so called, she cannot be
independent, and should not be expected to walk alone. It is exactly
the same with the colonies of Australia, with New Zealand, with
the Cape of Good Hope, and with Jamaica. While England enjoys the
prestige of her colonies, while she boasts that such large and now
populous territories are her dependencies, she must and should be
content to pay some portion of the bill. Surely it is absurd
on our part to quarrel with Caffre warfare, with New Zealand
fighting, and the rest of it. Such complaints remind one of an
ancient paterfamilias, who insists on having his children and his
grandchildren under the old paternal roof, and then grumbles because
the butcher's bill is high. Those who will keep large households and
bountiful tables should not be afraid of facing the butcher's bill,
or unhappy at the tonnage of the coal. It is a grand thing, that
power of keeping a large table; but it ceases to be grand when the
items heaped upon it cause inward groans and outward moodiness.

Why should the colonies remain true to us as children are true to
their parents, if we grudge them the assistance which is due to a
child? They raise their own taxes, it is said, and administer them.
True; and it is well that the growing son should do something for
himself. While the father does all for him the son's labour belongs
to the father. Then comes a middle state in which the son does
much for himself, but not all. In that middle state now stand our
prosperous colonies. Then comes the time when the son shall stand
alone by his own strength; and to that period of manly self-respected
strength let us all hope that those colonies are advancing. It is
very hard for a mother country to know when such a time has come;
and hard also for the child-colony to recognize justly the period of
its own maturity. Whether or no such severance may ever take place
without a quarrel, without weakness on one side and pride on the
other, is a problem in the world's history yet to be solved. The most
successful child that ever yet has gone off from a successful parent
and taken its own path into the world, is without doubt the nation
of the United States. Their present troubles are the result and
the proofs of their success. The people that were too great to be
dependent on any nation have now spread till they are themselves too
great for a single nationality. No one now thinks that that daughter
should have remained longer subject to her mother. But the severance
was not made in amity, and the shrill notes of the old family quarrel
are still sometimes heard across the waters.

From all this the question arises whether that problem may ever be
solved with reference to the Canadas. That it will never be their
destiny to join themselves to the States of the Union, I feel fully
convinced. In the first place it is becoming evident from the present
circumstances of the Union,--if it had never been made evident by
history before,--that different people with different habits living
at long distances from each other cannot well be brought together
on equal terms under one Government. That noble ambition of the
Americans that all the continent north of the isthmus should be
united under one flag, has already been thrown from its saddle. The
North and South are virtually separated, and the day will come in
which the West also will secede. As population increases and trades
arise peculiar to those different climates, the interests of the
people will differ, and a new secession will take place beneficial
alike to both parties. If this be so, if even there be any tendency
this way, it affords the strongest argument against the probability
of any future annexation of the Canadas. And then, in the second
place, the feeling of Canada is not American, but British. If ever
she be separated from Great Britain, she will be separated as the
States were separated. She will desire to stand alone, and to enter
herself as one among the nations of the earth.

She will desire to stand alone;--alone, that is without dependence
either on England or on the States. But she is so circumstanced
geographically that she can never stand alone without amalgamation
with our other North American provinces. She has an outlet to the
sea at the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but it is only a summer outlet. Her
winter outlet is by railway through the States, and no other winter
outlet is possible for her except through the sister provinces.
Before Canada can be nationally great, the line of railway which now
runs for some hundred miles below Quebec to Rivière du Loup, must be
continued on through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to the port of
Halifax.

When I was in Canada I heard the question discussed of a Federal
Government between the provinces of the two Canadas, New Brunswick
and Nova Scotia. To these were added, or not added, according to
the opinion of those who spoke, the smaller outlying colonies of
Newfoundland and Prince Edward's Island. If a scheme for such a
Government were projected in Downing Street, all would no doubt be
included, and a clean sweep would be made without difficulty. But
the project as made in the colonies appears in different guises as
it comes either from Canada or from one of the other provinces. The
Canadian idea would be that the two Canadas should form two States
of such a confederation, and the other provinces a third State. But
this slight participation in power would hardly suit the views of New
Brunswick and Nova Scotia. In speaking of such a Federal Government
as this, I shall of course be understood as meaning a confederation
acting in connection with a British Governor, and dependent upon
Great Britain as far as the different colonies are now dependent.

I cannot but think that such a confederation might be formed with
great advantage to all the colonies and to Great Britain. At present
the Canadas are in effect almost more distant from Nova Scotia and
New Brunswick than they are from England. The intercourse between
them is very slight--so slight that it may almost be said that there
is no intercourse. A few men of science or of political importance
may from time to time make their way from one colony into the other,
but even this is not common. Beyond that they seldom see each other.
Though New Brunswick borders both with Lower Canada and with Nova
Scotia, thus making one whole of the three colonies, there is neither
railroad nor stage conveyance running from one to the other. And yet
their interests should be similar. From geographical position their
modes of life must be alike, and a close conjunction between them is
essentially necessary to give British North America any political
importance in the world. There can be no such conjunction, no
amalgamation of interests, until a railway shall have been made
joining the Canada Grand Trunk Line with the two outlying colonies.
Upper Canada can feed all England with wheat, and could do so without
any aid of railway through the States, if a railway were made from
Quebec to Halifax. But then comes the question of the cost. The
Canada Grand Trunk is at the present moment at the lowest ebb of
commercial misfortune, and with such a fact patent to the world what
company will come forward with funds for making four or five hundred
miles of railway, through a district of which one half is not
yet prepared for population? It would be, I imagine, out of the
question that such a speculation should for many years give any fair
commercial interest on the money to be expended. But nevertheless
to the colonies,--that is, to the enormous regions of British
North America,--such a railroad would be invaluable. Under such
circumstances it is for the Home Government and the colonies between
them to see how such a measure may be carried out. As a national
expenditure to be defrayed in the course of years by the territories
interested, the sum of money required would be very small.

But how would this affect England? And how would England be affected
by a union of the British North American colonies under one Federal
Government? Before this question can be answered, he who prepares to
answer it must consider what interest England has in her colonies,
and for what purpose she holds them. Does she hold them for profit,
or for glory, or for power; or does she hold them in order that she
may carry out the duty which has devolved upon her of extending
civilization, freedom, and well-being through the new uprising
nations of the world? Does she hold them, in fact, for her own
benefit, or does she hold them for theirs? I know nothing of the
ethics of the Colonial Office, and not much perhaps of those of the
House of Commons; but looking at what Great Britain has hitherto done
in the way of colonization, I cannot but think that the national
ambition looks to the welfare of the colonists, and not to home
aggrandisement. That the two may run together is most probable.
Indeed there can be no glory to a people so great or so readily
recognized by mankind at large as that of spreading civilization from
East to West, and from North to South. But the one object should be
the prosperity of the colonists; and not profit, nor glory, nor even
power to the parent country.

There is no virtue of which more has been said and sung than
patriotism, and none which when pure and true has led to finer
results. Dulce et decorum est pro patriâ mori. To live for one's
country also is a very beautiful and proper thing. But if we examine
closely much patriotism, that is so called, we shall find it going
hand in hand with a good deal that is selfish, and with not a little
that is devilish. It was some fine fury of patriotic feeling which
enabled the national poet to put into the mouth of every Englishman
that horrible prayer with regard to our enemies, which we sing when
we wish to do honour to our sovereign. It did not seem to him that it
might be well to pray that their hearts should be softened, and our
own hearts softened also. National success was all that a patriotic
poet could desire, and therefore in our national hymn have we gone
on imploring the Lord to arise and scatter our enemies; to confound
their politics, whether they be good or ill; and to expose their
knavish tricks,--such knavish tricks being taken for granted. And
then with a steady confidence we used to declare how certain we
were that we should achieve all that was desirable, not exactly by
trusting to our prayer to heaven, but by relying almost exclusively
on George the Third or George the Fourth. Now I have always thought
that that was rather a poor patriotism. Luckily for us our national
conduct has not squared itself with our national anthem. Any
patriotism must be poor which desires glory or even profit for a few
at the expense of many, even though the few be brothers and the many
aliens. As a rule patriotism is a virtue only because man's aptitude
for good is so finite, that he cannot see and comprehend a wider
humanity. He can hardly bring himself to understand that salvation
should be extended to Jew and Gentile alike. The word philanthropy
has become odious, and I would fain not use it; but the thing itself
is as much higher than patriotism, as heaven is above the earth.

A wish that British North America should ever be severed from
England, or that the Australian colonies should ever be so severed,
will by many Englishmen be deemed unpatriotic. But I think that
such severance is to be wished if it be the case that the colonies
standing alone would become more prosperous than they are under
British rule. We have before us an example in the United States of
the prosperity which has attended such a rupture of old ties. I will
not now contest the point with those who say that the present moment
of an American civil war is ill chosen for vaunting that prosperity.
There stand the cities which the people have built, and their power
is attested by the world-wide importance of their present contest.
And if the States have so risen since they left their parent's
apron-string, why should not British North America rise as high? That
the time has as yet come for such rising I do not think; but that it
will soon come I do most heartily hope. The making of the railway
of which I have spoken, and the amalgamation of the provinces would
greatly tend to such an event. If, therefore, England desires to keep
these colonies in a state of dependency; if it be more essential to
her to maintain her own power with regard to them than to increase
their influence; if her main object be to keep the colonies and not
to improve the colonies, then I should say that an amalgamation of
the Canadas with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick should not be regarded
with favour by statesmen in Downing Street. But if, as I would fain
hope, and do partly believe, such ideas of national power as these
are now out of vogue with British statesmen, then I think that such
an amalgamation should receive all the support which Downing Street
can give it.

The United States severed themselves from Great Britain with a great
struggle and after heartburnings and bloodshed. Whether Great Britain
will ever allow any colony of hers to depart from out of her nest, to
secede and start for herself, without any struggle or heartburnings,
with all furtherance for such purpose which an old and powerful
country can give to a new nationality then first taking its own place
in the world's arena, is a problem yet to be solved. There is, I
think, no more beautiful sight than that of a mother, still in all
the glory of womanhood, preparing the wedding trousseau for her
daughter. The child hitherto has been obedient and submissive. She
has been one of a household in which she has held no command. She has
sat at table as a child, fitting herself in all things to the behests
of others. But the day of her power and her glory, and also of her
cares and solicitude is at hand. She is to go forth, and do as she
best may in the world under that teaching which her old home has
given her. The hour of separation has come; and the mother, smiling
through her tears, sends her forth decked with a bounteous hand and
furnished with full stores, so that all may be well with her as she
enters on her new duties. So is it that England should send forth her
daughters. They should not escape from her arms with shrill screams
and bleeding wounds, with ill-omened words which live so long, though
the speakers of them lie cold in their graves.

But this sending forth of a child-nation to take its own political
status in the world has never yet been done by Great Britain. I
cannot remember that such has ever been done by any great power with
reference to its dependency;--by any power that was powerful enough
to keep such dependency within its grasp. But a man thinking on these
matters cannot but hope that a time will come when such amicable
severance may be effected. Great Britain cannot think that through
all coming ages she is to be the mistress of the vast continent of
Australia, lying on the other side of the globe's surface; that she
is to be the mistress of all South Africa, as civilization shall
extend northward; that the enormous territories of British North
America are to be subject for ever to a veto from Downing Street.
If the history of past empires does not teach her that this may not
be so, at least the history of the United States might so teach her.
"But we have learned a lesson from those United States," the patriot
will argue who dares to hope that the glory and extent of the British
Empire may remain unimpaired _in sæcula sæculorum_. "Since that day
we have given political rights to our colonies, and have satisfied
the political longings of their inhabitants. We do not tax their
tea and stamps, but leave it to them to tax themselves as they may
please." True. But in political aspirations the giving of an inch
has ever created the desire for an ell. If the Australian colonies,
even now,--with their scanty population and still young civilization,
chafe against imperial interference, will they submit to it when they
feel within their veins all the full blood of political manhood? What
is the cry even of the Canadians--of the Canadians who are thoroughly
loyal to England? Send us a fainéant Governor, a King Log, who will
not presume to interfere with us; a Governor who will spend his money
and live like a gentleman and care little or nothing for politics.
That is the Canadian _beau idéal_ of a Governor. They are to govern
themselves; and he who comes to them from England is to sit among
them as the silent representative of England's protection. If that
be true--and I do not think that any who know the Canadas will
deny it--must it not be presumed that they will soon also desire a
fainéant minister in Downing Street? Of course they will so desire.
Men do not become milder in their aspirations for political power,
the more that political power is extended to them. Nor would it be
well that they should be so humble in their desires. Nations devoid
of political power have never risen high in the world's esteem. Even
when they have been commercially successful, commerce has not brought
to them the greatness which it has always given when joined with a
strong political existence. The Greeks are commercially rich and
active; but "Greece" and "Greek" are bye-words now for all that is
mean. Cuba is a colony, and putting aside the cities of the States,
the Havana is the richest town on the other side of the Atlantic and
commercially the greatest; but the political villainy of Cuba, her
daily importation of slaves, her breaches of treaty, and the bribery
of her all but royal Governor are known to all men. But Canada is not
dishonest; Canada is no bye-word for anything evil; Canada eats her
own bread in the sweat of her brow, and fears a bad word from no
man. True. But why does New York with its suburbs boast a million of
inhabitants, while Montreal has 85,000? Why has that babe in years,
Chicago, 120,000, while Toronto has not half the number? I do not say
that Montreal and Toronto should have gone ahead abreast with New
York and Chicago. In such races one must be first, and one last. But
I do say that the Canadian towns will have no equal chance, till
they are actuated by that feeling of political independence which has
created the growth of the towns in the United States.

I do not think that the time has yet come in which Great Britain
should desire the Canadians to start for themselves. There is the
making of that railroad to be effected, and something done towards
the union of those provinces. Canada could no more stand alone
without New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, than could those latter
colonies without Canada. But I think it would be well to be prepared
for such a coming day; and that it would at any rate be well to bring
home to ourselves and realize the idea of such secession on the
part of our colonies, when the time shall have come at which such
secession may be carried out with profit and security to them. Great
Britain, should she ever send forth her child alone into the world,
must of course guarantee her security. Such guarantees are given
by treaties; and in the wording of them it is presumed that such
treaties will last for ever. It will be argued that in starting
British North America as a political power on its own bottom, we
should bind ourself to all the expense of its defence, while we
should give up all right to any interference in its concerns; and
that from a state of things so unprofitable as this there would be no
prospect of deliverance. But such treaties, let them be worded how
they will, do not last for ever. For a time, no doubt, Great Britain
would be so hampered--if indeed she would feel herself hampered by
extending her name and prestige to a country bound to her by ties
such as those which would then exist between her and this new nation.
Such treaties are not everlasting, nor can they be made to last even
for ages. Those who word them seem to think that powers and dynasties
will never pass away. But they do pass away, and the balance of power
will not keep itself fixed for ever on the same pivot. The time may
come--that it may not come soon we will all desire--but the time may
come when the name and prestige of what we call British North America
will be as serviceable to Great Britain as those of Great Britain are
now serviceable to her colonies.

But what shall be the new form of government for the new kingdom?
That is a speculation very interesting to a politician; though one
which to follow out at great length in these early days would be
rather premature. That it should be a kingdom--that the political
arrangement should be one of which a crowned hereditary king
should form a part, nineteen out of every twenty Englishmen would
desire; and, as I fancy, so would also nineteen out of every twenty
Canadians. A king for the United States when they first established
themselves was impossible. A total rupture from the Old World and all
its habits was necessary for them. The name of a king, or monarch, or
sovereign had become horrible to their ears. Even to this day they
have not learned the difference between arbitrary power retained in
the hand of one man, such as that now held by the Emperor over the
French, and such hereditary headship in the State as that which
belongs to the Crown in Great Britain. And this was necessary, seeing
that their division from us was effected by strife, and carried out
with war and bitter animosities. In those days also there was a
remnant, though but a small remnant, of the power of tyranny left
within the scope of the British Crown. That small remnant has been
removed; and to me it seems that no form of existing government--no
form of government that ever did exist, gives or has given so large
a measure of individual freedom to all who live under it as a
constitutional monarchy in which the Crown is divested of direct
political power.

I will venture then to suggest a king for this new nation; and seeing
that we are rich in princes there need be no difficulty in the
selection. Would it not be beautiful to see a new nation established
under such auspices, and to establish a people to whom their
independence had been given,--to whom it had been freely surrendered
as soon as they were capable of holding the position assigned to
them?



CHAPTER VII.

NIAGARA.


Of all the sights on this earth of ours which tourists travel to
see,--at least of all those which I have seen,--I am inclined to give
the palm to the Falls of Niagara. In the catalogue of such sights I
intend to include all buildings, pictures, statues, and wonders of
art made by men's hands, and also all beauties of nature prepared by
the Creator for the delight of his creatures. This is a long word;
but as far as my taste and judgment go, it is justified. I know no
other one thing so beautiful, so glorious, and so powerful. I would
not by this be understood as saying that a traveller wishing to do
the best with his time should first of all places seek Niagara. In
visiting Florence he may learn almost all that modern art can teach.
At Rome he will be brought to understand the cold hearts, correct
eyes, and cruel ambition of the old Latin race. In Switzerland he
will surround himself with a flood of grandeur and loveliness, and
fill himself, if he be capable of such filling, with a flood of
romance. The Tropics will unfold to him all that vegetation in its
greatest richness can produce. In Paris he will find the supreme
of polish, the _ne plus ultra_ of varnish according to the world's
capability of varnishing. And in London he will find the supreme
of power, the _ne plus ultra_ of work according to the world's
capability of working. Any one of such journeys may be more valuable
to a man,--nay, any one such journey must be more valuable to a
man,--than a visit to Niagara. At Niagara there is that fall of
waters alone. But that fall is more graceful than Giotto's tower,
more noble than the Apollo. The peaks of the Alps are not so
astounding in their solitude. The valleys of the Blue Mountains in
Jamaica are less green. The finished glaze of life in Paris is less
invariable; and the full tide of trade round the Bank of England is
not so inexorably powerful.

I came across an artist at Niagara who was attempting to draw the
spray of the waters. "You have a difficult subject," said I. "All
subjects are difficult," he replied, "to a man who desires to do
well." "But yours, I fear, is impossible," I said. "You have no
right to say so till I have finished my picture," he replied. I
acknowledged the justice of his rebuke, regretted that I could not
remain till the completion of his work should enable me to revoke
my words, and passed on. Then I began to reflect whether I did not
intend to try a task as difficult in describing the falls, and
whether I felt any of that proud self-confidence which kept him happy
at any rate while his task was in hand. I will not say that it is as
difficult to describe aright that rush of waters, as it is to paint
it well. But I doubt whether it is not quite as difficult to write
a description that shall interest the reader, as it is to paint a
picture of them that shall be pleasant to the beholder. My friend the
artist was at any rate not afraid to make the attempt, and I also
will try my hand.

That the waters of Lake Erie have come down in their courses from the
broad basins of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, and Lake Huron; that
these waters fall into Lake Ontario by the short and rapid river of
Niagara, and that the Falls of Niagara are made by a sudden break
in the level of this rapid river, is probably known to all who will
read this book. All the waters of these huge northern inland seas run
over that breach in the rocky bottom of the stream; and thence it
comes that the flow is unceasing in its grandeur, and that no eye
can perceive a difference in the weight, or sound, or violence of
the fall, whether it be visited in the drought of autumn, amidst the
storms of winter, or after the melting of the upper worlds of ice in
the days of the early summer. How many cataracts does the habitual
tourist visit at which the waters fail him? But at Niagara the waters
never fail. There it thunders over its ledge in a volume that never
ceases and is never diminished;--as it has done from times previous
to the life of man, and as it will do till tens of thousands of years
shall see the rocky bed of the river worn away, back to the upper
lake.

This stream divides Canada from the States, the western or
farthermost bank belonging to the British Crown, and the eastern or
nearer bank being in the State of New York. In visiting Niagara it
always becomes a question on which side the visitor shall take up his
quarters. On the Canada side there is no town, but there is a large
hotel, beautifully placed immediately opposite to the falls, and this
is generally thought to be the best locality for tourists. In the
State of New York is the town called Niagara Falls, and here there
are two large hotels, which, as to their immediate site, are not so
well placed as that in Canada. I first visited Niagara some three
years since. I stayed then at the Clifton House on the Canada side,
and have since sworn by that position. But the Clifton House was
closed for the season when I was last there, and on that account we
went to the Cataract House in the town on the other side. I now think
that I should set up my staff on the American side if I went again.
My advice on the subject to any party starting for Niagara would
depend upon their habits, or on their nationality. I would send
Americans to the Canadian side, because they dislike walking; but
English people I would locate on the American side, seeing that
they are generally accustomed to the frequent use of their own legs.
The two sides are not very easily approached, one from the other.
Immediately below the falls there is a ferry, which may be traversed
at the expense of a shilling; but the labour of getting up and down
from the ferry is considerable, and the passage becomes wearisome.
There is also a bridge, but it is two miles down the river, making a
walk or drive of four miles necessary, and the toll for passing is
four shillings or a dollar in a carriage, and one shilling on foot.
As the greater variety of prospect can be had on the American side,
as the island between the two falls is approachable from the American
side and not from the Canadian, and as it is in this island that
visitors will best love to linger and learn to measure in their
minds the vast triumph of waters before them, I recommend such of my
readers as can trust a little,--it need be but a little,--to their
own legs to select their hotel at Niagara Falls town.

It has been said that it matters much from what point the falls are
first seen, but to this I demur. It matters, I think, very little,
or not at all. Let the visitor first see it all, and learn the
whereabouts of every point, so as to understand his own position and
that of the waters; and then having done that in the way of business
let him proceed to enjoyment. I doubt whether it be not the best to
do this with all sight seeing. I am quite sure that it is the way in
which acquaintance may be best and most pleasantly made with a new
picture.

The falls are, as I have said, made by a sudden breach in the level
of the river. All cataracts are, I presume, made by such breaches;
but generally the waters do not fall precipitously as they do at
Niagara, and never elsewhere, as far as the world yet knows, has a
breach so sudden been made in a river carrying in its channel such
or any approach to such a body of water. Up above the falls, for
more than a mile, the waters leap and burst over rapids, as though
conscious of the destiny that awaits them. Here the river is very
broad, and comparatively shallow, but from shore to shore it frets
itself into little torrents, and begins to assume the majesty of its
power. Looking at it even here, in the expanse which forms itself
over the greater fall, one feels sure that no strongest swimmer
could have a chance of saving himself, if fate had cast him in even
among those petty whirlpools. The waters, though so broken in their
descent, are deliciously green. This colour as seen early in the
morning, or just as the sun has set, is so bright as to give to the
place one of its chiefest charms.

This will be best seen from the further end of the island,--Goat
Island, as it is called,--which, as the reader will understand,
divides the river immediately above the falls. Indeed the island is a
part of that precipitously broken ledge over which the river tumbles;
and no doubt in process of time will be worn away and covered with
water. The time, however, will be very long. In the meanwhile it is
perhaps a mile round, and is covered thickly with timber. At the
upper end of the island the waters are divided, and coming down in
two courses, each over its own rapids, form two separate falls. The
bridge by which the island is entered is a hundred yards or more
above the smaller fall. The waters here have been turned by the
island, and make their leap into the body of the river below at a
right angle with it,--about two hundred yards below the greater fall.
Taken alone this smaller cataract would, I imagine, be the heaviest
fall of water known, but taken in conjunction with the other it is
terribly shorn of its majesty. The waters here are not green as they
are at the larger cataract, and though the ledge has been hollowed
and bowed by them so as to form a curve, that curve does not deepen
itself into a vast abyss as it does at the horseshoe up above. This
smaller fall is again divided, and the visitor passing down a flight
of steps and over a frail wooden bridge finds himself on a smaller
island in the midst of it.

But we will go at once on to the glory, and the thunder, and the
majesty, and the wrath of that upper hell of waters. We are still,
let the reader remember, on Goat Island, still in the States, and
on what is called the American side of the main body of the river.
Advancing beyond the path leading down to the lesser fall, we come to
that point of the island at which the waters of the main river begin
to descend. From hence across to the Canadian side the cataract
continues itself in one unabated line. But the line is very far from
being direct or straight. After stretching for some little way from
the shore, to a point in the river which is reached by a wooden
bridge at the end of which stands a tower upon the rock,--after
stretching to this, the line of the ledge bends inwards against the
flood,--in, and in, and in till one is led to think that the depth
of that horseshoe is immeasurable. It has been cut with no stinting
hand. A monstrous cantle has been worn back out of the centre of the
rock, so that the fury of the waters converges, and the spectator as
he gazes into the hollow with wishful eyes fancies that he can hardly
trace out the centre of the abyss.

Go down to the end of that wooden bridge, seat yourself on the rail,
and there sit till all the outer world is lost to you. There is no
grander spot about Niagara than this. The waters are absolutely
around you. If you have that power of eye-control which is so
necessary to the full enjoyment of scenery you will see nothing but
the water. You will certainly hear nothing else; and the sound, I beg
you to remember, is not an ear-cracking, agonizing crash and clang of
noises; but is melodious, and soft withal, though loud as thunder. It
fills your ears, and as it were envelopes them, but at the same time
you can speak to your neighbour without an effort. But at this place,
and in these moments, the less of speaking I should say the better.
There is no grander spot than this. Here, seated on the rail of the
bridge, you will not see the whole depth of the fall. In looking at
the grandest works of nature, and of art too, I fancy, it is never
well to see all. There should be something left to the imagination,
and much should be half concealed in mystery. The greatest charm of a
mountain range is the wild feeling that there must be strange unknown
desolate worlds in those far-off valleys beyond. And so here, at
Niagara, that converging rush of waters may fall down, down at once
into a hell of rivers for what the eye can see. It is glorious to
watch them in their first curve over the rocks. They come green
as a bank of emeralds; but with a fitful flying colour, as though
conscious that in one moment more they would be dashed into spray and
rise into air, pale as driven snow. The vapour rises high into the
air, and is gathered there, visible always as a permanent white cloud
over the cataract; but the bulk of the spray which fills the lower
hollow of that horse-shoe is like a tumult of snow. This you will
not fully see from your seat on the rail. The head of it rises ever
and anon out of that caldron below, but the caldron itself will be
invisible. It is ever so far down,--far as your own imagination can
sink it. But your eyes will rest full upon the curve of the waters.
The shape you will be looking at is that of a horse-shoe, but of
a horse-shoe miraculously deep from toe to heel;--and this depth
becomes greater as you sit there. That which at first was only great
and beautiful, becomes gigantic and sublime till the mind is at loss
to find an epithet for its own use. To realize Niagara you must sit
there till you see nothing else than that which you have come to see.
You will hear nothing else, and think of nothing else. At length you
will be at one with the tumbling river before you. You will find
yourself among the waters as though you belonged to them. The cool
liquid green will run through your veins, and the voice of the
cataract will be the expression of your own heart. You will fall as
the bright waters fall, rushing down into your new world with no
hesitation and with no dismay; and you will rise again as the spray
rises, bright, beautiful, and pure. Then you will flow away in your
course to the uncompassed, distant, and eternal ocean.

When this state has been reached and has passed away you may get off
your rail and mount the tower. I do not quite approve of that tower,
seeing that it has about it a gingerbread air, and reminds one of
those well-arranged scenes of romance in which one is told that on
the left you turn to the lady's bower, price sixpence; and on the
right ascend to the knight's bed, price sixpence more, with a view
of the hermit's tomb thrown in. But nevertheless the tower is worth
mounting, and no money is charged for the use of it. It is not very
high, and there is a balcony at the top on which some half dozen
persons may stand at ease. Here the mystery is lost, but the whole
fall is seen. It is not even at this spot brought so fully before
your eye,--made to show itself in so complete and entire a shape,
as it will do when you come to stand near to it on the opposite or
Canadian shore. But I think that it shows itself more beautifully.
And the form of the cataract is such, that, here in Goat Island,
on the American side, no spray will reach you, although you are
absolutely over the waters. But on the Canadian side, the road as it
approaches the fall is wet and rotten with spray, and you, as you
stand close upon the edge, will be wet also. The rainbows as they are
seen through the rising cloud--for the sun's rays as seen through
these waters show themselves in a bow as they do when seen through
rain,--are pretty enough, and are greatly loved. For myself I do
not care for this prettiness at Niagara. It is there, but I forget
it,--and do not mind how soon it is forgotten.

But we are still on the tower; and here I must declare that though
I forgive the tower, I cannot forgive the horrid obelisk which has
latterly been built opposite to it, on the Canadian side, up above
the fall; built apparently,--for I did not go to it,--with some
camera obscura intention for which the projector deserves to be put
in Coventry by all good Christian men and women. At such a place as
Niagara tasteless buildings, run up in wrong places with a view to
money making, are perhaps necessary evils. It may be that they are
not evils at all;--that they give more pleasure than pain, seeing
that they tend to the enjoyment of the multitude. But there are
edifices of this description which cry aloud to the gods by the force
of their own ugliness and malposition. As to such it may be said that
there should somewhere exist a power capable of crushing them in
their birth. This new obelisk or picture-building at Niagara is one
of such.

And now we will cross the water, and with this object will return by
the bridge out of Goat Island on the main land of the American side.
But as we do so let me say that one of the great charms of Niagara
consists in this,--that over and above that one great object of
wonder and beauty, there is so much little loveliness;--loveliness
especially of water I mean. There are little rivulets running here
and there over little falls, with pendent boughs above them, and
stones shining under their shallow depths. As the visitor stands and
looks through the trees the rapids glitter before him, and then hide
themselves behind islands. They glitter and sparkle in far distances
under the bright foliage till the remembrance is lost, and one
knows not which way they run. And then the river below, with its
whirlpool;--but we shall come to that by-and-by, and to the mad
voyage which was made down the rapids by that mad captain who ran the
gauntlet of the waters at the risk of his own life, with fifty to one
against him, in order that he might save another man's property from
the Sheriff.

The readiest way across to Canada is by the ferry; and on the
American side this is very pleasantly done. You go into a little
house, pay 20 cents, take a seat on a wooden car of wonderful shape,
and on the touch of a spring find yourself travelling down an
inclined plane of terrible declivity and at a very fast rate. You
catch a glance of the river below you, and recognize the fact that
if the rope by which you are held should break, you would go down at
a very fast rate indeed,--and find your final resting place in the
river. As I have gone down some dozen times and have come to no such
grief, I will not presume that you will be less lucky. Below there is
a boat generally ready. If it be not there, the place is not chosen
amiss for a rest of ten minutes, for the lesser fall is close at
hand, and the larger one is in full view. Looking at the rapidity
of the river you will think that the passage must be dangerous and
difficult. But no accidents ever happen, and the lad who takes you
over seems to do it with sufficient ease. The walk up the hill on
the other side is another thing. It is very steep, and for those who
have not good locomotive power of their own, will be found to be
disagreeable. In the full season, however, carriages are generally
waiting there. In so short a distance I have always been ashamed to
trust to other legs than my own, but I have observed that Americans
are always dragged up. I have seen single young men of from eighteen
to twenty-five, from whose outward appearance no story of idle
luxurious life can be read, carried about alone in carriages over
distances which would be counted as nothing by any healthy English
lady of fifty. None but the old and invalids should require the
assistance of carriages in seeing Niagara, but the trade in carriages
is to all appearance the most brisk trade there.

Having mounted the hill on the Canada side you will walk on towards
the falls. As I have said before, you will from this side look
directly into the full circle of the upper cataract, while you will
have before you at your left hand the whole expanse of the lesser
fall. For those who desire to see all at a glance, who wish to
comprise the whole with their eyes, and to leave nothing to be
guessed, nothing to be surmised, this, no doubt, is the best point of
view.

You will be covered with spray as you walk up to the ledge of rocks,
but I do not think that the spray will hurt you. If a man gets wet
through going to his daily work, cold, catarrh, cough, and all their
attendant evils may be expected; but these maladies usually spare
the tourist. Change of air, plenty of air, excellence of air, and
increased exercise make these things powerless. I should therefore
bid you disregard the spray. If, however, you are yourself of a
different opinion, you may hire a suit of oil-cloth clothes for, I
believe, a quarter of a dollar. They are nasty of course, and have
this further disadvantage, that you become much more wet having them
on than you would be without them.

Here, on this side, you walk on to the very edge of the cataract,
and, if your tread be steady and your legs firm, you dip your foot
into the water exactly at the spot where the thin outside margin of
the current reaches the rocky edge and jumps to join the mass of the
fall. The bed of white foam beneath is certainly seen better here
than elsewhere, and the green curve of the water is as bright here as
when seen from the wooden rail across. But nevertheless I say again
that that wooden rail is the one point from whence Niagara may be
best seen aright.

Close to the cataract, exactly at the spot from whence in former days
the Table Rock used to project from the land over the boiling caldron
below, there is now a shaft down which you will descend to the level
of the river, and pass between the rock and the torrent. This Table
Rock broke away from the cliff and fell, as up the whole course of
the river the seceding rocks have split and fallen from time to time
through countless years, and will continue to do till the bed of
the upper lake is reached. You will descend this shaft, taking to
yourself or not taking to yourself a suit of oil-clothes as you
may think best. I have gone with and without the suit, and again
recommend that they be left behind. I am inclined to think that
the ordinary payment should be made for their use, as otherwise it
will appear to those whose trade it is to prepare them that you are
injuring them in their vested rights.

Some three years since I visited Niagara on my way back to England
from Bermuda, and in a volume of travels which I then published I
endeavoured to explain the impression made upon me by this passage
between the rock and the waterfall. An author should not quote
himself; but as I feel myself bound, in writing a chapter specially
about Niagara, to give some account of this strange position, I will
venture to repeat my own words.

In the spot to which I allude the visitor stands on a broad safe
path, made of shingles, between the rock over which the water rushes
and the rushing water. He will go in so far that the spray rising
back from the bed of the torrent does not incommode him. With this
exception, the further he can go in the better; but circumstances
will clearly show him the spot to which he should advance. Unless
the water be driven in by a very strong wind, five yards make the
difference between a comparatively dry coat and an absolutely wet
one. And then let him stand with his back to the entrance, thus
hiding the last glimmer of the expiring day. So standing he will look
up among the falling waters, or down into the deep misty pit, from
which they reascend in almost as palpable a bulk. The rock will be
at his right hand, high and hard, and dark and straight, like the
wall of some huge cavern, such as children enter in their dreams.
For the first five minutes he will be looking but at the waters of a
cataract,--at the waters, indeed, of such a cataract as we know no
other, and at their interior curves which elsewhere we cannot see.
But by-and-by all this will change. He will no longer be on a shingly
path beneath a waterfall; but that feeling of a cavern wall will grow
upon him, of a cavern deep, below roaring seas, in which the waves
are there, though they do not enter in upon him; or rather not the
waves, but the very bowels of the ocean. He will feel as though the
floods surrounded him, coming and going with their wild sounds, and
he will hardly recognize that though among them he is not in them.
And they, as they fall with a continual roar, not hurting the ear,
but musical withal, will seem to move as the vast ocean waters may
perhaps move in their internal currents. He will lose the sense of
one continued descent, and think that they are passing round him in
their appointed courses. The broken spray that rises from the depth
below, rises so strongly, so palpably, so rapidly, that the motion in
every direction will seem equal. And, as he looks on, strange colours
will show themselves through the mist; the shades of grey will become
green or blue, with ever and anon a flash of white; and then, when
some gust of wind blows in with greater violence, the sea-girt cavern
will become all dark and black. Oh, my friend, let there be no one
there to speak to thee then; no, not even a brother. As you stand
there speak only to the waters.

Two miles below the falls the river is crossed by a suspension bridge
of marvellous construction. It affords two thoroughfares, one above
the other. The lower road is for carriages and horses, and the upper
one bears a railway belonging to the Great Western Canada line. The
view from hence both up and down the river is very beautiful, for the
bridge is built immediately over the first of a series of rapids. One
mile below the bridge these rapids end in a broad basin called the
whirlpool, and, issuing out of this, the current turns to the right
through a narrow channel overhung by cliffs and trees, and then makes
its way down to Lake Ontario with comparative tranquillity.

But I will beg you to take notice of those rapids from the bridge and
to ask yourself what chance of life would remain to any ship, craft,
or boat required by destiny to undergo navigation beneath the bridge
and down into that whirlpool. Heretofore all men would have said
that no chance of life could remain to so ill-starred a bark. The
navigation, however, has been effected. But men used to the river
still say that the chances would be fifty to one against any vessel
which should attempt to repeat the experiment.

The story of that wondrous voyage was as follows. A small steamer
called the Maid of the Mist was built upon the river, between the
falls and the rapids, and was used for taking adventurous tourists up
amidst the spray, as near to the cataract as was possible. The Maid
of the Mist plied in this way for a year or two, and was, I believe,
much patronized during the season. But in the early part of last
summer an evil time had come. Either the Maid got into debt, or her
owner had embarked in other and less profitable speculations. At any
rate he became subject to the law, and tidings reached him that the
Sheriff would seize the Maid. On most occasions the Sheriff is bound
to keep such intentions secret, seeing that property is moveable,
and that an insolvent debtor will not always await the officers of
justice. But with the poor Maid there was no need of such secresy.
There was but a mile or so of water on which she could ply, and she
was forbidden by the nature of her properties to make any way upon
land. The Sheriff's prey therefore was easy and the poor Maid was
doomed.

In any country in the world but America such would have been the
case, but an American would steam down Phlegethon to save his
property from the Sheriff; he would steam down Phlegethon or get some
one else to do it for him. Whether or no in this case the captain of
the boat was the proprietor, or whether, as I was told, he was paid
for the job, I do not know; but he determined to run the rapids, and
he procured two others to accompany him in the risk. He got up his
steam, and took the Maid up amidst the spray according to his custom.
Then suddenly turning on his course, he with one of his companions
fixed himself at the wheel, while the other remained at his engine.
I wish I could look into the mind of that man and understand what his
thoughts were at that moment; what were his thoughts and what his
beliefs. As to one of the men I was told that he was carried down,
not knowing what he was about to do, but I am inclined to believe
that all the three were joined together in the attempt.

I was told by a man who saw the boat pass under the bridge, that she
made one long leap down as she came thither, that her funnel was at
once knocked flat on the deck by the force of the blow, that the
waters covered her from stem to stern, and that then she rose again
and skimmed into the whirlpool a mile below. When there she rode with
comparative ease upon the waters, and took the sharp turn round into
the river below without a struggle. The feat was done, and the Maid
was rescued from the Sheriff. It is said that she was sold below at
the mouth of the river, and carried from thence over Lake Ontario and
down the St. Lawrence to Quebec.



CHAPTER VIII.

NORTH AND WEST.


From Niagara we determined to proceed north-west; as far to the
north-west as we could go with any reasonable hope of finding
American citizens in a state of political civilization, and perhaps
guided also in some measure by our hopes as to hotel accommodation.
Looking to these two matters we resolved to get across to the
Mississippi, and to go up that river as far as the town of St. Paul
and the falls of St. Anthony, which are some twelve miles above the
town; then to descend the river as far as the States of Iowa on
the west and Illinois on the east; and to return eastwards through
Chicago and the large cities on the southern shores of Lake Erie,
from whence we would go across to Albany, the capital of New York
State, and down the Hudson to New York, the capital of the Western
world. For such a journey, in which scenery was one great object,
we were rather late, as we did not leave Niagara till the 10th of
October; but though the winters are extremely cold through all this
portion of the American continent--15, 20, and even 25 degrees below
zero being an ordinary state of the atmosphere in latitudes equal
to those of Florence, Nice, and Turin--nevertheless the autumns are
mild, the noon day being always warm, and the colours of the foliage
are then in all their glory. I was also very anxious to ascertain,
if it might be in my power to do so, with what spirit or true feeling
as to the matter, the work of recruiting for the now enormous army
of the States was going on in those remote regions. That men should
be on fire in Boston and New York, in Philadelphia, and along the
borders of secession, I could understand. I could understand also
that they should be on fire throughout the cotton, sugar, and rice
plantations of the South. But I could hardly understand that this
political fervour should have communicated itself to the far-off
farmers who had thinly spread themselves over the enormous
wheat-growing districts of the North-West. St. Paul, the capital
of Minnesota, is 900 miles directly north of St. Louis, the most
northern point to which slavery extends in the Western States of the
Union, and the farming lands of Minnesota stretch away again for some
hundreds of miles north and west of St. Paul. Could it be that those
scanty and far-off pioneers of agriculture, those frontier farmers
who are nearly one half German and nearly the other half Irish, would
desert their clearings and ruin their chances of progress in the
world for distant wars of which the causes must, as I thought, be
to them unintelligible? I had been told that distance had but lent
enchantment to the view, and that the war was even more popular in
the remote and newly settled States than in those which have been
longer known as great political bodies. So I resolved that I would go
and see.

It may be as well to explain here that that great political Union
hitherto called the United States of America may be more properly
divided into three than into two distinct interests. In England we
have long heard of North and South as pitted against each other, and
we have always understood that the southern politicians or democrats
have prevailed over the northern politicians or republicans, because
they were assisted in their views by northern men of mark who have
held southern principles;--that is, by northern men who have been
willing to obtain political power by joining themselves to the
southern party. That as far as I can understand has been the general
idea in England, and in a broad way it has been true. But as years
have advanced and as the States have extended themselves westward, a
third large party has been formed, which sometimes rejoices to call
itself The Great West; and though at the present time the West and
the North are joined together against the South, the interests of the
North and the West are not, I think, more closely interwoven than are
those of the West and South; and when the final settlement of this
question shall be made, there will doubtless be great difficulty in
satisfying the different aspirations and feelings of two great free
soil populations. The North, I think, will ultimately perceive that
it will gain much by the secession of the South; but it will be very
difficult to make the West believe that secession will suit its
views.

I will attempt in a rough way to divide the States, as they seem to
divide themselves, into these three parties. As to the majority of
them there is no difficulty in locating them; but this cannot be done
with absolute certainty as to some few that lie on the borders.

New England consists of six States, of which all of course belong
to the North. They are Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,
Rhode Island, and Connecticut; the six States which should be most
dear to England, and in which the political success of the United
States as a nation is to my eyes the most apparent. But even in them
there was till quite of late a strong section so opposed to the
republican party as to give a material aid to the South. This, I
think, was particularly so in New Hampshire, from whence President
Pierce came. He had been one of the senators from New Hampshire; and
yet to him, as President, is affixed the disgrace,--whether truly
affixed or not I do not say,--of having first used his power in
secretly organizing those arrangements which led to secession and
assisted at its birth. In Massachusetts also itself there was a
strong democratic party, of which Massachusetts now seems to be
somewhat ashamed. Then, to make up the North, must be added the two
great States of New York and Pennsylvania, and the small State of New
Jersey. The West will not agree even to this absolutely, seeing that
they claim all territory west of the Alleghenies, and that a portion
of Pennsylvania, and some part also of New York lie westward of
that range; but in endeavouring to make these divisions ordinarily
intelligible I may say that the North consists of the nine States
above named. But the North will also claim Maryland and Delaware, and
the eastern half of Virginia. The North will claim them though they
are attached to the South by joint participation in the great social
institution of slavery, for Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia are
slave States;--and I think that the North will ultimately make good
its claim. Maryland and Delaware lie, as it were, behind the capital,
and Eastern Virginia is close upon the capital. And these regions are
not tropical in their climate or influences. They are and have been
slave States; but will probably rid themselves of that taint and
become a portion of the free North.

The southern or slave States, properly so called, are easily defined.
They are Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida,
Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The South will also
claim Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Virginia, Delaware, and
Maryland, and will endeavour to prove its right to the claim by the
fact of the social institution being the law of the land in those
States. Of Delaware, Maryland, and Eastern Virginia, I have already
spoken. Western Virginia is, I think, so little tainted with slavery,
that, as she stands even at present, she properly belongs to the
West. As I now write the struggle is going on in Kentucky and
Missouri. In Missouri the slave population is barely more than a
tenth of the whole, while in South Carolina and Mississippi it is
more than half. And, therefore, I venture to count Missouri among the
western States, although slavery is still the law of the land within
its borders. It is surrounded on three sides by free States of the
West, and its soil, let us hope, must become free. Kentucky I must
leave as doubtful, though I am inclined to believe that slavery will
be abolished there also. Kentucky at any rate will never throw in its
lot with the southern States. As to Tennessee, it seceded heart and
soul, and I fear that it must be accounted as southern, although the
northern army has now, in May 1862, possessed itself of the greater
part of the State.

To the great West remains an enormous territory, of which, however,
the population is as yet but scanty; though perhaps no portion of
the world has increased so fast in population as have these western
States. The list is as follows: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan,
Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas,--to which I would add Missouri,
and probably the western half of Virginia. We have then to account
for the two already admitted States on the Pacific, California and
Oregon, and also for the unadmitted Territories, Dacotah, Nebraska,
Washington, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Neveda. I should be
refining too much for my present very general purpose, if I were to
attempt to marshal these huge but thinly populated regions in either
rank. Of California and Oregon it may probably be said that it is
their ambition to form themselves into a separate division;--a
division which may be called the further West.

I know that all statistical statements are tedious, and I believe
that but few readers believe them. I will, however, venture to give
the populations of these States in the order I have named them,
seeing that power in America depends almost entirely on population.
The census of 1860 gave the following results:--

In the North.

   Maine             619,000
   New Hampshire     326,872
   Vermont           325,827
   Massachusetts   1,231,494
   Rhode Island      174,621
   Connecticut       460,670
   New York        3,851,563
   Pennsylvania    2,916,018
   New Jersey        676,034
                  ----------
      Total       10,582,099

In the South--the population of which must be divided into free and
slave.

                      FREE.     SLAVE.     TOTAL.

   Texas             415,999    184,956    600,955
   Louisiana         354,245    312,186    666,431
   Arkansas          331,710    109,065    440,775
   Mississippi       407,051    479,607    886,658
   Alabama           520,444    435,473    955,917
   Florida            81,885     63,809    145,694
   Georgia           615,366    467,461  1,082,827
   South Carolina    308,186    407,185    715,371
   North Carolina    679,965    328,377  1,008,342
   Tennessee         859,578    287,112  1,146,690
                   ---------  ---------  ---------
      Total        4,574,429  3,075,231  7,649,660

In the West.

   Ohio        2,377,917
   Indiana     1,350,802
   Illinois    1,691,238
   Michigan      754,291
   Wisconsin     763,485
   Minnesota     172,796
   Iowa          682,002
   Kansas        143,645
   Missouri   *1,204,214
               ---------
      Total    9,140,390

   *Of which number, in Missouri, 115,619 are slaves.

In the doubtful States.

                 FREE.      SLAVE.    TOTAL.

   Maryland     646,183     85,382    731,565
   Delaware     110,548      1,805    112,353
   Virginia   1,097,373    495,826  1,593,199
   Kentucky     920,077    225,490  1,145,567
              ---------    -------  ---------
      Total   2,774,181    808,503  3,582,684

To these must be added to make up the population of the United
States, as it stood in 1860.

   The separate district of Columbia,
      in which is included Washington,
      the seat of the Federal Government     75,321
   California                               384,770
   Oregon                                    52,566
   The Territories of
      Dacotah                                 4,839
      Nebraska                               28,892
      Washington                             11,624
      Utah                                   49,000
      New Mexico                             93,024
      Colorado                               34,197
      Neveda                                  6,857
                                            -------
         Total                              741,090

And thus the total population may be given as follows:--

   North                            10,582,099
   South                             7,649,660
   West                              9,140,390
   Doubtful                          3,582,684
   Outlying States and Territories     741,090
                                    ----------
      Total                         31,695,923

Each of the three interests would consider itself wronged by the
division above made, but the South would probably be the loudest in
asserting its grievance. The South claims all the slave States, and
would point to secession in Virginia to justify such claim,--and
would point also to Maryland and Baltimore, declaring that secession
would be as strong there as at New Orleans, if secession were
practicable. Maryland and Baltimore lie behind Washington, and are
under the heels of the northern troops, so that secession is not
practicable; but the South would say that they have seceded in heart.
In this the South would have some show of reason for its assertion;
but, nevertheless, I shall best convey a true idea of the position of
these States by classing them as doubtful. When secession shall have
been accomplished,--if ever it be accomplished,--it will hardly be
possible that they should adhere to the South.

It will be seen by the above tables that the population of the West
is nearly equal to that of the North, and that therefore western
power is almost as great as northern. It is almost as great already,
and as population in the West increases faster than it does in the
North, the two will soon be equalized. They are already sufficiently
on a par to enable them to fight on equal terms, and they will be
prepared for fighting--political fighting, if no other--as soon as
they have established their supremacy over a common enemy.

Whilst I am on the subject of population, I should explain--though
the point is not one which concerns the present argument--that the
numbers given, as they regard the South, include both the whites and
the blacks, the free men and the slaves. The political power of the
South is of course in the hands of the white race only, and the total
white population should therefore be taken as the number indicating
the southern power. The political power of the South, however, as
contrasted with that of the North, has, since the commencement of the
Union, been much increased by the slave population. The slaves have
been taken into account in determining the number of representatives
which should be sent to Congress by each State. That number depends
on the population, but it was decided in 1787, that in counting up
the number of representatives to which each State should be held to
be entitled, five slaves should represent three white men. A Southern
population, therefore, of five thousand free men and five thousand
slaves would claim as many representatives as a Northern population
of eight thousand free men, although the voting would be confined to
the free population. This has ever since been the law of the United
States.

The western power is nearly equal to that of the North, and this
fact, somewhat exaggerated in terms, is a frequent boast in the
mouths of western men. "We ran Fremont for President," they say, "and
had it not been for northern men with southern principles, we should
have put him in the White House instead of the traitor Buchanan. If
that had been done, there would have been no secession." How things
might have gone had Fremont been elected in lieu of Buchanan, I
will not pretend to say; but the nature of the argument shows the
difference that exists between northern and western feeling. At the
time that I was in the West, General Fremont was the great topic of
public interest. Every newspaper was discussing his conduct, his
ability as a soldier, his energy, and his fate. At that time General
Maclellan was in command at Washington on the Potomac, it being
understood that he held his power directly under the President,--free
from the exercise of control on the part of the veteran General
Scott, though at that time General Scott had not actually resigned
his position as head of the army. And General Fremont, who some five
years before had been "run" for President by the Western States, held
another command of nearly equal independence in Missouri. He had been
put over General Lyon in the western command, and directly after
this General Lyon had fallen in battle at Springfield, in the first
action in which the opposing armies were engaged in the West. General
Fremont at once proceeded to carry matters with a very high hand.
On the 30th of August, 1861, he issued a proclamation by which he
declared martial law at St. Louis, the city at which he held his head
quarters, and indeed throughout the State of Missouri generally. In
this proclamation he declared his intention of exercising a severity
beyond that ever threatened, as I believe, in modern warfare. He
defines the region presumed to be held by his army of occupation,
drawing his lines across the State, and then declares "that all
persons who shall be taken with arms in their hands within those
lines shall be tried by Court Martial, and if found guilty will
be shot." He then goes on to say that he will confiscate all the
property of persons in the State who shall have taken up arms against
the Union, or who shall have taken part with the enemies of the
Union, and that he will make free all slaves belonging to such
persons. This proclamation was not approved at Washington, and was
modified by the order of the President. It was understood also that
he issued orders for military expenditure, which were not recognized
at Washington, and men began to understand that the army in the West
was gradually assuming that irresponsible military position, which
in disturbed countries and in times of civil war has so frequently
resulted in a military dictatorship. Then there arose a clamour
for the removal of General Fremont. A semi-official account of his
proceedings, which had reached Washington from an officer under his
command, was made public; and also the correspondence which took
place on the subject between the President and General Fremont's
wife. The officer in question was thereupon placed under arrest, but
immediately released by orders from Washington. He then made official
complaint of his General, sending forward a list of charges in which
Fremont was accused of rashness, incompetency, want of fidelity of
the interests of the Government, and disobedience to orders from
head quarters. After a while the Secretary of War himself proceeded
from Washington to the quarters of General Fremont at St. Louis, and
remained there for a day or two, making or pretending to make inquiry
into the matter. But when he returned he left the General still in
command. During the whole month of October the papers were occupied
in declaring in the morning that General Fremont had been recalled
from his command, and in the evening that he was to remain. In the
mean time they who befriended his cause, and this included the whole
West, were hoping from day to day that he would settle the matter
for himself and silence his accusers, by some great military success.
General Price held the command opposed to him, and men said that
Fremont would sweep General Price and his army down the valley of the
Mississippi into the sea. But General Price would not be so swept,
and it began to appear that a guerilla warfare would prevail; that
General Price, if driven southwards, would reappear behind the backs
of his pursuers, and that General Fremont would not accomplish all
that was expected of him with that rapidity for which his friends had
given him credit. So the newspapers still went on waging the war, and
every morning General Fremont was recalled, and every evening they
who had recalled him were shown up as having known nothing of the
matter.

"Never mind; he is a pioneer man, and will do a'most anything he puts
his hand to," his friends in the West still said. "He understands the
frontier." Understanding the frontier is a great thing in Western
America, across which the vanguard of civilization continues to march
on in advance from year to year. "And it's he that is bound to sweep
slavery from off the face of this Continent. He's the man, and he's
about the only man." I am not qualified to write the life of General
Fremont, and can at present only make this slight reference to the
details of his romantic career. That it has been full of romance,
and that the man himself is indued with a singular energy and a high
romantic idea of what may be done by power and will, there is no
doubt. Five times he has crossed the continent of North America
from Missouri to Oregon and California, enduring great hardships in
the service of advancing civilization and knowledge. That he has
considerable talent, immense energy, and strong self-confidence,
I believe. He is a frontier man; one of those who care nothing for
danger, and who would dare anything with the hope of accomplishing a
great career. But I have never heard that he has shown any practical
knowledge of high military matters. It may be doubted whether a man
of this stamp is well fitted to hold the command of a nation's army
for great national purposes. May it not even be presumed that a man
of this class is of all men the least fitted for such a work? The
officer required should be a man with two specialities--a speciality
for military tactics, and a speciality for national duty. The army
in the West was far removed from head quarters in Washington, and
it was peculiarly desirable that the General commanding it should
be one possessing a strong idea of obedience to the control of his
own Government. Those frontier capabilities, that self-dependent
energy for which his friends gave Fremont,--and probably justly gave
him,--such unlimited credit are exactly the qualities which are most
dangerous in such a position.

I have endeavoured to explain the circumstances of the Western
command in Missouri, as they existed at the time when I was in the
North-Western States, in order that the double action of the North
and West may be understood. I, of course, was not in the secret
of any official persons, but I could not but feel sure that the
Government in Washington would have been glad to have removed Fremont
at once from the command, had they not feared that by doing so they
would have created a schism, as it were, in their own camp, and have
done much to break up the integrity or oneness of Northern loyalty.
The western people almost to a man desired abolition. The States
there were sending out their tens of thousands of young men into
the army with a prodigality as to their only source of wealth which
they hardly recognized themselves, because this to them was a fight
against slavery. The western population has been increased to a
wonderful degree by a German infusion;--so much so that the western
towns appear to have been peopled with Germans. I found regiments
of volunteers consisting wholly of Germans. And the Germans are all
abolitionists. To all the men of the West the name of Fremont is
dear. He is their hero, and their Hercules. He is to cleanse the
stables of the southern king, and turn the waters of emancipation
through the foul stalls of slavery. And, therefore, though the
Cabinet in Washington would have been glad for many reasons to
have removed Fremont in October last, it was at first scared from
committing itself to so strong a measure. At last, however, the
charges made against him were too fully substantiated to allow of
their being set on one side, and early in November, 1861, he was
superseded. I shall be obliged to allude again to General Fremont's
career as I go on with my narrative.

At this time the North was looking for a victory on the Potomac; but
they were no longer looking for it with that impatience which in the
summer had led to the disgrace at Bull's Run. They had recognized the
fact that their troops must be equipped, drilled, and instructed; and
they had also recognized the perhaps greater fact, that their enemies
were neither weak, cowardly, nor badly officered. I have always
thought that the tone and manner with which the North bore the defeat
at Bull's Run was creditable to it. It was never denied, never
explained away, never set down as trifling. "We have been whipped!"
was what all Northerners said,--"We've got an almighty whipping, and
here we are." I have heard many Englishmen complain of this, saying
that the matter was taken almost as a joke,--that no disgrace was
felt, and the licking was owned by a people who ought never to have
allowed that they had been licked. To all this, however, I demur.
Their only chance of speedy success consisted in their seeing and
recognizing the truth. Had they confessed the whipping and then sat
down with their hands in their pockets,--had they done as second-rate
boys at school will do,--declare that they had been licked, and then
feel that all the trouble is over,--they would indeed have been open
to reproach. The old mother across the water would in such case have
disowned her son. But they did the very reverse of this. "I have been
whipped," Jonathan said, and he immediately went into training under
a new system for another fight.

And so all through September and October the great armies on the
Potomac rested comparatively in quiet, the Northern forces drawing to
themselves immense levies. The general confidence in Maclellan was
then very great, and the cautious measures by which he endeavoured to
bring his vast untrained body of men under discipline were such as
did at that time recommend themselves to most military critics. Early
in September the northern party obtained a considerable advantage
by taking the fort at Cape Hatteras, in North Carolina, situated
on one of those long banks which lie along the shores of the
Southern States; but towards the end of October they experienced a
considerable reverse in an attack which was made on the Secessionists
by General Stone, and in which Colonel Baker was killed. Colonel
Baker had been senator for Oregon, and was well known as an orator.
Taking all things together, however, nothing material had been
done up to the end of October; and at that time northern men were
waiting--not perhaps impatiently, considering the great hopes,
and perhaps great fears which filled their hearts, but with eager
expectation for some event of which they might talk with pride.

The man to whom they had trusted all their hopes was young for so
great a command. I think that at this time (October 1861) General
Maclellan was not yet thirty-five. He had served early in life in the
Mexican war, having come originally from Pennsylvania, and having
been educated at the military college at West Point. During our
war with Russia he was sent to the Crimea by his own Government
in conjunction with two other officers of the United States army,
that they might learn all that was to be learned there as to
military tactics, and report especially as to the manner in which
fortifications were made and attacked. I have been informed that a
very able report was sent in by them to the Government, on their
return, and that this was drawn up by Maclellan. But in America a
man is not only a soldier or always a soldier; nor is he always a
clergyman if once a clergyman. He takes a spell at anything suitable
that may be going. And in this way Maclellan was for some years
engaged on the Central Illinois Railway, and was for a considerable
time the head manager of that concern. We all know with what
suddenness he rose to the highest command in the army immediately
after the defeat at Bull's Run.

I have endeavoured to describe what were the feelings of the West
in the autumn of 1861 with regard to the war. The excitement and
eagerness there were very great, and they were perhaps as great in
the North. But in the North the matter seemed to me to be regarded
from a different point of view. As a rule, the men of the North are
not abolitionists. It is quite certain that they were not so before
secession began. They hate slavery as we in England hate it; but they
are aware, as also are we, that the disposition of four million of
black men and women forms a question which cannot be solved by the
chivalry of any modern Orlando. The property invested in these four
million slaves forms the entire wealth of the South. If they could
be wafted by a philanthropic breeze back to the shores of Africa,--a
breeze of which the philanthropy would certainly not be appreciated
by those so wafted--the South would be a wilderness. The subject is
one as full of difficulty as any with which politicians of these days
are tormented. The Northerners fully appreciate this, and as a rule
are not abolitionists in the western sense of the word. To them the
war is recommended by precisely those feelings which animated us when
we fought for our colonies,--when we strove to put down American
independence. Secession is rebellion against the Government: and is
all the more bitter to the North because that rebellion broke out at
the first moment of northern ascendancy. "We submitted," the North
says, "to southern Presidents, and southern statesmen, and southern
councils, because we obeyed the vote of the people. But as to
you--the voice of the people is nothing in your estimation! At
the first moment in which the popular vote places at Washington a
President with northern feelings, you rebel. We submitted in your
days; and by heaven, you shall submit in ours! We submitted loyally;
through love of the law and the Constitution. You have disregarded
the law, and thrown over the Constitution. But you shall be made to
submit, as a child is made to submit to its governor."

It must also be remembered that on commercial questions the North
and the West are divided. The Morrill tariff is as odious to the
West as it is to the South. The South and West are both agricultural
productive regions, desirous of sending cotton and corn to foreign
countries and of receiving back foreign manufactures on the best
terms. But the North is a manufacturing country--a poor manufacturing
country as regards excellence of manufacture--and therefore the more
anxious to foster its own growth by protective laws. The Morrill
tariff is very injurious to the West, and is odious there. I might
add that its folly has already been so far recognized even in the
North, as to make it very generally odious there also.

So much I have said endeavouring to make it understood how far the
North and West were united in feeling against the South in the autumn
of 1861, and how far there existed between them a diversity of
interests.



CHAPTER IX.

FROM NIAGARA TO THE MISSISSIPPI.


From Niagara we went by the Canada Great Western Railway to Detroit,
the big city of Michigan. It is an American institution that the
States should have a commercial capital, or what I call their big
city, as well as a political capital, which may as a rule be called
the State's central city. The object in choosing the political
capital is average nearness of approach from the various confines
of the State; but commerce submits to no such Procrustean laws in
selecting her capitals, and consequently she has placed Detroit on
the borders of Michigan, on the shore of the neck of water which
joins Lake Huron to Lake Erie through which all the trade must flow
which comes down from Lakes Michigan, Superior, and Huron, on its way
to the eastern States and to Europe. We had thought of going from
Buffalo across Lake Erie to Detroit; but we found that the better
class of steamers had been taken off the waters for the winter. And
we also found that navigation among these lakes is a mistake whenever
the necessary journey can be taken by railway. Their waters are by
no means smooth; and then there is nothing to be seen. I do not
know whether others may have a feeling, almost instinctive, that
lake navigation must be pleasant,--that lakes must of necessity
be beautiful. I have such a feeling; but not now so strongly as
formerly. Such an idea should be kept for use in Europe, and never
brought over to America with other travelling gear. The lakes in
America are cold, cumbrous, uncouth, and uninteresting--intended by
nature for the conveyance of cereal produce, but not for the comfort
of travelling men and women. So we gave up our plan of traversing
the lake, and passing back into Canada by the suspension bridge at
Niagara, we reached the Detroit river at Windsor by the Great Western
line, and passed thence by the ferry into the city of Detroit.

In making this journey at night we introduced ourselves to the
thoroughly American institution of sleeping-cars;--that is, of cars
in which beds are made up for travellers. The traveller may have a
whole bed, or half a bed, or no bed at all as he pleases, paying a
dollar or half a dollar extra should he choose the partial or full
fruition of a couch. I confess I have always taken a delight in
seeing these beds made up, and consider that the operations of
the change are generally as well executed as the manoeuvres of
any pantomime at Drury Lane. The work is usually done by negroes
or coloured men; and the domestic negroes of America are always
light-handed and adroit. The nature of an American car is no
doubt known to all men. It looks as far removed from all bedroom
accommodation, as the baker's barrow does from the steam-engine into
which it is to be converted by Harlequin's wand. But the negro goes
to work much more quietly than the Harlequin, and for every four
seats in the railway car he builds up four beds, almost as quickly
as the hero of the pantomime goes through his performance. The great
glory of the Americans is in their wondrous contrivances,--in their
patent remedies for the usually troublous operations of life. In
their huge hotels all the bell-ropes of each house ring on one bell
only, but a patent indicator discloses a number, and the whereabouts
of the ringer is shown. One fire heats every room, passage, hall, and
cupboard,--and does it so effectually that the inhabitants are all
but stifled. Soda-water bottles open themselves without any trouble
of wire or strings. Men and women go up and down stairs without
motive power of their own. Hot and cold water are laid on to all the
chambers;--though it sometimes happens that the water from both taps
is boiling, and that when once turned on it cannot be turned off
again by any human energy. Everything is done by a new and wonderful
patent contrivance; and of all their wonderful contrivances that
of their railroad beds is by no means the least. For every four
seats the negro builds up four beds,--that is, four half-beds or
accommodation for four persons. Two are supposed to be below on the
level of the ordinary four seats, and two up above on shelves which
are let down from the roof. Mattresses slip out from one nook and
pillows from another. Blankets are added, and the bed is ready. Any
over particular individual--an islander, for instance, who hugs
his chains--will generally prefer to pay the dollar for the double
accommodation. Looking at the bed in the light of a bed,--taking as
it were an abstract view of it,--or comparing it with some other
bed or beds with which the occupant may have acquaintance, I cannot
say that it is in all respects perfect. But distances are long in
America; and he who declines to travel by night will lose very much
time. He who does so travel will find the railway bed a great relief.
I must confess that the feeling of dirt on the following morning is
rather oppressive.

From Windsor on the Canada side we passed over to Detroit in the
State of Michigan by a steam ferry. But ferries in England and
ferries in America are very different. Here on this Detroit ferry,
some hundred of passengers who were going forward from the other side
without delay, at once sat down to breakfast. I may as well explain
the way in which disposition is made of one's luggage as one takes
these long journeys. The traveller when he starts has his baggage
checked. He abandons his trunk--generally a box studded with nails,
as long as a coffin and as high as a linen chest,--and in return for
this he receives an iron ticket with a number on it. As he approaches
the end of his first instalment of travel, and while the engine is
still working its hardest, a man comes up to him, bearing with him
suspended on a circular bar an infinite variety of other checks. The
traveller confides to this man his wishes; and if he be going further
without delay, surrenders his check and receives a counter-check in
return. Then while the train is still in motion, the new destiny
of the trunk is imparted to it. But another man, with another set
of checks, also comes the way, walking leisurely through the train
as he performs his work. This is the minister of the hotel-omnibus
institution. His business is with those who do not travel beyond
the next terminus. To him, if such be your intention, you make your
confidence, giving up your tallies and taking other tallies, by way
of receipt; and your luggage is afterwards found by you in the hall
of your hotel. There is undoubtedly very much of comfort in this; and
the mind of the traveller is lost in amazement as he thinks of the
futile efforts with which he would struggle to regain his luggage
were there no such arrangement. Enormous piles of boxes are disclosed
on the platform at all the larger stations, the numbers of which are
roared forth with quick voice by some two or three railway denizens
at once. A modest English voyager with six or seven small packages,
would stand no chance of getting anything if he were left to his own
devices. As it is I am bound to say that the thing is well done.
I have had my desk with all my money in it lost for a day, and my
black leather bag was on one occasion sent back over the line. They,
however, were recovered; and on the whole I feel grateful to the
check system of the American railways. And then, too, one never hears
of extra luggage. Of weight they are quite regardless. On two or
three occasions an overwrought official has muttered between his
teeth that ten packages were a great many, and that some of those
"light fixings" might have been made up into one. And when I came to
understand that the number of every check was entered in a book, and
re-entered at every change, I did whisper to my wife that she ought
to do without a bonnet-box. The ten, however, went on, and were
always duly protected. I must add, however, that articles requiring
tender treatment will sometimes reappear a little the worse from the
hardships of their journey.

I have not much to say of Detroit; not much, that is, beyond what I
have to say of all the North. It is a large well-built half-finished
city, lying on a convenient water way, and spreading itself out
with promises of a wide and still wider prosperity. It has about it
perhaps as little of intrinsic interest as any of those large western
towns which I visited. It is not so pleasant as Milwaukee, nor so
picturesque as St. Paul, nor so grand as Chicago, nor so civilized as
Cleveland, nor so busy as Buffalo. Indeed Detroit is neither pleasant
nor picturesque at all. I will not say that it is uncivilized, but it
has a harsh, crude, unprepossessing appearance. It has some 70,000
inhabitants, and good accommodation for shipping. It was doing an
enormous business before the war began, and when these troublous
times are over will no doubt again go ahead. I do not, however,
think it well to recommend any Englishman to make a special visit to
Detroit, who may be wholly uncommercial in his views and travel in
search of that which is either beautiful or interesting.

From Detroit we continued our course westward across the State of
Michigan through a country that was absolutely wild till the railway
pierced it. Very much of it is still absolutely wild. For miles upon
miles the road passes the untouched forest, showing that even in
Michigan the great work of civilization has hardly more than been
commenced. As one thinks of the all but countless population which is
before long to be fed from these regions, of the cities which will
grow here, and of the amount of government which in due time will be
required, one can hardly fail to feel that the division of the United
States into separate nationalities is merely a part of the ordained
work of creation, as arranged for the well-being of mankind. The
States already boast of thirty millions of inhabitants,--not of
unnoticed and unnoticeable beings, requiring little, knowing little,
and doing little, such as are the Eastern hordes which may be counted
by tens of millions; but of men and women who talk loudly and are
ambitious, who eat beef, who read and write, and understand the
dignity of manhood. But these thirty millions are as nothing to the
crowds which will grow sleek and talk loudly, and become aggressive
on these wheat and meat producing levels. The country is as yet but
touched by the pioneering hand of population. In the old countries
agriculture, following on the heels of pastoral patriarchal life,
preceded the birth of cities. But in this young world the cities have
come first. The new Jasons, blessed with the experience of the old
world adventurers, have gone forth in search of their golden fleeces
armed with all that the science and skill of the East had as yet
produced, and in settling up their new Colchis have begun by the
erection of first-class hotels and the fabrication of railroads. Let
the old world bid them God speed in their work. Only it would be well
if they could be brought to acknowledge from whence they have learned
all that they know.

Our route lay right across the State to a place called Grand Haven on
Lake Michigan, from whence we were to take boat for Milwaukee, a town
in Wisconsin on the opposite or western shore of the lake. Michigan
is sometimes called the Peninsular State from the fact that the
main part of its territory is surrounded by Lakes Michigan and
Huron, by the little Lake St. Clair, and by Lake Erie. It juts out
to the northward from the main land of Indiana and Ohio, and is
circumnavigable on the east, north, and west. These particulars
refer, however, to a part of the State only, for a portion of it lies
on the other side of Lake Michigan, between that and Lake Superior. I
doubt whether any large inland territory in the world is blessed with
such facilities of water carriage.

On arriving at Grand Haven we found that there had been a storm on
the lake, and that the passengers from the trains of the preceding
day were still remaining there, waiting to be carried over to
Milwaukee. The water, however,--or the sea as they all call it,--was
still very high, and the captain declared his intention of remaining
there that night. Whereupon all our fellow-travellers huddled
themselves into the great lake steam-boat, and proceeded to carry on
life there as though they were quite at home. The men took themselves
to the bar-room and smoked cigars and talked about the war with
their feet upon the counter, and the women got themselves into
rocking-chairs in the saloon and sat there listless and silent,
but not more listless and silent than they usually are in the big
drawing-rooms of the big hotels. There was supper there, precisely
at six o'clock, beefsteaks, and tea, and apple jam, and hot cakes,
and light fixings, to all which luxuries an American deems himself
entitled, let him have to seek his meal where he may. And I was soon
informed with considerable energy, that let the boat be kept there
as long as it might by stress of weather, the beefsteaks and apple
jam, light fixings and heavy fixings, must be supplied at the cost of
the owners of the ship. "Your first supper you pay for," my informant
told me, "because you eat that on your own account. What you consume
after that comes of their doing, because they don't start; and if
it's three meals a day for a week, it's their look out." It occurred
to me that under such circumstances a captain would be very apt to
sail either in foul weather or in fair.

It was a bright moonlight night, moonlight such as we rarely have in
England, and I started off by myself for a walk, that I might see
of what nature were the environs of Grand Haven. A more melancholy
place I never beheld. The town of Grand Haven itself is placed on the
opposite side of a creek, and was to be reached by a ferry. On our
side, to which the railway came and from which the boat was to sail,
there was nothing to be seen but sandhills which stretched away for
miles along the shore of the lake. There were great sand mountains,
and sand valleys, on the surface of which were scattered the debris
of dead trees, scattered logs white with age, and boughs half buried
beneath the sand. Grand Haven itself is but a poor place, not having
succeeded in catching much of the commerce which comes across the
lake from Wisconsin, and which takes itself on eastwards by the
railway. Altogether it is a dreary place, such as might break a man's
heart, should he find that inexorable fate required him there to
pitch his tent.

On my return I went down into the bar-room of the steamer, put my
feet upon the counter, lit my cigar, and struck into the debate then
proceeding on the subject of the war. I was getting West, and General
Fremont was the hero of the hour. "He's a frontier man, and that's
what we want. I guess he'll about go through. Yes, sir." "As for
relieving General Fre-mont,"--with the accent always strongly on
the "mont,"--"I guess you may as well talk of relieving the whole
West. They won't meddle with Fre-mont. They are beginning to know in
Washington what stuff he's made of." "Why, sir, there are 50,000 men
in these States who will follow Fre-mont, who would not stir a foot
after any other man." From which, and the like of it in many other
places, I began to understand how difficult was the task which the
statesmen in Washington had in hand.

I received no pecuniary advantage whatever from that law as to the
steam-boat meals which my new friend had revealed to me. For my one
supper of course I paid, looking forward to any amount of subsequent
gratuitous provisions. But in the course of the night the ship
sailed, and we found ourselves at Milwaukee in time for breakfast on
the following morning.

Milwaukee is a pleasant town, a very pleasant town, containing 45,000
inhabitants. How many of my readers can boast that they know anything
of Milwaukee, or even have heard of it? To me its name was unknown
until I saw it on huge railway placards stuck up in the smoking-rooms
and lounging halls of all American hotels. It is the big town of
Wisconsin, whereas Madison is the capital. It stands immediately on
the western shore of Lake Michigan, and is very pleasant. Why it
should be so, and why Detroit should be the contrary, I can hardly
tell; only I think that the same verdict would be given by any
English tourist. It must be always borne in mind that 10,000 or
40,000 inhabitants in an American town, and especially in any new
western town, is a number which means much more than would be implied
by any similar number as to an old town in Europe. Such a population
in America consumes double the amount of beef which it would in
England, wears double the amount of clothes, and demands double as
much of the comforts of life. If a census could be taken of the
watches it would be found, I take it, that the American population
possessed among them nearly double as many as would the English; and
I fear also that it would be found that many more of the Americans
were readers and writers by habit. In any large town in England it is
probable that a higher excellence of education would be found than
in Milwaukee, and also a style of life into which more of refinement
and more of luxury had found its way. But the general level of these
things, of material and intellectual well being--of beef, that is,
and book learning--is no doubt infinitely higher in a new American
than in an old European town. Such an animal as a beggar is as
much unknown as a mastodon. Men out of work and in want are almost
unknown. I do not say that there are none of the hardships of
life--and to them I will come by-and-by; but want is not known as
a hardship in these towns, nor is that dense ignorance in which so
large a proportion of our town populations is still steeped. And then
the town of 40,000 inhabitants is spread over a surface which would
suffice in England for a city of four times the size. Our towns in
England,--and the towns, indeed, of Europe generally,--have been
built as they have been wanted. No aspiring ambition as to hundreds
of thousands of people warmed the bosoms of their first founders. Two
or three dozen men required habitations in the same locality, and
clustered them together closely. Many such have failed and died out
of the world's notice. Others have thriven, and houses have been
packed on to houses till London and Manchester, Dublin and Glasgow
have been produced. Poor men have built, or have had built for them,
wretched lanes; and rich men have erected grand palaces. From the
nature of their beginnings such has, of necessity, been the manner
of their creation. But in America, and especially in Western America,
there has been no such necessity and there is no such result. The
founders of cities have had the experience of the world before them.
They have known of sanitary laws as they began. That sewerage, and
water, and gas, and good air would be needed for a thriving community
has been to them as much a matter of fact as are the well understood
combinations between timber and nails, and bricks and mortar. They
have known that water carriage is almost a necessity for commercial
success, and have chosen their sites accordingly. Broad streets
cost as little, while land by the foot is not as yet of value to be
regarded, as those which are narrow; and therefore the sites of towns
have been prepared with noble avenues, and imposing streets. A city
at its commencement is laid out with an intention that it shall be
populous. The houses are not all built at once, but there are the
places allocated for them. The streets are not made, but there are
the spaces. Many an abortive attempt at municipal greatness has so
been made and then all but abandoned. There are wretched villages
with huge straggling parallel ways which will never grow into
towns. They are the failures,--failures in which the pioneers of
civilization, frontier men as they call themselves, have lost their
tens of thousands of dollars. But when the success comes; when the
happy hit has been made, and the ways of commerce have been truly
foreseen with a cunning eye, then a great and prosperous city springs
up, ready made, as it were, from the earth. Such a town is Milwaukee,
now containing 45,000 inhabitants, but with room apparently for
double that number; with room for four times that number, were men
packed as closely there as they are with us.

In the principal business streets of all these towns one sees
vast buildings. They are usually called blocks, and are often so
denominated in large letters on their front, as Portland Block,
Devereux Block, Buel's Block. Such a block may face to two, three, or
even four streets, and, as I presume, has generally been a matter of
one special speculation. It may be divided into separate houses, or
kept for a single purpose, such as that of an hotel, or grouped into
shops below, and into various sets of chambers above. I have had
occasion in various towns to mount the stairs within these blocks,
and have generally found some portion of them vacant;--have sometimes
found the greater portion of them vacant. Men build on an enormous
scale, three times, ten times as much as is wanted. The only measure
of size is an increase on what men have built before. Monroe P.
Jones, the speculator, is very probably ruined, and then begins the
world again, nothing daunted. But Jones's block remains, and gives to
the city in its aggregate a certain amount of wealth. Or the block
becomes at once of service and finds tenants. In which case Jones
probably sells it and immediately builds two others twice as
big. That Monroe P. Jones will encounter ruin is almost a matter
of course; but then he is none the worse for being ruined. It
hardly makes him unhappy. He is greedy of dollars with a terrible
covetousness; but he is greedy in order that he may speculate more
widely. He would sooner have built Jones' tenth block, with a
prospect of completing a twentieth, than settle himself down at
rest for life as the owner of a Chatsworth or a Woburn. As for his
children he has no desire of leaving them money. Let the girls marry.
And for the boys,--for them it will be good to begin as he begun. If
they cannot build blocks for themselves, let them earn their bread
in the blocks of other men. So Monroe P. Jones, with his million of
dollars accomplished, advances on to a new frontier, goes to work
again on a new city, and loses it all. As an individual I differ very
much from Monroe P. Jones. The first block accomplished, with an
adequate rent accruing to me as the builder, I fancy that I should
never try a second. But Jones is undoubtedly the man for the West.
It is that love of money to come, joined to a strong disregard for
money made, which constitutes the vigorous frontier mind, the true
pioneering organization. Monroe P. Jones would be a great man to all
posterity, if only he had a poet to sing of his valour.

It may be imagined how large in proportion to its inhabitants will
be a town which spreads itself in this way. There are great houses
left untenanted, and great gaps left unfilled. But if the place be
successful,--if it promise success, it will be seen at once that
there is life all through it. Omnibuses, or street cars working on
rails run hither and thither. The shops that have been opened are
well filled. The great hotels are thronged. The quays are crowded
with vessels, and a general feeling of progress pervades the place.
It is easy to perceive whether or no an American town is going ahead.
The days of my visit to Milwaukee were days of civil war and national
trouble, but in spite of civil war and national trouble Milwaukee
looked healthy.

I have said that there was but little poverty,--little to be seen
of real want in these thriving towns, but that they who laboured in
them had nevertheless their own hardships. This is so. I would not
have any man believe that he can take himself to the Western States
of America,--to those States of which I am now speaking,--Michigan,
Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, or Illinois, and there by industry escape
the ills to which flesh is heir. The labouring Irish in these towns
eat meat seven days a week, but I have met many a labouring Irishman
among them who has wished himself back in his old cabin. Industry is
a good thing, and there is no bread so sweet as that which is eaten
in the sweat of a man's brow; but labour carried to excess wearies
the mind as well as body, and the sweat that is ever running makes
the bread bitter. There is, I think, no task-master over free labour
so exacting as an American. He knows nothing of hours, and seems to
have that idea of a man which a lady always has of a horse. He thinks
that he will go for ever. I wish those masons in London who strike
for nine hours' work with ten hours' pay could be driven to the
labour market of Western America for a spell. And moreover, which
astonished me, I have seen men driven and hurried,--as it were forced
forward at their work, in a manner which to an English workman would
be intolerable. This surprised me much, as it was at variance with
our,--or perhaps I should say with my,--preconceived ideas as to
American freedom. I had fancied that an American citizen would not
submit to be driven;--that the spirit of the country if not the
spirit of the individual would have made it impossible. I thought
that the shoe would have pinched quite on the other foot. But I found
that such driving did exist; and American masters in the West with
whom I had an opportunity of discussing the subject all admitted it.
"Those men 'll never half move unless they're driven," a foreman said
to me once as we stood together over some twenty men who were at
their work. "They kinder look for it, and don't well know how to get
along when they miss it." It was not his business at this moment to
drive;--nor was he driving. He was standing at some little distance
from the scene with me, and speculating on the sight before him. I
thought the men were working at their best; but their movements did
not satisfy his practised eye, and he saw at a glance that there was
no one immediately over them.

But there is worse even than this. Wages in these regions are what we
should call high. An agricultural labourer will earn perhaps fifteen
dollars a month and his board; and a town labourer will earn a dollar
a day. A dollar may be taken as representing four shillings, though
it is in fact more. Food in these parts is much cheaper than in
England, and therefore the wages must be considered as very good.
In making, however, a just calculation it must be borne in mind
that clothing is dearer than in England and that much more of it
is necessary. The wages nevertheless are high, and will enable the
labourer to save money,--if only he can get them paid. The complaint
that wages are held back and not even ultimately paid is very common.
There is no fixed rule for satisfying all such claims once a week;
and thus debts to labourers are contracted and when contracted are
ignored. With us there is a feeling that it is pitiful, mean almost
beyond expression, to wrong a labourer of his hire. We have men
who go in debt to tradesmen perhaps without a thought of paying
them;--but when we speak of such a one who has descended into
the lowest mire of insolvency, we say that he has not paid his
washerwoman. Out there in the West the washerwoman is as fair game
as the tailor, the domestic servant as the wine merchant. If a man
be honest he will not willingly take either goods or labour without
payment; and it may be hard to prove that he who takes the latter is
more dishonest than he who takes the former; but with us there is a
prejudice in favour of one's washerwoman by which the western mind
is not weakened. "They certainly have to be smart to get it," a
gentleman said to me whom I taxed on the subject. "You see on the
frontier a man is bound to be smart. If he ain't smart he'd better
go back East;--perhaps as far as Europe. He'll do there." I had got
my answer, and my friend had turned the question. But the fact was
admitted by him as it had been by many others.

Why this should be so, is a question, to answer which thoroughly
would require a volume in itself. As to the driving, why should men
submit to it, seeing that labour is abundant, and that in all newly
settled countries the labourer is the true hero of the age? In answer
to this is to be alleged the fact that hired labour is chiefly done
by fresh comers, by Irish and Germans, who have not as yet among them
any combination sufficient to protect them from such usage. The men
over them are new as masters,--masters who are rough themselves, who
themselves have been roughly driven, and who have not learned to be
gracious to those below them. It is a part of their contract that
very hard work shall be exacted; and the driving resolves itself into
this,--that the master looking after his own interest is constantly
accusing his labourer of a breach of his part of the contract. The
men no doubt do become used to it, and slacken probably in their
endeavours when the tongue of the master or foreman is not heard. But
as to that matter of non-payment of wages, the men must live; and
here as elsewhere the master who omits to pay once, will hardly find
labourers in future. The matter would remedy itself elsewhere, and
does it not do so here? This of course is so, and it is not to be
understood that labour as a rule is defrauded of its hire. But the
relation of the master and the man admits of such fraud here much
more frequently than in England. In England the labourer who did not
get his wages on the Saturday could not go on for the next week. To
him under such circumstances the world would be coming to an end. But
in the Western States, the labourer does not live so completely from
hand to mouth. He is rarely paid by the week, is accustomed to give
some credit, and till hard pressed by bad circumstances generally has
something by him. They do save money, and are thus fattened up to a
state which admits of victimization. I cannot owe money to the little
village cobbler who mends my shoes, because he demands and receives
his payment when his job is done. But to my friend in Regent Street I
extend my custom on a different system; and when I make my start for
continental life, I have with him a matter of unsettled business to a
considerable extent. The American labourer is in the condition of the
Regent Street boot-maker;--excepting in this respect, that he gives
his credit under compulsion. "But does not the law set him right?
Is there no law against debtors?" The laws against debtors are
plain enough as they are written down, but seem to be anything but
plain when called into action. They are perfectly understood, and
operations are carried on with the express purpose of evading them.
If you proceed against a man, you find that his property is in the
hands of some one else. You work in fact for Jones who lives in the
next street to you; but when you quarrel with Jones about your wages,
you find that according to law you have been working for Smith in
another State. In all countries such dodges are probably practicable.
But men will or will not have recourse to such dodges according to
the light in which they are regarded by the community. In the Western
States such dodges do not appear to be regarded as disgraceful. "It
behoves a frontier man to be smart, sir."

Honesty is the best policy. That is a doctrine which has been widely
preached, and which has recommended itself to many minds as being
one of absolute truth. It is not very ennobling in its sentiment,
seeing that it advocates a special virtue, not on the ground that
that virtue is in itself a thing beautiful, but on account of the
immediate reward which will be its consequence. Smith is enjoined not
to cheat Jones, because he will, in the long run, make more money by
dealing with Jones on the square. This is not teaching of the highest
order; but it is teaching well adapted to human circumstances, and
has obtained for itself a wide credit. One is driven, however, to
doubt whether even this teaching is not too high for the frontier
man. Is it possible that a frontier man should be scrupulous and at
the same time successful? Hitherto those who have allowed scruples to
stand in their way have not succeeded; and they who have succeeded
and made for themselves great names,--who have been the pioneers of
civilization,--have not allowed ideas of exact honesty to stand in
their way. From General Jason down to General Fremont there have
been men of great aspirations but of slight scruples. They have been
ambitious of power and desirous of progress, but somewhat regardless
how power and progress shall be attained. Clive and Warren Hastings
were great frontier men, but we cannot imagine that they had ever
realized the doctrine that honesty is the best policy. Cortez, and
even Columbus, the prince of frontier men, are in the same category.
The names of such heroes is legion. But with none of them has
absolute honesty been a favourite virtue. "It behoves a frontier man
to be smart, sir." Such, in that or other language, has been the
prevailing idea. Such is the prevailing idea. And one feels driven to
ask oneself whether such must not be the prevailing idea with those
who leave the world and its rules behind them, and go forth with the
resolve that the world and its rules shall follow them.

Of filibustering, annexation, and polishing savages off the face of
creation there has been a great deal, and who can deny that humanity
has been the gainer? It seems to those who look widely back over
history, that all such works have been carried on in obedience to
God's laws. When Jacob by Rebecca's aid cheated his elder brother he
was very smart; but we cannot but suppose that a better race was by
this smartness put in possession of the patriarchal sceptre. Esau was
polished off, and readers of Scripture wonder why heaven with its
thunder did not open over the heads of Rebecca and her son. But Jacob
with all his fraud was the chosen one. Perhaps the day may come when
scrupulous honesty may be the best policy even on the frontier. I can
only say that hitherto that day seems to be as distant as ever. I do
not pretend to solve the problem, but simply record my opinion that
under circumstances as they still exist I should not willingly select
a frontier life for my children.

I have said that all great frontier men have been unscrupulous. There
is, however, an exception in history which may perhaps serve to prove
the rule. The Puritans who colonized New England were frontier men,
and were, I think, in general scrupulously honest. They had their
faults. They were stern, austere men, tyrannical at the backbone when
power came in their way,--as are all pioneers;--hard upon vices for
which they who made the laws had themselves no minds; but they were
not dishonest.

At Milwaukee I went up to see the Wisconsin volunteers, who were
then encamped on open ground in the close vicinity of the town.
Of Wisconsin I had heard before,--and have heard the same opinion
repeated since,--that it was more backward in its volunteering than
its neighbour States in the West. Wisconsin has 760,000 inhabitants,
and its tenth thousand of volunteers was not then made up; whereas
Indiana with less than double its number had already sent out
thirty-six thousand. Iowa, with a hundred thousand less of
inhabitants, had then made up fifteen thousand. But nevertheless to
me it seemed that Wisconsin was quite alive to its presumed duty
in that respect. Wisconsin with its three quarters of a million
of people is as large as England. Every acre of it may be made
productive, but as yet it is not half cleared. Of such a country its
young men are its heart's blood. Ten thousand men fit to bear arms
carried away from such a land to the horrors of civil war is a sight
as full of sadness as any on which the eye can rest. Ah me, when will
they return, and with what altered hopes! It is, I fear, easier to
turn the sickle into the sword, than to recast the sword back again
into the sickle!

We found a completed regiment at Wisconsin consisting entirely of
Germans. A thousand Germans had been collected in that State and
brought together in one regiment, and I was informed by an officer
on the ground that there are many Germans in sundry other of the
Wisconsin regiments. It may be well to mention here that the number
of Germans through all these western States is very great. Their
number and well-being were to me astonishing. That they form a great
portion of the population of New York, making the German quarter of
that city the third largest German town in the world, I have long
known; but I had no previous idea of their expansion westward. In
Detroit nearly every third shop bore a German name, and the same
remark was to be made at Milwaukee;--and on all hands I heard praises
of their morals, of their thrift, and of their new patriotism. I was
continually told how far they exceeded the Irish settlers. To me in
all parts of the world an Irishman is dear. When handled tenderly he
becomes a creature most loveable. But with all my judgment in the
Irishman's favour, and with my prejudices leaning the same way, I
feel myself bound to state what I heard and what I saw as to the
Germans.

But this regiment of Germans, and another not completed regiment,
called from the State generally, were as yet without arms,
accoutrements, or clothing. There was the raw material of the
regiment, but there was nothing else. Winter was coming on,--winter
in which the mercury is commonly 20 degrees below zero,--and the men
were in tents with no provision against the cold. These tents held
each two men, and were just large enough for two to lie. The canvas
of which they were made seemed to me to be thin, but was I think
always double. At this camp there was a house in which the men took
their meals, but I visited other camps in which there was no such
accommodation. I saw the German regiment called to its supper by tuck
of drum, and the men marched in gallantly, armed each with a knife
and spoon. I managed to make my way in at the door after them, and
can testify to the excellence of the provisions of which their
supper consisted. A poor diet never enters into any combination
of circumstances contemplated by an American. Let him be where he
will, animal food is, with him, the first necessary of life, and he
is always provided accordingly. As to those Wisconsin men whom I
saw, it was probable that they might be marched off, down south to
Washington, or to the doubtful glories of the western campaign under
Fremont before the winter commenced. The same might have been said
of any special regiment. But taking the whole mass of men who were
collected under canvas at the end of the autumn of 1861, and who
were so collected without arms or military clothing, and without
protection from the weather, it did seem that the task taken in
hand by the Commissariat of the Northern army was one not devoid of
difficulty.

The view from Milwaukee over Lake Michigan is very pleasing. One
looks upon a vast expanse of water to which the eye finds no bounds,
and therefore there are none of the common attributes of lake beauty;
but the colour of the lake is bright, and within a walk of the city
the traveller comes to the bluffs or low round-topped hills from
which he can look down upon the shores. These bluffs form the beauty
of Wisconsin and Minnesota, and relieve the eye after the flat level
of Michigan. Round Detroit there is no rising ground, and therefore,
perhaps, it is that Detroit is uninteresting.

I have said that those who are called on to labour in these States
have their own hardships, and I have endeavoured to explain what
are the sufferings to which the town labourer is subject. To escape
from this is the labourer's great ambition, and his mode of doing
so consists almost universally in the purchase of land. He saves up
money in order that he may buy a section of an allotment, and thus
become his own master. All his savings are made with a view to this
independence. Seated on his own land he will have to work probably
harder than ever, but he will work for himself. No taskmaster can
then stand over him and wound his pride with harsh words. He will be
his own master; will eat the food which he himself has grown, and
live in the cabin which his own hands have built. This is the object
of his life; and to secure this position he is content to work late
and early and to undergo the indignities of previous servitude. The
Government price for land is about five shillings an acre--one dollar
and a quarter--and the settler may get it for this price if he be
contented to take it not only untouched as regards clearing, but also
far removed from any completed road. The traffic in these lands has
been the great speculating business of western men. Five or six years
ago, when the rage for such purchases was at its height, land was
becoming a scarce article in the market! Individuals or companies
bought it up with the object of reselling it at a profit; and many
no doubt did make money. Railway companies were, in fact, companies
combined for the purchase of land. They purchased land, looking to
increase the value of it five-fold by the opening of a railroad. It
may easily be understood that a railway, which could not be in itself
remunerative, might in this way become a lucrative speculation. No
settler could dare to place himself absolutely at a distance from
any thoroughfare. At first the margins of nature's highways, the
navigable rivers and lakes, were cleared. But as the railway system
grew and expanded itself, it became manifest that lands might be
rendered quickly available which were not so circumstanced by nature,
A company which had purchased an enormous territory from the United
States Government at five shillings an acre might well repay itself
all the cost of a railway through that territory, even though the
receipts of the railway should do no more than maintain the current
expenses. It is in this way that the thousands of miles of American
railroads have been opened; and here again must be seen the immense
advantages which the States as a new country have enjoyed. With us
the purchase of valuable land for railways, together with the legal
expenses which those compulsory purchases entailed, have been so
great that with all our traffic railways are not remunerative. But
in the States the railways have created the value of the land. The
States have been able to begin at the right end, and to arrange
that the districts which are benefited shall themselves pay for the
benefit they receive.

The Government price of land is 125 cents, or about five shillings an
acre; and even this need not be paid at once if the settler purchase
directly from the Government. He must begin by making certain
improvements on the selected land,--clearing and cultivating some
small portion, building a hut, and probably sinking a well. When this
has been done,--when he has thus given a pledge of his intentions
by depositing on the land the value of a certain amount of labour,
he cannot be removed. He cannot be removed for a term of years, and
then if he pays the price of the land it becomes his own with an
indefeasible title. Many such settlements are made on the purchase
of warrants for land. Soldiers returning from the Mexican wars
were donated with warrants for land,--the amount being 160 acres,
or the quarter of a section. The localities of such lands were
not specified, but the privilege granted was that of occupying
any quarter-section not hitherto tenanted. It will of course be
understood that lands favourably situated would be tenanted. Those
contiguous to railways were of course so occupied, seeing that
the lines were not made till the lands were in the hands of the
companies. It may therefore be understood of what nature would be
the traffic in these warrants. The owner of a single warrant might
find it of no value to him. To go back utterly into the woods, away
from river or road, and there to commence with 160 acres of forest,
or even of prairie, would be a hopeless task even to an American
settler. Some mode of transport for his produce must be found before
his produce would be of value,--before indeed he could find the means
of living. But a company buying up a large aggregate of such warrants
would possess the means of making such allotments valuable and of
reselling them at greatly increased prices.

The primary settler, therefore,--who, however, will not usually have
been the primary owner,--goes to work upon his land amidst all the
wildness of nature. He levels and burns the first trees, and raises
his first crop of corn amidst stumps still standing four or five feet
above the soil; but he does not do so till some mode of conveyance
has been found for him. So much I have said hoping to explain the
mode in which the frontier speculator paves the way for the frontier
agriculturist. But the permanent farmer very generally comes on the
land as the third owner. The first settler is a rough fellow, and
seems to be so wedded to his rough life that he leaves his land after
his first wild work is done, and goes again further off to some
untouched allotment. He finds that he can sell his improvements at a
profitable rate and takes the price. He is a preparer of farms rather
than a farmer. He has no love for the soil which his hand has first
turned. He regards it merely as an investment; and when things about
him are beginning to wear an aspect of comfort,--when his property
has become valuable, he sells it, packs up his wife and little ones,
and goes again into the woods. The western American has no love for
his own soil, or his own house. The matter with him is simply one of
dollars. To keep a farm which he could sell at an advantage from any
feeling of affection,--from what we should call an association of
ideas,--would be to him as ridiculous as the keeping of a family pig
would be in an English farmer's establishment. The pig is a part of
the farmer's stock in trade, and must go the way of all pigs. And
so is it with house and land in the life of the frontier man in the
western States.

But yet this man has his romance, his high poetic feeling, and above
all his manly dignity. Visit him, and you will find him without coat
or waistcoat, unshorn, in ragged blue trousers and old flannel shirt,
too often bearing on his lantern jaws the signs of ague and sickness;
but he will stand upright before you and speak to you with all the
ease of a lettered gentleman in his own library. All the odious
incivility of the republican servant has been banished. He is his own
master, standing on his own threshold, and finds no need to assert
his equality by rudeness. He is delighted to see you, and bids you
sit down on his battered bench without dreaming of any such apology
as an English cottier offers to a Lady Bountiful when she calls. He
has worked out his independence, and shows it in every easy movement
of his body. He tells you of it unconsciously in every tone of his
voice. You will always find in his cabin some newspaper, some book,
some token of advance in education. When he questions you about the
old country he astonishes you by the extent of his knowledge. I defy
you not to feel that he is superior to the race from whence he has
sprung in England or in Ireland. To me I confess that the manliness
of such a man is very charming. He is dirty and perhaps squalid. His
children are sick and he is without comforts. His wife is pale, and
you think you see shortness of life written in the faces of all the
family. But over and above it all there is an independence which sits
gracefully on their shoulders, and teaches you at the first glance
that the man has a right to assume himself to be your equal. It is
for this position that the labourer works, bearing hard words and
the indignity of tyranny,--suffering also too often the dishonest
ill-usage which his superior power enables the master to inflict.

"I have lived very rough," I heard a poor woman say, whose husband
had ill-used and deserted her. "I have known what it is to be hungry
and cold, and to work hard till my bones have ached. I only wish that
I might have the same chance again. If I could have ten acres cleared
two miles away from any living being, I could be happy with my
children. I find a kind of comfort when I am at work from daybreak to
sundown, and know that it is all my own." I believe that life in the
backwoods has an allurement to those who have been used to it, that
dwellers in cities can hardly comprehend.

From Milwaukee we went across Wisconsin and reached the Mississippi
at La Crosse. From hence, according to agreement, we were to start
by steamer at once up the river. But we were delayed again, as had
happened to us before on Lake Michigan at Grand Haven.



CHAPTER X.

THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI.


It had been promised to us that we should start from La Crosse by
the river steamer immediately on our arrival there; but on reaching
La Crosse we found that the vessel destined to take us up the river
had not yet come down. She was bringing a regiment from Minnesota,
and under such circumstances some pardon might be extended to
irregularities. This plea was made by one of the boat clerks in
a very humble tone, and was fully accepted by us. The wonder was
that at such a period all means of public conveyance were not put
absolutely out of gear. One might surmise that when regiments were
constantly being moved for the purposes of civil war, when the whole
North had but the one object of collecting together a sufficient
number of men to crush the South, ordinary travelling for ordinary
purposes would be difficult, slow, and subject to sudden stoppages.
Such, however, was not the case either in the northern or western
States. The trains ran much as usual, and those connected with the
boats and railways were just as anxious as ever to secure passengers.
The boat clerk at La Crosse apologised amply for the delay, and we
sat ourselves down with patience to await the arrival of the second
Minnesota regiment on its way to Washington.

During the four hours that we were kept waiting we were harboured on
board a small steamer, and at about eleven the terribly harsh whistle
that is made by the Mississippi boats informed us that the regiment
was arriving. It came up to the quay in two steamers, 750 being
brought in that which was to take us back, and 250 in a smaller one.
The moon was very bright, and great flaming torches were lit on the
vessel's side, so that all the operations of the men were visible.
The two steamers had run close up, thrusting us away from the quay
in their passage, but doing it so gently that we did not even feel
the motion. These large boats--and their size may be understood from
the fact that one of them had just brought down 750 men,--are moved
so easily and so gently that they come gliding in among each other
without hesitation and without pause. On English waters we do
not willingly run ships against each other; and when we do so
unwillingly, they bump and crush and crash upon each other, and
timbers fly while men are swearing. But here there was neither
crashing nor swearing, and the boats noiselessly pressed against each
other as though they were cased in muslin and crinoline.

I got out upon the quay and stood close by the plank, watching each
man as he left the vessel and walked across towards the railway.
Those whom I had previously seen in tents were not equipped, but
these men were in uniform and each bore his musket. Taking them all
together they were as fine a set of men as I ever saw collected. No
man could doubt on seeing them that they bore on their countenances
the signs of higher breeding and better education than would be
seen in a thousand men enlisted in England. I do not mean to argue
from this that Americans are better than English. I do not mean to
argue here that they are even better educated. My assertion goes to
show that the men generally were taken from a higher level in the
community than that which fills our own ranks. It was a matter of
regret to me, here and on many subsequent occasions, to see men bound
for three years to serve as common soldiers, who were so manifestly
fitted for a better and more useful life. To me it is always a source
of sorrow to see a man enlisted. I feel that the individual recruit
is doing badly with himself--carrying himself and the strength and
intelligence which belongs to him to a bad market. I know that there
must be soldiers; but as to every separate soldier I regret that he
should be one of them. And the higher is the class from which such
soldiers are drawn, the greater the intelligence of the men so to
be employed, the deeper with me is that feeling of regret. But this
strikes one much less in an old country than in a country that is
new. In the old countries population is thick, and food sometimes
scarce. Men can be spared, and any employment may be serviceable,
even though that employment be in itself so unproductive as that of
fighting battles or preparing for them. But in the western States of
America every arm that can guide a plough is of incalculable value.
Minnesota was admitted as a State about three years before this time,
and its whole population is not much above 150,000. Of this number
perhaps 40,000 may be working men. And now this infant State with
its huge territory and scanty population is called upon to send its
heart's blood out to the war.

And it has sent its heart's best blood. Forth they came--fine,
stalwart, well-grown fellows, looking to my eye as though they had
as yet but faintly recognised the necessary severity of military
discipline. To them hitherto the war had seemed to be an arena on
which each might do something for his country, which that country
would recognise. To themselves as yet--and to me also--they were a
band of heroes, to be reduced by the compressing power of military
discipline to the lower level, but more necessary position of a
regiment of soldiers. Ah me! how terrible to them has been the
breaking up of that delusion! When a poor yokel in England is
enlisted with a shilling and a promise of unlimited beer and glory,
one pities and if possible would save him. But with him the mode of
life to which he goes may not be much inferior to that he leaves.
It may be that for him soldiering is the best trade possible in his
circumstances. It may keep him from the hen-roosts, and perhaps
from his neighbours' pantries; and discipline may be good for him.
Population is thick with us, and there are many whom it may be well
to collect and make available under the strictest surveillance. But
of these men whom I saw entering on their career upon the banks of
the Mississippi, many were fathers of families, many were owners of
lands, many were educated men capable of high aspirations,--all were
serviceable members of their State. There were probably there not
three or four of whom it would be well that the State should be rid.
As soldiers fit, or capable of being made fit for the duties they had
undertaken, I could find but one fault with them. Their average age
was too high. There were men among them with grizzled beards, and
many who had counted thirty, thirty-five, and forty years. They had,
I believe, devoted themselves with a true spirit of patriotism. No
doubt each had some ulterior hope as to himself,--as has every mortal
patriot. Regulus when he returned hopeless to Carthage, trusted that
some Horace would tell his story. Each of these men from Minnesota
looked probably forward to his reward; but the reward desired was of
a high class.

The first great misery to be endured by these regiments will be the
military lesson of obedience which they must learn before they can
be of any service. It always seemed to me when I came near them
that they had not as yet recognized the necessary austerity of an
officer's duty. Their idea of a captain was the stage idea of a
leader of dramatic banditti, a man to be followed and obeyed as a
leader, but to be obeyed with that free and easy obedience which is
accorded to the reigning chief of the forty thieves. "Wa'll Captain,"
I have heard a private say to his officer, as he sat on one seat in a
railway-car with his feet upon the back of another. And the captain
has looked as though he did not like it. The captain did not like it,
but the poor private was being fast carried to that destiny which
he would like still less. From the first I have had faith in the
northern army; but from the first I have felt that the suffering to
be endured by these free and independent volunteers would be very
great. A man to be available as a private soldier must be compressed
and belted in till he be a machine.

As soon as the men had left the vessel we walked over the side of
it and took possession. "I am afraid your cabin won't be ready for
a quarter of an hour," said the clerk. "Such a body of men as that
will leave some dirt after them." I assured him of course that our
expectations under such circumstances were very limited, and that
I was fully aware that the boat and the boat's company were taken
up with matters of greater moment than the carriage of ordinary
passengers. But to this he demurred altogether. "The regiments
were very little to them, but occasioned much trouble. Everything,
however, should be square in fifteen minutes." At the expiration of
the time named the key of our state-room was given to us, and we
found the appurtenances as clean as though no soldier had ever put
his foot upon the vessel.

From La Crosse to St. Paul, the distance up the river is something
over 200 miles, and from St. Paul down to Dubuque, in Iowa, to which
we went on our return, the distance is 450 miles. We were therefore
for a considerable time on board these boats; more so than such a
journey may generally make necessary, as we were delayed at first by
the soldiers, and afterwards by accidents, such as the breaking of
a paddle-wheel, and other causes to which navigation on the Upper
Mississippi seems to be liable. On the whole we slept on board four
nights, and lived on board as many days. I cannot say that the life
was comfortable, though I do not know that it could be made more so
by any care on the part of the boat-owners. My first complaint would
be against the great heat of the cabins. The Americans as a rule live
in an atmosphere which is almost unbearable by an Englishman. To this
cause, I am convinced, is to be attributed their thin faces, their
pale skins, their unenergetic temperament,--unenergetic as regards
physical motion,--and their early old age. The winters are long and
cold in America, and mechanical ingenuity is far extended. These two
facts together have created a system of stoves, hot-air pipes, steam
chambers, and heating apparatus so extensive that from autumn till
the end of spring all inhabited rooms are filled with the atmosphere
of a hot oven. An Englishman fancies that he is to be baked, and
for a while finds it almost impossible to exist in the air prepared
for him. How the heat is engendered on board the river steamers
I do not know, but it is engendered to so great a degree that the
sitting-cabins are unendurable. The patient is therefore driven out
at all hours into the outside balconies of the boat, or on to the top
roof,--for it is a roof rather than a deck,--and there as he passes
through the air at the rate of twenty miles an hour, finds himself
chilled to the very bones. That is my first complaint. But as the
boats are made for Americans, and as Americans like hot air, I do not
put it forward with any idea that a change ought to be effected. My
second complaint is equally unreasonable, and is quite as incapable
of a remedy as the first. Nine-tenths of the travellers carry
children with them. They are not tourists engaged on pleasure
excursions, but men and women intent on the business of life. They
are moving up and down, looking for fortune, and in search of new
homes. Of course they carry with them all their household goods. Do
not let any critic say that I grudge these young travellers their
right to locomotion. Neither their right to locomotion is grudged
by me, nor any of those privileges which are accorded in America to
the rising generation. The habits of their country and the choice
of their parents give to them full dominion over all hours and over
all places, and it would ill become a foreigner to make such habits
and such choice a ground of serious complaint. But nevertheless the
uncontrolled energies of twenty children round one's legs do not
convey comfort or happiness, when the passing events are producing
noise and storm rather than peace and sunshine. I must protest that
American babies are an unhappy race. They eat and drink just as they
please; they are never punished; they are never banished, snubbed,
and kept in the back ground as children are kept with us; and yet
they are wretched and uncomfortable. My heart has bled for them
as I have heard them squalling by the hour together in agonies of
discontent and dyspepsia. Can it be, I wonder, that children are
happier when they are made to obey orders and are sent to bed at six
o'clock, than when allowed to regulate their own conduct; that bread
and milk are more favourable to laughter and soft childish ways
than beef-steaks and pickles three times a day; that an occasional
whipping, even, will conduce to rosy cheeks? It is an idea which I
should never dare to broach to an American mother; but I must confess
that after my travels on the western continent my opinions have a
tendency in that direction. Beef-steaks and pickles certainly produce
smart little men and women. Let that be taken for granted. But rosy
laughter and winning childish ways are, I fancy, the produce of
bread and milk. But there was a third reason why travelling on
these boats was not as pleasant as I had expected. I could not get
my fellow-travellers to talk to me. It must be understood that
our fellow-travellers were not generally of that class which we
Englishmen, in our pride, designate as gentlemen and ladies. They
were people, as I have said, in search of new homes and new fortunes.
But I protest that as such they would have been in those parts much
more agreeable as companions to me than any gentlemen or any ladies,
if only they would have talked to me. I do not accuse them of any
incivility. If addressed, they answered me. If application was made
by me for any special information, trouble was taken to give it
me. But I found no aptitude, no wish for conversation; nay, even a
disinclination to converse. In the western States I do not think
that I was ever addressed first by an American sitting next to me at
table. Indeed I never held any conversation at a public table in the
West. I have sat in the same room with men for hours, and have not
had a word spoken to me. I have done my very best to break through
this ice, and have always failed. A western American man is not a
talking man. He will sit for hours over a stove with his cigar in
his mouth, and his hat over his eyes, chewing the cud of reflection.
A dozen will sit together in the same way, and there shall not be
a dozen words spoken between them in an hour. With the women one's
chance of conversation is still worse. It seemed as though the
cares of the world had been too much for them, and that all talking
excepting as to business,--demands for instance on the servants
for pickles for their children,--had gone by the board. They were
generally hard, dry, and melancholy. I am speaking of course of aged
females,--from five and twenty perhaps to thirty, who had long since
given up the amusements and levities of life. I very soon abandoned
any attempt at drawing a word from these ancient mothers of families;
but not the less did I ponder in my mind over the circumstances of
their lives. Had things gone with them so sadly, was the struggle
for independence so hard, that all the softness of existence had
been trodden out of them? In the cities too it was much the same. It
seemed to me that a future mother of a family in those parts had left
all laughter behind her when she put out her finger for the wedding
ring.

For these reasons I must say that life on board these steam-boats was
not as pleasant as I had hoped to find it, but for our discomfort in
this respect we found great atonement in the scenery through which we
passed. I protest that of all the river scenery that I know, that of
the Upper Mississippi is by far the finest and the most continued.
One thinks of course of the Rhine; but, according to my idea of
beauty, the Rhine is nothing to the Upper Mississippi. For miles upon
miles, for hundreds of miles, the course of the river runs through
low hills, which are there called bluffs. These bluffs rise in every
imaginable form, looking sometimes like large straggling unwieldy
castles, and then throwing themselves into sloping lawns which
stretch back away from the river till the eye is lost in their twists
and turnings. Landscape beauty, as I take it, consists mainly in four
attributes: in water, in broken land, in scattered timber,--timber
scattered as opposed to continuous forest timber,--and in the
accident of colour. In all these particulars the banks of the Upper
Mississippi can hardly be beaten. There are no high mountains; but
high mountains themselves are grand rather than beautiful. There
are no high mountains, but there is a succession of hills which
group themselves for ever without monotony. It is perhaps the
ever-variegated forms of these bluffs which chiefly constitute the
wonderful loveliness of this river. The idea constantly occurs that
some point on every hillside would form the most charming site ever
yet chosen for a noble residence. I have passed up and down rivers
clothed to the edge with continuous forest. This at first is grand
enough, but the eye and feeling soon become weary. Here the trees are
scattered so that the eye passes through them, and ever and again
a long lawn sweeps back into the country, and up the steep side of
a hill, making the traveller long to stay there and linger through
the oaks, and climb the bluffs, and lie about on the bold but easy
summits. The boat, however, steams quickly up against the current,
and the happy valleys are left behind, one quickly after another.
The river is very various in its breadth, and is constantly divided
by islands. It is never so broad that the beauty of the banks is
lost in the distance or injured by it. It is rapid, but has not the
beautifully bright colour of some European rivers,--of the Rhine for
instance, and the Rhone. But what is wanting in the colour of the
water is more than compensated by the wonderful hues and lustre of
the shores. We visited the river in October, and I must presume that
they who seek it solely for the sake of scenery should go there in
that month. It was not only that the foliage of the trees was bright
with every imaginable colour, but that the grass was bronzed, and
that the rocks were golden. And this beauty did not last only for a
while and then cease. On the Rhine there are lovely spots and special
morsels of scenery with which the traveller becomes duly enraptured.
But on the Upper Mississippi there are no special morsels. The
position of the sun in the heavens will, as it always does, make much
difference in the degree of beauty. The hour before and the half-hour
after sunset are always the loveliest for such scenes. But of the
shores themselves one may declare that they are lovely throughout
those 400 miles which run immediately south from St. Paul.

About half-way between La Crosse and St. Paul we came upon Lake
Pepin, and continued our course up the lake for perhaps fifty or
sixty miles. This expanse of water is narrow for a lake, and by those
who know the lower courses of great rivers, would hardly be dignified
by that name. But, nevertheless, the breadth here lessens the beauty.
There are the same bluffs, the same scattered woodlands, and the
same colours. But they are either at a distance, or else they are
to be seen on one side only. The more that I see of the beauty
of scenery, and the more I consider its elements, the stronger
becomes my conviction that size has but little to do with it, and
rather detracts from it than adds to it. Distance gives one of its
greatest charms, but it does so by concealing rather than displaying
an expanse of surface. The beauty of distance arises from the
romance,--the feeling of mystery which it creates. It is like the
beauty of woman which allures the more the more that it is veiled.
But open, uncovered land and water, mountains which simply rise to
great heights with long unbroken slopes, wide expanses of lake, and
forests which are monotonous in their continued thickness, are never
lovely to me. A landscape should always be partly veiled, and display
only half its charms.

To my taste the finest stretch of the river was that immediately
above Lake Pepin; but then, at this point, we had all the glory of
the setting sun. It was like fairy land, so bright were the golden
hues, so fantastic were the shapes of the hills, so broken and
twisted the course of the waters! But the noisy steamer went groaning
up the narrow passages with almost unabated speed, and left the fairy
land behind all too quickly. Then the bell would ring for tea, and
the children with the beef-steaks, the pickled onions, and the light
fixings would all come over again. The care-laden mothers would tuck
the bibs under the chins of their tyrant children, and some embryo
senator of four years old would listen with concentrated attention,
while the negro servant recapitulated to him the delicacies of
the supper-table, in order that he might make his choice with due
consideration. "Beef-steak," the embryo four-year old senator would
lisp, "and stewed potato, and buttered toast, and corn cake, and
coffee,--and--and--and--; mother, mind you get me the pickles."

St. Paul enjoys the double privilege of being the commercial and
political capital of Minnesota. The same is the case with Boston in
Massachusetts, but I do not remember another instance in which it is
so. It is built on the eastern bank of the Mississippi, though the
bulk of the State lies to the west of the river. It is noticeable as
the spot up to which the river is navigable. Immediately above St.
Paul there are narrow rapids up which no boat can pass. North of
this, continuous navigation does not go; but from St. Paul down
to New Orleans, and the Gulf of Mexico, it is uninterrupted. The
distance to St. Louis in Missouri, a town built below the confluence
of the three rivers, Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois, is 900
miles; and then the navigable waters down to the gulf wash a southern
country of still greater extent. No river on the face of the globe
forms a highway for the produce of so wide an extent of agricultural
land. The Mississippi with its tributaries carried to market, before
the war, the produce of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois,
Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas,
Mississippi, and Louisiana. This country is larger than England,
Ireland, Scotland, Holland, Belgium, France, Germany and Spain
together, and is undoubtedly composed of much more fertile land. The
States named comprise the great centre valley of the continent, and
are the farming lands and garden grounds of the western world. He who
has not seen corn on the ground in Illinois or Minnesota, does not
know to what extent the fertility of land may go, or how great may be
the weight of cereal crops. And for all this the Mississippi was the
high road to market. When the crop of 1861 was garnered this high
road was stopped by the war. What suffering this entailed on the
South, I will not here stop to say, but on the West the effect was
terrible. Corn was in such plenty, Indian corn that is, or maize,
that it was not worth the farmer's while to prepare it for market.
When I was in Illinois the second quality of Indian corn when shelled
was not worth more than from eight to ten cents a bushel. But the
shelling and preparation are laborious, and in some instances it was
found better to burn it for fuel than to sell it. Respecting the
export of corn from the West, I must say a further word or two in
the next chapter; but it seemed to be indispensable that I should
point out here how great to the United States is the need of the
Mississippi. Nor is it for corn and wheat only that its waters are
needed. Timber, lead, iron, coal, pork, all find, or should find,
their exit to the world at large by this road. There are towns on it,
and on its tributaries, already holding more than one hundred and
fifty thousand inhabitants. The number of Cincinnati exceeds that, as
also does the number of St. Louis. Under these circumstances it is
not wonderful that the States should wish to keep in their own hands
the navigation of this river.

It is not wonderful. But it will not, I think, be admitted by the
politicians of the world, that the navigation of the Mississippi need
be closed against the West, even though the southern States should
succeed in raising themselves to the power and dignity of a separate
nationality. If the waters of the Danube be not open to Austria, it
is through the fault of Austria. That the subject will be one of
trouble no man can doubt; and of course it would be well for the
North to avoid that, or any other trouble. In the meantime the
importance of this right of way must be admitted; and it must be
admitted also that whatever may be the ultimate resolve of the North,
it will be very difficult to reconcile the West to a divided dominion
of the Mississippi.

St. Paul contains about fourteen thousand inhabitants, and, like all
other American towns, is spread over a surface of ground adapted to
the accommodation of a very extended population. As it is belted on
one side by the river, and on the other by the bluffs which accompany
the course of the river, the site is pretty, and almost romantic.
Here also we found a great hotel,--a huge square building, such as
we in England might perhaps place near to a railway terminus, in such
a city as Glasgow or Manchester; but on which no living Englishman
would expend his money in a town even five times as big again as
St. Paul. Everything was sufficiently good, and much more than
sufficiently plentiful. The whole thing went on exactly as hotels do
down in Massachusetts, or the State of New York. Look at the map, and
see where St. Paul is. Its distance from all known civilization,--all
civilization that has succeeded in obtaining acquaintance with the
world at large, is very great. Even American travellers do not go up
there in great numbers, excepting those who intend to settle there.
A stray sportsman or two, American or English, as the case may be,
makes his way into Minnesota for the sake of shooting, and pushes on
up through St. Paul to the Red River. Some few adventurous spirits
visit the Indian settlements, and pass over into the unsettled
regions of Dacotah and Washington territory. But there is no throng
of travelling. Nevertheless, an hotel has been built there capable
of holding three hundred guests, and other hotels exist in the
neighbourhood, one of which is even larger than that at St. Paul.
Who can come to them, and create even a hope that such an enterprise
may be remunerative? In America it is seldom more than hope, for one
always hears that such enterprises fail.

When I was there the war was in hand, and it was hardly to be
expected that any hotel should succeed. The landlord told me that he
held it at the present time for a very low rent, and that he could
just manage to keep it open without loss. The war which hindered
people from travelling, and in that way injured the innkeepers, also
hindered people from housekeeping, and reduced them to the necessity
of boarding out,--by which the innkeepers were, of course, benefited.
At St. Paul I found that the majority of the guests were inhabitants
of the town, boarding at the hotel, and thus dispensing with the
cares of a separate establishment. I do not know what was charged for
such accommodation at St. Paul, but I have come across large houses
at which a single man could get all that he required for a dollar a
day. Now Americans are great consumers, especially at hotels, and all
that a man requires includes three hot meals with a choice from about
two dozen dishes at each.

From St. Paul there are two waterfalls to be seen, which we, of
course, visited. We crossed the river at Fort Snelling, a ricketty,
ill-conditioned building, standing at the confluence of the Minnesota
and Mississippi rivers, built there to repress the Indians. It is,
I take it, very necessary, especially at the present moment, as
the Indians seem to require repressing. They have learned that the
attention of the federal government has been called to the war, and
have become bold in consequence. When I was at St. Paul I heard of a
party of Englishmen who had been robbed of everything they possessed,
and was informed that the farmers in the distant parts of the State
were by no means secure. The Indians are more to be pitied than the
farmers. They are turning against enemies who will neither forgive
nor forget any injuries done. When the war is over they will be
improved, and polished, and annexed, till no Indian will hold an acre
of land in Minnesota. At present Fort Snelling is the nucleus of a
recruiting camp. On the point between the bluffs of the two rivers
there is a plain, immediately in front of the fort, and there we
saw the newly-joined Minnesota recruits going through their first
military exercises. They were in detachments of twenties, and were
rude enough at their goose step. The matter which struck me most in
looking at them was the difference of condition which I observed in
the men. There were the country lads, fresh from the farms, such as
we see following the recruiting sergeant through English towns; but
there were also men in black coats and black trousers, with thin
boots, and trimmed beards,--beards which had been trimmed till very
lately; and some of them with beards which showed that they were
no longer young. It was inexpressibly melancholy to see such men
as these twisting and turning about at the corporal's word, each
handling some stick in his hand in lieu of weapon. Of course they
were more awkward than the boys, even though they were twice more
assiduous in their efforts. Of course they were sad, and wretched.
I saw men there that were very wretched,--all but heart-broken, if
one might judge from their faces. They should not have been there
handling sticks, and moving their unaccustomed legs in cramped paces.
They were as razors, for which no better purpose could be found than
the cutting of blocks. When such attempts are made the block is not
cut, but the razor is spoilt. Most unfit for the commencement of
a soldier's life were some that I saw there, but I do not doubt
that they had been attracted to the work by the one idea of doing
something for their country in its trouble.

From Fort Snelling we went on to the Falls of Minnehaha. Minnehaha,
laughing water. Such I believe is the interpretation. The name in
this case is more imposing than the fall. It is a pretty little
cascade, and might do for a picnic in fine weather, but it is not a
waterfall of which a man can make much when found so far away from
home. Going on from Minnehaha we came to Minneapolis, at which place
there is a fine suspension bridge across the river, just above the
falls of St. Anthony and leading to the town of that name. Till I got
there I could hardly believe that in these days there should be a
living village called Minneapolis by living men. I presume I should
describe it as a town, for it has a municipality, and a post-office,
and, of course, a large hotel. The interest of the place however is
in the saw-mills. On the opposite side of the water, at St. Anthony,
is another very large hotel,--and also a smaller one. The smaller
one may be about the size of the first-class hotels at Cheltenham or
Leamington. They were both closed, and there seemed to be but little
prospect that either would be opened till the war should be over. The
saw-mills, however, were at full work, and to my eyes were extremely
picturesque. I had been told that the beauty of the falls had been
destroyed by the mills. Indeed all who had spoken to me about St.
Anthony had said so. But I did not agree with them. Here, as at
Ottawa, the charm in fact consists, not in an uninterrupted shoot
of water, but in a succession of rapids over a bed of broken rocks.
Among these rocks logs of loose timber are caught, which have escaped
from their proper courses, and here they lie, heaped up in some
places, and constructing themselves into bridges in others, till
the freshets of the spring carry them off. The timber is generally
brought down in logs to St. Anthony, is sawn there, and then sent
down the Mississippi in large rafts. These rafts on other rivers are
I think generally made of unsawn timber. Such logs as have escaped in
the manner above described are recognized on their passage down the
river by their marks, and are made up separately, the original owners
receiving the value,--or not receiving it as the case may be. "There
is quite a trade going on with the loose lumber," my informant told
me. And from his tone I was led to suppose that he regarded the trade
as sufficiently lucrative if not peculiarly honest.

There is very much in the mode of life adopted by the settlers
in these regions which creates admiration. The people are all
intelligent. They are energetic and speculative, conceiving grand
ideas, and carrying them out almost with the rapidity of magic.
A suspension bridge half a mile long is erected, while in England
we should be fastening together a few planks for a foot passage.
Progress, mental as well as material, is the demand of the people
generally. Everybody understands everything, and everybody intends
sooner or later to do everything. All this is very grand;--but
then there is a terrible drawback. One hears on every side of
intelligence, but one hears also on every side of dishonesty. Talk
to whom you will, of whom you will, and you will hear some tale of
successful or unsuccessful swindling. It seems to be the recognized
rule of commerce in the Far West that men shall go into the world's
markets prepared to cheat and to be cheated. It may be said that as
long as this is acknowledged and understood on all sides, no harm
will be done. It is equally fair for all. When I was a child there
used to be certain games at which it was agreed in beginning either
that there should be cheating or that there should not. It may be
said that out there in the western States, men agree to play the
cheating game; and that the cheating game has more of interest in it
than the other. Unfortunately, however, they who agree to play this
game on a large scale, do not keep outsiders altogether out of the
play-ground. Indeed outsiders become very welcome to them;--and then
it is not pleasant to hear the tone in which such outsiders speak of
the peculiarities of the sport to which they have been introduced.
When a beginner in trade finds himself furnished with a barrel of
wooden nutmegs, the joke is not so good to him as to the experienced
merchant who supplies him. This dealing in wooden nutmegs, this
selling of things which do not exist, and buying of goods for which
no price is ever to be given, is an institution which is much
honoured in the West. We call it swindling;--and so do they. But it
seemed to me that in the western States the word hardly seemed to
leave the same impress on the mind that it does elsewhere.

On our return down the river we passed La Crosse, at which we had
embarked, and went down as far as Dubuque in Iowa. On our way down we
came to grief and broke one of our paddle-wheels to pieces. We had
no special accident. We struck against nothing above or below water.
But the wheel went to pieces, and we lay-to on the river side for the
greater part of a day while the necessary repairs were being made.
Delay in travelling is usually an annoyance, because it causes the
unsettlement of a settled purpose. But the loss of the day did us no
harm, and our accident had happened at a very pretty spot. I climbed
up to the top of the nearest bluff, and walked back till I came to
the open country, and also went up and down the river banks, visiting
the cabins of two settlers who live there by supplying wood to the
river steamers. One of these was close to the spot at which we were
lying; and yet though most of our passengers came on shore, I was
the only one who spoke to the inmates of the cabin. These people
must live there almost in desolation from one year's end to another.
Once in a fortnight or so they go up to a market town in their small
boats, but beyond that they can have little intercourse with their
fellow-creatures. Nevertheless none of these dwellers by the river
side came out to speak to the men and women who were lounging about
from eleven in the morning till four in the afternoon; nor did one of
the passengers except myself knock at the door or enter the cabin, or
exchange a word with those who lived there.

I spoke to the master of the house, whom I met outside, and he at
once asked me to come in and sit down. I found his father there and
his mother, his wife, his brother, and two young children. The wife,
who was cooking, was a very pretty, pale young woman, who, however,
could have circulated round her stove more conveniently had her
crinoline been of less dimensions. She bade me welcome very prettily,
and went on with her cooking, talking the while, as though she were
in the habit of entertaining guests in that way daily. The old woman
sat in a corner knitting--as old women always do. The old man lounged
with a grandchild on his knee, and the master of the house threw
himself on the floor while the other child crawled over him. There
was no stiffness or uneasiness in their manners, nor was there
anything approaching to that republican roughness which so often
operates upon a poor, well-intending Englishman like a slap on the
cheek. I sat there for about an hour, and when I had discussed with
them English politics and the bearing of English politics upon the
American war, they told me of their own affairs. Food was very
plenty, but life was very hard. Take the year through, each man could
not earn above half a dollar a day by cutting wood. This, however,
they owned, did not take up all their time. Working on favourable
wood on favourable days they could each earn two dollars a day; but
these favourable circumstances did not come together very often. They
did not deal with the boats themselves, and the profits were eaten up
by the middleman. He, the middleman, had a good thing of it, because
he could cheat the captains of the boats in the measurement of the
wood. The chopper was obliged to supply a genuine cord of logs,--true
measure. But the man who took it off in the barge to the steamer
could so pack it that fifteen true cords would make twenty-two false
cords. "It cuts up into a fine trade, you see, sir," said the young
man, as he stroked back the little girl's hair from her forehead.
"But the captains of course must find it out," said I. This he
acknowledged, but argued that the captains on this account insisted
on buying the wood so much cheaper, and that the loss all came upon
the chopper. I tried to teach him that the remedy lay in his own
hands, and the three men listened to me quite patiently while I
explained to them how they should carry on their own trade. But the
young father had the last word. "I guess we don't get above the fifty
cents a day any way." He knew at least where the shoe pinched him.
He was a handsome, manly, noble-looking fellow, tall and thin, with
black hair and bright eyes. But he had the hollow look about his
jaws, and so had his wife, and so had his brother. They all owned
to fever and ague. They had a touch of it most years, and sometimes
pretty sharply. "It was a coarse place to live in," the old woman
said, "but there was no one to meddle with them, and she guessed that
it suited." They had books and newspapers, tidy delf, and clean glass
upon their shelves, and undoubtedly provisions in plenty. Whether
fever and ague yearly, and cords of wood stretched from fifteen to
twenty-two are more than a set-off for these good things, I will
leave every one to decide according to his own taste.

In another cabin I found women and children only, and one of the
children was in the last stage of illness. But nevertheless the woman
of the house seemed glad to see me, and talked cheerfully as long as
I would remain. She inquired what had happened to the vessel, but
it had never occurred to her to go out and see. Her cabin was neat
and well furnished, and there also I saw newspapers and Harper's
everlasting magazine. She said it was a coarse, desolate place for
living, but that she could raise almost anything in her garden.

I could not then understand, nor can I now understand, why none of
the numerous passengers out of the boat should have entered those
cabins except myself, and why the inmates of the cabins should not
have come out to speak to any one. Had they been surly, morose
people, made silent by the specialties of their life, it would have
been explicable; but they were delighted to talk and to listen. The
fact, I take it, is, that the people are all harsh to each other.
They do not care to go out of their way to speak to any one unless
something is to be gained. They say that two Englishmen meeting in
the desert would not speak unless they were introduced. The further I
travel, the less true do I find this of Englishmen, and the more true
of other people.



CHAPTER XI.

CERES AMERICANA.


We stopped at the Julien House, Dubuque. Dubuque is a city in Iowa
on the western shore of the Mississippi, and as the names both of
the town and of the hotel sounded French in my ears, I asked for
an explanation. I was then told that Julien Dubuque, a Canadian
Frenchman, had been buried on one of the bluffs of the river within
the precincts of the present town, that he had been the first white
settler in Iowa, and had been the only man who had ever prevailed
upon the Indians to work. Among them he had become a great
"Medicine," and seems for a while to have had absolute power over
them. He died I think in 1800, and was buried on one of the hills
over the river. "He was a bold bad man," my informant told me, "and
committed every sin under heaven. But he made the Indians work."

Lead mines are the glory of Dubuque, and very large sums of money
have been made from them. I was taken out to see one of them, and to
go down it; but we found, not altogether to my sorrow, that the works
had been stopped on account of the water. No effort has been made in
any of these mines to subdue the water, nor has steam been applied to
the working of them. The lodes have been so rich with lead that the
speculators have been content to take out the metal that was easily
reached, and to go off in search of fresh ground when disturbed by
water. "And are wages here paid pretty punctually?" I asked. "Well;
a man has to be smart, you know." And then my friend went on to
acknowledge that it would be better for the country if smartness were
not so essential.

Iowa has a population of 674,000 souls, and in October 1861 had
already mustered eighteen regiments of 1000 men each. Such a
population would give probably 170,000 men capable of bearing arms,
and therefore the number of soldiers sent had already amounted to
more than a decimation of the available strength of the State. When
we were at Dubuque nothing was talked of but the army. It seemed
that mines, coal-pits, and corn-fields, were all of no account in
comparison with the war. How many regiments could be squeezed out
of the State, was the one question which filled all minds; and the
general desire was that such regiments should be sent to the Western
army, to swell the triumph which was still expected for General
Fremont, and to assist in sweeping slavery out into the Gulf of
Mexico. The patriotism of the West has been quite as keen as that
of the North, and has produced results as memorable; but it has
sprung from a different source, and been conducted and animated by a
different sentiment. National greatness and support of the law have
been the ideas of the North; national greatness and abolition of
slavery have been those of the West. How they are to agree as to
terms when between them they have crushed the South,--that is the
difficulty.

At Dubuque in Iowa, I ate the best apple that I ever encountered.
I make that statement with the purpose of doing justice to the
Americans on a matter which is to them one of considerable
importance. Americans as a rule do not believe in English apples.
They declare that there are none, and receive accounts of Devonshire
cyder with manifest incredulity. "But at any rate there are no
apples in England equal to ours." That is an assertion to which an
Englishman is called upon to give an absolute assent; and I hereby
give it. Apples so excellent as some which were given to us at
Dubuque, I have never eaten in England. There is a great jealousy
respecting all the fruits of the earth. "Your peaches are fine to
look at," was said to me, "but they have no flavour." This was the
assertion of a lady, and I made no answer. My idea had been that
American peaches had no flavour; that French peaches had none; that
those of Italy had none; that little as there might be of which
England could boast with truth, she might at any rate boast of her
peaches without fear of contradiction. Indeed my idea had been that
good peaches were to be got in England only. I am beginning to doubt
whether my belief on the matter has not been the product of insular
ignorance, and idolatrous self-worship. It may be that a peach should
be a combination of an apple and a turnip. "My great objection
to your country, sir," said another, "is that you have got no
vegetables." Had he told me that we had got no seaboard, or no coals,
he would not have surprised me more. No vegetables in England! I
could not restrain myself altogether, and replied by a confession
"that we 'raised' no squash." Squash is the pulp of the pumpkin,
and is much used in the States, both as a vegetable and for pies.
No vegetables in England! Did my surprise arise from the insular
ignorance and idolatrous self-worship of a Britisher, or was my
American friend labouring under a delusion? Is Covent Garden well
supplied with vegetables, or is it not? Do we cultivate our kitchen
gardens with success, or am I under a delusion on that subject? Do
I dream, or is it true that out of my own little patches at home
I have enough for all domestic purposes of peas, beans, broccoli,
cauliflower, celery, beet-root, onions, carrots, parsnips, turnips,
seakale, asparagus, French beans, artichokes, vegetable marrow,
cucumbers, tomatoes, endive, lettuce, as well as herbs of many kinds,
cabbages throughout the year, and potatoes? No vegetables! Had the
gentleman told me that England did not suit him because we had
nothing but vegetables, I should have been less surprised.

From Dubuque, on the western shore of the river, we passed over to
Dunleath in Illinois, and went on from thence by railway to Dixon.
I was induced to visit this not very flourishing town by a desire
to see the rolling prairie of Illinois, and to learn by eyesight
something of the crops of corn or Indian maize which are produced
upon the land. Had that gentleman told me that we knew nothing of
producing corn in England he would have been nearer the mark; for
of corn in the profusion in which it is grown here we do not know
much. Better land than the prairies of Illinois for cereal crops
the world's surface probably cannot show. And here there has been
no necessity for the long previous labour of banishing the forest.
Enormous prairies stretch across the State, into which the plough can
be put at once. The earth is rich with the vegetation of thousands
of years, and the farmer's return is given to him without delay. The
land bursts with its own produce, and the plenty is such that it
creates wasteful carelessness in the gathering of the crop. It is
not worth a man's while to handle less than large quantities. Up in
Minnesota I had been grieved by the loose manner in which wheat was
treated. I have seen bags of it upset, and left upon the ground.
The labour of collecting it was more than it was worth. There wheat
is the chief crop, and as the lands become cleared and cultivation
spreads itself, the amount coming down the Mississippi will be
increased almost to infinity. The price of wheat in Europe will soon
depend, not upon the value of the wheat in the country which grows
it, but on the power and cheapness of the modes which may exist for
transporting it. I have not been able to obtain the exact prices with
reference to the carriage of wheat from St. Paul, the capital of
Minnesota, to Liverpool, but I have done so as regards Indian corn
from the State of Illinois. The following statement will show what
proportion the value of the article at the place of its growth bears
to the cost of the carriage; and it shows also how enormous an effect
on the price of corn in England would follow any serious decrease in
the cost of carriage.

   A bushel of Indian corn at Bloomington
      in Illinois cost in October, 1861    10 cents.
   Freight to Chicago                      10   "
   Storeage                                 2   "
   Freight from Chicago to Buffalo         22   "
   Elevating, and canal freight to
      New York                             19   "
   Transfer in New York and insurance       3   "
   Ocean freight                           23   "
                                           --
   Cost of a bushel of Indian corn at
      Liverpool                            89 cents.

Thus corn which in Liverpool costs 3_s._ 10_d._, has been sold by
the farmer who produced it for 5_d._! It is probable that no great
reduction can be expected in the cost of ocean transit; but it will
be seen by the above figures that out of the Liverpool price of 3_s._
10_d._ or 89 cents, considerably more than half is paid for carriage
across the United States. All or nearly all this transit is by water,
and there can, I think, be no doubt but that a few years will see
it reduced by fifty per cent. In October last the Mississippi was
closed, the railways had not rolling stock sufficient for their work,
the crops of the two last years had been excessive, and there existed
the necessity of sending out the corn before the internal navigation
had been closed by frost. The parties who had the transit in their
hands put their heads together and were able to demand any prices
that they pleased. It will be seen that the cost of carrying a bushel
of corn from Chicago to Buffalo, by the lakes, was within one cent of
the cost of bringing it from New York to Liverpool. These temporary
causes for high prices of transit will cease, a more perfect system
of competition between the railways and the water transit will be
organized, and the result must necessarily be both an increase of
price to the producer and a decrease of price to the consumer. It
certainly seems that the produce of cereal crops in the valleys of
the Mississippi and its tributaries increases at a faster rate than
population increases. Wheat and corn are sown by the thousand acres
in a piece. I heard of one farmer who had 10,000 acres of corn.
Thirty years ago grain and flour were sent westward out of the
State of New York to supply the wants of those who had emigrated
into the prairies, and now we find that it will be the destiny of
those prairies to feed the universe. Chicago is the main point of
exportation north-westward from Illinois, and at the present time
sends out from its granaries more cereal produce than any other town
in the world. The bulk of this passes, in the shape of grain or
flour, from Chicago to Buffalo, which latter place is as it were
a gateway leading from the lakes or big waters to the canals or
small waters. I give below the amount of grain and flour in bushels
received into Buffalo for transit in the month of October during four
consecutive years.

   October, 1858     4,429,055 bushels.
      "     1859     5,523,448    "
      "     1860     6,500,864    "
      "     1861    12,483,797    "

In 1860, from the opening to the close of navigation, 30,837,632
bushels of grain and flour passed through Buffalo. In 1861 the amount
received up to the 31st of October was 51,969,142 bushels. As the
navigation would be closed during the month of November, the above
figures may be taken as representing not quite the whole amount
transported for the year. It may be presumed the 52,000,000 of
bushels, as quoted above, will swell itself to 60,000,000. I confess
that to my own mind statistical amounts do not bring home any
enduring idea. Fifty million bushels of corn and flour simply seems
to mean a great deal. It is a powerful form of superlative, and soon
vanishes away, as do other superlatives in this age of strong words.
I was at Chicago and at Buffalo in October 1861. I went down to the
granaries, and climbed up into the elevators. I saw the wheat running
in rivers from one vessel into another, and from the railroad vans up
into the huge bins on the top stores of the warehouses;--for these
rivers of food run up hill as easily as they do down. I saw the corn
measured by the forty bushel measure with as much ease as we measure
an ounce of cheese, and with greater rapidity. I ascertained that the
work went on, week day and Sunday, day and night incessantly; rivers
of wheat and rivers of maize ever running. I saw the men bathed in
corn as they distributed it in its flow. I saw bins by the score
laden with wheat, in each of which bins there was space for a
comfortable residence. I breathed the flour, and drank the flour,
and felt myself to be enveloped in a world of breadstuff. And then
I believed, understood, and brought it home to myself as a fact,
that here in the corn lands of Michigan, and amidst the bluffs
of Wisconsin, and on the high table plains of Minnesota, and the
prairies of Illinois, had God prepared the food for the increasing
millions of the Eastern world, as also for the coming millions of the
Western.

I do not find many minds constituted like my own, and therefore I
venture to publish the above figures. I believe them to be true in
the main, and they will show, if credited, that the increase during
the last four years has gone on with more than fabulous rapidity. For
myself I own that those figures would have done nothing unless I had
visited the spot myself. A man cannot, perhaps, count up the results
of such a work by a quick glance of his eye, nor communicate with
precision to another the conviction which his own short experience
has made so strong within himself;--but to himself seeing is
believing. To me it was so at Chicago and at Buffalo. I began then
to know what it was for a country to overflow with milk and honey,
to burst with its own fruits, and be smothered by its own riches.
From St. Paul down the Mississippi by the shores of Wisconsin and
Iowa,--by the ports on Lake Pepin,--by La Crosse, from which one
railway runs eastward,--by Prairie du Chien the terminus of a
second,--by Dunleath, Fulton, and Rock Island from whence three other
lines run eastward, all through that wonderful State of Illinois--the
farmers' glory,--along the ports of the great lakes,--through
Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and further Pennsylvania, up to Buffalo, the
great gate of the western Ceres, the loud cry was this--"How shall we
rid ourselves of our corn and wheat?" The result has been the passage
of 60,000,000 bushels of breadstuffs through that gate in one year!
Let those who are susceptible of statistics ponder that. For them who
are not I can only give this advice:--Let them go to Buffalo next
October, and look for themselves.

In regarding the above figures and the increase shown between the
years 1860 and 1861, it must of course be borne in mind that during
the latter autumn no corn or wheat was carried into the Southern
States, and that none was exported from New Orleans or the mouth of
the Mississippi. The States of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana
have for some time past received much of their supplies from
the north-western lands, and the cutting off of this current of
consumption has tended to swell the amount of grain which has been
forced into the narrow channel of Buffalo. There has been no southern
exit allowed, and the southern appetite has been deprived of its
food. But taking this item for all that it is worth,--or taking
it, as it generally will be taken, for much more than it can be
worth,--the result left will be materially the same. The grand
markets to which the western States look and have looked are those of
New England, New York, and Europe. Already corn and wheat are not the
common crops of New England. Boston, and Hartford, and Lowell are fed
from the great western States. The State of New York, which, thirty
years ago, was famous chiefly for its cereal produce, is now fed
from these States. New York city would be starved if it depended
on its own State; and it will soon be as true that England would
be starved if it depended on itself. It was but the other day that
we were talking of free trade in corn as a thing desirable, but as
yet doubtful;--but the other day that Lord Derby who may be Prime
Minister to-morrow, and Mr. Disraeli who may be Chancellor of the
Exchequer to-morrow, were stoutly of opinion that the corn laws might
be and should be maintained;--but the other day that the same opinion
was held with confidence by Sir Robert Peel, who, however, when the
day for the change came, was not ashamed to become the instrument
used by the people for their repeal. Events in these days march so
quickly that they leave men behind, and our dear old Protectionists
at home will have grown sleek upon American flour before they have
realized the fact that they are no longer fed from their own furrows.

I have given figures merely as regards the trade of Buffalo; but it
must not be presumed that Buffalo is the only outlet from the great
corn lands of Northern America. In the first place no grain of the
produce of Canada finds its way to Buffalo. Its exit is by the St.
Lawrence, or by the Grand Trunk Railway, as I have stated when
speaking of Canada. And then there is the passage for large vessels
from the Upper Lakes, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Erie,
through the Welland Canal, into Lake Ontario, and out by the St.
Lawrence. There is also the direct communication from Lake Erie, by
the New York and Erie railway to New York. I have more especially
alluded to the trade of Buffalo, because I have been enabled to
obtain a reliable return of the quantity of grain and flour which
passes through that town, and because Buffalo and Chicago are the two
spots which are becoming most famous in the cereal history of the
western States.

Everybody has a map of North America. A reference to such a map will
show the peculiar position of Chicago. It is at the south or head
of Lake Michigan, and to it converge railways from Wisconsin, Iowa,
Illinois, and Indiana. At Chicago is found the nearest water carriage
which can be obtained for the produce of a large portion of these
States. From Chicago there is direct water conveyance round through
the lakes to Buffalo at the foot of Lake Erie. At Milwaukee, higher
up on the lake, certain lines of railway come in, joining the lake to
the Upper Mississippi, and to the wheat-lands of Minnesota. Thence
the passage is round by Detroit which is the port for the produce
of the greatest part of Michigan, and still it all goes on towards
Buffalo. Then on Lake Erie there are the ports of Toledo, Cleveland,
and Erie. At the bottom of Lake Erie, there is this city of corn, at
which the grain and flour are transhipped into the canal boats and
into the railway cars for New York; and there is also the Welland
Canal, through which large vessels pass from the upper lakes, without
transhipment of their cargo.

I have said above that corn--meaning maize or Indian corn--was to be
bought at Bloomington in Illinois for 10 cents or fivepence a bushel.
I found this also to be the case at Dixon--and also that corn of
inferior quality might be bought for fourpence; but I found also that
it was not worth the farmers' while to shell it and sell it at such
prices. I was assured that farmers were burning their Indian corn in
some places, finding it more available to them as fuel, than it was
for the market. The labour of detaching a bushel of corn from the
hulls or cobs is considerable, as is also the task of carrying it to
market. I have known potatoes in Ireland so cheap that they would not
pay for digging and carrying away for purposes of sale. There was
then a glut of potatoes in Ireland; and in the same way there was in
the autumn of 1861 a glut of corn in the western States. The best
qualities would fetch a price, though still a low price; but corn
that was not of the best quality was all but worthless. It did for
fuel, and was burnt. The fact was that the produce had re-created
itself quicker than mankind had multiplied. The ingenuity of man had
not worked quick enough for its disposal. The earth had given forth
her increase so abundantly that the lap of created humanity could not
stretch itself to hold it. At Dixon in 1861 corn cost fourpence a
bushel. In Ireland in 1848, it was sold for a penny a pound, a pound
being accounted sufficient to sustain life for a day,--and we all
felt that at that price food was brought into the country cheaper
than it had ever been brought before.

Dixon is not a town of much apparent prosperity. It is one of those
places at which great beginnings have been made, but as to which the
deities presiding over new towns have not been propitious. Much of it
has been burnt down, and more of it has never been built up. It had a
straggling, ill-conditioned, uncommercial aspect, very different from
the look of Detroit, Milwaukee, or St. Paul. There was, however, a
great hotel there, as usual, and a grand bridge over the Rock River,
a tributary of the Mississippi which runs by or through the town. I
found that life might be maintained on very cheap terms at Dixon. To
me as a passing traveller the charges at the hotel were, I take it,
the same as elsewhere. But I learned from an inmate there that he
with his wife and horse were fed and cared for and attended for two
dollars or 8_s._ 4_d._ a day. This included a private sitting-room,
coals, light, and all the wants of life--as my informant told
me--except tobacco and whiskey. Feeding at such a house means a
succession of promiscuous hot meals as often as the digestion of the
patient can face them. Now I do not know any locality where a man can
keep himself and his wife, with all material comforts, and the luxury
of a horse and carriage, on cheaper terms than that. Whether or no it
might be worth a man's while to live at all at such a place as Dixon
is altogether another question.

We went there because it is surrounded by the prairie, and out into
the prairie we had ourselves driven. We found some difficulty in
getting away from the corn, though we had selected this spot as one
at which the open rolling prairie was specially attainable. As long
as I could see a corn-field or a tree I was not satisfied. Nor indeed
was I satisfied at last. To have been thoroughly on the prairie and
in the prairie I should have been a day's journey from tilled land.
But I doubt whether that could now be done in the State of Illinois.
I got out into various patches and brought away specimens of
corn;--ears bearing sixteen rows of grain, with forty grains in each
row; each ear bearing a meal for a hungry man.

At last we did find ourselves on the prairie, amidst the waving
grass, with the land rolling on before us in a succession of gentle
sweeps, never rising so as to impede the view, or apparently changing
in its general level,--but yet without the monotony of flatness. We
were on the prairie, but still I felt no satisfaction. It was private
property--divided among holders and pastured over by private cattle.
Salisbury plain is as wild, and Dartmoor almost wilder. Deer they
told me were to be had within reach of Dixon; but for the buffalo one
has to go much further afield than Illinois. The farmer may rejoice
in Illinois, but the hunter and the trapper must cross the big rivers
and pass away into the western territories before he can find lands
wild enough for his purposes. My visit to the corn-fields of Illinois
was in its way successful; but I felt as I turned my face eastward
towards Chicago that I had no right to boast that I had as yet made
acquaintance with a prairie.

All minds were turned to the war, at Dixon as elsewhere. In Illinois
the men boasted that as regards the war, they were the leading State
of the Union. But the same boast was made in Indiana, and also in
Massachusetts; and probably in half the States of the North and West.
They, the Illinoisians, call their country the war nest of the West.
The population of the State is 1,700,000, and it had undertaken
to furnish sixty volunteer regiments of 1000 men each. And let it
be borne in mind that these regiments, when furnished, are really
full,--absolutely containing the thousand men when they are sent away
from the parent States. The number of souls above named will give
420,000 working men, and if out of these 60,000 are sent to the war,
the State, which is almost purely agricultural, will have given more
than one man in eight. When I was in Illinois, over forty regiments
had already been sent--forty-six if I remember rightly,--and there
existed no doubt whatever as to the remaining number. From the next
State of Indiana, with a population of 1,350,000, giving something
less than 350,000 working men, thirty-six regiments had been sent.
I fear that I am mentioning these numbers usque ad nauseam; but I
wish to impress upon English readers the magnitude of the effort
made by the States in mustering and equipping an army within six or
seven months of the first acknowledgment that such an army would be
necessary. The Americans have complained bitterly of the want of
English sympathy, and I think they have been weak in making that
complaint. But I would not wish that they should hereafter have the
power of complaining of a want of English justice. There can be no
doubt that a genuine feeling of patriotism was aroused throughout
North and West, and that men rushed into the ranks actuated by that
feeling--men for whom war and army life, a camp and fifteen dollars
a month, would not of themselves have had any attraction. It came
to that, that young men were ashamed not to go into the army. This
feeling of course produced coercion, and the movement was in that way
tyrannical. There is nothing more tyrannical than a strong popular
feeling among a democratic people. During the period of enlistment
this tyranny was very strong. But the existence of such a tyranny
proves the passion and patriotism of the people. It got the better
of the love of money, of the love of children, and of the love of
progress. Wives who with their bairns were absolutely dependent on
their husbands' labours, would wish their husbands to be at the
war. Not to conduce, in some special way, towards the war,--to have
neither father there, nor brother, nor son,--not to have lectured, or
preached, or written for the war,--to have made no sacrifice for the
war, to have had no special and individual interest in the war, was
disgraceful. One sees at a glance the tyranny of all this in such a
country as the States. One can understand how quickly adverse stories
would spread themselves as to the opinion of any man who chose to
remain tranquil at such a time. One shudders at the absolute absence
of true liberty which such a passion throughout a democratic country
must engender. But he who has observed all this must acknowledge that
that passion did exist. Dollars, children, progress, education, and
political rivalry all gave way to the one strong national desire for
the thrashing and crushing of those who had rebelled against the
authority of the Stars and Stripes.

When we were at Dixon they were getting up the Dement regiment. The
attempt at the time did not seem to be prosperous, and the few men
who had been collected had about them a forlorn, ill-conditioned
look. But then, as I was told, Dixon had already been decimated and
re-decimated by former recruiting colonels. Colonel Dement, from whom
the regiment was to be named, and whose military career was only now
about to commence, had come late into the field. I did not afterwards
ascertain what had been his success, but I hardly doubt that he did
ultimately scrape together his thousand men. "Why don't you go?" I
said to a burly Irishman who was driving me. "I'm not a sound man,
yer honour," said the Irishman. "I'm deficient in me liver." Taking
the Irishmen, however, throughout the Union, they had not been found
deficient in any of the necessaries for a career of war. I do not
think that any men have done better than the Irish in the American
army.

From Dixon we went to Chicago. Chicago is in many respects the
most remarkable city among all the remarkable cities of the Union.
Its growth has been the fastest and its success the most assured.
Twenty-five years ago there was no Chicago, and now it contains
120,000 inhabitants. Cincinnati on the Ohio, and St. Louis at the
junction of the Missouri and Mississippi, are larger towns; but they
have not grown large so quickly nor do they now promise so excessive
a development of commerce. Chicago may be called the metropolis
of American corn--the favourite city haunt of the American Ceres.
The goddess seats herself there amidst the dust of her full barns,
and proclaims herself a goddess ruling over things political and
philosophical as well as agricultural. Not furrows only are in her
thoughts, but free trade also, and brotherly love. And within her own
bosom there is a boast that even yet she will be stronger than Mars.
In Chicago there are great streets, and rows of houses fit to be the
residences of a new Corn Exchange nobility. They look out on the wide
lake which is now the highway for breadstuffs, and the merchant, as
he shaves at his window, sees his rapid ventures as they pass away,
one after the other, towards the East.

I went over one great grain store in Chicago possessed by gentlemen
of the name of Sturgess and Buckenham. It was a world in itself,--and
the dustiest of all the worlds. It contained, when I was there, half
a million bushels of wheat--or a very great many, as I might say
in other language. But it was not as a storehouse that this great
building was so remarkable, but as a channel or a river course for
the flooding freshets of corn. It is so built that both railway vans
and vessels come immediately under its claws, as I may call the great
trunks of the elevators. Out of the railway vans the corn and wheat
is clawed up into the building, and down similar trunks it is at once
again poured out into the vessels. I shall be at Buffalo in a page or
two, and then I will endeavour to explain more minutely how this is
done. At Chicago the corn is bought and does change hands, and much
of it, therefore, is stored there for some space of time,--shorter
or longer as the case may be. When I was at Chicago, the only
limit to the rapidity of its transit was set by the amount of boat
accommodation. There were not bottoms enough to take the corn away
from Chicago, nor indeed on the railway was there a sufficiency of
rolling stock or locomotive power to bring it into Chicago. As I said
before, the country was bursting with its own produce and smothered
in its own fruits.

At Chicago the hotel was bigger than other hotels, and grander. There
were pipes without end for cold water which ran hot, and for hot
water which would not run at all. The post-office also was grander
and bigger than other post-offices;--though the postmaster confessed
to me that that matter of the delivery of letters was one which could
not be compassed. Just at that moment it was being done as a private
speculation; but it did not pay, and would be discontinued. The
theatre too was large, handsome, and convenient; but on the night of
my attendance it seemed to lack an audience. A good comic actor it
did not lack, and I never laughed more heartily in my life. There was
something wrong too just at that time--I could not make out what--in
the constitution of Illinois, and the present moment had been
selected for voting a new constitution. To us in England such a
necessity would be considered a matter of importance, but it did not
seem to be much thought of here. "Some slight alteration probably,"
I suggested. "No," said my informant--one of the judges of their
courts--"it is to be a thorough radical change of the whole
constitution. They are voting the delegates to-day." I went to see
them vote the delegates; but unfortunately got into a wrong place--by
invitation--and was turned out, not without some slight tumult. I
trust that the new constitution was carried through successfully.

From these little details it may perhaps be understood how a town
like Chicago goes on and prospers, in spite of all the drawbacks
which are incident to newness. Men in those regions do not mind
failures, and when they have failed, instantly begin again. They make
their plans on a large scale, and they who come after them fill up
what has been wanting at first. Those taps of hot and cold water will
be made to run by the next owner of the hotel, if not by the present
owner. In another ten years the letters, I do not doubt, will all
be delivered. Long before that time the theatre will probably be
full. The new constitution is no doubt already at work; and if found
deficient, another will succeed to it without any trouble to the
State or any talk on the subject through the Union. Chicago was
intended as a town of export for corn, and, therefore, the corn
stores have received the first attention. When I was there, they were
in perfect working order.

From Chicago we went on to Cleveland, a town in the State of Ohio on
Lake Erie, again travelling by the sleeping cars. I found that these
cars were universally mentioned with great horror and disgust by
Americans of the upper class. They always declared that they would
not travel in them on any account. Noise and dirt were the two
objections. They are very noisy, but to us belonged the happy power
of sleeping down noise. I invariably slept all through the night, and
knew nothing about the noise. They are also very dirty,--extremely
dirty,--dirty so as to cause much annoyance. But then they are not
quite so dirty as the day cars. If dirt is to be a bar against
travelling in America, men and women must stay at home. For myself I
don't much care for dirt, having a strong reliance on soap and water
and scrubbing brushes. No one regards poisons who carries antidotes
in which he has perfect faith.

Cleveland is another pleasant town,--pleasant as Milwaukee and
Portland. The streets are handsome, and are shaded by grand avenues
of trees. One of these streets is over a mile in length, and
throughout the whole of it, there are trees on each side--not little
paltry trees as are to be seen on the boulevards of Paris, but
spreading elms,--the beautiful American elm which not only spreads,
but droops also, and makes more of its foliage than any other tree
extant. And there is a square in Cleveland, well sized, as large
as Russell Square I should say, with open paths across it, and
containing one or two handsome buildings. I cannot but think that all
men and women in London would be great gainers if the iron rails of
the squares were thrown down, and the grassy enclosures thrown open
to the public. Of course the edges of the turf would be worn, and the
paths would not keep their exact shapes. But the prison look would be
banished, and the sombre sadness of the squares would be relieved.

I was particularly struck by the size and comfort of the houses at
Cleveland. All down that street of which I have spoken, they do not
stand continuously together, but are detached and separate; houses
which in England would require some fifteen or eighteen hundred a
year for their maintenance. In the States, however, men commonly
expend upon house rent a much greater proportion of their income than
they do in England. With us it is, I believe, thought that a man
should certainly not apportion more than a seventh of his spending
income to his house rent,--some say not more than a tenth. But in
many cities of the States a man is thought to live well within bounds
if he so expends a fourth. There can be no doubt as to Americans
living in better houses than Englishmen,--making the comparison of
course between men of equal incomes. But the Englishman has many more
incidental expenses than the American. He spends more on wine, on
entertainments, on horses, and on amusements. He has a more numerous
establishment, and keeps up the adjuncts and outskirts of his
residence with a more finished neatness.

These houses in Cleveland were very good,--as indeed they are in most
Northern towns; but some of them have been erected with an amount
of bad taste that is almost incredible. It is not uncommon to see
in front of a square brick house a wooden quasi-Greek portico, with
a pediment and Ionic columns, equally high with the house itself.
Wooden columns with Greek capitals attached to the doorways, and
wooden pediments over the windows, are very frequent. As a rule these
are attached to houses which, without such ornamentation, would
be simple, unpretentious, square, roomy residences. An Ionic or
Corinthian capital stuck on to a log of wood called a column, and
then fixed promiscuously to the outside of an ordinary house, is to
my eye the vilest of architectural pretences. Little turrets are
better than this; or even brown battlements made of mortar. Except in
America I do not remember to have seen these vicious bits of white
timber,--timber painted white,--plastered on to the fronts and sides
of red-brick houses.

Again we went on by rail,--to Buffalo. I have travelled some
thousands of miles by railway in the States, taking long journeys by
night and longer journeys by day; but I do not remember that while
doing so I ever made acquaintance with an American. To an American
lady in a railway car I should no more think of speaking than I
should to an unknown female in the next pew to me at a London church.
It is hard to understand from whence come the laws which govern
societies in this respect; but there are different laws in different
societies, which soon obtain recognition for themselves. American
ladies are much given to talking, and are generally free from all
_mauvaise honte_. They are collected in manner, well instructed, and
resolved to have their share of the social advantages of the world.
In this phase of life they come out more strongly than English women.
But on a railway journey, be it ever so long, they are never seen
speaking to a stranger. English women, however, on English railways
are generally willing to converse. They will do so if they be on a
journey; but will not open their mouths if they be simply passing
backwards and forwards between their homes and some neighbouring
town. We soon learn the rules on these subjects;--but who make the
rules? If you cross the Atlantic with an American lady you invariably
fall in love with her before the journey is over. Travel with the
same woman in a railway car for twelve hours, and you will have
written her down in your own mind in quite other language than that
of love.

And now for Buffalo, and the elevators. I trust I have made it
understood that corn comes into Buffalo, not only from Chicago, of
which I have spoken specially, but from all the ports round the
lakes: Racine, Milwaukee, Grandhaven, Port Sarnia, Detroit, Toledo,
Cleveland, and many others. At these ports the produce is generally
bought and sold; but at Buffalo it is merely passed through a
gateway. It is taken from vessels of a size fitted for the lakes, and
placed in other vessels fitted for the canal. This is the Erie Canal,
which connects the lakes with the Hudson River and with New York.
The produce which passes through the Welland Canal--the canal which
connects Lake Erie and the upper lakes with Lake Ontario and the St.
Lawrence--is not transhipped, seeing that the Welland Canal, which
is less than thirty miles in length, gives a passage to vessels of
500 tons. As I have before said, 60,000,000 bushels of breadstuff
were thus pushed through Buffalo in the open months of the year 1861.
These open months run from the middle of April to the middle of
November; but the busy period is that of the last two months,--the
time that is which intervenes between the full ripening of the corn
and the coming of the ice.

An elevator is as ugly a monster as has been yet produced. In
uncouthness of form it outdoes those obsolete old brutes who used to
roam about the semi-aqueous world, and live a most uncomfortable life
with their great hungering stomachs and huge unsatisfied maws. The
elevator itself consists of a big moveable trunk,--moveable as is
that of an elephant, but not pliable, and less graceful even than an
elephant's. This is attached to a huge granary or barn; but in order
to give altitude within the barn for the necessary moving up and
down of this trunk,--seeing that it cannot be curled gracefully
to its purposes as the elephant's is curled,--there is an awkward
box erected on the roof of the barn, giving some twenty feet of
additional height, up into which the elevator can be thrust. It will
be understood, then, that this big moveable trunk, the head of which,
when it is at rest, is thrust up into the box on the roof, is made
to slant down in an oblique direction from the building to the river.
For the elevator is an amphibious institution, and flourishes only on
the banks of navigable waters. When its head is ensconced within its
box, and the beast of prey is thus nearly hidden within the building,
the unsuspicious vessel is brought up within reach of the creature's
trunk, and down it comes, like a mosquito's proboscis, right through
the deck, in at the open aperture of the hole, and so into the very
vitals and bowels of the ship. When there, it goes to work upon its
food with a greed and an avidity that is disgusting to a beholder
of any taste or imagination. And now I must explain the anatomical
arrangement by which the elevator still devours and continues to
devour, till the corn within its reach has all been swallowed,
masticated, and digested. Its long trunk, as seen slanting down from
out of the building across the wharf and into the ship, is a mere
wooden pipe; but this pipe is divided within. It has two departments;
and as the grain-bearing troughs pass up the one on a pliable band,
they pass empty down the other. The system therefore is that of an
ordinary dredging machine; only that corn, and not mud is taken away,
and that the buckets or troughs are hidden from sight. Below, within
the stomach of the poor bark, three or four labourers are at work,
helping to feed the elevator. They shovel the corn up towards its
maw, so that at every swallow he should take in all that he can hold.
Thus the troughs, as they ascend, are kept full, and when they reach
the upper building they empty themselves into a shoot, over which a
porter stands guard, moderating the shoot by a door, which the weight
of his finger can open and close. Through this doorway the corn
runs into a measure, and is weighed. By measures of forty bushels
each, the tale is kept. There stands the apparatus, with the figures
plainly marked, over against the porter's eye; and as the sum mounts
nearly up to forty bushels he closes the door till the grains run
thinly through, hardly a handful at a time, so that the balance is
exactly struck. Then the teller standing by marks down his figure,
and the record is made. The exact porter touches the string of
another door, and the forty bushels of corn run out at the bottom of
the measure, disappear down another shoot, slanting also towards the
water, and deposit themselves in the canal-boat. The transit of the
bushels of corn from the larger vessel to the smaller will have taken
less than a minute, and the cost of that transit will have been--a
farthing.

But I have spoken of the rivers of wheat, and I must explain what
are those rivers. In the working of the elevator, which I have just
attempted to describe, the two vessels were supposed to be lying at
the same wharf, on the same side of the building, in the same water,
the smaller vessel inside the larger one. When this is the case
the corn runs direct from the weighing measure into the shoot that
communicates with the canal boat. But there is not room or time for
confining the work to one side of the building. There is water on
both sides, and the corn or wheat is elevated on the one side, and
re-shipped on the other. To effect this the corn is carried across
the breadth of the building; but, nevertheless, it is never handled
or moved in its direction on trucks or carriages requiring the use
of men's muscles for its motion. Across the floor of the building
are two gutters, or channels, and through these small troughs on a
pliable band circulate very quickly. They which run one way, in one
channel, are laden; they which return by the other channel are empty.
The corn pours itself into these, and they again pour it into the
shoot which commands the other water. And thus rivers of corn are
running through these buildings night and day. The secret of all the
motion and arrangement consists of course in the elevation. The corn
is lifted up; and when lifted up can move itself and arrange itself,
and weigh itself, and load itself.

I should have stated that all this wheat which passes through Buffalo
comes loose, in bulk. Nothing is known of sacks or bags. To any
spectator at Buffalo this becomes immediately a matter of course; but
this should be explained, as we in England are not accustomed to see
wheat travelling in this open, unguarded, and plebeian manner. Wheat
with us is aristocratic, and travels always in its private carriage.

Over and beyond the elevators there is nothing specially worthy of
remark at Buffalo. It is a fine city, like all other American cities
of its class. The streets are broad, the "blocks" are high, and cars
on tram-ways run all day, and nearly all night as well.



CHAPTER XII.

BUFFALO TO NEW YORK.


We had now before us only two points of interest before we should
reach New York,--the Falls of Trenton, and West Point on the Hudson
River. We were too late in the year to get up to Lake George, which
lies in the State of New York, north of Albany, and is, in fact, the
southern continuation of Lake Champlain. Lake George, I know, is very
lovely, and I would fain have seen it; but visitors to it must have
some hotel accommodation, and the hotel was closed when we were near
enough to visit it. I was in its close neighbourhood three years
since in June; but then the hotel was not yet opened. A visitor to
Lake George must be very exact in his time. July and August are the
months,--with perhaps the grace of a week in September.

The hotel at Trenton was also closed, as I was told. But even if
there were no hotel at Trenton, it can be visited without difficulty.
It is within a carriage drive of Utica, and there is moreover a
direct railway from Utica, with a station at the Trenton Falls. Utica
is a town on the line of railway from Buffalo to New York viâ Albany,
and is like all the other towns we had visited. There are broad
streets, and avenues of trees, and large shops, and excellent houses.
A general air of fat prosperity pervades them all, and is strong at
Utica as elsewhere.

I remember to have been told thirty years ago that a traveller might
go far and wide in search of the picturesque, without finding a spot
more romantic in its loveliness than Trenton Falls. The name of the
river is Canada Creek West; but as that is hardly euphonious, the
course of the water which forms the falls has been called after
the town or parish. This course is nearly two miles in length, and
along the space of these two miles it is impossible to say where the
greatest beauty exists. To see Trenton aright one must be careful not
to have too much water. A sufficiency is no doubt desirable, and it
may be that at the close of summer, before any of the autumnal rains
have fallen, there may occasionally be an insufficiency. But if there
be too much, the passage up the rocks along the river is impossible.
The way on which the tourist should walk becomes the bed of the
stream, and the great charm of the place cannot be enjoyed. That
charm consists in descending into the ravine of the river, down
amidst the rocks through which it has cut its channel, and in walking
up the bed against the stream, in climbing the sides of the various
falls, and sticking close to the river till an envious block is
reached, which comes sheer down into the water, and prevents further
progress. This is nearly two miles above the steps by which the
descent is made; and not a foot of this distance but is wildly
beautiful. When the river is very low there is a pathway even beyond
that block; but when this is the case there can hardly be enough of
water to make the fall satisfactory.

There is no one special cataract at Trenton which is in itself either
wonderful or pre-eminently beautiful. It is the position, form,
colour, and rapidity of the river which give the charm. It runs
through a deep ravine, at the bottom of which the water has cut
for itself a channel through the rocks, the sides of which rise
sometimes with the sharpness of the walls of a stone sarcophagus.
They are rounded too towards the bed, as I have seen the bottom of a
sarcophagus. Along the side of the right bank of the river there is
a passage, which when the freshets come is altogether covered. This
passage is sometimes very narrow, but in the narrowest parts an iron
chain is affixed into the rock. It is slippery and wet, and it is
well for ladies when visiting the place to be provided with outside
india-rubber shoes, which keep a hold upon the stone. If I remember
rightly there are two actual cataracts, one not far above the steps
by which the descent is made into the channel, and the other close
under a summer-house, near to which the visitors reascend into
the wood. But these cataracts, though by no means despicable as
cataracts, leave comparatively a slight impression. They tumble
down with sufficient violence, and the usual fantastic disposition
of their forces; but simply as cataracts, within a day's journey
of Niagara, they would be nothing. Up beyond the summer-house the
passage along the river can be continued for another mile, but it is
rough, and the climbing in some places rather difficult for ladies.
Every man, however, who has the use of his legs, should do it, for
the succession of rapids, and the twistings of the channels, and the
forms of the rocks are as wild and beautiful as the imagination can
desire. The banks of the river are closely wooded on each side; and
though this circumstance does not at first seem to add much to the
beauty, seeing that the ravine is so deep that the absence of wood
above would hardly be noticed, still there are broken clefts ever and
anon through which the colours of the foliage show themselves, and
straggling boughs and rough roots break through the rocks here and
there, and add to the wildness and charm of the whole.

The walk back from the summer-house through the wood is very lovely;
but it would be a disappointing walk to visitors who had been
prevented by a flood in the river from coming up the channel, for it
indicates plainly how requisite it is that the river should be seen
from below and not from above. The best view of the larger fall
itself is that seen from the wood. And here again I would point out
that any male visitor should walk the channel of the river up and
down. The descent is too slippery and difficult for bipeds laden with
petticoats. We found a small hotel open at Trenton, at which we got
a comfortable dinner, and then in the evening were driven back to
Utica.

Albany is the capital of the State of New York, and our road from
Trenton to West Point lay through that town; but these political
State capitals have no interest in themselves. The State legislature
was not sitting, and we went on, merely remarking that the manner in
which the railway cars are made to run backward and forward through
the crowded streets of the town must cause a frequent loss of human
life. One is led to suppose that children in Albany can hardly have
a chance of coming to maturity. Such accidents do not become the
subject of long-continued and strong comment in the States as they do
with us; but, nevertheless, I should have thought that such a state
of things as we saw there would have given rise to some remark on the
part of the philanthropists. I cannot myself say that I saw anybody
killed, and therefore should not be justified in making more than
this passing remark on the subject.

When first the Americans of the Northern States began to talk much
of their country, their claims as to fine scenery were confined to
Niagara and the Hudson River. Of Niagara, I have spoken, and all
the world has acknowledged that no claim made on that head can be
regarded as exaggerated. As to the Hudson, I am not prepared to say
so much generally, though there is one spot upon it which cannot be
beaten for sweetness. I have been up and down the Hudson by water,
and confess that the entire river is pretty. But there is much of
it that is not pre-eminently pretty among rivers. As a whole it
cannot be named with the Upper Mississippi, with the Rhine, with the
Moselle, or with the Upper Rhone. The palisades just out of New York
are pretty, and the whole passage through the mountains from West
Point up to Catskill and Hudson is interesting. But the glory of the
Hudson is at West Point itself; and thither on this occasion we went
direct by railway, and there we remained for two days. The Catskill
mountains should be seen by a detour off from the river. We did not
visit them because, here again, the hotel was closed. I will leave
them therefore for the new handbook which Mr. Murray will soon bring
out.

Of West Point there is something to be said independently of its
scenery. It is the Sandhurst of the States. Here is their military
school, from which officers are drafted to their regiments, and the
tuition for military purposes is, I imagine, of a high order. It
must, of course, be borne in mind that West Point, even as at present
arranged, is fitted to the wants of the old army, and not to that of
the army now required. It can go but a little way to supply officers
for 500,000 men; but would do much towards supplying them for 40,000.
At the time of my visit to West Point the regular army of the
northern States had not even then swelled itself to the latter
number.

I found that there were 220 students at West Point; that about forty
graduate every year, each of whom receives a commission in the army;
that about 120 pupils are admitted every year; and that in the course
of every year about eighty either resign, or are called upon to leave
on account of some deficiency, or fail in their final examination.
The result is simply this, that one third of those who enter
succeeds, and that two thirds fail. The number of failures seemed
to me to be terribly large,--so large as to give great ground of
hesitation to a parent in accepting a nomination for the college.
I especially inquired into the particulars of these dismissals and
resignations, and was assured that the majority of them take place in
the first year of the pupillage. It is soon seen whether or no a lad
has the mental and physical capacities necessary for the education
and future life required of him, and care is taken that those shall
be removed early as to whom it may be determined that the necessary
capacity is clearly wanting. If this is done,--and I do not doubt
it,--the evil is much mitigated. The effect otherwise would be very
injurious. The lads remain till they are perhaps one and twenty,
and have then acquired aptitudes for military life, but no other
aptitudes. At that age the education cannot be commenced anew, and,
moreover, at that age the disgrace of failure is very injurious.
The period of education used to be five years, but has now been
reduced to four. This was done in order that a double class might be
graduated in 1861 to supply the wants of the war. I believe it is
considered that but for such necessity as that, the fifth year of
education can be ill spared.

The discipline, to our English ideas, is very strict. In the first
place no kind of beer, wine, or spirits is allowed at West Point. The
law upon this point may be said to be very vehement, for it debars
even the visitors at the hotel from the solace of a glass of beer.
The hotel is within the bounds of the College, and as the lads might
become purchasers at the bar, there is no bar allowed. Any breach of
this law leads to instant expulsion; or, I should say rather, any
detection of such breach. The officer who showed us over the College
assured me that the presence of a glass of wine in a young man's room
would secure his exclusion, even though there should be no evidence
that he had tasted it. He was very firm as to this; but a little bird
of West Point, whose information, though not official or probably
accurate in words, seemed to me to be worthy of reliance in general,
told me that eyes were wont to wink when such glasses of wine made
themselves unnecessarily visible. Let us fancy an English mess of
young men from seventeen to twenty-one, at which a mug of beer would
be felony, and a glass of wine high treason! But the whole management
of the young with the Americans differs much from that in vogue
with us. We do not require so much at so early an age, either in
knowledge, in morals, or even in manliness. In America, if a lad be
under control, as at West Point, he is called upon for an amount of
labour, and a degree of conduct, which would be considered quite
transcendental and out of the question in England. But if he be not
under control, if at the age of eighteen he be living at home, or
be from his circumstances exempt from professorial power, he is a
full-fledged man with his pipe apparatus and his bar acquaintances.

And then I was told at West Point how needful and yet how painful
it was that all should be removed who were in any way deficient in
credit to the establishment. "Our rules are very exact," my informant
told me; "but the carrying out of our rules is a task not always very
easy." As to this also I had already heard something from that little
bird of West Point, but of course I wisely assented to my informant,
remarking that discipline in such an establishment was essentially
necessary. The little bird had told me that discipline at West Point
had been rendered terribly difficult by political interference. "A
young man will be dismissed by the unanimous voice of the Board, and
will be sent away. And then, after a week or two, he will be sent
back, with an order from Washington, that another trial shall be
given him. The lad will march back into the college with all the
honours of a victory, and will be conscious of a triumph over the
superintendent and his officers." "And is that common?" I asked.
"Not at the present moment," I was told. "But it was common before
the war. While Mr. Buchanan, and Mr. Pierce, and Mr. Polk were
Presidents, no officer or board of officers then at West Point was
able to dismiss a lad whose father was a Southerner, and who had
friends among the Government."

Not only was this true of West Point, but the same allegation is true
as to all matters of patronage throughout the United States. During
the three or four last Presidencies, and I believe back to the time
of Jackson, there has been an organized system of dishonesty in
the management of all beneficial places under the control of the
Government. I doubt whether any despotic court of Europe has been
so corrupt in the distribution of places,--that is in the selection
of public officers,--as has been the assemblage of statesmen at
Washington. And this is the evil which the country is now expiating
with its blood and treasure. It has allowed its knaves to stand in
the high places; and now it finds that knavish works have brought
about evil results. But of this I shall be constrained to say
something further hereafter.

We went into all the schools of the College, and made ourselves
fully aware that the amount of learning imparted was far above our
comprehension. It always occurs to me in looking through the new
schools of the present day, that I ought to be thankful to persons
who know so much for condescending to speak to me at all in plain
English. I said a word to the gentleman who was with me about horses,
seeing a lot of lads going to their riding lesson. But he was down
upon me, and crushed me instantly beneath the weight of my own
ignorance. He walked me up to the image of a horse, which he took to
pieces bit by bit, taking off skin, muscle, flesh, nerves and bones,
till the animal was a heap of atoms, and assured me that the anatomy
of the horse throughout was one of the necessary studies of the
place. We afterwards went to see the riding. The horses themselves
were poor enough. This was accounted for by the fact that such of
them as had been found fit for military service had been taken for
the use of the army.

There is a gallery in the College in which are hung sketches and
pictures by former students. I was greatly struck with the merit of
many of these. There were some copies from well-known works of art
of very high excellence, when the age is taken into account of those
by whom they were done. I don't know how far the art of drawing,
as taught generally and with no special tendency to military
instruction, may be necessary for military training; but if it be
necessary I should imagine that more is done in that direction at
West Point than at Sandhurst. I found, however, that much of that in
the gallery which was good had been done by lads who had not obtained
their degree, and who had shown an aptitude for drawing, but had not
shown any aptitude for other pursuits necessary to their intended
career.

And then we were taken to the chapel, and there saw, displayed as
trophies, two of our own dear old English flags. I have seen many a
banner hung up in token of past victory, and many a flag taken on
the field of battle mouldering by degrees into dust on some chapel's
wall,--but they have not been the flags of England. Till this
day I had never seen our own colours in any position but one of
self-assertion and independent power. From the tone used by the
gentleman who showed them to me, I could gather that he would have
passed them by had he not foreseen that he could not do so without my
notice. "I don't know that we are right to put them there," he said.
"Quite right," was my reply, "as long as the world does such things."
In private life it is vulgar to triumph over one's friends, and
malicious to triumph over one's enemies. We have not got so far yet
in public life, but I hope we are advancing toward it. In the mean
time I did not begrudge the Americans our two flags. If we keep flags
and cannons taken from our enemies, and show them about as signs of
our own prowess after those enemies have become friends, why should
not others do so as regards us? It clearly would not be well for the
world that we should always beat other nations and never be beaten.
I did not begrudge that chapel our two flags. But nevertheless the
sight of them made me sick in the stomach and uncomfortable. As an
Englishman I do not want to be ascendant over any one. But it makes
me very ill when any one tries to be ascendant over me. I wish we
could send back with our compliments all the trophies that we hold,
carriage paid, and get back in return those two flags and any other
flag or two of our own that may be doing similar duty about the
world. I take it that the parcel sent away would be somewhat more
bulky than that which would reach us in return.

The discipline at West Point seemed, as I have said, to be very
severe; but it seemed also that that severity could not in all cases
be maintained. The hours of study also were long, being nearly
continuous throughout the day. "English lads of that age could not
do it," I said; thus confessing that English lads must have in them
less power of sustained work than those of America. "They must do it
here," said my informant, "or else leave us." And then he took us off
to one of the young gentleman's quarters, in order that we might see
the nature of their rooms. We found the young gentleman fast asleep
on his bed, and felt uncommonly grieved that we should have thus
intruded on him. As the hour was one of those allocated by my
informant in the distribution of the day to private study, I could
not but take the present occupation of the embryo warrior as an
indication that the amount of labour required might be occasionally
too much even for an American youth. "The heat makes one so
uncommonly drowsy," said the young man. I was not the least surprised
at the exclamation. The air of the apartment had been warmed up to
such a pitch by the hot-pipe apparatus of the building that prolonged
life to me would, I should have thought, be out of the question in
such an atmosphere. "Do you always have it as hot as this?" I asked.
The young man swore that it was so, and with considerable energy
expressed his opinion that all his health and spirits and vitality
were being baked out of him. He seemed to have a strong opinion on
the matter, for which I respected him; but it had never occurred to
him, and did not then occur to him, that anything could be done to
moderate that deathly flow of hot air which came up to him from the
neighbouring infernal regions. He was pale in the face, and all the
lads there were pale. American lads and lasses are all pale. Men at
thirty and women at twenty-five have had all semblance of youth baked
out of them. Infants even are not rosy, and the only shades known
on the cheeks of children are those composed of brown, yellow, and
white. All this comes of those damnable hot-air pipes with which
every tenement in America is infested. "We cannot do without them,"
they say. "Our cold is so intense that we must heat our houses
throughout. Open fire-places in a few rooms would not keep our toes
and fingers from the frost." There is much in this. The assertion is
no doubt true, and thereby a great difficulty is created. It is no
doubt quite within the power of American ingenuity to moderate the
heat of these stoves, and to produce such an atmosphere as may be
most conducive to health. In hospitals no doubt this will be done;
perhaps is done at present,--though even in hospitals I have thought
the air hotter than it should be. But hot-air-drinking is like
dram-drinking. There is the machine within the house capable of
supplying any quantity, and those who consume it unconsciously
increase their draughts, and take their drams stronger and stronger,
till a breath of fresh air is felt to be a blast direct from Boreas.

West Point is at all points a military colony, and as such belongs
exclusively to the Federal Government as separate from the Government
of any individual State. It is the purchased property of the United
States as a whole, and is devoted to the necessities of a military
college. No man could take a house there, or succeed in getting even
permanent lodgings, unless he belonged to or were employed by the
establishment. There is no intercourse by road between West Point and
other towns or villages on the river side, and any such intercourse
even by water is looked upon with jealousy by the authorities.
The wish is that West Point should be isolated and kept apart
for military instruction to the exclusion of all other purposes
whatever,--especially love-making purposes. The coming over from the
other side of the water of young ladies by the ferry is regarded as a
great hindrance. They will come, and then the military students will
talk to them. We all know to what such talking leads! A lad when I
was there had been tempted to get out of barracks in plain clothes,
in order that he might call on a young lady at the hotel;--and was
in consequence obliged to abandon his commission and retire from the
Academy. Will that young lady ever again sleep quietly in her bed?
I should hope not. An opinion was expressed to me that there should
be no hotel in such a place;--that there should be no ferry, no
roads, no means by which the attention of the students should be
distracted;--that these military Rasselases should live in a happy
military valley from which might be excluded both strong drinks and
female charms,--those two poisons from which youthful military ardour
is supposed to suffer so much.

It always seems to me that such training begins at the wrong end.
I will not say that nothing should be done to keep lads of eighteen
from strong drinks. I will not even say that there should not be
some line of moderation with reference to feminine allurements. But
as a rule the restraint should come from the sense, good feeling,
and education of him who is restrained. There is no embargo on the
beer-shops either at Harrow or at Oxford,--and certainly none upon
the young ladies. Occasional damage may accrue from habits early
depraved, or a heart too early and too easily susceptible; but
the injury so done is not, I think, equal to that inflicted by a
Draconian code of morals, which will probably be evaded, and will
certainly create a desire for its evasion.

Nevertheless, I feel assured that West Point, taken as a whole, is an
excellent military academy, and that young men have gone forth from
it, and will go forth from it, fit for officers as far as training
can make men fit. The fault, if fault there be, is that which is to
be found in so many of the institutions of the United States; and is
one so allied to a virtue that no foreigner has a right to wonder
that it is regarded in the light of a virtue by all Americans. There
has been an attempt to make the place too perfect. In the desire to
have the establishment self-sufficient at all points, more has been
attempted than human nature can achieve. The lad is taken to West
Point, and it is presumed that from the moment of his reception, he
shall expend every energy of his mind and body in making himself a
soldier. At fifteen he is not to be a boy, at twenty he is not to be
a young man. He is to be a gentleman, a soldier, and an officer. I
believe that those who leave the College for the army are gentlemen,
soldiers, and officers, and therefore the result is good. But they
are also young men; and it seems that they have become so, not in
accordance with their training, but in spite of it.

But I have another complaint to make against the authorities of
West Point, which they will not be able to answer so easily as
that already preferred. What right can they have to take the
very prettiest spot on the Hudson--the prettiest spot on the
continent--one of the prettiest spots which Nature, with all her
vagaries, ever formed--and shut it up from all the world for purposes
of war? Would not any plain, however ugly, do for military exercises?
Cannot broadsword, goose-step, and double quick time be instilled
into young hands and legs in any field of thirty, forty, or fifty
acres? I wonder whether these lads appreciate the fact that they are
studying fourteen hours a day amidst the sweetest river, rock, and
mountain scenery that the imagination can conceive. Of course it
will be said that the world at large is not excluded from West Point,
that the ferry to the place is open, and that there is even a hotel
there, closed against no man or woman who will consent to become a
teetotaller for the period of his visit. I must admit that this is
so; but still one feels that one is only admitted as a guest. I want
to go and live at West Point, and why should I be prevented? The
Government had a right to buy it of course, but Government should
not buy up the prettiest spots on a country's surface. If I were an
American I should make a grievance of this; but Americans will suffer
things from their Government which no Englishmen would endure.

It is one of the peculiarities of West Point that every thing there
is in good taste. The Point itself consists of a bluff of land so
formed that the river Hudson is forced to run round three sides of
it. It is consequently a peninsula, and as the surrounding country is
mountainous on both sides of the river, it may be imagined that the
site is good. The views both up and down the river are lovely, and
the mountains behind break themselves so as to make the landscape
perfect. But this is not all. At West Point there is much of
buildings, much of military arrangement in the way of cannons, forts,
and artillery yards. All these things are so contrived as to group
themselves well into pictures. There is no picture of architectural
grandeur; but everything stands well and where it should stand, and
the eye is not hurt at any spot. I regard West Point as a delightful
place, and was much gratified by the kindness I received there.

From West Point we went direct to New York.



CHAPTER XIII.

AN APOLOGY FOR THE WAR.


I think it may be received as a fact that the Northern States, taken
together, sent a full tenth of their able-bodied men into the ranks
of the army in the course of the summer and autumn of 1861. The
South, no doubt, sent a much larger proportion; but the effect of
such a drain upon the South would not be the same, because the slaves
were left at home to perform the agricultural work of the country. I
very much doubt whether any other nation ever made such an effort
in so short a time. To a people who can do this it may well be
granted that they are in earnest; and I do not think it should be
lightly decided by any foreigner that they are wrong. The strong and
unanimous impulse of a great people is seldom wrong. And let it be
borne in mind that in this case both people may be right,--the people
both of North and South. Each may have been guided by a just and
noble feeling; though each was brought to its present condition by
bad government and dishonest statesmen.

There can be no doubt that, since the commencement of the war, the
American feeling against England has been very bitter. All Americans
to whom I spoke on the subject admitted that it was so. I, as an
Englishman, felt strongly the injustice of this feeling, and lost
no opportunity of showing or endeavouring to show that the line of
conduct pursued by England towards the States was the only line which
was compatible with her own policy and just interests, and also with
the dignity of the States' Government. I heard much of the tender
sympathy of Russia. Russia sent a flourishing general message, saying
that she wished the North might win, and ending with some good
general advice, proposing peace. It was such a message as strong
nations send to those which are weaker. Had England ventured on such
counsel the diplomatic paper would probably have been returned to
her. It is, I think, manifest that an absolute and disinterested
neutrality has been the only course which could preserve England from
deserved rebuke,--a neutrality on which her commercial necessity for
importing cotton or exporting her own manufactures should have no
effect. That our Government would preserve such a neutrality I have
always insisted, and I believe it has been done with a pure and
strict disregard to any selfish views on the part of Great Britain.
So far I think England may feel that she has done well in this
matter. But I must confess that I have not been so proud of the tone
of all our people at home as I have been of the decisions of our
statesmen. It seems to me that some of us never tire in abusing the
Americans, and calling them names for having allowed themselves to
be driven into this civil war. We tell them that they are fools and
idiots; we speak of their doings as though there had been some plain
course by which the war might have been avoided; and we throw it in
their teeth that they have no capability for war. We tell them of
the debt which they are creating, and point out to them that they
can never pay it. We laugh at their attempt to sustain loyalty, and
speak of them as a steady father of a family is wont to speak of some
unthrifty prodigal who is throwing away his estate and hurrying from
one ruinous debauchery to another. And, alas! we too frequently allow
to escape from us some expression of that satisfaction which one
rival tradesman has in the downfall of another. "Here you are with
all your boasting," is what we say. "You were going to whip all
creation the other day; and it has come to this! Brag is a good
dog, but Holdfast is a better. Pray remember that, if ever you find
yourselves on your legs again." That little advice about the two
dogs is very well, and was not altogether inapplicable. But this
is not the time in which it should be given. Putting aside slight
asperities, we will all own that the people of the States have
been and are our friends, and that as friends we cannot spare them.
For one Englishman who brings home to his own heart a feeling of
cordiality for France--a belief in the affection of our French
alliance--there are ten who do so with reference to the States. Now,
in these days of their trouble, I think that we might have borne with
them more tenderly.

And how was it possible that they should have avoided this war? I
will not now go into the cause of it, or discuss the course which it
has taken, but will simply take up the fact of the rebellion. The
South rebelled against the North, and such being the case, was it
possible that the North should yield without a war? It may very
likely be well that Hungary should be severed from Austria, or Poland
from Russia, or Venice from Austria. Taking Englishmen in a lump,
they think that such separation would be well. The subject people do
not speak the language of those that govern them, or enjoy kindred
interests. But yet when military efforts are made by those who govern
Hungary, Poland, and Venice to prevent such separation, we do not
say that Russia and Austria are fools. We are not surprised that
they should take up arms against the rebels, but would be very much
surprised indeed if they did not do so. We know that nothing but
weakness would prevent their doing so. But if Austria and Russia
insist on tying to themselves a people who do not speak their
language or live in accordance with their habits, and are not
considered unreasonable in so insisting, how much more thoroughly
would they carry with them the sympathy of their neighbours
in preventing any secession by integral parts of their own
nationalities? Would England let Ireland walk off by herself if
she wished it? In 1843 she did wish it. Three-fourths of the Irish
population would have voted for such a separation; but England would
have prevented such secession _vi et armis_ had Ireland driven her to
the necessity of such prevention.

I will put it to any reader of history whether, since government
commenced, it has not been regarded as the first duty of government
to prevent a separation of the territories governed, and whether also
it has not been regarded as a point of honour with all nationalities
to preserve uninjured each its own greatness and its own power? I
trust that I may not be thought to argue that all governments or even
all nationalities should succeed in such endeavours. Few kings have
fallen in my day in whose fate I have not rejoiced; none, I take it,
except that poor citizen King of the French. And I can rejoice that
England lost her American colonies, and shall rejoice when Spain has
been deprived of Cuba. But I hold that citizen King of the French in
small esteem, seeing that he made no fight, and I know that England
was bound to struggle when the Boston people threw her tea into the
water. Spain keeps a tighter hand on Cuba than we thought she would
some ten years since, and therefore she stands higher in the world's
respect.

It may be well that the South should be divided from the North. I am
inclined to think that it would be well--at any rate for the North;
but the South must have been aware that such division could only
be effected in two ways: either by agreement,--in which case the
proposition must have been brought forward by the South and discussed
by the North,--or by violence. They chose the latter way, as being
the readier and the surer, as most seceding nations have done.
O'Connell, when struggling for the secession of Ireland, chose the
other, and nothing came of it. The South chose violence, and prepared
for it secretly and with great adroitness. If that be not rebellion
there never has been rebellion since history began; and if civil
war was ever justified in one portion of a nation by turbulence in
another, it has now been justified in the northern States of America.

What was the North to do; this foolish North, which has been so
liberally told by us that she has taken up arms for nothing, that she
is fighting for nothing, and will ruin herself for nothing? When was
she to take the first step towards peace? Surely every Englishman
will remember that when the earliest tidings of the coming quarrel
reached us on the election of Mr. Lincoln, we all declared that any
division was impossible;--it was a mere madness to speak of it. The
States, which were so great in their unity, would never consent to
break up all their prestige and all their power by a separation!
Would it have been well for the North then to say, "If the South wish
it we will certainly separate?" After that, when Mr. Lincoln assumed
the power to which he had been elected, and declared with sufficient
manliness, and sufficient dignity also, that he would make no war
upon the South, but would collect the customs and carry on the
government, did we turn round and advise him that he was wrong? No.
The idea in England then was that his message was, if anything, too
mild. "If he means to be President of the whole Union," England said,
"he must come out with something stronger than that." Then came Mr.
Seward's speech, which was, in truth, weak enough. Mr. Seward had ran
Mr. Lincoln very hard for the President's chair on the republican
interest, and was--most unfortunately, as I think--made Secretary
of State by Mr. Lincoln, or by his party. The Secretary of State
holds the highest office in the United States Government under the
President. He cannot be compared to our Prime Minister, seeing
that the President himself exercises political power, and is
responsible for its exercise. Mr. Seward's speech simply amounted to
a declaration that separation was a thing of which the Union would
neither hear, speak, nor, if possible, think. Things looked very like
it; but no; they could never come to that! The world was too good,
and especially the American world. Mr. Seward had no specific against
secession; but let every free man strike his breast, look up to
heaven, determine to be good, and all would go right. A great deal
had been expected from Mr. Seward, and when this speech came out, we
in England were a little disappointed, and nobody presumed even then
that the North would let the South go.

It will be argued by those who have gone into the details of American
politics that an acceptance of the Crittenden compromise at this
point would have saved the war. What is or was the Crittenden
compromise I will endeavour to explain hereafter; but the terms and
meaning of that compromise can have no bearing on the subject. The
republican party who were in power disapproved of that compromise,
and could not model their course upon it. The republican party may
have been right or may have been wrong; but surely it will not be
argued that any political party elected to power by a majority should
follow the policy of a minority, lest that minority should rebel.
I can conceive of no government more lowly placed than one which
deserts the policy of the majority which supports it, fearing either
the tongues or arms of a minority.

As the next scene in the play, the State of South Carolina bombarded
Fort Sumter. Was that to be the moment for a peaceable separation?
Let us suppose that O'Connell had marched down to the Pigeon House at
Dublin, and had taken it--in 1843, let us say--would that have been
an argument to us for allowing Ireland to set up for herself? Is
that the way of men's minds, or of the minds of nations? The powers
of the President were defined by law, as agreed upon among all the
States of the Union, and against that power and against that law,
South Carolina raised her hand, and the other States joined her in
rebellion. When circumstances had come to that, it was no longer
possible that the North should shun the war. To my thinking the
rights of rebellion are holy. Where would the world have been,
or where would the world hope to be, without rebellion? But let
rebellion look the truth in the face, and not blanch from its own
consequences. She has to judge her own opportunities and to decide on
her own fitness. Success is the test of her judgment. But rebellion
can never be successful except by overcoming the power against which
she raises herself. She has no right to expect bloodless triumphs;
and if she be not the stronger in the encounter which she creates,
she must bear the penalty of her rashness. Rebellion is justified
by being better served than constituted authority, but cannot be
justified otherwise. Now and again it may happen that rebellion's
cause is so good that constituted authority will fall to the ground
at the first glance of her sword. This was so the other day in
Naples, when Garibaldi blew away the king's armies with a breath. But
this is not so often. Rebellion knows that it must fight, and the
legalized power against which rebels rise must of necessity fight
also.

I cannot see at what point the North first sinned; nor do I think
that had the North yielded, England would have honoured her for her
meekness. Had she yielded without striking a blow she would have
been told that she had suffered the Union to drop asunder by her
supineness. She would have been twitted with cowardice, and told
that she was no match for Southern energy. It would then have seemed
to those who sat in judgment on her that she might have righted
everything by that one blow from which she had abstained. But having
struck that one blow, and having found that it did not suffice, could
she then withdraw, give way, and own herself beaten? Has it been so
usually with Anglo-Saxon pluck? In such case as that would there have
been no mention of those two dogs, Brag and Holdfast? The man of the
northern States knows that he has bragged,--bragged as loudly as his
English forefathers. In that matter of bragging the British lion and
the Star-spangled banner may abstain from throwing mud at each other.
And now the northern man wishes to show that he can hold fast also.
Looking at all this I cannot see that peace has been possible to the
North.

As to the question of secession and rebellion being one and the
same thing, the point to me does not seem to bear an argument. The
confederation of States had a common army, a common policy, a common
capital, a common government, and a common debt. If one might secede,
any or all might secede, and where then would be their property,
their debt, and their servants? A confederation with such a license
attached to it would have been simply playing at national power.
If New York had seceded--a State which stretches from the Atlantic
to British North America--it would have cut New England off from
the rest of the Union. Was it legally within the power of New York
to place the six States of New England in such a position? And
why should it be assumed that so suicidal a power of destroying a
nationality should be inherent in every portion of the nation? The
States are bound together by a written compact, but that compact
gives each State no such power. Surely such a power would have been
specified had it been intended that it should be given. But there are
axioms in politics as in mathematics, which recommend themselves to
the mind at once, and require no argument for their proof. Men who
are not argumentative perceive at once that they are true. A part
cannot be greater than the whole.

I think it is plain that the remnant of the Union was bound to take
up arms against those States which had illegally torn themselves off
from her; and if so, she could only do so with such weapons as were
at her hand. The United States' army had never been numerous or well
appointed; and of such officers and equipments as it possessed, the
more valuable part was in the hands of the Southerners. It was clear
enough that she was ill-provided, and that in going to war she was
undertaking a work as to which she had still to learn many of the
rudiments. But Englishmen should be the last to twit her with such
ignorance. It is not yet ten years since we were all boasting that
swords and guns were useless things, and that military expenditure
might be cut down to any minimum figure that an economizing
Chancellor of the Exchequer could name. Since that we have
extemporized two, if not three armies. There are our volunteers at
home; and the army which holds India can hardly be considered as one
with that which is to maintain our prestige in Europe and the West.
We made some natural blunders in the Crimea, but in making those
blunders we taught ourselves the trade. It is the misfortune of the
northern States that they must learn these lessons in fighting their
own countrymen. In the course of our history we have suffered the
same calamity more than once. The Roundheads, who beat the Cavaliers
and created English liberty, made themselves soldiers on the bodies
of their countrymen. But England was not ruined by that civil war;
nor was she ruined by those which preceded it. From out of these she
came forth stronger than she entered them,--stronger, better, and
more fit for a great destiny in the history of nations. The northern
States had nearly five hundred thousand men under arms when the
winter of 1861 commenced, and for that enormous multitude all
commissariat requirements were well supplied. Camps and barracks
sprang up through the country as though by magic. Clothing was
obtained with a rapidity that has, I think, never been equalled. The
country had not been prepared for the fabrication of arms, and yet
arms were put into the men's hands almost as quickly as the regiments
could be mustered. The eighteen millions of the northern States lent
themselves to the effort as one man. Each State gave the best it had
to give. Newspapers were as rabid against each other as ever, but
no newspaper could live which did not support the war. "The South
has rebelled against the law, and the law shall be supported." This
has been the cry and the heartfelt feeling of all men; and it is a
feeling which cannot but inspire respect.

We have heard much of the tyranny of the present Government of the
United States, and of the tyranny also of the people. They have both
been very tyrannical. The "habeas corpus" has been suspended by the
word of one man. Arrests have been made on men who have been hardly
suspected of more than secession principles. Arrests have, I believe,
been made in cases which have been destitute even of any fair ground
for such suspicion. Newspapers have been stopped for advocating views
opposed to the feelings of the North, as freely as newspapers were
ever stopped in France for opposing the Emperor. A man has not been
safe in the streets who was known to be a Secessionist. It must be at
once admitted that opinion in the northern States was not free when I
was there. But has opinion ever been free anywhere on all subjects?
In the best-built strongholds of freedom have there not always been
questions on which opinion has not been free; and must it not always
be so? When the decision of a people on any matter has become, so
to say, unanimous,--when it has shown itself to be so general as
to be clearly the expression of the nation's voice as a single
chorus,--that decision becomes holy, and may not be touched. Could
any newspaper be produced in England which advocated the overthrow
of the Queen? And why may not the passion for the Union be as strong
with the northern States, as the passion for the Crown is strong with
us? The Crown with us is in no danger, and therefore the matter is at
rest. But I think we must admit that in any nation, let it be ever
so free, there may be points on which opinion must be held under
restraint. And as to those summary arrests, and the suspension of the
"habeas corpus," is there not something to be said for the States'
Government on that head also? Military arrests are very dreadful,
and the soul of a nation's liberty is that personal freedom from
arbitrary interference which is signified to the world by those two
unintelligible Latin words. A man's body shall not be kept in duress
at any man's will; but shall be brought up into open court, with
uttermost speed, in order that the law may say whether or no it
should be kept in duress. That I take it is the meaning of "habeas
corpus," and it is easy to see that the suspension of that privilege
destroys all freedom, and places the liberty of every individual at
the mercy of him who has the power to suspend it. Nothing can be
worse than this; and such suspension, if extended over any long
period of years, will certainly make a nation weak, mean-spirited,
and poor. But in a period of civil war, or even of a widely-extended
civil commotion, things cannot work in their accustomed grooves. A
lady does not willingly get out of her bedroom-window with nothing on
but her nightgown; but when her house is on fire she is very thankful
for an opportunity of doing so. It is not long since the "habeas
corpus" was suspended in parts of Ireland, and absurd arrests were
made almost daily when that suspension first took effect. It was
grievous that there should be necessity for such a step, and it is
very grievous now that such necessity should be felt in the northern
States. But I do not think that it becomes Englishmen to bear
hardly upon Americans generally for what has been done in that
matter. Mr. Seward, in an official letter to the British Minister at
Washington--which letter, through official dishonesty, found its way
to the press--claimed for the President the right of suspending the
"habeas corpus" in the States whenever it might seem good to him
to do so. If this be in accordance with the law of the land, which
I think must be doubted, the law of the land is not favourable to
freedom. For myself, I conceive that Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Seward have
been wrong in their law, and that no such right is given to the
President by the Constitution of the United States. This I will
attempt to prove in some subsequent chapter. But I think it must be
felt by all who have given any thought to the constitution of the
States, that let what may be the letter of the law, the Presidents of
the United States have had no such power. It is because the States
have been no longer united that Mr. Lincoln has had the power,
whether it be given to him by the law or no.

And then as to the debt; it seems to me very singular that we in
England should suppose that a great commercial people would be ruined
by a national debt. As regards ourselves, I have always looked on our
national debt as the ballast in our ship. We have a great deal of
ballast, but then the ship is very big. The States also are taking in
ballast at a rather rapid rate;--and we too took it in quickly when
we were about it. But I cannot understand why their ship should not
carry, without shipwreck, that which our ship has carried without
damage, and, as I believe, with positive advantage to its sailing.
The ballast, if carried honestly, will not, I think, bring the vessel
to grief. The fear is lest the ballast should be thrown overboard.

So much I have said, wishing to plead the cause of the northern
States before the bar of English opinion, and thinking that there is
ground for a plea in their favour. But yet I cannot say that their
bitterness against Englishmen has been justified, or that their tone
towards England has been dignified. Their complaint is that they
have received no sympathy from England; but it seems to me that a
great nation should not require an expression of sympathy during its
struggle. Sympathy is for the weak rather than for the strong. When
I hear two powerful men contending together in argument, I do not
sympathize with him who has the best of it; but I watch the precision
of his logic, and acknowledge the effects of his rhetoric. There has
been a whining weakness in the complaints made by Americans against
England, which has done more to lower them as a people in my judgment
than any other part of their conduct during the present crisis. When
we were at war with Russia, the feeling of the States was strongly
against us. All their wishes were with our enemies. When the Indian
mutiny was at its worst, the feeling of France was equally adverse to
us. The joy expressed by the French newspapers was almost ecstatic.
But I do not think that on either occasion we bemoaned ourselves
sadly on the want of sympathy shown by our friends. On each occasion
we took the opinion expressed for what it was worth, and managed to
live it down. We listened to what was said, and let it pass by. When
in each case we had been successful, there was an end of our friends'
croakings.

But in the northern States of America the bitterness against England
has amounted almost to a passion. The players, those chroniclers of
the time, have had no hits so sure as those which have been aimed
at Englishmen as cowards, fools, and liars. No paper has dared to
say that England has been true in her American policy. The name
of an Englishman has been made a byword for reproach. In private
intercourse private amenities have remained. I, at any rate, may
boast that such has been the case as regards myself. But even in
private life I have been unable to keep down the feeling that I have
always been walking over smothered ashes.

It may be that, when the civil war in America is over, all this will
pass by, and there will be nothing left of international bitterness
but its memory. It is sincerely to be hoped that this may be
so;--that even the memory of the existing feeling may fade away and
become unreal. I for one cannot think that two nations, situated as
are the States and England, should permanently quarrel and avoid each
other. But words have been spoken which will, I fear, long sound in
men's ears, and thoughts have sprung up which will not easily allow
themselves to be extinguished.



CHAPTER XIV.

NEW YORK.


Speaking of New York as a traveller I have two faults to find with
it. In the first place there is nothing to see; and in the second
place there is no mode of getting about to see anything. Nevertheless
New York is a most interesting city. It is the third biggest city
in the known world;--for those Chinese congregations of unwinged
ants are not cities in the known world. In no other city is there
a population so mixed and cosmopolitan in their modes of life. And
yet in no other city that I have seen are there such strong and
ever-visible characteristics of the social and political bearings of
the nation to which it belongs. New York appears to me as infinitely
more American than Boston, Chicago, or Washington. It has no peculiar
attribute of its own, as have those three cities; Boston in its
literature and accomplished intelligence, Chicago in its internal
trade, and Washington in its congressional and State politics.
New York has its literary aspirations, its commercial grandeur,
and,--heaven knows,--it has its politics also. But these do not
strike the visitor as being specially characteristic of the city.
That it is pre-eminently American is its glory or its disgrace,--as
men of different ways of thinking may decide upon it. Free
institutions, general education, and the ascendancy of dollars are
the words written on every paving-stone along Fifth Avenue, down
Broadway, and up Wall Street. Every man can vote, and values the
privilege. Every man can read, and uses the privilege. Every man
worships the dollar, and is down before his shrine from morning to
night.

As regards voting and reading no American will be angry with me
for saying so much of him; and no Englishman, whatever may be his
ideas as to the franchise in his own country, will conceive that
I have said aught to the dishonour of an American. But as to that
dollar-worshipping, it will of course seem that I am abusing the New
Yorkers. We all know what a wretchedly wicked thing money is! How it
stands between us and heaven! How it hardens our hearts, and makes
vulgar our thoughts! Dives has ever gone to the devil, while Lazarus
has been laid up in heavenly lavender. The hand that employs itself
in compelling gold to enter the service of man has always been
stigmatized as the ravisher of things sacred. The world is agreed
about that, and therefore the New Yorker is in a bad way. There
are very few citizens in any town known to me which under this
dispensation are in a good way, but the New Yorker is in about the
worst way of all. Other men, the world over, worship regularly at the
shrine with matins and vespers, nones and complines, and whatever
other daily services may be known to the religious houses; but the
New Yorker is always on his knees.

That is the amount of the charge which I bring against New York;
and now having laid on my paint thickly, I shall proceed, like an
unskilful artist, to scrape a great deal of it off again. New York
has been a leading commercial city in the world for not more than
fifty or sixty years. As far as I can learn, its population at the
close of the last century did not exceed 60,000, and ten years later
it had not reached 100,000. In 1860 it had reached nearly 800,000 in
the city of New York itself. To this number must be added the numbers
of Brooklyn, Williamsburgh, and the city of New Jersey, in order
that a true conception may be had of the population of this American
metropolis, seeing that those places are as much a part of New York
as Southwark is of London. By this the total will be swelled to
considerably above a million. It will no doubt be admitted that this
growth has been very fast, and that New York may well be proud of it.
Increase of population is, I take it, the only trustworthy sign of
a nation's success or of a city's success. We boast that London has
beaten the other cities of the world, and think that that boast is
enough to cover all the social sins for which London has to confess
her guilt. New York beginning with 60,000 sixty years since has now a
million souls;--a million mouths, all of which eat a sufficiency of
bread, all of which speak _ore rotundo_, and almost all of which can
read. And this has come of its love of dollars.

For myself I do not believe that Dives is so black as he is painted,
or that his peril is so imminent. To reconcile such an opinion with
holy writ might place me in some difficulty were I a clergyman.
Clergymen in these days are surrounded by difficulties of this
nature, finding it necessary to explain away many old-established
teachings which narrowed the Christian Church, and to open the
door wide enough to satisfy the aspirations and natural hopes
of instructed men. The brethren of Dives are now so many and so
intelligent that they will no longer consent to be damned without
looking closely into the matter themselves. I will leave them to
settle the matter with the Church, merely assuring them of my
sympathies in their little difficulties in any case in which mere
money causes the hitch.

To eat his bread in the sweat of his brow was man's curse in Adam's
day, but is certainly man's blessing in our day. And what is eating
one's bread in the sweat of one's brow but making money? I will
believe no man who tells me that he would not sooner earn two loaves
than one;--and if two, then two hundred. I will believe no man who
tells me that he would sooner earn one dollar a day than two;--and
if two, then two hundred. That is, in the very nature of the
argument,--_coeteris paribus_. When a man tells me that he would
prefer one honest loaf to two that are dishonest, I will, in all
possible cases, believe him. So also a man may prefer one quiet loaf
to two that are unquiet. But under circumstances that are the same,
and to a man who is sane, a whole loaf is better than half, and two
loaves are better than one. The preachers have preached well, but on
this matter they have preached in vain. Dives has never believed that
he will be damned because he is Dives. He has never even believed
that the temptations incident to his position have been more than a
fair counterpoise, or even so much as a fair counterpoise, to his
opportunities for doing good. All men who work desire to prosper
by their work, and they so desire by the nature given to them from
God. Wealth and progress must go on hand in hand together, let the
accidents which occasionally divide them for a time happen as often
as they may. The progress of the Americans has been caused by their
aptitude for money-making, and that continual kneeling at the shrine
of the coined goddess has carried them across from New York to San
Francisco. Men who kneel at that shrine are called on to have ready
wits, and quick hands, and not a little aptitude for self-denial. The
New Yorker has been true to his dollar, because his dollar has been
true to him.

But not on this account can I, nor on this account will any
Englishman, reconcile himself to the savour of dollars which pervades
the atmosphere of New York. The _ars celare artem_ is wanting. The
making of money is the work of man; but he need not take his work
to bed with him, and have it ever by his side at table, amidst his
family, in church, while he disports himself, as he declares his
passion to the girl of his heart, in the moments of his softest
bliss, and at the periods of his most solemn ceremonies. That many
do so elsewhere than in New York,--in London, for instance, in Paris,
among the mountains of Switzerland, and the steppes of Russia, I
do not doubt. But there is generally a veil thrown over the object
of the worshipper's idolatry. In New York one's ear is constantly
filled with the fanatic's voice as he prays, one's eyes are always
on the familiar altar. The frankincense from the temple is ever in
one's nostrils. I have never walked down Fifth Avenue alone without
thinking of money. I have never walked there with a companion without
talking of it. I fancy that every man there, in order to maintain the
spirit of the place, should bear on his forehead a label stating how
many dollars he is worth, and that every label should be expected to
assert a falsehood.

I do not think that New York has been less generous in the use of its
money than other cities, or that the men of New York generally are
so. Perhaps I might go farther and say that in no city has more been
achieved for humanity by the munificence of its richest citizens than
in New York. Its hospitals, asylums, and institutions for the relief
of all ailments to which flesh is heir, are very numerous, and beyond
praise in the excellence of their arrangements. And this has been
achieved in a great degree by private liberality. Men in America
are not as a rule anxious to leave large fortunes to their children.
The millionaire when making his will very generally gives back a
considerable portion of the wealth which he has made to the city in
which he made it. The rich citizen is always anxious that the poor
citizen shall be relieved. It is a point of honour with him to raise
the character of his municipality, and to provide that the deaf and
dumb, the blind, the mad, the idiots, the old, and the incurable
shall have such alleviation in their misfortune as skill and kindness
can afford.

Nor is the New Yorker a hugger-mugger with his money. He does not
hide up his dollars in old stockings and keep rolls of gold in hidden
pots. He does not even invest it where it will not grow but only
produce small though sure fruit. He builds houses, he speculates
largely, he spreads himself in trade to the extent of his wings,--and
not seldom somewhat further. He scatters his wealth broadcast over
strange fields, trusting that it may grow with an increase of an
hundred-fold, but bold to bear the loss should the strange field
prove itself barren. His regret at losing his money is by no means
commensurate with his desire to make it. In this there is a living
spirit which to me divests the dollar-worshipping idolatry of
something of its ugliness. The hand when closed on the gold is
instantly reopened. The idolator is anxious to get, but he is anxious
also to spend. He is energetic to the last, and has no comfort
with his stock unless it breeds with transatlantic rapidity of
procreation.

So much I say, being anxious to scrape off some of that daub of
black paint with which I have smeared the face of my New Yorker; but
not desiring to scrape it all off. For myself, I do not love to
live amidst the clink of gold, and never have "a good time," as the
Americans say, when the price of shares and percentages come up in
conversation. That state of men's minds here which I have endeavoured
to explain tends, I think, to make New York disagreeable. A stranger
there who has no great interest in percentages soon finds himself
anxious to escape. By degrees he perceives that he is out of his
element, and had better go away. He calls at the bank, and when he
shows himself ignorant as to the price at which his sovereigns should
be done, he is conscious that he is ridiculous. He is like a man who
goes out hunting for the first time at forty years of age. He feels
himself to be in the wrong place, and is anxious to get out of it.
Such was my experience of New York, at each of the visits that I paid
to it.

But yet, I say again, no other American city is so intensely American
as New York. It is generally considered that the inhabitants of
New England, the Yankees properly so called, have the American
characteristics of physiognomy in the fullest degree. The lantern
jaws, the thin and lithe body, the dry face on which there has
been no tint of the rose since the baby's long-clothes were first
abandoned, the harsh, thick hair, the thin lips, the intelligent
eyes, the sharp voice with the nasal twang--not altogether harsh,
though sharp and nasal,--all these traits are supposed to belong
especially to the Yankee. Perhaps it was so once, but at present they
are, I think, more universally common in New York than in any other
part of the States. Go to Wall Street, the front of the Astor House,
and the regions about Trinity Church, and you will find them in their
fullest perfection.

What circumstances of blood or food, of early habit or subsequent
education, have created for the latter-day American his present
physiognomy? It is as completely marked, as much his own, as is that
of any race under the sun that has bred in and in for centuries. But
the American owns a more mixed blood than any other race known. The
chief stock is English, which is itself so mixed that no man can
trace its ramifications. With this are mingled the bloods of Ireland,
Holland, France, Sweden, and Germany. All this has been done within
but a few years, so that the American may be said to have no claim
to any national type of face. Nevertheless, no man has a type of
face so clearly national as the American. He is acknowledged by it
all over the continent of Europe, and on his own side of the water
is gratified by knowing that he is never mistaken for his English
visitor. I think it comes from the hot-air pipes and from dollar
worship. In the Jesuit his mode of dealing with things divine has
given a peculiar cast of countenance; and why should not the American
be similarly moulded by his special aspirations? As to the hot-air
pipes, there can, I think, be no doubt that to them is to be charged
the murder of all rosy cheeks throughout the States. If the effect
was to be noticed simply in the dry faces of the men about Wall
Street, I should be very indifferent to the matter. But the young
ladies of Fifth Avenue are in the same category. The very pith and
marrow of life is baked out of their young bones by the hot-air
chambers to which they are accustomed. Hot air is the great destroyer
of American beauty.

In saying that there is very little to be seen in New York, I have
also said that there is no way of seeing that little. My assertion
amounts to this,--that there are no cabs. To the reading world at
large this may not seem to be much, but let the reading world go to
New York, and it will find out how much the deficiency means. In
London, in Paris, in Florence, in Rome, in the Havana, or at Grand
Cairo, the cab-driver or attendant does not merely drive the cab or
belabour the donkey, but he is the visitor's easiest and cheapest
guide. In London, the Tower, Westminster Abbey, and Madame Tussaud,
are found by the stranger without difficulty, and almost without a
thought, because the cab-driver knows the whereabouts and the way.
Space is moreover annihilated, and the huge distances of the English
metropolis are brought within the scope of mortal power. But in New
York there is no such institution.

In New York there are street omnibuses as we have,--there are
street cars such as last year we declined to have,--and there
are very excellent public carriages; but none of these give you
the accommodation of a cab, nor can all of them combined do
so. The omnibuses, though clean and excellent, were to me very
unintelligible. They have no conductor to them. To know their
different lines and usages a man should have made a scientific study
of the city. To those going up and down Broadway I became accustomed,
but in them I was never quite at my ease. The money has to be paid
through a little hole behind the driver's back, and should, as I
learned at last, be paid immediately on entrance. But in getting up
to do this I always stumbled about, and it would happen that when
with considerable difficulty I had settled my own account, two or
three ladies would enter, and would hand me, without a word, some
coins with which I had no life-long familiarity in order that I might
go through the same ceremony on their account. The change I would
usually drop into the straw, and then there would arise trouble and
unhappiness. Before I became aware of that law as to instant payment,
bells used to be rung at me which made me uneasy. I knew I was not
behaving as a citizen should behave, but could not compass the exact
points of my delinquency. And then when I desired to escape, the door
being strapped up tight, I would halloo vainly at the driver through
the little hole; whereas, had I known my duty, I should have rung
a bell, or pulled a strap, according to the nature of the omnibus
in question. In a month or two all these things may possibly be
learned;--but the visitor requires his facilities for locomotion at
the first moment of his entrance into the city. I heard it asserted
by a lecturer in Boston, Mr. Wendell Phillips, whose name is there
a household word, that citizens of the United States carried brains
in their fingers as well as in their heads, whereas "common people,"
by which Mr. Phillips intended to designate the remnant of mankind
beyond the United States, were blessed with no such extended cerebral
development. Having once learned this fact from Mr. Phillips,
I understood why it was that a New York omnibus should be so
disagreeable to me, and at the same time so suitable to the wants of
the New Yorkers.

And then there are street cars--very long omnibuses--which run on
rails but are dragged by horses. They are capable of holding forty
passengers each, and as far as my experience goes carry an average
load of sixty. The fare of the omnibus is six cents or three pence.
That of the street car five cents or two pence halfpenny. They run
along the different avenues, taking the length of the city. In the
upper or new part of the town their course is simple enough, but
as they descend to the Bowery, Peckslip, and Pearl Street, nothing
can be conceived more difficult or devious than their courses. The
Broadway omnibus, on the other hand, is a straightforward honest
vehicle in the lower part of the town, becoming, however, dangerous
and miscellaneous when it ascends to Union Square and the vicinities
of fashionable life.

The street cars are manned with conductors, and therefore are free
from many of the perils of the omnibus, but they have perils of their
own. They are always quite full. By that I mean that every seat is
crowded, that there is a double row of men and women standing down
the centre, and that the driver's platform in front is full, and also
the conductor's platform behind. That is the normal condition of a
street car in the Third Avenue. You, as a stranger in the middle of
the car, wish to be put down at, let us say, 89th Street. In the map
of New York now before me the cross streets running from east to
west are numbered up northwards as far as 154th Street. It is quite
useless for you to give the number as you enter. Even an American
conductor, with brains all over him, and an anxious desire to
accommodate, as is the case with all these men, cannot remember. You
are left therefore in misery to calculate the number of the street
as you move along, vainly endeavouring through the misty glass to
decipher the small numbers which after a day or two you perceive to
be written on the lamp posts.

But I soon gave up all attempts at keeping a seat in one of these
cars. It became my practice to sit down on the outside iron rail
behind, and as the conductor generally sat in my lap I was in a
measure protected. As for the inside of these vehicles, the women
of New York were, I must confess, too much for me. I would no
sooner place myself on a seat, than I would be called on by a mute,
unexpressive, but still impressive stare into my face, to surrender
my place. From cowardice if not from gallantry I would always obey;
and as this led to discomfort and an irritated spirit, I preferred
nursing the conductor on the hard bar in the rear.

And here if I seem to say a word against women in America, I beg that
it may be understood that I say that word only against a certain
class; and even as to that class I admit that they are respectable,
intelligent, and, as I believe, industrious. Their manners, however,
are to me more odious than those of any other human beings that I
ever met elsewhere. Nor can I go on with that which I have to say
without carrying my apology further, lest perchance I should be
misunderstood by some American women whom I would not only exclude
from my censure, but would include in the very warmest eulogium which
words of mine could express as to those of the female sex whom I love
and admire the most. I have known, do know, and mean to continue
to know as far as in me may lie, American ladies as bright, as
beautiful, as graceful, as sweet, as mortal limits for brightness,
beauty, grace, and sweetness will permit. They belong to the
aristocracy of the land, by whatever means they may have become
aristocrats. In America one does not inquire as to their birth, their
training, or their old names. The fact of their aristocratic power
comes out in every word and look. It is not only so with those who
have travelled or with those who are rich. I have found female
aristocrats with families and slender means, who have as yet made
no grand tour across the ocean. These women are charming beyond
expression. It is not only their beauty. Had he been speaking of
such, Wendell Phillips would have been right in saying that they have
brains all over them. So much for those who are bright and beautiful,
who are graceful and sweet! And now a word as to those who to me are
neither bright nor beautiful, and who can be to none either graceful
or sweet.

It is a hard task that of speaking ill of any woman, but it seems
to me that he who takes upon himself to praise incurs the duty of
dispraising also where dispraise is, or to him seems to be, deserved.
The trade of a novelist is very much that of describing the softness,
sweetness, and loving dispositions of women; and this he does,
copying as best he can from nature. But if he only sings of that
which is sweet, whereas that which is not sweet too frequently
presents itself, his song will in the end be untrue and ridiculous.
Women are entitled to much observance from men, but they are entitled
to no observance which is incompatible with truth. Women, by the
conventional laws of society, are allowed to exact much from men,
but they are allowed to exact nothing for which they should not make
some adequate return. It is well that a man should kneel in spirit
before the grace and weakness of a woman, but it is not well that he
should kneel either in spirit or body if there be neither grace nor
weakness. A man should yield everything to a woman for a word, for a
smile,--to one look of entreaty. But if there be no look of entreaty,
no word, no smile, I do not see that he is called upon to yield much.

The happy privileges with which women are at present blessed have
come to them from the spirit of chivalry. That spirit has taught men
to endure in order that women may be at their ease; and has generally
taught women to accept the ease bestowed on them with grace and
thankfulness. But in America the spirit of chivalry has sunk deeper
among men than it has among women. It must be borne in mind that in
that country material well-being and education are more extended than
with us; and that, therefore, men there have learned to be chivalrous
who with us have hardly progressed so far. The conduct of men to
women throughout the States is always gracious. They have learned the
lesson. But it seems to me that the women have not advanced as far
as the men have done. They have acquired a sufficient perception of
the privileges which chivalry gives them, but no perception of that
return which chivalry demands from them. Women of the class to which
I allude are always talking of their rights, but seem to have a most
indifferent idea of their duties. They have no scruple at demanding
from men everything that a man can be called on to relinquish in a
woman's behalf, but they do so without any of that grace which turns
the demand made into a favour conferred.

I have seen much of this in various cities of America, but much
more of it in New York than elsewhere. I have heard young Americans
complain of it, swearing that they must change the whole tenor of
their habits towards women. I have heard American ladies speak of it
with loathing and disgust. For myself, I have entertained on sundry
occasions that sort of feeling for an American woman which the close
vicinity of an unclean animal produces. I have spoken of this with
reference to street cars, because in no position of life does an
unfortunate man become more liable to these anti-feminine atrocities
than in the centre of one of these vehicles. The woman, as she
enters, drags after her a misshapen, dirty mass of battered wirework,
which she calls her crinoline, and which adds as much to her grace
and comfort as a log of wood does to a donkey when tied to the
animal's leg in a paddock. Of this she takes much heed, not managing
it so that it may be conveyed up the carriage with some decency, but
striking it about against men's legs, and heaving it with violence
over people's knees. The touch of a real woman's dress is in itself
delicate; but these blows from a harpy's fins are loathsome. If
there be two of them they talk loudly together, having a theory that
modesty has been put out of court by women's rights. But, though
not modest, the woman I describe is ferocious in her propriety. She
ignores the whole world around her, and as she sits with raised chin
and face flattened by affectation, she pretends to declare aloud that
she is positively not aware that any man is even near her. She speaks
as though to her, in her womanhood, the neighbourhood of men was the
same as that of dogs or cats. They are there, but she does not hear
them, see them, or even acknowledge them by any courtesy of motion.
But her own face always gives her the lie. In her assumption of
indifference she displays her nasty consciousness, and in each
attempt at a would-be propriety is guilty of an immodesty. Who does
not know the timid retiring face of the young girl who when alone
among men unknown to her feels that it becomes her to keep herself
secluded? As many men as there are around her, so many knights has
such a one, ready bucklered for her service, should occasion require
such services. Should it not, she passes on unmolested,--but not, as
she herself will wrongly think, unheeded. But as to her of whom I am
speaking, we may say that every twist of her body, and every tone
of her voice is an unsuccessful falsehood. She looks square at you
in the face, and you rise to give her your seat. You rise from a
deference to your own old convictions, and from that courtesy which
you have ever paid to a woman's dress, let it be worn with ever such
hideous deformities. She takes the place from which you have moved
without a word or a bow. She twists herself round, banging your shins
with her wires, while her chin is still raised, and her face is still
flattened, and she directs her friend's attention to another seated
man, as though that place were also vacant, and necessarily at her
disposal. Perhaps the man opposite has his own ideas about chivalry.
I have seen such a thing, and have rejoiced to see it.

You will meet these women daily, hourly,--everywhere in the streets.
Now and again you will find them in society, making themselves even
more odious there than elsewhere. Who they are, whence they come,
and why they are so unlike that other race of women of which I have
spoken, you will settle for yourself. Do we not all say of our chance
acquaintances after half an hour's conversation,--nay, after half an
hour spent in the same room without conversation,--that this woman
is a lady, and that that other woman is not? They jostle each other
even among us, but never seem to mix. They are closely allied; but
neither imbues the other with her attributes. Both shall be equally
well-born, or both shall be equally ill-born; but still it is so.
The contrast exists in England; but in America it is much stronger.
In England women become ladylike or vulgar. In the States they are
either charming or odious.

See that female walking down Broadway. She is not exactly such a
one as her I have attempted to describe on her entrance into the
street car; for this lady is well-dressed, if fine clothes will
make well-dressing. The machinery of her hoops is not battered, and
altogether she is a personage much more distinguished in all her
expenditures. But yet she is a copy of the other woman. Look at the
train which she drags behind her over the dirty pavement, where dogs
have been, and chewers of tobacco, and everything concerned with
filth except a scavenger. At every hundred yards some unhappy man
treads upon the silken swab which she trails behind her,--loosening
it dreadfully at the girth one would say; and then see the style
of face and the expression of features with which she accepts the
sinner's half-muttered apology. The world, she supposes, owes her
everything because of her silken train,--even room enough in a
crowded thoroughfare to drag it along unmolested. But, according to
her theory, she owes the world nothing in return. She is a woman with
perhaps a hundred dollars on her back, and having done the world
the honour of wearing them in the world's presence, expects to be
repaid by the world's homage and chivalry. But chivalry owes her
nothing,--nothing, though she walk about beneath a hundred times
a hundred dollars,--nothing even though she be a woman. Let every
woman learn this,--that chivalry owes her nothing unless she also
acknowledge her debt to chivalry. She must acknowledge it and pay it;
and then chivalry will not be backward in making good her claims upon
it.

All this has come of the street cars. But as it was necessary that I
should say it somewhere, it is as well said on that subject as on any
other. And now to continue with the street cars. They run, as I have
said, the length of the town, taking parallel lines. They will take
you from the Astor House, near the bottom of the town, for miles and
miles northward,--half way up the Hudson river,--for, I believe, five
pence. They are very slow, averaging about five miles an hour; but
they are very sure. For regular inhabitants, who have to travel five
or six miles perhaps to their daily work, they are excellent. I have
nothing really to say against the street cars. But they do not fill
the place of cabs.

There are, however, public carriages, roomy vehicles dragged by two
horses, clean and nice, and very well suited to ladies visiting the
city. But they have none of the attributes of the cab. As a rule they
are not to be found standing about. They are very slow. They are very
dear. A dollar an hour is the regular charge; but one cannot regulate
one's motion by the hour. Going out to dinner and back costs two
dollars, over a distance which in London would cost two shillings. As
a rule, the cost is four times that of a cab; and the rapidity half
that of a cab. Under these circumstances I think I am justified in
saying that there is no mode of getting about in New York to see
anything.

And now as to the other charge against New York, of there being
nothing to see. How should there be anything there to see of general
interest? In other large cities, cities as large in name as New York,
there are works of art, fine buildings, ruins, ancient churches,
picturesque costumes, and the tombs of celebrated men. But in New
York there are none of these things. Art has not yet grown up there.
One or two fine figures by Crawford are in the town,--especially
that of the sorrowing Indian at the rooms of the Historical Society;
but art is a luxury in a city which follows but slowly on the heels
of wealth and civilization. Of fine buildings,--which indeed are
comprised in art,--there are none deserving special praise or remark.
It might well have been that New York should ere this have graced
herself with something grand in architecture; but she has not done
so. Some good architectural effect there is, and much architectural
comfort. Of ruins of course there can be none; none at least of such
ruins as travellers admire, though perhaps some of that sort which
disgraces rather than decorates. Churches there are plenty, but none
that are ancient. The costume is the same as our own; and I need
hardly say that it is not picturesque. And the time for the tombs of
celebrated men has not yet come. A great man's ashes are hardly of
value till they have all but ceased to exist.

The visitor to New York must seek his gratification and obtain his
instruction from the habits and manners of men. The American, though
he dresses like an Englishman, and eats roast beef with a silver
fork,--or sometimes with a steel knife,--as does an Englishman,
is not like an Englishman in his mind, in his aspirations, in
his tastes, or in his politics. In his mind he is quicker, more
universally intelligent, more ambitious of general knowledge, less
indulgent of stupidity and ignorance in others, harder, sharper,
brighter with the surface brightness of steel, than is an Englishman;
but he is more brittle, less enduring, less malleable, and I think
less capable of impressions. The mind of the Englishman has more
imagination, but that of the American more incision. The American is
a great observer, but he observes things material rather than things
social or picturesque. He is a constant and ready speculator; but all
speculations, even those which come of philosophy, are with him more
or less material. In his aspirations the American is more constant
than an Englishman,--or I should rather say he is more constant
in aspiring. Every citizen of the United States intends to do
something. Every one thinks himself capable of some effort. But in
his aspirations he is more limited than an Englishman. The ambitious
American never soars so high as the ambitious Englishman. He does
not even see up to so great a height; and when he has raised himself
somewhat above the crowd becomes sooner dizzy with his own altitude.
An American of mark, though always anxious to show his mark, is
always fearful of a fall. In his tastes the American imitates the
Frenchman. Who shall dare to say that he is wrong, seeing that
in general matters of design and luxury the French have won for
themselves the foremost name? I will not say that the American is
wrong, but I cannot avoid thinking that he is so. I detest what is
called French taste; but the world is against me. When I complained
to a landlord of an hotel out in the West that his furniture was
useless; that I could not write at a marble table whose outside rim
was curved into fantastic shapes; that a gold clock in my bedroom
which did not go would give me no aid in washing myself; that a
heavy, immoveable curtain shut out the light; and that papier-mache
chairs with small fluffy velvet seats were bad to sit on,--he
answered me completely by telling me that his house had been
furnished not in accordance with the taste of England, but with
that of France. I acknowledged the rebuke, gave up my pursuits of
literature and cleanliness, and hurried out of the house as quickly
as I could. All America is now furnishing itself by the rules which
guided that hotel-keeper. I do not merely allude to actual household
furniture,--to chairs, tables, and detestable gilt clocks. The taste
of America is becoming French in its conversation, French in its
comforts and French in its discomforts, French in its eating, and
French in its dress, French in its manners, and will become French in
its art. There are those who will say that English taste is taking
the same direction. I do not think so. I strongly hope that it is not
so. And therefore I say that an Englishman and an American differ in
their tastes.

But of all differences between an Englishman and an American that
in politics is the strongest, and the most essential. I cannot here,
in one paragraph, define that difference with sufficient clearness
to make my definition satisfactory; but I trust that some idea of
that difference may be conveyed by the general tenor of my book. The
American and the Englishman are both Republicans. The governments
of the States and of England are probably the two purest republican
governments in the world. I do not, of course, here mean to say that
the governments are more pure than others, but that the systems
are more absolutely republican. And yet no men can be much further
asunder in politics than the Englishman and the American. The
American of the present day puts a ballot-box into the hands of every
citizen and takes his stand upon that and that only. It is the duty
of an American citizen to vote, and when he has voted he need trouble
himself no further till the time for voting shall come round again.
The candidate for whom he has voted represents his will, if he have
voted with the majority, and in that case he has no right to look
for further influence. If he have voted with the minority, he has no
right to look for any influence at all. In either case he has done
his political work, and may go about his business till the next year
or the next two or four years shall have come round. The Englishman,
on the other hand, will have no ballot-box, and is by no means
inclined to depend exclusively upon voters or upon voting. As far
as voting can show it, he desires to get the sense of the country;
but he does not think that that sense will be shown by universal
suffrage. He thinks that property amounting to a thousand pounds
will show more of that sense than property amounting to a hundred;
but he will not on that account go to work and apportion votes to
wealth. He thinks that the educated can show more of that sense than
the uneducated; but he does not therefore lay down any rule about
reading, writing, and arithmetic, or apportion votes to learning. He
prefers that all these opinions of his shall bring themselves out and
operate by their own intrinsic weight. Nor does he at all confine
himself to voting in his anxiety to get the sense of the country. He
takes it in any way that it will show itself, uses it for what it is
worth,--or perhaps for more than it is worth,--and welds it into that
gigantic lever by which the political action of the country is moved.
Every man in Great Britain, whether he possess any actual vote or no,
can do that which is tantamount to voting every day of his life, by
the mere expression of his opinion. Public opinion in America has
hitherto been nothing, unless it has managed to express itself by a
majority of ballot-boxes. Public opinion in England is everything,
let votes go as they may. Let the people want a measure, and there
is no doubt of their obtaining it. Only the people must want
it;--as they did want Catholic emancipation, reform, and corn-law
repeal;--and as they would want war if it were brought home to them
that their country was insulted.

In attempting to describe this difference in the political action of
the two countries, I am very far from taking all praise for England
or throwing any reproach on the States. The political action of the
States is undoubtedly the more logical and the clearer. That indeed
of England is so illogical and so little clear that it would be quite
impossible for any other nation to assume it, merely by resolving to
do so. Whereas the political action of the States might be assumed by
any nation to-morrow, and all its strength might be carried across
the water in a few written rules as are the prescriptions of a
physician or the regulations of an infirmary. With us the thing has
grown of habit, has been fostered by tradition, has crept up uncared
for and in some parts unnoticed. It can be written in no book, can be
described in no words, can be copied by no statesmen, and I almost
believe can be understood by no people but that to whose peculiar
uses it has been adapted.

In speaking as I have here done of American taste and American
politics I must allude to a special class of Americans who are to be
met more generally in New York than elsewhere,--men who are educated,
who have generally travelled, who are almost always agreeable, but
who as regards their politics are to me the most objectionable of all
men. As regards taste they are objectionable to me also. But that is
a small thing; and as they are quite as likely to be right as I am I
will say nothing against their taste. But in politics it seems to me
that these men have fallen into the bitterest and perhaps into the
basest of errors. Of the man who begins his life with mean political
ideas, having sucked them in with his mother's milk, there may be
some hope. The evil is at any rate the fault of his forefathers
rather than of himself. But who can have hope of him who, having been
thrown by birth and fortune into the running river of free political
activity, has allowed himself to be drifted into the stagnant level
of general political servility? There are very many such Americans.
They call themselves republicans, and sneer at the idea of a limited
monarchy, but they declare that there is no republic so safe, so
equal for all men, so purely democratic as that now existing in
France. Under the French empire all men are equal. There is no
aristocracy; no oligarchy; no overshadowing of the little by the
great. One superior is admitted;--admitted on earth, as a superior is
also admitted in heaven. Under him everything is level, and--provided
he be not impeded--everything is free. He knows how to rule, and the
nation, allowing him the privilege of doing so, can go along its
course safely;--can eat, drink, and be merry. If few men can rise
high, so also can few men fall low. Political equality is the one
thing desirable in a commonwealth, and by this arrangement political
equality is obtained. Such is the modern creed of many an educated
republican of the States.

To me it seems that such a political state is about the vilest to
which a man can descend. It amounts to a tacit abandonment of the
struggle which men are making for political truth and political
beneficence, in order that bread and meat may be eaten in peace
during the score of years or so that are at the moment passing over
us. The politicians of this class have decided for themselves that
the _summum bonum_ is to be found in bread and the circus games.
If they be free to eat, free to rest, free to sleep, free to drink
little cups of coffee while the world passes before them on a
boulevard, they have that freedom which they covet. But equality is
necessary as well as freedom. There must be no towering trees in this
parterre to overshadow the clipped shrubs, and destroy the uniformity
of a growth which should never mount more than two feet above the
earth. The equality of this politician would forbid any to rise above
him instead of inviting all to rise up to him. It is the equality
of fear and of selfishness, and not the equality of courage and
philanthropy. And brotherhood too must be invoked,--fraternity as we
may better call it in the jargon of the school. Such politicians tell
one much of fraternity, and define it too. It consists in a general
raising of the hat to all mankind; in a daily walk that never hurries
itself into a jostling trot, inconvenient to passengers on the
pavement;--in a placid voice, a soft smile, and a small cup of coffee
on a boulevard. It means all this, but I could never find that it
meant any more. There is a nation for which one is almost driven to
think that such political aspirations as these are suitable; but that
nation is certainly not the States of America.

And yet one finds many American gentlemen who have allowed themselves
to be drifted into such a theory. They have begun the world as
republican citizens, and as such they must go on. But in their
travels and their studies, and in the luxury of their life, they have
learned to dislike the rowdiness of their country's politics. They
want things to be soft and easy;--as republican as you please, but
with as little noise as possible. The President is there for four
years. Why not elect him for eight, for twelve, or for life?--for
eternity if it were possible to find one who could continue to live?
It is to this way of thinking that Americans are driven, when the
polish of Europe has made the roughness of their own elections odious
to them.

"Have you seen any of our great institootions, sir?" That of course
is a question which is put to every Englishman who has visited New
York, and the Englishman who intends to say that he has seen New
York, should visit many of them. I went to schools, hospitals,
lunatic asylums, institutes for deaf and dumb, water works,
historical societies, telegraph offices, and large commercial
establishments. I rather think that I did my work in a thorough
and conscientious manner, and I owe much gratitude to those who
guided me on such occasions. Perhaps I ought to describe all these
institutions; but were I to do so, I fear that I should inflict fifty
or sixty very dull pages on my readers. If I could make all that I
saw as clear and intelligible to others as it was made to me who saw
it, I might do some good. But I know that I should fail. I marvelled
much at the developed intelligence of a room full of deaf and dumb
pupils, and was greatly astonished at the performance of one special
girl, who seemed to be brighter and quicker, and more rapidly easy
with her pen than girls generally are who can hear and talk; but I
cannot convey my enthusiasm to others. On such a subject a writer may
be correct, may be exhaustive, may be statistically great; but he
can hardly be entertaining, and the chances are that he will not be
instructive.

In all such matters, however, New York is preeminently great. All
through the States suffering humanity receives so much attention that
humanity can hardly be said to suffer. The daily recurring boast of
"our glorious institootions, sir," always provokes the ridicule of an
Englishman. The words have become ridiculous, and it would, I think,
be well for the nation if the term "Institution" could be excluded
from its vocabulary. But, in truth, they are glorious. The country in
this respects boasts, but it has done that which justifies a boast.
The arrangements for supplying New York with water are magnificent.
The drainage of the new part of the city is excellent. The
hospitals are almost alluring. The lunatic asylum which I saw was
perfect,--though I did not feel obliged to the resident physician
for introducing me to all the worst patients as countrymen of my own.
"An English lady, Mr. Trollope. I'll introduce you. Quite a hopeless
case. Two old women. They've been here fifty years. They're English.
Another gentleman from England, Mr. Trollope. A very interesting
case! Confirmed inebriety."

And as to the schools, it is almost impossible to mention them with
too high a praise. I am speaking here specially of New York, though
I might say the same of Boston, or of all New England. I do not know
any contrast that would be more surprising to an Englishman, up to
that moment ignorant of the matter, than that which he would find by
visiting first of all a free school in London, and then a free school
in New York. If he would also learn the number of children that are
educated gratuitously in each of the two cities, and also the number
in each which altogether lack education, he would, if susceptible of
statistics, be surprised also at that. But seeing and hearing are
always more effective than mere figures. The female pupil at a free
school in London is, as a rule, either a ragged pauper, or a charity
girl, if not degraded at least stigmatized by the badges and dress
of the Charity. We Englishmen know well the type of each, and have a
fairly correct idea of the amount of education which is imparted to
them. We see the result afterwards when the same girls become our
servants, and the wives of our grooms and porters. The female pupil
at a free school in New York is neither a pauper nor a charity girl.
She is dressed with the utmost decency. She is perfectly cleanly. In
speaking to her, you cannot in any degree guess whether her father
has a dollar a day, or three thousand dollars a year. Nor will you
be enabled to guess by the manner in which her associates treat her.
As regards her own manner to you, it is always the same as though
her father were in all respects your equal. As to the amount of her
knowledge, I fairly confess that it is terrific. When, in the first
room which I visited, a slight slim creature was had up before me
to explain to me the properties of the hypothenuse I fairly confess
that, as regards education, I backed down, and that I resolved to
confine my criticisms to manner, dress, and general behaviour. In
the next room I was more at my ease, finding that ancient Roman
history was on the tapis. "Why did the Romans run away with the
Sabine women?" asked the mistress, herself a young woman of about
three-and-twenty. "Because they were pretty," simpered out a
little girl with a cherry mouth. The answer did not give complete
satisfaction; and then followed a somewhat abstruse explanation
on the subject of population. It was all done with good faith and
a serious intent, and showed what it was intended to show,--that
the girls there educated had in truth reached the consideration of
important subjects, and that they were leagues beyond that terrible
repetition of A B C, to which, I fear, that most of our free
metropolitan schools are still necessarily confined. You and I,
reader, were we called on to superintend the education of girls of
sixteen, might not select as favourite points either the hypothenuse,
or the ancient methods of populating young colonies. There may be,
and to us on the European side of the Atlantic there will be, a
certain amount of absurdity in the transatlantic idea that all
knowledge is knowledge, and that it should be imparted if it be not
knowledge of evil. But as to the general result, no fair-minded man
or woman can have a doubt. That the lads and girls in these schools
are excellently educated comes home as a fact to the mind of any one
who will look into the subject. That girl could not have got as far
as the hypothenuse without a competent and abiding knowledge of much
that is very far beyond the outside limits of what such girls know
with us. It was at least manifest in the other examination that the
girls knew as well as I did who were the Romans, and who were the
Sabine women. That all this is of use, was shown in the very gestures
and bearings of the girl. _Emollit mores_, as Colonel Newcombe used
to say. That young woman whom I had watched while she cooked her
husband's dinner upon the banks of the Mississippi, had doubtless
learned all about the Sabine women, and I feel assured that she
cooked her husband's dinner all the better for that knowledge,--and
faced the hardships of the world with a better front than she would
have done had she been ignorant on the subject.

In order to make a comparison between the schools of London and those
of New York, I have called them both free schools. They are in fact
more free in New York than they are in London, because in New York
every boy and girl, let his parentage be what it may, can attend
these schools without any payment. Thus an education as good as the
American mind can compass, prepared with every care, carried on by
highly paid tutors, under ample surveillance, provided with all that
is most excellent in the way of rooms, desks, books, charts, maps,
and implements, is brought actually within the reach of everybody.
I need not point out to Englishmen how different is the nature of
schools in London. It must not, however, be supposed that these are
charity schools. Such is not their nature. Let us say what we may
as to the beauty of charity as a virtue, the recipient of charity
in its customary sense among us is ever more or less degraded by
the position. In the States that has been fully understood, and
the schools to which I allude are carefully preserved from any
such taint. Throughout the States a separate tax is levied for the
maintenance of these schools, and as the tax-payer supports them,
he is of course entitled to the advantage which they confer. The
child of the non-tax-payer is also entitled, and to him the boon, if
strictly analysed, will come in the shape of a charity. But under
the system as it is arranged, this is not analysed. It is understood
that the school is open to all in the ward to which it belongs, and
no inquiry is made whether the pupil's parent has or has not paid
anything towards the school's support. I found this theory carried
out so far that at the deaf and dumb school, where some of the poorer
children are wholly provided by the institution, care is taken to
clothe them in dresses of different colours and different make, in
order that nothing may attach to them which has the appearance of a
badge. Political economists will see something of evil in this. But
philanthropists will see very much that is good.

It is not without a purpose that I have given this somewhat glowing
account of a girls' school in New York so soon after my little
picture of New York women, as they behave themselves in the streets
and street cars. It will, of course, be said that those women of whom
I have spoken, by no means in terms of admiration, are the very girls
whose education has been so excellent. This of course is so; but I
beg to remark that I have by no means said that an excellent school
education will produce all female excellences. The fact, I take it,
is this,--that seeing how high in the scale these girls have been
raised, one is anxious that they should be raised higher. One is
surprised at their pert vulgarity and hideous airs, not because they
are so low in our general estimation but because they are so high.
Women of the same class in London are humble enough, and therefore
rarely offend us who are squeamish. They show by their gestures that
they hardly think themselves good enough to sit by us; they apologise
for their presence; they conceive it to be their duty to be lowly
in their gestures. The question is which is best, the crouching and
crawling or the impudent unattractive self-composure. Not, my reader,
which action on her part may the better conduce to my comfort or to
yours! That is by no means the question. Which is the better for
the woman herself? That I take it is the point to be decided. That
there is something better than either we shall all agree;--but to my
thinking the crouching and crawling is the lowest type of all.

At that school I saw some five or six hundred girls collected in one
room, and heard them sing. The singing was very pretty, and it was
all very nice; but I own that I was rather startled, and to tell the
truth somewhat abashed, when I was invited to "say a few words to
them." No idea of such a suggestion had dawned upon me, and I felt
myself quite at a loss. To be called up before five hundred men is
bad enough, but how much worse before that number of girls! What
could I say but that they were all very pretty? As far as I can
remember I did say that and nothing else. Very pretty they were, and
neatly dressed, and attractive; but among them all there was not a
pair of rosy cheeks. How should there be, when every room in the
building was heated up to the condition of an oven by those damnable
hot-air pipes!

In England a taste for very large shops has come up during the last
twenty years. A firm is not doing a good business, or at any rate
a distinguished business, unless he can assert in his trade card
that he occupies at least half a dozen houses--Nos. 105, 106, 107,
108, 109, and 110. The old way of paying for what you want over
the counter is gone; and when you buy a yard of tape or a new
carriage,--for either of which articles you will probably visit the
same establishment,--you go through about the same amount of ceremony
as when you sell a thousand pounds out of the stocks in propriâ
personâ. But all this is still further exaggerated in New York. Mr.
Stewart's store there is perhaps the handsomest institution in the
city, and his hall of audience for new carpets is a magnificent
saloon. "You have nothing like that in England," my friend said to
me as he walked me through it in triumph. "I wish we had nothing
approaching to it," I answered. For I confess to a liking for
the old-fashioned private shops. Harper's establishment for the
manufacture and sale of books is also very wonderful. Everything is
done on the premises, down to the very colouring of the paper which
lines the covers, and places the gilding on their backs. The firm
prints, engraves, electroplates, sews, binds, publishes, and sells
wholesale and retail. I have no doubt that the authors have rooms in
the attics where the other slight initiatory step is taken towards
the production of literature.

New York is built upon an island, which is I believe about ten
miles long, counting from the southern point at the Battery up
to Carmansville, to which place the city is presumed to extend
northwards. This island is called Manhattan,--a name which I have
always thought would have been more graceful for the city than that
of New York. It is formed by the Sound or East river, which divides
the continent from Long Island, by the Hudson river which runs into
the Sound or rather joins it at the city foot, and by a small stream
called the Haarlem river which runs out of the Hudson and meanders
away into the Sound at the north of the city, thus cutting the city
off from the main land. The breadth of the island does not much
exceed two miles, and therefore the city is long, and not capable of
extension in point of breadth. In its old days it clustered itself
round about the Point, and stretched itself up from there along
the quays of the two waters. The streets down in this part of the
town are devious enough, twisting themselves about with delightful
irregularity; but as the city grew there came the taste for
parallelograms, and the upper streets are rectangular and numbered.
Broadway, the street of New York with which the world is generally
best acquainted, begins at the southern point of the town and goes
northward through it. For some two miles and a half it walks away in
a straight line, and then it turns to the left towards the Hudson,
and becomes in fact a continuation of another street called the
Bowery, which comes up in a devious course from the south-east
extremity of the island. From that time Broadway never again takes
a straight course, but crosses the various Avenues in an oblique
direction till it becomes the Bloomingdale road, and under that
name takes itself out of town. There are eleven so-called Avenues,
which descend in absolutely straight lines from the northern, and
at present unsettled, extremity of the new town, making their way
southward till they lose themselves among the old streets. These are
called First Avenue, Second Avenue, and so on. The town had already
progressed two miles up northwards from the Battery before it had
caught the parallelogrammic fever from Philadelphia, for at about
that distance we find "First Street." First Street runs across the
Avenues from water to water, and then Second Street. I will not name
them all, seeing that they go up to 154th Street! They do so at least
on the map, and I believe on the lamp-posts. But the houses are not
yet built in order beyond 50th or 60th Street. The other hundred
streets, each of two miles long, with the Avenues which are mostly
unoccupied for four or five miles, is the ground over which the young
New Yorkers are to spread themselves. I do not in the least doubt
that they will occupy it all, and that 154th Street will find itself
too narrow a boundary for the population.

I have said that there was some good architectural effect in New
York, and I alluded chiefly to that of the Fifth Avenue. The Fifth
Avenue is the Belgrave Square, the Park Lane, and the Pall Mall of
New York. It is certainly a very fine street. The houses in it are
magnificent, not having that aristocratic look which some of our
detached London residences enjoy, or the palatial appearance of an
old-fashioned hotel in Paris, but an air of comfortable luxury and
commercial wealth which is not excelled by the best houses of any
other town that I know. They are houses, not hotels or palaces; but
they are very roomy houses, with every luxury that complete finish
can give them. Many of them cover large spaces of ground, and their
rent will sometimes go up as high as £800 and £1000 a year. Generally
the best of these houses are owned by those who live in them, and
rent is not therefore paid. But this is not always the case, and the
sums named above may be taken as expressing their value. In England
a man should have a very large income indeed who could afford to pay
£1000 a year for his house in London. Such a one would as a matter of
course have an establishment in the country, and be an Earl or a Duke
or a millionaire. But it is different in New York. The resident there
shows his wealth chiefly by his house, and though he may probably
have a villa at Newport or a box somewhere up the Hudson he has no
second establishment. Such a house therefore will not represent a
total expenditure of above £4,000 a year.

There are churches on each side of Fifth Avenue,--perhaps five or
six within sight at one time,--which add much to the beauty of the
street. They are well-built, and in fairly good taste. These, added
to the general well-being and splendid comfort of the place, give it
an effect better than the architecture of the individual houses would
seem to warrant. I own that I have enjoyed the vista as I have walked
up and down Fifth Avenue, and have felt that the city had a right to
be proud of its wealth. But the greatness and beauty and glory of
wealth have on such occasions been all in all with me. I know no
great man, no celebrated statesman, no philanthropist of peculiar
note who has lived in Fifth Avenue. That gentleman on the right made
a million of dollars by inventing a shirt-collar; this one on the
left electrified the world by a lotion; as to the gentleman at the
corner there,--there are rumours about him and the Cuban slave-trade;
but my informant by no means knows that they are true. Such are the
aristocracy of Fifth Avenue. I can only say that if I could make a
million dollars by a lotion, I should certainly be right to live in
such a house as one of those.

The suburbs of New York are, by the nature of the localities, divided
from the city by water. New Jersey and Hoboken are on the other side
of the Hudson, and in another State. Williamsburgh and Brooklyn are
in Long Island, which is a part of the State of New York. But these
places are as easily reached as Lambeth is reached from Westminster.
Steam ferries ply every three or four minutes, and into these boats
coaches, carts, and waggons of any size or weight are driven. In fact
they make no other stoppage to the commerce than that occasioned by
the payment of a few cents. Such payment no doubt is a stoppage, and
therefore it is that New Jersey, Brooklyn, and Williamsburgh are, at
any rate in appearance, very dull and uninviting. They are, however,
very populous. Many of the quieter citizens prefer to live there; and
I am told that the Brooklyn tea-parties consider themselves to be, in
æsthetic feeling, very much ahead of anything of the kind in the more
opulent centres of the city. In beauty of scenery Staten Island is
very much the prettiest of the suburbs of New York. The view from the
hill side in Staten Island down upon New York harbour is very lovely.
It is the only really good view of that magnificent harbour which I
have been able to find. As for appreciating such beauty when one is
entering a port from sea, or leaving it for sea, I do not believe in
any such power. The ship creeps up or creeps out while the mind is
engaged on other matters. The passenger is uneasy either with hopes
or fears; and then the grease of the engines offends one's nostrils.
But it is worth the tourist's while to look down upon New York
harbour from the hill side in Staten Island. When I was there Fort
Lafayette looked black in the centre of the channel, and we knew that
it was crowded with the victims of secession. Fort Tomkins was being
built, to guard the pass,--worthy of a name of richer sound; and Fort
something else was bristling with new cannon. Fort Hamilton, on Long
Island, opposite, was frowning at us; and immediately around us a
regiment of volunteers was receiving regimental stocks and boots from
the hands of its officers. Everything was bristling with war; and one
could not but think that not in this way had New York raised herself
so quickly to her present greatness.

But the glory of New York is the Central Park;--its glory in the mind
of all New Yorkers of the present day. The first question asked of
you is whether you have seen the Central Park, and the second is as
to what you think of it. It does not do to say simply that it is
fine, grand, beautiful, and miraculous. You must swear by cock and
pie that it is more fine, more grand, more beautiful, more miraculous
than anything else of the kind anywhere. Here you encounter, in its
most annoying form, that necessity for eulogium which presses you
everywhere. For, in truth, taken as it is at present, the Central
Park is not fine, nor grand, nor beautiful. As to the miracle, let
that pass. It is perhaps as miraculous as some other great latter-day
miracles.

But the Central Park is a very great fact, and affords a strong
additional proof of the sense and energy of the people. It is very
large, being over three miles long, and about three quarters of
a mile in breadth. When it was found that New York was extending
itself, and becoming one of the largest cities of the world, a space
was selected between Fifth and Seventh Avenues, immediately outside
the limits of the city as then built, but nearly in the centre of
the city as it is intended to be built. The ground around it became
at once of great value; and I do not doubt that the present fashion
of the Fifth Avenue about Twentieth Street will in course of time
move itself up to the Fifth Avenue as it looks, or will look, over
the Park at Seventieth, Eightieth, and Ninetieth Streets. The great
waterworks of the city bring the Croton River, whence New York is
supplied, by an aqueduct over the Haarlem river into an enormous
reservoir just above the Park; and hence it has come to pass that
there will be water not only for sanitary and useful purposes, but
also for ornament. At present the Park, to English eyes, seems to be
all road. The trees are not grown up, and the new embankments, and
new lakes, and new ditches, and new paths give to the place anything
but a picturesque appearance. The Central Park is good for what it
will be, rather than for what it is. The summer heat is so very great
that I doubt much whether the people of New York will ever enjoy such
verdure as our parks show. But there will be a pleasant assemblage of
walks and water-works, with fresh air, and fine shrubs and flowers,
immediately within the reach of the citizens. All that art and energy
can do will be done, and the Central Park doubtless will become one
of the great glories of New York. When I was expected to declare
that St. James's Park, Green Park, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens,
altogether, were nothing to it, I confess that I could only remain
mute.

Those who desire to learn what are the secrets of society in New
York, I would refer to the Potiphar Papers. The Potiphar Papers are
perhaps not as well known in England as they deserve to be. They were
published, I think, as much as seven or eight years ago; but are
probably as true now as they were then. What I saw of society in New
York was quiet and pleasant enough; but doubtless I did not climb
into that circle in which Mrs. Potiphar held so distinguished a
position. It may be true that gentlemen habitually throw fragments of
their supper and remnants of their wine on to their host's carpets;
but if so I did not see it.

As I progress in my work I feel that duty will call upon me to write
a separate chapter on hotels in general, and I will not, therefore,
here say much about those in New York. I am inclined to think
that few towns in the world, if any, afford on the whole better
accommodation, but there are many in which the accommodation is
cheaper. Of the railways also I ought to say something. The fact
respecting them which is most remarkable is that of their being
continued into the centre of the town through the streets. The cars
are not dragged through the city by locomotive engines, but by
horses; the pace therefore is slow, but the convenience to travellers
in being brought nearer to the centre of trade must be much felt. It
is as though passengers from Liverpool and passengers from Bristol
were carried on from Euston Square and Paddington along the New Road,
Portland Place, and Regent Street to Pall Mall, or up the City Road
to the Bank. As a general rule, however, the railways, railway cars,
and all about them are ill-managed. They are monopolies, and the
public, through the press, has no restraining power upon them as it
has in England. A parcel sent by express over a distance of forty
miles will not be delivered within twenty-four hours. I once made my
plaint on this subject at the bar or office of an hotel, and was told
that no remonstrance was of avail. "It is a monopoly," the man told
me, "and if we say anything, we are told that if we do not like it
we need not use it." In railway matters and postal matters time and
punctuality are not valued in the States as they are with us, and the
public seem to acknowledge that they must put up with defects,--that
they must grin and bear them in America, as the public no doubt do in
Austria where such affairs are managed by a government bureau.

In the beginning of this chapter I spoke of the population of
New York, and I cannot end it without remarking that out of that
population more than one-eighth is composed of Germans. It is, I
believe, computed that there are about 120,000 Germans in the city,
and that only two other German cities in the world, Vienna and
Berlin, have a larger German population than New York. The Germans
are good citizens and thriving men, and are to be found prospering
all over the northern and western parts of the Union. It seems that
they are excellently well adapted to colonization, though they have
in no instance become the dominant people in a colony, or carried
with them their own language or their own laws. The French have
done so in Algeria, in some of the West India islands, and quite as
essentially into Lower Canada, where their language and laws still
prevail. And yet it is, I think, beyond doubt that the French are not
good colonists, as are the Germans.

Of the ultimate destiny of New York as one of the ruling commercial
cities of the world, it is, I think, impossible to doubt. Whether or
no it will ever equal London in population I will not pretend to say.
Even should it do so, should its numbers so increase as to enable
it to say that it had done so, the question could not very well be
settled. When it comes to pass that an assemblage of men in one
so-called city have to be counted by millions, there arises the
impossibility of defining the limits of that city, and of saying who
belong to it and who do not. An arbitrary line may be drawn, but that
arbitrary line, though perhaps false when drawn as including too
much, soon becomes more false as including too little. Ealing, Acton,
Fulham, Putney, Norwood, Sydenham, Blackheath, Woolwich, Greenwich,
Stratford, Highgate, and Hampstead, are, in truth, component parts of
London, and very shortly Brighton will be as much so.



CHAPTER XV.

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK.


As New York is the most populous State of the Union, having the
largest representation in Congress,--on which account it has been
called the Empire State,--I propose to mention, as shortly as may be,
the nature of its separate Constitution as a State. Of course it will
be understood that the constitutions of the different States are by
no means the same. They have been arranged according to the judgment
of the different people concerned, and have been altered from time to
time to suit such altered judgment. But as the States together form
one nation, and on such matters as foreign affairs, war, customs,
and post-office regulations, are bound together as much as are the
English counties, it is, of course, necessary that the constitution
of each should in most matters assimilate itself to those of the
others. These constitutions are very much alike. A Governor, with
two houses of legislature, generally called the Senate and the House
of Representatives, exists in each State. In the State of New York
the lower house is called the Assembly. In most States the Governor
is elected annually; but in some States for two years, as in New
York. In Pennsylvania he is elected for three years. The House of
Representatives or the Assembly is, I think, always elected for one
session only; but as, in many of the States, the Legislature only
sits once in two years, the election recurs of course at the same
interval. The franchise in all the States is nearly universal, but
in no State is it perfectly so. The Governor, Lieutenant-Governor,
and other officers are elected by vote of the people as well as the
members of the Legislature. Of course it will be understood that each
State makes laws for itself,--that they are in nowise dependent on
the Congress assembled at Washington for their laws,--unless for laws
which refer to matters between the United States as a nation and
other nations, or between one State and another. Each State declares
with what punishment crimes shall be visited; what taxes shall be
levied for the use of the State; what laws shall be passed as to
education; what shall be the State judiciary. With reference to the
judiciary, however, it must be understood, that the United States
as a nation have separate national law courts before which come all
cases litigated between State and State, and all cases which do not
belong in every respect to any one individual State. In a subsequent
chapter I will endeavour to explain this more fully. In endeavouring
to understand the constitution of the United States it is essentially
necessary that we should remember that we have always to deal with
two different political arrangements,--that which refers to the
nation as a whole, and that which belongs to each State as a separate
governing power in itself. What is law in one State is not law in
another. Nevertheless there is a very great likeness throughout these
various constitutions; and any political student who shall have
thoroughly mastered one, will not have much to learn in mastering the
others.

This State, now called New York, was first settled by the Dutch in
1614, on Manhattan Island. They established a government in 1629,
under the name of the New Netherlands. In 1664 Charles II. granted
the province to his brother, James II., then Duke of York, and
possession was taken of the country on his behalf by one Colonel
Nichols. In 1673 it was recaptured by the Dutch, but they could not
hold it, and the Duke of York again took possession by patent. A
legislative body was first assembled during the reign of Charles II.,
in 1683; from which it will be seen that parliamentary representation
was introduced into the American colonies at a very early date. The
declaration of independence was made by the revolted colonies in
1776, and in 1777 the first constitution was adopted by the State of
New York. In 1822 this was changed for another; and the one of which
I now purport to state some of the details was brought into action
in 1847. In this constitution there is a provision that it shall
be overhauled and remodelled, if needs be, once in twenty years.
Article XIII. Sec. 2.--"At the general election to be held in 1866,
and in each twentieth year thereafter, the question, 'Shall there
be a convention to revise the Constitution and amend the same?'
shall be decided by the electors qualified to vote for members of
the Legislature." So that the New Yorkers cannot be twitted with
the presumption of finality in reference to their legislative
arrangements.

The present constitution begins with declaring the inviolability
of trial by jury and of habeas corpus,--"unless when, in cases of
rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require its suspension."
It does not say by whom it may be suspended, or who is to judge of
the public safety, but, at any rate, it may be presumed that such
suspension was supposed to come from the powers of the State which
enacted the law. At the present moment the habeas corpus is suspended
in New York, and this suspension has proceeded not from the powers of
the State, but from the Federal Government, without the sanction even
of the Federal Congress.

"Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments
on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; and
no law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech
or of the press." Art. I. Sec. 8. But at the present moment liberty
of speech and of the press is utterly abrogated in the State of New
York, as it is in other States. I mention this not as a reproach
against either the State or the Federal Government, but to show how
vain all laws are for the protection of such rights. If they be not
protected by the feelings of the people,--if the people are at any
time, or from any cause, willing to abandon such privileges, no
written laws will preserve them.

In Art. I. Sec. 14, there is a proviso that no land--land, that is,
used for agricultural purposes--shall be let on lease for a longer
period than twelve years. "No lease or grant of agricultural land for
a longer period than twelve years hereafter made, in which shall be
reserved any rent or service of any kind, shall be valid." I do not
understand the intended virtue of this proviso, but it shows very
clearly how different are the practices with reference to land in
England and America. Farmers in the States almost always are the
owners of the land which they farm, and such tenures as those, by
which the occupiers of land generally hold their farms with us, are
almost unknown. There is no such relation as that of landlord and
tenant as regards agricultural holdings.

Every male citizen of New York may vote who is twenty-one, who has
been a citizen for ten days, who has lived in the State for a year,
and for four months in the county in which he votes. He can vote for
all "officers that now are, or hereafter may be, elective by the
people." Art. II. Sec. 1. "But," the section goes on to say, "no man
of colour, unless he shall have been for three years a citizen of the
State, and for one year next preceding any election shall have been
possessed of a freehold estate of the value of 250 dollars (£50),
and shall have been actually rated, and paid a tax thereon, shall be
entitled to vote at such election." This is the only embargo with
which universal suffrage is laden in the State of New York.

The third article provides for the election of the Senate and the
Assembly. The Senate consists of thirty-two members. And it may here
be remarked that large as is the State of New York, and great as is
its population, its Senate is less numerous than that of many other
States. In Massachusetts, for instance, there are forty senators,
though the population of Massachusetts is barely one third that of
New York. In Virginia there are fifty senators, whereas the free
population is not one third of that of New York. As a consequence the
Senate of New York is said to be filled with men of a higher class
than are generally found in the Senates of other States. Then follows
in the article a list of the districts which are to return the
Senators. These districts consist of one, two, three, or in one case
four counties, according to the population.

The article does not give the number of members of the Lower House,
nor does it even state what amount of population shall be held as
entitled to a member. It merely provides for the division of the
State into districts which shall contain an equal number, not of
population, but of voters. The House of Assembly does consist of 128
members.

It is then stipulated that every member of both houses shall receive
three dollars a day, or twelve shillings, for their services during
the sitting of the legislature; but this sum is never to exceed 300
dollars, or sixty pounds in one year, unless an extra Session be
called. There is also an allowance for the travelling expenses of
members. It is, I presume, generally known that the members of the
Congress at Washington are all paid, and that the same is the case
with reference to the legislatures of all the States.

No member of the New York legislature can also be a member of the
Washington Congress, or hold any civil or military office under the
general States Government.

A majority of each House must be present, or as the article says,
"shall constitute a quorum to do business." Each House is to keep a
journal of its proceedings. The doors are to be open,--except when
the public welfare shall require secresy. A singular proviso this in
a country boasting so much of freedom! For no speech or debate in
either House shall the legislature be called in question in any other
place. The legislature assembles on the first Tuesday in January, and
sits for about three months. Its seat is at Albany.

The executive power, (Art. IV.) is to be vested in a Governor and a
Lieutenant-Governor, both of whom shall be chosen for two years. The
Governor must be a citizen of the United States, must be thirty years
of age, and have lived for the last four years in the State. He is
to be commander-in-chief of the military and naval forces of the
State,--as is the President of those of the Union. I see that this
is also the case in inland States, which one would say can have
no navies. And with reference to some States it is enacted that
the Governor is commander-in-chief of the army, navy, and militia,
showing that some army over and beyond the militia may be kept by the
State. In Tennessee, which is an inland State, it is enacted that the
Governor shall be "commander-in-chief of the army and navy of this
State, and of the militia, except when they shall be called into the
service of the United States." In Ohio the same is the case, except
that there is no mention of militia. In New York there is no proviso
with reference to the service of the United States. I mention this
as it bears with some strength on the question of the right of
secession, and indicates the jealousy of the individual States
with reference to the Federal Government. The Governor can convene
extra Sessions of one House or of both. He makes a message to the
legislature when it meets,--a sort of Queen's speech; and he receives
for his services a compensation, to be established by law. In New
York this amounts to £800 a year. In some States this is as low as
£200 and £300. In Virginia it is £1000. In California £1200.

The Governor can pardon, except in cases of treason. He has also a
veto upon all bills sent up by the legislature. If he exercise this
veto he returns the bill to the legislature with his reasons for so
doing. If the bill on reconsideration by the Houses be again passed
by a majority of two thirds in each House, it becomes law in spite
of the Governor's veto. The veto of the President at Washington is
of the same nature. Such are the powers of the Governor. But though
they are very full, the Governor of each State does not practically
exercise any great political power, nor is he, even politically, a
great man. You might live in a State during the whole term of his
government and hardly hear of him. There is vested in him by the
language of the constitution a much wider power than that intrusted
to the Governors of our colonies. But in our colonies everybody
talks, and thinks, and knows about the Governor. As far as the limits
of the colony the Governor is a great man. But this is not the case
with reference to the Governors in the different States.

The next article provides that the Governor's ministers, viz., the
Secretary of State, the Comptroller, Treasurer, and Attorney-General,
shall be chosen every two years at a general election. In
this respect the State constitution differs from that of the
national constitution. The President at Washington names his own
ministers,--subject to the approbation of the Senate. He makes
many other appointments with the same limitation. As regards these
nominations in general, the Senate, I believe, is not slow to
interfere; but with reference to the ministers it is understood that
the names sent in by the President shall stand. Of the Secretary
of State, Comptroller, &c., belonging to the different States, and
who are elected by the people, in a general way one never hears. No
doubt they attend their offices and take their pay, but they are not
political personages.

The next article, No. VI., refers to the Judiciary, and is very
complicated. After considerable study I have failed to understand it.
The judges are elected by vote, and remain in office for, I believe,
a term of eight years. In Sect. 20 of this article it is provided
that--"No judicial officer, except Justices of the Peace, shall
receive to his own use any fees or perquisites of office." How
pleasantly this enactment must sound in the ears of the justices of
the peace.

Article VII. refers to fiscal matters, and is more especially
interesting as showing how greatly the State of New York has depended
on its canals for its wealth. These canals are the property of the
State; and by this article it seems to be provided that they shall
not only maintain themselves, but maintain to a considerable extent
the State expenditure also, and stand in lieu of taxation. It is
provided, Section 6, that the "legislature shall not sell, lease, or
otherwise dispose of any of the canals of the State; but that they
shall remain the property of the State, and under its management for
ever." But in spite of its canals the State does not seem to be doing
very well, for I see that in 1860, its income was 4,780,000 dollars,
and its expenditure 5,100,000, whereas its debt was 32,500,000
dollars. Of all the States, Pennsylvania is the most indebted,
Virginia is the second on the list, and New York the third. New
Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, Delaware, and Texas, owe no State
debts. All the other State ships have taken in ballast.

The militia is supposed to consist of all men capable of bearing
arms, under forty-five years of age. But no one need be enrolled, who
from scruples of conscience is averse to bearing arms. At the present
moment such scruples do not seem to be very general. Then follows,
in Article XI., a detailed enactment as to the choosing of militia
officers. It may be perhaps sufficient to say that the privates
are to choose the captains and the subalterns; the captains and
subalterns are to choose the field officers; and the field officers
the brigadier-generals and inspectors of brigade. The Governor,
however, with the consent of the Senate shall nominate all
major-generals. Now that real soldiers have unfortunately become
necessary the above plan has not been found to work well.

Such is the Constitution of the State of New York, which has been
intended to work and does work quite separately from that of the
United States. It will be seen that the purport has been to make it
as widely democratic as possible,--to provide that all power of all
description shall come directly from the people, and that such power
shall return to the people at short intervals. The Senate and the
Governor each remain for two years, but not for the same two years.
If a new Senate commence its work in 1861, a new Governor will come
in in 1862. But, nevertheless, there is in the form of Government
as thus established an absence of that close and immediate
responsibility which attends our ministers. When a man has been
voted in, it seems that responsibility is over for the period of
the required service. He has been chosen, and the country which has
chosen him is to trust that he will do his best. I do not know that
this matters much with reference to the legislature or governments of
the different States, for their State legislatures and governments
are but puny powers; but in the legislature and government at
Washington it does matter very much. But I shall have another
opportunity of speaking on that subject.

Nothing has struck me so much in America as the fact that these State
legislatures are puny powers. The absence of any tidings whatever
of their doings across the water is a proof of this. Who has heard
of the legislature of New York or of Massachusetts? It is boasted
here that their insignificance is a sign of the well-being of the
people;--that the smallness of the power necessary for carrying on
the machine shows how beautifully the machine is organised, and how
well it works. "It is better to have little governors than great
governors," an American said to me once. "It is our glory that we
know how to live without having great men over us to rule us." That
glory, if ever it were a glory, has come to an end. It seems to me
that all these troubles have come upon the States because they have
not placed high men in high places. The less of laws and the less of
control the better, providing a people can go right with few laws and
little control. One may say that no laws and no control would be best
of all,--provided that none were needed. But this is not exactly the
position of the American people.

The two professions of law-making and of governing have become
unfashionable, low in estimation, and of no repute in the States.
The municipal powers of the cities have not fallen into the hands of
the leading men. The word politician has come to bear the meaning of
political adventurer and almost of political blackleg. If A calls B
a politician A intends to vilify B by so calling him. Whether or no
the best citizens of a State will ever be induced to serve in the
State legislature by a nobler consideration than that of pay, or by a
higher tone of political morals than that now existing, I cannot say.
It seems to me that some great decrease in the numbers of the State
legislators should be a first step towards such a consummation. There
are not many men in each State who can afford to give up two or three
months of the year to the State service for nothing; but it may be
presumed that in each State there are a few. Those who are induced
to devote their time by the payment of £60, can hardly be the men
most fitted for the purpose of legislation. It certainly has seemed
to me that the members of the State legislatures and of the State
governments are not held in that respect and treated with that
confidence to which, in the eyes of an Englishman, such functionaries
should be held as entitled.



CHAPTER XVI.

BOSTON.


From New York we returned to Boston by Hartford, the capital, or one
of the capitals of Connecticut. This proud little State is composed
of two old provinces, of which Hartford and Newhaven were the two
metropolitan towns. Indeed there was a third colony called Saybrook,
which was joined to Hartford. As neither of the two could of course
give way when Hartford and Newhaven were made into one, the houses
of legislature and the seat of government are changed about, year by
year. Connecticut is a very proud little State, and has a pleasant
legend of its own stanchness in the old colonial days. In 1662 the
colonies were united, and a charter was given to them by Charles II.
But some years later, in 1686, when the bad days of James II. had
come, this charter was considered to be too liberal, and order was
given that it should be suspended. One Sir Edmund Andross had been
appointed governor of all New England, and sent word from Boston to
Connecticut that the charter itself should be given up to him. This
the men of Connecticut refused to do. Whereupon Sir Edmund with a
military following presented himself at their assembly, declared
their governing powers to be dissolved, and after much palaver
caused the charter itself to be laid upon the table before him. The
discussion had been long, having lasted through the day into the
night, and the room had been lighted with candles. On a sudden each
light disappeared, and Sir Edmund with his followers were in the
dark. As a matter of course, when the light was restored the charter
was gone, and Sir Edmund, the governor-general, was baffled, as all
governors-general and all Sir Edmunds always are in such cases. The
charter was gone, a gallant Captain Wadsworth having carried it off
and hidden it in an oak tree. The charter was renewed when William
III. came to the throne, and now hangs triumphantly in the State
House at Hartford. The charter oak has, alas! succumbed to the
weather, but was standing a few years since. The men of Hartford are
very proud of their charter, and regard it as the parent of their
existing liberties quite as much as though no national revolution of
their own had intervened.

And indeed the Northern States of the Union, especially those of New
England, refer all their liberties to the old charters which they
held from the mother-country. They rebelled, as they themselves would
seem to say, and set themselves up as a separate people, not because
the mother-country had refused to them by law sufficient liberty and
sufficient self-control, but because the mother-country infringed the
liberties and powers of self-control which she herself had given. The
mother-country, so these States declare, had acted the part of Sir
Edmund Andross, had endeavoured to take away their charters. So they
also put out the lights, and took themselves to an oak tree of their
own,--which is still standing, though winds from the infernal regions
are now battering its branches. Long may it stand!

Whether the mother-country did or did not infringe the charters
she had given, I will not here inquire. As to the nature of those
alleged infringements, are they not written down to the number of
twenty-seven in the Declaration of Independence? I have taken the
liberty of appending this Declaration to the end of my book, and the
twenty-seven paragraphs may all be seen. They mostly begin with He.
"He" has done this, and "He" has done that. The "He" is poor George
III., whose twenty-seven mortal sins against his transatlantic
colonies are thus recapitulated. It would avail nothing to argue now
whether those deeds were sins or virtues; nor would it have availed
then. The child had grown up and was strong, and chose to go alone
into the world. The young bird was fledged, and flew away. Poor
George III. with his cackling was certainly not efficacious in
restraining such a flight. But it is gratifying to see how this new
people, when they had it in their power to change all their laws, to
throw themselves upon any Utopian theory that the folly of a wild
philanthropy could devise, to discard as abominable every vestige of
English rule and English power,--it is gratifying to see that when
they could have done all this, they did not do so, but preferred to
cling to things English. Their old colonial limits were still to
be the borders of their States. Their old charters were still to
be regarded as the sources from whence their State powers had come.
The old laws were to remain in force. The precedents of the English
courts were to be held as legal precedents in the courts of the
new nation,--and are now so held. It was still to be England,--but
England without a King making his last struggle for political power.
This was the idea of the people, and this was their feeling; and that
idea has been carried out, and that feeling has remained.

In the constitution of the State of New York nothing is said about
the religion of the people. It was regarded as a subject with
which the constitution had no concern whatever. But as soon as we
come among the stricter people of New England we find that the
constitution-makers have not been able absolutely to ignore the
subject. In Connecticut it is enjoined that as it is the duty of all
men to worship the Supreme Being, and their right to render that
worship in the mode most consistent with their consciences, no person
shall be by law compelled to join or be classed with any religious
association. The line of argument is hardly logical, the conclusion
not being in accordance with, or hanging on the first of the two
premises. But nevertheless the meaning is clear. In a free country
no man shall be made to worship after any special fashion; but it
is decreed by the constitution that every man is bound by duty to
worship after some fashion. The article then goes on to say how they
who do worship are to be taxed for the support of their peculiar
church. I am not quite clear whether the New Yorkers have not managed
this difficulty with greater success. When we come to the old Bay
State,--to Massachusetts,--we find the Christian religion spoken of
in the Constitution as that which in some one of its forms should
receive the adherence of every good citizen.

Hartford is a pleasant little town, with English-looking houses, and
an English-looking country around it. Here, as everywhere through the
States, one is struck by the size and comfort of the residences. I
sojourned there at the house of a friend, and could find no limit to
the number of spacious sitting-rooms which it contained. The modest
dining-room and drawing-room which suffice with us for men of seven
or eight hundred a year would be regarded as very mean accommodation
by persons of similar incomes in the States.

I found that Hartford was all alive with trade, and that wages were
high, because there are there two factories for the manufacture of
arms. Colt's pistols come from Hartford, as do also Sharpe's rifles.
Wherever arms can be prepared, or gunpowder; where clothes or
blankets fit for soldiers can be made, or tents or standards, or
things appertaining in any way to warfare, there trade was still
brisk. No being is more costly in his requirements than a soldier,
and no soldier so costly as the American. He must eat and drink of
the best, and have good boots and warm bedding, and good shelter.
There were during the Christmas of 1861 above half a million of
soldiers so to be provided,--the President, in his message made in
December to Congress, declared the number to be above six hundred
thousand--and therefore in such places as Hartford trade was very
brisk. I went over the rifle factory, and was shown everything, but
I do not know that I brought away much with me that was worth any
reader's attention. The best of rifles, I have no doubt, were being
made with the greatest rapidity, and all were sent to the army as
soon as finished. I saw some murderous-looking weapons, with swords
attached to them instead of bayonets, but have since been told
by soldiers that the old-fashioned bayonet is thought to be more
serviceable.

Immediately on my arrival in Boston I heard that Mr. Emerson was
going to lecture at the Tremont Hall on the subject of the war, and
I resolved to go and hear him. I was acquainted with Mr. Emerson,
and by reputation knew him well. Among us in England he is regarded
as transcendental, and perhaps even as mystic in his philosophy. His
"Representative Men" is the work by which he is best known on our
side of the water, and I have heard some readers declare that they
could not quite understand Mr. Emerson's "Representative Men." For
myself, I confess that I had broken down over some portions of that
book. Since I had become acquainted with him I had read others of
his writings, especially his book on England, and had found that he
improved greatly on acquaintance. I think that he has confined his
mysticism to the book above named. In conversation he is very clear,
and by no means above the small practical things of the world. He
would, I fancy, know as well what interest he ought to receive for
his money as though he were no philosopher; and I am inclined to
think that if he held land he would make his hay while the sun shone,
as might any common farmer. Before I had met Mr. Emerson, when my
idea of him was formed simply on the "Representative Men," I should
have thought that a lecture from him on the war would have taken
his hearers all among the clouds. As it was, I still had my doubts,
and was inclined to fear that a subject which could only be handled
usefully at such a time before a large audience by a combination of
common sense, high principles, and eloquence, would hardly be safe in
Mr. Emerson's hands. I did not doubt the high principles, but feared
much that there would be a lack of common sense. So many have talked
on that subject, and have shown so great a lack of common sense! As
to the eloquence, that might be there, or might not.

Mr. Emerson is a Massachusetts man, very well known in Boston, and
a great crowd was collected to hear him. I suppose there were some
three thousand persons in the room. I confess that when he took his
place before us my prejudices were against him. The matter in hand
required no philosophy. It required common sense, and the very best
of common sense. It demanded that he should be impassioned, for of
what interest can any address be on a matter of public politics
without passion? But it demanded that the passion should be winnowed,
and free from all rhodomontade. I fancied what might be said on
such a subject as to that overlauded star-spangled banner, and how
the star-spangled flag would look when wrapped in a mist of mystic
Platonism.

But from the beginning to the end there was nothing mystic--no
Platonism; and, if I remember rightly, the star-spangled banner
was altogether omitted. To the national eagle he did allude. "Your
American eagle," he said, "is very well. Protect it here and abroad.
But beware of the American peacock." He gave an account of the war
from the beginning, showing how it had arisen, and how it had been
conducted; and he did so with admirable simplicity and truth. He
thought the North were right about the war; and as I thought so
also, I was not called upon to disagree with him. He was terse and
perspicuous in his sentences, practical in his advice, and, above all
things, true in what he said to his audience of themselves. They who
know America will understand how hard it is for a public man in the
States to practise such truth in his addresses. Fluid compliments and
high-flown national eulogium are expected. In this instance none were
forthcoming. The North had risen with patriotism to make this effort,
and it was now warned that in doing so it was simply doing its
national duty. And then came the subject of slavery. I had been told
that Mr. Emerson was an abolitionist, and knew that I must disagree
with him on that head, if on no other. To me it has always seemed
that to mix up the question of general abolition with this war must
be the work of a man too ignorant to understand the real subject of
the war, or too false to his country to regard it. Throughout the
whole lecture I was waiting for Mr. Emerson's abolition doctrine,
but no abolition doctrine came. The words abolition and compensation
were mentioned, and then there was an end of the subject. If Mr.
Emerson be an abolitionist he expressed his views very mildly on that
occasion. On the whole the lecture was excellent, and that little
advice about the peacock was in itself worth an hour's attention.

That practice of lecturing is "quite an institution" in the States.
So it is in England, my readers will say. But in England it is done
in a different way, with a different object and with much less of
result. With us, if I am not mistaken, lectures are mostly given
gratuitously by the lecturer. They are got up here and there with
some philanthropical object, and in the hope that an hour at the
disposal of young men and women may be rescued from idleness. The
subjects chosen are social, literary, philanthropic, romantic,
geographical, scientific, religious,--anything rather than political.
The lecture-rooms are not usually filled to overflowing, and there is
often a question whether the real good achieved is worth the trouble
taken. The most popular lectures are given by big people, whose
presence is likely to be attractive; and the whole thing, I fear we
must confess, is not pre-eminently successful. In the Northern States
of America the matter stands on a very different footing. Lectures
there are more popular than either theatres or concerts. Enormous
halls are built for them. Tickets for long courses are taken with
avidity. Very large sums are paid to popular lecturers, so that the
profession is lucrative,--more so, I am given to understand, than
is the cognate profession of literature. The whole thing is done in
great style. Music is introduced. The lecturer stands on a large
raised platform, on which sit around him the bald and hoary-headed
and superlatively wise. Ladies come in large numbers; especially
those who aspire to soar above the frivolities of the world. Politics
is the subject most popular, and most general. The men and women of
Boston could no more do without their lectures, than those of Paris
could without their theatres. It is the decorous diversion of the
best ordered of her citizens. The fast young men go to clubs, and the
fast young women to dances, as fast young men and women do in other
places that are wicked; but lecturing is the favourite diversion of
the steady-minded Bostonian. After all, I do not know that the result
is very good. It does not seem that much will be gained by such
lectures on either side of the Atlantic,--except that respectable
killing of an evening which might otherwise be killed less
respectably. It is but an industrious idleness, an attempt at a royal
road to information, that habit of attending lectures. Let any man or
woman say what he has brought away from any such attendance. It is
attractive, that idea of being studious without any of the labour
of study; but I fear it is illusive. If an evening can be so passed
without ennui, I believe that that may be regarded as the best result
to be gained. But then it so often happens that the evening is not
passed without ennui! Of course in saying this, I am not alluding
to lectures given in special places as a course of special study.
Medical lectures, no doubt, are a necessary part of medical
education. As many as two or three thousand often attend these
popular lectures in Boston, but I do not know whether on that account
the popular subjects are much better understood. Nevertheless I
resolved to hear more, hoping that I might in that way teach myself
to understand what were the popular politics in New England. Whether
or no I may have learned this in any other way I do not perhaps know;
but at any rate I did not learn it in this way.

The next lecture which I attended was also given in the Tremont Hall,
and on this occasion also the subject of the war was to be treated.
The special treachery of the rebels was, I think, the matter to be
taken in hand. On this occasion also the room was full, and my hopes
of a pleasant hour ran high. For some fifteen minutes I listened, and
I am bound to say that the gentleman discoursed in excellent English.
He was master of that wonderful fluency which is peculiarly the gift
of an American. He went on from one sentence to another with rhythmic
tones and unerring pronunciation. He never faltered, never repeated
his words, never fell into those vile half-muttered hems and haws
by which an Englishman in such a position so generally betrays his
timidity. But during the whole time of my remaining in the room he
did not give expression to a single thought. He went on from one soft
platitude to another, and uttered words from which I would defy any
one of his audience to carry away with them anything. And yet it
seemed to me that his audience was satisfied. I was not satisfied,
and managed to escape out of the room.

The next lecturer to whom I listened was Mr. Everett. Mr. Everett's
reputation as an orator is very great, and I was especially anxious
to hear him. I had long since known that his power of delivery was
very marvellous; that his tones, elocution, and action were all
great; and that he was able to command the minds and sympathies
of his audience in a remarkable manner. His subject also was the
war;--or rather the causes of the war, and its qualification. Had the
North given to the South cause of provocation? Had the South been
fair and honest in its dealings to the North? Had any compromise been
possible by which the war might have been avoided, and the rights and
dignity of the North preserved? Seeing that Mr. Everett is a Northern
man and was lecturing to a Boston audience, one knew well how these
questions would be answered, but the manner of the answering would be
everything. This lecture was given at Roxboro', one of the suburbs
of Boston. So I went out to Roxboro' with a party, and found myself
honoured by being placed on the platform among the bald-headed ones
and the superlatively wise. This privilege is naturally gratifying,
but it entails on him who is so gratified the inconvenience of
sitting at the lecturer's back, whereas it is perhaps better for the
listener to be before his face.

I could not but be amused by one little scenic incident. When we all
went upon the platform, some one proposed that the clergymen should
lead the way out of the waiting-room in which we bald-headed ones and
superlatively wise were assembled. But to this the manager of the
affair demurred. He wanted the clergymen for a purpose, he said. And
so the profane ones led the way, and the clergymen, of whom there
might be some six or seven, clustered in around the lecturer at last.
Early in his discourse Mr. Everett told us what it was that the
country needed at this period of her trial. Patriotism, courage, the
bravery of the men, the good wishes of the women, the self-denial
of all,--"and," continued the lecturer, turning to his immediate
neighbours, "the prayers of these holy men whom I see around me." It
had not been for nothing that the clergymen were detained.

Mr. Everett lectures without any book or paper before him, and
continues from first to last as though the words came from him on the
spur of the moment. It is known, however, that it is his practice
to prepare his orations with great care and commit them entirely to
memory, as does an actor. Indeed he repeats the same lecture over and
over again, I am told, without the change of a word or of an action.
I did not like Mr. Everett's lecture. I did not like what he said,
or the seeming spirit in which it was framed. But I am bound to
admit that his power of oratory is very wonderful. Those among his
countrymen who have criticised his manner in my hearing have said
that he is too florid, that there is an affectation in the motion
of his hands, and that the intended pathos of his voice sometimes
approaches too near the precipice over which the fall is so deep and
rapid, and at the bottom of which lies absolute ridicule. Judging for
myself, I did not find it so. My position for seeing was not good,
but my ear was not offended. Critics also should bear in mind that
an orator does not speak chiefly to them or for their approval. He
who writes, or speaks, or sings for thousands, must write, speak, or
sing as those thousands would have him. That to a dainty connoisseur
will be false music, which to the general ear shall be accounted as
the perfection of harmony. An eloquence altogether suited to the
fastidious and hypercritical, would probably fail to carry off the
hearts and interest the sympathies of the young and eager. As regards
manners, tone, and choice of words, I think that the oratory of Mr.
Everett places him very high. His skill in his work is perfect. He
never falls back upon a word. He never repeats himself. His voice is
always perfectly under command. As for hesitation or timidity, the
days for those failings have long passed by with him. When he makes
a point, he makes it well, and drives it home to the intelligence of
every one before him. Even that appeal to the holy men around him
sounded well,--or would have done so had I not been present at that
little arrangement in the anteroom. On the audience at large it was
manifestly effective.

But nevertheless the lecture gave me but a poor idea of Mr. Everett
as a politician, though it made me regard him highly as an orator.
It was impossible not to perceive that he was anxious to utter the
sentiments of the audience rather than his own;--that he was making
himself an echo, a powerful and harmonious echo of what he conceived
to be public opinion in Boston at that moment;--that he was neither
leading nor teaching the people before him, but allowing himself to
be led by them, so that he might best play his present part for their
delectation. He was neither bold nor honest, as Emerson had been, and
I could not but feel that every tyro of a politician before him would
thus recognize his want of boldness and of honesty. As a statesman,
or as a critic of statecraft and of other statesmen, he is wanting
in backbone. For many years Mr. Everett has been not even inimical
to southern politics and southern courses, nor was he among those
who, during the last eight years previous to Mr. Lincoln's election,
fought the battle for northern principles. I do not say that on this
account he is now false to advocate the war. But he cannot carry
men with him when, at his age, he advocates it by arguments opposed
to the tenour of his long political life. His abuse of the South
and of southern ideas was as virulent as might be that of a young
lad now beginning his political career, or of one who had through
life advocated abolition principles. He heaped reproaches on poor
Virginia, whose position as the chief of the border States has given
to her hardly the possibility of avoiding a Scylla of ruin on the
one side, or a Charybdis of rebellion on the other. When he spoke as
he did of Virginia, ridiculing the idea of her sacred soil, even I,
Englishman as I am, could not but think of Washington, of Jefferson,
of Randolph, and of Madison. He should not have spoken of Virginia
as he did speak; for no man could have known better Virginia's
difficulties. But Virginia was at a discount in Boston, and Mr.
Everett was speaking to a Boston audience. And then he referred to
England and to Europe. Mr. Everett has been minister to England, and
knows the people. He is a student of history, and must, I think,
know that England's career has not been unhappy or unprosperous.
But England also was at a discount in Boston, and Mr. Everett was
speaking to a Boston audience. They are sending us their advice
across the water, said Mr. Everett. And what is their advice to
us? that we should come down from the high place we have built for
ourselves, and be even as they are. They screech at us from the low
depths in which they are wallowing in their misery, and call on us to
join them in their wretchedness. I am not quoting Mr. Everett's very
words, for I have not them by me; but I am not making them stronger,
nor so strong as he made them. As I thought of Mr. Everett's
reputation, and of his years of study,--of his long political life
and unsurpassed sources of information,--I could not but grieve
heartily when I heard such words fall from him. I could not but
ask myself whether it were impossible that under the present
circumstances of her constitution this great nation of America should
produce an honest, high-minded statesman. When Lincoln and Hamlin,
the existing President and Vice-President of the States, were in 1860
as yet but the candidates of the republican party, Bell and Everett
also were the candidates of the old whig, conservative party. Their
express theory was this,--that the question of slavery should
not be touched. Their purpose was to crush agitation and restore
harmony by an impartial balance between the North and South: a fine
purpose,--the finest of all purposes, had it been practicable. But
such a course of compromise was now at a discount in Boston, and
Mr. Everett was speaking to a Boston audience. As an orator, Mr.
Everett's excellence is, I think, not to be questioned; but as a
politician I cannot give him a high rank.

After that I heard Mr. Wendell Phillips. Of him, too, as an orator
all the world of Massachusetts speaks with great admiration, and I
have no doubt so speaks with justice. He is, however, known as the
hottest and most impassioned advocate of abolition. Not many months
since the cause of abolition, as advocated by him, was so unpopular
in Boston, that Mr. Phillips was compelled to address his audience
surrounded by a guard of policemen. Of this gentleman, I may at any
rate say that he is consistent, devoted, and disinterested. He is an
abolitionist by profession, and seeks to find in every turn of the
tide of politics some stream on which he may bring himself nearer
to his object. In the old days, previous to the selection of Mr.
Lincoln, in days so old that they are now nearly eighteen months
past, Mr. Phillips was an anti-Union man. He advocated strongly the
disseverance of the Union, so that the country to which he belonged
might have hands clean from the taint of slavery. He had probably
acknowledged to himself, that while the North and South were bound
together no hope existed of emancipation, but that if the North stood
alone the South would become too weak to foster and keep alive the
"social institution." In which, if such were his opinions, I am
inclined to agree with him. But now he is all for the Union, thinking
that a victorious North can compel the immediate emancipation of
southern slaves. As to which I beg to say that I am bold to differ
from Mr. Phillips altogether.

It soon became evident to me that Mr. Phillips was unwell, and
lecturing at a disadvantage. His manner was clearly that of an
accustomed orator, but his voice was weak, and he was not up to
the effect which he attempted to make. His hearers were impatient,
repeatedly calling upon him to speak out, and on that account I tried
hard to feel kindly towards him and his lecture. But I must confess
that I failed. To me it seemed that the doctrine he preached was one
of rapine, bloodshed, and social destruction. He would call upon the
Government and upon Congress to enfranchise the slaves at once,--now
during the war,--so that the Southern power might be destroyed by
a concurrence of misfortunes. And he would do so at once, on the
spur of the moment, fearing lest the South should be before him,
and themselves emancipate their own bondsmen. I have sometimes
thought that there is no being so venomous, so bloodthirsty as a
professed philanthropist; and that when the philanthropist's ardour
lies negro-wards, it then assumes the deepest die of venom and
bloodthirstiness. There are four millions of slaves in the southern
States, none of whom have any capacity for self-maintenance or
self-control. Four millions of slaves, with the necessities of
children, with the passions of men, and the ignorance of savages!
And Mr. Phillips would emancipate these at a blow; would, were it
possible for him to do so, set them loose upon the soil to tear
their masters, destroy each other, and make such a hell upon the
earth as has never even yet come from the uncontrolled passions
and unsatisfied wants of men. But Congress cannot do this. All
the members of Congress put together cannot, according to the
constitution of the United States, emancipate a single slave in South
Carolina; not if they were all unanimous. No emancipation in a Slave
State can come otherwise than by the legislative enactment of that
State. But it was then thought that in this coming winter of 1860-61
the action of Congress might be set aside. The North possessed an
enormous army under the control of the President. The South was in
rebellion, and the President could pronounce, and the army perhaps
enforce, the confiscation of all property held in slaves. If any who
held them were not disloyal, the question of compensation might be
settled afterwards. How those four million slaves should live, and
how white men should live among them, in some States or parts of
States not equal to the blacks in number;--as to that Mr. Phillips
did not give us his opinion.

And Mr. Phillips also could not keep his tongue away from the
abominations of Englishmen and the miraculous powers of his own
countrymen. It was on this occasion that he told us more than
once how Yankees carried brains in their fingers, whereas "common
people"--alluding by that name to Europeans--had them only, if at
all, inside their brain-pans. And then he informed us that Lord
Palmerston had always hated America. Among the Radicals there might
be one or two who understood and valued the institutions of America,
but it was a well-known fact that Lord Palmerston was hostile to
the country. Nothing but hidden enmity,--enmity hidden or not
hidden,--could be expected from England. That the people of Boston,
or of Massachusetts, or of the North generally, should feel sore
against England is to me intelligible. I know how the minds of men
are moved in masses to certain feelings, and that it ever must be so.
Men in common talk are not bound to weigh their words, to think, and
speculate on their results, and be sure of the premises on which
their thoughts are founded. But it is different with a man who rises
before two or three thousand of his countrymen to teach and instruct
them. After that I heard no more political lectures in Boston.

Of course I visited Bunker's Hill, and went to Lexington and Concord.
From the top of the monument on Bunker's Hill there is a fine view of
Boston Harbour, and seen from thence the harbour is picturesque. The
mouth is crowded with islands and jutting necks and promontories;
and though the shores are in no place rich enough to make the
scenery grand, the general effect is good. The monument, however,
is so constructed that one can hardly get a view through the
windows at the top of it, and there is no outside gallery round it.
Immediately below the monument is a marble figure of Major Warren,
who fell there,--not from the top of the monument, as some one
was led to believe when informed that on that spot the Major had
fallen. Bunker's Hill, which is little more than a mound, is at
Charleston,--a dull, populous, respectable, and very unattractive
suburb of Boston.

Bunker's Hill has obtained a considerable name, and is accounted
great in the annals of American history. In England we have all
heard of Bunker's Hill, and some of us dislike the sound as much as
Frenchmen do that of Waterloo. In the States men talk of Bunker's
Hill as we may, perhaps, talk of Agincourt and such favourite fields.
But, after all, little was done at Bunker's Hill, and, as far as
I can learn, no victory was gained there by either party. The road
from Boston to the town of Concord, on which stands the village of
Lexington, is the true scene of the earliest and greatest deeds of
the men of Boston. The monument at Bunker's Hill stands high and
commands attention, while those at Lexington and Concord are very
lowly and command no attention. But it is of that road and what was
done on it that Massachusetts should be proud. When the colonists
first began to feel that they were oppressed, and a half resolve was
made to resist that oppression by force, they began to collect a
few arms and some gunpowder at Concord, a small town about eighteen
miles from Boston. Of this preparation the English Governor received
tidings, and determined to send a party of soldiers to seize the
arms. This he endeavoured to do secretly; but he was too closely
watched, and word was sent down over the waters by which Boston
was then surrounded that the colonists might be prepared for the
soldiers. At that time Boston Neck, as it was and is still called,
was the only connection between the town and the main land, and
the road over Boston Neck did not lead to Concord. Boats therefore
were necessarily used, and there was some difficulty in getting the
soldiers to the nearest point. They made their way, however, to
the road, and continued their route as far as Lexington without
interruption. Here, however, they were attacked, and the first blood
of that war was shed. They shot three or four of the--rebels, I
suppose I should in strict language call them, and then proceeded
on to Concord. But at Concord they were stopped and repulsed, and
along the road back from Concord to Lexington they were driven with
slaughter and dismay. And thus the rebellion was commenced which led
to the establishment of a people which, let us Englishmen say and
think what we may of them at this present moment, has made itself one
of the five great nations of the earth, and has enabled us to boast
that the two out of the five who enjoy the greatest liberty and
the widest prosperity, speak the English language and are known by
English names. For all that has come and is like to come, I say
again, long may that honour remain. I could not but feel that that
road from Boston to Concord deserves a name in the world's history
greater, perhaps, than has yet been given to it.

Concord is at present to be noted as the residence of Mr. Emerson and
of Mr. Hawthorne, two of those many men of letters of whose presence
Boston and its neighbourhood have reason to be proud. Of Mr. Emerson
I have already spoken. The author of the "Scarlet Letter" I regard
as certainly the first of American novelists. I know what men will
say of Mr. Cooper,--and I also am an admirer of Cooper's novels. But
I cannot think that Mr. Cooper's powers were equal to those of Mr.
Hawthorne, though his mode of thought may have been more genial, and
his choice of subjects more attractive in their day. In point of
imagination, which, after all, is the novelist's greatest gift, I
hardly know any living author who can be accounted superior to Mr.
Hawthorne.

Very much has, undoubtedly, been done in Boston to carry out
that theory of Colonel Newcome's--_Emollit mores_, by which the
Colonel meant to signify his opinion that a competent knowledge of
reading, writing, and arithmetic, with a taste for enjoying those
accomplishments, goes very far towards the making of a man, and will
by no means mar a gentleman. In Boston nearly every man, woman, and
child has had his or her manners so far softened; and though they may
still occasionally be somewhat rough to the outer touch, the inward
effect is plainly visible. With us, especially among our agricultural
population, the absence of that inner softening is as visible.

I went to see a public library in the city, which, if not founded by
Mr. Bates whose name is so well known in London as connected with the
house of Messrs. Baring, has been greatly enriched by him. It is by
his money that it has been enabled to do its work. In this library
there is a certain number of thousands of volumes--a great many
volumes, as there are in most public libraries. There are books of
all classes, from ponderous unreadable folios, of which learned men
know the title-pages, down to the lightest literature. Novels are by
no means eschewed,--are rather, if I understood aright, considered
as one of the staples of the library. From this library any book,
excepting such rare volumes as in all libraries are considered holy,
is given out to any inhabitant of Boston, without any payment, on
presentation of a simple request on a prepared form. In point of
fact, it is a gratuitous circulating library open to all Boston, rich
or poor, young or old. The books seemed in general to be confided
to young children, who came as messengers from their fathers and
mothers, or brothers and sisters. No question whatever is asked,
if the applicant is known or the place of his residence undoubted.
If there be no such knowledge, or there be any doubt as to the
residence, the applicant is questioned, the object being to confine
the use of the library to the _bonâ fide_ inhabitants of the city.
Practically the books are given to those who ask for them, whoever
they may be. Boston contains over 200,000 inhabitants, and all those
200,000 are entitled to them. Some twenty men and women are kept
employed from morning to night in carrying on this circulating
library; and there is, moreover, attached to the establishment a
large reading-room supplied with papers and magazines, open to the
public of Boston on the same terms.

Of course I asked whether a great many of the books were not lost,
stolen, and destroyed; and of course I was told that there were no
losses, no thefts, and no destruction. As to thefts, the librarian
did not seem to think that any instance of such an occurrence could
be found. Among the poorer classes a book might sometimes be lost
when they were changing their lodgings, but anything so lost was
more than replaced by the fines. A book is taken out for a week,
and if not brought back at the end of that week, when the loan can
be renewed if the reader wishes, a fine, I think of two cents, is
incurred. The children, when too late with the books, bring in the
two cents as a matter of course, and the sum so collected fully
replaces all losses. It was all _couleur de rose_; the librarianesses
looked very pretty and learned, and, if I remember aright, mostly
wore spectacles; the head librarian was enthusiastic; the nice
instructive books were properly dogs-eared; my own productions were
in enormous demand; the call for books over the counter was brisk,
and the reading-room was full of readers.

It has, I dare say, occurred to other travellers to remark that the
proceedings at such institutions, when visited by them on their
travels, are always rose coloured. It is natural that the bright side
should be shown to the visitor. It may be that many books are called
for and returned unread, that many of those taken out are so taken by
persons who ought to pay for their novels at circulating libraries,
that the librarian and librarianesses get very tired of their long
hours of attendance,--for I found that they were very long;--and
that many idlers warm themselves in that reading-room: nevertheless
the fact remains,--the library is public to all the men and women in
Boston, and books are given out without payment to all who may choose
to ask for them. Why should not the great Mr. Mudie emulate Mr.
Bates, and open a library in London on the same system?

The librarian took me into one special room, of which he himself kept
the key, to show me a present which the library had received from the
English Government. The room was filled with volumes of two sizes,
all bound alike, containing descriptions and drawings of all the
patents taken out in England. According to this librarian such a work
would be invaluable as to American patents; but he conceived that the
subject had become too confused to render any such an undertaking
possible. "I never allow a single volume to be used for a moment
without the presence of myself or one of my assistants," said the
librarian; and then he explained to me, when I asked him why he was
so particular, that the drawings would, as a matter of course, be cut
out and stolen if he omitted his care. "But they may be copied," I
said. "Yes; but if Jones merely copies one, Smith may come after him
and copy it also. Jones will probably desire to hinder Smith from
having any evidence of such a patent." As to the ordinary borrowing
and returning of books, the poorest labourer's child in Boston might
be trusted as honest; but when a question of trade came up, of
commercial competition, then the librarian was bound to bethink
himself that his countrymen are very smart. "I hope," said the
librarian, "you will let them know in England how grateful we are for
their present." And I hereby execute that librarian's commission.

I shall always look back to social life in Boston with great
pleasure. I met there many men and women whom to know is a
distinction, and with whom to be intimate is a great delight. It was
a Puritan city, in which strict old Roundhead sentiments and laws
used to prevail; but now-a-days ginger is hot in the mouth there, and
in spite of the war there were cakes and ale. There was a law passed
in Massachusetts in the old days that any girl should be fined and
imprisoned who allowed a young man to kiss her. That law has now, I
think, fallen into abeyance, and such matters are regulated in Boston
much as they are in other large towns further eastward. It still,
I conceive, calls itself a Puritan city, but it has divested its
Puritanism of austerity, and clings rather to the politics and public
bearing of its old fathers than to their social manners and pristine
severity of intercourse. The young girls are, no doubt, much more
comfortable under the new dispensation,--and the elderly men also,
as I fancy. Sunday, as regards the outer streets, is sabbatical. But
Sunday evenings within doors I always found to be what my friends in
that country call "quite a good time." It is not the thing in Boston
to smoke in the streets during the day; but the wisest, the sagest,
and the most holy,--even those holy men whom the lecturer saw around
him,--seldom refuse a cigar in the dining-room as soon as the ladies
have gone. Perhaps even the wicked weed would make its appearance
before that sad eclipse, thereby postponing, or perhaps absolutely
annihilating, the melancholy period of widowhood to both parties,
and would light itself under the very eyes of those who in sterner
cities will lend no countenance to such lightings. Ah me, it was very
pleasant! I confess I like this abandonment of the stricter rules of
the more decorous world. I fear that there is within me an aptitude
to the milder debaucheries which makes such deviations pleasant. I
like to drink and I like to smoke, but I do not like to turn women
out of the room. Then comes the question whether one can have all
that one likes together. In some small circles in New England I found
people simple enough to fancy that they could. In Massachusetts the
Maine Liquor Law is still the law of the land, but, like that other
law to which I have alluded, it has fallen very much out of use. At
any rate it had not reached the houses of the gentlemen with whom I
had the pleasure of making acquaintance. But here I must guard myself
from being misunderstood. I saw but one drunken man through all New
England, and he was very respectable. He was, however, so uncommonly
drunk that he might be allowed to count for two or three. The
Puritans of Boston are, of course, simple in their habits and simple
in their expenses. Champagne and canvas-back ducks I found to be the
provisions most in vogue among those who desired to adhere closely to
the manners of their forefathers. Upon the whole I found the ways of
life which had been brought over in the "Mayflower" from the stern
sects of England, and preserved through the revolutionary war for
liberty, to be very pleasant ways, and I made up my mind that a
Yankee Puritan can be an uncommonly pleasant fellow. I wish that some
of them did not dine so early; for when a man sits down at half-past
two, that keeping up of the after-dinner recreations till bedtime
becomes hard work.

In Boston the houses are very spacious and excellent, and they are
always furnished with those luxuries which it is so difficult to
introduce into an old house. They have hot and cold water pipes
into every room, and baths attached to the bed-chambers. It is not
only that comfort is increased by such arrangements, but that much
labour is saved. In an old English house it will occupy a servant
the best part of the day to carry water up and down for a large
family. Everything also is spacious, commodious, and well lighted.
I certainly think that in house building the Americans have gone
beyond us, for even our new houses are not commodious as are theirs.
One practice which they have in their cities would hardly suit our
limited London spaces. When the body of the house is built, they
throw out the dining-room behind. It stands alone, as it were, with
no other chamber above it, and removed from the rest of the house.
It is consequently behind the double drawing-rooms which form the
ground-floor, and is approached from them, and also from the back of
the hall. The second entrance to the dining-room is thus near the top
of the kitchen stairs, which no doubt is its proper position. The
whole of the upper part of the house is thus kept for the private
uses of the family. To me this plan of building recommended itself as
being very commodious.

I found the spirit for the war quite as hot at Boston now (in
November), if not hotter than it was when I was there ten weeks
earlier; and I found also, to my grief, that the feeling against
England was as strong. I can easily understand how difficult it must
have been, and still must be, to Englishmen at home to understand
this, and see how it has come to pass. It has not arisen, as I think,
from the old jealousy of England. It has not sprung from that source
which for years has induced certain newspapers, especially the "New
York Herald" to vilify England. I do not think that the men of New
England have ever been, as regards this matter, in the same boat with
the "New York Herald." But when this war between the North and South
first broke out, even before there was as yet a war, the Northern men
had taught themselves to expect what they called British sympathy,
meaning British encouragement. They regarded, and properly regarded,
the action of the South as a rebellion, and said among themselves
that so staid and conservative a nation as Great Britain would surely
countenance them in quelling rebels. If not,--should it come to pass
that Great Britain should show no such countenance and sympathy for
Northern law, if Great Britain did not respond to her friend as
she was expected to respond, then it would appear that Cotton was
king, at least in British eyes. The war did come, and Great Britain
regarded the two parties as belligerents, standing, as far as she was
concerned, on equal grounds. This it was that first gave rise to that
fretful anger against England which has gone so far towards ruining
the northern cause. We know how such passions are swelled by being
ventilated, and how they are communicated from mind to mind till they
become national. Politicians--American politicians I here mean--have
their own future careers ever before their eyes, and are driven
to make capital where they can. Hence it is that such men as Mr.
Seward in the cabinet, and Mr. Everett out of it, can reconcile it
to themselves to speak as they have done of England. It was but the
other day that Mr. Everett spoke in one of his orations of the hope
that still existed that the flag of the United States might still
float over the whole continent of North America. What would he say of
an English statesman who should speak of putting up the Union Jack
on the State House in Boston? Such words tell for the moment on the
hearers, and help to gain some slight popularity; but they tell for
more than a moment on those who read them and remember them.

And then came the capture of Messrs. Slidell and Mason. I was at
Boston when those men were taken out of the "Trent" by the "San
Jacinto," and brought to Fort Warren in Boston Harbour. Captain
Wilkes was the officer who had made the capture, and he immediately
was recognized as a hero. He was invited to banquets and fêted.
Speeches were made to him as speeches are commonly made to high
officers who come home, after many perils, victorious from the wars.
His health was drunk with great applause, and thanks were voted to
him by one of the Houses of Congress. It was said that a sword was
to be given to him, but I do not think that the gift was consummated.
Should it not have been a policeman's truncheon? Had he at the
best done anything beyond a policeman's work? Of Captain Wilkes
no one would complain for doing policeman's duty. If his country
were satisfied with the manner in which he did it, England, if she
quarrelled at all, would not quarrel with him. It may now and again
become the duty of a brave officer to do work of so low a calibre. It
is a pity that an ambitious sailor should find himself told off for
so mean a task, but the world would know that it is not his fault.
No one could blame Captain Wilkes for acting policeman on the seas.
But who ever before heard of giving a man glory for achievements so
little glorious? How Captain Wilkes must have blushed when those
speeches were made to him, when that talk about the sword came up,
when the thanks arrived to him from Congress! An officer receives
his country's thanks when he has been in great peril, and has borne
himself gallantly through his danger; when he has endured the brunt
of war, and come through it with victory; when he has exposed himself
on behalf of his country and singed his epaulets with an enemy's
fire. Captain Wilkes tapped a merchantman on the shoulder in the high
seas, and told him that his passengers were wanted. In doing this he
showed no lack of spirit, for it might be his duty; but where was his
spirit when he submitted to be thanked for such work?

And then there arose a clamour of justification among the lawyers;
judges and ex-judges flew to Wheaton, Phillimore, and Lord Stowell.
Before twenty-four hours were over, every man and every woman in
Boston were armed with precedents. Then there was the burning of the
"Caroline." England had improperly burned the "Caroline" on Lake
Erie, or rather in one of the American ports on Lake Erie, and had
then begged pardon. If the States had been wrong, they would beg
pardon; but whether wrong or right, they would not give up Slidell
and Mason. But the lawyers soon waxed stronger. The men were
manifestly ambassadors, and as such contraband of war. Wilkes was
quite right, only he should have seized the vessel also. He was quite
right, for though Slidell and Mason might not be ambassadors, they
were undoubtedly carrying despatches. In a few hours there began to
be a doubt whether the men could be ambassadors, because if called
ambassadors, then the power that sent the embassy must be presumed to
be recognized. That Captain Wilkes had taken no despatches was true;
but the Captain suggested a way out of this difficulty by declaring
that he had regarded the two men themselves as an incarnated
embodiment of despatches. At any rate, they were clearly contraband
of war. They were going to do an injury to the North. It was pretty
to hear the charming women of Boston, as they became learned in the
law of nations: "Wheaton is quite clear about it," one young girl
said to me. It was the first I had ever heard of Wheaton, and so
far was obliged to knock under. All the world, ladies and lawyers,
expressed the utmost confidence in the justice of the seizure, but
it was clear that all the world was in a state of the profoundest
nervous anxiety on the subject. To me it seemed to be the most
suicidal act that any party in a life-and-death struggle ever
committed. All Americans on both sides had felt, from the beginning
of the war, that any assistance given by England to one or the other
would turn the scale. The Government of Mr. Lincoln must have learned
by this time that England was at least true in her neutrality; that
no desire for cotton would compel her to give aid to the South as
long as she herself was not ill-treated by the North. But it seemed
as though Mr. Seward, the President's prime minister, had no better
work on hand than that of showing in every way his indifference as to
courtesy with England. Insults offered to England would, he seemed to
think, strengthen his hands. He would let England know that he did
not care for her. When our minister, Lord Lyons, appealed to him
regarding the suspension of the habeas corpus, Mr. Seward not only
answered him with insolence, but instantly published his answer
in the papers. He instituted a system of passports, especially
constructed so as to incommode Englishmen proceeding from the States
across the Atlantic. He resolved to make every Englishman in America
feel himself in some way punished because England had not assisted
the North. And now came the arrest of Slidell and Mason out of
an English mail-steamer; and Mr. Seward took care to let it be
understood that, happen what might, those two men should not be given
up.

Nothing during all this time astonished me so much as the estimation
in which Mr. Seward was then held by his own party. It is, perhaps,
the worst defect in the Constitution of the States, that no
incapacity on the part of a minister, no amount of condemnation
expressed against him by the people or by Congress, can put him out
of office during the term of the existing Presidency. The President
can dismiss him; but it generally happens that the President is
brought in on a "platform," which has already nominated for him his
Cabinet as thoroughly as they have nominated him. Mr. Seward ran Mr.
Lincoln very hard for the position of candidate for the Presidency
on the Republican interest. On the second voting of the Republican
delegates at the Convention at Chicago, Mr. Seward polled 184 to Mr.
Lincoln's 181. But as a clear half of the total number of votes was
necessary--that is 233 out of 465--there was necessarily a third
polling, and Mr. Lincoln won the day. On that occasion Mr. Chase and
Mr. Cameron, both of whom became members of Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet,
were also candidates for the White House on the Republican side.
I mention this here to show, that though the President can in fact
dismiss his Ministers, he is in a great manner bound to them, and
that a Minister in Mr. Seward's position is hardly to be dismissed.
But from the 1st of November, 1861, till the day on which I left
the States, I do not think that I heard a good word spoken of Mr.
Seward as a Minister even by one of his own party. The Radical
or Abolitionist Republicans all abused him. The Conservative or
Anti-abolition Republicans, to whose party he would consider himself
as belonging, spoke of him as a mistake. He had been prominent as
Senator from New York, and had been Governor of the State of New
York, but had none of the aptitudes of a statesman. He was there, and
it was a pity. He was not so bad as Mr. Cameron, the Minister for
War; that was the best his own party could say for him, even in his
own State of New York. As to the Democrats, their language respecting
him was as harsh as any that I have heard used towards the Southern
leaders. He seemed to have no friend, no one who trusted him;--and
yet he was the President's chief minister, and seemed to have in
his own hands the power of mismanaging all foreign relations as he
pleased. But, in truth, the States of America, great as they are, and
much as they have done, have not produced Statesmen. That theory of
governing by the little men rather than by the great, has not been
found to answer, and such follies as those of Mr. Seward have been
the consequence.

At Boston, and indeed elsewhere, I found that there was even
then,--at the time of the capture of Mason and Slidell,--no true
conception of the neutrality of England with reference to the two
parties. When any argument was made, showing that England who had
carried those messengers from the South, would undoubtedly have also
carried messengers from the North, the answer always was--"But the
Southerners are all rebels. Will England regard us who are by treaty
her friend, as she does a people that is in rebellion against its
own government?" That was the old story over again, and as it was
a very long story, it was hardly of use to go back through all its
details. But the fact was that unless there had been such absolute
neutrality--such equality between the parties in the eyes of
England--even Captain Wilkes would not have thought of stopping
the "Trent," or the Government at Washington of justifying such
a proceeding. And it must be remembered that the Government at
Washington had justified that proceeding. The Secretary of the Navy
had distinctly done so in his official report; and that report had
been submitted to the President and published by his order. It was
because England was neutral between the North and South that Captain
Wilkes claimed to have the right of seizing those two men. It had
been the President's intention, some month or so before this affair,
to send Mr. Everett and other gentlemen over to England with objects
as regards the North, similar to those which had caused the sending
of Slidell and Mason with reference to the South. What would Mr.
Everett have thought had he been refused a passage from Dover to
Calais, because the carrying of him would have been towards the South
a breach of neutrality? It would never have occurred to him that he
could become subject to such stoppage. How should we have been abused
for Southern sympathies had we so acted! We, forsooth, who carry
passengers about the world, from China and Australia, round to Chili
and Peru, who have the charge of the world's passengers and letters,
and as a nation incur out of our pocket annually a loss of some
half-million of pounds sterling for the privilege of doing so, are
to inquire the business of every American traveller before we let
him on board, and be stopped in our work if we take anybody on one
side whose journeyings may be conceived by the other side to be to
them prejudicial! Not on such terms will Englishmen be willing to
spread civilization across the ocean! I do not pretend to understand
Wheaton and Phillimore, or even to have read a single word of any
international law. I have refused to read any such, knowing that it
would only confuse and mislead me. But I have my common sense to
guide me. Two men living in one street, quarrel and shy brickbats at
each other, and make the whole street very uncomfortable. Not only is
no one to interfere with them, but they are to have the privilege of
deciding that their brickbats have the right of way, rather than the
ordinary intercourse of the neighbourhood! If that be national law,
national law must be changed. It might do for some centuries back,
but it cannot do now. Up to this period my sympathies had been
with the North. I thought, and still think, that the North had no
alternative, that the war had been forced upon them, and that they
had gone about their work with patriotic energy. But this stopping of
an English mail-steamer was too much for me.

What will they do in England? was now the question. But for any
knowledge as to that, I had to wait till I reached Washington.



CHAPTER XVII.

CAMBRIDGE AND LOWELL.


The two places of most general interest in the vicinity of Boston
are Cambridge and Lowell. Cambridge is to Massachusetts, and, I may
almost say, is to all the northern States, what Cambridge and Oxford
are to England. It is the seat of the University which gives the
highest education to be attained by the highest classes in that
country. Lowell also is in little to Massachusetts and to New England
what Manchester is to us in so great a degree. It is the largest and
most prosperous cotton-manufacturing town in the States.

Cambridge is not above three or four miles from Boston. Indeed, the
town of Cambridge properly so called begins where Boston ceases. The
Harvard College--that is its name, taken from one of its original
founders--is reached by horse-cars in twenty minutes from the city.
An Englishman feels inclined to regard the place as a suburb of
Boston; but if he so expresses himself, he will not find favour in
the eyes of the men of Cambridge.

The University is not so large as I had expected to find it. It
consists of Harvard College, as the undergraduates' department, and
of professional schools of law, medicine, divinity, and science.
In the few words that I will say about it I will confine myself to
Harvard College proper, conceiving that the professional schools
connected with it have not in themselves any special interest. The
average number of undergraduates does not exceed 450, and these
are divided into four classes. The average number of degrees taken
annually by bachelors of art is something under 100. Four years'
residence is required for a degree, and at the end of that period
a degree is given as a matter of course if the candidate's conduct
has been satisfactory. When a young man has pursued his studies for
that period, going through the required examinations and lectures,
he is not subjected to any final examination as is the case with a
candidate for a degree at Oxford and Cambridge. It is, perhaps, in
this respect that the greatest difference exists between the English
Universities and Harvard College. With us a young man may, I take
it, still go through his three or four years with a small amount of
study. But his doing so does not insure him his degree. If he have
utterly wasted his time he is plucked, and late but heavy punishment
comes upon him. At Cambridge in Massachusetts the daily work of
the men is made more obligatory; but if this be gone through with
such diligence as to enable the student to hold his own during the
four years, he has his degree as a matter of course. There are no
degrees conferring special honour. A man cannot go out "in honours"
as he does with us. There are no "firsts" or "double firsts;" no
"wranglers;" no "senior opts" or "junior opts." Nor are there prizes
of fellowships and livings to be obtained. It is, I think, evident
from this that the greatest incentives to high excellence are wanting
at Harvard College. There is neither the reward of honour nor of
money. There is none of that great competition which exists at our
Cambridge for the high place of Senior Wrangler; and, consequently,
the degree of excellence attained is no doubt lower than with us.
But I conceive that the general level of the University education is
higher there than with us; that a young man is more sure of getting
his education, and that a smaller percentage of men leaves Harvard
College utterly uneducated than goes in that condition out of Oxford
or Cambridge. The education at Harvard College is more diversified in
its nature, and study is more absolutely the business of the place
than it is at our Universities.

The expense of education at Harvard College is not much lower than
at our colleges; with us there are, no doubt, more men who are
absolutely extravagant than at Cambridge, Massachusetts. The actual
authorized expenditure in accordance with the rules is only £50 per
annum, _i.e._ 249 dollars; but this does not, by any means, include
everything. Some of the richer young men may spend as much as £300
per annum, but the largest number vary their expenditure from £100
to £180 per annum; and I take it the same thing may be said of our
Universities. There are many young men at Harvard College of very
small means. They will live on £70 per annum, and will earn a great
portion of that by teaching in the vacations. There are thirty-six
scholarships attached to the University varying in value from £20 to
£60 per annum; and there is also a beneficiary fund for supplying
poor scholars with assistance during their collegiate education. Many
are thus brought up at Cambridge who have no means of their own, and
I think I may say that the consideration in which they are held among
their brother students is in no degree affected by their position.
I doubt whether we can say so much of the sizars and bible clerks at
our Universities.

At Harvard College there is, of course, none of that old-fashioned,
time-honoured, delicious, mediæval life which lends so much grace and
beauty to our colleges. There are no gates, no porter's lodges, no
butteries, no halls, no battels, and no common rooms. There are no
proctors, no bulldogs, no bursers, no deans, no morning and evening
chapel, no quads, no surplices, no caps and gowns. I have already
said that there are no examinations for degrees and no honours; and I
can easily conceive that in the absence of all these essentials many
an Englishman will ask what right Harvard College has to call itself
a University.

I have said that there are no honours,--and in our sense there are
none. But I should give offence to my American friends if I did not
explain that there are prizes given--I think all in money, and that
they vary from 50 to 10 dollars. These are called _deturs_. The
degrees are given on Commencement Day, at which occasion certain
of the expectant graduates are selected to take parts in a public
literary exhibition. To be so selected seems to be tantamount to
taking a degree in honours. There is also a dinner on Commencement
Day,--at which, however, "no wine or other intoxicating drink shall
be served."

It is required that every student shall attend some place of
Christian worship on Sundays; but he, or his parents for him, may
elect what denomination of church he shall attend. There is a
University chapel on the University grounds which belongs, if I
remember right, to the Episcopalian Church. The young men for the
most part live in College, having rooms in the College buildings;
but they do not board in those rooms. There are establishments in
the town under the patronage of the University, at which dinner,
breakfast, and supper are provided; and the young men frequent one
of these houses or another as they, or their friends for them, may
arrange. Every young man not belonging to a family resident within a
hundred miles of Cambridge, and whose parents are desirous to obtain
the protection thus provided, is placed, as regards his pecuniary
management, under the care of a patron, and this patron acts by him
as a father does in England by a boy at school. He pays out his money
for him and keeps him out of debt. The arrangement will not recommend
itself to young men at Oxford quite so powerfully as it may do to
the fathers of some young men who have been there. The rules with
regard to the lodging and boarding-houses are very stringent. Any
festive entertainment is to be reported to the President. No wine or
spirituous liquors may be used, &c. It is not a picturesque system,
this; but it has its advantages.

There is a handsome library attached to the College, which the young
men can use; but it is not as extensive as I had expected. The
University is not well off for funds by which to increase it. The
new museum in the College is also a handsome building. The edifices
used for the undergraduates' chambers and for the lecture-rooms are
by no means handsome. They are very ugly red-brick houses standing
here and there without order. There are seven such, and they are
called Brattle House, College House, Divinity Hall, Hollis Hall,
Holsworthy Hall, Massachusetts Hall, and Stoughton Hall. It is almost
astonishing that buildings so ugly should have been erected for such
a purpose. These, together with the library, the museum, and the
chapel, stand on a large green, which might be made pretty enough if
it were kept well mown like the gardens of our Cambridge colleges;
but it is much neglected. Here, again, the want of funds--the res
angusta domi--must be pleaded as an excuse. On the same green, but at
some little distance from any other building, stands the President's
pleasant house.

The immediate direction of the College is of course mainly in
the hands of the President, who is supreme. But for the general
management of the Institution there is a Corporation, of which he is
one. It is stated in the laws of the University that the Corporation
of the University and its Overseers constitute the Government of the
University. The Corporation consists of the President, five Fellows,
so called, and a Treasurer. These Fellows are chosen, as vacancies
occur, by themselves, subject to the concurrence of the Overseers.
But these Fellows are in nowise like to the Fellows of our colleges,
having no salaries attached to their offices. The Board of Overseers
consists of the State Governor, other State officers, the President
and Treasurer of Harvard College, and thirty other persons,--men of
note, chosen by vote. The Faculty of the College, in which is vested
the immediate care and government of the undergraduates, is composed
of the President and the Professors. The Professors answer to
the tutors of our colleges, and upon them the education of the
place depends. I cannot complete this short notice of Harvard
College without saying that it is happy in the possession of that
distinguished natural philosopher, Professor Agassiz. M. Agassiz
has collected at Cambridge a museum of such things as natural
philosophers delight to show, which I am told is all but invaluable.
As my ignorance on all such matters is of a depth which the Professor
can hardly imagine, and which it would have shocked him to behold, I
did not visit the museum. Taking the University of Harvard College as
a whole, I should say that it is most remarkable in this,--that it
does really give to its pupils that education which it professes to
give. Of our own Universities other good things may be said, but that
one special good thing cannot always be said.

Cambridge boasts itself as the residence of four or five men well
known to fame on the American and also on the European side of the
ocean. President Felton's* name is very familiar to us, and wherever
Greek scholarship is held in repute, that is known. So also is the
name of Professor Agassiz, of whom I have spoken. Russell Lowell is
one of the Professors of the College,--that Russell Lowell who sang
of Birdo'fredum Sawin, and whose Biglow Papers were edited with such
an ardour of love by our Tom Brown. Birdo'fredum is worthy of all
the ardour. Mr. Dana is also a Cambridge man,--he who was "two years
before the mast," and who since that has written to us of Cuba.
But Mr. Dana, though residing at Cambridge, is not of Cambridge,
and, though a literary man, he does not belong to literature. He
is,--could he help it?--a special attorney. I must not, however,
degrade him, for in the States barristers and attorneys are all one.
I cannot but think that he could help it, and that he should not
give up to law what was meant for mankind. I fear, however, that
successful law has caught him in her intolerant clutches, and that
literature, who surely would be the nobler mistress, must wear the
willow. Last and greatest is the poet-laureat of the West; for Mr.
Longfellow also lives at Cambridge.

  *Since these words were written President Felton has died. I,
   as I returned on my way homewards, had the melancholy privilege
   of being present at his funeral. I feel bound to record here
   the great kindness with which Mr. Felton assisted me in obtaining
   such information as I needed respecting the Institution over
   which he presided.

I am not at all aware whether the nature of the manufacturing
corporation of Lowell is generally understood by Englishmen. I
confess that until I made personal acquaintance with the plan, I
was absolutely ignorant on the subject. I knew that Lowell was a
manufacturing town at which cotton is made into calico, and at which
calico is printed,--as is the case at Manchester; but I conceived
this was done at Lowell, as it is done at Manchester, by individual
enterprise,--that I or any one else could open a mill at Lowell, and
that the manufacturers there were ordinary traders, as they are at
other manufacturing towns. But this is by no means the case.

That which most surprises an English visitor on going through the
mills at Lowell is the personal appearance of the men and women who
work at them. As there are twice as many women as there are men, it
is to them that the attention is chiefly called. They are not only
better dressed, cleaner, and better mounted in every respect than
the girls employed at manufactories in England, but they are so
infinitely superior as to make a stranger immediately perceive that
some very strong cause must have created the difference. We all
know the class of young women whom we generally see serving behind
counters in the shops of our larger cities. They are neat, well
dressed, careful, especially about their hair, composed in their
manner, and sometimes a little supercilious in the propriety of their
demeanour. It is exactly the same class of young women that one sees
in the factories at Lowell. They are not sallow, nor dirty, nor
ragged, nor rough. They have about them no signs of want, or of low
culture. Many of us also know the appearance of those girls who work
in the factories in England; and I think it will be allowed that a
second glance at them is not wanting to show that they are in every
respect inferior to the young women who attend our shops. The matter,
indeed, requires no argument. Any young woman at a shop would be
insulted by being asked whether she had worked at a factory. The
difference with regard to the men at Lowell is quite as strong,
though not so striking. Working men do not show their status in the
world by their outward appearance as readily as women; and, as I have
said before, the number of the women greatly exceeded that of the
men.

One would of course be disposed to say that the superior condition of
the workers must have been occasioned by superior wages; and this, to
a certain extent, has been the cause. But the higher payment is not
the chief cause. Women's wages, including all that they receive at
the Lowell factories, average about 14_s._ a week, which is, I take
it, fully a third more than women can earn in Manchester, or did
earn before the loss of the American cotton began to tell upon them.
But if wages at Manchester were raised to the Lowell standard, the
Manchester women would not be clothed, fed, cared for, and educated
like the Lowell women. The fact is, that the workmen and the
workwomen at Lowell are not exposed to the chances of an open
labour market. They are taken in, as it were, to a philanthropical
manufacturing college, and then looked after and regulated more as
girls and lads at a great seminary, than as hands by whose industry
profit is to be made out of capital. This is all very nice and pretty
at Lowell, but I am afraid it could not be done at Manchester.

There are at present twelve different manufactories at Lowell, each
of which has what is called a separate corporation. The Merrimack
manufacturing company was incorporated in 1822, and thus Lowell was
commenced. The Lowell machine-shop was incorporated in 1845, and
since that no new establishment has been added. In 1821 a certain
Boston manufacturing company, which had mills at Waltham, near
Boston, was attracted by the water-power of the river Merrimack,
on which the present town of Lowell is situated. A canal, called
the Pawtucket Canal, had been made for purposes of navigation from
one reach of the river to another, with the object of avoiding the
Pawtucket Falls; and this canal, with the adjacent water-power of
the river, was purchased for the Boston Company. The place was then
called Lowell, after one of the partners in that company.

It must be understood that water-power alone is used for preparing
the cotton and working the spindles and looms of the cotton mills.
Steam is applied in the two establishments in which the cottons are
printed, for the purposes of printing, but I think nowhere else.
When the mills are at full work, about two-and-a-half million yards
of cotton goods are made every week, and nearly a million pounds
of cotton are consumed per week (_i.e._ 842,000 lbs.), but the
consumption of coal is only 30,000 tons in the year. This will give
some idea of the value of the water-power. The Pawtucket Canal was,
as I say, bought, and Lowell was commenced. The town was incorporated
in 1826, and the railway between it and Boston was opened in 1835,
under the superintendence of Mr. Jackson, the gentleman by whom the
purchase of the canal had in the first instance been made. Lowell now
contains about 40,000 inhabitants.

The following extract is taken from the hand-book to Lowell:--"Mr.
F. C. Lowell had in his travels abroad observed the effect of large
manufacturing establishments on the character of the people, and in
the establishment at Waltham the founders looked for a remedy for
these defects. They thought that education and good morals would even
enhance the profit, and that they could compete with Great Britain by
introducing a more cultivated class of operatives. For this purpose
they built boarding-houses, which, under the direct supervision of
the agent, were kept by discreet matrons"--I can answer for the
discreet matrons at Lowell--"mostly widows, no boarders being allowed
except operatives. Agents and overseers of high moral character were
selected; regulations were adopted at the mills and boarding-houses,
by which only respectable girls were employed. The mills were nicely
painted and swept,"--I can also answer for the painting and sweeping
at Lowell,--"trees set out in the yards and along the streets, habits
of neatness and cleanliness encouraged; and the result justified
the expenditure. At Lowell the same policy has been adopted and
extended; more spacious mills and elegant boarding-houses have been
erected;"--as to the elegance, it may be a matter of taste, but
as to the comfort there is no question,--"the same care as to the
classes employed; more capital has been expended for cleanliness and
decoration; a hospital has been established for the sick, where,
for a small price, they have an experienced physician and skilful
nurses. An institute, with an extensive library, for the use of
the mechanics, has been endowed. The agents have stood forward in
the support of schools, churches, lectures, and lyceums, and their
influence contributed highly to the elevation of the moral and
intellectual character of the operatives. Talent has been encouraged,
brought forward, and recommended."--For some considerable time
the young women wrote, edited, and published a newspaper among
themselves, called the Lowell Offering.--"And Lowell has supplied
agents and mechanics for the later manufacturing places who have
given tone to society, and extended the beneficial influence of
Lowell through the United States. Girls from the country, with a
true Yankee spirit of independence, and confident in their own
powers, pass a few years here, and then return to get married with
a dower secured by their exertions, with more enlarged ideas and
extended means of information, and their places are supplied by
younger relatives. A larger proportion of the female population
of New England has been employed at some time in manufacturing
establishments, and they are not on this account less good wives,
mothers, or educators of families." Then the account goes on to tell
how the health of the girls has been improved by their attendance at
the mills, how they put money into the savings-banks, and buy railway
shares and farms; how there are thirty churches in Lowell, a library,
banks, and insurance offices; how there is a cemetery, and a park,
and how everything is beautiful, philanthropic, profitable, and
magnificent.

Thus Lowell is the realization of a commercial Utopia. Of all the
statements made in the little book which I have quoted I cannot point
out one which is exaggerated, much less false. I should not call the
place elegant; in other respects I am disposed to stand by the book.
Before I had made any inquiry into the cause of the apparent comfort,
it struck me at once that some great effort at excellence was being
made. I went into one of the discreet matrons' residences; and
perhaps may give but an indifferent idea of her discretion when I say
that she allowed me to go into the bedrooms. If you want to ascertain
the inner ways or habits of life of any man, woman, or child, see,
if it be practicable to do so, his or her bedroom. You will learn
more by a minute's glance round that holy of holies, than by any
conversation. Looking-glasses and such like, suspended dresses,
and toilet-belongings, if taken without notice, cannot lie or even
exaggerate. The discreet matron at first showed me rooms only
prepared for use, for at the period of my visit Lowell was by no
means full; but she soon became more intimate with me, and I went
through the upper part of the house. My report must be altogether
in her favour and in that of Lowell. Everything was cleanly,
well-ordered, and feminine. There was not a bed on which any woman
need have hesitated to lay herself if occasion required it. I fear
that this cannot be said of the lodgings of the manufacturing classes
at Manchester. The boarders all take their meals together. As a rule,
they have meat twice a-day. Hot meat for dinner is with them as
much a matter of course, or probably more so, than with any English
man or woman who may read this book. For in the States of America
regulations on this matter are much more rigid than with us. Cold
meat is rarely seen, and to live a day without meat would be as great
a privation as to pass a night without bed.

The rules for the guidance of these boarding-houses are very rigid.
The houses themselves belong to the corporations or different
manufacturing establishments, and the tenants are altogether in the
power of the managers. None but operatives are to be taken in. The
tenants are answerable for improper conduct. The doors are to be
closed at ten o'clock. Any boarders who do not attend divine worship
are to be reported to the managers. The yards and walks are to
be kept clean, and snow removed at once; and the inmates must be
vaccinated, &c., &c., &c. It is expressly stated by the Hamilton
Company,--and I believe by all the companies,--that no one shall
be employed who is habitually absent from public worship on Sunday,
or who is known to be guilty of immorality. It is stated that the
average wages of the women are two dollars, or eight shillings, a
week, besides their board. I found when I was there that from three
dollars to three-and-a-half a week were paid to the women, of which
they paid one dollar and twenty-five cents for their board. As this
would not fully cover the expense of their keep, twenty-five cents a
week for each was also paid to the boarding-house keepers by the mill
agents. This substantially came to the same thing, as it left the two
dollars a week, or eight shillings, with the girls over and above
their cost of living. The board included washing, lights, food, bed,
and attendance,--leaving a surplus of eight shillings a week for
clothes and saving. Now let me ask any one acquainted with Manchester
and its operatives, whether that is not Utopia realized. Factory
girls, for whom every comfort of life is secured, with £21 a year
over for saving and dress! One sees the failing, however, at a
moment. It is Utopia. Any Lady Bountiful can tutor three or four
peasants and make them luxuriously comfortable. But no Lady Bountiful
can give luxurious comfort to half-a-dozen parishes. Lowell is now
nearly forty years old, and contains but 40,000 inhabitants. From
the very nature of its corporations it cannot spread itself. Chicago,
which has grown out of nothing in a much shorter period, and which
has no factories, has now 120,000 inhabitants. Lowell is a very
wonderful place and shows what philanthropy can do; but I fear it
also shows what philanthropy cannot do.

There are, however, other establishments, conducted on the same
principle as those at Lowell, which have had the same amount,
or rather the same sort, of success. Lawrence is now a town of
about 15,000 inhabitants, and Manchester of about 24,000,--if I
remember rightly;--and at those places the mills are also owned by
corporations and conducted as are those at Lowell. But it seems
to me that as New England takes her place in the world as a great
manufacturing country--which place she undoubtedly will take sooner
or later--she must abandon the hot-house method of providing for her
operatives with which she has commenced her work. In the first place,
Lowell is not open as a manufacturing town to the capitalists even
of New England at large. Stock may, I presume, be bought in the
corporations, but no interloper can establish a mill there. It is a
close manufacturing community, bolstered up on all sides, and has
none of that capacity for providing employment for a thickly-growing
population which belongs to such places as Manchester and Leeds.
That it should under its present system have been made in any degree
profitable reflects great credit on the managers; but the profit
does not reach an amount which in America can be considered as
remunerative. The total capital invested by the twelve corporations
is thirteen million and a half of dollars, or about two million seven
hundred thousand pounds. In only one of the corporations, that of
the Merrimack Company, does the profit amount to 12 per cent. In one,
that of the Boott Company, it falls below 7 per cent. The average
profit of the various establishments is something below 9 per cent.
I am of course speaking of Lowell as it was previous to the war.
American capitalists are not, as a rule, contented with so low a rate
of interest as this.

The States in these matters have had a great advantage over England.
They have been able to begin at the beginning. Manufactories have
grown up among us as our cities grew;--from the necessities and
chances of the times. When labour was wanted it was obtained in the
ordinary way; and so when houses were built they were built in the
ordinary way. We had not the experience, and the results either for
good or bad, of other nations to guide us. The Americans, in seeing
and resolving to adopt our commercial successes, have resolved also,
if possible, to avoid the evils which have attended those successes.
It would be very desirable that all our factory girls should read and
write, wear clean clothes, have decent beds, and eat hot meat every
day. But that is now impossible. Gradually, with very up-hill work,
but still I trust with sure work, much will be done to improve their
position and render their life respectable; but in England we can
have no Lowells. In our thickly populated island any commercial
Utopia is out of the question. Nor can, as I think, Lowell be taken
as a type of the future manufacturing towns of New England. When New
England employs millions in her factories, instead of thousands,--the
hands employed at Lowell, when the mills are at full work, are about
11,000,--she must cease to provide for them their beds and meals,
their church-going proprieties and orderly modes of life. In such
an attempt she has all the experience of the world against her. But
nevertheless I think she will have done much good. The tone which she
will have given will not altogether lose its influence. Employment
in a factory is now considered reputable by a farmer and his
children, and this idea will remain. Factory work is regarded as more
respectable than domestic service, and this prestige will not wear
itself altogether out. Those now employed have a strong conception of
the dignity of their own social position, and their successors will
inherit much of this, even though they may find themselves excluded
from the advantages of the present Utopia. The thing has begun
well, but it can only be regarded as a beginning. Steam, it may be
presumed, will become the motive power of cotton mills in New England
as it is with us; and when it is so, the amount of work to be done
at any one place will not be checked by any such limit as that which
now prevails at Lowell. Water-power is very cheap, but it cannot
be extended; and it would seem that no place can become large as a
manufacturing town which has to depend chiefly upon water. It is not
improbable that steam may be brought into general use at Lowell, and
that Lowell may spread itself. If it should spread itself widely, it
will lose its Utopian characteristics.

One cannot but be greatly struck by the spirit of philanthropy
in which the system of Lowell was at first instituted. It may be
presumed that men who put their money into such an undertaking did so
with the object of commercial profit to themselves; but in this case
that was not their first object. I think it may be taken for granted
that when Messrs. Jackson and Lowell went about their task, their
grand idea was to place factory work upon a respectable footing,--to
give employment in mills which should not be unhealthy, degrading,
demoralizing, or hard in its circumstances. Throughout the northern
States of America the same feeling is to be seen. Good and thoughtful
men have been active to spread education, to maintain health, to make
work compatible with comfort and personal dignity, and to divest the
ordinary lot of man of the sting of that curse which was supposed to
be uttered when our first father was ordered to eat his bread in the
sweat of his brow. One is driven to contrast this feeling, of which
on all sides one sees such ample testimony, with that sharp desire
for profit, that anxiety to do a stroke of trade at every turn, that
acknowledged necessity of being smart, which we must own is quite
as general as the nobler propensity. I believe that both phases of
commercial activity may be attributed to the same characteristic. Men
in trade in America are not more covetous than tradesmen in England,
nor probably are they more generous or philanthropical. But that
which they do, they are more anxious to do thoroughly and quickly.
They desire that every turn taken shall be a great turn,--or at any
rate that it shall be as great as possible. They go ahead either for
bad or good with all the energy they have. In the institutions at
Lowell I think we may allow that the good has very much prevailed.

I went over two of the mills, those of the Merrimack corporation, and
of the Massachusetts. At the former the printing establishment only
was at work; the cotton mills were closed. I hardly know whether it
will interest any one to learn that something under half-a-million
yards of calico are here printed annually. At the Lowell bleachery
fifteen million yards are dyed annually. The Merrimack cotton-mills
were stopped, and so had the other mills at Lowell been stopped, till
some short time before my visit. Trade had been bad, and there had of
course been a lack of cotton. I was assured that no severe suffering
had been created by this stoppage. The greater number of hands had
returned into the country,--to the farms from whence they had come;
and though a discontinuance of work and wages had of course produced
hardship, there had been no actual privation,--no hunger and want.
Those of the workpeople who had no homes out of Lowell to which to
betake themselves, and no means at Lowell of living, had received
relief before real suffering had begun. I was assured, with something
of a smile of contempt at the question, that there had been nothing
like hunger. But, as I said before, visitors always see a great deal
of rose colour, and should endeavour to allay the brilliancy of the
tint with the proper amount of human shading. But do not let any
visitor mix in the browns with too heavy a hand!

At the Massachusetts cotton-mills they were working with about
two-thirds of their full number of hands, and this, I was told, was
about the average of the number now employed throughout Lowell.
Working at this rate they had now on hand a supply of cotton to last
them for six months. Their stocks had been increased lately, and on
asking from whence, I was informed that that last received had come
to them from Liverpool. There is, I believe, no doubt but that a
considerable quantity of cotton has been shipped back from England to
the States since the civil war began. I asked the gentleman, to whose
care at Lowell I was consigned, whether he expected to get cotton
from the South,--for at that time Beaufort in South Carolina had just
been taken by the naval expedition. He had, he said, a political
expectation of a supply of cotton, but not a commercial expectation.
That at least was the gist of his reply, and I found it to be both
intelligent and intelligible. The Massachusetts mills, when at full
work, employ 1300 females and 400 males, and turn out 540,000 yards
of calico per week.

On my return from Lowell in the smoking car, an old man came and
squeezed in next to me. The place was terribly crowded, and as the
old man was thin and clean and quiet I willingly made room for him,
so as to avoid the contiguity of a neighbour who might be neither
thin, nor clean, nor quiet. He began talking to me in whispers
about the war, and I was suspicious that he was a Southerner and
a Secessionist. Under such circumstances his company might not be
agreeable, unless he could be induced to hold his tongue. At last he
said, "I come from Canada, you know, and you,--you're an Englishman,
and therefore I can speak to you openly;" and he gave me an
affectionate grip on the knee with his old skinny hand. I suppose I
do look more like an Englishman than an American, but I was surprised
at his knowing me with such certainty. "There is no mistaking you,"
he said, "with your round face and your red cheeks. They don't look
like that here," and he gave me another grip. I felt quite fond of
the old man, and offered him a cigar.



CHAPTER XVIII.

THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN.


We all know that the subject which appears above as the title of
this chapter is a very favourite subject in America. It is, I hope,
a very favourite subject in England also, and I am inclined to
think has been so for many years past. The rights of women, as
contradistinguished from the wrongs of women, has perhaps been the
most precious of the legacies left to us by the feudal ages. How
amidst the rough darkness of old Teuton rule women began to receive
that respect which is now their dearest right, is one of the most
interesting studies of history. It came, I take it, chiefly from
their own conduct. The women of the old classic races seem to have
enjoyed but a small amount of respect or of rights, and to have
deserved as little. It may have been very well for one Cæsar to have
said that his wife should be above suspicion; but his wife was put
away, and therefore either did not have her rights, or else had
justly forfeited them. The daughter of the next Cæsar lived in Rome
the life of a Messalina, and did not on that account seem to have
lost her "position in society," till she absolutely declined to throw
any veil whatever over her propensities. But as the Roman empire
fell, chivalry began. For a time even chivalry afforded but a dull
time to the women. During the musical period of the troubadours,
ladies, I fancy, had but little to amuse them save the music. But
that was the beginning, and from that time downwards the rights of
women have progressed very favourably. It may be that they have not
yet all that should belong to them. If that be the case, let the men
lose no time in making up the difference. But it seems to me that
the women who are now making their claims may perhaps hardly know
when they are well off. It will be an ill movement if they insist on
throwing away any of the advantages they have won. As for the women
in America especially, I must confess that I think they have a "good
time." I make them my compliments on their sagacity, intelligence,
and attractions, but I utterly refuse to them any sympathy for
supposed wrongs. _O fortunatas sua si bona nôrint!_ Whether or no,
were I an American married man and father of a family, I should not
go in for the rights of man--that is altogether another question.

This question of the rights of women divides itself into two
heads,--one of which is very important, worthy of much consideration,
capable perhaps of much philanthropic action, and at any rate
affording matter for grave discussion. This is the question of
women's work; how far the work of the world, which is now borne
chiefly by men, should be thrown open to women further than is now
done. The other seems to me to be worthy of no consideration, to be
capable of no action, to admit of no grave discussion. This refers to
the political rights of women; how far the political working of the
world, which is now entirely in the hands of men, should be divided
between them and women. The first question is being debated on our
side of the Atlantic as keenly perhaps as on the American side. As to
that other question, I do not know that much has ever been said about
it in Europe.

"You are doing nothing in England towards the employment of females,"
a lady said to me in one of the States soon after my arrival in
America. "Pardon me," I answered, "I think we are doing much, perhaps
too much. At any rate we are doing something." I then explained to
her how Miss Faithfull had instituted a printing establishment in
London; how all the work in that concern was done by females, except
such heavy tasks as those for which women could not be fitted, and I
handed to her one of Miss Faithfull's cards. "Ah," said my American
friend, "poor creatures! I have no doubt their very flesh will be
worked off their bones." I thought this a little unjust on her part;
but nevertheless it occurred to me as an answer not unfit to be made
by some other lady,--by some woman who had not already advocated the
increased employment of women. Let Miss Faithfull look to that. Not
that she will work the flesh off her young women's bones, or allow
such terrible consequences to take place in Coram-street; not that
she or that those connected with her in that enterprise will do aught
but good to those employed therein. It will not even be said of her
individually, or of her partners, that they have worked the flesh
off women's bones; but may it not come to this, that when the tasks
now done by men have been shifted to the shoulders of women, women
themselves will so complain. May it not go further, and come even to
this, that women will have cause for such complaint. I do not think
that such a result will come, because I do not think that the object
desired by those who are active in the matter will be attained. Men,
as a general rule among civilized nations, have elected to earn their
own bread and the bread of the women also, and from this resolve on
their part I do not think that they will be beaten off.

We know that Mrs. Dall, an American lady, has taken up this subject,
and has written a book on it, in which great good sense and honesty
of purpose are shown. Mrs. Dall is a strong advocate for the
increased employment of women, and I, with great deference, disagree
with her. I allude to her book now because she has pointed out,
I think very strongly, the great reason why women do not engage
themselves advantageously in trade pursuits. She by no means
overpraises her own sex, and openly declares that young women will
not consent to place themselves in fair competition with men. They
will not undergo the labour and servitude of long study at their
trades. They will not give themselves up to an apprenticeship. They
will not enter upon their tasks as though they were to be the tasks
of their lives. They may have the same physical and mental aptitudes
for learning a trade as men, but they have not the same devotion to
the pursuit, and will not bind themselves to it thoroughly as men
do. In all which I quite agree with Mrs. Dall; and the English of it
is,--that the young women want to get married.

God forbid that they should not so want. Indeed God has forbidden in
a very express way that there should be any lack of such a desire
on the part of women. There has of late years arisen a feeling
among masses of the best of our English ladies that this feminine
propensity should be checked. We are told that unmarried women may
be respectable, which we always knew; that they may be useful, which
we also acknowledge,--thinking still that if married they would be
more useful; and that they may be happy, which we trust,--feeling
confident however that they might in another position be more happy.
But the question is not only as to the respectability, usefulness,
and happiness of womankind, but as to that of men also. If women can
do without marriage, can men do so? And if not, how are the men to
get wives if the women elect to remain single?

It will be thought that I am treating the subject as though it were
simply jocose, but I beg to assure my reader that such is not my
intention. It certainly is the fact that that disinclination to an
apprenticeship and unwillingness to bear the long training for a
trade, of which Mrs. Dall complains on the part of young women,
arise from the fact, that they have other hopes with which such
apprenticeships would jar; and it is also certain that if such
disinclination be overcome on the part of any great number, it must
be overcome by the destruction or banishment of such hopes. The
question is, whether would good or evil result from such a change? It
is often said that whatever difficulty a woman may have in getting a
husband, no man need encounter difficulty in finding a wife. But in
spite of this seeming fact, I think it must be allowed that if women
are withdrawn from the marriage market, men must be withdrawn from it
also to the same extent.

In any broad view of this matter we are bound to look, not on any
individual case, and the possible remedies for such cases, but on the
position in the world occupied by women in general; on the general
happiness and welfare of the aggregate feminine world, and perhaps
also a little on the general happiness and welfare of the aggregate
male world. When ladies and gentlemen advocate the right of women to
employment, they are taking very different ground from that on which
stand those less extensive philanthropists who exert themselves
for the benefit of distressed needlewomen, for instance, or for
the alleviation of the more bitter misery of governesses. The two
questions are in fact absolutely antagonistic to each other. The
rights-of-women advocate is doing his best to create that position
for women, from the possible misfortunes of which the friend of the
needlewomen is struggling to relieve them. The one is endeavouring
to throw work from off the shoulders of men on to the shoulders of
women, and the other is striving to lessen the burden which women
are already bearing. Of course it is good to relieve distress in
individual cases. That Song of the Shirt, which I regard as poetry of
the immortal kind, has done an amount of good infinitely wider than
poor Hood ever ventured to hope. Of all such efforts I would speak
not only with respect, but with loving admiration. But of those whose
efforts are made to spread work more widely among women, to call upon
them to make for us our watches, to print our books, to sit at our
desks as clerks, and to add up our accounts; much as I may respect
the individual operators in such a movement, I can express no
admiration for their judgment.

I have seen women with ropes round their necks drawing a harrow over
ploughed ground. No one will, I suppose, say that they approve of
that. But it would not have shocked me to see men drawing a harrow. I
should have thought it slow, unprofitable work, but my feelings would
not have been hurt. There must, therefore, be some limit; but if we
men teach ourselves to believe that work is good for women, where is
the limit to be drawn, and who shall draw it? It is true that there
is now no actually defined limit. There is much work that is commonly
open to both sexes. Personal domestic attendance is so, and the
attendance in shops. The use of the needle is shared between men and
women, and few, I take it, know where the sempstress ends and where
the tailor begins. In many trades a woman can be, and very often
is, the owner and manager of the business. Painting is as much open
to women as to men; as also is literature. There can be no defined
limit; but nevertheless there is at present a quasi limit, which the
rights-of-women advocates wish to move, and so to move that women
shall do more work and not less. A woman now could not well be a
cab-driver in London; but are these advocates sure that no woman will
be a cab-driver when success has attended their efforts? And would
they like to see a woman driving a cab? For my part I confess I do
not like to see a woman acting as road-keeper on a French railway.
I have seen a woman acting as ostler at a public stage in Ireland.
I knew the circumstances,--how her husband had become ill and
incapable, and how she had been allowed to earn the wages; but
nevertheless the sight was to me disagreeable, and seemed, as far as
it went, to degrade the sex. Chivalry has been very active in raising
women from the hard and hardening tasks of the world, and through
this action they have become soft, tender, and virtuous. It seems to
me that they of whom I am now speaking are desirous of undoing what
chivalry has done.

The argument used is of course plain enough. It is said that women
are left destitute in the world,--destitute unless they can be
self-dependent, and that to women should be given the same open
access to wages that men possess, in order that they may be as
self-dependent as men. Why should a young woman, for whom no father
is able to provide, not enjoy those means of provision which are
open to a young man so circumstanced? But I think the answer is very
simple. The young man under the happiest circumstances which may
befall him is bound to earn his bread. The young woman is only so
bound when happy circumstances do not befall her. Should we endeavour
to make the recurrence of unhappy circumstances more general or less
so? What does any tradesman, any professional man, any mechanic wish
for his children? Is it not this, that his sons shall go forth and
earn their bread, and that his daughters shall remain with him till
they are married? Is not that the mother's wish? Is it not notorious
that such is the wish of us all as to our daughters? In advocating
the rights of women it is of other men's girls that we think, never
of our own.

But, nevertheless, what shall we do for those women who must earn
their bread by their own work? Whatever we do, do not let us wilfully
increase their number. By opening trades to women, by making them
printers, watchmakers, accountants, or what not, we shall not simply
relieve those who must now earn their bread by some such work or else
starve. It will not be within our power to stop ourselves exactly
at a certain point; to arrange that those women who under existing
circumstances may now be in want, shall be thus placed beyond want;
but that no others shall be affected. Men, I fear, will be too
willing to relieve themselves of some portion of their present
burden, should the world's altered ways enable them to do so. At
present a lawyer's clerk may earn perhaps his two guineas a week, and
he with his wife lives on that in fair comfort. But if his wife, as
well as he, has been brought up as a lawyer's clerk, he will look to
her also for some amount of wages. I doubt whether the two guineas
would be much increased, but I do not doubt at all that the woman's
position would be injured.

It seems to me that in discussing this subject, philanthropists fail
to take hold of the right end of the argument. Money returns from
work are very good, and work itself is good, as bringing such returns
and occupying both body and mind; but the world's work is very hard,
and workmen are too often overdriven. The question seems to me to
be this,--of all this work have the men got on their own backs too
heavy a share for them to bear, and should they seek relief by
throwing more of it upon women? It is the rights of man that we are
in fact debating. These watches are weary to make, and this type is
troublesome to set. We have battles to fight and speeches to make,
and our hands altogether are too full. The women are idle,--many
of them. They shall make the watches for us and set the type; and
when they have done that, why should they not make nails as they do
sometimes in Worcestershire, or clean horses, or drive the cabs? They
have had an easy time of it for these years past, but we'll change
that. And then it would come to pass that with ropes round their
necks the women would be drawing harrows across the fields.

I don't think this will come to pass. The women generally do know
when they are well off, and are not particularly anxious to accept
the philanthropy proffered to them;--as Mrs. Dall says, they do not
wish to bind themselves as apprentices to independent money-making.
This cry has been louder in America than with us, but even in America
it has not been efficacious for much. There is in the States, no
doubt, a sort of hankering after increased influence, a desire for
that prominence of position which men attain by loud voices and
brazen foreheads, a desire in the female heart to be up and doing
something, if the female heart only knew what; but even in the States
it has hardly advanced beyond a few feminine lectures. In many
branches of work women are less employed than in England. They are
not so frequent behind counters in the shops, and are rarely seen
as servants in hotels. The fires in such houses are lighted and the
rooms swept by men. But the American girls may say they do not desire
to light fires and sweep rooms. They are ambitious of the higher
classes of work. But those higher branches of work require study,
apprenticeship, a devotion of youth; and that they will not give. It
is very well for a young man to bind himself for four years, and to
think of marrying four years after that apprenticeship is over. But
such a prospectus will not do for a girl. While the sun shines the
hay must be made, and her sun shines earlier in the day than that of
him who is to be her husband. Let him go through the apprenticeship
and the work, and she will have sufficient on her hands if she looks
well after his household. Under nature's teaching she is aware of
this, and will not bind herself to any other apprenticeship, let Mrs.
Dall preach as she may.

I remember seeing, either at New York or Boston, a wooden figure of a
neat young woman, as large as life, standing at a desk with a ledger
before her, and looking as though the beau ideal of human bliss were
realized in her employment. Under the figure there was some notice
respecting female accountants. Nothing could be nicer than the lady's
figure, more flowing than the broad lines of her drapery, or more
attractive than her auburn ringlets. There she stood at work, earning
her bread without any impediment to the natural operation of her
female charms, and adjusting the accounts of some great firm with as
much facility as grace. I wonder whether he who designed that figure
had ever sat or stood at a desk for six hours,--whether he knew the
dull hum of the brain which comes from long attention to another
man's figures; whether he had ever soiled his own fingers with the
everlasting work of office hours, or worn his sleeves threadbare as
he leaned, weary in body and mind, upon his desk? Work is a grand
thing,--the grandest thing we have; but work is not picturesque,
graceful, and in itself alluring. It sucks the sap out of men's
bones, and bends their backs, and sometimes breaks their hearts; but
though it be so, I for one would not wish to throw any heavier share
of it on to a woman's shoulders. It was pretty to see those young
women with spectacles at the Boston library, but when I heard that
they were there from eight in the morning till nine at night, I
pitied them their loss of all the softness of home, and felt that
they would not willingly be there if necessity were less stern.

Say that by advocating the rights of women, philanthropists succeed
in apportioning more work to their share, will they eat more, wear
better clothes, lie softer, and have altogether more of the fruits of
work than they do now? That some would do so there can be no doubt,
but as little that some would have less. If on the whole they would
not have more, for what good result is the movement made? The first
question is, whether at the present time they have less than their
proper share. There are, unquestionably, terrible cases of female
want, and so there are also of want among men. Alas! do we not
all feel that it must be so, let the philanthropists be ever so
energetic? And if a woman be left destitute, without the assistance
of father, brother, or husband, it would be hard if no means of
earning subsistence were open to her. But the object now sought is
not that of relieving such distress. It has a much wider tendency,
or at any rate a wider desire. The idea is that women will ennoble
themselves by making themselves independent, by working for their own
bread instead of eating bread earned by men. It is in that that these
new philosophers seem to me to err so greatly. Humanity and chivalry
have succeeded after a long struggle in teaching the man to work
for the woman; and now the woman rebels against such teaching,--not
because she likes the work, but because she desires the influence
which attends it. But in this I wrong the woman,--even the American
woman. It is not she who desires it, but her philanthropical
philosophical friends who desire it for her.

If work were more equally divided between the sexes some women would,
of course, receive more of the good things of the world. But women
generally would not do so. The tendency then would be to force young
women out upon their own exertions. Fathers would soon learn to think
that their daughters should be no more dependent on them than their
sons; men would expect their wives to work at their own trades;
brothers would be taught to think it hard that their sisters should
lean on them; and thus women, driven upon their own resources, would
hardly fare better than they do at present.

After all it is a question of money, and a contest for that power and
influence which money gives. At present men have the position of the
Lower House of Parliament. They have to do the harder work, but they
hold the purse. Even in England there has grown up a feeling that the
old law of the land gives a married man too much power over the joint
pecuniary resources of him and his wife, and in America this feeling
is much stronger, and the old law has been modified. Why should a
married woman be able to possess nothing? And if such be the law of
the land, is it worth a woman's while to marry and put herself in
such a position? Those are the questions asked by the friends of the
rights of women. But the young women do marry, and the men pour their
earnings into their wives' laps.

If little has as yet been done in extending the rights of women by
giving them a greater share of the work of the world, still less has
been done towards giving them their portion of political influence.
In the States there are many men of mark, and women of mark also, who
think that women should have votes for public elections. Mr. Wendell
Phillips, the Boston lecturer who advocates abolition, is an apostle
in this cause also; and while I was at Boston I read the provisions
of a will lately left by a millionaire, in which he bequeathed some
very large sums of money to be expended in agitation on this subject.
A woman is subject to the law; why then should she not help to make
the law? A child is subject to the law, and does not help to make it;
but the child lacks that discretion which the woman enjoys equally
with the man. That I take it is the amount of the argument in favour
of the political rights of women. The logic of this is so conclusive,
that I am prepared to acknowledge that it admits of no answer. I will
only say that the mutual good relations between men and women, which
are so indispensable to our happiness, require that men and women
should not take to voting at the same time and on the same result. If
it be decided that women shall have political power, let them have
it all to themselves for a season. If that be so resolved, I think
we may safely leave it to them to name the time at which they will
begin.

I confess that in the States I have sometimes been driven to
think that chivalry has been carried too far;--that there is an
attempt to make women think more of the rights of their womanhood
than is needful. There are ladies' doors at hotels, and ladies'
drawing-rooms, ladies' sides on the ferry-boats, ladies' windows at
the post office for the delivery of letters;--which, by-the-by, is
an atrocious institution, as anybody may learn who will look at the
advertisements called personal in some of the New York papers. Why
should not young ladies have their letters sent to their houses,
instead of getting them at a private window? The post-office clerks
can tell stories about those ladies' windows. But at every turn it
is necessary to make separate provision for ladies. From all this
it comes to pass that the baker's daughter looks down from a great
height on her papa, and by no means thinks her brother good enough
for her associate. Nature, the great restorer, comes in and teaches
her to fall in love with the butcher's son. Thus the evil is
mitigated; but I cannot but wish that the young woman should not see
herself denominated a lady so often, and should receive fewer lessons
as to the extent of her privileges. I would save her if I could from
working at the oven; I would give to her bread and meat earned by
her father's care and her brother's sweat; but when she has received
these good things, I would have her proud of the one and by no means
ashamed of the other.

Let women say what they will of their rights, or men who think
themselves generous say what they will for them, the question has all
been settled both for them and for us men by a higher power. They are
the nursing mothers of mankind, and in that law their fate is written
with all its joys and all its privileges. It is for men to make those
joys as lasting and those privileges as perfect as may be. That women
should have their rights no man will deny. To my thinking neither
increase of work nor increase of political influence are among them.
The best right a woman has is the right to a husband, and that is
the right to which I would recommend every young woman here and in
the States to turn her best attention. On the whole, I think that
my doctrine will be more acceptable than that of Mrs. Dall or Mr.
Wendell Phillips.



CHAPTER XIX.

EDUCATION AND RELIGION.


The one matter in which, as far as my judgment goes, the people of
the United States have excelled us Englishmen, so as to justify them
in taking to themselves praise which we cannot take to ourselves or
refuse to them, is the matter of Education. In saying this I do not
think that I am proclaiming anything disgraceful to England, though
I am proclaiming much that is creditable to America. To the Americans
of the States was given the good fortune of beginning at the
beginning. The French at the time of their revolution endeavoured to
reorganize everything, and to begin the world again with new habits
and grand theories; but the French as a people were too old for such
a change, and the theories fell to the ground. But in the States,
after their revolution, an Anglo-Saxon people had an opportunity of
making a new State, with all the experience of the world before
them; and to this matter of education they were from the first aware
that they must look for their success. They did so; and unrivalled
population, wealth, and intelligence have been the results; and with
these, looking at the whole masses of the people,--I think I am
justified in saying,--unrivalled comfort and happiness. It is not
that you, my reader, to whom in this matter of education fortune and
your parents have probably been bountiful, would have been more happy
in New York than in London. It is not that I, who, at any rate, can
read and write, have cause to wish that I had been an American. But
it is this:--if you and I can count up in a day all those on whom our
eyes may rest, and learn the circumstances of their lives, we shall
be driven to conclude that nine-tenths of that number would have
had a better life as Americans than they can have in their spheres
as Englishmen. The States are at a discount with us now, in the
beginning of this year of grace 1862; and Englishmen were not very
willing to admit the above statement, even when the States were not
at a discount. But I do not think that a man can travel through the
States with his eyes open and not admit the fact. Many things will
conspire to induce him to shut his eyes and admit no conclusion
favourable to the Americans. Men and women will sometimes be impudent
to him;--the better his coat, the greater the impudence. He will be
pelted with the braggadocio of equality. The corns of his Old-World
conservatism will be trampled on hourly by the purposely vicious
herd of uncouth democracy. The fact that he is paymaster will go
for nothing, and will fail to insure civility. I shall never forget
my agony as I saw and heard my desk fall from a porter's hand on
a railway station, as he tossed it from him seven yards off on to
the hard pavement. I heard its poor weak intestines rattle in their
death-struggle, and knowing that it was smashed I forgot my position
on American soil and remonstrated. "It's my desk, and you have
utterly destroyed it," I said. "Ha! ha! ha!" laughed the porter.
"You've destroyed my property," I rejoined, "and it's no laughing
matter." And then all the crowd laughed. "Guess you'd better get it
glued," said one. So I gathered up the broken article and retired
mournfully and crestfallen into a coach. This was very sad, and
for the moment I deplored the ill-luck which had brought me to so
savage a country. Such and such like are the incidents which make
an Englishman in the States unhappy, and rouse his gall against
the institutions of the country;--these things and the continued
appliance of the irritating ointment of American braggadocio with
which his sores are kept open. But though I was badly off on that
railway platform,--worse off than I should have been in England,--all
that crowd of porters round me were better off than our English
porters. They had a "good time" of it. And this, O my English brother
who hast travelled through the States and returned disgusted, is the
fact throughout. Those men whose familiarity was so disgusting to you
are having a good time of it. "They might be a little more civil,"
you say, "and yet read and write just as well." True; but they are
arguing in their minds that civility to you will be taken by you for
subservience, or for an acknowledgment of superiority; and looking at
your habits of life,--yours and mine together,--I am not quite sure
that they are altogether wrong. Have you ever realized to yourself
as a fact that the porter who carries your box has not made himself
inferior to you by the very act of carrying that box? If not, that is
the very lesson which the man wishes to teach you.

If a man can forget his own miseries in his journeyings, and think of
the people he comes to see rather than of himself, I think he will
find himself driven to admit that education has made life for the
million in the Northern States better than life for the million is
with us. They have begun at the beginning, and have so managed that
every one may learn to read and write,--have so managed that almost
every one does learn to read and write. With us this cannot now be
done. Population had come upon us in masses too thick for management
before we had as yet acknowledged that it would be a good thing that
these masses should be educated. Prejudices, too, had sprung up, and
habits, and strong sectional feelings, all antagonistic to a great
national system of education. We are, I suppose, now doing all that
we can do; but comparatively it is little. I think I saw some time
since that the cost for gratuitous education, or education in part
gratuitous, which had fallen upon the nation had already amounted to
the sum of £800,000; and I think also that I read in the document
which revealed to me this fact, a very strong opinion that Government
could not at present go much further. But if this matter were
regarded in England as it is regarded in Massachusetts,--or rather,
had it from some prosperous beginning been put upon a similar
footing, £800,000 would not have been esteemed a great expenditure
for free education simply in the city of London. In 1857 the public
schools of Boston cost £70,000, and these schools were devoted to a
population of about 180,000 souls. Taking the population of London at
two-and-a-half millions, the whole sum now devoted to England would,
if expended in the metropolis, make education there even cheaper than
it is in Boston. In Boston during 1857 there were above 24,000 pupils
at these public schools, giving more than one-eighth of the whole
population. But I fear it would not be practicable for us to spend
£800,000 on the gratuitous education of London. Rich as we are, we
should not know where to raise the money. In Boston it is raised by
a separate tax. It is a thing understood, acknowledged, and made
easy by being habitual,--as is our national debt. I do not know that
Boston is peculiarly blessed, but I quote the instance as I have
a record of its schools before me. At the three high schools in
Boston, at which the average of pupils is 526, about £13 per head is
paid for free education. The average price per annum of a child's
schooling throughout these schools in Boston is about £3 per annum.
To the higher schools any boy or girl may attain without any expense,
and the education is probably as good as can be given, and as far
advanced. The only question is, whether it is not advanced further
than may be necessary. Here, as at New York, I was almost startled
by the amount of knowledge around me, and listened, as I might have
done, to an examination in theology among young Brahmins. When a
young lad explained in my hearing all the properties of the different
levers as exemplified by the bones of the human body, I bowed my
head before him in unaffected humility. We, at our English schools,
never got beyond the use of those bones which he described with such
accurate scientific knowledge. In one of the girls' schools they were
reading Milton, and when we entered were discussing the nature of the
pool in which the Devil is described as wallowing. The question had
been raised by one of the girls. A pool, so called, was supposed to
contain but a small amount of water, and how could the Devil, being
so large, get into it? Then came the origin of the word pool,--from
"palus," a marsh, as we were told, some dictionary attesting to the
fact,--and such a marsh might cover a large expanse. The "Palus
Mæotis" was then quoted. And so we went on till Satan's theory of
political liberty,

   "Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven,"

was thoroughly discussed and understood. These girls of sixteen and
seventeen got up one after another and gave their opinions on the
subject,--how far the Devil was right and how far he was manifestly
wrong. I was attended by one of the directors or guardians of the
schools, and the teacher, I thought, was a little embarrassed by her
position. But the girls themselves were as easy in their demeanour as
though they were stitching handkerchiefs at home.

It is impossible to refrain from telling all this, and from making a
little innocent fun out of the super-excellencies of these schools;
but the total result on my mind was very greatly in their favour.
And indeed the testimony came in both ways. Not only was I called on
to form an opinion of what the men and women would become from the
education which was given to the boys and girls, but also to say what
must have been the education of the boys and girls from what I saw of
the men and women. Of course it will be understood that I am not here
speaking of those I met in society, or of their children, but of the
working people,--of that class who find that a gratuitous education
for their children is needful, if any considerable amount of
education is to be given. The result is to be seen daily in the whole
intercourse of life. The coachman who drives you, the man who mends
your window, the boy who brings home your purchases, the girl who
stitches your wife's dress,--they all carry with them sure signs of
education, and show it in every word they utter.

It will of course be understood that this is, in the separate States,
a matter of State law; indeed I may go further and say that it is in
most of the States a matter of State constitution. It is by no means
a matter of Federal constitution. The United States as a nation takes
no heed of the education of its people. All that is left to the
judgment of the separate States. In most of the thirteen original
States provision is made in the written constitution for the general
education of the people; but this is not done in all. I find that it
was more frequently done in the Northern or Freesoil States than in
those which admitted slavery,--as might have been expected. In the
constitutions of South Carolina and Virginia I find no allusion
to the public provision for education, but in those of North
Carolina and Georgia it is enjoined. The forty-first section of
the constitution for North Carolina enjoins that "schools shall
be established by the legislature for the convenient instruction
of youth, with such salaries to the masters, paid by the public,
as may enable them to instruct _at low prices_;" showing that the
intention here was to assist education, and not provide it altogether
gratuitously. I think that provision for public education is enjoined
in the constitutions of all the States admitted into the Union since
the first federal knot was tied, except in that of Illinois. Vermont
was the first so admitted, in 1791, and Vermont declares that "a
competent number of schools ought to be maintained in each town
for the convenient instruction of youth." Ohio was the second, in
1802, and Ohio enjoins that "the general assembly shall make such
provisions by taxation or otherwise as, with the income arising from
the school trust fund, will secure a thorough and efficient system of
common schools throughout the State; but no religious or other sect
or sects shall ever have any exclusive right or control of any part
of the school funds of this State." In Indiana, admitted in 1816, it
is required that "the general assembly shall provide by law for a
general and uniform system of common schools." Illinois was admitted
next, in 1818; but the constitution of Illinois is silent on the
subject of education. It enjoins, however, in lieu of this, that
no person shall fight a duel or send a challenge! If he do he
is not only to be punished, but to be deprived for ever of the
power of holding any office of honour or profit in the State. I
have no reason, however, for supposing that education is neglected
in Illinois, or that duelling has been abolished. In Maine it is
demanded that the towns--the whole country is divided into what are
called towns--shall make suitable provision at their own expense for
the support and maintenance of public schools.

Some of these constitutional enactments are most magniloquently
worded, but not always with precise grammatical correctness. That
for the famous Bay State of Massachusetts runs as follows:--"Wisdom
and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body
of the people, being necessary for the preservation of their rights
and liberties, and as these depend on spreading the opportunities
and advantages of education in the various parts of the country,
and among the different orders of the people, it shall be the duty
of the legislatures and magistrates, in all future periods of
this commonwealth, to cherish the interest of literature and the
sciences, and of all seminaries of them, especially the University
at Cambridge, public schools, and grammar schools in the towns; to
encourage private societies and public institutions, by rewards,
and immunities for the promotion of agriculture, arts, sciences,
commerce, trades, manufactures, and a natural history of the country;
to countenance and inculcate the principles of humanity and general
benevolence, public and private charity, industry and frugality,
honesty and punctuality in all their dealings; sincerity, good
humour, and all social affections and generous sentiments among
the people." I must confess, that had the words of that little
constitutional enactment been made known to me before I had seen
its practical results, I should not have put much faith in it. Of
all the public schools I have ever seen,--by public schools I mean
schools for the people at large maintained at public cost,--those
of Massachusetts are, I think, the best. But of all the educational
enactments which I ever read, that of the same State is, I should
say, the worst. In Texas now, of which as a State the people of
Massachusetts do not think much, they have done it better. "A general
diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the
rights and liberties of the people, it shall be the duty of the
legislature of this State to make suitable provision for the support
and maintenance of public schools." So say the Texians; but then the
Texians had the advantage of a later experience than any which fell
in the way of the constitution-makers of Massachusetts.

There is something of the magniloquence of the French style,--of
the liberty, equality, and fraternity mode of eloquence,--in the
preambles of most of these constitutions, which, but for their
success, would have seemed to have prophesied loudly of failure.
Those of New York and Pennsylvania are the least so, and that of
Massachusetts by far the most violently magniloquent. They generally
commence by thanking God for the present civil and religious liberty
of the people, and by declaring that all men are born free and equal.
New York and Pennsylvania, however, refrain from any such very
general remarks.

I am well aware that all these constitutional enactments are not
likely to obtain much credit in England. It is not only that grand
phrases fail to convince us, but that they carry to our senses almost
an assurance of their own inefficiency. When we hear that a people
have declared their intention of being henceforward better than their
neighbours, and going upon a new theory that shall lead them direct
to a terrestrial paradise, we button up our pockets and lock up
our spoons. And that is what we have done very much as regards the
Americans. We have walked with them and talked with them, and bought
with them and sold with them; but we have mistrusted them as to their
internal habits and modes of life, thinking that their philanthropy
was pretentious and that their theories were vague. Many cities in
the States are but skeletons of towns, the streets being there, and
the houses numbered,--but not one house built out of ten that have
been so counted up. We have regarded their institutions as we regard
those cities, and have been specially willing so to consider them
because of the fine language in which they have been paraded before
us. They have been regarded as the skeletons of philanthropical
systems, to which blood and flesh and muscle, and even skin,
are wanting. But it is at least but fair to inquire how far the
promise made has been carried out. The elaborate wordings of the
constitutions made by the French politicians in the days of their
great revolution have always been to us no more than so many written
grimaces; but we should not have continued so to regard them had the
political liberty which they promised followed upon the promises so
magniloquently made. As regards education in the States,--at any rate
in the northern and western States,--I think that the assurances put
forth in the various written constitutions have been kept. If this
be so, an American citizen, let him be ever so arrogant, ever so
impudent if you will, is at any rate a civilized being, and on the
road to that cultivation which will sooner or later divest him of his
arrogance. _Emollit mores._ We quote here our old friend the Colonel
again. If a gentleman be compelled to confine his classical allusions
to one quotation, he cannot do better than hang by that.

But has education been so general, and has it had the desired result?
In the city of Boston, as I have said, I found that in 1857 about
one-eighth of the whole population were then on the books of the free
public schools as pupils, and that about one-ninth of the population
formed the average daily attendance. To these numbers of course must
be added all pupils of the richer classes,--those for whose education
their parents chose to pay. As nearly as I can learn, the average
duration of each pupil's schooling is six years, and if this be
figured out statistically, I think it will show that education
in Boston reaches a very large majority--I must almost say the
whole--of the population. That the education given in other towns of
Massachusetts is not so good as that given in Boston I do not doubt,
but I have reason to believe that it is quite as general.

I have spoken of one of the schools of New York. In that city the
public schools are apportioned to the wards, and are so arranged
that in each ward of the city there are public schools of different
standing for the gratuitous use of the children. The population of
the city of New York in 1857 was about 650,000, and in that year it
is stated that there were 135,000 pupils in the schools. By this it
would appear that one person in five throughout the city was then
under process of education,--which statement, however, I cannot
receive with implicit credence. It is, however, also stated that the
daily attendances averaged something less than 50,000 a day--and this
latter statement probably implies some mistake in the former one.
Taking the two together for what they are worth, they show, I think,
that school teaching is not only brought within the reach of the
population generally, but is used by almost all classes. At New
York there are separate free schools for coloured children. At
Philadelphia I did not see the schools, but I was assured that the
arrangements there were equal to those at New York and Boston. Indeed
I was told that they were infinitely better;--but then I was so told
by a Philadelphian. In the State of Connecticut the public schools
are certainly equal to those in any part of the Union. As far as I
could learn, education--what we should call advanced education--is
brought within the reach of all classes in the northern and western
States of America,--and, I would wish to add here, to those of the
Canadas also.

So much for the schools, and now for the results. I do not know that
anything impresses a visitor more strongly with the amount of books
sold in the States, than the practice of selling them as it has been
adopted in the railway cars. Personally the traveller will find the
system very disagreeable,--as is everything connected with these
cars. A young man enters during the journey,--for the trade is
carried out while the cars are travelling, as is also a very brisk
trade in lollipops, sugar-candy, apples, and ham sandwiches,--the
young tradesman enters the car firstly with a pile of magazines or
of novels bound like magazines. These are chiefly the "Atlantic,"
published at Boston, "Harper's Magazine," published at New York, and
a cheap series of novels published at Philadelphia. As he walks along
he flings one at every passenger. An Englishman, when he is first
introduced to this manner of trade, becomes much astonished. He is
probably reading, and on a sudden he finds a fat, fluffy magazine,
very unattractive in its exterior, dropped on to the page he is
perusing. I thought at first that it was a present from some crazed
philanthropist, who was thus endeavouring to disseminate literature.
But I was soon undeceived. The bookseller, having gone down the whole
car and the next, returned, and beginning again where he had begun
before, picked up either his magazine or else the price of it. Then,
in some half-hour, he came again, with an armful or basket of books,
and distributed them in the same way. They were generally novels, but
not always. I do not think that any endeavour is made to assimilate
the book to the expected customer. The object is to bring the book
and the man together, and in this way a very large sale is effected.
The same thing is done with illustrated newspapers. The sale of
political newspapers goes on so quickly in these cars that no such
enforced distribution is necessary. I should say that the average
consumption of newspapers by an American must amount to about three a
day. At Washington I begged the keeper of my lodgings to let me have
a paper regularly,--one American newspaper being much the same to me
as another,--and my host supplied me daily with four.

But the numbers of the popular books of the day, printed and sold,
afford the most conclusive proof of the extent to which education is
carried in the States. The readers of Tennyson, Thackeray, Dickens,
Bulwer, Collins, Hughes, and--Martin Tupper, are to be counted by
tens of thousands in the States, to the thousands by which they
may be counted in our own islands. I do not doubt that I had fully
fifteen copies of the "Silver Cord" thrown at my head in different
railway cars on the continent of America. Nor is the taste by any
means confined to the literature of England. Longfellow, Curtis,
Holmes, Hawthorne, Lowell, Emerson,--and Mrs. Stowe, are almost as
popular as their English rivals. I do not say whether or no the
literature is well chosen, but there it is. It is printed, sold, and
read. The disposal of ten thousand copies of a work is no large sale
in America of a book published at a dollar; but in England it is a
large sale of a book brought out at five shillings.

I do not remember that I ever examined the rooms of an American
without finding books or magazines in them. I do not speak here of
the houses of my friends, as of course the same remark would apply as
strongly in England, but of the houses of persons presumed to earn
their bread by the labour of their hands. The opportunity for such
examination does not come daily; but when it has been in my power I
have made it, and have always found signs of education. Men and women
of the classes to which I allude talk of reading and writing as of
arts belonging to them as a matter of course, quite as much as are
the arts of eating and drinking. A porter or a farmer's servant in
the States is not proud of reading and writing. It is to him quite a
matter of course. The coachmen on their boxes and the boots as they
sit in the halls of the hotels, have newspapers constantly in their
hands. The young women have them also, and the children. The fact
comes home to one at every turn, and at every hour, that the people
are an educated people. The whole of this question between North and
South is as well understood by the servants as by their masters, is
discussed as vehemently by the private soldiers as by the officers.
The politics of the country and the nature of its constitution are
familiar to every labourer. The very wording of the Declaration of
Independence is in the memory of every lad of sixteen. Boys and girls
of a younger age than that know why Slidell and Mason were arrested,
and will tell you why they should have been given up, or why they
should have been held in durance. The question of the war with
England is debated by every native paviour and hodman of New York.

I know what Englishmen will say in answer to this. They will declare
that they do not want their paviours and hodmen to talk politics;
that they are as well pleased that their coachmen and cooks should
not always have a newspaper in their hands; that private soldiers
will fight as well, and obey better, if they are not trained to
discuss the causes which have brought them into the field. An English
gentleman will think that his gardener will be a better gardener
without than with any excessive political ardour; and the English
lady will prefer that her housemaid shall not have a very pronounced
opinion of her own as to the capabilities of the cabinet ministers.
But I would submit to all Englishmen and Englishwomen who may look at
these pages whether such an opinion or feeling on their part bears
much, or even at all, upon the subject. I am not saying that the man
who is driven in the coach is better off because his coachman reads
the paper, but that the coachman himself who reads the paper is
better off than the coachman who does not and cannot. I think that
we are too apt, in considering the ways and habits of any people,
to judge of them by the effect of those ways and habits on us,
rather than by their effects on the owners of them. When we go among
garlic-eaters, we condemn them because they are offensive to us;
but to judge of them properly we should ascertain whether or no
the garlic be offensive to them. If we could imagine a nation of
vegetarians hearing for the first time of our habits as flesh-eaters,
we should feel sure that they would be struck with horror at our
blood-stained banquets; but when they came to argue with us, we
should bid them inquire whether we flesh-eaters did not live longer
and do more than the vegetarians. When we express a dislike to the
shoeboy reading his newspaper, I fear we do so because we fear that
the shoeboy is coming near our own heels. I know there is among us a
strong feeling that the lower classes are better without politics, as
there is also that they are better without crinoline and artificial
flowers; but if politics and crinoline and artificial flowers are
good at all, they are good for all who can honestly come by them and
honestly use them. The political coachman is perhaps less valuable
to his master as a coachman than he would be without his politics,
but he with his politics is more valuable to himself. For myself, I
do not like the Americans of the lower orders. I am not comfortable
among them. They tread on my corns and offend me. They make my
daily life unpleasant. But I do respect them. I acknowledge their
intelligence and personal dignity. I know that they are men and women
worthy to be so called; I see that they are living as human beings in
possession of reasoning faculties; and I perceive that they owe this
to the progress that education has made among them.

After all, what is wanted in this world? Is it not that men should
eat and drink, and read and write, and say their prayers? Does not
that include everything, providing that they eat and drink enough,
read and write without restraint, and say their prayers without
hypocrisy? When we talk of the advances of civilization, do we mean
anything but this, that men who now eat and drink badly shall eat and
drink well, and that those who cannot read and write now shall learn
to do so,--the prayers following, as prayers will follow upon such
learning? Civilization does not consist in the eschewing of garlic
or the keeping clean of a man's finger-nails. It may lead to such
delicacies, and probably will do so. But the man who thinks that
civilization cannot exist without them imagines that the church
cannot stand without the spire. In the States of America men do eat
and drink, and do read and write.

But as to saying their prayers? That, as far as I can see, has come
also, though perhaps not in a manner altogether satisfactory, or to
a degree which should be held to be sufficient. Englishmen of strong
religious feeling will often be startled in America by the freedom
with which religious subjects are discussed, and the ease with which
the matter is treated; but he will very rarely be shocked by that
utter absence of all knowledge on the subject,--that total darkness,
which is still so common among the lower orders in our own country.
It is not a common thing to meet an American who belongs to no
denomination of Christian worship, and who cannot tell you why he
belongs to that which he has chosen.

"But," it will be said, "all the intelligence and education of this
people have not saved them from falling out among themselves and
their friends, and running into troubles by which they will be
ruined. Their political arrangements have been so bad, that in spite
of all their reading and writing they must go to the wall." I venture
to express an opinion that they will by no means go to the wall, and
that they will be saved from such a destiny, if in no other way, then
by their education. Of their political arrangements, as I mean before
long to rush into that perilous subject, I will say nothing here. But
no political convulsions, should such arise,--no revolution in the
constitution, should such be necessary,--will have any wide effect
on the social position of the people to their serious detriment.
They have the great qualities of the Anglo-Saxon race,--industry,
intelligence, and self-confidence; and if these qualities will no
longer suffice to keep such a people on their legs, the world must be
coming to an end.

I have said that it is not a common thing to meet an American who
belongs to no denomination of Christian worship. This I think is
so; but I would not wish to be taken as saying that religion on
that account stands on a satisfactory footing in the States. Of all
subjects of discussion, this is the most difficult. It is one as
to which most of us feel that to some extent we must trust to our
prejudices rather than our judgments. It is a matter on which we
do not dare to rely implicitly on our own reasoning faculties, and
therefore throw ourselves on the opinions of those whom we believe
to have been better men and deeper thinkers than ourselves. For
myself, I love the name of State and Church, and believe that much
of our English well-being has depended on it. I have made up my
mind to think that union good, and not to be turned away from that
conviction. Nevertheless I am not prepared to argue the matter. One
does not always carry one's proofs at one's finger-ends.

But I feel very strongly that much of that which is evil in the
structure of American politics is owing to the absence of any
national religion, and that something also of social evil has sprung
from the same cause. It is not that men do not say their prayers. For
aught I know, they may do so as frequently and as fervently, or more
frequently and more fervently, than we do; but there is a rowdiness,
if I may be allowed to use such a word, in their manner of doing so
which robs religion of that reverence which is, if not its essence,
at any rate its chief protection. It is a part of their system that
religion shall be perfectly free, and that no man shall be in any
way constrained in that matter. Consequently, the question of a
man's religion is regarded in a free-and-easy way. It is well,
for instance, that a young lad should go somewhere on a Sunday;
but a sermon is a sermon, and it does not much concern the lad's
father whether his son hear the discourse of a freethinker in the
music-hall, or the eloquent but lengthy outpouring of a preacher in a
Methodist chapel. Everybody is bound to have a religion, but it does
not much matter what it is.

The difficulty in which the first fathers of the Revolution found
themselves on this question, is shown by the constitutions of the
different States. There can be no doubt that the inhabitants of
the New England States were, as things went, a strictly religious
community. They had no idea of throwing over the worship of God, as
the French had attempted to do at their Revolution. They intended
that the new nation should be pre-eminently composed of a God-fearing
people; but they intended also that they should be a people free in
everything,--free to choose their own forms of worship. They intended
that the nation should be a Protestant people; but they intended also
that no man's conscience should be coerced in the matter of his own
religion. It was hard to reconcile these two things, and to explain
to the citizens that it behoved them to worship God,--even under
penalties for omission; but that it was at the same time open to them
to select any form of worship that they pleased, however that form
might differ from the practices of the majority. In Connecticut it is
declared that it is the duty of all men to worship the Supreme Being,
the Creator and Preserver of the universe, but that it is their right
to render that worship in the mode most consistent with the dictates
of their consciences. And then a few lines further down the article
skips the great difficulty in a manner somewhat disingenuous, and
declares that each and every society of Christians in the State shall
have and enjoy the same and equal privileges. But it does not say
whether a Jew shall be divested of those privileges, or, if he be
divested, how that treatment of him is to be reconciled with the
assurance that it is every man's right to worship the Supreme Being
in the mode most consistent with the dictates of his own conscience.

In Rhode Island they were more honest. It is there declared that
every man shall be free to worship God according to the dictates of
his own conscience, and to profess and by argument to maintain his
opinion in matters of religion; and that the same shall in nowise
diminish, enlarge, or affect his civil capacity. Here it is simply
presumed that every man will worship a God, and no allusion is made
even to Christianity.

In Massachusetts they are again hardly honest. "It is the right,"
says the constitution, "as well as the duty of all men in society
publicly and at stated seasons to worship the Supreme Being, the
great Creator and Preserver of the universe." And then it goes on to
say that every man may do so in what form he pleases; but further
down it declares that "every denomination of Christians, demeaning
themselves peaceably and as good subjects of the commonwealth, shall
be equally under the protection of the law." But what about those who
are not Christians? In New Hampshire it is exactly the same. It is
enacted that--"Every individual has a natural and unalienable right
to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience and
reason." And that--"Every denomination of Christians, demeaning
themselves quietly and as good citizens of the State, shall be
equally under the protection of the law." From all which it is, I
think, manifest that the men who framed these documents, desirous
above all things of cutting themselves and their people loose
from every kind of trammel, still felt the necessity of enforcing
religion,--of making it to a certain extent a matter of State duty.
In the first constitution of North Carolina it is enjoined,--"That
no person who shall deny the being of God, or the truth of the
Protestant religion, shall be capable of holding any office or place
of trust or profit." But this was altered in the year 1836, and
the words "Christian religion" were substituted for "Protestant
religion."

In New England the Congregationalists are, I think, the dominant
sect. In Massachusetts, and I believe in the other New England
States, a man is presumed to be a Congregationalist if he do not
declare himself to be anything else; as with us the Church of England
counts all who do not specially have themselves counted elsewhere.
The Congregationalist, as far as I can learn, is very near to a
Presbyterian. In New England I think the Unitarians would rank next
in number; but a Unitarian in America is not the same as a Unitarian
with us. Here, if I understand the nature of his creed, a Unitarian
does not recognize the divinity of our Saviour. In America he does
do so, but throws over the doctrine of the Trinity. The Protestant
Episcopalians muster strong in all the great cities, and I fancy that
they would be regarded as taking the lead of the other religious
denominations in New York. Their tendency is to high-church
doctrines. I wish they had not found it necessary to alter the forms
of our prayer-book in so many little matters, as to which there was
no national expediency for such changes. But it was probably thought
necessary that a new people should show their independence in all
things. The Roman Catholics have a very strong party--as a matter
of course--seeing how great has been the immigration from Ireland;
but here, as in Ireland--and as indeed is the case all the world
over--the Roman Catholics are the hewers of wood and drawers of
water. The Germans, who have latterly flocked into the States in
such swarms that they have almost Germanized certain States, have of
course their own churches. In every town there are places of worship
for Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Anabaptists, and every
denomination of Christianity; and the meeting-houses prepared for
these sects are not, as with us, hideous buildings contrived to
inspire disgust by the enormity of their ugliness, nor are they
called Salem, Ebenezer, and Sion, nor do the ministers within them
look in any way like the Deputy-Shepherd. The churches belonging to
those sects are often handsome. This is especially the case in New
York; and the pastors are not unfrequently among the best educated
and most agreeable men whom the traveller will meet. They are for the
most part well paid; and are enabled by their outward position to
hold that place in the world's ranks which should always belong to
a clergyman. I have not been able to obtain information from which
I can state with anything like correctness what may be the average
income of ministers of the Gospel in the northern States, but that
it is much higher than the average income of our parish clergymen,
admits, I think, of no doubt. The stipends of clergymen in the
American towns are higher than those paid in the country. The
opposite to this, I think as a rule, is the case with us.

I have said that religion in the States is rowdy. By that I mean to
imply that it seems to me to be divested of that reverential order
and strictness of rule which, according to our ideas, should be
attached to matters of religion. One hardly knows where the affairs
of this world end, or where those of the next begin. When the holy
men were had in at the lecture, were they doing stage-work or
church-work? On hearing sermons, one is often driven to ask oneself
whether the discourse from the pulpit be in its nature political or
religious. I heard an Episcopalian Protestant clergyman talk of the
scoffing nations of Europe,--because at that moment he was angry with
England and France about Slidell and Mason. I have heard a chapter of
the Bible read in Congress at the desire of a member, and very badly
read. After which the chapter itself and the reading of it became the
subject of a debate, partly jocose and partly acrimonious. It is a
common thing for a clergyman to change his profession and follow any
other pursuit. I know two or three gentlemen who were once in that
line of life, but have since gone into other trades. There is, I
think, an unexpressed determination on the part of the people to
abandon all reverence, and to regard religion from an altogether
worldly point of view. They are willing to have religion, as they are
willing to have laws; but they choose to make it for themselves. They
do not object to pay for it, but they like to have the handling of
the article for which they pay. As the descendants of Puritans and
other godly Protestants, they will submit to religious teaching, but
as Republicans they will have no priestcraft. The French at their
Revolution had the latter feeling without the former, and were
therefore consistent with themselves in abolishing all worship. The
Americans desire to do the same thing politically, but infidelity
has had no charms for them. They say their prayers, and then seem to
apologize for doing so, as though it were hardly the act of a free
and enlightened citizen, justified in ruling himself as he pleases.
All this to me is rowdy. I know no other word by which I can so well
describe it.

Nevertheless the nation is religious in its tendencies, and prone
to acknowledge the goodness of God in all things. A man there is
expected to belong to some church, and is not, I think, well looked
on if he profess that he belongs to none. He may be a Swedenborgian,
a Quaker, a Muggletonian;--anything will do. But it is expected of
him that he shall place himself under some flag, and do his share
in supporting the flag to which he belongs. This duty is, I think,
generally fulfilled.



CHAPTER XX.

FROM BOSTON TO WASHINGTON.


From Boston, on the 27th of November, my wife returned to England,
leaving me to prosecute my journey southward to Washington by myself.
I shall never forget the political feeling which prevailed in Boston
at that time, or the discussions on the subject of Slidell and Mason,
in which I felt myself bound to take a part. Up to that period I
confess that my sympathies had been strongly with the northern side
in the general question; and so they were still, as far as I could
divest the matter of its English bearings. I had always thought, and
do think, that a war for the suppression of the southern rebellion
could not have been avoided by the North without an absolute loss
of its political prestige. Mr. Lincoln was elected President of the
United States in the autumn of 1860, and any steps taken by him or
his party towards a peaceable solution of the difficulties which
broke out immediately on his election, must have been taken before he
entered upon his office. South Carolina threatened secession as soon
as Mr. Lincoln's election was known, while yet there were four months
left of Mr. Buchanan's Government. That Mr. Buchanan might, during
those four months, have prevented secession, few men, I think, will
doubt when the history of the time shall be written. But instead of
doing so he consummated secession. Mr. Buchanan is a northern man,
a Pennsylvanian; but he was opposed to the party which had brought
in Mr. Lincoln, having thriven as a politician by his adherence
to southern principles. Now, when the struggle came, he could not
forget his party in his duty as President. General Jackson's position
was much the same when Mr. Calhoun, on the question of the tariff,
endeavoured to produce secession in South Carolina thirty years ago,
in 1832,--excepting in this, that Jackson was himself a southern man.
But Jackson had a strong conception of the position which he held
as President of the United States. He put his foot on secession and
crushed it, forcing Mr. Calhoun, as senator from South Carolina, to
vote for that compromise as to the tariff which the Government of
the day proposed. South Carolina was as eager in 1832 for secession
as she was in 1859-1860; but the Government was in the hands of a
strong man and an honest one. Mr. Calhoun would have been hung had
he carried out his threats. But Mr. Buchanan had neither the power
nor the honesty of General Jackson, and thus secession was in fact
consummated during his Presidency.

But Mr. Lincoln's party, it is said--and I believe truly said--might
have prevented secession by making overtures to the South, or
accepting overtures from the South, before Mr. Lincoln himself had
been inaugurated. That is to say,--if Mr. Lincoln and the band of
politicians who with him had pushed their way to the top of their
party, and were about to fill the offices of State, chose to throw
overboard the political convictions which had bound them together and
insured their success,--if they could bring themselves to adopt on
the subject of slavery the ideas of their opponents,--then the war
might have been avoided, and secession also avoided. I do believe
that had Mr. Lincoln at that time submitted himself to a compromise
in favour of the Democrats, promising the support of the Government
to certain acts which would in fact have been in favour of slavery,
South Carolina would again have been foiled for the time. For it must
be understood, that though South Carolina and the Gulf States might
have accepted certain compromises, they would not have been satisfied
in so accepting them. They desired secession, and nothing short of
secession would, in truth, have been acceptable to them. But in doing
so Mr. Lincoln would have been the most dishonest politician even in
America. The North would have been in arms against him; and any true
spirit of agreement between the cotton-growing slave States and the
manufacturing States of the North, or the agricultural States of the
West, would have been as far off and as improbable as it is now. Mr.
Crittenden, who proffered his compromise to the Senate in December,
1860, was at that time one of the two senators from Kentucky, a slave
State. He now sits in the Lower House of Congress as a member from
the same State. Kentucky is one of those border States which has
found it impossible to secede, and almost equally impossible to
remain in the Union. It is one of the States into which it was most
probable that the war would be carried;--Virginia, Kentucky, and
Missouri being the three States which have suffered the most in this
way. Of Mr. Crittenden's own family, some have gone with secession
and some with the Union. His name had been honourably connected with
American politics for nearly forty years, and it is not surprising
that he should have desired a compromise. His terms were in fact
these,--a return to the Missouri compromise, under which the Union
pledged itself that no slavery should exist north of 36.30 degrees
N. lat. unless where it had so existed prior to the date of that
compromise; a pledge that Congress would not interfere with slavery
in the individual States,--which under the constitution it cannot do;
and a pledge that the Fugitive Slave Law should be carried out by
the northern States. Such a compromise might seem to make very small
demand on the forbearance of the Republican party, which was now
dominant. The repeal of the Missouri compromise had been to them a
loss, and it might be said that its re-enactment would be a gain.
But since that compromise had been repealed, vast territories
south of the line in question had been added to the Union, and the
re-enactment of that compromise would hand those vast regions over
to absolute slavery, as had been done with Texas. This might be all
very well for Mr. Crittenden in the slave State of Kentucky--for Mr.
Crittenden, although a slave-owner, desired to perpetuate the Union;
but it would not have been well for New England or for the West. As
for the second proposition, it is well understood that under the
constitution Congress cannot interfere in any way in the question of
slavery in the individual States. Congress has no more constitutional
power to abolish slavery in Maryland than she has to introduce it
into Massachusetts. No such pledge, therefore, was necessary on
either side. But such a pledge given by the North and West would have
acted as an additional tie upon them, binding them to the finality
of a constitutional enactment to which, as was of course well known,
they strongly object. There was no question of Congress interfering
with slavery, with the purport of extending its area by special
enactment, and therefore by such a pledge the North and West could
gain nothing; but the South would in prestige have gained much.

But that third proposition as to the Fugitive Slave Law and the
faithful execution of that law by the northern and western States
would, if acceded to by Mr. Lincoln's party, have amounted to an
unconditional surrender of everything. What! Massachusetts and
Connecticut carry out the Fugitive Slave Law! Ohio carry out the
Fugitive Slave Law after the "Dred Scot" decision and all its
consequences! Mr. Crittenden might as well have asked Connecticut,
Massachusetts, and Ohio to introduce slavery within their own lands.
The Fugitive Slave Law was then, as it is now, the law of the land;
it was the law of the United States as voted by Congress and passed
by the President, and acted on by the Supreme Judge of the United
States' Court. But it was a law to which no free State had submitted
itself, or would submit itself. "What!" the English reader will
say,--"sundry States in the Union refuse to obey the laws of the
Union,--refuse to submit to the constitutional action of their own
Congress!" Yes. Such has been the position of this country! To such
a dead lock has it been brought by the attempted but impossible
amalgamation of North and South. Mr. Crittenden's compromise was
moonshine. It was utterly out of the question that the free States
should bind themselves to the rendition of escaped slaves,--or that
Mr. Lincoln, who had just been brought in by their voices, should
agree to any compromise which should attempt so to bind them. Lord
Palmerston might as well attempt to re-enact the Corn Laws.

Then comes the question whether Mr. Lincoln or his Government could
have prevented the war after he had entered upon his office in March,
1861? I do not suppose that any one thinks that he could have avoided
secession and avoided the war also;--that by any ordinary effort of
Government he could have secured the adhesion of the Gulf States to
the Union after the first shot had been fired at Fort Sumter. The
general opinion in England is, I take it, this,--that secession then
was manifestly necessary, and that all the bloodshed and money-shed,
and all this destruction of commerce and of agriculture might have
been prevented by a graceful adhesion to an indisputable fact. But
there are some facts, even some indisputable facts, to which a
graceful adherence is not possible. Could King Bomba have welcomed
Garibaldi to Naples? Can the Pope shake hands with Victor Emmanuel?
Could the English have surrendered to their rebel colonists peaceable
possession of the colonies? The indisputability of a fact is not very
easily settled while the circumstances are in course of action by
which the fact is to be decided. The men of the northern States have
not believed in the necessity of secession, but have believed it to
be their duty to enforce the adherence of these States to the Union.
The American Governments have been much given to compromises, but had
Mr. Lincoln attempted any compromise by which any one southern State
could have been let out of the Union, he would have been impeached.
In all probability the whole constitution would have gone to ruin,
and the presidency would have been at an end. At any rate, his
presidency would have been at an end. When secession, or in other
words rebellion, was once commenced, he had no alternative but the
use of coercive measures for putting it down;--that is, he had no
alternative but war. It is not to be supposed that he or his ministry
contemplated such a war as has existed,--with 600,000 men in arms on
one side, each man with his whole belongings maintained at a cost of
£150 per annum, or ninety millions sterling per annum for the army.
Nor did we, when we resolved to put down the French revolution, think
of such a national debt as we now owe. These things grow by degrees,
and the mind also grows in becoming used to them; but I cannot see
that there was any moment at which Mr. Lincoln could have stayed his
hand and cried Peace! It is easy to say now that acquiescence in
secession would have been better than war, but there has been no
moment when he could have said so with any avail. It was incumbent on
him to put down rebellion, or to be put down by it. So it was with us
in America in 1776.

I do not think that we in England have quite sufficiently taken all
this into consideration. We have been in the habit of exclaiming very
loudly against the war, execrating its cruelty and anathematizing its
results, as though the cruelty were all superfluous and the results
unnecessary. But I do not remember to have seen any statement as to
what the northern States should have done,--what they should have
done, that is, as regards the South, or when they should have done
it. It seems to me that we have decided as regards them that civil
war is a very bad thing, and that therefore civil war should be
avoided. But bad things cannot always be avoided. It is this feeling
on our part that has produced so much irritation in them against
us,--reproducing, of course, irritation on our part against them.
They cannot understand that we should not wish them to be successful
in putting down a rebellion; nor can we understand why they should be
outrageous against us for standing aloof, and keeping our hands, if
it be only possible, out of the fire.

When Slidell and Mason were arrested, my opinions were not changed,
but my feelings were altered. I seemed to acknowledge to myself that
the treatment to which England had been subjected, and the manner in
which that treatment was discussed, made it necessary that I should
regard the question as it existed between England and the States,
rather than in its reference to the North and South. I had always
felt that as regarded the action of our Government we had been sans
reproche; that in arranging our conduct we had thought neither of
money nor political influence, but simply of the justice of the
case,--promising to abstain from all interference and keeping that
promise faithfully. It had been quite clear to me that the men of the
North, and the women also, had failed to appreciate this, looking, as
men in a quarrel always do look, for special favour on their side.
Everything that England did was wrong. If a private merchant, at his
own risk, took a cargo of rifles to some southern port, that act to
northern eyes was an act of English interference,--of favour shown to
the South by England as a nation; but twenty shiploads of rifles sent
from England to the North merely signified a brisk trade and a desire
for profit. The "James Adger," a northern man-of-war, was refitted
at Southampton as a matter of course. There was no blame to England
for that. But the "Nashville," belonging to the Confederates, should
not have been allowed into English waters! It was useless to speak
of neutrality. No Northerner would understand that a rebel could
have any mutual right. The South had no claim in his eyes as a
belligerent, though the North claimed all those rights which he could
only enjoy by the fact of there being a recognized war between him
and his enemy the South. The North was learning to hate England,
and day by day the feeling grew upon me that, much as I wished to
espouse the cause of the North, I should have to espouse the cause
of my own country. Then Slidell and Mason were arrested, and I began
to calculate how long I might remain in the country. "There is no
danger. We are quite right," the lawyers said. "There are Vattel
and Puffendorff and Stowell and Phillimore and Wheaton," said the
ladies. "Ambassadors are contraband all the world over,--more so than
gunpowder; and if taken in a neutral bottom, &c." I wonder why ships
are always called bottoms when spoken of with legal technicality? But
neither the lawyers nor the ladies convinced me. I know that there
are matters which will be read not in accordance with any written
law, but in accordance with the bias of the reader's mind. Such laws
are made to be strained any way. I knew how it would be. All the
legal acumen of New England declared the seizure of Slidell and Mason
to be right. The legal acumen of Old England has declared it to be
wrong; and I have no doubt that the ladies of Old England can prove
it to be wrong out of Vattel, Puffendorff, Stowell, Phillimore, and
Wheaton.

"But there's Grotius," I said, to an elderly female at New York,
who had quoted to me some half-dozen writers on international law,
thinking thereby that I should trump her last card. "I've looked into
Grotius too," said she, "and as far as I can see," &c. &c. &c. So
I had to fall back again on the convictions to which instinct and
common sense had brought me. I never doubted for a moment that those
convictions would be supported by English lawyers.

I left Boston with a sad feeling at my heart that a quarrel was
imminent between England and the States, and that any such quarrel
must be destructive to the cause of the North. I had never believed
that the States of New England and the Gulf States would again become
parts of one nation, but I had thought that the terms of separation
would be dictated by the North, and not by the South. I had felt
assured that South Carolina and the Gulf States, across from
the Atlantic to Texas, would succeed in forming themselves into
a separate confederation; but I had still hoped that Maryland,
Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri might be saved to the grander empire
of the North, and that thus a great blow to slavery might be the
consequence of this civil war. But such ascendancy could only fall to
the North by reason of their command of the sea. The northern ports
were all open, and the southern ports were all closed. But if this
should be reversed. If by England's action the southern ports should
be opened, and the northern ports closed, the North could have no
fair expectation of success. The ascendancy in that case would all be
with the South. Up to that moment,--the Christmas of 1861,--Maryland
was kept in subjection by the guns which General Dix had planted
over the city of Baltimore. Two-thirds of Virginia were in active
rebellion, coerced originally into that position by her dependence
for the sale of her slaves on the cotton States. Kentucky was
doubtful, and divided. When the federal troops prevailed, Kentucky
was loyal; when the Confederate troops prevailed, Kentucky was
rebellious. The condition in Missouri was much the same. Those four
States, by two of which the capital, with its district of Columbia,
is surrounded, might be gained, or might be lost. And these four
States are susceptible of white labour,--as much so as Ohio and
Illinois,--are rich in fertility, and rich also in all associations
which must be dear to Americans. Without Virginia, Maryland, and
Kentucky, without the Potomac, the Chesapeake, and Mount Vernon,
the North would indeed be shorn of its glory! But it seemed to be
in the power of the North to say under what terms secession should
take place, and where should be the line. A senator from South
Carolina could never again sit in the same chamber with one from
Massachusetts; but there need be no such bar against the border
States. So much might at any rate be gained, and might stand
hereafter as the product of all that money spent on 600,000 soldiers.
But if the Northerners should now elect to throw themselves into
a quarrel with England, if in the gratification of a shameless
braggadocio they should insist on doing what they liked, not only
with their own, but with the property of all others also, it
certainly did seem as though utter ruin must await their cause. With
England, or one might say with Europe, against them, secession must
be accomplished, not on northern terms, but on terms dictated by the
South. The choice was then for them to make; and just at that time it
seemed as though they were resolved to throw away every good card out
of their hand. Such had been the ministerial wisdom of Mr. Seward.
I remember hearing the matter discussed in easy terms by one of the
United States senators. "Remember, Mr. Trollope," he said to me, "we
don't want a war with England. If the choice is given to us, we had
rather not fight England. Fighting is a bad thing. But remember this
also, Mr. Trollope--that if the matter is pressed on us, we have
no great objection. We had rather not, but we don't care much one
way or the other." What one individual may say to another is not of
much moment, but this senator was expressing the feelings of his
constituents, who were the legislature of the State from whence he
came. He was expressing the general idea on the subject of a large
body of Americans. It was not that he and his State had really no
objection to the war. Such a war loomed terribly large before the
minds of them all. They knew it to be fraught with the saddest
consequences. It was so regarded in the mind of that senator. But the
braggadocio could not be omitted. Had he omitted it, he would have
been untrue to his constituency.

When I left Boston for Washington nothing was as yet known of what
the English Government or the English lawyers might say. This was in
the first week in December, and the expected voice from England could
not be heard till the end of the second week. It was a period of
great suspense, and of great sorrow also to the more sober-minded
Americans. To me the idea of such a war was terrible. It seemed that
in these days all the hopes of our youth were being shattered. That
poetic turning of the sword into a sickle, which gladdened our hearts
ten or twelve years since, had been clean banished from men's minds.
To belong to a peace-party was to be either a fanatic, an idiot, or
a driveller. The arts of war had become everything. Armstrong guns,
themselves indestructible, but capable of destroying everything
within sight, and most things out of sight, were the only recognized
results of man's inventive faculties. To build bigger, stronger, and
more ships than the French was England's glory. To hit a speck with
a rifle bullet at 800 yards' distance was an Englishman's first duty.
The proper use for a young man's leisure hours was the practice of
drilling. All this had come upon us with very quick steps, since the
beginning of the Russian war. But if fighting must needs be done, one
did not feel special grief at fighting a Russian. That the Indian
mutiny should be put down was a matter of course. That those Chinese
rascals should be forced into the harness of civilization was a good
thing. That England should be as strong as France,--or perhaps, if
possible, a little stronger,--recommended itself to an Englishman's
mind as a State necessity. But a war with the States of America! In
thinking of it I began to believe that the world was going backwards.
Over sixty millions sterling of stock--railway stock and such
like--are held in America by Englishmen, and the chances would be
that before such a war could be finished the whole of that would be
confiscated. Family connections between the States and the British
isles are almost as close as between one of those islands and
another. The commercial intercourse between the two countries has
given bread to millions of Englishmen, and a break in it would rob
millions of their bread. These people speak our language, use our
prayers, read our books, are ruled by our laws, dress themselves in
our image, are warm with our blood. They have all our virtues; and
their vices are our own too, loudly as we call out against them. They
are our sons and our daughters, the source of our greatest pride, and
as we grow old they should be the staff of our age. Such a war as we
should now wage with the States would be an unloosing of hell upon
all that is best upon the world's surface. If in such a war we beat
the Americans, they with their proud stomachs would never forgive
us. If they should be victors, we should never forgive ourselves. I
certainly could not bring myself to speak of it with the equanimity
of my friend the senator.

I went through New York to Philadelphia and made a short visit to the
latter town. Philadelphia seems to me to have thrown off its Quaker
garb, and to present itself to the world in the garments ordinarily
assumed by large cities; by which I intend to express my opinion
that the Philadelphians are not in these latter days any better than
their neighbours. I am not sure whether in some respects they may not
perhaps be worse. Quakers,--Quakers absolutely in the very flesh of
close bonnets and brown knee-breeches,--are still to be seen there;
but they are not numerous, and would not strike the eye if one did
not specially look for a Quaker at Philadelphia. It is a large town,
with a very large hotel,--there are no doubt half-a-dozen large
hotels, but one of them is specially great,--with long straight
streets, good shops and markets, and decent comfortable-looking
houses. The houses of Philadelphia generally are not so large as
those of other great cities in the States. They are more modest than
those of New York, and less commodious than those of Boston. Their
most striking appendage is the marble steps at the front doors. Two
doors as a rule enjoy one set of steps, on the outer edges of which
there is generally no parapet or raised curb-stone. This, to my eye,
gave the houses an unfinished appearance,--as though the marble ran
short, and no further expenditure could be made. The frost came when
I was there, and then all these steps were covered up in wooden
cases.

The city of Philadelphia lies between the two rivers, the Delaware
and the Schuylkill. Eight chief streets run from river to river, and
twenty-four cross-streets bisect the eight at right angles. The long
streets are, with the exception of Market Street, called by the names
of trees,--chesnut, walnut, pine, spruce, mulberry, vine, and so
on. The cross-streets are all called by their numbers. In the long
streets the numbers of the houses are not consecutive, but follow
the numbers of the cross streets; so that a person living in Chesnut
Street between Tenth Street and Eleventh Street, and ten doors from
Tenth Street, would live at No. 1010. The opposite house would be
No. 1011. It thus follows that the number of the house indicates the
exact block of houses in which it is situated. I do not like the
right-angled building of these towns, nor do I like the sound of
Twentieth Street and Thirtieth Street; but I must acknowledge that
the arrangement in Philadelphia has its convenience. In New York I
found it by no means an easy thing to arrive at the desired locality.

They boast in Philadelphia that they have half a million inhabitants.
If this be taken as a true calculation, Philadelphia is in size the
fourth city in the world,--putting out of the question the cities of
China, as to which we have heard so much and believe so little. But
in making this calculation the citizens include the population of a
district on some sides ten miles distant from Philadelphia. It takes
in other towns connected with it by railway but separated by large
spaces of open country. American cities are very proud of their
population, but if they all counted in this way, there would soon
be no rural population left at all. There is a very fine bank at
Philadelphia,--and Philadelphia is a town somewhat celebrated in
its banking history. My remarks here, however, apply simply to the
external building, and not to its internal honesty and wisdom, or to
its commercial credit.

In Philadelphia also stands the old house of Congress,--the house in
which the Congress of the United States was held previous to 1800,
when the Government, and the Congress with it, were moved to the
new city of Washington. I believe, however, that the first Congress,
properly so called, was assembled at New York in 1789, the date of
the inauguration of the first President. It was, however, here, in
this building at Philadelphia, that the independence of the Union was
declared in 1776, and that the constitution of the United States was
framed.

Pennsylvania, with Philadelphia for its capital, was once the leading
State of the Union,--leading by a long distance. At the end of the
last century it beat all the other States in population, but has
since been surpassed by New York in all respects,--in population,
commerce, wealth, and general activity. Of course it is known that
Pennsylvania was granted to William Penn, the Quaker, by Charles
II. I cannot completely understand what was the meaning of such
grants,--how far they implied absolute possession in the territory,
or how far they confirmed simply the power of settling and governing
a colony. In this case a very considerable property was confirmed, as
the claim made by Penn's children after Penn's death was bought up by
the commonwealth of Pennsylvania for £130,000; which in those days
was a large price for almost any landed estate on the other side of
the Atlantic.

Pennsylvania lies directly on the borders of slave land, being
immediately north of Maryland. Mason and Dixon's line, of which
we hear so often, and which was first established as the division
between slave soil and free soil, runs between Pennsylvania and
Maryland. The little State of Delaware, which lies between Maryland
and the Atlantic, is also tainted with slavery; but the stain is not
heavy nor indelible. In a population of a hundred and twelve thousand
there are not two thousand slaves, and of these the owners generally
would willingly rid themselves if they could. It is, however, a point
of honour with these owners, as it is also in Maryland, not to sell
their slaves; and a man who cannot sell his slaves must keep them.
Were he to enfranchise them and send them about their business, they
would come back upon his hands. Were he to enfranchise them and pay
them wages for work, they would get the wages but he would not get
the work. They would get the wages, but at the end of three months
they would still fall back upon his hands in debt and distress,
looking to him for aid and comfort as a child looks for it. It is
not easy to get rid of a slave in a slave State. That question of
enfranchising slaves is not one to be very readily solved.

In Pennsylvania the right of voting is confined to free white men. In
New York the coloured free men have the right to vote, providing they
have a certain small property qualification, and have been citizens
for three years in the State;--whereas a white man need have been a
citizen but for ten days, and need have no property qualification;
from which it is seen that the position of the negro becomes worse,
or less like that of a white man, as the border of slave land is more
nearly reached. But in the teeth of this embargo on coloured men, the
constitution of Pennsylvania asserts broadly that all men are born
equally free and independent. One cannot conceive how two clauses
can have found their way into the same document so absolutely
contradictory to each other. The first clause says that white men
shall vote, and that black men shall not, which means that all
political action shall be confined to white men. The second clause
says that all men are born equally free and independent!

In Philadelphia I for the first time came across live
secessionists,--secessionists who pronounced themselves to be such. I
will not say that I had met in other cities men who falsely declared
themselves true to the Union; but I had fancied, in regard to some,
that their words were a little stronger than their feelings. When
a man's bread,--and much more, when the bread of his wife and
children,--depends on his professing a certain line of political
conviction, it is very hard for him to deny his assent to the truth
of the argument. One feels that a man under such circumstances is
bound to be convinced, unless he be in a position which may make
a stanch adherence to opposite politics a matter of grave public
importance. In the North I had fancied that I could sometimes read a
secessionist tendency under a cloud of unionist protestations. But in
Philadelphia men did not seem to think it necessary to have recourse
to such a cloud. I generally found in mixed society, even there, that
the discussion of secession was not permitted; but in society that
was not mixed, I heard very strong opinions expressed on each side.
With the unionists nothing was so strong as the necessity of keeping
Slidell and Mason. When I suggested that the English Government would
probably require their surrender, I was talked down and ridiculed.
"Never that; come what may." Then, within half an hour, I would be
told by a secessionist that England must demand reparation if she
meant to retain any place among the great nations of the world;
but he also would declare that the men would not be surrendered.
"She must make the demand," the secessionist would say, "and then
there will be war; and after that we shall see whose ports will be
blockaded!" The Southerner has ever looked to England for some breach
of the blockade, quite as strongly as the North has looked to England
for sympathy and aid in keeping it.

The railway from Philadelphia to Baltimore passes along the top of
Chesapeake Bay and across the Susquehanna river; at least the railway
cars do so. On one side of that river they are run on to a huge
ferryboat, and are again run off at the other side. Such an operation
would seem to be one of difficulty to us under any circumstances;
but as the Susquehanna is a tidal river, rising and falling a
considerable number of feet, the natural impediment in the way of
such an enterprise would, I think, have staggered us. We should have
built a bridge costing two or three millions sterling, on which no
conceivable amount of traffic would pay a fair dividend. Here, in
crossing the Susquehanna, the boat is so constructed that its deck
shall be level with the line of the railway at half tide, so that the
inclined plane from the shore down to the boat, or from the shore up
to the boat, shall never exceed half the amount of the rise or fall.
One would suppose that the most intricate machinery would have been
necessary for such an arrangement; but it was all rough and simple,
and apparently managed by two negroes. We should employ a small corps
of engineers to conduct such an operation, and men and women would
be detained in their carriages under all manner of threats as to the
peril of life and limb; but here everybody was expected to look out
for himself. The cars were dragged up the inclined plane by a hawser
attached to an engine, which hawser, had the stress broken it, as I
could not but fancy probable, would have flown back and cut to pieces
a lot of us who were standing in front of the car. But I do not
think that any such accident would have caused very much attention.
Life and limbs are not held to be so precious here as they are in
England. It may be a question whether with us they are not almost too
precious. Regarding railways in America generally, as to the relative
safety of which, when compared with our own, we have not in England a
high opinion, I must say that I never saw any accident or in any way
became conversant with one. It is said that large numbers of men and
women are slaughtered from time to time on different lines; but if it
be so, the newspapers make very light of such cases. I myself have
seen no such slaughter, nor have I even found myself in the vicinity
of a broken bone. Beyond the Susquehanna we passed over a creek of
Chesapeake Bay on a long bridge. The whole scenery here is very
pretty, and the view up the Susquehanna is fine. This is the bay
which divides the State of Maryland into two parts, and which is
blessed beyond all other bays by the possession of canvas-back ducks.
Nature has done a great deal for the State of Maryland, but in
nothing more than in sending thither these web-footed birds of
Paradise.

Nature has done a great deal for Maryland; and Fortune also has
done much for it in these latter days in directing the war from
its territory. But for the peculiar position of Washington as the
capital, all that is now being done in Virginia would have been done
in Maryland, and I must say that the Marylanders did their best to
bring about such a result. Had the presence of the war been regarded
by the men of Baltimore as an unalloyed benefit, they could not have
made a greater struggle to bring it close to them. Nevertheless fate
has so far spared them.

As the position of Maryland and the course of events as they took
place in Baltimore on the commencement of secession had considerable
influence both in the North and in the South, I will endeavour
to explain how that State was affected, and how the question was
affected by that State. Maryland, as I have said before, is a slave
State lying immediately south of Mason and Dixon's line. Small
portions both of Virginia and of Delaware do run north of Maryland,
but practically Maryland is the frontier State of the slave States.
It was therefore of much importance to know which way Maryland would
go in the event of secession among the slave States becoming general;
and of much also to ascertain whether it could secede if desirous of
doing so. I am inclined to think that as a State it was desirous of
following Virginia, though there are many in Maryland who deny this
very stoutly. But it was at once evident that if loyalty to the North
could not be had in Maryland of its own free will, adherence to
the North must be enforced upon Maryland. Otherwise the city of
Washington could not be maintained as the existing capital of the
nation.

The question of the fidelity of the State to the Union was first
tried by the arrival at Baltimore of a certain Commissioner from
the State of Mississippi, who visited that city with the object of
inducing secession. It must be understood that Baltimore is the
commercial capital of Maryland, whereas Annapolis is the seat of
Government and the legislature--or is, in other terms, the political
capital. Baltimore is a city containing 230,000 inhabitants, and is
considered to have as strong and perhaps as violent a mob as any
city in the Union. Of the above number 30,000 are negroes and 2000
are slaves. The Commissioner made his appeal, telling his tale of
southern grievances, declaring, among other things, that secession
was not intended to break up the Government but to perpetuate it,
and asked for the assistance and sympathy of Maryland. This was in
December, 1860. The Commissioner was answered by Governor Hicks, who
was placed in a somewhat difficult position. The existing legislature
of the State was presumed to be secessionist, but the legislature
was not sitting, nor in the ordinary course of things would that
legislature have been called on to sit again. The legislature of
Maryland is elected every other year, and in the ordinary course
sits only once in the two years. That session had been held, and the
existing legislature was therefore exempt from further work,--unless
specially summoned for an extraordinary session. To do this is within
the power of the Governor. But Governor Hicks, who seems to have been
mainly anxious to keep things quiet, and whose individual politics
did not come out strongly, was not inclined to issue the summons.
"Let us show moderation as well as firmness," he said; and that
was about all he did say to the Commissioner from Mississippi.
The Governor after that was directly called on to convene the
legislature; but this he refused to do, alleging that it would not
be safe to trust the discussion of such a subject as secession
to--"excited politicians, many of whom having nothing to lose from
the destruction of the Government, may hope to derive some gain
from the ruin of the State!" I quote these words, coming from the
head of the executive of the State and spoken with reference to the
legislature of the State, with the object of showing in what light
the political leaders of a State may be held in that very State to
which they belong! If we are to judge of these legislators from the
opinion expressed by Governor Hicks, they could hardly have been
fit for their places. That plan of governing by the little men has
certainly not answered. It need hardly be said that Governor Hicks,
having expressed such an opinion of his State's legislature, refused
to call them to an extraordinary session.

On the 18th of April, 1860, Governor Hicks issued a proclamation to
the people of Maryland, begging them to be quiet, the chief object
of which, however, was that of promising that no troops should be
sent out from their State, unless with the object of guarding the
neighbouring city of Washington,--a promise which he had no means
of fulfilling, seeing that the President of the United States is
the Commander-in-Chief of the army of the nation and can summon the
militia of the several States. This proclamation by the Governor
to the State was immediately backed up by one from the Mayor of
Baltimore to the city, in which he congratulates the citizens on
the Governor's promise that none of their troops are to be sent to
another State; and then he tells them that they shall be preserved
from the horrors of civil war.

But on the very next day the horrors of civil war began in Baltimore.
By this time President Lincoln was collecting troops at Washington
for the protection of the capital; and that army of the Potomac,
which has ever since occupied the Virginian side of the river,
was in course of construction. To join this, certain troops from
Massachusetts were sent down by the usual route, viâ New York,
Philadelphia, and Baltimore; but on their reaching Baltimore
by railway, the mob of that town refused to allow them to pass
through,--and a fight began. Nine citizens were killed and two
soldiers, and as many more were wounded. This, I think, was the first
blood spilt in the civil war; and the attack was first made by the
mob of the first slave city reached by the northern soldiers. This
goes far to show, not that the border States desired secession, but
that, when compelled to choose between secession and union,--when not
allowed by circumstances to remain neutral,--their sympathies were
with their sister slave States rather than with the North.

Then there was a great running about of official men between
Baltimore and Washington, and the President was besieged with
entreaties that no troops should be sent through Baltimore. Now this
was hard enough upon President Lincoln, seeing that he was bound to
defend his capital, that he could get no troops from the South, and
that Baltimore is on the high road from Washington, both to the West
and to the North; but, nevertheless, he gave way. Had he not done
so, all Baltimore would have been in a blaze of rebellion, and the
scene of the coming contest must have been removed from Virginia to
Maryland, and Congress and the Government must have travelled from
Washington north to Philadelphia. "They shall not come through
Baltimore," said Mr. Lincoln. "But they shall come through the State
of Maryland. They shall be passed over Chesapeake Bay by water to
Annapolis, and shall come up by rail from thence." This arrangement
was as distasteful to the State of Maryland as the other; but
Annapolis is a small town without a mob, and the Marylanders had no
means of preventing the passage of the troops. Attempts were made to
refuse the use of the Annapolis branch railway, but General Butler
had the arranging of that. General Butler was a lawyer from Boston,
and by no means inclined to indulge the scruples of the Marylanders
who had so roughly treated his fellow-citizens from Massachusetts.
The troops did therefore pass through Annapolis, much to the disgust
of the State. On the 27th of April Governor Hicks, having now had a
sufficiency of individual responsibility, summoned the legislature
of which he had expressed so bad an opinion; but on this occasion
he omitted to repeat that opinion, and submitted his views in very
proper terms to the wisdom of the senators and representatives. He
entertained, as he said, an honest conviction that the safety of
Maryland lay in preserving a neutral position between the North and
the South. Certainly, Governor Hicks, if it were only possible! The
legislature again went to work to prevent, if it might be prevented,
the passage of troops through their State; but luckily for them,
they failed. The President was bound to defend Washington, and the
Marylanders were denied their wish of having their own fields made
the fighting ground of the civil war.

That which appears to me to be the most remarkable feature in all
this is the antagonism between United States law and individual State
feeling. Through the whole proceeding the Governor and the State of
Maryland seemed to have considered it legal and reasonable to oppose
the constitutional power of the President and his Government. It is
argued in all the speeches and written documents that were produced
in Maryland at the time, that Maryland was true to the Union; and yet
she put herself in opposition to the constitutional military power of
the President! Certain commissioners went from the State legislature
to Washington, in May, and from their report, it appears that the
President had expressed himself of opinion that Maryland might do
this or that, as long "as she had not taken and was not about to take
a hostile attitude to the Federal Government!" From which we are to
gather that a denial of that military power given to the President
by the constitution was not considered as an attitude hostile to
the Federal Government. At any rate, it was direct disobedience
of federal law. I cannot but revert from this to the condition
of the fugitive slave law. Federal law, and indeed the original
constitution, plainly declare that fugitive slaves shall be given
up by the free-soil States. Massachusetts proclaims herself to be
specially a federal, law-loving State. But every man in Massachusetts
knows that no judge, no sheriff, no magistrate, no policeman in that
State would at this time, or then, when that civil war was beginning,
have lent a hand in any way to the rendition of a fugitive slave. The
Federal law requires the State to give up the fugitive, but the State
law does not require judge, sheriff, magistrate, or policeman to
engage in such work, and no judge, sheriff, or magistrate will do so;
consequently that Federal law is dead in Massachusetts, as it is also
in every free-soil State,--dead, except inasmuch as there was life
in it to create ill-blood as long as the North and South remained
together, and would be life in it for the same effect if they should
again be brought under the same flag.

On the 10th May the Maryland legislature, having received the
report of their Commissioners above-mentioned, passed the following
resolution:--

"Whereas the war against the Confederate States is unconstitutional
and repugnant to civilization, and will result in a bloody and
shameful overthrow of our constitution, and whilst recognizing the
obligations of Maryland to the Union, we sympathize with the South in
the struggle for their rights; for the sake of humanity we are for
peace and reconciliation, and solemnly protest against this war, and
will take no part in it.

"Resolved,--That Maryland implores the President, in the name of
God, to cease this unholy war, at least until Congress assembles"--a
period of above six months. "That Maryland desires and consents to
the recognition of the independence of the Confederate States. The
military occupation of Maryland is unconstitutional, and she protests
against it, though the violent interference with the transit of the
Federal troops is discountenanced. That the vindication of her rights
be left to time and reason, and that a convention under existing
circumstances is inexpedient."

From which it is plain that Maryland would have seceded as
effectually as Georgia seceded, had she not been prevented by
the interposition of Washington between her and the Confederate
States,--the happy intervention, seeing that she has thus been saved
from becoming the battle-ground of the contest. But the legislature
had to pay for its rashness. On the 13th of September thirteen of
its members were arrested, as were also two editors of newspapers
presumed to be secessionists. A member of Congress was also arrested
at the same time, and a candidate for Governor Hicks's place, who
belonged to the secessionist party. Previously, in the last days of
June and beginning of July, the chief of the police at Baltimore
and the members of the Board of Police had been arrested by General
Banks, who then held Baltimore in his power.

I should be sorry to be construed as saying that republican
institutions, or what may more properly be called democratic
institutions, have been broken down in the States of America. I am
far from thinking that they have broken down. Taking them and their
work as a whole, I think that they have shown, and still show,
vitality of the best order. But the written constitution of the
United States and of the several States, as bearing upon each other,
are not equal to the requirements made upon them. That, I think,
is the conclusion to which a spectator should come. It is in that
doctrine of finality that our friends have broken down,--a doctrine
not expressed in their constitutions, and indeed expressly denied in
the constitution of the United States, which provides the mode in
which amendments shall be made--but appearing plainly enough in every
word of self-gratulation which comes from them. Political finality
has ever proved a delusion,--as has the idea of finality in all
human institutions. I do not doubt but that the republican form of
government will remain and make progress in North America; but such
prolonged existence and progress must be based on an acknowledgment
of the necessity for change, and must in part depend on the
facilities for change which shall be afforded.

I have described the condition of Baltimore as it was early in May,
1861. I reached that city just seven months later, and its condition
was considerably altered. There was no question then whether troops
should pass through Baltimore, or by an awkward round through
Annapolis, or not pass at all through Maryland. General Dix, who
had succeeded General Banks, was holding the city in his grip, and
martial law prevailed. In such times as those, it was bootless to
inquire as to that promise that no troops should pass southward
through Baltimore. What have such assurances ever been worth in such
days! Baltimore was now a military depot in the hands of the northern
army, and General Dix was not a man to stand any trifling. He did me
the honour to take me to the top of Federal Hill, a suburb of the
city, on which he had raised great earthworks and planted mighty
cannons, and built tents and barracks for his soldiery, and to show
me how instantaneously he could destroy the town from his exalted
position. "This hill was made for the very purpose," said General
Dix; and no doubt he thought so. Generals, when they have fine
positions and big guns and prostrate people lying under their thumbs,
are inclined to think that God's providence has specially ordained
them and their points of vantage. It is a good thing in the mind of
a general so circumstanced that 200,000 men should be made subject
to a dozen big guns. I confess that to me, having had no military
education, the matter appeared in a different light, and I could
not work up my enthusiasm to a pitch which would have been suitable
to the General's courtesy. That hill, on which many of the poor of
Baltimore had lived, was desecrated in my eyes by those columbiads.
The neat earthworks were ugly, as looked upon by me; and though I
regarded General Dix as energetic, and no doubt skilful in the work
assigned to him, I could not sympathize with his exultation.

Previously to the days of secession Baltimore had been guarded by
Fort MacHenry, which lies on a spit of land running out into the bay
just below the town. Hither I went with General Dix, and he explained
to me how the cannon had heretofore been pointed solely towards the
sea; that, however, now was all changed, and the mouths of his bombs
and great artillery were turned all the other way. The commandant of
the fort was with us, and other officers, and they all spoke of this
martial tenure as a great blessing. Hearing them, one could hardly
fail to suppose that they had lived their forty, fifty, or sixty
years of life in full reliance on the powers of a military despotism.
But not the less were they American republicans, who, twelve months
since, would have dilated on the all-sufficiency of their republican
institutions, and on the absence of any military restraint in their
country, with that peculiar pride which characterizes the citizens
of the States. There are, however, some lessons which may be learned
with singular rapidity!

Such was the state of Baltimore when I visited that city. I found,
nevertheless, that cakes and ale still prevailed there. I am inclined
to think that cakes and ale prevail most freely in times that are
perilous, and when sources of sorrow abound. I have seen more
reckless joviality in a town stricken by pestilence than I ever
encountered elsewhere. There was General Dix seated on Federal Hill
with his cannon; and there, beneath his artillery, were gentlemen
hotly professing themselves to be secessionists, men whose sons and
brothers were in the southern army, and women--alas! whose brothers
would be in one army, and their sons in another. That was the part of
it which was most heart-rending in this border land. In New England
and New York men's minds at any rate were bent all in the same
direction,--as doubtless they were also in Georgia and Alabama. But
here fathers were divided from sons, and mothers from daughters.
Terrible tales were told of threats uttered by one member of a family
against another. Old ties of friendship were broken up. Society had
so divided itself, that one side could hold no terms of courtesy with
the other. "When this is over," one gentleman said to me, "every man
in Baltimore will have a quarrel to the death on his hands with some
friend whom he used to love." The complaints made on both sides were
eager and open-mouthed against the other.

Late in the autumn an election for a new legislature of the State
had taken place, and the members returned were all supposed to be
unionist. That they were prepared to support the Government is
certain. But no known or presumed secessionist was allowed to vote
without first taking the oath of allegiance. The election therefore,
even if the numbers were true, cannot be looked upon as a free
election. Voters were stopped at the poll and not allowed to
vote unless they would take an oath which would, on their parts,
undoubtedly have been false. It was also declared in Baltimore that
men engaged to promote the northern party were permitted to vote five
or six times over, and the enormous number of votes polled on the
Government side gave some colouring to the statement. At any rate an
election carried under General Dix's guns cannot be regarded as an
open election. It was out of the question that any election taken
under such circumstances should be worth anything as expressing
the minds of the people. Red and white had been declared to be the
colours of the Confederates, and red and white had of course become
the favourite colours of the Baltimore ladies. Then it was given
out that red and white would not be allowed in the streets. Ladies
wearing red and white were requested to return home. Children
decorated with red and white ribbons were stripped of their bits of
finery,--much to their infantine disgust and dismay. Ladies would put
red and white ornaments in their windows, and the police would insist
on the withdrawal of the colours. Such was the condition of Baltimore
during the past winter. Nevertheless cakes and ale abounded; and
though there was deep grief in the city, and wailing in the recesses
of many houses, and a feeling that the good times were gone, never
to return within the days of many of them, still there existed an
excitement and a consciousness of the importance of the crisis which
was not altogether unsatisfactory. Men and women can endure to
be ruined, to be torn from their friends, to be overwhelmed with
avalanches of misfortune, better than they can endure to be dull.

Baltimore is, or at any rate was, an aspiring city, proud of its
commerce and proud of its society. It has regarded itself as the New
York of the South, and to some extent has forced others so to regard
it also. In many respects it is more like an English town than most
of its transatlantic brethren, and the ways of its inhabitants are
English. In old days a pack of fox-hounds was kept here,--or indeed
in days that are not yet very old, for I was told of their doings by
a gentleman who had long been a member of the hunt. The country looks
as a hunting country should look, whereas no man that ever crossed a
field after a pack of hounds would feel the slightest wish to attempt
that process in New England or New York. There is in Baltimore
an old inn with an old sign, standing at the corner of Eutaw and
Franklin Streets, just such as may still be seen in the towns of
Somersetshire, and before it are to be seen old wagons, covered and
soiled and battered, about to return from the city to the country,
just as the wagons do in our own agricultural counties. I have found
nothing so thoroughly English in any other part of the Union.

But canvas-back ducks and terrapins are the great glories of
Baltimore. Of the nature of the former bird I believe all the world
knows something. It is a wild duck which obtains the peculiarity of
its flavour from the wild celery on which it feeds. This celery grows
on the Chesapeake Bay, and I believe on the Chesapeake Bay only. At
any rate Baltimore is the head-quarters of the canvas-backs, and it
is on the Chesapeake Bay that they are shot. I was kindly invited to
go down on a shooting-party; but when I learned that I should have to
ensconce myself alone for hours in a wet wooden box on the water's
edge, waiting there for the chance of a duck to come to me, I
declined. The fact of my never having as yet been successful in
shooting a bird of any kind conduced somewhat perhaps to my decision.
I must acknowledge that the canvas-back duck fully deserves all the
reputation it has acquired. As to the terrapin, I have not so much to
say. The terrapin is a small turtle, found on the shores of Maryland
and Virginia, out of which a very rich soup is made. It is cooked
with wines and spices, and is served in the shape of a hash, with
heaps of little bones mixed through it. It is held in great repute,
and the guest is expected as a matter of course to be helped twice.
The man who did not eat twice of terrapin would be held in small
repute, as the Londoner is held who at a city banquet does not
partake of both thick and thin turtle. I must, however, confess that
the terrapin for me had no surpassing charms.

Maryland was so called from Henrietta Maria, the wife of Charles
I., by which king in 1632 the territory was conceded to the Roman
Catholic Lord Baltimore. It was chiefly peopled by Roman Catholics,
but I do not think that there is now any such speciality attaching to
the State. There are in it two or three old Roman Catholic families,
but the people have come down from the North, and have no peculiar
religious tendencies. Some of Lord Baltimore's descendants remained
in the State up to the time of the revolution. From Baltimore I went
on to Washington.


END OF VOL. I.





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