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Title: With the World's Great Travellers, Volume IV
Author: Various
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.

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  COPYRIGHT 1896 AND 1897



  SUBJECT.                               AUTHOR.                  PAGE

  Paris, Amsterdam                       OLIVER H. G. LEIGH          5
  Florence and its Art Treasures         SARAH J. LIPPINCOTT        16
  The Lake Region of Italy               ROBERT A. MCLEOD           26
  A Day in Rome                          BAYARD TAYLOR              37
  Pompeii and its Destroyer              ALFRED E. LEE              48
  Mount Etna in Eruption                 BAYARD TAYLOR              61
  Plebeian Life in Venice                HORACE ST. JOHN            70
  Athens and its Temples                 J. L. T. PHILLIPS          79
  The Isles of Greece                    HENRY M. FIELD             89
  The Seraglio on the Golden Horn        EDWARD DANIEL CLARKE      100
  Zermatt and its Scenery                STANLEY HOPE              112
  Alpine Mountain Climbing               EDWARD WHYMPER            121
  A Typical Dutch City                   EDMONDO DE AMICIS         131
  Antwerp and its People                 ROSE G. KINGSLEY          140
  Art Museums of Dresden                 ELIZABETH PEAKE           147
  The Students of Heidelberg             BAYARD TAYLOR             158
  The Streets of Berlin                  MATTHEW WOODS             165
  A Ramble in Prussia                    STEPHEN POWERS            176
  The Salt-Mines of Wieliczka            J. ROSS BROWNE            183
  The Jumping Procession of Echternach   M. OGLE                   193
  The Capital of Austria                 JOHN RUSSELL              201
  The Esterházy Palaces                  JOHN PAGET                210
  From Hamburg to Stockholm              MRS. ANDREW CROSSE        221
  The Midnight Sun                       LANGLEY COLERIDGE         229
  In the Russian Capital                 SAMUEL S. COX             236
  A Visit to Finland                     DAVID KER                 246
  Moscow in 1800                         EDWARD DANIEL CLARKE      257
  A Russian Sleigh Journey               FREDERICK BURNABY         267

List of Illustrations


  THE COLOGNE CATHEDRAL                                 _Frontispiece_
  LOUVRE MUSEUM, APOLLO GALLERY                                     12
  ST. GOTTHARD RAILWAY (Viaduct and Tunnel)                         28
  ARCH OF TITUS, ROME                                               38
  THE FAMOUS BRIDGE OF THE RIALTO, VENICE                           46
  THE CHURCH OF ST. MARK, VENICE                                    74
  ACROPOLIS AT ATHENS, GREECE                                       84
  CORINTH, GREECE                                                   96
  THE LION MONUMENT, LUCERNE                                       114
  KLEINE SCHEIDEGG (The Jungfrau)                                  124
  A TYPICAL DUTCH WINDMILL                                         134
  THE WATERLOO PYRAMID                                             144
  THE TOWN AND CASTLE OF HEIDELBERG                                160
  INNSBRUCK, THERESA STREET                                        186
  BUDAPEST                                                         212
  MOSCOW                                                           258





Paris, pleasure capital of the world, the ideal cosmopolitan city, a
thousand different delights for a thousand different tastes, is as
fascinating to the scholar and bookworm as to the tourist and the belle
of fashion. The weary old world would die of melancholy if the light
of gay Paris were to go out. Lutetia, as the Romans called the ancient
town, is still the merry child in the family of nations. Fortune gave
it favors without stint. Emperors and kings delighted to adorn it with
a lavishness equalled by the lasting splendor of their gifts. Art and
learning, the genius of ecclesiasticism and the desire for popular
enjoyment, contributed the venerable edifices and their priceless
treasures, and dowered the modern city with the heirlooms of many
centuries. Notre Dame rose eight hundred years ago from the ruins of a
fourth-century church. A few years ago were discovered the foundations
of an amphitheatre capable of seating ten thousand people as far back
as the year 350, when the city's population must have been at least
twice that number. No wonder all the world gathers periodically at this
natural centre of everything that can make a city a miniature world
in itself, for in the Paris of to-day stand side by side monuments and
memorials of antiquity, and the grandest triumphs of latter-day genius
in a profusion that bewilders the eye and the mind. It is as though the
genii of all time and all peoples had conspired to shower their fairest
gifts upon the favored spot of earth round which the drama of the ages
has enacted its tremendous tableaux.

A run through its history must be the first item in the programme of
the traveller who wishes to take with him his best pair of eyes. Then
he will find the old gray stones turn into glass to let him see into
the hidden glory behind. The lesser charms of the pretty city are
palpable to any child. Yet it is impossible to look at the building
or monument that first catches the eye without a flash-light of mere
newspaper lore casting a momentary shadow, or glare, over it. It is not
so long ago that the flames lit by the Commune brought the beautiful
city nearer to ruin than all the storms of centuries had effected. In
its long day Paris has suffered most of the ills that civic life is
heir to. Its people have been subject to political maladies from time
to time, that have endangered its very existence. A strange career, a
blend of demoniac fury and light-hearted gaiety, yesterday its streets
flowing with citizen and royal blood, to-day they echo with jubilant
laughter, to-morrow--? The wheel is more likely to revolve than to
stand long still. Paris alone among the great capitals of the world
prefers change to stability, which is only another expression of her
happy, mercurial temperament. France is sedate, plodding, content with
present conditions until sure they can be bettered. Paris must gallop
even if it costs a fall or two, which makes it the most interesting of
all places.

When a city is little else than "sights" there is monotony in naming
them. Paris itself commands first attention. The grandeur of its
design, its famous boulevards, avenues and streets, and many of its
ornamental features, must be credited to the last emperor, Napoleon
III., whose dynasty came to grief at Sedan. Modern Paris owes more
to his reign, and modern travellers more of their pleasure, than is
ordinarily acknowledged. He bade Haussmann replace the old streets
with the noble avenues that give inexhaustible sensations of delight
at every turn and vista. A happy thought was that which perpetuates
the great names of France in these street names; even literature is
not forgotten, but reflects the honor it receives from tablets naming
avenues after Montaigne, Voltaire, Hugo and others.

The three-mile walk from the Place de la Concorde to the site of
the old Bastille yields the ideal of city magnificence and personal
delight. There is no disappointment of even extravagant expectation.
This unrivalled _Place_ is in itself a grand intellectual as well
as artistic feast. The Luxor obelisk brings into mind Egypt's six
thousand years of strangest history, its Pyramids, its Sphinx, and
Napoleon. Close to it the Revolution guillotined a king and queen,
and an old aristocracy. Heroic sculptures range around the _Place_,
symbolizing eight great cities of France, that of lost Strasburg veiled
in mourning. From the _Place_ and the twelve streets radiating from the
Arc de Triomphe, it is not possible to go far without coming upon some
striking feature.

The Church of the Madeleine is accounted the most exquisite building
in the city, though it is modelled on the art of ancient Greece. There
are many triumphs of later styles, each grand, but yielding the palm
to this Temple of Glory, as Napoleon intended it to be. It is three
hundred and thirty feet long, one hundred and thirty wide, and one
hundred high, without windows, and surrounded by Corinthian columns.

The Arc de Triomphe is the stateliest arch ever built, perfect in every
respect. It was copied from the imperial arches of old Rome, with
grander massiveness. It commemorates the triumphs of Napoleon.

Notre Dame is not a modern imitation. The great cathedral stands on the
little Ile de la Cité which was the beginning of Paris, inhabited two
thousand years ago by the Parisii, a Celtic tribe whose name survives.
For eight centuries it has been a Christian church. The west front is
rich in statues of the kings of France. The originals were destroyed
in the Revolution, but have been replaced. The cathedral itself was
turned into the mockery of a Temple of Reason, with a woman of the
town enthroned as its deity. Napoleon's wise statesmanship restored
the church to its rightful usages. The Commune once more made free
with the old shrine, using it as barracks. Among its relics is the
robe Archbishop Darboy wore when the Communists put him to death. The
churches of Paris have weird stories to tell. The sacred spot where
Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris, was buried, in the sixth century,
was a place of worship until the Revolution changed it into a Pantheon.
It became a church once more in 1851, though in its crypt lie Voltaire,
Rousseau, and other famous writers. The tomb of Napoleon is beneath the
Dome of the Church of the Invalides, attached to the home for veterans
founded by Louis XIV.

The famous palace of the Tuileries was built in the sixteenth century
for Catherine de' Medici. It was the home of emperors and kings, and
the shrine of precious treasures of art from that time down to the fall
of the second empire, when the Communists destroyed it beyond repair.
The politics of spite never yet inspired its votaries to create a
thing of beauty for posterity to enjoy. Opposite the blank left by this
vandal outrage stands the Louvre, perhaps the greatest jewel casket of
art in existence, certainly beyond human power to replace if destroyed.
Yet even the Louvre was, in 1870, undermined by the mob in power, who
longed to blow it into nothingness--in their pious enthusiasm for
enlightened progress. This two-hundred-year old palace is a wonder
of architectural beauty. Its museums are famous for the statuary and
paintings by the great masters. The Venus of Melos stands as the chief
feature of one gallery. Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael,
Titian and others of their rank are represented here among the two
thousand pictures, besides innumerable masterpieces in various arts.
The gallery of Apollo passes description as a chamber, were it empty.
Its contents have almost fabulous value.

The Luxembourg Palace was built in 1620. It has known strange
experiences--first royal habitation, then a prison during the
Revolution, again a palace under the Directory and Consulate, and at
last the house of the Republic's Senate. The Palais Royal was built
for Cardinal Richelieu. After his death it had a king for its master,
to-day its grand arcades echo to the chatter of bargain-seeking
shoppers, despite the firebrands of the Communists. Adjoining it is
the national playhouse, the Comédie Française, which also had a narrow
escape from the caresses of the reformers. Molière managed this theatre
for a while, for which, and because he gave the world immortal plays,
he was denied Christian burial. His statue, however, makes amends. A
greater theatre as to size and gorgeousness is the Grand Opera House.
Three acres of central ground were cleared of ordinary buildings and
streets to make room for this imposing structure, which is the most
ornate of its kind in the world. The mere pictures of its staircase and
foyer are bewildering in magnificence.

After weariness of city sights it is good to make for the Bois de
Boulogne, the main park of Paris. Its twenty-three hundred acres are
connected with the Champs-Élysées by several avenues, of which the
finest is the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne, three hundred and fifteen
feet wide and forty-two hundred long. The drive round the lake is the
rendezvous of fashion every afternoon. The zoological garden, model
dairy, the avenue of acacias, the field of Longchamps, where races and
reviews take place, are among the showplaces. At the opposite, the
east, side of the city is the spacious Bois de Vincennes, a favorite
park with many attractions. The monuments of Paris are familiar to
the average reader who stays at home. The July Column replaces the
Bastille, the Vendôme Column, with its statue of Napoleon as Cæsar, was
pulled down by the Commune and has risen again. Arches, fountains and
statuary abound on all sides. Père la Chaise cemetery is the favorite
field of oratory, many eulogies of the dead being political harangues
of extreme types. Here are buried enough celebrities to immortalize
a monumentless city, Abélard and Héloïse, Chopin, Rossini, Bellini,
Cherubini, Alfred de Musset, Bernardin de St.-Pierre, Beaumarchais,
Béranger, Talma, Racine, Molière, Lafontaine, Balzac, and many national
statesmen. In Montmartre cemetery lie Heine, Murger, Halévy, Gautier,
Troyon. Lafayette and many of the old nobility who perished in the
Revolution, repose in the Picpus burial-ground.

There are many attractive places near Paris, such as Versailles,
which must be counted among the city sights. This old town has grown
up around the palace built by Louis XIV. It has not been inhabited
by royalty since the Revolution, but is a museum devoted "to all
the glories of France." The halls are thronged with statues and
portraits of the great men of history and her victorious battles. The
bedroom of the Grand Monarch, the halls of the kings and marshals,
the Queen's Chamber, and every corner of the building are rich in
historical memories. The great park and famous fountains, the royal
coaches, the Grand Trianon villa which was the home of Madame de
Maintenon, and the Petit Trianon, the cosy country cottage of Marie
Antoinette, all have their fascinations. So might we notice St. Cloud,
the favorite residence of the last emperor, and St. Denis, with its
ancient cathedral, where the kings of France during eleven centuries
were buried. The Revolutionists dug up the royal bones and flung them
into a ditch, whence they were afterwards borne back into the crypt
of St. Denis. The region of Paris teems with associations, grown
sacred by age and sentiment, yet its citizens rarely appear to be in
the serious vein. Their mode of life conduces to rapidity of thought
and quick passing of emotions. Over a simple glass of sweetened water
grave-looking men will vivaciously enact a dialogue which a stranger to
the country might suppose was the prelude to a tragedy, when it is only
a comparison of views on last night's ballet. The outdoor gatherings
in front of the innumerable cafés is one of the charms of the gay
capital. The habit is Parisian to the core. They sit and quiz the human
menagerie as it parades for their delectation; at least this is the
complacent view taken of the moving crowd by the true Parisian. The
great streets are made for grand informal parades; there is elbow room
for hundreds of thousands and each avenue has a park-like aspect. The
French are gifted with the instinct of perfect taste in most things,
and this shows nowhere more effectively than in their planning and
using a city for artistic ends. Every street stall and lamppost is made
part of the general scheme of adornment.

The first few explorations of Paris will fill the mind with wonder
and admiration. Then comes the irrepressible desire to know what all
its magnificence, its historic object-lessons, all its inexhaustible
resources of art and invention, will lead to. A hopeless question, yet
the past piques curiosity about the future. So stupendous a monument to
human achievement of every order surely betokens an abiding greatness.
A people capable of creating a Paris must be destined to a millennium
of happy peace and unbroken prosperity. National temperament rarely
changes, but bitter experience cannot forget the consequences of
former laxity in managing the helm of state. Paris owes it to modern
civilization and to posterity to conserve its remaining treasures, at
whatever cost.

       *       *       *       *       *

Amsterdam after Paris may suggest water after wine. A watery city it
is and water is excellent at times, if not always. The water streets
of the Dutch capital are, sometimes, if not always, inky, and ink of
an odor best described by prefixing a couple of consonants. Yet old
Amsterdam is full of charm, though not of the Parisian kinds. Its
quaint houses have a general look of being turned end-on to the street,
their ornamental gables make a sky-line suggestive of a lady's lace
collar. Many of them have a projecting crane with rope and pulley,
giving a warehouse appearance to private dwellings. They are still used
to save dirtying the stairs when goods are delivered. Cleanliness is
the prevailing vice of Amsterdam dames. From bedroom to kitchen every
room, and everything in every room, is painfully clean. Between six and
eight in the morning every good housewife swills the front of her home
from the roof to the curbstone, whether it needs it or not.


The capital, as Erasmus of Rotterdam once remarked, is a place where
the people dwell on the tops of trees, like birds. Amsterdam is
built on three million piles, driven deep into the swampy soil. Half
of its streets are canals. A large population lives in canal-boats
the year round. The city is divided by large and small canals into
about a hundred islands, with three hundred bridges. The inhabitants
feel secure on their timber foundation, though buildings have sunk,
occasionally. While the wood-worms are few and feeble and the piles
keep wet there is little danger.

The river Amstel passes through the city and gives it its name from
the great system of embankments which dam the ever-threatening tide
from the arm of the Zuyder Zee on which Amstel-dam stands. This arm
is called the Y, spelled Ij in Dutch, and will form a ship-channel,
fifty miles long, to the North Sea when fully completed. A large
shipping trade is done in the spacious docks, where coffee, tobacco,
and sugar come in vast quantities from the Dutch East Indies. One of
the industries peculiar to Amsterdam is diamond-cutting. It is not
difficult to get access to one of the workshops, and the operation is
exceedingly interesting. On market-days and holidays there is a chance
to see the old-time picturesque costumes still worn in country parts.
The metal helmets, sometimes of silver and gold, with curious ear
ornaments have a fine antique air. On Sunday evenings the working folk
take their pleasures in the parks, of which swinging is with many the
favorite joy. A plump damsel or plumper matron stands facing the lover
or husband, and they can swing almost level with the treetop before
they tire, or tumble. They take no harm by a fall.

The churches are large, cold and gloomy. The Oude Kerk dates from about
1300. The stained windows are interesting and the organ, two or three
stories high, is powerful and mellow. Instead of the pews covering
the floor, they occupy a raised platform in the centre, enclosed by
a fence with locked doors. Near by may be seen a pile of boxes like
stools, which are charcoal stoves to warm the worshippers in winter.
The psalmody is so slow that the organ fills up the intervals between
words and lines with rolling chords. Near the palace in the centre of
the city is the Niewe Kerk, a more ornate and interesting church, built
in 1408, in which the sovereigns are crowned. Its monuments to Admiral
de Ruyter and Vondel, the national poet, are fine art-works, as also
are the carved pulpit and the bronzes in the choir.

The royal palace, on the central square called the Dam, was built in
1648. It stands on thirteen thousand piles. It was originally the
State House. Opposite is the Beurs, or Exchange. The Dutch school
of painting has qualities not excelled by the finest productions
of other nations. Its painters developed a marvellous proficiency
in detail-work, a literalness of interpretation, a realism which
is undoubtedly imitative, but in its mastery of execution compels
enthusiastic admiration. The flatness of their country afforded no
chance for painting fine landscapes. What they saw was the sky and
the sea in the distance, and people, cattle and household goods at
close range. No painters among the old masters equal the Dutchmen
in cloud-scapes and sea-pieces, in fidelity to nature and delicate
touch. Similarly, there are few, if any, portraits as strong as these
wonderful canvases of the Dutch school. No other artists had the
genius to see the possible triumphs awaiting the brush that could
counterfeit the dewdrop on a rose, the glisten of the copper stew-pan
or the satin gown, or the fluffy texture of a beggar's coat. Now that
two generations have learned these things by patient imitation of
the old Dutchmen this art has become familiar, but no copyist of our
time has approached the marvellous beauty and skill that mark the old
Dutch masterpieces. The traveller will enjoy himself to the full in
the famous galleries of Amsterdam, and the other towns that lie within
easy reach. There are four hundred paintings in the Trippenhuis museum,
of which the most famous is Rembrandt's great picture, "The Night
Watch." Still more impressive to many is the magnificent work of Vander
Helst, "The Banquet of the Civic Guard," an immense canvas, showing
a band of men in armor carousing around a table loaded with gold and
silver plate, glasses, flagons, etc., affording an opportunity for
the painter to show Dutch art at its highest. There are great treats
in these galleries for the lover of pictures and for the student of
manners. Some of the old painters either lacked poetical imagination or
indulged their whimsical humor to the verge of the shocking, in certain
subjects. They had at least the merit of being faithful to life as they
saw it, which satisfies the average man better, on the whole, than
impressionism run to seed.

Eight hundred years ago Amsterdam was a fishing village. In the
fifteenth century it became the most important commercial city in
the Netherlands. Peter the Great learned the art of ship-building in
the little village of Zaandam near the capital. A modern building
encloses the cottage in which he lived. The people are rightly proud
of their city and its history. They have not of late had opportunities
to test their old supremacy as sea-warriors, but they exhibit all
their sturdy characteristics in fighting the sea itself, repelling its
ceaseless attempts at invasion. The women may be expected to uphold
the national reputation for energy in any emergency, to judge by the
stolid contentment with which so many of them do men's work. They act
as railway signal men, boatmen, market porters, and do not object to
being harnessed with dogs as wagon teams. Yet they seem happy if not
exactly gay. In the cities less of this is noticeable. The capital
is not behind in artistic and literary culture. Scholarship has
always distinguished its people. Its old bookstores are a delightful
temptation. The zoological garden is one of the finest anywhere.
English is spoken in all the principal stores. The public charities
are on an extensive scale. The foreigner is occasionally embarrassed
at being politely saluted by members of the Exchange if he chances to
pass as they are coming out, and in many such ways he is impressed by
the courtesies shown him on all hands. One would not rush to Amsterdam
for Parisian excitements, but for nervous systems needing the tone
best secured by moderate activity in surroundings that are novel and
uniquely interesting, a visit to Amsterdam will prove as great a
pleasure as a benefit.



       [Mrs. Sarah J. Lippincott ("Grace Greenwood"), in her popular
     "Haps and Mishaps of a Tour in Europe," has given a well-written
     and appreciative account of Florence and its objects of art and
     interest, which we here reproduce. Our extract begins with a
     railway journey from Leghorn.]

The railway, which is a very good one, runs through a pleasant country
cultivated like a garden, which grows more and more lovely till you
reach Florence. The station is near Cascine, the fashionable drive
and promenade lying just beyond the city walls, along the Arno; so
that our first lookout was upon a gay and beautiful scene,--those
noble grounds thronged with equestrians, and pedestrians, and elegant
equipages. From that moment I have been charmed with Florence beyond
all expectation and precedent. Every picturing of fancy, every dream
of romance, has been met and surpassed. It is a city of enchantment,
rich in incomparable treasures for the lover of poetry and art. In
merely driving from the station to our hotel, on the Arno, near the
Ponte Vecchio, I was struck by the noble style of architecture; uniform
in solidity, and in a sort of antique solemnity, yet not monotonously
gloomy or curiously quaint. But when we drove about in the brightness
of a lovely morning, and saw the grand and ponderous old palaces, the
noble churches, the beautiful towers, the graceful bridges,--when we
caught, at almost every turn, natural pictures which art could never
approach,--I could only express by broken sentences and exclamations,
childishly repeated, the rare and glowing pleasure I enjoyed.

O pictures of beauty, O visions of brightness, how must ye fade under
my leaden pencil! It is strange, but I never feel so poor in expression
as when my very soul is staggering under the weight of new treasures of
thought and feeling.

One of our first visits was to the Royal Gallery, in the Uffizi.
Through several rooms and corridors, making little pause in any, we
passed to the Tribune,--for its size, doubtless the richest room
in the world in great works of art. In the centre stands the Venus
de Medici, "the wondrous statue that enchants the world," says the
poet; but as for me, I bow not before it with any heartiness of
adoration. Exquisite, tender, and delicate beyond my fairest fancy,
I found the form; graceful to the last point of perfection seemed to
me the attitude and action; but the smallness and the insignificant
character of the head, and the simpering senselessness of the face,
place it without my Olympus. I deny its divinity _in toto_, and bear my
offerings to other shrines. Yet the Venus de Medici does not strike me
as a voluptuous figure; it certainly is not powerfully and perilously
so, wanting, as it does, all strength of passion and noble development
of _soul_; for, paradoxical as it may seem, a soul of wild depths
and passionate intensity must lie beneath the alluring warmth and
brightness of a refined and perfect sensuality.

Of another, and a far more dangerous character, I should say, is the
Venus of Titian, which hangs near it. Here is voluptuousness, gorgeous,
undisguised, yet subtle, and in a certain sense poetic and refined.
She is neither innocent nor unconscious, yet not bold, nor coarse, nor
meretricious. She proudly and quietly revels in her own marvellous
beauties, if not like a goddess who knows herself every inch divine,
at least like a woman by character and position quite as free from the
obligations of morality and purity. For all the wonderful beauty of
this great picture, I cannot like it, cannot even tolerate it; but,
with an inexpressible feeling of relief, turn from it to the Bella
Donna and the Flora of the same artist. The latter is to me the most
fascinating and delicious picture I have ever beheld; the richness,
the fulness, the golden splendor of its beauty, flood my soul with a
strange and passionate delight. There is no high peculiar sentiment
about it, though it is grand in its pure simplicity; yet its soft,
sunny, luxurious loveliness alone brings tears to my eyes,--tears which
I dash away jealously, lest they hide for one instant the transcendent

In the Tribune are several of the finest paintings of Raphael,--the
Fornarina, a rich, glowing picture, but a face I cannot like; the young
St. John, a glorious figure, and the Madonna del Cardellino, one of
the loveliest of his holy families. There is also a great picture by
Andrea del Sarto, which impressed me much; the Adoration of the Magi,
by Albert Dürer, the heads full of a simple grandeur peculiar to that
noble artist; and an exquisite little Virgin and Child, by Correggio.
In another room, after looking at a bewildering number of pictures,
most of which have already passed from my mind, I came upon a head of
Medusa, by Leonardo da Vinci, which I fear will haunt me to my dying
day. It is surely the most terrible painting I have ever beheld.

In the magnificent Pitti palace, among many glorious pictures, I
saw two before which my heart bowed in most living adoration--the
Madonna della Seggiola of Raphael, and a Virgin and Child of Murillo.
The former is surely the sweetest group by the divine painter; and
the last, if not of a very elevated character, pure and tender,
and surpassingly lovely. In this gallery are Titian's Bella Donna,
Magdalene, and Marriage of St. Catharine. The first of these, which is
a portrait, seems to me far the finest. The more I see of them the more
am I impressed with the conviction that there is nothing in all his
grand and varied works displaying such profound and pre-eminent genius,
such subtle, masterly, miraculous power, as the portraits of Titian.

In this palace we saw Canova's Venus, which I liked no better than I
expected. There is about the head, attitude, and figure an affected,
fine-ladyish air, dainty, and conscious, and passionless, which is
worse than the absolute voluptuousness which would be in character at
least with the earthly Venus.

I am more and more convinced that there is in sculpture but one divine
mother of pure Love,--the grand and majestic Venus of Milo.

To-day we have driven out to Fiesole, and seen the massive walls of
the ancient Etruscan city. These ramparts, which are called "Cyclopean
constructions," are said to be at least three thousand years old, and
yet look as though they might endure to the end of time. From a hill
above the town we had a large and lovely view of the beautiful valley
of the Arno, and looked down upon Florence, lapped in its midst, small,
compact, yet beautiful and stately. I never beheld a more enchanting
picture than the broad and bright one there spread before me: the blue
mountains, the gleaming river, the green and smiling valley; hills
covered with olives and myrtles; roads winding between hedges of roses
to innumerable villas, nestled in flowery nooks, or crowning breezy
heights. Oh, this was enchantment of fairy-land, no dream of poetry; it
was in very truth a paradise on earth.

On our return we visited the house of Michael Angelo, which is
reverently kept by his descendants, as nearly as possible, in the same
state in which he left it. It is a handsome, quaint old house, quiet,
shadowy, and somewhat sombre, still pervaded with the awe-inspiring
atmosphere of the colossal genius of that Titanic artist.

As I stood in his studio, or in the little cabinet where he used to
write, and saw before me the many objects once familiar to his eye and
hand, I felt that it was but yesterday that he was borne forth from his
beloved home, and that it was the first funereal stillness and sadness
which pervaded it now.

We afterwards drove to "Dante's stone," a slab of marble by the side of
the way, on which he used to sit in the long summer evenings, rapt in
mournful meditations, and dreaming his immortal dreams. It is now as
sacred to his memory as the stone above his grave.

For the past two afternoons we have driven in the Cascine, by far
the most delightful drive and place of reunion I have ever seen. It
is much smaller and, of course, less magnificent than Hyde Park, but
pleasanter, I think, in having portions more sheltered, wild, and quiet
for riders and promenaders. In the centre of the grounds, opposite the
Grand Duke's farm-house, is an open space where the band is stationed,
and the carriages come together to exchange compliments and hear music.
Here are always to be seen many splendid turnouts, open carriages
filled with elegantly-dressed ladies; gallant officers and gay dames
on horseback; flower-girls, bearing about the most delicious lilies
and roses, pinks and lilacs, mignonette and heliotrope, freighting the
golden evening air with their intoxicating fragrance and amazing you
with their paradisian profusion,--altogether a cheering and charming
scene, colored and animated by the very soul of innocent pleasure.

This afternoon we met Charles Lever, riding with his wife and two
daughters. They are all fine riders, were well mounted, and looked a
very happy family party. Mr. Lever is much such a man as you would look
to see in the author of Charles O'Malley,--hale and hearty, careless,
merry, and a little dashing in his air.

This evening I have spent with the Brownings, to whom I brought
letters. They live in that Casa Guidi which Mrs. Browning has already
immortalized by the grandest poem ever penned by woman....

Mr. and Mrs. Browning have taken up their residence in Florence, a
place in every way congenial to them. I know that thousands of her
unknown friends across the water will rejoice to hear that the health
of Mrs. Browning improves with every year spent in Italy. Yet she is
still very delicate,--but a frail flower, ceaselessly requiring all the
sheltering and fostering care, all the wealth and watchfulness of love,
which is round about her....

Yesterday I saw, for the first time, the grand, antique group of Niobe
and her children. Of these wonderful figures, by far the most noble and
pathetic are those of the mother and the young daughter she is seeking
to shield. Oh, the proud anguish, the wild, hopeless, maternal agony,
of that face haunts me, and will haunt me forever.

I afterwards saw the Mercury of John of Bologna,--a marvel of beauty,
grace, and lightness. We visited the treasure-room of the Pitti palace,
and saw all the Grand Duke's plate, among which are several magnificent
articles by Benvenuto Cellini. In the evening we drove in the Cascine,
and to the Hill of Bellosguardo, from whence we had an enchanting view
of Florence and the Val d'Arno,--and so the day ended. To-day we have
made the tour of the churches. In the solemn old cathedral, whose
wonderful dome was the admiration and study of Michael Angelo, there
were extraordinary religious ceremonies, on the occasion of some great
festa. Some archbishop or other officiated in very gorgeous robes,
of course,--in capital condition, and looking indolent, proud, and
stupid, as another matter of course. The court came in great state and
pomp, with much trumpeting and beating of the drum. The Grand Duke was
accompanied by the Grand Duchess and his household, by the Guardia
Nobile, and by numerous ladies and gentlemen of high rank, all in full
dress. Those ball costumes of the courtly dames--gay silks and lace,
diamonds, flowers, and plumes--looked strange enough after the uniform
and decent sombreness of the dress prescribed for the "functions" of
St. Peter's.

The Grand Duke is a man of ordinary size, and appears not far from
seventy years of age, though it is said he is hardly sixty. His hair
and moustaches are nearly white, and he wears the white coat of the
Austrian uniform, and so looks more miller-like than majestic. There
was a sort of sullen sadness in his air, which I confess I was rather
gratified to remark,--remembering all the treachery of the past, and
beholding all the degradation of the present. The Grand Duchess is a
dignified-looking woman enough, but the ladies in attendance on her
to-day dazzled alone with their diamonds.

After hearing some fine music, we went to the Santa Croce, the
Westminster Abbey of Florence, where are the tombs of its most
illustrious dead. Of these, the noblest is that of Michael Angelo, and
the poorest, yet more pretentious, that of Dante. Canova has here a
monument to Alfieri, which is affected and sentimental, like nearly all
his works; and the tombs of Galileo and Machiavelli are anything but
pleasing and imposing. Infinitely better were the most simple slabs
than such pompous piles.

At the San Lorenzo we saw that marvellous mausoleum, the Medicean
Chapel,--the richest yet plainest structure of the kind in the
world. There is here a peculiar assumption and ostentation of
simplicity,--your eye, accustomed to the crowded ornament and vivid
gorgeousness of ordinary princely chapels, is shocked and cheated at
the first glance by the sombre magnificence, the sumptuous bareness,
of this singular structure; but right soon is disappointment changed
to admiration and amazement, as you see that all those lofty walls,
from floor to roof, are composed of the most rare and beautiful marbles
and precious stones, wrought into exquisite mosaics. Then you see the
stupendous and beautiful cenotaphs, and the solemn dark statues of the
Medici, and, at length, fully realize all their royal waste of wealth
over this mausoleum, all their princely pomp of death.

In the Sagrestia Nuova, built by Michael Angelo, are the statues of
Lorenzo and Julian de Medici, with their attendant groups, the Morn and
Night, Evening and Day, and the Virgin and Child,--surely the noblest
works of that mighty artist. I instinctively bowed in awe before the
gloomy grandeur of Lorenzo; and there was something in his still frown
which shook my soul more than the warlike air and almost startling
action of Julian. The unfinished group of the Virgin and Child has much
tenderness and sweetness with all its force and grandeur; but, as a
general thing, I must think that Michael Angelo's female figures are
far more remarkable for gigantic proportions and muscular development
than for grace, beauty, or any fine spiritual character. This Virgin
is majestic almost to sublimity, yet truly gentle, lovable, divinely

In what was the refectory of an old monastery, but which was afterwards
used as a carriage-house, has been found, within a few years past, a
noble fresco by Raphael,--a Last Supper. This we went to see, and I
felt it to be one of the purest and most touching creations of that
angelic painter. In this picture, the "beloved disciple" seems to
have fallen asleep on the breast of the Master, and to have bowed his
head lower and lower, till it lies upon the table, while the hand of
Jesus is laid caressingly upon his shoulder. There is something so
exquisitely sweet and sad, so divinely pitiful, yet humanely tender, in
the action, that the very memory of it blinds my eyes with tears.

After dinner we drove in the Cascine, where we met all the world. As
it was an exceedingly beautiful sunset, and the evening of a festa,
the band continued to play, and the brilliant crowd remained long. I
revelled in the delicious air and the cheerful scene as fully as was
possible, with the intrusive consciousness that I was breathing the one
and beholding the other for the last time--probably forever--certainly
for many years.

Mrs. H. and I here took leave of a brace of charming young nobles,
in whom, I fear, we had become too deeply interested. These were two
beautiful Russian boys, brothers, of the ages of nine and seven,
with whom we voyaged on the Mediterranean and formed an acquaintance
which has been continued in Florence. In all my life I never saw such
enchanting little fellows,--simple, natural, frank, and free, yet
perfect gentlemen in air and expression, displaying, with the utmost
ease, grace and polish of manner, tact, wit, and _savoir-faire_ truly
astonishing. They always came to our carriage at the Cascine, and,
lounging on the steps, chatted to us in French between the pieces of
music. To-night, as the youngest was describing to me, very graphically,
the different countries through which he had travelled and the cities
which he had visited, I advised him to go next to England, and assured
him that he would be greatly interested and amused by the sights and
pleasures of London. With the slightest possible shrug, he replied,
"_Oui, madame, c'est une grande ville, sans doute; mais pour tous les
amusements il n'y a qu'une ville dans le monde,--c'est Paris._" ...

As I looked back upon Florence for the last time, when I could
distinguish only the battlemented Palazzo Vecchio, with its fine old
tower, and that incomparable group, the Duomo, the Campanile, and the
Baptistery, and a slender, shining line, which I knew for the Arno, I
suddenly felt my sight struggling through tears,--real hearty tears.
Ah, Bella Firenze, I went from you reluctantly, almost rebelliously; I
grieved to leave those glorious galleries, through which I seemed to
have merely run; I grieved to leave the Cascine, with its delicious
drives and walks, its music and gayety; but I "sorrowed most of all" at
parting, so soon, with my friends the Brownings. _My friends_, how rich
I feel in being able to write these words!

I think I must venture to say a little more of them, as, after writing
of my first evening at Casa Guidi, I was so happy as to enjoy much
of their society. Robert Browning is a brilliant talker, and more--a
pleasant, suggestive conversationist and a sympathetic listener. He
has a fine humor, a keen sense of the ridiculous, which he indulges,
at times, with the hearty abandon of a boy. In the gentle stream
of Elizabeth Browning's familiar talk shine deep and soft the high
thoughts and star-bright imaginations of her rare poetic nature. The
two have oneness of spirit, with distinct individuality; they are
mated, not merged together.

In the atmosphere of so much learning and genius, you naturally
expect to perceive some mustiness of old folios, some uncomfortable
brooding of solemn thought; to feel about you somewhat of the stretch
and struggle of grand aspiration and noble effort, or the exhausted
stillness of a brief suspension of the "toil divine." But in this
household all is simple, cheerful, and reposeful; here is neither lore
nor logic to appall one; here is not enough din of mental machinery
to drown the faintest heart-throb; here one breathes freely, acts
naturally, and speaks honestly.



       [The lakes of northern Italy have a world-wide fame, alike for
     their natural beauty and for the charms of architecture and scenic
     art which surround them. We give here a brief description of these
     renowned places of pilgrimage for lovers of the beautiful.]

It was towards the end of last October that I strolled away from my
occupations in the French capital to spend a fortnight on the Italian
lakes. Of the many routes which from time immemorial have served for
the invasion of Italy by the barbarian and the tourist, I chose on this
occasion the Brenner. Apart from the pleasing views it offers, this
Alpine pass is interesting as being the first over which the Romans
ventured to lead their legions, and the first upon which a railway was
constructed. I halted at Trent, and it was several days before I could
free myself from the charm of the Etruscan city and plan my departure.

One afternoon I was making inquiries at the office of the diligence
which runs to Riva on the Lake of Garda, when a newly-married German
couple offered to share with me a private carriage which they had just
hired for the same journey. I accepted at once, and in an hour we were
off. The sober gray suit trimmed with green in which Hans was attired
contrasted oddly with the brilliant purple travelling-dress of his
fair-haired Gretchen. I wondered at first that they should have been
willing to embarrass themselves with a stranger, until I perceived
that my presence was no hinderance at all to their demonstrations of
affection. We climbed up by a steep and winding road to a narrow defile
which the impetuous Vella almost fills. One day, when St. Vigilius
was too much pressed for time to walk over the mountain, he wrenched
it apart and made this passage. The imprint of his holy hand is still
to be seen on the rock. Passing under the cyclopean eyes of scores of
Austrian cannon which now defend this important military position, we
began to descend the valley of the Sarca. It is a wild region, where
every hamlet has a ruined castle and a legend of knight or robber,
saint or fairy. The picturesque remains of the Madruzzo Castle bring
to mind the celebrated portraits which Titian painted of members of
this noble family. The artist's colors have survived the last of a long
line, and will doubtless outlive as well the crumbling stones of their
stronghold. As we skirted the little Lake of Dobling its still waters
reflected rocks and trees, sky and mountain, in an enchanting manner.

"Lovely!" I exclaimed.

"Lovely!" echoed Gretchen, without taking her eyes off Hans.

"Lovely!" answered Hans, still watching the beautiful things reflected
in her eyes.

After crossing the rapid Sarca and traversing a desolate tract where
rocks of every size, fallen from the overhanging mountain, lie strewn
about in chaotic confusion, we reached Arco. This sunny village nestles
at the foot of an immense detached boulder whose dizzy summit is
crowned by mediæval battlements and towers. Home fit only for birds of
prey, this castle was long the nest of a family of robbers. Scarcely
had we lost in the distance this greatest wonder of the valley when a
sharp turn of the road brought Riva and the Lake of Garda full in view.
It was a prospect of singular beauty. The sun had already set except
on the highest peaks, and a part of the lake was wrapped in purple
shadows. Another part, however, was as clear and light as the sky above
it, and all aglow with the images of crimson and orange-tinted clouds.
A shrill cry--of delight, I thought--burst from Gretchen's lips. I was
mistaken. Hans had pulled off too rudely a ring from her finger, and
the fair one was in tears....


In the afternoon I take the famous walk to the Ponale waterfall. The
road thither ascends continually. It has been skilfully led along the
ledges of a precipitous cliff which borders the lake to the west of
Riva, and occasionally pierces the mountain by short tunnels. After
passing through the third tunnel I come to a wooden bridge, under which
the Ponale dashes just before taking its final leap into the lake. The
frail structure on which I stand trembles and is wet with spray, and
the air is full of the roar and gurgle of the waters. But for me the
main charm of the walk is not the sight of this noisy torrent, but
the superb view of Riva that I get on my way back upon issuing from
one of the tunnels. The eye, accustomed for a moment to the darkness,
is all the more sensitive to the rich soft light which bathes the
mountains and the town. A gentle breeze ripples the lake, and the
brightly-painted houses that fringe the beach are seen indistinctly
in the water, where they look like a line of waving banners. Half a
dozen steeples and bell-towers rise gracefully from among the roofs,
and their presence explains the surprising frequency with which the
hours of the night are struck. From this height I can distinguish
the low walls which surround the town and compress its four thousand
inhabitants into the area of a small quadrilateral. But Riva, though
still fortified, has a thorough look of peaceful commercial prosperity,
and has quite laid aside the warlike air she wore in the Middle Ages.
In those troubled times this town saw countless wars and sustained many
sieges; belonged now to Venice, now to Milan, now to Austria; and at
times was independent and able to defy even a bull of the pope or a
rescript of the emperor....

Long before daybreak the next morning the great red and green eyes
of two small steamers are looking around for passengers, and their
whistles screeching that it is time to get up. I have chosen the boat
which skirts the western bank. It starts an hour later than the other,
but it is not yet sunrise when we push off. The after-deck is thinly
peopled, chiefly by tourists, but the fore-deck, where the seats are
cheaper, is crowded. We pass by the tumbling and roaring Ponale, and
before many minutes we cross the invisible boundary-line between
Austria and Italy. The motion of the boat is hardly felt, for we are
sailing with a strong current. The high peaks to the north have
already caught the first rays of the sun: masses of white vapor which
have been sleeping in the mountain-hollows are roused up and put on a
rosy tint. The sky is without a cloud, the lake without a ripple: we
seem to be floating in mid-air.

Limone, the first stopping-place, is quite given up to the culture of
the fruit from which it takes its name. A row of cypresses gives a
gloomy air to the village and awakens a melancholy recollection. It was
here that, in 1810, Andreas Hofer, the Tyrolese patriot, was arrested
by order of Napoleon. A boat conveyed him to the prison of Peschiera,
and he was soon afterwards shot in the citadel of Mantua.

We next stop before Tremosine, a village perched high up on a rock, and
to which no visible road leads. On the other side of the lake, which
is here narrow, the white houses of Malcesine cluster around the base
of an imposing castle. This stronghold of the Middle Ages, one of the
few in this neighborhood which Time has not been suffered to destroy,
was built by Charlemagne, and was formerly the boundary between Austria
and the Venetian territory; but it is chiefly interesting from an
adventure which here befell Goethe. He had sat down in the court-yard,
and was sketching one of the quaint old towers, when the crowd that
had gathered around him, taking him for a spy, fell on him, tore
his drawings to pieces and sent for the authorities to arrest him.
Fortunately, there was in the village a man who had worked in Frankfort
and knew the poet by sight, and through his influence Goethe was set

       [From Lake Garda the traveller proceeded to the more famous Lake
     Como, passing localities where songful Catullus dwelt, and Virgil
     and Dante loved to visit.]

On the map the Lake of Como looks like an inverted and somewhat
irregular =Y=, or, still more, like a child's first attempt to draw
a man, who without arms and with unequal legs is running off to the
left. Just at the moment his picture is taken he has one foot on Lecco
and the other on the town of Como. The hilly district between the two
southern branches of the lake is known as the Brianza, and is noted for
its bracing air, its fertile soil, and the coolness of its springs.
The Brianza ends at the middle of the lake in a dolomite promontory
several hundred feet high, on whose western slope lies the village of
Bellaggio. This point commands the finest views in every direction:
it is near the most interesting of those villas which are open to the
public, and it abounds in good hotels. To visit Bellaggio is therefore
the aim of every tourist who passes this way. My journey thither it is
best to pass over in silence, for I see nothing, and what I feel is
indescribable. I am shut up during a furious storm of wind and rain
in the cabin of a little steamer which is as nervous and uneasy as if
on the Atlantic. I am told, however, that in this part of the lake
the banks are lofty and steep, and frequently barren, and that there
are marble-quarries to be seen, and cascades and houses and villages
crowning the cliffs.

On arriving at Bellaggio, I take lodging in the Villa Serbelloni,
one of the many magnificent residences which poverty has induced the
Italian nobles to put into the hands of hotel-keepers. The house
stands high up on the very end of the promontory, and adjoining it is
an extensive park, on which the ruins of a robber's castle look down.
The panorama which on a fine day spreads itself out before one who
walks in these grounds is of singular beauty. The northern arm of the
lake, wider and more regular than the others, opens up a long vista
of headlands and bays and red-roofed villages as far as where Domaso
peeps out from a grove of giant elms. Beyond, the view is bounded by
the snow-covered Alps. Close at hand, near Varenna, the Fiume di Latte,
a milk-white waterfall, leaps down from a height of a thousand feet.
Towards Lecco huge walls of barren rock arise and wrap everything
near them in sombre shadows. Towards Como the tranquil water is shut
in by hills and low mountains, whose flowing lines blend gracefully
together. Some of these slopes are dark with pines, some are gray
with the olive, some are garlanded with vines which hang from tree to
tree, while others are clothed in a rich green foliage, amid which
glistens the golden fruit of the orange and the lemon. The banks are
lined with bright gardens and noble parks and villas, whose lawns run
down to the water's edge and are adorned with fountains, statues,
masses of brilliant flowers and clumps of tall trees. Above is a sky
of Italian blue, and below is a crystal mirror in which every charm of
the landscape is repeated. The impression made by all this loveliness
is increased by the air of happiness that pervades the spot. It is the
haunt of the rich, the gay, the newly-married: music and song, laughter
and mirthful talk, are the most familiar sounds. The smile of Nature
seems here to warm men's hearts and drive away the cares they have
brought with them.

It is on this site that Pliny the Younger is believed to have had the
villa which he called Cothurnus or "Tragedy." The present building
is several centuries old. Tradition relates that a certain countess,
one of its first occupants, had a habit of throwing her lovers down
the cliff when she was tired of them. Making this delightful abode
my head-quarters, I spend a week, partly in agreeable sight-seeing
and partly in still more agreeable idleness. I visit villas, towers,
fossil-beds, and waterfalls,--in short, everything interesting and
accessible,--now going on foot, now borne from point to point in one of
the sharp-prowed row-boats which are in use here, and now taking the
steamer up to Colico or down to Como and back....

Across the lake from here is the Villa Carlotta, called after its
former owner, the princess Charlotte of Prussia. Stepping out of his
boat, the visitor ascends the marble stairs which lead up from the
shore. After a few steps across the garden he reaches the villa, passes
through a porch fragrant with jasmine, and is at once ushered into a
small room where are some of the finest works of modern sculpture.
Canova's Mars and Venus and Palamedes are here, and they are most
admirable, but they are surpassed in charm by the famous group in
which Psyche is reclining and Cupid bending fondly over her. The
best piece of the collection is the frieze that runs round the room.
It is from the chisel of Thorwaldsen, and represents Alexander the
Great's triumphal entry into Babylon. Full of the beauty of youth,
the conqueror advances in his chariot; Victory comes to meet him;
vanquished nations bring presents; while behind him follow his brave
Greeks on horse and on foot, dragging along with them the prisoners and
the booty. The subject was suggested by Napoleon, who intended the work
for the Quirinal. It is in high relief, and in general effect resembles
strongly the frieze with which Phidias encircled the Parthenon. It is a
pity that these masterpieces are shown first, for after seeing them one
does not fully enjoy the statues and paintings in the other rooms.

Two hours may be delightfully spent in making the journey by steamboat
from Bellaggio to Como. Here the lake is so narrow and winding that
it seems to be a river. At every moment bold mountain-spurs project
into the water appearing to bar all passage, and one's curiosity is
continually excited to find the outlet. The views shift and change with
surprising quickness, for the boat stops at a dozen little towns on the
way, and for this purpose keeps crossing and recrossing from shore to

       [Passing next to Lake Maggiore, the traveller takes a row-boat
     down the latter in preference to waiting for the steamer.]

The four islands that we have passed on the way are known as the
Borromean Islands, because they belong for the most part to the rich
and powerful Borromeo family. The rare beauty of one of them makes it
the wonder of the lake. It was towards the middle of the seventeenth
century that Count Vitaliano Borromeo, finding himself the possessor of
almost the whole of this island, which was then a barren rock, resolved
to make it his residence, and to surround himself with gardens that
should rival those of Armida. For more than twenty years architects,
gardeners, sculptors, and painters labored to give material form to
the count's fancies. A spacious palace was erected on one end of the
island; on the other ten lofty terraces rose one above the other,
like the hanging-gardens of Babylon. The rock was covered with good
soil, and the choicest trees and shrubs were brought from every land.
Only evergreens, however, were admitted into this Eden, for the count
would have about him no sign of winter or death. In 1671 the work was
finished. The island was called Isabella, after the count's mother,--a
name which has since, by a happy corruption, become changed to Isola

It is on a sunny afternoon that I direct my bark towards the "Beautiful
Island." I look on the landing-place with respect, for it is worn by
the footsteps of six generations of travellers. The interior of the
palace, which I visit first, is fitted up with princely magnificence
and is rich in art-treasures. Mementos of kings and queens who
accepted hospitality here are shown, and a bed in which Bonaparte once
slept. There is a chapel where a priest daily says mass; a throne-room,
as in the palaces of the Spanish grandees; and a gallery with numerous
paintings. A whole suite of rooms is given up to the works of Peter
Molyn, a Dutch artist, fitly nicknamed "Sir Tempest." This erratic man,
having killed his wife to marry another woman, was condemned to death.
He escaped from prison, however, found an asylum here, and in return
for the protection of the Borromeo of that day he adorned his walls
with more than fifty landscapes and pastoral scenes.

The garden betrays the epoch at which it was laid out. Prim parterres,
where masses of brilliant flowers bloom all the year round, are
enclosed by walks along which orange-trees and myrtles have been bent
and trimmed into whimsical patterns. There are dark and winding alleys
of cedars where at every turn some surprise is planned. Here is a
grotto made of shells,--there an obelisk, or a mosaic column, or a
horse of bronze, or a fountain of clear water in which the attendant
tritons and nymphs would doubtless disport were they not petrified
into marble. There is one lovely spot where, at the middle point of
a rotunda, a large statue of Hercules stands finely out against a
background of dark foliage. Other Olympians keep him company and calmly
eye the visitor from their painted niches. Not far from there is a
venerable laurel on which Bonaparte cut the word "Battaglia" a few days
before the battle of Marengo. The B is still plainly visible.

Pines and firs planted thickly along the northern side of the island
defend it from cold winds. In the sunny nooks of the terraces the
delicate lemon-tree bears abundant fruit and the oleander grows to a
size which it attains nowhere else in Europe. The tea-plant from China,
the banana from Africa, and the sugar-cane from Mississippi flourish
side by side; the camphor-tree distils its aromatic essence and the
magnolia loads the air with perfume. The cactus and the aloe border
walks over which the bamboo bends and throws its grateful shade. Turf
and flowerbeds carpet each terrace, and a tapestry of ivy and flowering
vines conceals the walls of the structure. From the summit a huge stone
unicorn looks down upon his master's splendid domain. He overlooks
also a corner of the island where his master's authority is not
acknowledged. The small patch of land on which the Dolphin Hotel stands
has for many centuries descended from father to son in a plebeian
family, nor have the Borromeos ever been able to buy it. They have to
endure the inn, therefore, as Frederick endured the mill at Sans-Souci
and Napoleon the house he could not buy at Paris.

At last the moment comes when I must quit Stresa, not, however, before
I have visited the remaining islands and other points of interest. The
steamer puts off, and soon separates me from the landscape that has
been my delight for three days,--the blue bay with its verdant banks,
the softly-shaded hills which enclose it, the snow-covered chain of
the Simplon in the background. As we approach the southern end of the
lake a colossal bronze statue of San Carlo Borromeo on the summit of a
hill near Arona comes into sight. From head to foot the saint measures
little less than eighty feet, and the pedestal on which he stands adds
to his height half as much more. His face is turned towards Arona, his
native town, and one hand is extended to bless it. With my glass I
descry a party of liliputian tourists engaged in examining this great
Gulliver. Most of them are satisfied when they have reached the top of
the pedestal and have ranged themselves in a row on one foot of the
statue. Others, more daring, climb up by a ladder to the saint's knee,
where they disappear through an aperture in the skirt of his robe.
From this point the ascent continues inside of the statue, by means of
iron bars, to the head, in which four persons can conveniently remain
at once.

At Arona the railway-station and the wharf are near each other, and in
a few minutes after I have landed an express-train starts and bears
me away from the region of the Italian lakes. When we have passed the
last houses of Arona and gained the open plain, the statue of the great
Borromeo with his outstretched arm comes again for a few moments into
view. Perhaps the uncertain light of evening and the jolting of the
train deceive me, but I fancy that the good old saint is waving his
hand in the familiar Italian way, as much as to say, "A rivederci!"



       [The things worth seeing in the Eternal City are so many, and
     crowd so closely upon each other, that the lover of the antique
     finds himself almost overwhelmed by the rapid succession of
     striking objects and historic ruins. It would seem that little
     could be seen in a day's walk among these marvels of the past,
     yet Taylor's observing eyes managed to take in a long series of
     interesting objects, his graphic account of which is given below.]

One day's walk through Rome,--how shall I describe it? The Capitol, the
Forum, St. Peter's, the Coliseum,--what few hours' ramble ever took in
places so hallowed by poetry, history, and art? It was a golden leaf
in my calendar of life. In thinking over it now, and drawing out the
threads of recollection from the varied woof of thought I have woven
to-day, I almost wonder how I dared so much at once; but within reach
of them all, how was it possible to wait? Let me give a sketch of our
day's ramble.

Hearing that it was better to visit the ruins by evening or moonlight
(alas! there is no moon now) we started out to hunt St. Peter's. Going
in the direction of the Corso, we passed the ruined front of the
magnificent Temple of Antoninus, now used as the Papal Custom-House. We
turned to the right on entering the Corso, expecting to have a view of
the city from the hill at its southern end. It is a magnificent street,
lined with palaces and splendid edifices of every kind, and always
filled with crowds of carriages and people. On leaving it, however, we
became bewildered among the narrow streets, passed through a market of
vegetables, crowded with beggars and contadini, threaded many by-ways
between dark old buildings, saw one or two antique fountains and many
modern churches, and finally arrived at a hill.

We ascended many steps, and then descending a little towards the other
side, saw suddenly below us the _Roman Forum_! I knew it at once; and
those three Corinthian columns that stood near us, what could they
be but the remains of the temple of Jupiter Stator? We stood on the
Capitoline Hill; at the foot was the Arch of Septimius Severus, brown
with age and shattered; near it stood the majestic front of the Temple
of Fortune, its pillars of polished granite glistening in the sun as if
they had been erected yesterday, while on the left the rank grass was
waving from the arches and mighty walls of the palace of the Cæsars! In
front ruin upon ruin lined the way for half a mile, where the Coliseum
towered grandly through the blue morning mist, at the base of the
Esquiline Hill!

[Illustration: ARCH OF TITUS, ROME]

Good heavens, what a scene! Grandeur such as the world never saw once
rose through that blue atmosphere; splendor inconceivable, the spoils
of a world, the triumphs of a thousand armies had passed over that
earth; minds which for ages moved the ancient world had thought there,
and words of power and glory from the lips of immortal men had been
syllabled on that hallowed air. To call back all this on the very spot,
while the wreck of what once was rose mouldering and desolate around,
aroused a sublimity of thought and feeling too powerful for words.

Returning at hazard through the streets, we came suddenly upon the
Column of Trajan, standing in an excavated square below the level of
the city, amid a number of broken granite columns, which formed part
of the Forum dedicated to him by Rome after the conquest of Dacia.
The column is one hundred and thirty-two feet high, and entirely
covered with bas reliefs representing his victories, winding about it
in a spiral line to the top. The number of figures is computed at two
thousand five hundred, and they were of such excellence that Raphael
used many of them for his models. They are now much defaced, and the
column is surmounted by a statue of some saint. The inscription on
the pedestal has been erased, and the name of Sixtus V. substituted.
Nothing can exceed the ridiculous vanity of the old popes in thus
mutilating the finest monuments of ancient art. You cannot look upon
any relic of antiquity in Rome but your eyes are assailed by the words
"PONTIFEX MAXIMUS," in staring modern letters. Even the magnificent
bronzes of the Pantheon were stripped to make the baldachin under the
dome of St. Peter's.

Finding our way back again, we took a fresh start, happily in the right
direction, and after walking some time, came out on the Tiber, at the
Bridge of St. Angelo. The river rolled below in his muddy glory, and in
front, on the opposite bank, stood "the pile which Hadrian reared on
high," _now_ the Castle of St. Angelo. Knowing that St. Peter's was
to be seen from this bridge. I looked about in search of it. There was
only one dome in sight, large and of beautiful proportions. I said at
once, "Surely that cannot be St. Peter's!" On looking again, however, I
saw the top of a massive range of building near it, which corresponded
so nearly with the pictures of the Vatican, that I was unwillingly
forced to believe the mighty dome was really before me. I recognized
it as one of those we saw from the Capitol, but it appeared so much
smaller when viewed from a greater distance that I was quite deceived.
On considering that we were still three-fourths of a mile from it,
and that we could see its minutest parts distinctly, the illusion was

Going directly down the _Borgo Vecchio_ towards it, it seemed a long
time before we arrived at the square of St. Peter's; when at length
we stood in front, with the majestic colonnade sweeping around, the
fountains on each side sending up their showers of silvery spray,
the mighty obelisk of Egyptian granite piercing the sky, and beyond,
the great front and dome of the Cathedral, I confessed my unmingled
admiration. It recalled to my mind the grandeur of ancient Rome, and
mighty as her edifices must have been, I doubt if there were many views
more overpowering than this. The facade of St. Peter's seemed close to
us, but it was a third of a mile distant, and the people ascending the
steps dwindled to pigmies.

I passed the obelisk, went up the long ascent, crossed the portico,
pushed aside the heavy leathern curtain at the entrance, and stood in
the great nave. I need not describe my feelings at the sight, but I
will tell the dimensions, and you may then fancy what they were. Before
me was a marble plain six hundred feet long, and under the cross four
hundred and seventeen feet wide! One hundred and fifty feet above
sprang a glorious arch, dazzling with inlaid gold, and in the centre
of the cross there were four hundred feet of air between me and the top
of the dome! The sunbeam stealing through the lofty window at one end
of the transept made a bar of light on the blue air, hazy with incense,
one-tenth of a mile long before it fell on the mosaics and gilded
shrines of the other extremity. The grand cupola alone, including
lantern and cross, is two hundred and eighty-five feet high, or sixty
feet higher than the Bunker Hill Monument, and the four immense pillars
on which it rests are each one hundred and thirty-seven feet in
circumference. It seems as if human art had outdone itself in producing
this temple,--the grandest which the world ever erected for the worship
of the Living God! The awe felt in looking up at the giant arch of
marble and gold did not humble me; on the contrary, I felt exalted,
ennobled,--beings in the form I wore planned the glorious edifice, and
it seemed that in godlike power and perseverance they were indeed but
a "little lower than the angels." I felt that, if fallen, my race was
still mighty and immortal.

The Vatican is only open twice a week, on days which are not _festas_;
most fortunately, to-day happened to be one of these, and we took a
_run_ through its endless halls. The extent and magnificence of the
gallery of sculpture is perfectly amazing. The halls, which are filled
to overflowing with the finest works of ancient art, would, if placed
side by side, make a row more than two miles in length! You enter
at once into a hall of marble, with a magnificent arched ceiling, a
third of a mile long; the sides are covered for a great distance with
inscriptions of every kind, divided into compartments according to the
era of the empire to which they refer. One which I examined appeared to
be a kind of index of the roads in Italy, with the towns on them; and
we could decipher on that time-worn block the very route I had followed
from Florence hither.

Then came the statues, and here I am bewildered how to describe them.
Hundreds upon hundreds of figures,--statues of citizens, generals,
emperors, and gods; fauns, satyrs, and nymphs, born of the loftiest
dreams of grace; fauns on whose faces shone the very soul of humor, and
heroes and divinities with an air of majesty worthy the "land of lost
gods and godlike men!"

I am lost in astonishment at the perfection of art attained by the
Greeks and Romans. There is scarcely a fourth of the beauty that has
ever met my eye which is not to be found in this gallery. I should
almost despair of such another blaze of glory on the world were it not
for my devout belief that what has been done may be done again, and
had I not faith that the dawn in which we live will bring another day
equally glorious. And why should not America with the experience and
added wisdom which three thousand years have slowly yielded to the old
world, joined to the giant energy of her youth and freedom, re-bestow
on the world the divine creations of art? Let Powers answer!

But let us step on to the hemicycle of the Belvedere, and view some
works greater than any we have yet seen or even imagined. The adjoining
gallery is filled with masterpieces of sculpture, but we will keep our
eyes unwearied and merely glance along the rows. At length we reach a
circular court with a fountain flinging up its waters in the centre.
Before us is an open cabinet; there is a beautiful manly form within,
but you would not for an instant take it for the Apollo. By the Gorgon
head it holds aloft we recognize Canova's Perseus,--he has copied the
form and attitude of the Apollo, but he could not breathe into it the
same warming fire. It seemed to me particularly lifeless, and I greatly
preferred his Boxers, who stand on either side of it. One, who has
drawn back in the attitude of striking, looks as if he could fell an ox
with a single blow of his powerful arm. The other is a more lithe and
agile figure, and there is a quick fire in his countenance which might
overbalance the massive strength of his opponent.

Another cabinet,--this is the far-famed Antinous. A countenance of
perfect Grecian beauty, with a form such as we would imagine for one of
Homer's heroes. His features are in repose, and there is something in
their calm, settled expression strikingly like life.

Now we look on a scene of the deepest physical agony. Mark how every
muscle of old Laocoon's body is distended to the utmost in the mighty
struggle! What intensity of pain in the quivering distorted features!
Every nerve which despair can call into action is excited in one giant
effort, and a scream of anguish seems first to have quivered on those
marble lips. The serpents have rolled their strangling coils around
father and sons, but terror has taken away the strength of the latter,
and they make but feeble resistance. After looking with indifference on
the many casts of this group, I was the more moved by the magnificent
original. It deserves all the admiration that has been heaped upon it.

I absolutely trembled on approaching the cabinet of the Apollo. I had
built up in fancy a glorious ideal, drawn from all that bards have
sung or artists have rhapsodized about its divine beauty,--I feared
disappointment,--I dreaded to have my ideal displaced and my faith in
the power of human genius overthrown by a form less perfect. However,
with a feeling of desperate excitement I entered and looked upon it.

Now, what shall I say of it? How make you comprehend its immortal
beauty? To what shall I liken its glorious perfection of form, or the
fire that imbues the cold marble with the soul of a god? Not with
sculpture, for it stands alone and above all other works of art,--nor
with men, for it has a majesty more than human. I gazed on it,
lost in wonder and joy,--joy that I could at last take into my mind
a faultless ideal of godlike, exalted manhood. The figure appears
actually to possess a spirit, and I looked on it not as on a piece of
marble but a being of loftier mould, and half expected to see him step
forward when the arrow reached its mark. I would give worlds to feel
one moment the sculptor's mental triumph when his work was completed;
that one exulting thrill must have repaid him for every ill he might
have suffered on earth! With what divine inspiration has he wrought its
faultless lines! There is a spirit in every limb which mere toil could
not have given. It must have been caught in those lofty moments

    "When each conception was a heavenly guest--
     A ray of immortality--and stood,
     Star-like, around, until they gathered to a god?"

We ran through a series of halls, roofed with golden stars on a deep
blue midnight sky, and filled with porphyry vases, black marble gods,
and mummies. Some of the statues shone with the matchless polish they
had received from a Theban artisan before Athens was founded, and are,
apparently, as fresh and perfect as when looked upon by the vassals of
Sesostris. Notwithstanding their stiff, rough-hewn limbs, there were
some figures of great beauty, and they gave me a much higher idea of
Egyptian sculpture. In an adjoining hall, containing colossal busts of
the gods, is a vase forty-one feet in circumference, of one solid block
of red porphyry.

The "Transfiguration" is truly called the first picture in the world.
The same glow of inspiration which created the Belvedere must have been
required to paint the Saviour's aerial form. The three figures hover
above the earth in a blaze of glory, seemingly independent of all
material laws. The terrified Apostles on the mount, and the wondering
group below, correspond in the grandeur of their expression to the awe
and majesty of the scene. The only blemish in the sublime perfection of
the picture is the introduction of the two small figures on the left
hand, who, by the bye, were Cardinals, inserted there _by command_.
Some travellers say the color is all lost, but I was agreeably
surprised to find it well preserved. It is, undoubtedly, somewhat
imperfect in this respect, as Raphael died before it was entirely
finished; but "take it all in all," you may search the world in vain to
find its equal.

       [This ended the day's tour of observation. On a succeeding day
     the traveller saw as many objects of interest; among them the
     graves of Shelley and Keats. These, however, we must pass by, and
     describe his visit to the ruins of the great Roman amphitheatre.]

Amid the excitement of continually changing scenes I have forgotten
to mention our first visit to the Coliseum. The day after our arrival
we set out with two English friends to see it by sunset. Passing by
the glorious fountain of Trevi, we made our way to the Forum, and from
thence took the road to the Coliseum, lined on both sides with remains
of splendid edifices. The grass-grown ruins of the palace of the Cæsars
stretched along on our right; on our left we passed in succession
the granite front of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, the three
grand arches of the Temple of Peace, and the ruins of the Temple of
Venus and Rome. We went under the ruined triumphal arch of Titus, with
broken friezes representing the taking of Jerusalem, and the mighty
walls of the Coliseum gradually rose before us. They grew in grandeur
as we approached them, and when at length we stood in the centre, with
the shattered arches and grassy walls rising above and beyond one
another far around us, the red light of sunset giving them a soft and
melancholy beauty, I was fain to confess that another form of grandeur
had entered my mind of which before I knew not.

A majesty like that of nature clothes this wonderful edifice. Walls
rise above walls, and arches above arches, from every side of the grand
arena, like a sweep of craggy pinnacled mountains around an oval lake.
The two outer circles have almost entirely disappeared, torn away by
the rapacious nobles of Rome, during the middle ages, to build their
palaces. When entire and filled with its hundred thousand spectators,
it must have exceeded any pageant which the world can now produce. No
wonder it was said,--

    "While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand;
     When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall;
     And when Rome falls, the world!"

--a prediction which time has not verified. The world is now going
forward prouder than ever, and though we thank Rome for the legacy
she has left us, we would not wish the dust of her ruin to cumber our

Next to the Coliseum, the baths of Caracalla are the grandest remains
at Rome. The building is a thousand feet square, and its massive walls
look as if built by a race of giants. These Titan remains are covered
with green shrubbery, and long trailing vines sweep over the cornice
and wave down like tresses from the architrave and arch. In some of
its grand halls the mosaic pavement is yet entire. The excavations are
still carried on. From the number of statues already found, this would
seem to have been one of the most gorgeous edifices of the olden time.


I have been now several days loitering and sketching among the ruins,
and I feel as if I could willingly wander for months beside these
mournful relics, and draw inspiration from the lofty yet melancholy
lore they teach. There is a spirit haunting them real and undoubted.
Every shattered column, every broken arch and mouldering wall, but
calls up more vividly to mind the glory that has passed away. Each
lonely pillar stands as proudly as if it still helped to bear up a
great and glorious temple, and the air seems scarcely to have ceased
vibrating with the clarions that heralded a conqueror's triumph....

In Rome there is no need that the imagination be excited to call up
thrilling emotion or poetic revery; they are forced on the mind by the
sublime spirit of the scene. The roused bard might here pour forth his
thoughts in the wildest climaces, and I could believe he felt it all.
This is like the Italy of my dreams,--that golden realm whose image
has been nearly chased away by the earthly reality. I expected to
find a land of light and beauty, where every step crushed a flower or
displaced a sunbeam; where every air was poetic inspiration, and whose
every scene filled the soul with romantic feelings. Nothing is left of
my picture but the far-off mountains, robed in the sapphire veil of the
Ausonian air, and these ruins, amid whose fallen glory sits triumphant
the spirit of ancient song.

I have seen the flush of morn and eve rest on the Coliseum; I have
seen the noonday sky framed in its broken loop-holes, like plates of
polished sapphire; and last night, as the moon has grown into the
zenith, I went to view it with her. Around the Forum all was silent and
spectral; a sentinel challenged us at the Arch of Titus, under which we
passed, and along the Cæsars' wall, which lay in shadow. Dead stillness
brooded around the Coliseum; the pale, silvery lustre streamed through
its arches and over the grassy walls, giving them a look of shadowy
grandeur which day could not bestow. The scene will remain fresh in my
memory forever.



       [The ruins of Pompeii perhaps surpass in general interest any
     other of the exhumed remains of man's ancient industry, and the
     story of them has been very frequently told. For a good general
     description we go to the "European Days and Ways" of Alfred E.
     Lee, who also deals with Vesuvius as well as with its victim. He
     tells us the whole history of the excavation, of which we can
     but say here that up to 1860 not more than one-third of the town
     was excavated, and that in 1863 the archæologist Fiorelli was
     appointed to supervise the work, which has gone on steadily since.]

The ancient Pompeiians who gazed upon and admired the beauteous groves
and pastures which covered the symmetrical cone up to the very rim of
its smokeless, silent crater must have had but a faint idea of the real
nature of their terrible neighbor. But in the year 63 they received
a most impressive and--had it been heeded--timely warning of what
they were to expect. A fearful earthquake shook down their temples,
colonnades, and dwellings, giving awful premonition of the reawakening
of the stupendous forces of nature, which had been slumbering for
centuries. The city was a wreck, but it was immediately rebuilt, and
was greatly improved by conforming its architecture more nearly than
before to the style of imperial Rome. A reaction from the depressing
effects of disaster was at high tide, and Pompeii was doubtless more
splendid and more gay than ever, when, on the 24th of August, 79, it
was overtaken by the supreme catastrophe, the details of which, in
the absence of authentic narrative, have been supplied by the romance
of Bulwer. First came a dense shower of ashes, which covered the town
to the depth of three feet, impelling most of its inhabitants to fly
from its precincts. This was followed by a delusive lull, during which
many of the fugitives returned to seek their valuables, and perhaps
to care for the sick and infirm who could not be readily removed. But
directly the shower of ashes was succeeded by a heavy rain of red-hot
cinders and pumice, called rapilii, from which there was no escape.
This covered the town with another stratum, seven to eight feet thick,
burning the wooden upper stories from the houses, and extinguishing the
last vestige of animal life. On top of this the remorseless Cyclops
shook down more showers of ashes and then fiery rapilii, until the
superincumbent mass attained an average thickness of twenty feet,
and the beautiful city of the Sarno was literally smothered,--buried
alive, with scarcely a single trace of it above ground. For nearly
seventeen centuries Pompeii, except as a name and memory, disappeared
from history. In ancient times its ruins were ransacked, partly by
the survivors of its wreck, in recovering their valuables and the
dead bodies of their friends, and partly in the search for decorative
materials with which to embellish temples and other buildings. In this
way the city was stripped of nearly everything easily accessible which
was worth carrying away. Subsequent Vesuvian eruptions covered it still
more deeply, vegetation grew over it, and a village bearing its name
rose upon the ground which covered its ancient site. During the Middle
Ages the place was entirely unknown. In 1592 a subterranean aqueduct,
which is in use to this day, was carried under it without leading to
its discovery. In 1748 some statues and bronze utensils, discovered
by a peasant, attracted the attention of the reigning king of Naples
and Sicily, Charles III., who caused excavations to be made. At that
time the theatre, amphitheatre, and other portions of the buried town
were brought to light, discoveries which caused great surprise and
enthusiasm throughout the civilized world....

The excavated portion of the city, together with its museum and
library, are under the care of a corps of government guards, who, for
a European wonder, are forbidden to accept gratuities. Quite agreeably
to me, my visit fell on a holiday, when the guides were off duty,
so that I was permitted to wander at will among the silent streets,
unembarrassed by long and apocryphal verbal explanations. A previous
visit had familiarized me with the principal streets, buildings, and
localities, so that I had no difficulty in finding my way. Besides a
considerable region which had been excavated since my first visit,
eighteen months before, there were some important buildings which I had
not then been able to inspect. Among these was the Villa Diomed, so
conspicuous in Bulwer's romance. This villa--more properly speaking,
the house of M. Arrius Diomedes--was one of the largest and most
splendid of the Pompeiian residences, and, in addition to the usual
conveniences and luxuries of an elegant mansion of that day, enclosed
an interior court, or garden, one hundred and seven feet square,
open to the sky, surrounded by a colonnade, and embellished by a
central fountain. Beneath this court, on three sides, are long vaulted
chambers, reached by stair-ways, and lighted by narrow apertures in the
upper pavement. These cellars, now entirely cleared of rubbish, are
believed to have been used in the summer season as family promenades.
"In them," says Bulwer, "twenty skeletons (two of them babes,
embracing) were discovered in one spot by the door, covered by a fine
ashen dust that had evidently been slowly wafted through the apertures
until it had filled the whole space. There were jewels and coins, and
candelabra for unavailing light, and wine, hardened in the amphoræ, for
a prolongation of agonized life. The sand, consolidated by damps, had
taken the forms of the skeletons as in a cast, and the traveller may
yet see the impression of a female neck and bosom, of young and round
proportions, the trace of the fated Julia! It seems to the inquirer
as if the air had been gradually changed into a sulphurous vapor;
the inmates of the vaults had rushed to the door and found it closed
and blocked up by the scoriæ without, and in their attempts to force
it had been suffocated with the atmosphere. In the garden was found
a skeleton with a key by its bony hand, and near it a bag of coins.
This is believed to have been the master of the house, the unfortunate
Diomed, who had probably sought to escape by the garden, and been
destroyed either by the vapors or some fragment of stone. Beside some
silver vases lay another skeleton, probably a slave." The impression of
a girl's breast in the ashes, which Bulwer's fancy represents as the
sole remaining trace of one of his heroines, is still preserved in the
museum at Naples, and is as shapely and perfect as if the flesh of the
fair young victim had been moulded but yesterday instead of eighteen
hundred years ago. The bodies found in the Diomedan corridors had their
heads wrapped up, and were half covered by the fine infiltrated ashes,
in which was preserved even the imprint of the chemises worn by the
women and children. The bodies had decayed, like those embedded in
other parts of the town, but their forms had been moulded in the ashes
with wonderful precision and distinctness.

In many cases such cavities, after the skeletons contained in them had
been carefully removed, were filled with liquid plaster, which produced
an accurate and durable image of the imprinted form. The museum at
Pompeii contains a collection of such images, which impress upon the
beholder, more vividly, perhaps, than any other objects, the horror
and consternation of those awful days when the rain of volcanic ashes
turned noon to night and overwhelmed the doomed city. One of these
figures is that of a girl with a ring on her finger; another, that of a
woman enceinte; a third, a man whose features are singularly distinct
and natural. A group of three includes father, mother, and daughter,
found lying near one another. The figure of a female shows even the
folds of her drapery and the arrangement of her hair. The attitudes are
generally those which follow a short and fierce death-struggle. Some of
the victims seem to have fallen upon their faces and died suddenly in
their flight. Others, who were perhaps asphyxiated by vapors, have the
calm attitude of sleep, as though death had been but a pleasant dream.

Near the Great Theatre an open court with a peristyle of seventy-four
columns is surrounded by a series of detached cells. This is supposed
to have been a barrack for confinement of the gladiators who were
chosen for the contests of the arena. Sixty-three skeletons found here
are believed to have been those of soldiers who remained on duty during
the eruption. In one of the chambers, used as a prison, the skeletons
of two presumable criminals were found, together with the stocks and
irons with which they were bound for punishment. The story that the
people were assembled, in great numbers, to witness some spectacular
entertainment at the time the volcano began to belch upon them its
rain of ashes is probably a myth. The theatre had been badly wrecked
by the earthquake of 63, and its restoration was yet far from complete
when the eruption broke forth. The streets of Pompeii are generally
narrow, not over twenty-four--some of them not over fourteen--feet in
width, and are paved with blocks of lava, with high stepping-stones at
intervals, for the convenience of foot-passengers in rainy weather.
At the street corners public fountains are placed, from which the
water poured through the decorative head of a god, a mask, or some
similar ornament. Trade signs are rare, but political announcements are
frequently seen, conspicuously printed in red letters. Phallic emblems,
boldly cut in stone and built into the walls, surprise and shock us by
their frequency, notwithstanding their innocently meant purpose as a
means of protection against witchcraft. The architecture of the temples
and other public buildings is a clumsy mixture of the Greek and Roman
style, the columns being invariably laid up in brick or travertine, and
covered with stucco. The dwellings, built of the same materials, or of
travertine, have very little exterior adornment. Yet at the time of
its catastrophe Pompeii must have been a highly decorated town. Marble
was but little used architecturally, but the stucco which took its
place was admirably adapted to decorative painting, and this means of
ornamentation was lavishly employed.

The lower halves of the columns are generally painted red, with
harmonizing colors on the capitals. Interior walls are also laid
with bright, gay coloring, usually red or yellow. But the most
attractive and striking of the mural decorations are the paintings,
the wonderful variety and delicacy of which are only surpassed by
the more astonishing wonder of their preservation. The subjects of
these pictures are generally drawn from poetry or mythology, as, for
instance, Theseus abandoning Ariadne, Ulysses relating his adventures
to Penelope, Cupid holding a mirror up to Venus, Apollo and the Muses,
Polyphemus receiving Galatea's letter from Cupid, Leda and the Swan,
Diana surprised in her bath by Actæon, Achilles and Patroclus, and
representations of Venus, Cupid, Bacchus, Silenus, Mercury, and the
fauns in endless variety. A favorite subject was the beautiful youth
Narcissus, son of the river-god Cephisus and the nymph Liriope.
According to the Greek fable, this youth, seeing his image in a
fountain, became enamoured of it, and, in punishment for his hardness
of heart towards Echo and other nymphs, pined away and was changed to a
flower. In consequence of its origin, this flower loves the borders of
streams, and, bending on its fragile stem, seems to seek its own image
in the waters, but soon fades and dies.

The larger and finer dwellings of Pompeii have generally been named
from their supposed possessors, or from the works of art found in
them. The House of the Tragic Poet, so called from the representation
of a poet reading found in its tablinium, was one of the most elegant
in Pompeii. From the pavement of its vestibule was taken a celebrated
mosaic, now in the museum at Naples, representing a chained dog
barking, with the legend "_cave canem_"--"beware of the dog." The
periphery of the columns of the peristyle is fluted, except the lower
third of the shaft, which is smooth and painted red. The walls of
the interior are decorated with paintings, among which are Venus and
Cupid fishing, Diana with Orion, and a representation of Leda and
Tyndarus, which is very beautiful and remarkably well preserved. This
house, which figures in Bulwer's "Last Days of Pompeii" as the home
of Glaucus, was probably the dwelling of a goldsmith. One of the most
palatial residences yet brought to light is the House of Pansa,--one
hundred and twenty-four by three hundred and nineteen feet,--which
finely illustrates, in its complete and well-preserved appointments,
the plan of an aristocratic Pompeiian mansion of the imperial epoch.
Entering from the street by a vestibule, in the floor of which the
greeting, "_Salve_," was wrought in beautiful mosaic, we reach a large
interior court (atrium), which, owing to the absence of glass or
exterior openings, was necessary for the admission of light and air
to the surrounding chambers. A reservoir for rain-water (impluvium)
occupies the centre of the atrium. Passing from the atrium through a
large apartment called the tablinium, we enter, towards the rear, the
strictly domestic part of the house, which occupies more than half the
space within its walls, and is also provided with an interior court.
The family apartments open into this court, and derive from it their
light and ventilation. It encloses a garden surrounded by a peristyle,
and hence takes the name of peristylium. The front part of the house,
surrounding the atrium, was that in which the proprietor transacted his
business and held intercourse with the external world; the rear part,
surrounding the peristylium, was devoted to domestic use exclusively.
The roof, sloping inward, and open over the interior courts, discharged
the rain which fell upon it into the impluvium. The images of the
household gods usually occupied a place in the vestibule. The House of
Sallust, so named from an epigraph on its outside wall, appears from
later discoveries to have been the property of A. Cossius Libanus.
This house was finished in gay colors and embellished with mural
paintings, one of which--a representation of Actæon surprising Diana
at her bath--is singularly well preserved. Other subjects treated are
the rape of Europa (badly defaced), and Helle in the sea extending her
arm to Phryxus. Opposite to the Actæon is a dainty chamber, arbitrarily
named the venereum, surrounded by polygonal columns painted red.
The impluvium was adorned with a bronze group--now in the museum at
Palermo--representing Hercules contending with a stag. Out of the mouth
of the stag, in this group, the waters of the fountain gushed. Some of
the bedrooms of this house were floored with African marble.

The House of Meleager takes its name from one of its mural decorations
illustrating the story of Meleager and Atalanta. Other frescos adorn
its walls, representing the judgment of Paris, Mercury presenting
a purse to Ceres, and a young satyr frightening a bacchante with a
serpent. Its peristylium, sixty by seventy-three feet, is the finest
yet found in Pompeii. The columns of the peristylium are covered with
yellow stucco and its chambers are floored with mosaic. A colonnade
rises on three sides of the dining-room, and one of twenty-four
columns, red below and white above, supports the portico. A garden to
the left of the atrium and in front of the portico is adorned by a
pretty fountain. An exquisite bronze statuette of a dancing faun, now
in the Naples museum, gave its present title to the most beautiful and
also one of the largest houses in Pompeii. The discovery of this house
was first made in 1830, in the presence of a son of the poet Goethe. A
small pedestal, on which the statuette of the faun stood, is still seen
in the marble-lined impluvium. In the mosaic floor of one of the rooms
near by three doves are represented drawing a string of pearls from a
casket. Mosaics in the dining-room represented Acratus (companion of
Bacchus) riding on a lion, a cat devouring a partridge, and a group
of crustaceans and fishes. The salutation, "_Have_," (welcome) is
wrought with colored marble in the pavement of the vestibule before the
main entrance. The walls are covered with stucco made of cement, in
imitation of colored marble.

The atrium, thirty-five by thirty-eight feet, is finished in the Tuscan
style, but the twenty-eight columns surrounding the peristylium are
Ionic. In the rear of the mansion opens a garden, one hundred and
five by one hundred and fifteen feet, enclosed with a peristyle of
fifty-six Doric columns. Various articles in gold, silver, bronze, and
terra-cotta were found in this house, and also some skeletons, one
of which was that of a woman with a gold ring on her finger engraved
with the name Cassia. But the most important discovery of all made in
the House of the Faun was that of the magnificent mosaic of Alexander
in the battle of Issus. "This work, which is almost the only ancient
historical composition in existence, represents the battle at the
moment when Alexander, whose helmet has fallen from his head, charges
Darius with his cavalry and transfixes the general of the Persians,
who has fallen from his wounded horse. The chariot of the Persian
monarch is prepared for retreat, whilst in the foreground a Persian of
rank, in order to insure the more speedy escape of the king, who is
absorbed in thought at the sight of his expiring general, offers him
his horse."--Baedeker.

Such are some of the principal mansions of Pompeii and the objects
found in them. All of the most precious works of art which were or
could be detached, including many exquisite little mural frescos,
have been removed and deposited in the museum at Naples. The ruins
and the museum explain each other, and taken together furnish the
most complete and vivid illustration of ancient life in the world. No
books, no pictures, can tell us so clearly and comprehensively how the
people of that day and country lived as the remains of this buried
city. Its dwellings, shops, streets, prisons, temples, theatres, and
tombs disclose with amazing fulness and accuracy the pursuits, habits,
follies, vices, and even the thoughts of its inhabitants, just as they
were living and moving when caught, overwhelmed, and forever stilled
in the full tide of their existence. Well-curbs worn by the sliding
rope, stepping-stones hollowed by the march of eager multitudes,
pavements scarred by the stamp of horses' hoofs, advertisements
painted on public walls, shops and magazines containing the symbols
and utensils of trade, fountains where the crystal torrent might have
hushed but an hour ago its rippling voice, temples whose altars bear
yet the marks of sacrificial fires, frescos whose color and outline
are bright and delicate in spite of calamity and time, mosaic floors
smooth and shining as if polished only yesterday by the dance of dainty
feet,--these and a thousand more traces of the life of that ancient
time help the imagination to re-people and restore the ruined city as
it was in the day of its pride and splendor.

An inspection of the ruins of Pompeii deepens upon the mind its
impressions of the sublimity and terror of Vesuvius. Physically
speaking, the volcano is but a monstrous heap of ashes, stones, and
scoriæ, hollow, or partially so, in the centre, and streaked with
black, solidified lava-currents on the outside. From the crater,
whirling volumes of steam and smoke constantly issue, each rotary gush
representing an interior explosion, usually heard only on the summit.
In the varying states of the atmosphere this monstrous volume of vapor
rises in columnar form for thousands of feet, and is then borne far to
seaward, or landward, by the upper currents of the air; or it falls in
a dense, sulphurous, shapeless cloud, which envelops and conceals the
upper part of the mountain. In the latter condition of things I made my
first ascent; in the former my second. On the first occasion we went up
from Portici and down to Pompeii; on the second, the route was reversed.

From Pompeii the summit may be made--on horseback as far as the foot of
the cone--in about three hours. The railway on the Portici side ascends
to the outside rim of the crater, within which, separated by fissured
slabs of lava, which a yard below the surface yet glow with living
fire, the main chimney or flue of the volcano rises some hundreds of
feet higher. On the eastern side, below the rim, a lava stream of
considerable magnitude had burst forth at the time of my visit, and was
issuing with a fierce hissing sound. Its course could be traced down
the slopes of the mountain for the distance of a mile. Its movement,
at first quite rapid, was soon checked by the cooling effect of the
atmosphere. The operations of the crater at this time were extremely
interesting. Near the base of the finial cone a small secondary
volcanic funnel had recently been formed, which sometimes almost
silenced with its screeching and blubber the thunderous rumbling within
the main chimney. Neither of the active craters could be approached
with safety, but they made no objections to being looked at, and so,
dismissing my guide, I remained about two hours on the summit, watching
their antics. Sometimes the smaller crater, or safety-valve, as it
seemed to be, would work itself up to a perfect frenzy of hysterical
hissing and shrieking, as though all the misery of a hundred colicky
locomotives were venting itself in one prolonged scream. During such
spells the red liquid lava would bubble over the rim for a time, like
the boiling of an overfilled pot; then suddenly some explosive interior
force would throw it into the air in a sheaf of beautiful red spray,
rising and descending in graceful parabolas all around the cone. After
this performance, the little fellow would subside and keep tolerably
quiet for ten minutes or so, when it would be seized with another

The larger crater, though also intermittent, was more progressive
and less fidgety in its action. Its behavior had the dignified air
of regular business, while the safety-valve demeaned itself more as
a transient upstart, impatient of attracting popular attention. The
masses of steam and smoke issuing from the main orifice were somewhat
irregular, both in quantity and velocity, their increase in both
respects being always accompanied by louder and more rapid interior
explosions. At the moments of greatest activity showers of stones
and lumps of red lava were hurled into the air to heights varying
from three hundred to one thousand feet, and, descending, rolled
rattling and smoking down the yellow, sulphurous sides of the cone.
The spectacle was terrifically sublime at times, particularly when the
safety-valve chimed in with its screaming accompaniment, and flung
aloft its _jet-d'eau_-like pyrotechnics. The missiles projected from
the main crater soared at an angle of about fifty degrees, and almost
uniformly in the same direction, so that they fell on territory of
which the spectator, looking on from the opposite point of the compass,
was quite willing to accord monopoly of possession, with a liberal
margin for unadjusted boundary.

As sunset approached, and the shades of evening were beginning to add
new touches of grandeur to the sublime spectacle, I took leave of
it reluctantly, and, with Brobdingnagian strides down the volcanic
ash-heap, descended in not more than seven minutes a space which it had
once cost me a weary half-hour and the help of two guides to climb.
Three hours later the red currents of lava could be seen from my window
in Naples, glittering far away in the darkness, and streaking the black
sides of the volcano like descending streams of molten gold.



       [It is not Etna in one of its gigantic throes of eruption that
     we propose to describe. The traveller whose story of the mountain
     we append was not fortunate enough to witness such a spectacle.
     But he saw it in a minor phase of activity, and describes the
     vision so well that his account is well worth repeating. It was
     on his way from Malta to Sicily that he first caught sight of
     the volcano, ninety miles away, rising in solitary state behind
     the nearer mountains. He continued his course till abreast of
     Syracuse, "with Etna as distant as ever."]

The fourth morning dawned, and--great Neptune be praised!--we were
actually within the Gulf of Catania. Etna loomed up in all his sublime
bulk, unobscured by cloud or mist, while a slender jet of smoke, rising
from his crater, was slowly curling its wreaths in the clear air, as
if happy to receive the first beam of the sun. The towers of Syracuse,
which had mocked us all the preceding day, were no longer visible; the
land-locked little port of Augusta lay behind us; and, as the wind
continued favorable, ere long we saw a faint white mark at the foot of
the mountain. This was Catania.

The shores of the bay were enlivened with orange-groves and the gleam
of the villages, while here and there a single palm dreamed of its
brothers across the sea. Etna, of course, had the monarch's place in
the landscape, but even his large, magnificent outlines could not usurp
all my feelings. The purple peaks to the westward and farther inland
had a beauty of their own, and in the gentle curves with which they
leaned towards each other there was a promise of the flowery meadows of

Catania presented a lovely picture as we drew near its harbor. Planted
at the very foot of Etna, it has a background such as neither Naples
nor Genoa can boast. The hills next the sea are covered with gardens
and orchards, sprinkled with little villages and the country-places
of the nobles,--a rich, cultured landscape, which gradually merges
into the forests of oak and chestnut that girdle the waist of the
great volcano. But all the wealth of southern vegetation cannot hide
the footsteps of that Ruin, which from time to time visits the soil.
Half-way up the mountain-side is dotted with cones of ashes and
cinders, some covered with the scanty shrubbery which centuries have
called forth, some barren and recent; while two dark, winding streams
of sterile lava descend to the very shore, where they stand congealed
in ragged needles and pyramids. Part of one of these black floods has
swept the town, and, tumbling into the sea, walls one side of the port.

       [What shall we say of Catania? It has not dwelt at the foot of
     Mount Etna with impunity, but has been more than once destroyed.
     During the week of Mr. Taylor's visit the centennial festival of
     St. Agatha, the miracles of whose martyrdom had here their scene,
     took place. This saint still performs miracles, "and her power
     is equally efficacious in preventing earthquakes and eruptions
     of Mount Etna." The festival was brilliant in illuminations and
     pyrotechnic displays.]

Truly, except the illumination of the Golden Horn on the Night of
Predestination, I have seen nothing equal to the spectacle presented by
Catania during the past three nights. The city, which has been built
up from her ruins more stately than ever, was in a blaze of light,
all her domes, towers, and the long lines of her beautiful palaces
revealed in the varying red and golden flames of a hundred thousand
lamps and torches. Pyramids of fire, transparencies, and illuminated
triumphal arches filled the four principal streets, and the fountain
in the cathedral square gleamed like a jet of molten silver, spinning
up from one of the pores of Etna. At ten o'clock a gorgeous display of
fireworks closed the day's festivities, but the lamps remained burning
nearly all night.

On the second night the grand Procession of the Veil took place. I
witnessed the imposing spectacle from the balcony of Prince Gessina's
palace. Long lines of waxen torches led the way, followed by a military
band, and then a company of the highest prelates in their most
brilliant costumes, surrounding the bishop, who walked under a canopy
of silk and gold, bearing the miraculous veil of St. Agatha. I was
blessed with a distant view of it, but could see no traces of the rosy
hue left upon it by the flames of the saint's martyrdom....

To-night Signor Scava, the American vice-consul, took me to the palace
of Prince Biscari, overlooking the harbor, in order to behold the
grand display of fireworks from the end of the mole. The showers of
rockets and colored stars, and the temples of blue and silver fire,
were repeated in the dark, quiet bosom of the sea, producing the most
dazzling and startling effects....

Among the antiquities of Catania which I have visited are the
Amphitheatre, capable of holding fifteen thousand persons, the old
Greek Theatre, in which Alcibiades made his noted harangue to the
Catanians, the Odeon, and the ancient baths. The theatre, which is
in tolerable preservation, is built of lava, like many of the modern
edifices in the city. The baths proved to me, what I had supposed, that
the Oriental bath of the present day is identical with that of the
ancients. Why so admirable an institution has never been introduced
into Europe is more than I can tell. From the pavement of these baths,
which is nearly twenty feet below the surface of the earth, the lava of
later eruptions has burst up, in places, in hard black jets. The most
wonderful token of that flood which whelmed Catania two hundred years
ago is to be seen at the grand Benedictine convent of San Nicola, in
the upper part of the city. Here the stream of lava divides itself just
before the convent, and flows past on both sides, leaving the buildings
and garden untouched. The marble courts, the fountains, the splendid
galleries, and the gardens of richest Southern bloom and fragrance
stand like an epicurean island in the midst of the terrible stony
waves, whose edges bristle with the thorny aloe and cactus....

The noises of the festival had not ceased when I closed my eyes at
midnight. I slept soundly through the night, but was awakened before
sunrise by my Sicilian landlord. "Oh, Excellenza! have you heard the
Mountain? He is going to break out again; may the holy St. Agatha
protect us!"

It is rather ill-timed on the part of the Mountain, was my involuntary
first thought, that he should choose for a new eruption precisely the
centennial festival of the only saint who is supposed to have any power
over him. It shows a disregard of female influence not at all suited
to the present day, and I scarcely believe that he seriously means it.
Next comes along the jabbering landlady: "I don't like his looks. It
was just so the last time. Come, Excellenza, you can see him from the
back terrace."

The sun was not yet risen, but the east was bright with his coming, and
there was not a cloud in the sky. All the features of Etna were sharply
sculptured in the clear air. From the topmost cone a thick stream of
white smoke was slowly puffed out at short intervals, and rolled lazily
down the eastern side. It had a heavy, languid character, and I should
have thought nothing of the appearance but for the alarm of my hosts.
It was like the slow fire of earth's incense burning on that grand
mountain altar.

I hurried off to the post-office to await the arrival of the diligence
from Palermo. The office is in the Strada Etnea, the main street of
Catania, which runs straight through the city from the sea to the base
of the mountain whose peak closes the long vista. The diligence was an
hour later than usual, and I passed the time in watching the smoke,
which continued to increase in volume, and was mingled, from time to
time, with jets of inky blackness. The postilion said he had seen fires
and heard loud noises during the night. According to his account, the
disturbances commenced about midnight.

At last we rolled out of Catania. There were in the diligence, besides
myself, two men and a woman, Sicilians of the secondary class. The road
followed the shore, over rugged tracts of lava, the different epochs of
which could be distinctly traced in the character of their vegetation.
The last great flow (of 1679) stood piled in long ridges of terrible
sterility, barely allowing the aloe and cactus to take root in the
hollows between. The older deposits were sufficiently decomposed to
nourish the olive and vine, but even here the orchards were studded
with pyramids of the harder fragments, which are laboriously collected
by the husbandmen. In the few favored spots which have been untouched
for so many ages that a tolerable depth of soil has accumulated, the
vegetation has all the richness and brilliancy of tropical lands.
The palm, orange, and pomegranate thrive luxuriantly, and the vines
almost break under their heavy clusters. The villages are frequent and
well-built, and the hills are studded, far and near, with the villas
of rich proprietors, mostly buildings of one story, with verandas
extending their whole length. Looking up towards Etna, whose base the
road encircles, the views are gloriously rich and beautiful. On the
other hand is the blue Mediterranean and the irregular outline of the
shore, here and there sending forth promontories of lava, cooled by the
waves into the most fantastic forms.

We had not proceeded far before a new sign called my attention to
the mountain. Not only was there a perceptible jar or vibration in
the earth, but a dull, groaning sound, like the muttering of distant
thunder, began to be heard. The smoke increased in volume, and, as we
advanced farther to the eastward, and much nearer to the great cone,
I perceived that it consisted of two jets issuing from different
mouths. A broad stream of very dense white smoke still flowed over the
lip of the topmost crater and down the eastern side. As its breadth
did not vary, and the edges were distinctly defined, it was no doubt
the sulphureous vapor rising from a river of molten lava. Perhaps a
thousand yards below a much stronger column of mingled black and white
smoke gushed up in regular beats or pants from a depression in the
mountain-side, between two small extinct cones. All this part of Etna
was scarred with deep chasms, and in the bottoms of those nearest the
opening I could see the red gleam of fire. The air was perfectly still,
and as yet there was no cloud in the sky.

When we stopped to change horses at the town of Aci Reale, I first felt
the violence of the tremor and the awful sternness of the sound. The
smoke by this time seemed to be gathering on the side towards Catania,
and hung in a dark mass about half-way down the mountain. Groups of the
villagers were gathered in the streets which looked upward to Etna and
discussing the chances of an eruption. "Ah," said an old peasant, "the
Mountain knows how to make himself respected. When he talks, everybody
listens." The sound was the most awful that ever met my ears. It was a
hard, painful moan, now and then fluttering like a suppressed sob, and
had, at the same time, an expression of threatening and of agony. It
did not come from Etna alone. It had no fixed location; it pervaded
all space. It was in the air, in the depths of the sea, in the earth
under my feet, everywhere, in fact; and as it continued to increase in
violence I experienced a sensation of positive pain. The people looked
anxious and alarmed, although they said it was a good thing for all
Sicily; the last year they had been in constant fear from earthquakes,
and an eruption invariably left the earth quiet for several years. It
is true that during the past year parts of Sicily and Calabria have
been visited with severe shocks, occasioning much damage to property.
A merchant of this city [Messina] informed me yesterday that his whole
family had slept for two months in the vaults of his warehouse, fearing
that their residence might be shaken down in the night.

As we rode along from Aci Reale to Taormina, all the rattling of the
diligence over the rough road could not drown the awful noise. There
was a strong smell of sulphur in the air, and the thick pants of smoke
from the lower crater continued to increase in strength. The sun was
fierce and hot, and the edges of the sulphureous clouds shone with a
dazzling whiteness. A mounted soldier overtook us, and rode beside the
diligence, talking with the postilion. He had been up to the mountain,
and was taking his report to the governor of the district.

The heat of the day and the continued tremor of the air lulled me
into a sort of doze, when I was suddenly aroused by a cry from the
soldier and the stopping of the diligence. At the same time there was
a terrific peal of sound, followed by a jar that must have shaken the
whole island. We looked up to Etna, which was fortunately in full
view before us. An immense mass of snow-white smoke had burst up from
the crater, and was rising perpendicularly into the air, the rounded
volumes rapidly whirling one over the other, yet urged with such
impetus that they only rolled outward after they had ascended to an
immense height. It might have been one minute or five, for I was so
entranced by this wonderful spectacle that I lost the sense of time,
but it seemed instantaneous (so rapid and violent were the effects of
the explosion), when there stood in the air, based on the summit of the
mountain, a mass of smoke four or five miles high, and shaped precisely
like the Italian pine-tree.

Words cannot paint the grandeur of this mighty tree. Its trunk of
columned smoke, one side of which was silvered by the sun, while the
other, in shadow, was lurid with red flame, rose for more than a mile
before it sent out its cloudy boughs. Then parting into a thousand
streams, each of which again threw out its branching tufts of smoke,
rolling and waving in the air, it stood in intense relief against the
dark blue of the sky. Its rounded masses of foliage were dazzlingly
white on one side, while, in the shadowy depths of the branches, there
was a constant play of brown, yellow, and crimson tints, revealing
the central shaft of fire. It was like the tree celebrated in the
Scandinavian sagas, as seen by the mother of Harold Hardrada,--that
tree whose roots pierced through the earth, whose trunk was of the
color of blood, and whose branches filled the uttermost corners of the

The outburst seemed to have relieved the mountain, for the tremors were
now less violent, though the terrible noise still droned in the air,
and earth, and sea. And now, from the base of the tree, three white
streams slowly crept into as many separate chasms, against the walls
of which played the flickering glow of the burning lava. The column of
smoke and flame was still hurled upward, and the tree, after standing
about ten minutes,--a new and awful revelation of the active forces of
nature,--gradually rose and spread, lost its form, and, slowly moved
by a light wind (the first that disturbed the dead calm of the day),
bent over to the eastward.

We resumed our course. The vast belt of smoke at last arched over the
strait, here about twenty miles wide, and sank towards the distant
Calabrian shore. As we drove under it, for some miles of our way, the
sun was totally obscured, and the sky presented the singular spectacle
of two hemispheres of clear blue, with a broad belt of darkness drawn
between them. There was a hot, sulphureous vapor in the air, and
showers of white ashes fell from time to time. We were distant about
twelve miles, in a straight line, from the crater, but the air was so
clear, even under the shadow of the smoke, that I could distinctly
trace the downward movement of the rivers of lava.

This was the eruption, at last, to which all the phenomena of the
morning had been only preparatory. For the first time in ten years the
depths of Etna had been stirred, and I thanked God for my detention at
Malta, and the singular hazard of travel which had brought me here,
to his very base, to witness a scene the impression of which I shall
never lose to my dying day. Although the eruption may continue, and the
mountain pour forth fiercer fires and broader tides of lava, I cannot
but think that the first upheaval, which lets out the long-imprisoned
forces, will not be equalled in grandeur by any later spectacle.

After passing Taormina, our road led us under the hills of the coast,
and although I occasionally caught glimpses of Etna, and saw the
reflection of fire from the lava which was filling up his savage
ravines, the smoke at last encircled his waist, and he was then shut
out of sight by the intervening mountains. We lost a bolt in the deep
valley opening to the sea, and during our stoppage I could still hear
the groans of the mountain, though farther off and less painful to the
ear. As evening came on, the beautiful hills of Calabria, with white
towns and villages on their sides, gleamed in the purple light of the
setting sun. We drove around headland after headland, till the strait
opened, and we looked over the harbor of Messina to Cape Faro and the
distant islands of the Tyrrhene Sea.



       [Venice is not all made up of palaces and patricians, not all
     bronze and marble, pictures and statuary. Out of the range of all
     this, unseen by the ordinary traveller, lies another and humbler
     Venice, where the poor pass their straitened lives, but which has
     a character and attraction of its own, worthy of being seen and
     described. We give St. John's story of discovery in this realm of
     what he calls "vulgar Venice."]

It may not be a discovery, but it is a fact not often noticed, that
there is an every-day Venice which is decidedly vulgar,--which means
that it is not all Rialto, Bridge of Sighs, Grand Canal, or Doge's
Palace. But, to judge from poems, pictures, and tourists, the city is
one beautiful dream, of marble and bronze, of jasper and vermilion, of
pictures and the sculptor's breathing models. The temptation is, no
doubt, seducing to pass all your time where the great columns stand,
where the bronze horses, near St. Mark's, glow with all the colors of
the sunset, and where that strangely composed young girl shows you
through the horrible labyrinths of the state prison.

Yet there is another Venice which artists rarely touch, as if all low
life were confined to the Low Countries, where they are eager enough
to sketch fish-stalls and kitchens by the light of "single candle"
Schendel. And this Venice has not a solitary element of romance or
beauty about it. Step into the "omnibus gondola"--the very thought is
enough to obliterate an epic of enthusiasm--and it will land you where
the Venetians lead their common lives, without any Byron to bewail
them. The songless gondoliers of these public boats are a miserable
set of folk. They never save anything; their fathers never saved
anything before them; but they keep up their spirits notwithstanding.
Thus, between Giacomo passing Beppo, "Good luck to you!" "Thanks!" "Be
hanged, you and your thanks!" Or, "Many patrons?" "Many." "You and your
patrons be hanged!" These affectionate greetings are universal.

But the grimy gondola has stopped, and the buying and selling quarter
has been reached. No stately ladies, or very few, here "serpentining,"
as Balzac says, whatever he may mean, along the pavement, and not too
many of the white-bodiced damsels, who look so graceful on canvas, as
if they were always clean and dark Madonnas into the bargain; because,
to tell the truth, these ladies are accustomed, in warm weather, to lay
aside those pretty bodices, and work in an attire at once more light
and more loose. They are exceedingly busy, and the scene is wonderfully

Venice, providing its dinner, has been compared with a huge ship in
port, taking in provisions. Padua and Vicenza have brought their corn
and oil; the islands have sent their indescribably superb fruit;
Friuli, Istria, Illyria, and the Turkish Archipelago contribute grain,
meat, game, conserves, and pickles; Austria, Hungary, and Dalmatia
supply wine, which is diluted, by the humbler sort of consumers, with
sea water, which the "stick girls," so called from the yokes they
carry on their shoulders, bring about. They are from Friuli, whose
snow-white summits are just visible from here,--and striking enough
they are in their bright bodices, short blue or green skirts, with red
borders, and white Calabrian hats, daintily tipped on one side, in
order that the massive gold hair ornaments or polished steel pins may
be admired. But these charming water-carriers are despised; they live
apart from the other inhabitants; and not a Venetian will ever marry
one of them. Still, they often return to their mountains, tolerably
rich, and their Titian faces are quite as proud with scorn of the
Venetians as those of Venetians are for them.

However, it is market-time, which must not be wasted upon international
antipathies. Nearly everything in Venice is sold, and nearly
everything eatable is eaten, among the inferior classes, in the open
air,--polenta, beef, mutton, fish, frying, grilling, roasting, and
perpetually passing hot into the hands of the _al fresco_ customers.
It is generally very good; but best of all is the bread made "on the
Continent" expressly for Venice, in the incomparable little district of
Piava. Armed with a "tasting order," which a few of the smallest coins
imaginable will command, you pass through the hungry throng. This is
soup, by no means bad, at two-thirds of a half-penny the basin. That is
calves'-head; these are lamb- and pork-chops, with heart and tripe, the
savor whereof is suggestive of ancient sacrifices.

Some of the people keep stalls; others shops, without doors or windows.
It appears odd to a stranger, upon entering a wine-hall, to be offered
a plateful of highly-salted mutton, a comestible which everybody
appears to be devouring. After it a service of fish, the entire flavor
of which has been absorbed in brine. Then you are ready to drink; but
the wine is salted also! There are two delicacies, however, in which
persons of every degree delight, and which induce the denizens of the
opulent quarter to bring their nobility here. The first is a small
white biscuit, made of the most exquisite flour and fresh butter, so
speckless, light, and fragile that they crumble at a rough touch, and
will not keep longer than twelve hours. Who wants to feast upon them,
then, must come to the oven, and, tenderly handling the _bianchetti_,
dip them in the wine of Cyprus, and believe in solid ambrosia. The
second rarity--uniqueness I would say, if there were such a word--is a
little fish, fried in oil, which is sold from morning till night, all
through the season. You shall see a maiden of Venice, gloved like a
Parisian, "well knotted," elegant of costume, and in air patrician, buy
two pennyworth of these dainties,--the whitebait of Italy,--smelling
of oil, fire, and the frying-pan, wrap them in paper, take them to
a cabaret, sit down, and relish them unmistakably over a flask of
Cyprus. She is never alone, however, but accompanied by an escort, who
is stamped a gentleman by that sign infallible in Venice, whether or
not it be so elsewhere,--his dress. At the same table may be seated,
possibly, the very fisherman who provided the banquet.

But what is the meaning of the phrase just used, "well knotted"? Let
her wear the richest silk ever spun in Italy, and the haughtiest
Hungarian hat, with its aigrette of a dove's wing, your Venetian lady
of blue blood is not distinguishable, except by what she has upon
her neck. And this is a gold chain, of apparently countless links,
beautifully brilliant, with that reddish tinge which has so often
been the perplexity of painters, though Titian mastered it, as he did
everything else; and falling from the throat is gathered in a coil
at the waist, where, the larger and heavier the knot, the higher the
patent of social splendor.

Though I am not concerned at present with the aristocracy of the
sea-born city, still, if lofty dames will eat little fishes in a
market-place, they cannot complain of personalities, should the remark
be made that some are dark as ever Giorgione or Carpaccio painted;
while others, to borrow the ejaculation of a rapturous wanderer from
Paris, who was not really in a rapture, and who, of course, did not
mean what he was saying, might be mistaken for the daughters of Aurora,
a contrast reminding you of Adam's two wives in the Talmud.

But madame has finished her _gouter_, and, once more taking a liberty
with my Frenchman, I remark that she "undulates always with an
appearance of perfect satisfaction." She will not be seen here again
until the same freak of appetite seizes her. For, as a rule, the lower
classes--as, indeed, they do everywhere--have their own neighborhoods
to themselves, though in Venice, naturally, owing to the peculiarity
of its position, there are subdivisions. The workmen and artificers
and traders are quite distinct from the boatmen and fishermen, upon
whom they look with contempt, and with whom they were formerly in a
state of incessant feud. The former wear red caps and belts; the belts
and caps of the latter are entirely either black or blue, the capes
having tassels of the same color, which give an Oriental character to a
Venetian crowd.


And here a curious point occurs. Your great lady prides herself upon
the knot in her gold chain; your fisherman or ferryman wears a scarf
round his neck, and the bigger the knot he can tie the prouder he
is of himself. Again, the gondoliers have their grades of rank. The
lords of the black "water broughams," as some one very much in want of
a smart saying termed them, are in the service of private families,
and hold themselves ready for orders like coachmen. The second degree
is composed--to carry on the analogy--of the canal cabmen, who live
upon chance, upon travellers, and upon Romeos and Juliets, whenever
these young persons are engaged in adventure. Lastly, there are the
gondoliers with fixed stations and fixed destinations, ferrymen who
float to and fro. But they are all very important to Venice. They are
the links of its life; for, singularly enough, it has not bridges
enough, and in this respect is utterly unlike Amsterdam, with which
it is so often and so absurdly compared. If, however, they swear at
one another, they swear at the railway in a chorus. It is rarely,
in these days, that any good luck befalls them. Now and then, to be
sure, a music and singing party, dizzy with the juice of the Dalmatian
grape, attempt to wake the echoes of Tasso among the lagoons, or two
fond fools, fresh from their nuptials in the north, glide over the
moonlit sea, regardless of expense, and look at life through the stars;
yet such Jessica evenings are few and far between, and the Venetian
gondoliers, seen by daylight, look like anything rather than Fenimore
Cooper's hero, or even a daub in a Canaletti canvas. Still, his
ancient art has not deserted him, and he can push his craft along at a
wonderful speed.

There is one peculiarity about them which the stranger does not readily
understand. They speak as though their language was as limpid as the
water on which they live, and made up almost entirely of vowels. You
wish to be set ashore at the steps of the "Luna" hotel? Certainly;
your gondolier knows the "Una" hotel perfectly well. He has another
characteristic, not quite so uncommon: he is an unblushing cheat.
His Venetian customers pay him tenpence, when you, being a stranger,
must pay him half a crown, which is an Italian method of expressing
patriotism, I suppose. Yet he is continually to be found upon his knees
before the altar, and has a patron of his own, whom he invokes upon
every necessary or unnecessary occasion.

From him I turn for a moment to another type,--the _ciceroni_,--only,
however, to mention a single example. She was a young girl who
undertook to show the visitor, fresh from the glories of the ducal
palace, through the black labyrinths of the ducal prison. She took two
wax tapers, lighted them, gave him one, keeping the other herself, and
jingled a great bunch of keys. Then the really pretty and graceful
maiden led the way down a worn, slippery, dark staircase, up another
across the Bridge of Sighs, down again, telling all the way fearful
legends of the place, and plunged deeper into the shadowy recesses at
every step.

"Are you not afraid?" she is asked.

"A Venetian girl feels no fear," is her answer.

That is a terrible interior, however, with its range upon range of
hideous cells; but worst of all is a vault, without a spark of natural
light in it, which seems as if dug in the rock. Its roof is stained
by lampblack; its walls bear traces of clamps and chains. "Here the
secret executions took place; here the son of a doge was beheaded for
daring to love a foreign lady. Only great criminals--that is, great
lords--were put to death here." I wonder whether this tender turnkey,
if she had prisoners under her charge, would be pitiless to them. There
is something painful in the contrast between such a gaol and such a

Leaving her, you pass across the square with its corner group of
beggars, its swarm of bare-headed children, its clusters of boys with
their hair flowing wild, and their brown necks and chests exposed, who
give you an idea that they are expecting their photographs to be taken,
but who, nevertheless, bake themselves in the sun languidly enough, and
act upon the national maxim, "_bisogna stare allegro_." There is but
a solitary influence which can rouse your true Venetian to a state of
excitement, and that is the presence of death. Rich or poor, he hates
it; rich, he rides or rows away to the farthest possible distance;
poor, he hides, if he can, until the object of his abhorrence is
removed. Somehow these vagrants of the island city never starve. They
earn, by one means or another, sufficient for the day, which signifies
sufficient for dinner,--two pennyworth of fish, ready cooked, as
already described; one pennyworth of soup, and one of bread; and it may
be suspected that women and girls do a principal part of whatever work
is done in Venice at all.

You turn into a sequestered nook, resembling one of the smaller
courts opening upon Fleet Street, and a number of damsels, without
dulcimers, are chattering or singing. These are the pearl-threaders,
for pearl-threading is a universal occupation, just as embroidery was
at one time in England. The wealthy do it for amusement, the humbler
classes for gain, of which, as I have said, a very little goes a
long way. It is a popular saying, "You may die of love or hatred in
Venice, but not of hunger;" still, you see many ragged, hollow-eyed,
and pallid wretches, who, in former days, might have been mistaken for
lottery-hunters; but those times, happily, have passed away, though
they presented a spectacle sufficiently interesting four or five years

Some one has compared Venice to a page of music, with its curious
streets, palaces, museums, canals, and bridges; resembling lines,
notes, double notes, points, crotchets, pauses; its long and straight,
its short, narrow and crooked ways; its open spaces scattered up and
down; its mounting and descending of bridges. I cannot myself see the
truth of the comparison; but so much may be readily admitted,--that
the stranger can easily lose his way, and not easily find it again, in
this maze of land and water, worse than Amsterdam. Unless, however, the
wanderer has some business on hand, the very best way to see Venice
is to be lost in it; because then, instead of the regulation round of
sights, a thousand unexpected novelties strike the eye, in the narrow,
ill-paved, and generally noiseless streets that intersect the islands,
though the hoof of a horse or rumbling of a wheel is never heard in

Opening upon these dingy and tortuous thoroughfares are many of those
back entrances to the mansions of the opulent, which play so prominent
a part in romance and drama, though, as a rule, they are inhabited
by the poorest of the poor to whom an abode is a retreat, not a
home,--since their lives are habitually passed out of doors. As for
furniture, a bedstead and a huge chest or coffer, with a stool or two,
and a small but solid table, constitute the inventory,--if exception be
made of the bowls, and spoons, and bread-knives which the inmates carry
abroad when they intend to banquet beneath that sky in which Tintoretto
and Veronese exulted.

Nothing of marble or mosaic here; nothing of gold or purple; only
squalor, such as is never seen in a town of Holland; such as is
seldom met with, indeed, anywhere out of Ireland or Italy. The water,
however, mingles so intricately with the land that it is impossible
to go many steps without coming upon a bridge and a canal,--not the
canal of the artist, all blue except where richer tints are reflected
by the architecture on either side, but narrow, crooked, overhung by
ugly houses, and rather less sweet to the nostrils than becomes a
city famous for its love of violets. Hither come the itinerants of
the public places when the last loiterers have left the square of
St. Mark's and there is no longer a chance of selling fried cakes or
fish, salt mutton or salt tripe, mock pearls or gold thread to string
them upon; and here my glimpse closes upon Venice, a thousand times
described, yet rarely, I think, from this particular point of view.



       [To say anything concerning the claims of Athens to the
     traveller's attention would be but a waste of words. For the
     student of art and architecture it will long remain a place of
     pilgrimage. We reproduce here such a student's story of a visit
     to the antiquities of Athens. It is the ancient city of which he
     speaks; modern Athens has far less to commend it to attention.]

The day is a happy one to the student-traveller from the Western World
in which he first looks upon the lovely plain of Athens. Rounding the
point where Hymettus thrusts his huge length into the sea, the long,
featureless mountain-wall of Southern Attica suddenly breaks down, and
gives place to a broad expanse of fertile and well-cultivated soil,
sloping gently back with ever-narrowing bounds until it reaches the
foot-hills of lofty Pentelicus. The wooded heights of Parnes enclose it
on the north, while bald Hymettus rears an impassable barrier along the
south. In front of the gently recurved shore stretch the smooth waters
of the Gulf of Salamis, while beyond rises range upon range of lofty
mountain-peaks with strikingly varied outline, terminating on the one
hand in the towering cone of Egina, and on the other in the pyramidal,
fir-clad summit of Cithæron.

Upon the plain, at the distance of three or four miles from the sea,
are several small rocky hills of picturesque appearance, isolated and
seemingly independent, but really parts of a low range parallel to
Hymettus. Upon one of the most considerable of these, whose precipitous
sides make it a natural fortress, stood the Acropolis, and upon the
group of lesser heights around and in the valleys between clustered the
dwellings of ancient Athens.

It was a fitting site for the capital of a people keenly sensitive to
beauty, and destined to become the leaders of the world in matters of
taste, especially in the important department of the Fine Arts. Nowhere
are there more charming contrasts of mountain, sea, and plain,--nowhere
a more perfect harmony of picturesque effect. The sea is not a dreary
waste of waters without bounds, but a smiling gulf mirroring its
mountain-walls and winding about embosomed isles, yet ever broadening
as it recedes, and suggesting the mighty flood beyond from which it
springs. The plain is not an illimitable expanse over which the weary
eye ranges in vain in quest of some resting-place, but is so small
as to be embraced in its whole contour in a single view, while its
separate features--the broad, dense belt of olives which marks the
bed of its principal stream, the ancient Cephisus, the vineyards, the
grain-fields, and the sunny hill-side pastures--are made to produce
their full impression. The mountains are not near enough to be
obtrusive, much less oppressive; neither are they so distant as to be
indistinct or to seem insignificant. Seen through the clear air, their
naked summits are so sharply defined and so individual in appearance as
to seem almost like sculptured forms chiselled out of the hard rock....

So the student-pilgrim from the Western World with native ardor strains
his sight to catch the first glimpse of the Athenian plain and city. He
is fresh from his studies, and familiar with what books teach of the
geography of Greece and the topography of Athens. He needs not to be
informed which mountain-range is Parnes, and which Pentelicus,--which
island is Salamis, and which Egina. Yet much of what he sees is a
revelation to him. The mountains are higher, more varied, and more
beautiful than he had supposed, Lycabettus and the Acropolis more
imposing, Pentelicus farther away, and the plain larger, the gulf
narrower, and Egina nearer and more mountainous, than he had fancied.
He is astonished at the smallness of the harbor at Peiræus, having
insensibly formed his conception of its size from the notices of the
mighty fleets which sailed from it in the palmy days when Athens was
mistress of the seas. He is not prepared to see the southern shore
of Salamis so near to the Peiræus, though it explains the close
connection between that island and Athens, and throws some light upon
the great naval defeat of the Persians. In short, while every object
is recognized as it presents itself, yet a more correct conception is
formed of its relative position and aspect from a single glance of the
eye than had been acquired from books during years of study.

Arrived at the city, his experience is the same. He needs no guide to
conduct him to its antiquities, nor cicerone to explain in bad French
or worse English their names and history. Still, unexpected appearances
present themselves not unfrequently. Hastening towards the Acropolis,
he will first inspect the remains of the great theatre of Dionysus,
so familiar to him as the place where, in the presence of all the
people and many strangers, were acted the plays of his favorite poets,
Æschylus and Sophocles, and where they won many prizes. Hurrying over
the eastern brow of the hill, he comes suddenly upon the spot, enters
at the summit, as many an Athenian did in the olden time, and is
smitten with amazement at the first glance, and led to question whether
this be indeed the site of the ancient theatre. He finds, it is true,
the topmost seats cut in the solid rock, row above row, stripped now
of their marble lining and weather-worn, but yet the genuine ancient
seats of the upper tier. These he expected to find. But whence are
those fresh seats which fill the lower part of the hollow, arranged as
neatly as if intended for immediate use? and whence the massive stage
beyond? He bethinks himself that he has heard of recent excavations
under the patronage of the government, and closer inspection shows that
these are actually the lower seats of the theatre in the time of the
emperor Hadrian, whose favorite residence was Athens, and who did so
much to embellish the city. The front seats consist of massive stone
chairs, each inscribed with the name of its occupant, generally the
priestess of some one of the numerous gods worshipped by that people
so given to idolatry. In the centre of the second row is an elevated
throne inscribed with the name of Hadrian. The stage is seen to be the
ancient Greek stage enlarged to the Roman size to suit the demands of a
later style of theatrical representation.

After looking in vain for the seat occupied by the priestess of the
Unknown God, our traveller passes on and enters with a beating heart
the charmed precincts of the Acropolis itself. The Propylæa, which he
has been accustomed to regard too exclusively as a mere entrance-gate
to the glories beyond, impresses him with its size and grandeur, and
the little temple of Victory by its side with its elegance. But the
steepness of the ascent perplexes him. It seems impracticable for
horses, yet he knows by unexceptionable testimony that the Athenian
youth prided themselves upon driving their matched steeds in the
great Panathenaic procession which once every four years wound up
the hill, bearing the sacred peplus to the temple of the goddess. A
closer examination reveals the transverse creases of the pavement
designed to give a footing to the beasts, as well as the marks of the
chariot-wheels. Nevertheless, the ascent (and much more the descent)
must have been a perilous undertaking, unless the teams were better
broken than the various accounts of chariot-races furnished by the
poets would indicate.

Entering beneath the great gate, a little distance forward to the left
may readily be found the site of the colossal bronze statue of the
warrior-goddess in complete armor, formed by Phidias out of the spoils
taken at Marathon. The square base, partly sunk in the uneven rock,
is as perfect as if just put in readiness to receive the pedestal of
that famous work. A road bending to the right and slightly hollowed out
of the rock leads to the Parthenon. The outer platform which sustains
this celebrated temple is partly cut from the rock of the hill and
partly built up of common limestone. The inner one of three courses,
as well as the whole superstructure, is formed of Pentelic marble of a
compact crystalline structure and of dazzling whiteness. Long exposure
has not availed to destroy its lustre, but only to soften its tone.
The visitor, planting himself at the western front, is in a position
to gain some adequate idea of the perfection of the noble building.
The interior and central parts suffered the principal injury from the
explosion of the Turkish powder magazine in 1687. The western front
remains nearly entire. It has been despoiled, indeed, of its movable
ornaments. The statues which filled the pediment are gone, with
the exception of a fragment or two. The sculptured slabs have been
removed from the spaces between the triglyphs, and the gilded shields
which hung beneath have been taken down. Of the magnificent frieze,
representing the procession of the great quadrennial festival, only the
portion surrounding the western vestibule is still in place. Still, as
these were strictly decorations, and wholly subordinate to the organic
parts of the structure, their presence, while it would doubtless
greatly enhance the effect of the whole, is not felt to be essential
to its completeness. The whole Doric columns still bear the massive
entablature sheltered by the covering roof. The simple greatness of the
conception, the just proportion of the several parts, together with the
elaborate finishing of the whole work, invest it with a charm such as
the works of man seldom possess,--the pure and lasting pleasure which
flows from apparent perfection.

Entering the principal apartment of the building, traces are seen of
the stucco and pictures with which the walls were covered when it was
fitted up as a Christian church in the Byzantine period. Near the
centre of the marble pavement is a rectangular space laid with dark
stone from the Peiræus or from Eleusis. It marks the probable site of
the colossal precious statue of the goddess in gold and ivory,--one of
the most celebrated works of Phidias. The smaller apartment beyond,
accessible only from the opposite front of the temple, was used by the
state as a place of deposit and safe-keeping for bullion and other
valuables in the care of the state treasurer.

Having examined the great temple, and tested the curvature of its
seemingly horizontal lines by sighting along the unencumbered platform,
and having stopped at several points of the grand portico to admire
the fine views of the city and surrounding country, the traveller
picks his way northward, across a thick layer of fragments of columns,
statues, and blocks of marble, towards the low-placed, irregular, but
elegant Erechtheum, the temple of the most ancient worship and statue
of the patron-goddess of the city. This building sits close by the
northern as the Parthenon does by the southern wall of the enclosure.
It has suffered equally with the other from the ravages of time, and
its ruins, though less grand, are more beautiful. Most of the graceful
Ionic columns are still standing, but large portions of the roof and
entablature have fallen. Fragments of decorated cornice strew the
ground, some of them of considerable length, and afford a near view of
that delicate ornamentation and exquisite finish so rare outside the
limits of Greece.


The elevated porch of the Caryatides, lately restored by the
substitution of a new figure in place of the missing statue now in
the British Museum, attracts attention as a unique specimen of Greek
art, and also as showing how far a skilful treatment will overcome the
inherent difficulties of a subject. The row of fair maidens looking out
towards the Parthenon do not seem much oppressed by the burden which
rests upon them, while their graceful forms lend a pleasing variety to
the scene. Passing out by the northern wing of the Propylæa, a survey
is had of the numerous fragments of sculpture discovered among the
ruins upon the hill, and temporarily placed in the ancient Pinacotheca.
The eye rests upon sweet infant faces and upon rugged manly ones.
Sometimes a single feature only remains, which, touched by the finger
of genius, awakens admiration. A naked arm severed from the trunk, of
feminine cast, but with muscles tightly strained and hand clinched as
in agony, will arrest attention and dwell in the memory.

Northwest of the Acropolis, across a narrow chasm, lies the low, rocky
height of the Areopagus, accessible at the southeast angle by a narrow
flight of sixteen rudely-cut steps, which lead to a small rectangular
excavation on the summit, which faces the Acropolis, and is surrounded
upon three sides by a double tier of benches hewn out of the rock. Here
undoubtedly the most venerable court of justice at Athens had its seat
and tried its cases in the open air. Here too, without doubt, stood the
great apostle when, with bold spirit and weighty words, he declared
unto the men of Athens that God of whom they confessed their ignorance;
who was not to be represented by gold or silver or stone graven by art
and man's device; who dwelt not in temples made with hands, and needed
not to be worshipped with men's hands. In no other place can one feel
so sure that he comes upon the very footsteps of the apostle, and on no
other spot can one better appreciate his high gifts as an orator or the
noble devotion of his whole soul to the work of the Master. How poor in
comparison with his life-work appear the performances of the greatest
of the Athenian thinkers or doers!

A little more than a quarter of a mile west of the Acropolis is another
rocky hill,--the Pnyx,--celebrated as the place where the assembly
of all the citizens met to transact the business of the state. A
large semicircular area was formed, partly by excavation, partly
by building up from beneath, the bounds of which can be distinctly
traced. Considerable remains of the terrace-wall at the foot of the
slope exist,--huge stones twelve or fourteen feet in length by eight
or ten in breadth. The chord of the semicircle is near the top of the
hill, formed by the perpendicular face of the excavated rock, and is
about four hundred feet in length by twenty in depth. Projecting from
it at the centre, and hewn out of the same rock, is the bema or stone
platform from which the great orators from the time of Themistocles and
Aristides, and perhaps of Solon, down to the age of Demosthenes and
the Attic Ten, addressed the mass of their fellow-citizens. It is a
massive cubic block, with a linear edge of eleven feet, standing upon
a graduated base of nearly equal height, and is mounted on either side
by a flight of nine stone steps. From its connection with the most
celebrated efforts of some of the greatest orators our race has yet
seen, it is one of the most interesting relics in the world, and its
solid structure will cause it to endure as long as the world itself
shall stand, unless, as there is some reason to apprehend will be
the case, it is knocked to pieces and carried off in the carpet-bags
of travellers. No traces of the Agora, which occupied the shallow
valley between the Pnyx and the Acropolis, remain. It was the heart of
the city, and was adorned with numerous public buildings, porticoes,
temples, and statues. It was often thronged with citizens gathered for
purposes of trade, discussion, or to hear and tell some new thing.

Half a mile or more to the southeast, on the banks of the Ilissus,
stood a magnificent structure dedicated to Olympian Zeus,--one of the
four largest temples of Greece, ranking with that of Demeter at Eleusis
and that of Diana at Ephesus. Its foundations remain, and sixteen of
the huge Corinthian columns belonging to its majestic triple colonnade.
One of these is fallen. Breaking up into the numerous disks of which
it was composed,--six and a half feet in diameter by two or more in
thickness,--and stretching out to a length of over sixty feet, it gives
an impressive conception of the size of these columns, said to be the
largest standing in Europe. The level area of the temple is now used
as a training-ground for soldiers. Close by, and almost in the bed
of the stream, which is dry the larger part of the year, issues from
beneath a ledge of rock the copious fountain of sweet waters known to
the ancients as Callirrhoe. It furnished the only good drinking-water
of the city, and was used in all the sacrifices to the gods. A little
way above, on the opposite bank of the Ilissus, is the site of the
Panathenaic stadium, whose shape is perfectly preserved in the smooth
grass-grown hollow with semicircular extremity which here lies at right
angles to the stream, between parallel ridges partly artificial.

Northward from the Acropolis, on a slight elevation, is the
best-preserved and one of the most ancient structures of Athens,--the
temple of Theseus, built under the administration of Cimon by the
generation preceding Pericles and the Parthenon. It is of the Doric
order, and shaped like the Parthenon, but considerably inferior to
it in size as well as in execution. It has been roofed with wood in
modern times, and was long used as a church, but is now a place of
deposit for the numerous statues and sculptured stones of various
kinds--mostly sepulchral monuments--which have been recently discovered
in and about the city. They are for the most part unimportant as
works of art, though many are interesting from their antiquity or
historic associations. Among these is the stone which once crowned the
burial-mound on the plain of Marathon. It bears a single figure, said
to represent the messenger who brought the tidings of victory to his

Near the Theseium was the double gate (Dipylum) in the ancient wall of
the city whence issued the Sacred Way leading to Eleusis, and bordered,
like the Appian Way at Rome, with tombs, many of them cenotaphs of
persons who died in the public service and were deemed worthy of a
monument in the public burying-ground. Within a few years an excavation
has been made through an artificial mound of ashes, pottery, and other
refuse emptied out of the city, and a section of a few rods of this
celebrated road has been laid bare. The sepulchral monuments are ranged
on one side rather thickly, and crowd somewhat closely upon the narrow
pavement. They are, for the most part, simple, thick slabs of white
marble, with a triangular or pediment-shaped top, beneath which is
sculptured in low relief the closing scene of the person commemorated,
followed by a short inscription. The work is done in an artistic style
worthy of the publicity its location gave it. On one of these slabs you
recognize the familiar full-length figure of Demosthenes, standing with
two companions and clasping in a parting grasp the hand of a woman, who
is reclining upon her death-bed. The inscription is, _Collyrion, wife
of Agathon_. On another stone of larger size is a more imposing piece
of sculpture. A horseman fully armed is thrusting his spear into the
body of his fallen foe,--a hoplite. The inscription relates that the
unhappy foot-soldier fell at Corinth _by reason of those five words of
his!_--a record intelligible enough, doubtless, to his contemporaries,
but sufficiently obscure and provocative of curiosity to later

There are other noted structures at Athens, such as the Choragic
Monument of Lysicrates--the highest type of the Corinthian order of
architecture, as the Erechtheum is of the Ionic and the Parthenon of
the Doric,--but want of space forbids any further description.



       [History and poetry alike celebrate the beauty of those charming
     isles, which fill with their sunny grace and rich fertility
     the seas of Greece, and on which many of the poets of that
     song-girdled land were born. No work on general travels can be
     complete without some description of these celebrated islands,
     and we select from Dr. H. M. Field's "The Greek Islands" an
     appreciative account of their aspect to the modern traveller.]

In the old picture-books there used to be a picture of the Colossus of
Rhodes, which stood bestriding an arm of the sea with ships in full
sail passing between his mighty legs. Though it was a picture for
children, yet to some who are not children the chief association with
the island of Rhodes is the place where the Colossus stood; and there
are travellers still who come on deck, and look round inquiringly for
some fragment of a ruin which should mark the site of that majestic
figure. But not a vestige remains. Though "His Highness" lifted his
head so proudly, as if he disdained the earth on which he stood, he did
not hold it up very long. Pride must have a fall. He did not live even
to the allotted age of man. He had been standing but fifty-six when an
earthquake shook him down, and for nearly a thousand years he lay like
Dagon, prone upon the ground, with all his glory buried in the dust,
his _disjecta membra_ being trodden underfoot by the barbarous Turk,
till at last they were sold to a Jew(!), who broke them up as men break
up the hull of an old ship, and, packing them on the backs of nine
hundred camels, carried them away. Such was the ignominious end of one
of the Seven Wonders of the World.

But though the Colossus did not stand long, the mere fact of its
standing at all--that a figure over a hundred feet high, wrought in
bronze, like the column of Trajan at Rome, should have been reared
nearly three hundred years before Christ--is a proof of the degree of
civilization attained at that early period. It was a statue to the sun,
and stood in front of the city, where its head would catch the first
rays of the sunlight as it came over the hills of Asia Minor, which lay
on the eastern horizon.

Rhodes is second to Cyprus (if it be second) in antiquity, and its
civilization may be traced to the same sources. Its position at the
mouth of the Ægean Sea, whose waters here mingle with those of the
Mediterranean, invited immigration both from Asia and Africa. The
Phoenicians, sailing westward, landed on its shores; while from farther
south men of another race brought to it the wisdom of the Egyptians.
At the same time, as one of the islands of the Greek Archipelago, it
shared in the intellectual influences of Greece. It stood "where two
seas met," or two civilizations. Like the Channel Islands, which look
upon two kingdoms, it was joined by a chain of islands to Greece,
while it was in full sight of Asia, to which it was nearer than the
white chalk cliffs of Dover to the shores of France. Probably the
island was settled as early as the siege of Troy, though the city was
not founded until about four hundred years before Christ.

It was in the century following that Alexander the Great conquered the
world, and Rhodes bowed to a power which it could not resist, and was
held in awe by the terror of his name, even while he was pursuing his
conquests in the heart of Asia. But as soon as he breathed his last
the spell was broken. The people rose against the Macedonian garrison,
and drove them out, and with recovered liberty came new and increased
prosperity, and the city rose to its greatest splendor. Then was reared
the mighty Colossus; and then sculptors who rivalled those of Greece
filled the city with the products of their art. It was said to contain
not less than three thousand statues. The famous group of the Farnese
Bull--the largest antique sculpture which has been preserved to us, and
which, having once adorned the baths of Caracalla at Rome, is now the
pride of the museum at Naples--was the work of two sculptors of Rhodes.
Such noble statues, adorning the public places of the city, showed that
in the cultivation of art Rhodes, if not the equal, was at least a
worthy imitator, of Athens itself.

All this has passed away. But though despoiled of its treasures; though
the conquerors, who

    "Brought many captives home to Rome,"

brought the sculptures of Rhodes with those of Greece; yet the island
itself remains, fair as when it first rose from the bosom of the Ægean
Sea. Never was it fairer than this morning, as the sunrise, flashing
across the blue waters, lighted up the gray old town, with its walls
and towers, which stand out from a background of hills. The island
rises abruptly from the sea. Beyond the walls of the town houses are
sprinkled over the hill-sides, that are covered with olive-groves,
which at this season are fresh and green. Behind these lower hills are
others that are higher, whose steep sides and rocky crests reminded our
good Dr. Wylie of Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags.

The chief remains of historic interest are those connected with the
Crusaders, when the island was ruled by the Knights of St. John, who
took it, however, not in the advance to the Holy Land, but in the
retreat. When they were driven out of Syria by Saladin, they fell back
upon Rhodes, which they conquered from the Saracens, and held for over
two hundred years,--from 1309 to 1522,--when Solyman the Magnificent
came against it with two hundred thousand men. Then followed a siege
in which men took courage from despair. The city had a garrison of but
six thousand men; yet for six months, in spite of repeated assaults,
it defied the besiegers,--a courage which compelled the respect of
the conqueror, who after the city fell permitted its brave defenders
to retire in safety. A few years later the Emperor Charles V. gave
them the island of Malta, which they fortified till it was one of the
strongest places in the world, and held it till the close of the last

No doubt to us, in this practical and prosaic age, there is something
fantastic and absurd in the institution of the Knights of St. John,
an order in which the profession of arms was strongly united with the
profession of religion. But was it so very absurd, in an age full of
oppression and cruelty, that manly strength and courage should be
devoted to the protection of women against brutal tyranny? For such
was the purpose of the institution of chivalry, which figures so much
in the Middle Ages, where it often supplied the place of a civilized
government. Or when the Moslem conquered Western Asia and threatened
Europe, was it strange that men devoted to arms should band together
for the defence of their faith? This order of St. John was not made up
of carpet knights. No braver men ever fought on bloody fields. Now,
indeed, their wars and battles and sieges are over.

        "The good Knights are dust,
         Their armor rust,
    Their souls are with the saints, we trust."

Though the order still exists, it is not for purposes of war, but of
peace. Its only war is against human misery. This, indeed, was always
a part of its design. There are few things in history more touching
than the solemn vow of those armed knights, which they took "as the
servants of the poor and of Christ." How well that vow has been kept to
this day, the traveller may see who visits the Hospital of the Knights
of St. John in Beirut. True, the order remains, as it has always been,
a very aristocratic one, composed largely of nobles and princes. Its
Grand Master is the Emperor of Germany. But when kings and princes
care for the poor and the sick, when they found hospitals and seek
to relieve human suffering, they deserve the honor and gratitude of

When these gallant Knights of St. John took their sad farewell of
Rhodes, they left behind them traces of their occupation which still
remain in the long sea-wall which guards the city's front, to keep out
an enemy as it keeps out the dashing of the waves. This castellated
wall is a very picturesque object, as it not only lies along the sea,
but turns at either end, winding up the sides of the hill till it has
compassed the city round with its lines of defence, which did such
valiant service in the memorable siege. But apart from its look of a
fortified place, there is nothing warlike in the city of Rhodes. I did
not see a single sentinel keeping guard on the walls, nor see a gun
mounted, nor hear a drum beat. There was nothing to break the silence
of the sleepy old town; and over the wall, which once swarmed with
Crusaders, hurling defiance at the besieging Moslems, there are no more
formidable demonstrations than those of the windmills, which brandish
their long arms against invisible foes.

The "port," if such it may be called, is a diminutive little loch of
water, shut in by a projecting mole, or ledge of rocks, at either end,
on which stands a round tower, a picturesque object in the landscape,
but not very formidable in case of war. One broadside from a man-of-war
would make it a heap of ruins. Indeed, when a fort is converted into a
light-house, it seems to abdicate its martial design, and to be devoted
to the purposes of peace,--all that it is good for now.

It was tantalizing to lie but two or three hundred yards off, and not
be able to land; but there was a high sea, the waves were dashing on
the rocks, tossing their white crests in the air, and if we had gone on
shore it might be difficult to get off in time for the steamer. So we
lay broadside to the town for two or three hours, looking wistfully at
the gates we could not enter.

But though we did not go on shore, we had visitors from the shore. The
Greek boatmen are at home in any sea, and never miss an opportunity
to visit a ship. They came on board to sell little boxes of olive-and
lemon-wood, and other small wares, which the passengers purchased as
souvenirs of Rhodes.

Apart from these petty traffickers, there was a grand old Turk, who
sat gloomily in conversation with one who knew him. He was a pasha who
had been high in power in Constantinople, but for some cause lost the
favor of the Sultan, and was banished to Rhodes. Whether he was guilty
of any crime we knew not, nor did it matter whether he was guilty or
innocent. Perhaps he had been too inflexibly honest, and so encountered
the ill-favor of the Grand Vizier. In either case he had to suffer. The
Turkish rule knows neither justice nor mercy. However, his fate was
lighter than that of many. He was not kept a prisoner, shut up in a
fortress; there was no chain upon his hand; and yet we could not look
upon that sad face without feeling how bitter was the bread of exile.

Leaving the city behind us, we sail along the shores of the island,
and are charmed with their picturesque beauty. The long line of
elevated coast sweeps in and out, projecting and receding, with bays
stretching inland, at the end of which one catches glimpses of soft
valleys sloping upward to the hills, behind and above which is the
mountain-ridge which forms the backbone of the island. These valleys
once supported a large population; but now, under the destructive
Turkish rule, it has dwindled till there are not forty thousand left.
A few poor villages cling to the hill-sides whose inhabitants live
on their small plantations of olives, or derive a scanty living from
the sea, from which they gather sponges and coral. But with a better
government and increased facilities for agriculture and commerce,
there is no reason why Rhodes may not recover something of its former
prosperity. Its climate is still the finest in the Mediterranean; the
sun shines brightly as ever; and the valleys, spite of all the waste
and neglect, still retain their natural fertility. With proper culture,
they would yield rich harvests, besides oranges and lemons and citrons,
with the figs and raisins, which are now exported so largely from
Smyrna; while the olive-trees, which grow abundantly, would pour forth
"rivers of oil."

We are now in the heart of the Greek Archipelago, which has been
famed for its beauty from the days of Homer. As we stood in a group
on deck, entranced with the swiftly-changing scene, it was natural
that we should compare it with our observation in other parts of the
world. A couple of our fellow-passengers, who were on their return
from the Far East, said that it reminded them of the Inland Sea of
Japan. My thoughts turned to the Malayan Archipelago, where the islands
hang rich with tropical vegetation, and the seas flash at night with
phosphorescent splendor. But with all that is attractive in those
groups of islands, I can hardly believe anything to be equal to this
Greek Archipelago. It seems to me that no waters can be so beautiful
as those of the Ægean Sea, although there are waters of wonderful
clearness in our Western Hemisphere, notably those round the Bahamas
and the Bermudas.

And then the Greek islands, so many in number, are of all sizes, large
and small, from the rocky islet, fit only for a sea-gull's nest, to an
island containing hundreds of square miles. All have the same general
character, rising directly from the sea. The coasts are often so rocky
that it seems as if a goat could hardly live upon them, and yet midway
between the cliffs are little hamlets and patches of cultivation. The
outlines of the higher peaks of the islands, broken and jagged, remind
us, as they stand up against the sky, of Capri and Ischia in the Bay
of Naples, or those African mountains which we saw from the Peninsula
of Sinai, on the other side of the Red Sea. Putting all these things
together, whatever may be said of the Malayan Archipelago, or of the
Inland Sea of Japan, I give my voice for the Greek Archipelago as the
most wonderful combination of land and sea, where the most picturesque
of islands rise out of the fairest of waters.

[Illustration: CORINTH, GREECE]

We did not touch at Patmos. There is nothing to invite a steamer to
turn aside from its course to visit it, except it were to gratify the
curiosity of travellers. It has no commerce of any kind. Indeed, its
few inhabitants have at certain seasons of the year to cross to other
islands to procure the means of subsistence. So barren is it that it
was chosen by the Roman emperors as a place of banishment, on which
prisoners could be confined as to a rock in the ocean. Yet this poor
little island has gathered about it a mighty tradition, for it was
the place of exile of the last of the Apostles. "I, John, was in the
isle that is called Patmos, for the Word of God, and for the testimony
of Jesus Christ." Here he wrote the Book of Revelation, and here was
erected in the twelfth century a monastery bearing his name. We thought
we could just discern the outline of the island and the convent rising
above it on the western horizon.

The next morning at daylight we were off Scio, that island of sad
and bloody memories. Sixty years ago it was the scene of an event
which made the ears of the civilized world to tingle. When the Greek
Revolution broke out in 1822 it is said that the people here were
reluctant to take part in it, but were stirred up by emissaries from
Samos; and, perhaps because Scio had been one of the most prosperous of
the Greek islands, it was to be the special mark of Turkish vengeance.
A fleet anchored off the town, and without a warning of its terrible
fate, soldiers were let loose upon the inhabitants. No age or sex was
spared. Not only were men cut down in their homes, but their wives and
children with them. Twenty-two thousand were put to the sword, and
forty-seven thousand were sold into slavery. But this massacre was not
to go unavenged. The Greeks had no ships of war, but they converted old
hulks into fire-ships, in which they sailed with the utmost daring into
the centre of the Turkish fleet, and setting them on fire, escaped in
their boats. The flag-ship was burnt, and the admiral and crew perished
in the flames,--a terrible retribution for the massacre of Scio. Since
Greek independence was secured, it has partly recovered; but several
years since the town was nearly destroyed by an earthquake, so that it
seems as if the island were doomed to destruction.

But all over this wreck and ruin shines the brightness of a name that
will ever give to it a place in history. It is the reputed birthplace
of Homer, and as such cannot be passed by without notice by the

       [From Scio, Dr. Field sailed for Asia Minor, and spent some time
     among its historic cities. On his return he passed the island
     of Lesbos, which has long been famous as the home of Sappho and
     others of the lyric poets of Greece.]

As the afternoon drew on, we were approaching a large island,--the
ancient Lesbos, now Mitylene,--and as we were on its eastern side,
and the sun was sinking in the west, we were coming under its shadow,
and this softer light enabled us to see it better than we could have
done in the glare of noonday. The tops of the mountains stood out
with wonderful clearness against the sky, while the outline of the
coast winding in and out with its headlands and its bays, and the soft
green valleys rising from the shore and running upward to the slopes
of the hills, gave it an infinite variety and beauty. Clinging to the
hill-sides were pretty villages, with groves of oak cultivated for the
acorns they yield, which are used for tanning purposes and exported
to Europe, while the pine-forests on the mountains furnish timber and

The valleys are very fertile, and if they are not "covered over with
corn," they have large plantations of fig and other fruit-trees; while
the olive-orchards, if they do not pour out "rivers of oil," yet yield
it in such abundance as makes it the chief industry of the island,
and furnishes a source of wealth to the thrifty inhabitants. All these
varieties of vegetation were now in their perfect bloom, as it was the
middle of May, when in the East the earth rejoices in the freshness
of spring-time. As we sailed along these shores in the twilight, I
wondered if a fairer Arcadia ever rose out of the waters of this
troubled world.

The island of Lesbos has an important place in Greek history, even at
its most remote period. As early as the siege of Troy it had a large
population, and continued to flourish for centuries.

When Athens had its Academy, Lesbos had its schools of philosophy,
which attracted the wise men of Greece. It was even more famous as the
birthplace of a school of lyric poets,--

    "Where burning Sappho lived and sung,"

and others whose stirring odes live in the collections of Greek poetry.

When the Romans became masters of the East they were attracted by
the beauty of the Greek islands. Their fondness for a mild-tempered
climate, such as is found in greatest perfection in an island lying in
summer seas, where the temperature of the sea softens alike the heat
of summer and the cold of winter,--which led them to choose Ischia
and Capri, at the mouth of the Bay of Naples, as favorite abodes of
Imperial luxury,--led them, when sent to distant provinces, to choose
Lesbos, which Tacitus describes in a line as "_insula nobilis et
amoena_" [a noble and pleasant island], as one of those semi-royal
retreats in which a Roman governor might pass his splendid exile, and
almost forget his absence from the imperial city....

On the whole, Mitylene seems to me the most important, as well as the
most beautiful, island of the Archipelago, and this very beauty and
fertility but increase the regret that it should be under the rule of
Turkey when it ought to belong to Greece. It is nearer to Athens than
to Constantinople. It lies midway between the shores of Asia Minor and
the mainland of Greece, and its population is almost wholly Greek. It
is Greek in religion. One coming into Mitylene sees neither mosque nor
minaret. Thus it is Greek by its position, its history, and its people.
If ever there comes a time of "the restitution of all things," the
island will be taken from Turkey and restored to its natural place as
part of the young kingdom of Greece.



       [Dr. Clarke, in his animated descriptions of the countries of
     Eastern Europe, gives picturesque accounts of what is to be seen
     in Constantinople and other portions of the Sultan's domain.
     Perhaps the most interesting of these is his description of a
     stolen visit to the seraglio, a tabooed place only to be inspected
     at imminent risk of life. Our traveller managed to see it quite
     thoroughly, as will be seen from his story of the dangerous

I eagerly sought an opportunity to examine the interior of the
seraglio; and, difficult as the undertaking may seem, soon found the
means of its accomplishment. The harmony existing between England and
the Porte at that critical juncture when Egypt was to be restored
to the Turks by the valor of our troops, greatly facilitated the
enterprise. I felt convinced that within the walls of the seraglio many
interesting antiquities were concealed from observation; and I was not

The first place to which my observations were directed was the
imperial armory; and here, to my great gratification, I beheld the
weapons, shields, and military engines of the Greek emperors, exactly
corresponding with those represented on the medals and bas-reliefs of
the ancients, suspended as trophies of the capture of the city by the

Soon after this some pages, belonging to the seraglio, brought
from the Sultan's apartments the fragments of a magnificent vase
of jasper-agate, which, it was said, his highness had dashed to
pieces in a moment of anger. As these fragments were cast away, and
disregarded, they came at last into the hands of a poor lapidary, who
earned a scanty livelihood by cutting and polishing stones for the
signet-rings of the Turks. In one of my mineralogical excursions, the
merchants of the _bez esten_, where jewels are sold, directed me to the
laboratory of this man, to obtain the precious stones of the country
in their natural state. He was then employed upon the fragments of
this vase, and very gladly spared the labor which he would otherwise
have bestowed by consigning, for a small sum, the whole of them to
me. It is hardly possible to conceive a more extraordinary proof of
the genius and industry of Grecian artists than was presented by
this vase. Its fragments are still in my possession; and have been
reserved for annual exhibition, during a course of public lectures in
the University of Cambridge. When it is stated that the treasury of
Mithridates contained four thousand specimens of similar manufacture,
all of which came into the hands of the Romans, and that the Turks are
unable to execute anything of the same nature, it is highly probable
this curious relique originally constituted one of the number, which,
after passing into the possession of the Turks at the conquest of the
city, had continued to adorn the palace of their sovereigns. Such a
conjecture is strengthened by the mythological figure, represented in
exquisite sculpture, on the vase itself. It consists of an entire mass
of green jasper-agate, beautifully variegated with veins and spots of
a vermilion color; so that part of it exhibits the ribbon-jasper and
part the bloodstone. The handle is formed to represent the head of
a griffin (carved in all the perfection of the finest cameo), whose
extended wings and claws cover the exterior surface. The difficulty of
working a silicious concretion of such extraordinary hardness needs not
to be specified; it may be presumed that the entire life of the ancient
lapidary, by whom it was wrought, could have been scarcely adequate to
such a performance; nor do we at all know in what manner the work was
effected. Yet there are parts of it in which the sides of the vase are
as thin as the finest porcelain.

A second visit, which I made to the interior of the seraglio, was not
attended by any very interesting discovery; but as it enabled me to
describe with minuteness scenes hitherto impervious to European eyes,
the reader may be gratified by the observations made within those
walls. Every one is curious to know what exists within recesses which
have been long closed against the intrusion of Christians. In vain does
the eye, roaming from the towers of Galata, Pera, and Constantinople,
attempt to penetrate the thick gloom of cypresses and domes which
distinguishes the most beautiful part of Constantinople. Imagination
magnifies things unknown; and when, in addition to the curiosity
always excited by mystery, the reflection is suggested that ancient
Byzantium occupied the site of the Sultan's palace, a thirst of inquiry
is proportionably augmented. I promise to conduct my readers not only
within the retirement of the seraglio, but into the charem itself, and
the most secluded haunts of the Turkish sovereign. Would only I could
also promise a degree of satisfaction, in this respect, adequate to
their desire of information.

It so happened that the gardener of the Grand Seignior, during our
residence in Constantinople, was a German. This person used to mix
with the society in Pera, and often joined in the evening parties
given by the different foreign ministers. In this manner we became
acquainted with him, and were invited to his apartments within the
walls of the seraglio, close to the gates of the Sultan's garden.
We were accompanied during our first visit by his intimate friend,
the secretary and chaplain of the Swedish mission, who, but a short
time before, had succeeded in obtaining a sight of the four principal
Sultanas and the Sultan mother, in consequence of his frequent visits
to the gardener. They were sitting together one morning, when the
cries of the black eunuchs, opening the door of the charem, which
communicated with the seraglio gardens, announced that these ladies
were going to take the air. In order to do this it was necessary to
pass the gates adjoining the gardener's lodge, where an _arabat_ was
stationed to receive them, in which it was usual for them to drive
round the walks of the seraglio, within the walls of the palace.

Upon these occasions the black eunuchs examine every part of the
garden, and run before the women, calling out to all persons to avoid
approaching or beholding them, under pain of death. The gardener and
his friend the Swede instantly closed all the shutters and locked the
doors. The black eunuchs arriving soon after, and finding the lodge
shut, supposed the gardener to be absent. Presently followed the Sultan
mother, with the four principal Sultanas, who were in high glee,
romping and laughing with each other. A small scullery window of the
gardener's lodge looked directly towards the gate through which these
ladies were to pass, and was separated from it only by a few yards.
Here, through two small gimlet-holes, bored for that purpose, they
beheld very distinctly the features of the women, whom they described
as possessing extraordinary beauty. Three of the four were Georgians,
having dark complexions and very long dark hair; but the fourth was
remarkably fair, and her hair, also of singular length and thickness,
was of a flaxen color; neither were their teeth dyed black, as those of
Turkish women generally are.

The Swedish gentleman said he was almost sure they suspected they were
seen, from the address they manifested in displaying their charms and
in loitering at the gate. This gave him and his friend no small degree
of terror, as they would have paid for their curiosity with their lives
if any such suspicion had entered the minds of the black eunuchs. He
described their dresses as rich beyond all that can be imagined. Long
spangled robes, open in front, with pantaloons embroidered in gold
and silver, and covered by a profusion of pearls and precious stones,
displayed their persons to great advantage, but were so heavy as to
actually encumber their motion and almost to impede their walking.
Their hair hung in loose and very thick tresses on each side of their
cheeks, falling quite down to the waist, and covering their shoulders
behind. Those tresses were quite powdered with diamonds, not displayed
according to any studied arrangement, but as if carelessly scattered
by handfuls among their flowing locks. On the top of their heads, and
rather leaning to one side, they wore each of them a small circular
patch or diadem. Their faces, necks, and even their breasts were quite
exposed, not one of them having any veil.

The German gardener, who had daily access to different parts of the
seraglio, offered to conduct us not only over the gardens, but
promised, if we would come singly, during the season of the _Ramadan_,
when the guards, being up all night, would be stupefied during the day
with sleep and intoxication, to undertake the greater risk of showing
us the interior of the charem, or apartments of the women,--that is
to say, of that part which they inhabit during the summer; for they
were still in their winter chambers. We readily accepted this offer.
I only solicited the further indulgence of being accompanied by a
French artist of the name of Preaux, whose extraordinary promptitude
in design would enable him to bring away sketches of anything we might
find interesting, either in the charem or gardens of the seraglio.
The apprehensions of Monsieur Preaux were, however, so great, that it
was with the greatest difficulty I could prevail upon him to venture
into the seraglio, and he afterwards either lost or secreted the only
drawing which his fears would allow him to make while he was there.

We left Pera, in a gondola, about seven o'clock in the morning,
embarking at Tophana, and steering towards that gate of the seraglio
which faces the Bosporus on the southeastern side, where the entrance
to the seraglio gardens and the gardener's lodge are situated. A
bostanghy, as a sort of porter, is usually seated, with his attendants,
within the portal. Upon entering the seraglio, the spectator is struck
by a wild and confused assemblage of great and interesting objects.
Among the first of these are enormous cypresses, massive and lofty
masonry, neglected and broken sarcophagi, high-rising mounds, and a
long, gloomy avenue, leading from the gates of the garden between
the double walls of the seraglio. This gate is the same by which the
Sultanas came out for the airing before alluded to, and the gardener's
lodge is on the right hand of it. The avenue extending from it towards
the west offers a broad and beautiful, although solitary, walk, to a
very considerable extent shut in by high walls on both sides. Directly
opposite this entrance of the seraglio is a very lofty mound, or bank,
covered by large trees, and traversed by terraces, over which, on the
top, are walls with turrets. On the right hand, after entering, are the
large wooden folding doors of the Grand Seignior's gardens, and near
them lie many fragments of ancient marbles, appropriated to the vilest
purposes; among others, a sarcophagus of one block of marble, covered
with a simple though unmeaning bas-relief.

Entering the gardens by the folding doors, a pleasing _coup d'oeil_
of trellis-work and covered walks is displayed, more after the
taste of Holland than that of any other country. Various and very
despicable _jets d'eau_, straight gravel-walks, and borders disposed
in parallelograms, with the exception of a long greenhouse filled with
orange-trees, compose all that appears in the small spot which bears
the name of the seraglio gardens. The view on entering is down the
principal gravel-walk, and all the walks meet at the central point,
beneath a dome of the same trellis-work by which they are covered.
Small fountains spout a few quarts of water into large shells, or
form parachutes over lighted bougies, by the sides of the walks.
The trellis-work is of wood, painted white, and covered by jasmine;
and this, as it does not conceal the artificial frame by which it
is supported, produces a wretched effect. On the outside of the
trellis-work appear small parterres, edged with box, containing very
common flowers, and adorned with fountains. On the right hand, after
entering the garden, appears the magnificent kiosk, which constitutes
the Sultan's summer residence; and farther on is the orangery before
mentioned, occupying the whole extent of the wall on that side.

Exactly opposite the garden gates is the door of the charem, or palace
of the women belonging to the Grand Seignior; a building not unlike
one of the small colleges in Cambridge, and enclosing the same sort of
cloistered court. One side of this building extends across the upper
extremity of the garden, so that the windows look into it. Below these
windows are two small greenhouses, filled with very common plants, and
a number of canary-birds. Before the charem windows, on the right hand,
is a ponderous, gloomy, wooden door; and this, creaking on its massive
hinges, opens to the quadrangle, or interior court of the charem
itself.... We will keep this door shut for a short time, in order to
describe the seraglio gardens more minutely; and afterwards open it, to
gratify the reader's curiosity.

Still facing the charem on the left hand is a paved ascent, leading,
through a handsome gilded iron gate, from the lower to the upper
garden. Here is a kiosk, which I shall presently describe. Returning
from the charem to the door by which we first entered, a lofty wall on
the right hand supports a terrace with a few small parterres: these,
at a considerable height above the lower garden, constitute what is
now called the upper part of the seraglio; and, till within these few
years, it was the only one.

Having thus completed the tour of this small and insignificant spot
of ground, let us now enter the kiosk, which I first mentioned as
the Sultan's summer residence. It is situated on the sea-shore, and
commands one of the finest views the eye ever beheld, of Scutari and
the Asiatic coast, the mouth of the canal, and a moving picture of
ships, gondolas, dolphins, birds, with all the floating pageantry of
this vast metropolis, such as no other capital in the world can pretend
to exhibit. The kiosk itself, fashioned after the airy fantastic
style of Eastern architecture, presents a spacious chamber, covered
by a dome, from which, towards the sea, advances a raised platform
surrounded by windows, and terminated by a divan. On the right and
left are the private apartments of the Sultan and his ladies. From
the centre of the dome is suspended a large lustre presented by the
English ambassador. Above the raised platform hangs another lustre of a
smaller size, but more elegant. Immediately over the sofas constituting
the divan are mirrors engraved with Turkish inscriptions; poetry and
passages from the Korân. The sofas are of white satin beautifully
embroidered by the women of the seraglio.

       [Our traveller proceeds to describe the various apartments
     visited, including the rooms devoted to the women of the
     seraglio, and the charem (or harem) itself. Passing through large
     dormitories, the great chamber of audience of the Sultan mother
     was reached, an apartment theatrical in adornment, and giving "a
     striking idea of the pomp, the seclusion, and the magnificence of
     the Ottoman court."]

Beyond the great chamber of audience is the Assembly Room of the
Sultan, when he is in the charem. Here we observed the magnificent
lustre before mentioned. The Sultan sometimes visits this chamber
during the winter, to hear music and to amuse himself with his
favorites. It is surrounded by mirrors. The other ornaments display
that strange mixture of magnificence and wretchedness which
characterize all the state chambers of Turkish grandees. Leaving the
Assembly Room by the same door through which we entered, and continuing
along the passage as before, which runs parallel to the sea-shore, we
at length reached what might be termed the _sanctum sanctorum_ of this
Paphian temple, the baths of the Sultan mother and the four principal
Sultanas. These are small, but very elegant, constructed of white
marble, and lighted by ground glass above. At the upper end is a raised
sudatory and bath for the Sultan mother, concealed by lattice-work from
the rest of the apartment. Fountains play constantly into the floor of
this bath from all its sides; and every degree of refined luxury has
been added to the work which a people, above all others best versed in
the ceremonies of the bath, have been capable of inventing or requiring.

Leaving the bath and returning along the passage by which we came, we
entered what is called the Chamber of Repose. Nothing need be said of
it, except that it commands the finest view anywhere afforded from
this point of the seraglio. It forms a part of the building well known
to strangers, from the circumstance of its being supported, towards
the sea, by twelve columns of that beautiful and rare _breccia_, the
_viride Lacedoemonium_ of Pliny, called by Italians _Il verde antico_.
These columns are of the finest quality ever seen, and each of them
consists of one entire stone. The two interior pillars are of green
Egyptian breccia, more beautiful than any specimen of the kind existing.

       [An apartment overlooking the gardens was now reached, on
     attempting to leave which for the garden, they found to their
     consternation that the door had been locked since their entrance.
     A slave had entered to feed some turkeys, and fortunately the
     noise made by these birds enabled them to force back the lock
     without being heard and escape.]

We now quitted the lower garden of the seraglio and ascended by a paved
road towards the chamber of the Garden of Hyacinths. This promised
to be interesting, as we were told the Sultan passed almost all his
private hours in that apartment, and the view of it might make us
acquainted with occupations and amusements which characterize the man,
divested of the outward parade of the sultan. We presently turned
from the paved ascent towards the right, and entered a small garden,
laid out into very neat oblong borders, edged with porcelain or Dutch
tiles. Here no plant is suffered to grow except the hyacinth, whence
the name of this garden and the chamber it contains. We examined this
apartment by looking through a window. Nothing can be more magnificent.
Three sides of it were surrounded by a divan, the cushions and pillows
of which were of black embroidered satin. Opposite the windows of
the chamber was a fireplace, after the ordinary European fashion;
and on each side of this, a door covered with hangings of crimson
cloth. Between each of these doors and the fireplace appeared a glass
case, containing the Sultan's private library, every volume being in
manuscript, and upon shelves, one above the other, and the title of
each book written on the edges of its leaves.

From the ceiling of the room, which was of burnished gold, opposite
each of the doors and also opposite to the fireplace, hung three gilt
cages containing small figures of artificial birds; these sung by
mechanism. In the centre of the room stood an enormous gilt brazier,
supported, in a ewer, by four massive claws, like vessels seen under
sideboards in England. Opposite to the entrance, on one side of the
apartment, was a raised bench, crossing a door, on which were placed an
embroidered napkin, a vase, and basin for washing the beard and hands.
Over this bench, upon the wall, was suspended the large embroidered
_porte-feuille_, worked with silver thread on yellow leather, which is
carried in procession when the Sultan goes to mosque or elsewhere in
public, to contain the petitions presented by his subjects. In a nook
close to the door was also a pair of yellow boots, and on the bench, by
the ewer, a pair of slippers of the same materials. These are placed at
the entrance of every apartment frequented by the Sultan.

The floor was covered with Gobelin tapestry, and the ceiling, as before
stated, magnificently gilded and burnished. Groups of arms, such as
pistols, sabres, and poignards, were disposed with very singular taste
and effect on the different compartments of the walls, the handles
and scabbards of which were covered with diamonds of very large size;
these, as they glittered around, gave a most gorgeous effect to the
splendor of this sumptuous chamber.

We had scarce ended our survey of this costly scene when, to our
great dismay, a bostanghy made his appearance within the apartment,
but, fortunately for us, his head was turned from the window, and we
immediately sunk below it, creeping upon our hands and knees, until we
got clear of the Garden of Hyacinths. Thence, ascending to the upper
walks, we passed an aviary of nightingales.

The walks in the upper garden are very small, in wretched condition,
and laid out in worse taste than the fore court of a Dutchman's house
in the suburbs of the Hague. Small as they are, they constituted,
until lately, the whole of the seraglio gardens near the sea, and from
them may be seen the whole prospect of the entrance to the canal and
the opposite coast of Scutari. Here, in an old kiosk, is seen a very
ordinary marble slab, supported on iron cramps; this, nevertheless,
was a present from Charles the Twelfth of Sweden. It is precisely the
sort of sideboard seen in the lowest inns of England; and, while it may
be said no person would pay half the amount of its freight to send it
back again, it shows the nature of the presents then made to the Porte
by foreign princes. From these formal parterres we descended to the
gardener's lodge, and left the gardens by the gate through which we

I never should have offered so copious a detail of the scenery of this
remarkable place if I did not believe that an account of the interior
of the seraglio would be satisfactory, from the secluded nature of the
objects to which it bears reference, and the little probability there
is of so favorable an opportunity being again granted to any traveller
for its investigation.



       [They who would see Swiss scenery at its best will not fail to
     visit Zermatt, and thither went the traveller from whom we now
     quote. What he saw there, and what makes Zermatt worth visiting,
     we leave it to him to relate.]

It has been said that one may ascend the Gorner Grat a hundred times
and yet not obtain a clear view of the mountains. If this be true,
I was exceptionally fortunate in the day I selected for the ascent.
Four days of perfectly unclouded weather followed my advent in the
marvellous valley of Zermatt, and as the district is somewhat removed
from the more frequented tracks, and has, perhaps, been less often
described, I venture on a slight record of what I saw in the short time
at my disposal.

For, in spite of the facilities of travel in these days of railways
and steamboats, in spite of all that has been written on the subject,
Switzerland is still a _terra incognita_ to the great mass of English
people. The majesty of its mountains, the fragrance of its pine
forests, the richness of its valleys, are still as a sealed book to
the multitude. A great proportion even of those who have the means are
content to live and die without gazing on these most marvellous works
of God's hand, although they may become acquainted with them for a sum
which a man would willingly pay for a quarter cask of dinner sherry, or
a woman for a new silk dress.

Zermatt, the crowning glory of the Alps, is somewhat difficult of
access. Coming from England, it is best to go by rail straight to
Sierre, and thence by diligence or private conveyance to Visp, some
seventeen miles farther up the Rhone valley. Here it is better to
shoulder one's knapsack, for there is no carriage road for the first
twelve miles of the Visp-Thal, which leads to Zermatt, though the
mule-path is exceptionally good.

Visp itself is an interesting spot. It is beautifully situated in the
Rhone valley at the point where the river, bearing the same name,
comes foaming down from the Gorner glacier, twenty-seven miles away.
The river flows into the Rhone near this point with a volume almost as
great as the Rhone itself. The little town was once a place of great
importance. The houses on the heights, which still bear traces of
the earthquake of 1855, were formerly the palaces of the princes of
the Valais. The church, which stands on an eminence above the river,
is a most interesting building, sadly neglected by guide-books, and,
consequently, by tourists. It is built on the remains of a Roman
temple. There is a picturesque Roman gate-way, with time-worn marble
columns, which certainly ought not to be passed over; and in the
charnel-house, exposed to the church-yard, is a ghastly array of many
hundred human skulls ranged in tiers against the inner wall.

In company with a friend who had been my companion in many previous
mountain rambles, I trudged up to St. Nicolaus in the cool of the
afternoon. It is a walk of four and a half hours from Visp. The path
skirts the mountain-side, with the river foaming in its rocky bed
many hundred feet below. St. Nicolaus is a village, with a huge hotel
situated in the midst of pastures where the valley widens, with a
church whose metallic steeple shines miles and miles away like silver,
and whose bells jingle out the quaintest chimes it was ever my lot to
hear. We arrived at sunset, and were rejoiced to find we could get
beds, for the valley was undergoing a perfect invasion of tourists,
and the pedestrian was likely to fare badly who had not previously
telegraphed to secure quarters in advance.

All that night the summer lightning flashed among the crags, and the
thunder boomed far down the sleeping valley; but the clouds lifted a
little in the morning, and at an early hour we were wending our way
along the excellent carriage-road which exists between St. Nicolaus and
Zermatt. Our hearts were elated with anticipation, for we knew we were
within a few miles of that most majestic, and, from association, most
melancholy, of all Swiss mountains, the Matterhorn. The turn of the
road near Zermatt was to reveal it to us, and eagerly we watched the
heavy masses of vapor as they swept down the mountain-side, shutting
out the Weisshorn on our right, and even the Bies glacier far below it,
fearing, after all, that the glorious spectacle would be denied us, for
this day at least, but little anticipating the wondrous effect under
which we subsequently obtained our first clear view of the renowned

Denser and denser grew the vapors, and when at length the moment
arrived which we had anticipated for so many days, we were destined to
be disappointed. The driving mist only revealed to us for one brief
moment the rocks at the base of the mighty mountain, though this base
is fixed some four thousand feet above the village of Zermatt.


This little village, situated in the midst of lovely green pastures,
in an amphitheatre of mighty peaks, and at an altitude of over five
thousand feet above the sea, would be one of the most attractive spots
on earth but for its dirt. Were it not for the palliatives offered
by its two excellent hotels, Monte Rosa and Monte Cervin, both kept
by the world-renowned M. Seiler, the dirt and the odors of Zermatt
would be unbearable. To our great dismay, we found on our arrival
that there was no possible accommodation at either of the hotels. The
rain was beginning to fall; we were tired and hungry. To go on to
the Riffel Hotel, three thousand one hundred and thirteen feet above
Zermatt itself, seemed an absurdity in such weather; for there, at an
elevation of over eight thousand feet, we should be enveloped in the
denser vapors above, and half frozen into the bargain. We sought the
_salle-à-manger_, and consoled ourselves with cutlets and Beaujolais.
There we held serious counsel together, and lit our pipes and sallied
forth to inspect the prospect outside. We went first to the little
church where, side by side, lie two of the victims of the Matterhorn
accident, Hudson and Hadow, and on the other side of the church the
remains of poor Michael Croz, the guide. The body of Lord Francis
Douglas, who also perished on that occasion, was never found. It is
supposed that it is still suspended among the awful and inaccessible
crags on the side of the mountain where they fell.

We sauntered on beyond the village, and sat down in a melancholy mood
on a broken rail to consider our position. Through a rift in the
clouds we could make out the Riffel Hotel on the bare mountain-side,
high above the pine-woods on our left. "Should we go on, in spite of
wind and weather?" It would be so much gained, at least in the event
of a change for the better. We hastened back to the hotel. "Did they
think we could get accommodation at the Riffel, if we went up?" "Yes;
they were sure we should get mattresses in the salon, at all events."
So on we went, over the first bridge beyond the village, past the
little church of Winkelmatten, and then up the steep path through the
pine-woods. From the openings between the trees we soon began to look
down upon the foot of the Gorner glacier, and the fine waterfall of
the Visp rushing out from its icy cradle, which, by some strange freak
of nature, occurs at a point many hundred feet above the foot of the
glacier, the two torrents flowing side by side, the one flashing,
foaming, and leaping, with all the quick impulsiveness of life, the
other cold, silent, and irresistible as the advancing footsteps of

In due course we reached the chalets on the Augstkummenmatt, and were
clear of the pine-woods. Here the rain became sleet, and the bare
slopes of short grass around were rapidly putting on a mantle of white.
The vapors drove in thick folds over the dreary waste of the Theodule
glacier to our right, and for a moment now and then the frowning
eastern face of the Matterhorn loomed through the clouds, but only to
disappear once more behind still denser masses of vapor.

We were glad at length to reach the broad terrace of the mountain upon
which stands the Riffel Hotel, and to receive an assurance from the
obliging proprietress--M. Seiler's sister--that she would do the best
she could for us, though bedrooms were out of the question.

The air was intensely keen. The water, when we essayed to wash our
hands, was of an icy temperature, and we put on whatever extra clothing
we could abstract from our knapsacks. An excellent table-d'hôte,
however, soon set us right; and a brisk walk after dark up and down
the plateau in front of the hotel, in company with the newly-arrived
English clergyman, who had undertaken the duties of chaplain at the
hotel for three or four Sundays, brought the day to an agreeable close.

The chaplain, who was anxious to obtain some information as to the
usual length and style of service, had made the acquaintance of the
King of the Riffel, as he is called, an English gentleman, who passes
several months every season in this elevated region, and considers
it the most enjoyable spot in Europe. He was somewhat emphatic in
his directions to the chaplain to make the service and sermon as
short as possible, and on no account to attempt any singing. "For,"
he continued, "there being no instrument of any kind, everybody sings
a different tune, and sings out of tune as well, the effect being
disastrous. Last Sunday a man, with a perversity of judgment I never
saw equalled, produced a flute, and as he played at a pitch which no
human voice could sustain, and as everybody tried to follow, you may
imagine what the din was like."

We had been informed that there were twenty-nine people in the house,
including ourselves, unprovided with beds, and that we were to be
accommodated _on the table in the salle-à-manger_. The prospect was
not agreeable, and we lingered in the warm salon until half-past ten,
by which time the ladies had all retired. Presently a small army of
maid-servants marched into the room with folding iron bedsteads,
mattresses, blankets, and sheets. To our huge delight, four comfortable
beds were made in as many minutes, and we were informed that two
other gentlemen and ourselves were to be the only occupants of the
room. The tables, with white cloths spread upon them, were converted
into wash-stands, and plenty of rugs were brought to do duty as
counterpanes. Nothing could be more comfortable. We went to bed in
perfect luxury, not, however, before taking a last look from the front
door in the direction of the Matterhorn, and finding, to our great
delight, that the summit of the mountain was at last clearly defined
above a line of motionless clouds, and that the stars were twinkling
brightly overhead.

Our two companions in the salon were young Americans, who were to
depart early the next morning for the Cima di Jazi. They were astir
by daybreak, and, roused by their departure, I found it impossible to
go to sleep again. After tossing restlessly for an hour, I rose, and,
on going to the window, beheld the glorious snows of the Breithorn
flushed with the coming sunlight rising just above the shoulder of the
mountain near the hotel. Rousing my companion, and dressing as rapidly
as possible, I made for the door of the hotel, and stepped out upon
the terrace. I had looked upon many scenes of grandeur and beauty in
many parts of Switzerland, from the Rigi, from Pilatus, from Mürren,
from the Lauberhorn, but never in all my experience had I witnessed a
scene like that which lay before me. There was not a speck in all the
blue vault of heaven. The frosty air was so clear that distance was
annihilated. Right before me, separated only from the steep slope on
which I stood by the deep valley in which lie the Gorner and Furggen
glaciers, rose the majestic Matterhorn, a silent solitary pinnacle
of bare rock, five thousand feet from base to summit, enthroned upon
a pinnacle of snow and ice, which is itself ten thousand feet from
the ocean level, standing aloof, and seeming to frown defiance on its
fellows, which lay grouped around on every side. The rosy glow of
sunrise pervaded it now,--an intense liquid light, which revealed its
furrowed sides, its seams of snow, its overhanging brow, its ice-bound
feet, its treacherous chasms, its awful precipices,--and softened its
asperity into a loveliness which held us spell-bound for many minutes.

We knew there were other wonders to be seen around, but it was
difficult to withdraw our eyes from this most remarkable of all
mountain forms. Slowly we let them wander more to the northward,
beyond the valley wherein lies the Z'Mutt glacier which separates the
Matterhorn from the Dent Blanche, and the magnificent range of peaks
stretching away towards the Rhone Valley. All these were illuminated
by the same lovely light, forming a barrier of gold on the west side
of the Visp Valley, which stretched before us as far as the distant
Bietchhorn. Opposite these, bounding the valley on the east, were
the not less majestic ranges of the Mischabel group, over which the
sunlight streamed in long level rays, and between--at least a thousand
feet below us--lay a vast, silent, undulating mass of pale gray
clouds, blotting out the valley beneath with one unbroken sea of vapor
twenty-five miles long, upon which the shadows of the eastern mountains
were distended as distinctly as upon a solid plain. "Thank heaven that
we came up!" we both ejaculated. Zermatt and all the valley below must
have been shrouded in semi-darkness, while we, far above the clouds,
seemed lifted to another sphere, where the atmosphere was so infinitely
pure, the silence so solemn and intense, that we almost feared to speak
lest we should break the spell which wrapped this mystic world of
wonder and unspeakable delight.

Within half an hour we are _en route_ for the Gorner Grat, a rocky
point which still lay eighteen feet above us, and which we attained
after an easy walk of an hour and a half. The ground was frozen hard as
we mounted slope after slope of short grass and rock, and the miniature
lakes which lay here and there in the hollows near the path were coated
with ice to the thickness of half an inch. The August sun, however,
rising above the ridges in front of us, soon dispelled the frosty
breath of night, and before we reached the summit of the Grat we were
glad to draw down the broad brims of our hats to shield our faces from
the rays, which in the pure dry atmosphere of this altitude--over ten
thousand feet--seemed to scorch and blister the skin.

The Gorner Grat is one of the very few spots in the Alps where one can
obtain an elevation of over ten thousand feet without the slightest
semblance of a difficulty. The path is good and well defined the whole
way, and the panorama quite unsurpassed. It is remarkable, from the
fact that there is an unbroken range of magnificent snow peaks on every
side. There is not a single break in the chain. It is an isolated rocky
peak that seems formed by nature to enable one to survey at leisure the
marvellous scene around. The huge Gorner glacier winds round its base
at a dizzy depth below; beyond, are the snows of that glorious range
beginning with Monte Rosa (which seems within a stone's throw) and
ending with the Matterhorn....

We lingered long in this wonderful spot. A batch of morning tourists
came and gazed around for ten minutes, and was succeeded by another
and another, but as the day wore on they grew few and far between,
and we were at length left entirely alone, wrapped in that intense
and awful stillness which at times pervades these mighty solitudes,
broken only at long intervals by the sudden rush of an avalanche on
the steep slopes of Monte Rosa or the low hum of a wild bee, attracted
to this far height by the fervid noonday beams. We wandered along the
ridge stretching towards the Stockhorn, where the gentian and other
exquisite wild flowers which flourish at this elevation grow in the
greatest profusion, peering up through patches of snow in shady nooks.
Then we returned, and found new beauties in the panorama, which in the
fierce sunlight became almost too dazzling for the eye to rest on.
At last we turned away reluctantly, with another recollection for a
lifetime,--another "joy forever" stored within the cells of memory....

A few days later we resolved on a closer acquaintance with the mountain
which had attracted our admiration from so many points of view in the
neighborhood. The Matterhorn seems to dominate the whole district of
Zermatt like a pervading spirit. It is difficult to lose sight of it.
Through rifts in the pine-wood, over grassy bluffs, from the depths
of dark ravines, from one's chamber window, the giant peak is seen
piercing the blue air above. The play of light and shadow upon it as
the hours roll by is in itself a study. Facing the earliest beams, as
the sun rises out of a tossing ocean of Alpine peaks, it stands proudly
up, a pinnacle of burnished gold with scarce a speck of shade to dim
its lustre. As noon approaches, the gloom gathers on the precipitous
northern face until the mid-day shadow falls with a cool blue-black
on the white upper snows of the Matterhorn glacier. By and by, when
the sun has passed to the west, the great shadowy mass rises in gloomy
grandeur against the evening sky, and still later the northwest ridges
are fringed with the lustre of sunset, ere they wrap themselves in the
dusky robe of night.



       [The Matterhorn, one of the most difficult of the Alps to ascend,
     defied the efforts of mountaineers until 1865, when Whymper,
     with three companions and three guides, reached its summit. The
     victory, however, was a tragic one, as the three companions and
     one of the guides fell down a precipice and met their death.
     Whymper had made various earlier efforts to ascend. We give his
     story of one such effort, made at an earlier date.]

Three times I had essayed the ascent of this mountain, and on each
occasion had failed ignominiously. I had not advanced a yard beyond
my predecessors. Up to the height of nearly thirteen thousand feet
there were no extraordinary difficulties: the way so far might even
become "a matter of amusement." Only eighteen hundred feet remained,
but they were as yet untrodden, and might present the most formidable
obstacles. No man could expect to climb them by himself. A morsel of
rock only seven feet high might at any time defeat him if it were
perpendicular. Such a place might be possible to two, or a bagatelle to
three men. It was evident that a party should consist of three men at
least. But where could the other two men be obtained? Carrel was the
only man who exhibited any enthusiasm in the matter, and he in 1861 had
absolutely refused to go unless the party consisted of at least _four_
persons. Want of men made the difficulty, not the mountain.

The weather became bad again, so I went to Zermatt on the chance of
picking up a man, and remained there during a week of storms. Not one
of the good men, however, could be induced to come, and I returned to
Breuil on the 17th, hoping to combine the skill of Carrel with the
willingness of Meynet on a new attempt by the same route as before;
for the Hörnli ridge, which I had examined in the mean time, seemed
to be entirely impracticable. Both men were inclined to go, but their
ordinary occupations prevented them from starting at once.

My tent had been left rolled up at the second platform, and whilst
waiting for the men it occurred to me that it might have been blown
away during the late stormy weather; so I started off on the 18th to
see if this were so or not. The way was by this time familiar, and
I mounted rapidly, astonishing the friendly herdsmen,--who nodded
recognition as I flitted past them and the cows,--for I was alone,
because no man was available. But more deliberation was necessary
when the pastures were passed and climbing began, for it was needful
to mark each step in case of mist or surprise by night. It is one of
the few things which can be said in favor of mountaineering alone (a
practice which has little besides to commend it) that it awakens a
man's faculties and makes him observe. When one has no arms to help
and no head to guide him except his own, he must needs take note even
of small things, for he cannot afford to throw away a chance; and so
it came to pass upon my solitary scramble, when above the snow-line
and beyond the ordinary limits of flowering plants, when peering about
noting angles and landmarks, that my eyes fell upon the tiny straggling
plants,--oftentimes a single flower on a single stalk,--pioneers of
vegetation, atoms of life in a world of desolation, which had found
their way up--who can tell how?--from far below, and were obtaining
bare sustenance from the scanty soil in protected nooks; and it gave a
new interest to the well-known rocks to see what a gallant fight the
survivors made (for many must have perished in the attempt) to ascend
the great mountain. The gentian, as one might have expected, was there,
but it was run close by saxifrages and by _Linaria alpina_, and was
beaten by _Thlaspi rotundifolium_; which latter plant was the highest
I was able to secure, although it too was overtopped by a little white
flower which I knew not and was unable to reach....

Time sped away unregarded, and the little birds which had built their
nests on the neighboring cliffs had begun to chirp their evening hymn
before I thought of returning. Half mechanically, I turned to the
tent, unrolled it and set it up: it contained food enough for several
days, and I resolved to stay over the night. I had started from Breuil
without provisions or telling Favre, the innkeeper, who was accustomed
to my erratic ways, where I was going. I returned to the view. The
sun was setting, and its rosy rays, blending with the snowy blue, had
thrown a pale, pure violet far as the eye could see; the valleys were
drowned in a purple gloom, while the summits shone with unnatural
brightness; and as I sat in the door of the tent and watched the
twilight change to darkness, the earth seemed to become less earthly
and almost sublime: the world seemed dead, and I its sole inhabitant.
By and by the moon, as it rose, brought the hills again into sight,
and by a judicious repression of detail rendered the view yet more
magnificent. Something in the south hung like a great glow-worm in the
air: it was too large for a star, and too steady for a meteor, and
it was long before I could realize the incredible fact that it was
the moonlight glittering on the great snow-slope on the north side of
Monte Viso, at a distance, as the crow flies, of ninety-eight miles.
Shivering, at last I entered the tent and made my coffee. The night was
passed comfortably, and the next morning, tempted by the brilliancy of
the weather, I proceeded yet higher in search of another place for a

The rocks of the southwest ridge are by no means difficult for some
distance above the Col du Lion. This is true of the rocks up to the
level of the Chimney, but they steepen when that is passed, and
remaining smooth and with but few fractures, and still continuing to
dip outward, present some steps of a very uncertain kind, particularly
when they are glazed with ice. At this point (just above the Chimney)
the climber is obliged to follow the southern (or Breuil) side of the
ridge, but in a few feet more one must turn over to the northern (or
Z'Mutt) side, where in most years Nature kindly provides a snow-slope.
When this is surmounted, one can again return to the crest of the
ridge, and follow it by easy rocks to the foot of the Great Tower. This
was the highest point attained by Mr. Hawkins in 1860, and it was also
our highest on the 9th of July.


This Great Tower is one of the most striking features of the ridge.
It stands out like a turret at the angle of a castle. Behind it a
battlemented wall leads upward to the citadel. Seen from the Théodule
pass, it looks only an insignificant pinnacle, but as one approaches
it (on the ridge), so it seems to rise, and when one is at its base
it completely conceals the upper parts of the mountain. I found here
a suitable place for the tent, which, although not so well protected
as the second platform, possessed the advantage of being three hundred
feet higher up; and fascinated by the wildness of the cliffs, and
enticed by the perfection of the weather, I went on to see what was

The first step was a difficult one: the ridge became diminished to the
least possible width, it was hard to keep one's balance, and just where
it was narrowest a more than perpendicular mass barred the way. Nothing
fairly within arm's reach could be laid hold of: it was necessary to
spring up, and then to haul one's self over the sharp edge by sheer
strength. Progression directly upward was then impossible. Enormous
and appalling precipices plunged down to the Tiefenmatten glacier on
the left, but round the right-hand side it was just possible to go.
One hinderance then succeeded another, and much time was consumed in
seeking the way. I have a vivid recollection of a gully of more than
usual perplexity at the side of the Great Tower, with minute ledges
and steep walls; of the ledges dwindling down, and at last ceasing; of
finding myself, with arms and legs divergent, fixed as if crucified,
pressing against the rock, and feeling each rise and fall of my chest
as I breathed; of screwing my head round to look for a hold and not
seeing any, and of jumping sideways on to the other side....

[The gully] was an untrodden vestibule, which led to a scene so wild
that even the most sober description of it must seem an exaggeration.
There was a change in the quality of the rock, and there was a change
in the appearance of the ridge. The rocks (talcose gneiss) below this
spot were singularly firm,--it was rarely necessary to test one's
hold: the way led over the living rock, and not up rent-off fragments.
But here all was decay and ruin. The crest of the ridge was shattered
and cleft, and the feet sank in the chips which had drifted down;
while above, huge blocks, hacked and carved by the hand of time,
nodded to the sky, looking like the gravestones of giants. Out of
curiosity I wandered to a notch in the ridge, between two tottering
piles of immense masses which seemed to need but a few pounds on one
or the other side to make them fall, so nicely poised that they would
literally have rocked in the wind, for they were put in motion by a
touch, and based on support so frail that I wondered they did not
collapse before my eyes. In the whole range of my Alpine experience
I have seen nothing more striking than this desolate, ruined, and
shattered ridge at the back of the Great Tower. I have seen stranger
shapes,--rocks which mimic the human form, with monstrous leering
faces, and isolated pinnacles sharper and greater than any here,--but I
have never seen exhibited so impressively the tremendous effects which
may be produced by frost, and by the long-continued action of forces
whose individual effects are imperceptible.

It is needless to say that it is impossible to climb by the crest of
the ridge at this part; still, one is compelled to keep near to it, for
there is no other way. Generally speaking, the angles on the Matterhorn
are too steep to allow the formation of considerable beds of snow, but
here there is a corner which permits it to accumulate, and it is turned
to gratefully, for by its assistance one can ascend four times as
rapidly as upon the rocks.

The Tower was now almost out of sight, and I looked over the central
Pennine Alps to the Grand Combin and to the chain of Mont Blanc.
My neighbor, the Dent d'Hérens, still rose above me, although but
slightly, and the height which had been attained could be measured by
its help. So far, I had no doubts about my capacity to descend that
which had been ascended; but in a short time, on looking ahead, I
saw that the cliffs steepened, and I turned back (without pushing on
to them and getting into inextricable difficulties), exulting in the
thought that they would be passed when we returned together, and that I
had without assistance got nearly to the height of the Dent d'Hérens,
and considerably higher than any one had been before. My exultation was
a little premature.

About five P.M. I left the tent again, and thought myself as good as
at Breuil. The friendly rope and claw had done good service, and had
smoothed all the difficulties. I lowered myself through the Chimney,
however, by making a fixture of the rope, which I then cut off and
left behind, as there was enough and to spare. My axe had proved a
great nuisance in coming down, and I left it in the tent. It was
not attached to the bâton, but was a separate affair,--an old navy
boarding-axe. While cutting up the different snow-beds on the ascent,
the bâton trailed behind fastened to the rope; and when climbing the
axe was carried behind, run through the rope tied round my waist, and
was sufficiently out of the way, but in descending, when coming down
face outward (as is always best where it is possible), the head or the
handle of the weapon caught frequently against the rocks, and several
times nearly upset me. So, out of laziness if you will, it was left in
the tent. I paid dearly for the imprudence.

The Col du Lion was passed, and fifty yards more would have placed me
on the "Great Staircase," down which one can run. But on arriving at
an angle of the cliffs of the Tête du Lion, while skirting the upper
edge of the snow which abuts against them, I found that the heat of the
two past days had nearly obliterated the steps which had been cut when
coming up. The rocks happened to be impracticable just at this corner,
so nothing could be done except make the steps afresh. The snow was too
hard to beat or tread down, and at the angle it was all but ice: half a
dozen steps only were required, and then the ledges could be followed
again. So I held to the rock with my right hand, and prodded at the
snow with the point of my stick until a good step was made, and then,
leaning round the angle, did the same for the other side. So far well,
but in attempting to pass the corner (to the present moment I cannot
tell how it happened) I slipped and fell.

The slope was steep on which this took place, and descended to the top
of a gully that led down through two subordinate buttresses towards
the Glacier du Lion, which was just seen, a thousand feet below. The
gully narrowed and narrowed until there was a mere thread of snow
lying between two walls of rock, which came to an abrupt termination
at the top of a precipice that intervened between it and the glacier.
Imagine a funnel cut in half through its length, placed at an angle
of forty-five degrees, with its point below and its concave side
uppermost, and you will have a fair idea of the place.

The knapsack brought my head down first, and I pitched into some rocks
about a dozen feet below: they caught something, and tumbled me off
the edge, head over heels, into the gully. The bâton was dashed from
my hands, and I whirled downward in a series of bounds, each longer
than the last,--now over ice, now into rocks,--striking my head four
or five times, each time with increased force. The last bound sent me
spinning through the air, in a leap of fifty or sixty feet, from one
side of the gully to the other, and I struck the rocks, luckily, with
the whole of my left side. They caught my clothes for a moment, and I
fell back on to the snow with motion arrested: my head fortunately came
the right side up, and a few frantic catches brought me to a halt in
the neck of the gully and on the verge of the precipice. Bâton, hat,
and veil skimmed by and disappeared, and the crash of the rocks which I
had started, as they fell on to the glacier, told how narrow had been
the escape from utter destruction. As it was, I fell nearly two hundred
feet in seven or eight bounds. Ten feet more would have taken me in one
gigantic leap of eight hundred feet on to the glacier below.

The situation was still sufficiently serious. The rocks could not be
left go for a moment, and the blood was spurting out of more than
twenty cuts. The most serious ones were in the head, and I vainly
tried to close them with one hand while holding on with the other. It
was useless: the blood jerked out in blinding jets at each pulsation.
At last, in a moment of inspiration, I kicked out a big lump of snow
and stuck it as a plaster on my head. The idea was a happy one, and
the flow of blood diminished: then, scrambling up, I got, not a
moment too soon, to a place of safety and fainted away. The sun was
setting when consciousness returned, and it was pitch dark before the
Great Staircase was descended; but by a combination of luck and care
the whole four thousand eight hundred feet of descent to Breuil was
accomplished without a slip or once missing the way.

I slunk past the cabin of the cowherds, who were talking and laughing
inside, utterly ashamed of the state to which I had been brought by my
imbecility, and entered the inn stealthily, wishing to escape to my
room unnoticed. But Favre met me in the passage, demanded, "Who is it?"
screamed with fright when he got a light, and aroused the household.
Two dozen heads then held solemn council over mine, with more talk than
action. The natives were unanimous in recommending that hot wine (syn.
vinegar), mixed with salt, should be rubbed into the cuts. I protested,
but they insisted. It was all the doctoring they received. Whether
their rapid healing was to be attributed to that simple remedy or to a
good state of health, is a question; they closed up remarkably soon,
and in a few days I was able to move again....

As it seldom happens that one survives such a fall, it may be
interesting to record what my sensations were during its occurrence. I
was perfectly conscious of what was happening, and felt each blow, but,
like a patient under chloroform, experienced no pain. Each blow was,
naturally, more severe than that which preceded it, and I distinctly
remember thinking, "Well, if the next is harder still, that will be
the end!" Like persons who have been rescued from drowning, I remember
that the recollection of a multitude of things rushed through my head,
many of them trivialities or absurdities which had been forgotten long
before; and, more remarkable, this bounding through space did not
feel disagreeable. But I think that in no very great distance more
consciousness as well as sensation would have been lost, and upon that
I base my belief, improbable as it seems, that death by a fall from a
great height is as painless an end as can be experienced.

The battering was very rough, yet no bones were broken. The most severe
cuts were, one four inches long on the top of the head, and another of
three inches on the right temple; this latter bled frightfully. There
was a formidable-looking cut, of about the same size as the last, on
the palm of the left hand, and every limb was grazed or cut more or
less seriously. The tips of the ears were taken off, and a sharp rock
cut a circular bit out of the side of the left boot, sock, and ankle at
one stroke. The loss of blood, although so great, did not seem to be
permanently injurious. The only serious effect has been the reduction
of a naturally retentive memory to a very commonplace one; and although
my recollections of more distant occurrences remain unshaken, the
events of that particular day would be clean gone but for the few notes
which were written down before the accident.



       [De Amicis, a traveller of Italian birth, has given us a number
     of highly interesting records of travel, including works on
     Algeria, Spain, Holland, Paris, Constantinople, etc. Among these,
     "Holland and its People" is perhaps the most entertaining, and
     as a specimen of its manner we select from it the description of
     Rotterdam, as a typical example of a Dutch city. This selection
     is from the translation by Caroline Tilton, published by G. P.
     Putnam's Sons.]

When we arrived in sight of Rotterdam it rained and was foggy; we
could see, as through a veil, only an immense confusion of ships,
houses, windmills, towers, trees, and people in motion on the dykes and
bridges; there were lights everywhere; a great city with such an aspect
as I had never seen before, and which fog and darkness soon hid from me
altogether. When I had taken leave of my travelling companions, and had
put my luggage in order, it was night. "So much the better," I thought,
as I entered a carriage; "I shall see the first Dutch city by night,
which must be a strange spectacle." And, indeed, when M. Bismarck was
at Rotterdam he wrote to his wife that at night he saw spectres on the

It is difficult to make much of the city of Rotterdam, entering it
at night. The carriage passed almost immediately over a bridge that
resounded hollowly beneath it; and while I thought myself, and was, in
fact, within the city, I saw with amazement on my right and left two
rows of ships vanishing in the gloom.

Leaving the bridge, we passed through a street, lighted, and full of
people, and found ourselves upon another bridge, and between two rows
of vessels as before, and so on from bridge to street, from street to
bridge, and, to increase the confusion, an illumination of lamps at
the corners of houses, lanterns on masts of ships, light-houses on the
bridges, small lights under the houses, and all these lights reflected
in the water. All at once the carriage stopped, people crowded about;
I looked out and saw a bridge in the air. In answer to my question,
some one said that a vessel was passing. We went on again, seeing a
perspective of canals and bridges crossing and recrossing each other,
until we came to a great square, sparkling with lights, and bristling
with masts of ships, and finally we reached our inn in an adjacent

My first care on entering my room was to see whether Dutch cleanliness
deserved its fame. It did, indeed, and may be called the religion of
cleanliness. The linen was snow-white, the windows transparent as the
air, the furniture shining like a crystal, the floors so clean that a
microscope could not discover a black speck. There was a basket for
waste paper, a tablet for scratching matches, a dish for cigar-ashes, a
box for cigar-stumps, a spittoon, and a boot-jack; in short, there was
no possible pretext for soiling anything.

My room examined, I spread a map of Rotterdam upon the table, and made
some preparatory studies for the morrow.

It is a singular thing that the great cities of Holland, although built
upon a shifting soil, and amid difficulties of every kind, have all
great regularity of form. Amsterdam is a semicircle, the Hague square,
Rotterdam an equilateral triangle. The base of the triangle is an
immense dyke, which defends the city from the Meuse, and is called the
Boompjes, signifying, in Dutch, small trees, from a row of little elms,
now very tall, that were planted when it was first constructed.

Another great dyke forms a second bulwark against the river, which
divides the city into two almost equal parts, and from the middle of
the left side to the opposite angle. That part of Rotterdam which is
comprised between the dykes is all canals, islands, and bridges, and
is the new city; that which extends beyond the second dyke is the old
city. Two great canals extend along the other two sides of the town to
the apex, where they meet, and receive the waters of the river Rotte,
which, with the affix of _dam_, or dyke, gives its name to the city.

Having thus fulfilled my conscientious duty as a traveller, and with
many precautions not to soil, even by a breath, the purity of that
jewel of a chamber, I abandoned myself with humility to my first Dutch

Dutch beds--I speak of those in the hotels--are generally short and
wide, and occupied, in a great part, by an immense feather pillow in
which a giant's head would be overwhelmed. I may add that the ordinary
light is a copper candlestick, of the size of a dinner-plate, which
might sustain a torch, but holds, instead, a tiny candle about the size
of a Spanish lady's finger.

In the morning I made haste to rise and issue forth into the strange
streets, unlike anything in Europe. The first I saw was the Hoog
Straat, a long, straight thoroughfare, running along the interior dyke.

The unplastered houses, of every shade of brick, from the darkest
red to light rose-color, chiefly two windows wide and two stories
high, have the front wall rising above and concealing the roof, and
in the shape of a blunt triangle surmounted by a parapet. Some of
these pointed façades rise into two curves, like a long neck without
a head; some are cut into steps like the houses that children build
with blocks; some present the aspect of a conical pavilion, some of a
village church, some of theatrical cabins. The parapets are in general
surrounded by white stripes, coarse arabesques in plaster, and other
ornaments in very bad taste; the doors and windows are bordered by
broad white stripes; other white lines divide the different stories;
the spaces between the doors in front are marked by white wooden
panels, so that two colors, white and red, prevail everywhere, and
as in the distance the darker red looks black, the prospect is half
festive, half funereal, all the houses looking as if they were hung
with white linen. At first I had an inclination to laugh, for it seemed
impossible that it could have been done seriously, and that quite
sober people lived in those houses. They looked as if they had been
run up for a festival, and would presently disappear, like the paper
frame-work of a grand display of fireworks.

While I stood looking vaguely at the street, I noticed one house that
puzzled me somewhat; and, thinking that my eyes had been deceived,
I looked more carefully at it, and compared it with its neighbors.
Turning into the next street, the same thing met my astonished gaze.
There is no doubt about it: the whole city of Rotterdam presents the
appearance of a town that has been shaken smartly by an earthquake, and
is on the point of falling into ruin.


All the houses--in any street one may count the exceptions on their
fingers--lean more or less, but the greater part of them so much that
at the roof they lean forward at least a foot beyond their neighbors,
which may be straight, or not so visibly inclined; one leans forward
as if it would fall into the street; another backward, another to the
left, another to the right; at some points six or seven contiguous
houses all lean forward together, those in the middle most, those at
the ends less, looking like a paling with the crowd pressing against
it. At another point two houses lean together as if supporting one
another. In certain streets the houses for a long distance lean all
one way, like trees beaten by a prevailing wind; and then another long
row will lean in the opposite direction, as if the wind had changed.
Sometimes there is a certain regularity of inclination that is scarcely
noticeable; and again, at crossings and in the smallest streets there
is an indescribable confusion of lines, a real architectural frolic, a
dance of houses, a disorder that seems animated. There are houses that
nod forward as if asleep, others that start backward as if frightened;
some bending towards each other, their roofs almost touching, as if in
secret conference; some falling upon one another as if they were drunk;
some leaning backward between others that lean forward like malefactors
dragged onward by their guards; rows of houses that courtesy to a
steeple, groups of small houses all inclined towards one in the middle,
like conspirators in conclave.

Observe them attentively one by one, from top to bottom, and they are
interesting as pictures.

In some, upon the summit of the façade, there projects from the middle
of the parapet a beam with cord and pulley to pull up baskets and
buckets. In others, jutting from a round window, is the carved head of
a deer, a sheep, or a goat. Under the head, a line of whitewashed stone
or wood cuts the whole façade in half. Under this line there are two
broad windows with projecting awnings of striped linen. Under these
again, over the upper panes, a little green curtain. Below this green
curtain two white ones, divided in the middle to show a suspended
bird-cage or a basket of flowers. And below the basket or the cage, the
lower panes are covered by a net-work of fine wire that prevents the
passer-by from seeing into the room. Within, behind the netting, there
stands a table covered with objects in porcelain, crystal, flowers,
and toys of various kinds. Outside on the stone sill is a row of small
flower-pots. From the stone sill or from one side projects an iron stem
curving upward, which sustains two small mirrors joined in the form of
a book, movable, and surmounted by another, also movable, so that those
inside the house can see, without being seen, everything that passes in
the street.

On some of the houses there is a lamp projecting between the two
windows, and below is the door of the house or a shop door. If it is
a shop, over the door there is the carved head of a Moor with his
mouth wide open, or that of a Turk with a hideous grimace; sometimes
there is an elephant or a goose; sometimes a horse's or a bull's
head, a serpent, a half-moon, a windmill, or an arm extended, the
hand holding some object of the kind sold in the shop. If it is the
house-door,--always kept closed,--there is a brass plate with the name
of the occupant, another with a slit for letters, another with the
handle of a bell, the whole, including the locks and bolts, shining
like gold. Before the door there is a small bridge of wood, because
in many of the houses the ground-floor or basement is much lower than
the street; and before the bridge two little stone columns surmounted
by two balls; two more columns in front of these are united by iron
chains, the large links of which are in the form of crosses, stars, and
polygons; in the space between the street and the house are pots of
flowers; and at the windows of the ground-floor more flower-pots and
curtains. In the more retired streets there are bird-cages on both
sides of the windows, boxes full of green growing things, clothes hung
out to air or dry, a thousand objects and colors, like a universal fair.

But without going out of the older town, one need only to go away from
the centre to see something new at every step.

In some narrow, straight streets one may see the end suddenly closed
as if by a curtain concealing the view; but it disappears as it came,
and is recognized as the sail of a vessel moving in a canal. In other
streets a net-work of cordage seems to stop the way; the rigging of
vessels lying in some basin. In one direction there is a drawbridge
raised, and looking like a gigantic swing provided for the diversion of
the people who live in those preposterous houses; and in another there
is a windmill, tall as a steeple and black as an antique tower, moving
its arms like a monstrous firework. On every side, finally, among the
houses, above the roofs, between the distant trees, are seen masts
of vessels, flags, and sails and rigging, reminding us that we are
surrounded by water, and that the city is a seaport.

Meantime, the shops were opened and the streets became full of
people. There was great animation, but no hurry, the absence of which
distinguishes the streets of Rotterdam from those of London, between
which some travellers find great resemblance, especially in the color
of the houses and the grave aspect of the inhabitants. White faces,
pallid faces, faces the color of Parmesan cheese; light hair, very
light hair, reddish, yellowish; broad beardless visages, beards under
the chin and around the neck; blue eyes, so light as to seem almost
without a pupil; women stumpy, fat, rosy, slow, with white caps and
ear-rings in the form of corkscrews,--these are the first things one
observes in the crowd.

But for the moment it was not the people that first stimulated my
curiosity. I crossed the Hoog Street, and found myself in the new city.
Here it is impossible to say if it be port or city, if land or water
predominate, if there are more ships than houses, or _vice versa_.

Broad and long canals divide the city into so many islands, united by
drawbridges, turning bridges, and bridges of stone. On either side of
every canal extends a street, flanked by trees on one side and houses
on the other. All these canals are deep enough to float large vessels,
and all are full of them from one end to the other, except a space in
the middle left for passage in and out,--an immense fleet imprisoned in
a city.

When I arrived it was the busiest hour, so I planted myself upon the
highest bridge over the principal crossing. From thence were visible
four canals, four forests of ships, bordered by eight files of trees;
the streets were crammed with people and merchandise; droves of cattle
were crossing the bridges; bridges were rising in the air, or opening
in the middle, to allow vessels to pass through, and were scarcely
replaced or closed before they were inundated by a throng of people,
carts, and carriages; ships came and went in the canals, shining like
models in a museum, and with the wives and children of the sailors
on the decks; boats darted from vessel to vessel; the shops drove a
busy trade; servant-women washed the walls and windows; and all this
moving life was rendered more gay and cheerful by the reflections in
the water, the green of the trees, the red of the houses, the tall
windmills showing their dark tops and white sails against the azure of
the sky, and still more by an air of quiet simplicity not seen in any
other northern city.

I took observations of a Dutch vessel. Almost all the ships crowded
in the canals of Rotterdam are built for the Rhine and Holland; they
have one mast only, and are broad, stout, and variously colored like
toy ships. The hull is generally of a bright grass-green, ornamented
with a red or a white stripe, or sometimes several stripes, looking
like a band of different-colored ribbons. The poop is usually gilded.
The deck and mast are varnished and shining like the cleanest of
house-floors. The outside of the hatches, the buckets, the barrels, the
yards, the planks, are all painted red, with white or blue stripes.
The cabin where the sailors' families are is colored like a Chinese
kiosk, and has its windows of clear glass, and its white muslin
curtains tied up with knots of rose-colored ribbon. In every moment of
spare time sailors, women, and children are busy washing, sweeping,
polishing every part with infinite care and pains; and when their
little vessel makes its exit from the port, all fresh and shining like
a holiday-coach, they all stand on the poop and accept with dignity the
mute compliments which they gather from the glances of the spectators
along the canals.

From canal to canal, and from bridge to bridge, I finally reached the
dyke of the Boompjes upon the Meuse, where boils and bubbles all the
life of the great commercial city.

On the left extends a long row of small many-colored steamboats, which
start every hour in the day for Dordrecht, Arnhem, Gouda, Schiedam,
Brilla, Zealand, and continually send forth clouds of white smoke and
the sound of their cheerful bells. To the right lie the large ships
which make the voyage to various European ports, mingled with fine
three-masted vessels bound for the East Indies, with names written
in golden letters,--Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Samarang,--carrying the
fancy to those distant and savage countries like the echoes of distant
voices. In front the Meuse, covered with boats and barks, and the
distant shore with a forest of beech-trees, windmills, and towers; and
over all the unquiet sky, full of gleams of light and gloomy clouds,
fleeting and changing in their constant movement, as if repeating the
restless labor on the earth below.



       [The traveller to whom we owe the following selection makes
     it part of a paper on "The Home of Rubens," in which she
     appreciatively describes that artist's works. Her account of the
     city in which the greatest of these works are enshrined is more to
     our purpose, and is here given.]

It had rained in England for a month without stopping, when, weary of
sodden gray clouds above and sodden green grass below, M---- and I
determined to seek new sketching-grounds under a more kindly sky. We
had but a fortnight to spend on our trip. Where, therefore, could we
find a richer field of work than in Flanders? for there quaint cities,
beautiful buildings, glorious pictures, and, if we were minded to go
deeper, a tangled mass of historic interest, lay within easy reach.

Thus it came to pass that the 30th of September found us driving
through the streets of Brussels, and three days later we were steaming
out into the (to us) unknown, on our way to Antwerp. Our three days had
been chiefly spent in making closer acquaintance with Flemish art in
the museum of the capital,--a collection most valuable and typical, a
collection too often ignored or hastily glanced through by the tourist,
who, if by chance he cares for such things, hurries on to see Memling
at Bruges, Van Eyck at Ghent, or Rubens at Antwerp. He forgets, or does
not know, that, as Fromentin justly says, "Belgium is a magnificent
book of art, of which, happily for provincial glory, the chapters are
scattered everywhere, but of which the preface is at Brussels, and only
at Brussels. To all who are tempted to skip the preface in order to get
at the book, I should say they are wrong,--that they open the book too
soon and will read it ill." We therefore studied the preface with some
care, and now were about to turn the first page of the book itself....

Everything seemed new, pretty, and amusing, as the train cleared the
last of the suburbs of Brussels. The sun shone on the long lines of
poplars, just burnished with autumn's gold, which cast their shadows
on damp green meadows ruled off into squares with almost mathematical
precision. Here a man in a brown apron and brilliant crimson sleeves
was raking up the aftermath off a water-meadow. There a girl in a
blue frock was herding black and white cows, and we began to think of
Cuyp. Then we saw, across flat stretches of smiling country, pointed
steeples and red roofs, showing behind thick groups of trees in a
soft blue haze, while an old windmill on blackened wooden stilts, a
little donkey-cart, and a group of crimson-jacketed peasants in the
foreground made us think of some of Teniers the Younger's landscapes,
and recollect that we must be close to Drei Torren, his house at Perck.
Then came Malines, our first brown canal, with red-sailed, green-and
black-painted barges, the great cathedral rising through a screen of
trees over scarlet house-roofs, a picturesque crowd on the platform
of burly shovel-hatted priests, nuns with black shawls over their
white caps, men with blue blouses and brilliant yellow sabots,--and we
thought of Prout. It was all so absurdly like what we had expected,
with a difference,--just the difference between art and nature.

Then came more flat country, more canals, more fields, more absurd
cocky little wheat-ricks, with hardly corn enough in them to make a
loaf of bread, more white and purple lupins on the embankments, more
red-tiled roofs, half thatch, half tile, which M---- pronounced "most
æsthetic," more sun, yes, that was perhaps the best of all. Then a
great green fort, and we were at Antwerp.

We hardly gave ourselves time to swallow a hasty _déjeûner_, and then
set forth with the charming feeling that we had nothing to do but
amuse ourselves. We had not an idea of where we were going, or what we
meant to see. All was new, therefore all to us was worth seeing. Only
a vague impression floated in our minds that we ought before long to
find our way to the cathedral. It was not hard to find; in fact, it was
impossible to miss it, for, as we sauntered down the Place de Meir, the
golden clock-face on the steeple shone before us like a beacon over the
high house-roofs, and

    "Far up, the carillon did search
     The wind."

We pushed our way past the odious touters, clamorously asking in vile
French and still viler English if we wished to see the cathedral? had
we seen it? did we know we ought to see it? finally, of course, should
they show it to us? We were in too mighty a presence to heed them.
Above us, almost painfully high, rose the great steeple, pointing up to
the clear blue sky. We stood at a corner of the old Marché and gazed
and gazed, hardly able at first to take in the idea of its real height,
foreshortened as it is when one stands so near. It grew upon us,
revealed itself to us, as we looked and wondered, and ever after, while
in the city, we seemed to feel its protecting presence, even though
it might be hidden from our eyes. And we thought how often must weary
sailors, beating up the stormy waters of the North Sea, have longed
for a glimpse of that weather-stained tower, token to them of home and
safety after some perilous voyage to bring gold and sugar from the New
World, or priceless stuffs and spices from the Indies and far Cathay!
Or as painters, after long study in the schools of Rome and Venice,
made their slow way northward once more across the Alps, to add fresh
glory to the Guild of St. Luke, how eagerly they must have watched for
the first sight of their cathedral, pointing heavenward out of the
flat misty plain, as if to lift their minds from earth into some purer

Yet, splendid as is the casket, still more precious is the treasure
it contains. Many men have built cathedrals. There has been but one
Rubens; and of all Rubens's works, the "Descent from the Cross"
enshrined in Antwerp Cathedral is, one may venture to say without
fear of criticism, unquestionably the most wonderful and beautiful.
There is a sobriety, a reticence, about it in color, in movement, in
drawing, in the exquisite balance of light and shade, in the nobility
and yet tenderness of conception, which one hardly looks for in the
painter, splendid though he be, of the Assumption of the Virgin over
the high altar close by, still less of the gorgeous but revolting
Marie de Medici series in the Louvre. To quote Fromentin once more,
"_Tout y est contenu, concis, laconique comme dans une page du texte
sacré._" Let those who judge him merely by pictures such as the last
go to Antwerp, and, casting aside all preconceived ideas, say then
whether Peter Paul Rubens shall not be pardoned all his carelessness,
his coarseness,--yes, even his horrors,--and be to them henceforth the
painter of the noble and majestic "Descent from the Cross."

It was long before we could summon resolution to leave the cathedral.
Half a dozen times we started, as many times we turned back to the
great triptych to impress some detail more firmly on our minds; and at
last, when the door swung to behind us, and we saw the great master's
statue standing in dusty sunshine in the Place Verte, we were in no
humor for more sight-seeing. So we wandered happily and aimlessly on,
now enchanted by some _pignon espagnol_, the quaint gable running up in
a series of steps, which was introduced, some say, by the Spaniards,
now stopping to scribble down the details of a bit of costume, or to
look at a street shrine on a corner house, with its figure and lamp and
tinsel flowers, until at last we found ourselves on the quays.

Here, where Van Noort, where Rubens, where Jordaens made studies among
the rude fishermen for their pictures of the Miraculous Draught,--here,
where generations of painters from their day down to our own have
loved to dwell upon the changing aspects of the quiet river, the
hurrying quays, the picturesque people,--here was indeed a spot where
we humble disciples of Apelles might hope to gather inspiration from
the example of the great departed. So we hunted out a pile of wood on
the very brink of the river, a quiet corner where we ran no risk of
being trampled underfoot by gigantic Flemish dray-horses or knocked
down by heavily laden wagons; and there we sat peacefully, sketching
the long reaches of the Scheldt bathed in a flood of golden haze. Up
it sailed long low boats, floating past us with full red sails, flat,
faint, wooded shores behind them, a tall smoking chimney or little
church-spire breaking the blue line of the trees here and there. The
river reaches were full of repose to eye and mind alike, and our
thoughts turned instinctively to Van de Velde, to his glassy water,
where little gleams catch the curl of some lazy ripple, and his skiffs
and schooners floating in a veil of filmy gold, which warms his usual
pearly grays, while they in turn give a sober undertone to the golden
glory. A contrast to the quiet river was the foreground of the picture,
where a steamer was lading for some distant voyage, funnels, rigging,
hull, a great mass of black and brown against the pale golden water,
and the bustling quay, where horses, men, carriages, foot-passengers,
long low trollies,--apparently on only two wheels, so minute were
the front pair,--piled high with bales and barrels, were jumbled in
inextricable confusion.


We were working away, thankful that every one was too full of his own
business to care to look at us, when suddenly a pleasant smell of
burning made us wonder whether the municipality were trying to fumigate
the town and overpower the very unsavory odors around us. Presently
blacks began to settle on our sketch-books. Then burning morsels flew
through the air, and, turning round, we saw that a quantity of bales
standing on the quay twenty yards behind us were on fire. Half a dozen
bystanders looked on with true Flemish phlegm. A woman in blue and
gray, with yellow sabots, stood watching on a fallen mast. Then others
began to arrive, and as the flames rose higher some slight interest
arose with them. The gray woman turned and ran for the pompiers. The
interest grew and spread among the gathering crowd. Soldiers just
landing from the Tête de Flandre caught sight of the crackling flames
and rushed towards them. Stevedores left the lading of their steamer,
and, leaping across masts and spars, with sacks over their heads
and their blue blouses puffed into balloons by the wind, rushed to
the scene of action. M---- and I thought it prudent to retire to a
street-corner, away from the turmoil.

Such a street! all in warm shade, with rich reds and grays and
browns among its high-roofed houses. Out of the Fish-Market close
by poured a motley crowd,--men in blue jerseys, men in red jerkins,
men in shirt-sleeves, little lads in sailor-clothes with bright
yellow sabots, women with yellow sabots and blue stockings, or yellow
stockings and black sabots, or black shoes and pink stockings, women in
three-cornered shawls, women in long black cloaks. The tardily-awakened
interest had grown into intense excitement. Every one ran,--soldiers,
ladies, porters, priests; and as we left the Quai Vandyck to go home,
and looked up at the stone lace-work of the cathedral tower against
the bright blue sky, the pompiers raced past us with their little
hand-engine, to find that the fire had burnt itself out.

Too tired by our long day to walk any more, but unwilling to waste the
evening in our rooms, we chartered a comfortable little carriage and
drove down to the Port just after sunset. The cathedral tower stood
stately and sombre against a pale-pink sky. Against this delicate
background, too, we caught fantastic irregular outlines of old houses
at every turn of the streets. The busy Quai Vandyck we now saw under
a completely changed aspect. The pink of the upper sky melted into
yellow, the yellow into a heavy blue-purple blending with the farther
shore of the river. The bands of color, intensified by black masts
and sails rising from yet blacker hulls lying under the bank, were
reflected in the opalescent water; while fluttering pennons on a forest
of fishing-boats looked, as M---- said, "like a shoal of minnows."

As we drove along in the growing darkness the scene was weird and
strange. We caught glimpses of black figures, with heavy burdens on
their shoulders, rushing up and down gangways of loading steamers like
the demons of some Walpurgisnacht, lighted by oil-cans flaming from
their two spouts. Then came a street of ancient houses,--we could
see only the steps of their gables against the sky,--and, instead
of a roadway below, the street was full of water and ships, sails
half furled, lights, red, green, and yellow, repeating themselves in
long reflections amid the black boats on the smooth surface of the
canal. Across the river steamer-lights crept to and fro. Low carts,
with huge horses that brought to mind Paul Potter's etching of "The
Friesland Horse," grazed past us. Then came a black mass,--the house
of the Hanseatic League. Then great docks like the sea, stretching
away infinitely into the darkness, a mysterious confusion of masts,
spars, cordage, chimneys, lights, water, black hulls. On shore a tangle
of carts and trollies standing horseless, barrels, cotton-bales,
wool-sacks. A locomotive snorted past us in dangerous proximity,
appearing one knew not from whence, disappearing again into the gloom.
Electric lights flashed on ahead far up the line. We passed more huge
warehouses, more canals, more narrow streets. Then the Port and its
strange life, its flaming oil-cans, its murky darkness, were left
behind, and we found ourselves back in nineteenth-century civilization,
driving down the new Frenchified boulevards, with only the statue of
David Teniers and the Italian facade of Rubens's house to remind us
where we were.



     ["Pen Pictures of Europe," by Elizabeth Peake, is amply worth
     reading by all who wish to gain a rapid acquaintance with what is
     worth seeing on that continent. Its interesting descriptions are
     so many and varied that choice among them is not easy to make, and
     we present what our traveller saw in Dresden and at Potsdam simply
     as examples of the whole.]

We have been to the picture-gallery. There were between two and three
thousand pictures. There were Raphael, Holbein, Correggio, Titian,
Carlo Dolce, Paul Veronese, Rubens, Rembrandt, Vandyke, Guido,
Ruysdael, Wouvermans, Claude, Poussin, and I do not know who else;
but I would give them all, and more besides, for the portraits of
Charlemagne and Sigismund by Dürer, and the historical painting of
the peace of Westphalia, with its forty-seven original portraits by
Sandrart. I do really think that I have seen a million of paintings,
and have come to the sad conclusion that I have precious little love
for pictures,--for paintings.

The magnificent frescos I admire as much as any one. But the thousands
of Madonnas,--Raphael's "Madonna di San Sisto," which cost forty
thousand dollars, I like better than any I have yet seen, next to
that old painting of Leonardo da Vinci in the old church not far
from Milan,--all the Madonnas have pretty eyes, pretty faces, pretty
attitudes; but they do not come up to my idea of the Virgin. Then there
are so many nude Venuses, and all sorts of nudities, that the artists
who painted them ought to have been condemned to go without clothes,
even in cold weather, to see how they would like it; and when they died
they should have every bone in the human body carved as ornaments on
their tombstone as I saw somewhere in my travels. The heads of the old
men are exceedingly fine and natural; but many of the portraits have
such affected attitudes that they seem ridiculous to me. I suppose
it used to be the fashion to _take an attitude_ when they sat for a

Mrs. Siddons's portrait, in London, and one of Mary Queen of Scots and
her page, were the most beautiful and faultless to my taste of all I
saw in England.

Murillo's beggar boys and girls did not know enough to assume an
attitude; and of course they please, because they are natural.

Did you ever see persons sit where they could see themselves in a
mirror, conversing, and still looking at themselves with a sort of
half consciousness they were doing so, and thinking that you were not
noticing that they did so? I say, did you ever notice what a ridiculous
and puzzled expression it gives to their faces? Well, this is just the
expression of the greater part of these so celebrated portraits and
paintings. It is appalling to think of,--I mean my want of taste,--but
I do like to see pictures look natural. "How will madame have potatoes,
sauté or grillé, or au naturel?" The word _naturel_ sounds so
charmingly after all I have seen, that I reply joyously, "Au naturel;"
and he brought me boiled potatoes,--just what I liked. I forgot to
mention that we went again to the opera in Munich, in the small theatre
in the king's palace. The opera was "Alessandra Stradella," by Flotow.
I never heard sweeter music; and Nachbaur, who took the part of
Stradella, was not only a magnificent tenor, but a perfect Adonis in
person. He would meet with success in New York.

Yesterday we went to the royal palace, a very ancient and
ungainly-looking building. Our object was to visit the green rooms,
or vaults, which contain all kinds of rare objects-jewels, ivory,
bronzes, and costly things,--which I suppose were intended to
show the magnificence of the Saxon kings, who once were among the
richest sovereigns in Europe. There are eight of these rooms on the
ground-floor of the palace. I wish you could have been with us to
have seen all the curiosities, and to have heard the custodian, who
spoke English, tell us all about what he showed us. It is impossible
to remember a tenth part of what one sees, so I was glad when the
custodian said, as he entered the first room, which contains the
bronzes, "Laties, here is more as a huntred fine bronzes; the best fon
Italy, I show you ze masterpieces. Zis is Antinous; here is Apollo;
dis leetle dog is curious; is of hammered iron, not cast hammered.
'Tis by Peter Vischer. You see he scratch himself,--very funny, very
curious. Zis crucifix made by John of Bologna,--a masterpiece." I kept
close to him to ask him more particularly about many things. The next
room was the ivory room. I wish you could have heard him pronounce "my
lady" in three or four different ways. There were four hundred and
eighty-four pieces of ivory wonderfully carved. "Here, melaty, one
little piece. Two drunken musicians fighting. Made by Dinglinger." "Who
was Dinglinger?" I asked. "He was yeweller of te court, melaty." After
seeing all in the room, he said, "Zis way, laties, if you please, one
leetle step down. Here are ze mosaics. Zis table Florentine mosaic;
best of ze tables." There were large life sized portraits on each side
of the windows. I asked, "Whose portrait is this?" "Christian II.,
melaty. He always drink sixteen pottles of wine in one day,--sixteen
pottles, melaty." I was much pleased with a magnificent chimney-piece,
made of the different kinds of china manufactured here, and ornamented
with the various kinds of stone found in Saxony. In the fourth room I
noticed a peculiar clock, made in the form of the tower of Babel. One
gold chalice, ornamented with precious gems, made by Benvenuto Cellini,
attracted my attention. I asked about another portrait. "Augusta
ze Strong, melaty. He took a horseshoe in his hand and broke it in
two. Very strong, melaty, very strong." I had heard the story of his
stopping at a shop to have a shoe put on his horse. Selecting a shoe,
he took it in his hand, and breaking it, said it was not strong enough.
The smith, after shoeing his horse, asked for a dollar. Augustus threw
down a silver dollar. The smith took it up, and rolling it over in his
fingers in the form of a cigar, asked if the dollar was a good one.

A little farther, the custodian took up a golden egg. "Here, laties, is
one golden egg. I will open it, and you will see it contains a golden
chicken. I will open ze chicken; it has in it ze Polish crown. I will
open ze crown, and show you one fine ring. All zese rings are for show,
for curiosity, for playthings." The next room contained the largest
pearls; one represents the body of a court dwarf, and is as large as a
hen's egg. In the seventh room we were shown the regalia used at the
coronation of Augustus Second as king of Poland, and then brought here
to be kept for the coronation of Saxon princes who might at some future
time be crowned at Cracow. There, too, were the swords of John Sobieski
and Solyman II., of Turkey. The hilts of these swords seemed one mass
of diamonds. The shoulder-knot of the queens of Poland containing six
hundred and sixty-two diamonds! Then the diamond buttons, rubies,
emeralds, sapphires, and other precious stones were as wonderful on
account of their abundance as they were for their great beauty. I could
only think of Sinbad the sailor, of Aladdin and his wonderful lamp, and
all the fairy-tales of diamonds and gems I had read in my life. In the
last there were emeralds one and a half inches large, and a model of
the throne and court of the great Mogul Aurengzebe, at which Dinglinger
and eighteen men worked eight years, and were paid fifty-nine thousand
thalers! A costly plaything. All the Saxon crown jewels, collected from
the time of the Elector Maurice, 1541, were one blaze of light and
beauty. Boxes are always ready for packing them, particularly in time
of war, when they are taken to the fortress of Königstein.

We have been over the bridge to the Japanese palace to see the
collections of porcelain from the earliest times until now. The
Portuguese were the first to bring porcelain to Europe from China
and Japan, and Saxony was the first European country in which its
manufacture was begun. Von Tzschirnhausen was making experiments in his
three glass huts when, in 1701, he was joined by John Frederic Böttger,
an alchemist, who said he had succeeded in finding the philosopher's
stone, and who, in the presence of witnesses, melted eighteen two
groschen pieces, sprinkled into the liquid mass a reddish powder, and
changed them into the finest gold. However that may have been, he
found a species of earth in the neighborhood of Meissen which suited
his purposes, and began the manufacture of porcelain, which at the
present day is carried on there in a large establishment called the
royal porcelain manufactory of Dresden china. Meissen is not far from
Dresden, but I am afraid we shall not have time to go there.

But to return to the Japanese palace. There were costly selections of
Chinese, Japanese, East Indian, Dresden, and Sèvres porcelain. It is
really astonishing to see what improvement was made in Dresden china
in twenty years, and then from those twenty years until the present
time. There are twenty rooms in the basement of this building which are
filled with these collections. I only wish they had put them in the
story above, where ever so much old statuary is placed, for then they
could be seen to so much better advantage, and the statuary be kept in
the shade, where, in my opinion, a good lot of it should always be.
Kändler's model of a huge monument to Augustus (III. of Poland and II.
of Saxony) is entirely of porcelain, and cost twelve thousand thalers.
A camellia, thirty-eight inches high, modelled by Schiefer, in Meissen,
in 1836, is most beautiful. We were shown plates which cost three or
four hundred dollars apiece. The bust of the queen of Prussia, given by
her husband, Frederic William III., to this collection, is exquisite.
A white lace veil was carelessly thrown over the head. I looked at it,
and thought it strange that a lace veil should be thrown over a bust
of china, and spoke to the guide about it. He said the veil was china
too. I examined it closely; the work on the border was perfect, and
you could see the head and neck through the veil as plainly as if it
had been real lace. The Sèvres china given by the first Napoleon was
the handsomest of any we saw. Some majolica vases were very fine, and
cost about ten thousand dollars each. There were Chinese gods, made in
China, of the most beautiful porcelain, but as hideous in form as they
were beautiful in material.

We went to the armory, said to be the finest collection of the
kind in Europe. In the first room we were shown many curiosities:
the work-table of "Mother Anna," made of petrified wood, which
the attendant wished me to notice particularly, because it was a

Then there was a clock with a bear striking the seconds on a drum;
another clock imitated a chime of bells; Luther's drinking-cup, made
of gold, and holding about a pint; and a beautiful cabinet presented
to him by his friend and protector, the Elector of Saxony, and which,
after his death, was sold to the government by his family. The next
room was filled with implements of sports and the chase, all very

On we went, from room to room, looking at the suits of armor which
had been worn by the electors of Saxony,--their tilting suits, their
parade suits; the horses they rode on parade, stuffed and equipped; and
their masters' suits put on figures to represent those distinguished
personages; so you could fancy yourself walking among them, and seeing
them as they looked when living. Nothing could exceed the splendor
of the horses' accoutrements,--precious stones almost covered their
harness; the scabbards of one or two swords were set with jewels and
diamonds their whole length; in those times jewels and diamonds were
as plentiful as blackberries. The housing of one of the kings, when he
went sleigh-riding, was crimson velvet embroidered with gold, and two
or three hundred little bells that looked like gold fastened on all
over it. There were the cuirass of Augustus the Strong, which weighed
one hundred pounds, and his cap, that weighed twenty-five. Napoleon's
saddle, and many other saddles, had jewels set in them that many a lady
would be proud to wear.

One great curiosity was a Turkish tent, taken at the siege of Vienna,
in 1683. It was set up in one room with all its furniture. The
ground-work was crimson embroidered with gold. I should think it was
large enough to accommodate twenty persons. There were also the armor
worn by John Sobieski at the same siege, and the pistols worn by
Charles XII. of Sweden on the day of his death. Some of the tilting
suits worn at tournaments weighed two hundred pounds.

I never saw anything like these Germans for curious and strange things.
One of the curious and costly toys I saw when we went to the green
rooms was a bird's nest, flowers, etc., made of flour and water. I do
not know whether I told you of a painting on cobweb which we saw in the
museum at Munich. There were four or five panes of glass nearly covered
with cobwebs, which had a landscape painted on them. In some things
I do not admire the taste: two large porcelain pitchers, that would
hold two gallons, and cost thousands of dollars, had handles made to
represent large spotted adders, or snakes.

If I did not understand German I would not know half the time what they
meant when they are trying to talk to me in English. Showing me some
china cups that were first made with handles, the man said, "You see,
zese are ze first made wiz hankles." Speaking of something being most
convenient, he said, the "commodest."

I have said nothing of the statues in the public places: the monument
to the Elector Maurice, the oldest one in Dresden, representing Maurice
handing the electoral sword to his brother "Father August," and just
behind him their wives in widows' weeds.

The equestrian statue of Augustus the Strong, made of brass, and
placed on a pedestal of sandstone, looks very spirited. The statue
of Frederick Augustus II. in his coronation robes is very fine;
besides others which I have not time to describe. The Roman Catholic
church which we see from our windows, built in the Italian style, and
profusely decorated, is said to have cost two million thalers.

Seen through the fog in the early morning, its fifty-nine statues of
saints and apostles looked like ghosts, or like some pictures of the
last judgment.

The green copper roofs of this church and of the government buildings
give Dresden a look peculiar to itself. There are two triumphant
fly-away statues on the grand bridge over the Elbe which exhilarate me
every time I see them.

Brühl's Terrace is a very delightful promenade, and an ornament to the
city. I was asked if I had seen the statuary at the "flurs" (flight of
stairs) of this terrace. One group represents Evening, the other Night;
they are very good. The sculptor Schilling is to make two more--Morning
and Noon--for the flight on the other side.

On Friday we went to the palace and saw a great quantity of porcelain,
some fine frescos in the throne room, particularly four large pictures
from the history of Henry the Fowler. The ball-room is painted with
subjects from mythology, mostly. I expected to find the palace more
imposing than it was,--perhaps from seeing so many millions invested in
jewels in the green rooms....

On Monday we went to Potsdam, about an hour's ride on the cars. Potsdam
is the Prussian Versailles. It was founded by the Great Elector of
Brandenburg, but owes all its splendor to Frederick the Great. We
first visited the New Palace, which Frederick the Great built, just
to show the world that his wars had not exhausted all his finances.
He had an eye for bright things,--the rooms were brilliant with gold
and silver, and bright-colored satin, and brocade and damask curtains.
They showed us in the folds of the curtains, where the light had not
faded them, how bright and beautiful they must have been when new. They
also showed us the rooms in which his dogs were allowed to enter; the
coverings of the sofas and chairs were terribly torn by them. One large
room in this palace was entirely covered with pearl-oyster and various
other kinds of shells, different marbles and stones,--all put together
to represent dolphins and fishes. The floor was of Italian marble,
and overhead were fresco-paintings. It was a very large room, having
windows on one side, and on the opposite side mirrors, reflecting the
beautiful grounds outside, making a very striking and fine effect.
In the library we saw the caricature of Voltaire, made by Frederick
the Great,--it is a pen-and-ink sketch. We also saw the hat, boots,
gloves, etc., which were last worn by him. We were shown places on
his writing-desk and tables where bits of the cloth were cut out and
carried away by Napoleon. A small room, in which he used to dine with
a friend or two, was so constructed that the table and food could be
raised from the room beneath; thus waiters could be dispensed with,
and he could converse with his friends confidentially. We went into
the garrison church where Frederick the Great is buried behind the
pulpit, in a plain metal sarcophagus above-ground. The sword that used
to lie upon it was carried off by Napoleon, and no one knows what has
become of it, but over the tomb, on each side of the pulpit, hang the
eagles and standards taken from Napoleon's armies by the Prussians.
His father's tomb is of marble and stands opposite his. We then rode
on to the palace of Sans Souci, built by Frederick the Great. It seems
to stand upon the top of a flight of terraces. The grounds were laid
out in French taste, when it was the fashion to have everything stiff
and formal. We saw some fine paintings and statuary, walked through the
orangery, and then through the grounds, passed the historical windmill
which Frederick the Great wanted to buy, but the miller would not sell.
Frederick sued him and lost his case. Afterwards, when the family of
the miller became poor, they offered it to the king, who bought it,
but would not have it pulled down, preferring to have it stand as a
monument of Prussian justice.

The carriage was waiting for us at the gate, and then, crossing the
river Havel, we rode on to Babelsburg, where Emperor William lived
before he was king. This is decidedly the prettiest residence that
I have seen since I left home, and although the palace is large it
has such a homelike look, and is so cheerful throughout, I should
think the Emperor would like to spend as much time there as possible.
The girl who showed us through the palace gave an envelope from the
Emperor's writing-desk to one of our party, who gave it to me to put
among my relics. Humboldt's study is kept just as he left it. I think
I could study in that room. The night-lamp was so constructed as to
appear like stars when lighted. In the drawing-room there were some
beautifully-embroidered chairs, presented to the Empress by the court
ladies. They were of dark-blue velvet, with heads of wheat embroidered
in gold. In the apartments of the crown princess I saw the carpet
presented her on her marriage by the English ladies. The attendant
lifted the cloth that covered it, and it still looked as good as new.
We were particularly shown an English bed, because it was a double
bed, and it did seem quite a curiosity, for it was the only one we had
seen on the continent. The whole palace was cheerful throughout, and
had the appearance of the highest taste and refinement. The paintings
and statues are exquisitely beautiful. The grounds are handsome, and
the landscape quite American. The courier asked the attendant who took
us through the palace whether she kept the money that was given her
for herself. Oh, no! she had to give it to the steward. I suppose,
however, that if no fee was required the palace would be overrun with
visitors. We had to hurry to get back to Potsdam in time for the cars,
and reached Berlin about dark, pretty well tired out, and did not rise
until late the next morning.



     [Taylor's earliest and notable work of travel, "Views Afoot,"
     describing his experiences while traversing Europe with a light
     purse and a sturdy heart, is full of quotable passages, of two
     of which we have availed ourselves. The following is devoted to
     the well-worn story of the German student, with his extraordinary
     capacity for beer and his insensate taste for duels. We cannot
     well get through Europe without some account of these striking
     incidents of student-life, which our author very well describes.]

Receiving a letter from my cousin one bright December morning, the idea
of visiting him struck me, and so, within an hour, B---- and I were on
our way to Heidelberg. It was delightful weather; the air was mild as
the early days of spring, the pine-forests around wore a softer green,
and though the sun was but a hand's breadth high, even at noon, it was
quite warm on the open road.

We stopped for the night at Bensheim; the next morning was as dark as
a cloudy day in the north can be, wearing a heavy gloom I never saw
elsewhere. The wind blew the snow down from the summits upon us, but,
being warm from walking, we did not heed it. The mountains looked
higher than in summer, and the old castles more grim and frowning. From
the hard roads and freezing wind my feet became very sore, and after
limping along in excruciating pain for a league or two, I filled my
boots with brandy, which deadened the wounds so much that I was enabled
to go on in a kind of trot, which I kept up, only stopping ten minutes
to dinner, till we reached Heidelberg.

The same evening there was to be a general commers, or meeting of the
societies among the students, and I determined not to omit one of the
most interesting and characteristic features of student life. So,
borrowing a cap and coat, I looked the student well enough to pass for
one of them, though the former article was somewhat of the Philister
form. Baader, a young poet of some note, and president of the "Palatea"
society, having promised to take us there, we met at eight o'clock at
an inn frequented by the students, and went to the rendezvous, near the
Markt Platz.

A confused sound of voices came from the inn, as we drew near; groups
of students were standing around the door. In the entry we saw the Red
Fisherman, one of the most conspicuous characters about the University.
He is a small, stout man, with bare neck and breast, red hair, whence
his name, and a strange mixture of roughness and benevolence in his
countenance. He had saved many persons, at the risk of his own life,
from drowning in the Neckar, and on that account is leniently dealt
with by the faculty whenever he is arrested for assisting the students
in any of their unlawful proceedings. Entering the room, I could
scarcely see at first, on account of the smoke that ascended from a
hundred pipes. All was noise and confusion. Near the door sat some
half-dozen musicians, who were getting their instruments ready for
action; and the long room was filled with tables, all of which seemed
to be full, and the students were still pressing in. The tables were
covered with great stone jugs and long beer-glasses; the students were
talking and shouting and drinking.

One, who appeared to have the arrangement of the meeting, found seats
for us together, and, having made a slight acquaintance with those
sitting next us, we felt more at liberty to witness their proceedings.
They were all talking in a sociable, friendly way, and I saw no one
who appeared to be intoxicated. The beer was a weak mixture, which
I should think would make one fall over from its _weight_ before it
would intoxicate him. Those sitting near me drank but little, and that
principally to make or return compliments. One or two at the other
end of the table were more boisterous, and more than one glass was
overturned on the legs below it. Leaves containing the songs for the
evening lay at each seat; and at the head, where the president sat,
were two swords crossed, with which he occasionally struck upon the
table to preserve order. Our president was a fine, romantic-looking
young man, dressed in the old German costume, which is far handsomer
than the modern. I never saw in any company of young men so many
handsome, manly countenances. If their faces were any index of their
characters, there were many noble, free souls among them.


Nearly opposite to me sat a young poet, whose dark eyes flashed with
feeling as he spoke to those near him. After some time passed in
talking and drinking together, varied by an occasional air from the
musicians, the president beat order with the sword, and the whole
company joined in one of their glorious songs, to a melody at the same
time joyous and solemn. Swelled by so many manly voices, it rose up
like a hymn of triumph; all other sounds were stilled. Three times
during the singing all rose up, clashed their glasses together around
the table, and drank to their Fatherland, a health and blessing to the
patriot, and honor to those who struggle in the cause of freedom, at
the close thundering out their motto,--

    "Fearless in strife, to the banner still true!"

After this song the same order as before was continued, except that
students from the different societies made short speeches accompanied
by some toast or sentiment. One spoke of Germany, predicting that all
her dissensions would be overcome, and she would rise up at last like
a phoenix among the nations of Europe; and at the close gave "Strong,
united, regenerated Germany!" Instantly all sprang to their feet,
and, clashing the glasses together, gave a thundering "Hoch!" This
enthusiasm for their country is one of the strongest characteristics
of the German students; they have ever been first in the field for her
freedom, and on them mainly depends her future redemption.

Cloths were passed around, the tables wiped off, and preparations made
to sing the "_Landsfather_" or consecration song. This is one of the
most important and solemn of their ceremonies, since by performing it
the new students are made _burschen_, and the bands of brotherhood
continually kept fresh and sacred. All became still a moment; then they
commenced the lofty song,--

    "Silent bending, each one lending
        To the solemn tones his ear,
     Hark, the song of songs is sounding,
     Back from joyful choir resounding;
        Hear it, German brothers, hear!

    "German, proudly raise it, loudly
        Singing of your fatherland.
     Fatherland! thou land of story,
     To the altars of thy glory
        Consecrate us, sword in hand!

    "Take the beaker, pleasure-seeker,
        With thy country's drink brimmed o'er;
     In thy left the sword is blinking;
     Pierce it through the cap, while drinking
        To thy Fatherland once more!"

With the first line of the last stanza the presidents sitting at the
head of the table take their glasses in their right hands, and at the
third line the sword in their left, at the end striking their glasses
together and drinking.

    "In left hand gleaming, thou art beaming,
        Sword from all dishonor free!
     Thus I pierce the cap, while swearing,
     It in honor ever wearing,
        I a valiant Bursch will be!"

They clash their swords together till the third line is sung, when each
takes his cap, and piercing the point of the sword through the crown,
draws it down to the guard. Leaving their caps on the swords, the
presidents stand behind the two next students, who go through the same
ceremony, receiving the swords at the appropriate time, and giving them
back loaded with their caps also. This ceremony is going on at every
table at the same time. These two stanzas are repeated for every pair
of students till all have gone through with it, and the presidents
have arrived at the bottom of the table, with their swords strung full
of caps.

       [While the song goes on, the president restores the caps, one
     by one, a consecration verse being chanted as each student
     receives his cap. When all are restored, the ceremonies end with
     a concluding verse, in which the singers pledge themselves to the
     service of their Fatherland.]

The Landsfather being over, the students were less orderly; the smoking
and drinking began again, and we left, as it was already eleven
o'clock, glad to breathe the pure cold air.

In the University I heard Gervinus, who was formerly professor
in Göttingen, but was obliged to leave on account of his liberal
principles. He is much liked by the students and his lectures are very
well attended. They had this winter a torchlight procession in honor of
him. He is a stout, round-faced man, speaks very fast, and makes them
laugh continually with his witty remarks. In the room I saw a son of
Rückert, the poet, with a face strikingly like his father's. The next
evening I went to hear Schlosser, the great historian. Among his pupils
are the two princes of Baden, who are now at the University. He came
hurriedly in, threw down his portfolio, and began instantly to speak.
He is an old, gray-headed man, but still active and full of energy. The
Germans find him exceedingly difficult to understand, as he is said to
use the English construction almost entirely; for this reason perhaps I
understand him quite easily. He lectures on the French Revolution, but
is engaged in writing a Universal History, the first numbers of which
are published.

Two or three days after, we heard that a duel was to take place at
Neuenheim, on the opposite side of the Neckar, where the students have
a house hired for that purpose. In order to witness the spectacle, we
started immediately with two or three students. Along the road were
stationed old women, at intervals, as guards, to give notice of the
approach of the police, and from these we learned that one duel had
already been fought, and they were preparing for the other. The Red
Fisherman was busy in an outer room grinding the swords, which are made
as sharp as razors. In the large room some forty or fifty students
are walking about, while the parties were preparing. This was done by
taking off the coat and vest and binding a great thick leather garment
on, which reached from the breast to the knees, completely protecting
the body. They then put on a leather glove reaching nearly to the
shoulder, tied a thick cravat around the throat, and drew on a cap with
a large vizor. This done, they were walked about the room a short time,
the seconds holding out their arms to strengthen them; their faces all
this time betrayed considerable anxiety.

All being ready, the seconds took their stations immediately behind
them, each armed with a sword, and gave the words, "_Ready--bind your
weapons--loose!_" They instantly sprang at each other, exchanged two or
three blows, when the seconds cried "Halt!" and struck their swords up.
Twenty-four rounds of this kind ended the duel, without either being
hurt, though the cap of one of them was cut through and his forehead
grazed. All their duels do not end so fortunately, however, as the
frightful scars on the faces of many of those present testified. It
is a gratification to know that but a small portion of the students
keep up this barbarous custom. The great body is opposed to it; in
Heidelberg, four societies, comprising more than one-half the students,
have been formed against it. A strong desire for such a reform seems
to prevail, and the custom will probably be totally discontinued in a
short time.

This view of the student-life was very interesting to me; it appeared
in a much better light than I had been accustomed to view it. Their
peculiar customs, except duelling and drinking, of course, may be
better tolerated when we consider their effect on the liberty of
Germany. It is principally through them that a free spirit is kept
alive; they have ever been foremost to rise up for their Fatherland and
bravest in its defence. And though many of their customs have so often
been held up to ridicule, among no other class can one find warmer,
truer, or braver hearts.



       [Among the object-lessons which the cities of Europe have
     for Americans there is none more evident and impressive than
     the beauty and cleanliness of the streets of many of these
     municipalities, as compared with those of the land beyond the
     ocean. Dr. Woods, in his "Rambles of a Physician," draws a
     striking picture of the aspect of the principal street of Berlin,
     which we reproduce for the benefit of our readers.]

To-day I have been riding on tramways through wide, smooth, perfectly
clean streets, lined on each side by magnificent houses, mostly with
their fronts a complete net-work of graceful carvings. In building here
the custom is to use rough stones, and when the house is erected, carve
over it the development of some legend, the illustrations of some
classic tale, or it may be, the story of the rise and progress of the
builder, or the man for whom it is being built; or, perhaps, simply a
reproduction in stone of some Pompeiian wall decoration, so that merely
a stroll through the streets, or a ride on a car, exhibits sights that
I imagine are seldom if ever seen outside of Germany. To write down
all worthy of perpetual remembrance and praise, during a walk through
its splendid ways, would require much time, and I will therefore only
say that amid a profusion of ornamentation, you seldom see anything
meaningless or incapable of pointing a moral or adorning a tale.

The street wherein I write, what words could record its splendors!
From the happy moment I passed the Royal National Gallery, with its
great front covered with the commanding pictures by Cornelius, with
background of gold, and crossed the handsome bridge, _Schloss Brücke_,
ornamented with colossal marble statues, full of action and life, that
spans the lovely embanked Spree, until now, with a charming park and
the Cathedral at my back, the University in front, on my left, in the
middle of the street Rauch's wonderful statue of Frederick the Great,
said to be the grandest monument in Europe, and by my side the plain
palace of the Emperor, I have been amazed; words cannot describe the
splendor of the place. The tops of the houses--cornices--are lined with
marble figures larger than life; the pediments are alive with men,
women, children, and horses, in high relief; and along the sidewalks
are sitting and standing celebrities in stone, whose very pedestals
contain enough to employ the admiration for weeks; and yet this is but
the approach to the famous street that, beginning at the castle of the
Kaiser, ends in the Brandenburg Gate,--I am merely within the Garden
of Eden, with long vistas of prospective bliss extending interminably

I stand for a few moments in front of Rauch's stupendous statue of
Fritz surrounded by his friends. I use the word "stupendous" not in
reference to its size, although it is enormous, but to its effect. It
occupies a position in the middle of the street, in front of the plain
two-story-and-a-half castle of Kaiser William, now in his ninetieth
year, and well. Where is there another avenue in the world that would
not be obstructed by this massive group? The Monuments--clustered
around a granite pedestal twenty-five feet high, on which is placed an
equestrian statue of Frederick the Great--are bronze groups, life size,
of the leading generals and statesmen during the Seven Years' War,
standing or mounted on horses as they lived, in animated discussion or
thought, forming a glorious aureole around their chief. From where I
stand I count nineteen people and four horses, all apparently endowed
with immortal life; besides these, on this side (there are three others
like it) are cannon, armor, trumpets, helmets, muskets, and trees,
which, although of metal, to say of them that they look real would be
short of the truth; they exceed reality, at least as we ordinary beings
understand that most complimented word. I would venture to say that
outside of Prussian Germany _models_ for these magnificent figures
could not be found, and that a sculptor producing such would have
to create them himself; and yet these are the men of the streets of
Frankfort, Weimar, and Berlin, as splendid-looking fellows as the sun
ever shone upon,--the very street-sweepers even exhibiting a bearing
and dignity commanding respect.

The subject is too prolific in suggestions; I cannot proceed. It is
also too great for my limited time, especially as other attractions
are luring me on. What a street! what shops! filled with wonders in
metal and precious stones. What bronzes and jewels! Why do we never
see such exquisite productions in our palatial stores? Lingerers
around shop-windows find a paradise in this promenade; but here is an
"Arcade," the stone sides carved to the lofty cornices, arches of
glass stretching across the way from eave to eave, the street paved in
mosaic, and here and there in recesses clusters of exotics and palms.
What wares are exhibited in this virtuoso's Eden! I stand in front of
the window, lost in thought, until tired with the contemplation of
unspeakable things.

Seeing a shrubbery and seats, I sit down by a little table for repose,
when in a moment, from some invisible source overhead, like the
orchestra in Wilhelm Meister, there bursts forth the most bewitching
music. I am in heaven. I hear the hosannas of the celestial hosts. The
shops are where the redeemed work for love of men.

The people passing to and fro know nothing of accounts, nor the
perplexities of trade. They have ceased from their troubles--are at
home--at rest. I am brought to eat ambrosia and drink the nectar and
hear the music of the gods, and yet I am but a novice in this celestial
city, and wait for the loving hands that shall lead me to the friends
gone before....

I have made the tour of "Unter den Linden," and am sitting here just
long enough to collect my wandering thoughts before moving on. I feel
as if I had been the victim of one of De Quincey's dreams, and wait
the awakening that will release me from its spell. As I recline here
at my leisure, with a sandstone fountain making music at my feet, and
grapevines and beeches embowering me about, I get a good view of the
famous Brandenburg Gate and the statue of Victory, with her chariot and
four, on the top. As I look on the magnificent group from where I am on
the Thiergarten side, Victory has her back to me, her horses galloping
with full speed towards the palace of the king. I had supposed, from
pictures I had seen, that she was driving towards the park. I cannot
have been mistaken. If so, why was such a ponderous mass turned around?

While endeavoring to explain to myself what seemed so strange, a young
man took a seat by my side. Addressing him, "How is it? Isn't Victory
reversed?" "_Ja wohl!_" he replies. How assuring the affix "_wohl_"
in the hearty German expression of assent! It is the abracadabra that
drives out fear, and fills up the great gulf between the stranger and
yourself, enabling your sympathies to run over and interchange. Long
live the noble people that always say, "Yes, well," and never, "Yes,

"_Ja wohl!_" he replies. "Why?" "Well, you see,"--I knew by the
expression lighting up his face that he was going to tell me of
something that pleased,--"it was before the last struggle that Victory
was driving her horses in the direction of Paris. The war came. The
French were victors, and carried off our statue as a trophy to flatter
their vanity and decorate their capital at the same time. Good, but in
'70 it was our turn. The whipped became whippers. We beat the French
and brought our Victory home, replanted her on her original site,
with her back to Frankreich, her face looking proudly towards the
Fatherland, as if she were glad and happy to be at home."

       [Here we pass over pages of description of what was to be seen
     in the galleries and churches, to come again to the traveller's
     out-door impressions.]

In the first place, the climate, to my surprise, is perfect. I am
sitting here at noon in August--smothering with us--in an atmosphere
exhilarating and cool; men are passing with light overcoats, as if
they were a trifle anxious to anticipate the September winds, and this
is what the weather has been since leaving Erin, where it was, to my
surprise, too dry and warm. Remember, that all I say about countries
and people is only what _I_ have felt and seen. Every evening I wear
a light overcoat, and find it about right. In the second place,
there is no dust in Berlin, simply because the streets, which are
better--all of them--than the concrete around the Philadelphia City
Hall, are never allowed to get dirty; are _flooded with water_ and
_dried_ every morning, and kept so. Nothing objectionable is permitted
to remain on them for a moment. _Clean, uniformed men_--and handsome,
gentlemanly-looking fellows they are, too--are constantly moving along
with enclosed wheelbarrows, shovels, and brooms, removing whatever may
offend; even their instruments for cleaning are designed artistically
and free from soil. I can imagine the wheelbarrows attractive as flower
receptacles at large gatherings, so graceful are they. You would tie
bows on the shovels and hang them on the wall.

With these whatever is offensive on the streets is at once emptied into
cast-iron receptacles, in themselves ornamental, arranged along the
thoroughfares, and which are emptied before daybreak every day. The
streets, as I said before, are many of them flooded with water daily,
then dried with enormous squilgees (that's what they are called on
shipboard),--that is, a band of rubber fitted into a socket of wood,
something like what, with us, careful housewives use to dry windows,
except that these are a yard wide, and one sweep of them over a wet
street leaves a band its width as dry as a board and as clean as a
dinner plate. In order to do this, of course the streets have to be
absolutely smooth,--as they are, not the slightest indentation being
visible. Then neatly-painted and handsomely-designed water-carts
traverse _every_ street a number of times daily, ejecting showers
of _misty_ spray; a work of supererogation, you say, to prevent any
particle of dust that may be left from getting into the air. It is
actually true that a child with a cambric dress could roll in the
middle of any crowded thoroughfare with as much security from soil as
if occupying a chair in a summer boarding-house.

The cleanliness and order exceeds even that of England or Scotland,
than which, until you come to Germany, you think nothing can exceed.
If, for example, a gentleman in lighting a cigar throws a match on the
street, it is picked up; a leaf from a tree, a bit of paper from a
store, a blade of grass, all are at once removed, and by men, too, that
are Germans; that is,--clean, respectful, reputable, and intelligent.
Even in the business avenues, and around the wholesale stores, the
pavements and streets are as clean as the white steps of the homes of
Philadelphia. Most of the streets are as wide as our Broad Street, some
wider; as, for example, Unter den Linden.

That you may see for yourself this noble highway of the capital, allow
me to conduct you across. "When I speak of horses imagine that you
see them." Just suppose we are crossing together, and because of the
many vehicles and people on horseback, I will take you by the hand,
so. We have been admiring the trees and flowers in front of Prince
Blücher's palace, one of a series of palaces on each side of the street
near the Brandenburg Gate; they stand back from the pavements, and
have extensive flower-gardens in front, the only separation between
these and the very wide pavement being a low hedge of delicate, almost
thornless, magenta roses. You remember--or did I tell you?--with what
genial pride the old gardener, yesterday, told us that this same
was a perpetual bloomer,--summer and winter,--that it was a German
creation,--the development of its efflorescent peculiarity having
been begun away back; but that he himself it was, by crossing it
with _Rosa centifolia_, that had added the apex to the temple of its
perfection,--namely, duplication of petals, diminution of stamen,
heliotropism,--turning its face towards the sun, by which acquired
habit the winter bloom has become as profuse as that of summer.

Well, we have been looking over this two-foot-high blooming hedge-row,
and have decided to cross to the gardens on the other side; so now hold
my hand and fear not, for life is sacred in the Fatherland, and we are
under the protection of the police. You see that the gardens in front
of the palaces used by the nobility and foreign ministers are about
as wide as Broad Street, the pavement for the public forty feet more.
We leave this and cross a strip as wide as an ordinary avenue, paved
with square blocks,--this is exclusively for wagons, drays, and all
vehicles of trade,--then a row of trees; after this we cross a band
about the same width, but as smooth and as hard as granite; this is
for pleasure-carriages only; then another row of trees; then a road
the width of an ordinary street, which is neither concrete nor Belgian
blocks, but a mixture of loam and sand, soft enough to be easy for
horses' feet, and damp enough to keep it from being converted into
clouds of dust; this is used by equestrians only, and a beautiful
sight the lady and gentleman riders present every afternoon on their
way to the park. We cross this soft way, and are in a wide promenade,
perhaps eighty feet broad, arched over with the branches of lofty oaks,
chestnuts, butternuts, lindens, beeches, and the like,--originally
lindens only, hence the name "Under the Lindens,"--with elegant seats
arranged along its entire length, on one of which we will sit down
and rest, for we are half-way across the avenue, or rather series of
avenues, which up here is flanked with lofty palaces and gardens of
delight. On one side you go to, on the other you come from, the park.
The lower part of this multiple avenue, instead of palaces and gardens,
has the most magnificent residences, shops, and hotels that I have ever

Germany seems one great family with no foreign help, where each member
recognizes and respects the position of the other, and are united in
the training of their children and the development of their own minds;
but not as though, like other people, they had to _resolve_ to be good;
this, as a matter of course; virtue appears to come to them by nature.
Everything they do seems a pleasure rather than a task, as if they said
that industry and thrift are essential to happiness, labor the prelude
to enjoyment; besides, they are never in a hurry. They take an hour
to drink a glass of beer, and talk of heaven, earth, and the waters
under the earth while sipping it. The gesticulating German, outside of
books, I have not yet seen; what they do they do well; they enjoy doing
it, and they do it that it may be a joy to others, and it always is.
This feeling enters into every service, from the making of a pin to
the concocting of a new system of theology, or a free-and-easy way of
getting to heaven; and then the universality of culture that prevails,
thanks to the standing army and the omnipresent public schools,--they
have private schools too, to be sure, but then these snob and
denominational affairs, unlike with us, just as the public schools,
are under strict _governmental inspection_, and their managers are not
permitted to teach what they please, unless what they please is for the
good of the pupils, the country, and the people at large. It is because
of this national surveillance that the private schools of Germany are
said to be as good as those under the direct control of the government.

Familiarizing the pupil with music and the natural sciences is an
important part of German education, especially the study of _animal
organisms_, "birds, beasts, and reptiles," as we used to say of
Goldsmith's "Animated Nature." As an illustration at hand, since
sitting here in front of a garden near the Kaiser's palace, putting
upon record the above traits, a workman watering a lawn noticed me
looking up for a moment, just as he had enveloped the top of a lofty
spruce with spray. Of course, as the sun was shining, and each particle
of water becoming a prism, the disintegration of the white rays of
light resulted in a rainbow, curved partially around the trees. I look
at it, racking my memory at the same time for the word I need; he sees
I observe it and am pleased; he nods, and says, "_Schön_" (beautiful);
I reply, "Very." In a few moments, dragging the hose towards me,
throwing the water over a weeping birch, and making another rainbow, he
points towards it. "Our Herr Professor Helmholtz," pointing towards the
University, "says there are but three prismatic colors, and yet I can
now see seven, can't you?--red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo,
and violet; and I suppose a Frenchman could see seventy, for it is
said that they can see colors where other people only see shades." He
continues to water the grass, and I, having found my missing link, to

       [Dr. Woods next describes what is to be seen within the
     German beer-gardens,--the music, the decorum, the absence of
     intoxication, the intelligence manifested in conversation. Then to
     out-door life again.]

Other traits. Houses have curtains on the outside of windows as well
as on the inside, and windows are nearly always double, with a space
of about four inches between. They open outward and inward, instead of
up and down; when closed, all noise is shut out. Indeed, there is no
noise on even the busiest streets, which are so smooth that no sounds
are heard but those of horses' feet; no screaming of papers or wares
of any sort is permitted, and no chimes! Then, again, people in the
most ordinary circumstances have fine lace curtains and beautifully
woven fabrics hanging around in graceful festoons, portières, statuary,
pictures, flowers, birds, and books; often the most beautiful things
in the way of prints are pinned frameless on the walls; there are
beautiful marquetry floors, but no carpets.

Again, the orchards throughout the country are without protecting
walls, just as farms are. At each corner a stone marks the division,
and when ploughing, a couple of reversed furrows from stone to stone
serves both as a division and promenade, and crops are not only grown
to this line of demarcation, but grow over it, so that at a distance
there is no division at all. I have seen branches bent to the ground
with ripe fruit, and children walking under them to _buy_ from an
old woman or man across the way, never apparently even thinking of
molesting what is not theirs. This is one of the things that fill you
with wonder. In Weimar, between the Goethe House and the principal
school, a long branch _loaded with red apples_ hung over the way,
almost touching my head, and yet it was under this that hundreds of
children passed daily to and from school.

A pleasant custom in Berlin, as in London, is window-gardening--windows
constructed so on purpose, the glass projecting a couple of feet beyond
the side of the house, forming attractive ferneries, wherein are
contained various sorts of cryptogami, as well as flowers in bloom,
needing but little attention, as the moisture evaporating from the
soil, etc., having no way of escaping, is taken up by the leaves. Also
at the entrance to houses I have noticed beautiful dwarf apple-trees,
with glossy leaves, and bearing an abundance of diminutive fruit.
On one of these little trees, yesterday, I counted fifty-three ripe
apples. These on the pavement day and night, and just the height of
a boy's hand in passing, notwithstanding what I had observed about
fenceless orchards, made me suspect them apples of Sodom, or they
certainly would have been plucked. To satisfy curiosity, I called on a
florist having some for sale, and found that they tasted as good as
they looked. I have concluded, therefore, that if Adam and Eve had been
Germans there would have been no Fall; and I know no race doing more
towards having Eden restored than these same people.



       [Country life in Prussia is well delineated in the following
     description of a journey on foot from Wittenberg to Potsdam. It
     is not an alluring picture, and brings us into the presence of
     a stolid generation such as would scarcely be looked for in the
     rural districts of that active realm.]

Once out of Wittenberg, I journeyed on along the ancient royal highway,
between the ever-welcome colonnades of stately poplars, planted that
the royal head might never be scorched by the too ardent sun of summer.
The sun shone as brightly as it ever does in blue old Germany, but what
a weary, weary land to my eyes, on the pitiless cold May-day, was that
sandy champaign, almost utterly naked in its hopeless sterility, and
diversified only now and then by a bald-headed knoll, swelling broadly
up with a thousand acres! So indescribably blue and cold and pinched
was it, without any vegetation but a forest of cultivated pines, which,
after a quarter of a century, had struggled up with their wretched,
scraggy stems only fifteen feet! The very soil looked blue and thin
and skinny, and the rye looked blue, and so meagre and chilled that it
could not conceal the ground or the knees of the men who plucked up the

All the dismal immensity of this fenceless, hedgeless, houseless waste,
except an acre of rye in a thousand, was given up to the sorrel, the
lichens, and the quitches. The very air seemed poor and attenuated like
thin skimmed milk. All the houses were clustered together in little
villages far apart, where they huddled close, as if for warmth; the
dead, dull peat-fires gave forth no cheerful wreathing smoke; and in
all the desolate waste there was scarcely a soul abroad. The faces
of the yellow-haired children, who were occasionally watching some
geese, were mottled with blue and purple and goose-pimples, and if a
man ventured abroad to pluck up weeds in the stunted rye, which seemed
to shiver with a kind of rustling, starved chilliness, his hands were
bluer than the air. So utterly worn out, so bluish-wan and starved with
the lapse of untold centuries, seemed all the earth and the air of that
Germany which I looked out upon on that dismal May forenoon.

Lamartine says the blood of the Germans is blue, but that of these
Brandenburgers must certainly be sour.

It will readily be believed that I did not undertake a pilgrimage
through this inexpressibly bleak region in pursuit of fine landscapes.
I wished only to visit, by their own firesides and in their own fields,
that sturdy, grim, Puritanic race of Brandenburgers, to whom Prussia is
primarily indebted for all her greatness.

It was weary hours after the middle of the day before the spires of
Wittenberg disappeared below a sand-hill. The afternoon was far spent,
and I began to cast longing glances ahead in search of an eligible
tavern, for I thoroughly agree with Dr. Johnson that "there is nothing
which has yet been contrived by man by which so much happiness is
produced as by a good tavern."

I had come up with a thumping lout of a young peasant, who strode along
with his "clouted shoon," measuring about a yard and a quarter at a
stride, whose voice blubbered and gurgled up out of his stomach in such
a manner that the fierce wind whisked it away, and left me nothing but
an occasional horse-laugh (whereupon I would also laugh, though I had
not the remotest notion of the matters whereof he was discoursing); and
by his advice I passed several inns, though I found afterwards, to my
sorrow, he was looking only for the cheapest. At last we came to one
which was meaner than all the others, but I was too weary to go a step
farther. It bore the pretentious name of the inn of the Green Linden.
It was a mere hovel, built of cobbles and mud-stuccoed, tawny-yellow
within, greenish-yellowish without, with an earthen floor and benches
around the walls. Above the door were twined some sprigs of Whitsuntide
birch, which I had seen during the day on the peasants' hats, wagons,
and everywhere.

Around a pine table were eight or ten men and hobbledehoys, each with a
_Schoppen_ of terribly stiff beer before him, and most of them smoking
the long goosenecked porcelain pipe, while four of them were intent on
cards. The men were hard, gristly-faced, sour-blooded fellows, who only
muttered now and then a monosyllable, which I could seldom understand;
while the youths looked on with the most vacuous, loamy countenances
imaginable. So intent were they on the miserable game that they gave
no heed to our arrival, and when I endeavored to ascertain who was the
landlord, I received only a blank stare or a gesture of impatience. I
sat down and waited, and I confess for a few minutes my enthusiasm for
the Prussian people fell absolutely to the freezing-point.

After about half an hour the landlord seemed to be disturbed in his
mind by a suspicion that I was a foreigner, drew near and ascertained
that fact, whereupon he brought me some vile black coffee and some good
wheaten _Semmel_, and then returned to his occupation. The players
continued at their game far into the night, and though the stakes were
of the most trifling nature, often only a half-penny, they displayed a
fierce and obstinate eagerness which was surprising. They would rise up
on their feet, lean far across the table and smite it with appalling
violence. When they at last desisted, and were preparing to disperse,
they collected about me, and, finding I was an American, listened to me
awhile with a kind of drowsy, immovable passiveness, while the smoke
lazily swirled above their heads. Unlike the lively Swabians and the
joyous drinkers of the sunny wine of Freiburg, they scarcely asked any
questions or expressed any interest beyond grunting their assent or

At last the host and myself were left alone, and then he proceeded to
prepare the only couch he could offer by shaking down on the floor a
bundle of rye straw. He tucked me all up, as if I were one of his young
_Buben_, shook the hand which I reached out from the straw, and left
me with a cheerful _Schlafen Sie wohl_. In the adjoining room a lusty
fellow stretched himself on a bench, pillowed his head on a portentous
loaf of rye bread, not having even inserted that useful article of diet
into a pillow-case, and there he snored--_stertitque supinus_--the
livelong night in a tone so audible that I was greatly tempted to rise
and introduce a wisp of rye straw judiciously into his windpipe.

When I sat up on my couch next morning, pulling the straw out of my
hair, I said to myself, like Richard, "Oh, I have passed a miserable
night!" I had not had any "fearful dreams," nor, for that matter, any
sleep, that I was aware of; neither had I any "ugly sights," because it
was too dark to see them, but I felt them. They appeared to be greatly
rejoiced to be permitted, once in their lives, to extract blood out of
a man's veins instead of beer.

The next day I passed through spectacles of the most wonderfully minute
and unceasing toil. In an artificial pine-forest, where the trees
were become too large to be ploughed, there were men on their knees
plucking the weeds between the rows; others in long sheep-skin cloaks
were weeding fields of flax; a woman was culling in a royal forest
the merest sprigs and leaf-stems for fuel; others along the roadside
snipped off the close, short fleece of grass, and carried it in mighty
bundles on their backs for the stalled cattle. Here a stalwart yeoman
lazily leans his chin on his crook, guarding three sheep as they nimbly
nibble! Peasant-women, going to the village to hawk their little
produce, shuffled along with their wooden shoes, making a prodigious
dust, chatting cheerfully with their stolid lords, though they were
bowed down nearly to the earth beneath the intolerable weight of
vegetables. And the infamous brutal tyrants trudged along beside the
poor women, never even offering to touch the burdens with so much as
one of their fingers!

I think the Prussians will certainly never "witch the world with noble
horsemanship." The horses are splendid creatures for farm-animals,
strong and glossy and round, superb as the finest Clydesdales; but the
owners seem to have no confidence upon their backs, and little skill
in guiding them in vehicles. The Prussians are by no means a chivalric
race, in the etymologic sense. In all my travels in Prussia I have yet
to see a civilian on horseback outside of a city, and even there it
is usually only officers who prance through the streets. The immense
superiority of the Hungarian cavalry over the Prussian was abundantly
demonstrated in the Bohemian campaign until the magnificent infantry
battalions turned the scale; and the dreaded "three Uhlans" of Edmond
About were far oftener Poles than Prussians.

It is said that the potentates of Germany, when paying a visit of
ceremony to a foreign sovereign, always take with them a favorite
charger or two to whose paces they are accustomed, that there may be
no blunders or embarrassments in the reviews through their unskilful
horsemanship. These poor peasants evince little more confidence
in their skill than do their sovereigns, and the outrageously
unprofessional and awkward manner in which they handle the noble brutes
would enrage a lover of handsome horses beyond endurance. To save toll
at the gates, they not unfrequently hitch one horse to a two-horse
wagon, so that the pole bruises and thumps his legs in a shameful
manner. And then to hitch the head of one gallant horse to the tail of

In the village of Beelitz I had an amusing adventure, resulting from my
ignorance of the customs of the country, which illustrates a certain
phase of Prussian society. Upon entering the village, I began to cast
about me for some eligible tavern wherein I might take my customary
mid-day repast. The first one I approached was the inn of the Black
Horse, but there were rather too many yellow-haired, unwashed children
and dingy geese about it; besides, the sign hung down from one corner.
The only other inn was the White Eagle, which was scarcely any better,
but it was Hobson's choice. It was an extremely small and unpretentious
edifice, though with walls nearly a man's stature in thickness,
and I could overhear the appetizing clink of knives on plates just
inside the door; so, in doubt whether it was really a public tavern
or not, I rapped. Only the clink of the dinner-knives responded. The
operation was repeated with a certain amount of vigor. There was a
kind of objurgatory remark made within, and in a moment the door was
opened about two feet, and an immense brawny arm, bared to the elbow,
was extended around the edge of the door. In the fingers there was
clutched a bunch of some substance which appeared to solicit my closer
inspection. A single glance revealed to me the interesting fact that it
was bread: it was undoubtedly bread.

This was an unexpectedly prompt response to my desires, and presented
an opportunity for the acquisition of a limited amount of provisions
cheap, but one of which my conscience would not permit me to avail
myself. However, I scrutinized the bread with quite a lively interest.
It was manifestly good bread, but was now somewhat dry: indeed, I may
say it was altogether devoid of moisture. Presently the hand holding
this article of diet executed a sudden movement of impatience, or as
it were of beckoning or blandishment, as if I were expected to take
this bread and masticate the same. But as I still hesitated, the hand
was suddenly withdrawn into the tavern, there was a very audible
remark made inside, and then the brawny hostess owning the hand
presented herself at the door, and immediately appeared to have made an
astounding discovery. Blushes and embarrassment! Stammerings! Mutual
explanations! Ample and shamefaced apologies! A substantial dinner
of boiled beef and cabbage! _Moral:_ In a country where beggars are
numerous never knock at the tavern door.



     [J. Ross Browne, author of "Yusef," "Crusoe's Island," "The Land
     of Thor," etc., is well known for the humorous vein of many of
     his productions. Such is the case with "An American Family in
     Germany," from which we make the following selection. It is at
     once humorous and instructive. The extract given, however, is
     simply descriptive, having too much of interest in itself to need
     any adventitious aid. The mine described may serve in a measure
     as an artificial counterpart to our natural Mammoth Cave. Descent
     into the mine was made by means of a long rope with canvas straps
     for seats. There is a stairway cut in solid rock-salt, but it is
     wet and slippery, and the rope is usually chosen in preference.]

[Footnote A: From "An American Family in Germany." Copyright, Harper &

In a few minutes we touched bottom, or rather, by something like
instinct, the machine stopped just as we reached the base of the shaft,
and allowed us to glide off gently on the firm earth. We are now at the
first stage of our journey, having descended something over two hundred
feet. The ramifications of the various tunnels are so intricate and
extensive that they may be said to resemble more the streets of a large
city than a series of excavations made in the bowels of the earth.
These subterranean passages are named after various kings and emperors,
and diverge in every direction, opening at intervals into spacious
caverns and apartments, and undermining the country for a distance of
several miles. Some of them pass entirely under the town of Wieliczka.
In general they are supported by massive beams of wood, and where the
overhanging masses of salt require a still stronger support they are
sustained by immense columns of the original stratum. In former times
almost all the passages were upheld by pillars of salt, but wherever
it has been practicable these have been removed and beams of timber
substituted. The first stratum consists of an amalgam of salt and
dark-colored clay. Deeper down come alternate strata of marl, pebbles,
sand, and blocks of crystal salt. The inferior or green salt is nearest
to the surface; the crystal, called _schilika_, lies in the deeper

From the subordinate officer sent by the Inspector-General to accompany
us I learned many interesting particulars in reference to the manner of
procuring the salt. He also told some amusing legends of the prominent
places, and furnished me with some statistics, which, if true, are
certainly wonderful. For instance, to traverse the various passages
and chambers embraced within the four distinct stories of which the
mines consist, and see every object of interest, would require three
weeks. The aggregate length of the whole is four hundred English miles;
the greatest depth yet reached is two thousand three hundred feet.
The number of workmen employed in the various operations underground,
exclusive of those above, is upward of a thousand. The amount of salt
annually dug out is two hundred millions of pounds, which, at the
average market value, would be worth ten millions of gulden. Immense
as this yield is, it is inconsiderable, taking into view the unlimited
capacity of the mines. With proper machinery and a judicious investment
of labor the quantity of salt that might be excavated is almost beyond

It is natural to suppose that the air in these vast subterranean
passages must be impure, and consequently deleterious to health. Such,
however, does not appear to be the case. It is both dry and pure, and,
so far as I could judge by breathing it, not in the least oppressive.
The miners are said to be remarkable for longevity. Several of them,
according to the guide, have worked in the mines for forty years,
and have never been sick a day. The equability of the temperature is
probably conducive to health. Only a few degrees of variation are
shown by the thermometer between summer and winter. It is true that in
some of the deepest recesses, which are not sufficiently ventilated,
hydrogen gas occasionally collects. In one instance it caught fire, and
cost the loss of many lives, but precautions have since been taken to
prevent similar accidents.

I was greatly impressed by the profound silence of these vast caverns.
When we stood still the utter absence of sound was appalling. The
falling of a pin would have been a relief. Not even the faintest
vibration in the air was perceptible. No desert could be more silent,
no solitude more awful. I stood apart from the guides and lamp-bearers
in a separate vault, at the distance of a few hundred feet, in order
that I might fully appreciate this profound inertion, and it really
seemed as if the world were no more.

From some of these tunnels we emerged into open caverns, where a
few workmen were employed at their dreary labors. I was surprised
that there were not more to be seen, but was informed that they are
scattered in small parties through miles of earth, so that the number
is not apparent to the casual visitor. As we approached the places
where they are at work the dull clicking of the picks and hammers
produced a singular effect through the vast solitudes, as if the
gnomes, supposed to inhabit gloomy pits, were busily engaged at their
diabolical arts.

We came suddenly upon one group of workmen, under a shelving ledge, who
were occupied in detaching masses of crystallized salt from a cleft in
which they worked. They were naked to the middle, having nothing on but
coarse trousers and boots, and wrought with their crowbars and picks
by the light of a few grease-lamps held by grimy little boys, with
shaggy heads,--members, no doubt, of the same subterranean family.

Some of the men were lying on their backs, punching away with
tremendous toil at the ragged masses of salt overhead, their heads,
faces, and bodies glittering with the showers of salt grit that fell
upon them, while others stood up to their armpits in dark holes delving
into the lower crevices. Seeing our lights, they stopped to gaze at
us. Was it possible they were human beings, these bearded, shaggy,
grimy-looking monsters? Surely, if so, they well represented the
infernal character of the place. Never upon earth (the surface of it I
mean) had I seen such a monstrous group,--shocks of hair all powdered
with salt, glaring eyeballs overhung by white lashes flashing in the
fitful blaze of lamps, brawny forms glittering with crystal powder,
and marked by dark currents of sweat. No wonder I stared at them with
something akin to distrust. They might be monsters in reality, and take
a sudden notion to hurl me into one of their infernal pits by way of
pastime, in which case the only consolation would be, that where there
was such an abundance of salt there would be no difficulty about the
preservation of my remains.

After all, there was something sad in the condition of these poor
wretches, shut out from the glorious light of day, immured in deep dark
pits, hundreds of feet underground, rooting, as it were, for life in
the bowels of the earth. Surely the salt with which other men flavor
their food is gathered with infinite toil, and mingled with bitter


Yet, strange as it may seem, I was informed by the guide that these
workmen are so accustomed to this kind of life that they prefer it to
any other. By the rules of the Directory they are divided into gangs,
as on board a ship. The working gang is not permitted to remain under
ground more than eight hours; it is then relieved. The current belief
that some of them live in the mines is not sustained by the facts. In
former times it is quite probable that such was the case. At present
the administration of affairs is more humane than it was in an earlier
period in the history of the mines. The operatives are free to quit
whenever they please, as in any private establishment. Plenty of others
are always ready to take their places. The pay is good, averaging from
thirty kreutzers to a florin a day. Whenever it is practicable the
work is done by the piece. Each man receives so much for a specified
result. Good workmen can make two or three hundred florins a year. The
salt is gotten out in various forms, according to the depth of the
stratum. Where it is mixed with an amalgam of hard earth it is cut into
cylindrical blocks, and exported in that form to Russia. The finer
qualities are crushed, and packed in barrels for exportation to various
parts of Prussia and Austria....

After a long and interesting journey through various subterranean
streets and caverns, we emerged into the chamber of Michelawic, which
is of such vast proportions that it is difficult for the eye to
penetrate its mysterious gloom. A magnificent chandelier, cut out of
the crystal salt, hangs from the ceiling. On grand occasions this is
brilliantly lighted, and rich strains of music reverberate through the
chamber. Nothing can equal the stupendous effects of a full band of
brass instruments performing in this vast cavern. The sounds are flung
back from wall to wall, and float upward, whirling from ledge to ledge,
till the ear loses them in the distance; then down they fall again with
a volume and fulness almost supernatural. It is impossible to determine
from what quarter they emanate, whether from above or below, so rich,
varied, and confusing is the reverberation. Our guide, in a fine mellow
voice, sang us a mining song, to test the effects, and I must say I
never heard such music before. Indeed, so inspiring was it that I could
not refrain from a snatch of my own favorite melody,--

     "Oh, California! you're the land for me!"

And when I heard it repeated by a thousand mysterious spirits of
the air, and hurled back at me from each crystallized point of the
cavern, the effect was so fine that I was struck perfectly dumb with
astonishment. Lablache never made such music in his life, and no other
singer of my acquaintance would be worthy of attempting it.

Soon after leaving the chamber of Michelawic we passed over a series of
wooden foot-ways and corridors, extending a distance of fifteen hundred
feet, through a great variety of apartments and rugged passages, named
after the royal families of Poland and Austria. There were courts, and
imperial rooms, and obelisks; chapels, shrines, saints, and martyrs;
long rows of niches, containing statues of the old kings of Poland,
all cut out of the solid salt. The design and execution of some of
these were admirable, and the effect was gratifying, as well from the
artistic skill displayed as the peculiarity of the material.

Descending to a second stage by means of a rough wooden stairway,
which winds around the walls of an immense cavern of irregular shape,
we wandered through a series of tunnels, opening occasionally into
chambers of prodigious height and dimensions, till our guides announced
that we were approaching the Infernal Lake. The lamp-bearers in front
held up their lamps, and, peering through the fitful gloom, I could
discern, some distance in advance, a sheet of water, the surface of
which glistened with a supernatural light. Arriving at the edge of
this mysterious lake, which might well pass for the river Styx, a boat
approached from the opposite shore, drawn by means of a rope. Numerous
dark-looking imps were at work dragging it through the water. The sides
rippled in the sluggish pool, and a hollow reverberation sounded from
the dark walls of the cavern.

A gate-way was thrown open, and we descended some steps and entered
the boat. It was a square, flat-bottomed craft, decorated with fancy
colors, containing seats on each side, and capable of accommodating a
large party. We took our places, and at a signal from the guide the
boat moved slowly and silently over the dark depths, which seemed
almost of inky blackness in the gloom.

As we thus floated on the infernal pool the solitude was awful. I
could not but shudder at the thought that we were nearly five hundred
feet beneath the surface of the earth. The dismal black walls, roughly
hewn from the solid stratum of salt and marl; the tremendous heights
overhead, and the apparent great depth underneath; the fitful glare of
the torches, the rough, grimy faces of the attendants, and their wild
costumes, gave a peculiarly infernal aspect to the scene. It was weird
and sombre beyond conception.

We stopped a while in the middle of the lake to notice the strange
effect of the plashing of the waters, when disturbed by a rocking
motion of the boat, against the massive walls on either side. The
reverberation was fearfully deep, rolling and swelling from point
to point, till lost in the labyrinth of shafts and crevices far in
the distance. Around and above us were innumerable ruffed points
jutting out from the solid stratum, and archways reaching across deep
fissures, and beams of timber braced against overhanging masses of
rock. The sombre hue of the toppling canopy and rugged walls was
relieved only by the points of crystal salt upon which the lights
glistened; mysterious shadows flitted in the air; and pale, greenish
scintillations shot out of the gloom. It was, in truth, a subterranean
universe of darkness, made visible by torches of grease and stars
of salt, with an infernal sea in its midst, and inhabited by a very
doubtful set of people, half earthly and wholly Satanic in appearance.

Continuing our voyage, after some minutes we approached a point beyond
which all was an unfathomable wilderness of jagged walls and yawning
caverns. Suddenly a blaze of blue fire burst from the gloom, throwing
a ghastly hue over the crystal pinnacles, then faded slowly away. The
guides now covered their lights, and we were left in utter darkness.
Groans and cries were heard in the air, and plashing sounds echoed from
the shores of the infernal lake. As these ceased a terrific report
broke upon the stillness, and out of the gloom arose a blaze of red
fire, gradually assuming shape till it stood before us in the form of
a magnificent triumphal arch, bearing upon its front the illuminated


signifying, "Good luck to you!" or, literally, "Luck upon it!" the
famous greeting of the miners. Under this triumphal arch we passed
slowly into an immense chamber, of such vast proportions and rugged
outline that the eye failed to penetrate its profound depths. Then
from various corridors, high among the conglomerate crags, descended
mysterious voices, crying, one after another, "Glück-auf! Glück-auf!
Glück-auf!" till the reverberation united them all in a grand chorus,
so deep, so rich, varied, and powerful that mortal ears could encompass
no more. Was it real? Could these be human voices and earthly sounds,
or were they the distempered fantasy of a dream?

At a signal from our guide the chorus ceased, and shooting fires
broke out from the toppling heights, and the whole grand chamber, in
all its majesty, was illuminated with showers of colored stars. The
inverted arches of fire in the water--the reflected images of rocks,
corridors and precipices--the sudden contrasts of light and gloom--the
scintillations of the crystal salt points--formed a scene of miraculous
and indescribable grandeur. Unable to control my enthusiasm, I shouted
at the top of my voice, "Glück-auf! Glück-auf!" The cry was caught up
by the guides and torch-bearers; it arose and was echoed from rock to
rock by the chorus singers, till, like the live thunder, it leaped

    "the rattling crags among." ...

After visiting many chapels and shrines cut out of the solid salt,
we emerged into the Chamber of Letow, the magnificent saloon of
Entertainment, where, on grand occasions, such as the visit of the
Emperor or any member of the imperial family, the whole of this vast
chamber is brilliantly illuminated. Six splendid chandeliers, carved
from the crystal salt, hang from the ceiling. An alcove at the upper
end, approached from a series of steps, contains a throne of green and
ruby-colored salt upon which the Emperor sits. Transparent pictures
and devices are arranged in the background to give additional splendor
to the imperial boudoir, and the crystallizations with which the
walls glitter reflect the many colored lights with a dazzling effect.
The door-ways, statues, and columns are decorated with flowers and
evergreens; the floors are sprinkled with salts of various hues; the
galleries are festooned with flags; and the whole chamber is aglow with
transparencies and brilliant lights....

Although the mass of the stratum of which this grand chamber is
composed is of a darkish color, yet the very darkness of the
ground-work serves all the better to show by contrast the glittering
points of salt. The effect is inconceivably rich. The arched roof; the
high rugged walls, hewn out of the solid rock; the marks of the pick
and chisel visible in furrows all over, all sparkling with saline gems,
give the whole cavern the appearance of being studded with diamonds.
It reminds one of the grottoes under the sea described by Gulnare in
the Arabian Nights. When it is considered, too, that all this splendor
and these festivities--the illuminated galleries and alcoves, the
chandeliers and decorations, the vast concourse of guests, the music,
the dancing, the wild and fanciful costumes--are five hundred feet
below the surface of the earth, it is no exaggeration to say that the
spectacle is unparalleled. Nothing to equal it in a similar way can
be seen in any other part of the world. We next descended by a series
of stairways to the third story. This differs but little from those
already described, except that the deeper one goes the wilder and
more rugged become the ramifications of the mines. At one point in
our journey we entered a spacious chamber some eighty or one hundred
feet high. Here the guide paused, and in an impressive manner struck
his stick against the floor. When the reverberation had ceased he
announced the important circumstance that we now stood directly under
the Infernal Lake! "Ya! mein Herr," said he, "that wonderful lake, over
which we sailed in a boat not half an hour ago, is over our heads, and
if it should break through it would drown every one of us!" "Rather an
unpleasant pickle," I thought, but could not translate the pun into
German, and so let it pass.

It appears that the waters of this lake found a vent at one time, and
deluged a large portion of the mines, and those of the panic-stricken
operatives who were distant from the main shafts communicating with
the surface of the earth were suffocated while attempting to escape.
Others, in their fright, fled at random, and, falling into deep pits,
were dashed to atoms. In 1644 another destructive fire took place. All
the wood-work was seized by the devouring flames, men and horses were
roasted to death, and many of the workmen who escaped subsequently died
of their injuries. This was one of the most fearful conflagrations on
record. It lasted an entire year. The chambers and tunnels, deprived
of their support, fell together in many places, causing immense
destruction to the works. Even a considerable portion of the town of
Wieliczka sank into the earth, and was engulfed in the general ruin.



       [The modern enlightenment of Europe is a class enlightenment
     only. The mass of many populations still dwell in the shadow
     of mediæval superstition. As one example of this we append the
     following description of a curious religious mania, a relic from
     the centuries of mediævalism. The party of travellers with whom
     we have to deal had seen all there was to see in Trier (Treves),
     and the suggestion was made to go see the jumping procession at
     Echternach, which would come off on Whit-Tuesday. An expedition
     thither was accordingly organized.]

Our party was to consist of three carriage loads, and our escort were
all to be _en civile_, and this last determination, I may remark, was,
to a Prussian officer, a very weighty one. A Prussian officer, be it
known, is always in uniform; the government do not hide away the army
that fights their battles, protects their soil, and upholds their
honor, for fear of wounding the susceptibilities and irritating the
nerves of the working classes; the country is proud of its army, and
the army is proud of its uniform, and, as a rule, a Prussian officer
always wears it. On this occasion, however, the uniform was to be
doffed, and the extent and style of our friends' respective possessions
_en civile_, and their appearance under the metamorphosis, became a
very important item in the general arrangements. Some gloried in the
perfection of their projected "get up;" one or two had never possessed
a suit of plain clothes since they entered the army; one had everything
but a hat; another, having come from Dusseldorf on leave, was incapable
of the transformation; still, with this one exception, all were looking
forward to appearing, for one day, as civilians.

At a quarter to five on Whit-Tuesday we started in our carriage to seek
a "topper" for our host and relative, Herr V. Hartstein Hochstein, four
of his brother officers having generously promised him the required
article. Our first venture was an unlucky one; the borrowed hat would
not remain on Hartstein's head, and though we made every possible
effort to stretch it with feet and knees, our efforts were unavailing,
and we had to try again. The second friend acknowledged that he had
recklessly promised what he was incapable of performing; a third
passed out a hat of indifferent color, and which, on trial, at once
extinguished our friend as far as his coat collar. In fear and dread,
and with incessant reference to our watches, we drove to our fourth and
last hope. Here a hat, carefully wrapped in a number of the _Cölnische
Zeitung_, was handed to us, and with a little manoeuvring we settled
that it might do. Having "requisitioned" two colored bandanas from a
friend who was getting himself up for the expedition with the most
elaborate care, Hartstein put his head into our hands, and by dint
of wrapping, and twisting, and folding, the hat was firmly settled
in its place, without other inconvenience than the corner of a red
pocket-handkerchief occasionally falling over his nose, and another
corner permanently hanging over his left ear.

But these were comparative trifles; we reached the fine old Moselle
Bridge, not much behind time, found our friends awaiting us, and
started. This bridge, one of the many Roman monuments with which this
strange old city abounds, was built in the reign of Augustus; only a
portion of the massive foundation, and a few of the grand original
pillars formed of enormous blocks of basalt, and fastened together by
huge iron clamps, now remain. In all probability the bridge would still
be standing in its integrity had it not been for "the most civilized
nation of modern Europe," who did their best, under their great king
Louis XIV., to destroy this magnificent memorial of old world times.
The ruined arches were restored and the bridge partially rebuilt by one
of the Prince Electors in 1717, and in spite of its restoration, it is
even now worthy of the venerable city to which it belongs.

Crossing the bridge, we turned to the right, and passing the village
of Pallien, soon reached the foot of a spur of the Eifel range,
a mountainous tract in the Province of Lower Rhine, extending
from Coblenz, through Trier and Metz, into France. On these Eifel
mountains are many extinct volcanoes; the soil is only suited for
the pine-forests which cover their sides; and the dirty, rough, and
poverty-stricken look of the villagers among the scattered and desolate
hamlets marks them unmistakably as charcoal-burners.

After literally winding our way through this wild scenery for more
than an hour, we suddenly came upon the lovely valley of the Sauer; so
lovely that it is said to have attracted Willibrod by its beauty to
found his Benedictine monastery on the river's banks; beautiful indeed
it is, with its wooded hills and cultivated slopes; and beautiful
it must have been so to have enthralled a worn and weary monk and
missionary in the eighth century.

But before entering the valley I must relate a slight incident that
occurred, as it especially characterizes a social phase in Prussia.
We were anxiously toiling up a steep incline in single file, not even
daring to rest our horses, for fear they should not be able to hold up
the carriages, when a sudden turn showed us a small public-house at the
top of the hill, in front of which sat a young _Fähnrich_ (ensign).
Two large carts laden with forage stood directly across the road,
occupying its entire width, and two troopers, looking remarkably the
worse for dirt, with pipes in their mouths, hands in their pockets, and
outstretched legs in the form of a reversed V, quietly contemplated our
struggling and perilous ascent. "In God's name," shouted the driver of
the first carriage, "make room for us up there; we cannot halt, and if
we cannot get on the level we shall roll backward, and all be killed."
No answer and no movement; we were becoming desperate. One of the
officers _en civile_, forgetting his present insignificance, put out
his head and shouted, "Move your carts, pigs, or I'll know the reason
why; would you see us all roll back to perdition?" "Roll away, holiday
burghers, roll away," contemptuously drawled out one of the chivalrous
troopers, "the royal forage is not going to move for you."

Our situation was truly frightful; at that moment our Dusseldorf
friend, in his green uniform and sword, leaped out of the carriage,
dashed up the hill, applied the flat of his sword with unsparing vigor
to the backs of the astounded troopers, used a goodly amount of strong
language to the abashed ensign, and before we had time to begin our
backward descent the "royal" forage-carts were placed close up against
"the Public" in single file, and we were safely struggling to the top
of the hill. It is just possible, only just possible, that had I been
one of a party of "holiday burghers," I might not have been alive in
this year of grace to tell this tale.

And now we near the stone bridge which brings us over the Sauer from
Prussia into Luxembourg; we are in plenty of time, but already feel
the atmosphere of the procession. The country round is all excitement;
groups of men and women in their holiday dresses are eagerly talking;
some are kneeling and devoutly praying by the way-side, others are
counting their beads and muttering their paternosters with careless
tongues and wandering eyes; the instant our carriages cross the bridge
we are thronged. "Oh! for the love of God," says a girl, "give me a
franc, or a ten-groschen piece, I don't care which, and I'll jump for
all the sins you have committed since last Monday was a week." "My
lord," says a man to one of our party, "five francs, and I'll jump to
the very cross for you without a halt, and cut you off all this year's
sins." "Dear madam," whined an old woman, "I'll never reach the big
crucifix, but I'll do a little jumping for you for a franc." I began
now to realize that there _is_ a jumping procession at Echternach.

We had been most kindly invited by the colonel commanding at Echternach
to breakfast with him, and see the procession from his windows, which
overlook the best part of the town, and we naturally availed ourselves
of his courteous hospitality.

       [The shrine of St. Willibrod, at Echternach, has for centuries
     been a place of pilgrimage, though the origin of the jumping mania
     is not definitely known. There are several traditions having to
     do with the cure of a pestilence by the saint. It is now believed
     that the penalty for sin is remitted in proportion to the height
     and strength of the jumping.]

Breakfast is finished, and we take our places at the windows. The
procession has formed on the Prussian side of the stone bridge, a short
address has been delivered to the excited people, and in the distance
we hear the shrill sounds of the many-voiced instruments, and the
strange measured, musical tramp of the coming thousands. Headed by the
privileged Prussian parish of Warwieler, on they come, these simple
pilgrims, in columns of parishes, four abreast, and hand in hand, each
parish with its banners waving, and headed by its own musicians, for
every man who has played for money during the year is bound to give
his services on this occasion, and woe betide the man who fails to put
in an appearance. The strange dance consists of two steps forward with
the right foot and one step backward with the left, and is danced to a
very simple melody, and not one of the many thousands is out of time.
The wise ones literally _step_ the measure, and generally accomplish
the whole pilgrimage, which lasts about two hours and a half; but under
superstitious excitement the wise ones are in the minority, and when
the procession passed our windows, though never breaking their ranks or
losing time, the majority were springing in a state of mad excitement,
and, strange to say, the men were more "fast and furious" than the
women. One man in particular was leaping to such a degree that at every
step he sprang head and shoulders above the crowd, and as he had passed
along, people rushed out of their houses and plied him with cider,
which he invariably drank without losing his place or breaking time.

I do not recollect seeing one boy in the procession, though there
may, of course, have been many, but there were hundreds of girls, all
quiet and orderly. To watch the different moods and manners of these
people as they passed on was a study well worth the journey; though
the haggard faces and the drawn parched blue lips of many of these
benighted jumpers were sad enough to behold. After looking at them
for some time from our windows, I suggested that we adjourn to the
church, and so witness the close of the procession. This suggestion
was not received enthusiastically, and only one friend was willing
to take compassion on my English curiosity. Off we started, but were
unfortunately obliged to pass through a break in the line, which we did
as decorously as possible, and were invited with outstretched hands by
those who still had breath to speak to join the procession and so wipe
off some of our sins; this we gratefully declined, and made rapidly for
the parish church.

The church, being on an eminence, is reached by a flight of stone
steps, and we took up our position at their base. On, on, they came,
these strange pilgrims, with their unfaltering tramp and unflagging
melody; but, oh! in what thinned numbers and with what drawn faces.
In sight of the blessed goal how many of them drop! and the man I had
watched so anxiously fell prostrate at the bottom of the steps, looking
as if his soul had been driven by this frightful pilgrimage to seek
its rest in another world. But the strong and steady ones tramp up the
steps, spring round the high altar in wild ecstasy, and passing out at
the opposite door, jump round the tall crucifix, fall on their knees,
and all is over.

We loitered for some time about the church, listening to the very
primitive remarks of the dispersing crowd, and wondering at its strange
infatuation; and as we returned to our little inn we passed many a
prostrate and exhausted form, some of whom could never again, alas,
know a day's strong health. After a great deal of pleasant talk, a
little eager discussion, and some very indifferent refreshment, I
started on an excursion through the town, having an idea that I should
find it _morne et silencieuse_, a sort of "city of the silent," after
all the excitement of the morning. But, lo! from every Gasthof and
Wirthshaus there came a sound of revelry; fiddles, flutes, cornets,
laughing, dancing, everywhere. Could it be possible? Boldly I insisted
upon my escort accompanying me into one of these petty inns, and going
with me into an upper room, whence the gay sounds proceeded. Behold!
the tearing galopade and the whirling waltz in one room, the bumping
polka in another; and the "Queen of the Wirthshaus" ball, around whom
the partners flocked and beseeched, was a stout young woman of about
thirty, whom I had seen solemnly and deliberately footing it in the
procession, without pause or hinderance from beginning to end. And all
these devoted dancers of the many public-houses around and about had
all been resolutely hopping away their sins from the bridge to the
shrine for more than two hours.

Now let me record this wondrous fact. I went freely about through
the town; I walked into small inns and public-houses, as I dared not
have done in my own country; I was received politely everywhere; and
in all that hilarious community, through the whole of that licensed
holiday, from eight in the morning till late in the afternoon, I did
not see one case of drunkenness. Yes, these people of the Eifel and
the Sauer Valley and their surrounding towns may, perhaps, be debased
by superstition, but at any rate they are not like some prouder
communities I could name, thoroughly brutalized by drunkenness.

Our remaining half-hours were spent in the pleasure-gardens, where we
fortified ourselves for the home journey with the inevitable coffee
and _Mai-brank_,--Turk's-head cake,--and sandwiches of brown and white
bread and butter. We started at seven on our return to Trier, merry
as we came, not one discordant note having jarred on the universal
harmony; and to one only of our party had there been anything like
a hitch in the perfect pleasure of the day, and this hitch was
occasioned by what, at the beginning of our journey, I had so foolishly
considered "a comparative trifle,"--the ever-recurring red silk
pocket-handkerchief from under Hartstein's hat and over his nose, which
sorely disturbed the equanimity and wounded the conjugal pride of his
devoted wife. With this exception, our expedition had been a complete
success; and I was indeed pleased to add to my travelling sketches the
Jumping Procession at Echternach.



       [It is with Vienna as it appeared in 1825 that we here propose
     to deal, in the language of a traveller of that period, who has
     given a graphic account of what was then and there to be seen.
     Russell's "Tour in Germany" is a sprightly and interesting work,
     and the Vienna which he describes, while yet in its chrysalis
     state, displayed many of the characteristics of the handsome and
     attractive city of to-day. Our extract begins with a distant view
     of the Austrian capital.]

On reaching the brow of the low eminences that border to the north
the valley through which the Danube takes his course, a magnificent
prospect burst at once upon the eye. A wide plain lay below, teeming
with the productions and habitations of industrious men. On the east,
towards Hungary, it was boundless, and the eye was obstructed only by
the horizon. To the westward rose the hills which, beginning in orchard
and vineyard, and terminating in forest and precipice, form, in this
direction, the commencement of the Alps; and to the south the plain
was bounded by the loftier summits of the Styrian mountains. Nearly
in the centre of the picture lay Vienna itself, extending on all sides
its gigantic arms; and the spire of the cathedral, high above every
other object, was proudly presenting its Gothic pinnacle to the evening
sun. From this point the inequality of the ground on which Vienna
stands strikes the eye at once, and the cathedral has the advantage of
occupying the highest point of the proper city; for not only the spire,
but nearly the whole body of the edifice, was distinctly seen above all
the other buildings of the city.

Every one of the three hundred thousand inhabitants who crowd Vienna
and its interminable suburbs seems to reckon it a duty to make his life
a commentary. They are more devoted friends of joviality, pleasure,
and good living, and more bitter enemies of everything like care
or thinking,--a more eating, drinking, good-natured, ill-educated,
hospitable, and laughing people,--than any other of Germany, or,
perhaps, of Europe. Their climate and soil, the corn and wine with
which Heaven has blessed them, exempt them from any very anxious degree
of thought about their own wants; and the government, with its spies
and police, takes most effectual care that their gayety shall not be
disturbed by thinking of the public necessities, or studying for the
public weal. In regard to themselves, they are distinguished by a love
of pleasure; in regard to strangers, by great kindness and hospitality.
It is difficult to bring an Austrian to a downright quarrel with you,
and it is almost equally difficult to prevent him from injuring your
health by good living.

The city itself is a splendid and a bustling one; no other German
metropolis comes near it in that crowded activity which distinguishes
our own capitals. It does not stand, strictly speaking, on the Danube,
which is a mile to the northward, and is separated from it by the
largest of all the suburbs, the Leopoldstadt, as well as by the
extensive tract of ground on which the groves of the Prater have been
planted and its walks laid out. The walls, however, are washed, on this
side, by a small arm of the Danube, which rejoins the main stream a
short way below the city, and is sufficiently large for the purposes
of inland navigation. On the south, the proper city is separated from
the suburbs by a still more insignificant stream, which, however,
gives its name to the capital, the Vienna. This rivulet, instead of
serving effectually even the purposes of cleanliness, brings down
the accumulated refuse of other regions of the town, and its noisome
effluvia often render it an effort to pass the bridge across it, one of
the most crowded thoroughfares of Vienna.

The proper city is of nearly a circular form, and cannot be more than
three miles in circumference, for I have often walked quite around
the ramparts in less than an hour. The style of building does not
pretend to much ornament, but is massive and imposing; the streets are
generally narrow, and the houses lofty, rising to four or five floors,
which are all entered by a common stair. There is much more regularity,
and there are many more cornices and pillars, in Berlin; in Dresden
there is a more frequent intermixture of showy edifices; there is more
lightness and airiness of effect in the best parts of Munich; and in
Nürnberg and Augsburg there is a greater profusion of the outward
ornaments of the olden time; but in none of these towns is there so
much of that sober and solid stateliness, without gloom, which, after
all, is perhaps the most fitting style of building for a large city.
Some individual masses of building, in the very heart of the city, are
as populous as large villages....

"The art of walking the streets" in London is an easy problem,
compared with the art of walking in them in Vienna. In the former,
there is some order and distinction, even in the crowd; two-legged and
four-legged animals have their allotted places, and are compelled to
keep them; in the latter, all this is otherwise. It is true that, in
the principal streets, a few feet on each side are paved with stones
somewhat larger than those in the centre, and these side slips are
intended for pedestrians; but the pedestrians have no exclusive right;
the level of the street is uniform; there is nothing to prevent horses
and carriages from encroaching on the domain, and, accordingly, they
are perpetually trespassing.

The streets, even those in which there is the greatest bustle, the
Kärnthnerstrasse, for example, are generally narrow; carriages,
hackney-coaches, and loaded wagons, observing no order, cross each
other in all directions; and, while they hurry past each other, or
fill the street by coming from opposite quarters, the pedestrian is
every moment in danger of being run up against the wall. A provoking
circumstance is, that frequently a third part, or even a half of
the street, is rendered useless by heaps of wood, the fuel of the
inhabitants. The wood is brought into the city in large pieces, from
three to four feet long. A wagon-load of these logs is laid down on
the street, at the door of the purchaser, to be sawed and split into
smaller pieces, before being deposited in his cellar.

When this occurs, as it often does, at every third or fourth door,
the street just loses so much of its breadth. Nothing remains but the
centre, and that is constantly swarming with carriages, and carts,
and barrows. The pedestrian must either wind himself through among
their wheels, or clamber over successive piles of wood, or patiently
wait till the centre of the street becomes passable for a few yards.
To think of doubling the wooden promontory without this precaution
is far from being safe. You have scarcely by a sudden spring saved
your shoulders from the pole of a carriage, when a wheelbarrow makes
a similar attack on your legs. You make spring the second, and in all
probability your head comes in contact with the uplifted hatchet of a
wood-cutter. The wheelbarrows seem to be best off. They fill such a
middle rank between bipeds and quadrupeds, that they lay claim to the
privileges of both, and hold on their way rejoicing, commanding respect
equally from men and horses.

To guide a carriage through these crowded, encumbered, disorderly,
narrow streets, without either occasioning or sustaining damage,
is, perhaps, the highest achievement of the coach-driving art. Our
own knights of the whip, with all their scientific and systematic
excellencies, must here yield the palm to the practical superiority of
their Austrian brethren. Nothing can equal the dexterity with which a
Vienna coachman winds himself, and winds himself rapidly, through every
little aperture, and, above all, at the sharp turns of the streets.
People on foot, indeed, must look about them; and, from necessity, they
have learned to look about them so well, that accidents are wonderfully
rare, and very seldom, indeed, does it happen that the Jehus do not
keep clear of each other's wheels. The hackney-coachmen form as
peculiar a class as they do in London, with as much _esprit de corps_,
but more humor, full of jokes and extortion. It is said that the most
skilful coachman from any other country cannot drive in Vienna without
a regular education. A few years ago, an Hungarian nobleman brought out
a coachman from London; but Tom was under the necessity of resigning
the box, after a day's driving pregnant with danger to his master's
limbs and carriage....

Vienna has some very noble public squares, though no people requires
them less for purposes of recreation; for, when amusement is their
object, they hasten beyond the walls to the coffee-houses of the
glacis, or the shades of the Prater, the wine-houses and monks of
Kloster-Neuburg, or the gardens of Schönbrunn. The best of these
squares happen to be in parts of the city where the fashionable world
does not often intrude; they are not planted, but they are excellently
paved; they are not gaudy with palaces, but they are surrounded by the
busy shops and substantial and comfortable dwellings of happy citizens,
and are commonly adorned with some religious emblem or a public
fountain. Both the temples and fountains have too much work about them;
there is too much striving after finery of sculpture, a department of
art in which the Austrians are still very far behind. The consequence
is, that there are crowds of figures which have no more to do with a
basin of water than with a punch-bowl.

The _Graben_, an open space in the most busy part of the town, and
entered at both extremities, by the narrowest and most inconvenient
lanes in Vienna (although, on Sundays and festivals, it is the great
thoroughfare of all classes, from the Emperor to the servant-girl), is
embellished with two fountains. The fountains themselves are simple and
unaffected; but it was necessary to have statues. Therefore at the one
well stands Joseph explaining to the Messiah his Hebrew genealogy, and
at the other St. Leopold holding in his hands a plan of the Monastery
of Neuburg! The artist of the fountain in the Neumarkt, or New-market,
seems to have felt the want of congruity in this union of holy saints
with cold water, and he placed on the edge of his basin four naked
figures, representing the four principal rivers of Austria, pouring
their waters into the Danube, whose genii surround the pillar that
rises from the centre. But even here comes something Austrian and
absurd. The basin is so small that half a dozen of moderately-sized
perch would feel themselves confined in it; yet these four emblematical
figures are anxiously gazing into the tiny reservoir, and brandishing
huge tridents to harpoon the invisible whales which are supposed to be
sporting in the waters....

Vienna is no longer a fortified city; promenading is the only purpose
to which the fortifications are now applied; and, from their breadth
and elevation, they are excellently adapted for it. In one part
they look out upon the gradually ascending suburbs; on another the
eye wanders over intervening vineyards, up to the bare ridge of the
Kahlenberg, from which Sobieski made his triumphant attack against
the besieging Turks, traces of whose intrenchments are still visible;
in another it rests on the waters of the Danube, the foliage of the
Prater, and the gay crowds who are streaming along to enjoy its shades.
The twice successful attacks of French armies having proved the
ramparts, or bastions, as they are universally called, to be useless
for the protection of the citizens, trees, benches, and coffee-houses
have taken the place of cannon, and rendered them invaluable as sources
of recreation to this pleasure-loving people. On Sundays and holidays,
so soon as the last mass has terminated (which it always does about
mid-day), they are crowded to suffocation with people of all ranks.

Even on week-days, so long as the weather permits it, the
coffee-houses, surrounded with awnings, are the favorite resort of
persons, chiefly gentlemen, who prefer breakfasting in the open
air, and in the evening they are the favorite resort of both sexes,
especially of the middle classes. An orchestra in the open air
furnishes excellent music; as night comes on (and the crowd always
increases with the dusk) lamps are hung up among the trees, or
suspended from the awnings. The gay, unthinking crowd sits to be gazed
at, or strolls about from one alley to another to gaze,--good and bad,
virtuous and lost, mingled together, sipping coffee or keeping an
assignation, eating an ice, or making love. Till ten o'clock, when the
terrors of the _Hausmeister_ drive them home, the ramparts, and the
glacis below, form a collection of little Vauxhalls.

The glacis itself, the low, broad and level space of ground which
stretches out immediately from the foot of the ramparts, and runs
entirely around the city, except where the walls are washed by the
arm of the Danube, is no longer the naked and cheerless stripe which
it used to be. Much of it has been formed into gardens belonging to
different branches of the imperial family; the rest has been gradually
planted and laid out into alleys, and two years ago the Emperor, in
his love for his subjects, allowed a coffee-house to be built among
the trees. Beyond the glacis, the ground in general rises, and along
these eminences stretch the thirty-four suburbs of Vienna, surrounding
the city like the outworks of some huge fortification, and finally
surrounded themselves by a brick wall, a mere instrument of police, to
insure the detection of radicals and contraband goods, by subjecting
everything and every person to a strict examination....

Though the suburbs, from the greater regularity of their streets, the
smaller height of their buildings, and the general elevation of the
site, are in themselves more open and airy than the city, yet, owing
to the absence of pavement and the presence of wind, they can scarcely
be said to be more healthy. Vienna, though lying in a sort of kettle,
and not at so absolute an elevation as Munich, is more pestered by high
winds than any other European capital. In the proper city the streets
are paved, and excellently well paved; but throughout the immense
suburbs they present only the bare soil. This soil is loose, dry, and
sandy, and the wind acting upon it keeps the city and suburbs enveloped
in a thick atmosphere, loaded with particles of sand, which medical men
do not pretend to deny has a perceptible influence on the health. From
the summit of the Kahlenberg, an eminence about two miles to the west,
I have seen Vienna as completely obscured by a thick cloud of dust as
ever London is by a cloud of smoke; and our smoke is, in reality, the
less disagreeable of the two. When the wind is moderate, and allows the
dust to settle, rain commonly follows, and the suburbs are converted
into a succession of alleys of mud....

The Prater of Vienna is the finest public park in Europe, for it has
more rural beauty than Hyde Park, and surely the more varied and
natural arrangement of its woods and waters is preferable to the
formal basin and alley of the garden of the Tuileries. It occupies the
eastern part of that broad and level tract on the north of the city,
which is formed into an island by the main stream of the Danube on
the one side, and the smaller arm that washes the walls on the other.
They unite at its extremity, and the Prater is thus surrounded on
three sides by water. The principal alley, the proper _arive_, runs
from the entrance in a long straight line for about half a mile. Rows
of trees, consisting chiefly of horse-chestnuts, divide it into five
alleys. The central one is entirely filled with an unceasing succession
of glittering carriages, moving slowly along its opposite sides in
opposite directions; the two on each side are filled with horsemen,
galloping along to try the capacity of their steeds, or provoking them
into impatient curvetings, to try the effect of their own forms and
dexterity on the beauties who adorn the open calèches.

The two exterior alleys are consecrated to pedestrians; but those
of the Viennese who must walk, because not rich enough to hire a
hackney-coach, are never fond of walking far, and, forsaking the
alleys, scatter themselves over the verdant lawn which spreads itself
out to where the wood becomes more dense and impenetrable. The lawn
itself is plentifully strewed with coffee-houses, and the happy
hundreds seat themselves under shady awnings or on the green herbage,
beneath a clump of trees, enjoying their ices, coffee, and cigars, till
twilight calls them to the theatre, with not a thought about to-morrow,
and scarcely a reminiscence of yesterday.

But though the extremity of this main alley be the boundary of the
excursions of the fashionable world, it is only the beginning of
the more rural and tranquil portion of the Prater. The wood becomes
thicker; there are no more straight lines of horse-chestnuts; the
numerous alleys wind their way unconstrained through the forest maze,
now leading you along in artificial twilight beneath an overarching
canopy of foliage, and now terminating in some verdant and tranquil
spot like those on which fairies delight to dance; now bringing you to
the brink of some pure rivulet, which trickles along unsuspectingly to
be lost in the mighty stream, and now stopping you on the shady banks
of the magnificent river itself.



       [Paget's "Hungary and Transylvania" is the source of our present
     selection, we having chosen, from his many pictures of Hungarian
     life and people, a description of the famous Eszterházys, a family
     renowned particularly for its jewels, which have been gathering
     for centuries in the castle of Forchtenstein.]

It was at six o'clock in the morning that the smart Presburg post-boy
sounded his bugle, to express his impatience at the half-hour we had
already kept him waiting ere we started for the Neusiedler Lake, in
the neighborhood of which we intended to pass a few days. The journey
to the end of the lake might be some sixty miles, and we reckoned to
accomplish this by post within the day.

Of all the modes of travelling in Hungary, the post is the most
expensive, and to me, at least, the most disagreeable. The supply of
horses is too scanty, and if the traveller happens to arrive before
or after the _post-wagen_, he must generally wait some time before
he can obtain the number he requires. There is an awkward rule, too,
which it is as well a stranger should know. If he arrives at any place
with post, he can oblige the postmaster to send him on with the same
number of horses he arrived with; but should he, as occurred to us on
the present occasion, feel a wish to leave the post-road, and for that
purpose hire private horses, at the next post-station they may refuse
him a supply, or oblige him to take as many as they choose.

It was at Gschies we learned this rule, for the postmaster stoutly
refused to send us on with a pair of horses, which was all we had
previously required, and declared we should either take four or remain
where we were. Entirely ignorant as I then was of any other means of
getting forward, I at last consented, and desired him to give us the
four horses. "But I have only three in the stable at present," was his
cool reply; "and you may either take those and pay for four, or you may
remain where you are until to-morrow, when the others will come home."
Nor is this the only instance of gross imposition I could relate. The
worst of it is, there is no redress. In one case I applied to the
judge and notary of the village, and though they had the best will to
protect me, all they could do was to give me peasants' horses, and so
enable me to avoid the like treatment for the rest of the journey.

For the matter of speed, you get on by post at the rate of five miles
an hour, with strong, large horses, and post-boys wearing huge cocked
hats, each with a plume of feathers worthy a field-marshal, and a red
coat with purple facings. But if ever the reader should have occasion
to go from Vienna to Pesth, and is an amateur at driving, I recommend
him to what is called the _bauern post_,--that is, if steamboats and
railroads have not ere this entirely destroyed it.

The peasants between the frontiers of Hungary and Pesth, on the great
high-road from Vienna, combined to supply relays of horses at a cheaper
rate and better than the royal post; and though at first opposed by
government, they eventually succeeded so well that at present the whole
line is supplied by them almost exclusively. The pace at which these
men, with their four small horses, take on a light Vienna carriage
is something wonderful, especially when the length of some of their
stages is considered. The last stage cannot be less than forty miles
from Pesth, and, with a short pause of about a quarter of an hour to
water, they do it for the most part at full gallop, and with the same
horses, in four hours. It is glorious to see the wild-looking driver,
his long black hair floating in the wind as he turns round to ask your
admiration when his four little clean-boned nags are rattling over
hill and hollow in a style which for the first time since he left
home shakes an Englishman's blood into quicker circulation. There is
certainly a pleasure in rapid motion which has on some men almost an
intoxicating effect.

[Illustration: BUDAPEST]

But to return to our five miles an hour. We passed through a
well-cultivated country, chiefly inhabited by Germans, who have crept
in upon this side of Hungary from Presburg nearly to the borders of
Croatia. The Neusiedler Lake, or the Fertö Tava Hungarian, which we
soon came in sight of, is about twenty-four miles long by twelve broad,
varying in depth from nine to thirteen feet. In parts, particularly
at the north end, its shores are hilly and pretty, but on the eastern
side they are flat, and terminate in a very extensive marsh, called the

It is supposed to be this lake which the Emperor Galerius drained into
the Danube, and which has been allowed to re-form by the destruction
of the Roman works. There is little doubt, I believe, as to the
practicability of draining the lake again, if it were desired; but,
as a neighboring proprietor observed, it would spoil some glorious

At Eisenstadt, some short distance from the lake, is a palace of the
first of the Hungarian magnates, Prince Eszterházy. This palace, though
not remarkable for its beauty (it is in a heavy, though florid, Italian
style), is well fitted up for a princely residence. We walked through
suites of apartments innumerable; but by far the most striking of them
was the great ball-room, an elegantly-proportioned hall of great size,
and richly ornamented in white and gold. This room was last used when
the present prince was installed lord-lieutenant of the county of
Oedenburg, an office hereditary in his family; and great is still the
fame of the almost regal pomp with which he fêted the crowds of nobles
who flocked around him upon that occasion.

The gardens, laid out in the English style, are very fine, and the
hot-houses larger than any I remember to have seen; even Alton must bow
to Eisenstadt. They contain no less than seventy thousand exotics, and
are particularly rich in New Holland specimens. One can hardly help
lamenting that so much luxury and beauty should be wasted; for, except
the inhabitants of Eisenstadt, to whom the gardens are always open, it
is rarely that the palace or its grounds receive a visitor.

Great as is the splendor of some of our English peers, I almost
fear the suspicion of using a traveller's license when I tell of
Eszterházy's magnificence. Within a few miles of this same spot he has
three other palaces of equal size.

Just at the southern extremity of the lake stands Eszterház, a huge
building in the most florid Italian style, built only in 1700, and
already uninhabited for sixty years. Its marble halls, brilliant with
gold and painting, are still fresh as when first built. The chamber of
Marie Theresa is unchanged since the great queen reposed there; the
whole interior is in such a state that it might be rendered habitable
to-morrow; but the gardens are already overgrown with weeds, and have
almost lost their original form; the numberless pleasure-houses are
yielding to the damp position in which they are placed, and are fast
crumbling away; while the beautiful theatre, for which an Italian
company was formerly maintained, is now stripped of its splendid
mirrors, and serves only as a dwelling for the dormant bats, which
hang in festoons from its gilded cornices. England is famous for her
noble castles and her rich mansions, yet we can have little idea of a
splendor such as Eszterház must formerly have presented. Crowded as it
was by the most beautiful women of four countries, its three hundred
and sixty strangers' rooms filled with guests, its concerts directed by
a Haydn, its opera supplied by Italian artists, its gardens ornamented
by a gay throng of visitors, hosts of richly-clothed attendants
thronging its antechambers, and its gates guarded by the grenadiers of
its princely master, its magnificence must have exceeded that of half
of the royal courts of Europe. I know of nothing but Versailles which
gives one so high a notion of the costly splendor of a past age as

Haydn was for more than thirty years _maestro di capello_ to Prince
Eszterházy; and, during that period, lived chiefly with the family. His
portrait is still preserved, and it is almost the only picture of much
interest the palace contains. Haydn was a very poor and obscure person
when he was appointed one of the prince's band; so much so, that no one
thought even of giving the necessary orders for his being admitted into
the palace. The following anecdote of his introduction to the prince is
recounted by Carpani:

"The Maestro Friedberg, a friend and admirer of Haydn, lived with
Prince Eszterházy. Regretting that Haydn should be overlooked, he
persuaded him to compose a symphony worthy of being performed on
the birthday of his highness. Haydn consented; the day arrived;
the prince, according to custom, took his seat in the midst of his
court, and Friedberg distributed the parts of Haydn's symphony to the
performers. Scarcely had the musicians got through the first allegro,
when the prince interrupted them to ask who was the author of so
beautiful a piece. Friedberg dragged the modest, trembling Haydn from
a corner of the room into which he had crept, and presented him as
the fortunate composer. 'What,' cried the prince, as he came forward,
'that Blackymoor!' (Haydn's complexion was none of those which mock
the lily's whiteness.) 'Well, blacky, from henceforth you shall be in
my service; what's your name?' 'Joseph Haydn.' 'But you are already
one of my band; how is it I never saw you here before?' The modesty
of the young composer closed his lips, but the prince soon put him
at his ease. 'Go and get some clothes suitable to your rank,--don't
let me see you any more in such a guise; you are too small; you look
miserable, sir; get some new clothes, a fine wig with flowing curls,
a lace collar, and red heels to your shoes. But mind, let your heels
be high, that the elevation of your person may harmonize with that of
your music. Go, and my attendants will supply you with all you want.'
... The next day Haydn was travestied into a gentleman. Friedberg
often told me of the awkwardness of the poor Maestrino in his new
habiliments. He had such a gawky look that everybody burst into a laugh
at his appearance. His reputation, however, as his genius had room to
manifest itself, grew daily, and he soon obtained so completely the
good-will of his master, that the extraordinary favor of wearing his
own hair and his simple clothes was granted to his entreaties. The
surname of the Blackymoor, however, which the prince had bestowed upon
him, stuck to him for years after."

The only part of Eszterház at present occupied is the stables, which
had just received an importation of twelve beautiful thoroughbred
horses from England, with some very promising young stock. An old
English groom had been sent out with them, and bitterly did he complain
of the difficulties he had to encounter before he could convince the
_beamters_--a race of hungry stewards by whom the estates of the nobles
are mismanaged and the revenues plundered--of the many little wants and
luxuries requisite for English race-horses.

The estates of Prince Eszterházy are said to equal the kingdom of
Würtemberg in size; it is certain they contain one hundred and thirty
villages, forty towns, and thirty-four castles! The annual revenue
from such vast possessions is said, however, not to amount to one
hundred and fifty thousand pounds per annum, though it is capable
of considerable increase. The incumbrances at the present time are
greater than with most other Hungarian magnates, few of whom are
indebted to a less amount than half their incomes.

I remember some years since an anecdote going the rounds of the papers
to the effect that Prince Eszterházy had astonished one of our great
agriculturists who had shown him his flock of two thousand sheep,
and asked him with some little pride if he could show as many, by
telling him that he had more shepherds than the other had sheep! By a
reckoning made upon the spot, with one well acquainted, we found the
saying literally true. The winter flock of Merinos is maintained at
two hundred and fifty thousand, to every hundred of which one shepherd
is allowed, thus making the number of shepherds two thousand five
hundred! But, as a _spirituelle_ of the neighborhood observed when we
were discussing these matters, "Les Eszterházys font tout en grand:
le feu prince a doté deux cents maîtresses, et pensionné cent enfans

It is not right to leave Eszterház without mention of Hánystock, or the
wild man of the Hanság. The Hanság is a bog about twenty miles long,
on the borders of which Eszterház is built. About eighty years since,
in some part of this bog, an extraordinary creature is said to have
been found, possessing something of the human form, but with scarcely
any other quality that could entitle it to a place among our species.
It was three feet high, apparently of about the middle age, strongly
built, and said to have webbed feet and hands. It was unable to utter
any articulate sounds, lived entirely on fish and frogs, showed no
signs of any passion or feeling, except fear and anger, and was in
every respect in the lowest state of brutality. The most curious part
of its history is that no one ever heard of it till accidentally found
by a peasant in the bog, when it was brought to Eszterház, where, after
remaining fourteen months, it escaped, and was never heard of again. I
believe there is some reason to suspect an imposition, for an Italian
adventurer appeared and disappeared about the same time with Hánystock,
and though unable to cite name or place, I feel pretty certain that a
similar occurrence took place in another part of Europe soon after.

A few miles from Eisenstadt, and just on the confines of Austria, is a
yet more interesting monument of what we should call feudal greatness,
belonging to the Eszterházy family. The castle of Forchtenstein, built
by a Count Eszterházy, is still in a perfect state of preservation.
It is placed on a bold rock, and commands a view of the whole country
to the northeast and south. It is now used as a prison for Prince
Eszterházy's peasantry,--for he is one of the few who retain the right
of life and death, the _jus gladii_, on his own estates,--and is
consequently guarded by a small detachment of very venerable-looking

The castle is sufficiently modern to have been laid out for the
employment of artillery, as may be seen by the heavy bastions and
long curtains, and is still sufficiently old to bear marks of the
Gothic architect about it, of which the high watch-tower is not the
least elegant. The interior has all the inconvenient straightness of
a walled-in castle, and the apartments are for the most part small
and simple. The most interesting object after the well, which is one
hundred and seventy yards deep, and said to have been worked in the
solid rock by Turkish prisoners, is the collection of arms. Besides
arms sufficient for a regiment of foot and another of horse, which ere
this an Eszterházy has equipped and maintained at his own cost, there
is the gala equipment of a troop of cavalry which attended one of the
princesses on her wedding-day, thirty pieces of artillery, suits of
plain black armor for several hundred men, many curious specimens of
early German matchlocks, and a quantity of Turkish arms of almost
every description.

One suit of armor is interesting from the tale of rude courtesy
attached to it. It formerly belonged to a Count Eszterházy who fell in
a battle against the old enemies of Hungary, the Turks. A ball from
the Pasha's own pistol had already pierced the Count's cuirass, but,
anxious to make more certain of his death, the Moslem leaped from his
horse and beat the helmet of the Christian till he broke open his
visor, when he discovered in the fallen foe an old friend by whom he
had been most kindly treated when a prisoner in Hungary. Faithful to
his friendship, the Turk made the only reparation in his power, for,
after treating the body of Eszterházy with every possible mark of
respect, he collected the armor in which he had died, and sent it, with
the arms which had caused his death, as a present to his family.

A great number of banners, as well those taken from the enemy as those
under which the followers of Eszterházy fought, are hung round the
walls. It is characteristic of the times that most of the Hungarian
flags bear a painting of the cross, with a figure of Christ as large as

In one room we noticed the genealogical tree of all the Eszterházys,
in which it is made out, as clearly as possible, that, beginning with
Adam, who reclines in a very graceful attitude at the bottom of the
tree, they pass through every great name, Jewish as well as heathen,
from Moses to Attila, till they find themselves what they are now,
magnates of Hungary. What is still more extraordinary, there is a long
series of portraits of these worthies from Attila inclusive, with their
wives and families dressed in the most approved fashion, and continued
down to the present century.

It is a pity the noble owner of Forchtenstein does not imbibe a little
of that Gothic mania so often ill-directed in England, and restore
this castle to its former state. As a national monument of the taste
of the Middle Ages in Hungary its restoration would be very desirable,
and it would possess peculiar attractions, not merely from being the
only castle of the kind here, but as a specimen of that mixture of the
Asiatic and Gothic which, in those days, so strongly characterized the
habits and customs of the Magyars, and the remains of which even yet
distinguish them from the rest of Europe.

The only purpose for which it is at present used, except as a prison,
is to contain the treasures of the prince. Of these I can only speak
from report, for previously to my visit I did not know that in order
to see them it is necessary to have two persons present who live at a
distance, each of whom has a key, without which the other is of no use,
and therefore had not provided against the difficulty.

The splendor of the Eszterházy jewels is no secret in England, and it
is in this good castle those heaps of treasure, which so tempted her
majesty's fair lieges at her coronation, are commonly preserved. It
is said that each prince is obliged to add something to these jewels,
and that they can never be sold except to ransom their possessors
from captivity among the Turks. When the French entered Hungary, a
small party presented themselves before Forchtenstein and demanded its
surrender. The grenadiers, however, shut the gates, cut the bridge,
and set them at defiance; and, as the enemy had no means of enforcing
obedience, Prince Eszterházy saved his jewels. Besides the jewels there
is an extensive collection of ancient Hungarian costumes; among others,
if I recollect rightly, one worn by King Mathias Corvinus.



       [It is a journey in Sweden which our traveller proposes to
     describe in the work from which we quote, but we find the story
     of her journey to Sweden more interesting, and give her graphic
     account of the German cities of Hamburg and Lübeck, and the
     picturesque water route along the Swedish coast, ending with an
     account of what she saw of interest in Sweden's capital city.]

Our route to Sweden was by Hamburg and Lübeck, for at the latter
place we were to pick up some of our party; and, indeed, under any
circumstances, it is the best route for a first visit to the country,
for then you approach Stockholm by the Baltic. The average passage from
London to Hamburg by steamer direct occupies forty hours, but the waves
and winds were favorable, and we accomplished the distance in four
hours less. However, calm as the seas were, every tourist's soul felt
more in sympathy with Nature when we were actually in the river Elbe.
By daybreak we were steaming up towards Hamburg, past the pleasant
suburb of Blankensee, which reminds one very much of Richmond. It is a
collection of magnificent villas--indeed, one might say palaces--built
among the hanging woods of the river-bank.

Hamburg was more worth seeing than I expected; in the older parts
there are very picturesque bits, consisting of tall, ancient houses,
leaning at different angles over the dark and busy waters of the
canal,--indeed, both streets and canals are crowded with the world's
commerce. Everything nowadays comes from Hamburg. Chemistry competes
with the vineyards of Spain in producing what we innocently drink as
sherry. We survive it, so we must be grateful to Chemistry for her
wonderful adaptations.

The modern portion of Hamburg has been entirely rebuilt since the
memorable fire of 1842. What a useful renovator a great fire is to
an old city; there is nothing like it for a great clearing out of
nuisances! The new quarter here is extremely handsome and imposing.
The greater part of the houses built around the artificially-formed
lake called the Binnen Alster are the residences of the great citizens,
for whom nothing seems too luxurious. The Binnen Alster communicates
with the Grosse Alster, and here we saw for the first time the little
fidgety steamboat-omnibuses which later on became so familiar to us at

Time did not permit us to see the Zoological Gardens, which are said to
be almost the best in Europe; for the hour for starting for Lübeck had
arrived, and we were obliged to leave the wealthy city of Hamburg but
half explored.

During our pleasant railway drive of two hours we were struck with the
immense number of birds that we saw; the whole air seemed alive with
them. Every homestead has its stork's nest,--indeed, it forms part of
the building, which is considered incomplete without it. The stork is
held in great reverence among all the northern people, and any stranger
who is wicked or foolish enough to molest one of these birds is sure to
be severely punished. In Whitelocke's "Memorials," the author mentions
that, in returning by this route from his embassy to Sweden, in the
time of the Commonwealth, one of his suite killed a stork in this very
district, and that he was with difficulty rescued by the ambassador
himself from being seriously maltreated by the natives.

Arriving at Lübeck, when the evening light was red upon the beautiful
Holstein Thor, and upon the many spires and towers of the quaint old
town, it seemed almost as if we had been dropped into the Middle Ages.
It impressed me more strongly with a sense of Old-World life than
Nürnberg, Regensburg, or any other of the German towns that I have
visited dating from about that time.

The environs of Lübeck are very pleasant in summer, for the whole
country round is so densely wooded, and there are drives in all
directions to quaint little villages that look like pictures out of the

I shall never forget our first night on the Baltic. It was a veritable
poem of beauty. The sea was so tranquil that it reflected all the hues
of the gorgeous sunset, and our ship seemed as though in a translucent
medium of colored light, which came from below, around, above us. We
watched and watched till the tremulous yellow and crimson horizon had
paled in intensity, giving place to an exquisite golden green, which
lingered on till the silvery moonlight made its path across the sea,
and then we knew it must be night, though darkness there was none. If
going to bed was not a sort of respectable duty enforced by the habits
of the animal, I don't think we should any of us have gone below.

We did not sleep late, for six o'clock found us all reassembled again
on deck, enjoying the crisp freshness of the morning air, and the sight
of the waves dancing in the sunlight. The arrangements on board these
steamers are excellent; everything is clean and comfortable, and the
food well cooked. At six o'clock coffee and rolls are served on deck,
at nine o'clock there is a serious breakfast in the saloon, where you
have your choice of tea, coffee, or light claret, and a taste, if you
like, of the national strong waters, which every Swede partakes of
before a meal. Eggs, hot cutlets, with vegetables, are interspersed
with a variety of savory cold dishes, such as dried salmon, reindeer
tongue, or ham of bear, which is very good. The favorite breadstuff
is a sort of biscuit made with seeds; it seems strange at first, but
after a time one gets to like it very much. After this substantial
breakfast you may very well subsist till two o'clock dinner,--a meal
which occupies an hour and a half nearly. The cuisine is excellent, and
there is nothing to do particularly on deck in the middle of the day
except to select an easy seat under the shady awning, so you submit to
the table-d'hôte with admirable patience.

After dinner the Swedes regale themselves with a glass of sherry or
cognac, with a cigar, and an hour later you will see every coterie with
their glasses of seltzer water and fruit syrup. At seven o'clock supper
is served, and then "may good digestion wait on appetite," if happily
you have any of the latter left. Before bedtime a seductive beverage
called Swedish punch is produced, which is stronger than it seems, and
should be sipped with caution. It is a noteworthy fact that the charge
for all these good things was extremely moderate, as, indeed, prices
are throughout Sweden. It seems the only cheap place for touring left
in Europe. Norway is quite a third dearer,--thanks, I suppose, to the
English invasion....

There is a peculiarity about the coast of Sweden; it is said to have
two coasts, an inner and an outer one, the latter being a fringe
of islets, so numerous that no map or chart can mark them. It is
marvellous how vessels make their way through this labyrinth. If you
leave Calmar in the evening, you find yourself the next morning in the
thick of this _Skargard_, or reef defence. At first the scene is very
desolate; the rocks are barren, and the only sign of life the lonely
house of a pilot, round which the sea-birds were screaming in their
whirling flight.

When about five hours' distance from Stockholm the scene changes; the
barren desolation gives place to wooded islets clothed with the most
exquisite vegetation. The beauty of a veritable fairy-land surrounds
you. You are in the midst of floating groves and gardens. It is quite
unlike any other scenery that I know in Europe; it is not like a lake
or river, for there is no expanse of water. The steamer threads its
way among a crowd of islands; you could sometimes touch land with a
boat-hook. The character of the islets is most varied; at one moment
you pass a tiny floating meadow enamelled with flowers, whose sweet
scent is wafted in every zephyr; on the other side is a grotesque
grotto, or the semblance of a ruin, shaded by the graceful birch-trees
that group themselves together. Another time you pass a longer island,
with its belt of dark firs, intersected with miniature fjords and
little sanded bays. No pencil could do justice to the loveliness of
this changing scene.

Approaching the capital, the islands are more extensive and numerous;
pretty villas are dotted about the woods, and you see terraced gardens
and well-kept lawns. It was market-day when we arrived, and it was very
picturesque to see the boats laden with fruit, vegetables, and other
necessaries of life proceeding on their way. Each house, or cottage,
sent out its messenger boat to make purchases at the floating market,
and the scene was very animated and amusing. In another half-hour we
were passing the superb deer park of Stockholm, and then we were under
the sentinel forts of the capital, and directly afterwards by the
side of the busy quay. The first sight of the "Venice of the North"
pleased us more than the far-famed Queen of the Adriatic, that city of
souvenirs that can hardly be seen by the "light of common day."

Seen from the Kungsholmen, Stockholm looks like a city floating on the
sea, especially when the image of all this crowd of churches, palaces,
and towers is reflected in the blue mirror of the calm, tideless waters.

It is the fashion to admire the Royal Palace, built on the highest of
the three islands of Stockholm, but it has too much the appearance
of a vast barrack. It was completed in 1753, from a design of Count
Tessin, a Swedish architect of renown. It seems to want towers, or
irregularities of some sort, to break the painfully straight lines of
this mass of building.

The interior bears a strong family likeness to every other palace in
Europe. The upholsterer is decidedly the presiding genius in Royal
apartments, where dazzling chandeliers, rich brocades, and oppressive
gilding are more or less the properties of all alike. In Paris they
vary the scene by turning the royal or imperial upholstery out of
the window, from time to time, and making a bonfire of the same for
patriotic reasons.

However, in the Royal Palace of Stockholm we did light upon some
individual belongings,--some instances of characteristic taste. In the
picture-gallery there was, at the time of our visit, an unfinished
painting, from the pencil of the late King Carl. It stands on the
easel, just as the master's hand had left it, a few months only before
he passed away, in the prime of life and of popularity. The scene
selected by the royal artist is one of those forest-fringed lakes
of Dalecarlia, with a lovely and enticing vista of green valley and
distant waterfall. The solemn aspect of the pine-woods, bathed in the
after-glow of the delicious northern sunset, is well given in this
picture, breathing forth something of that mingling of mystery, beauty,
and gloom which characterizes the ancient mythology of the land. One
might quote the king's own lines:

    "Everywhere we found in Nature
     Spirits fitted to interpret
     Saga tales of Sweden's childhood."

       [Our traveller here describes her visits to the scientific and
     educational institutions of Stockholm, and gives some statistics
     which we may safely omit.]

However, this is not quite the place for tabulating facts; for are we
not on a holiday trip? We English have an almost incurable habit of
trying to acquire useful information while _en voyage_. If a man goes
up a mountain, instead of enjoying the fresh air and exercise, he must
needs go armed with scientific apparatus enough to start a government
laboratory. Now, in Stockholm you may really enjoy yourself thoroughly
if you only keep clear of museums and learned institutes, those traps
for the unsuspecting holiday-maker, who, before he is aware, finds
himself suffering from a surfeit of useful knowledge. Don't look at
"Murray" or "Baedeker," but just allow yourself to go with the tide in
this pleasure-loving city. In the forenoon one must eat ices in the
delicious little café called the Strömparterre. It is a garden by the
water-side, and, though quite in the centre of the town, bright with a
profusion of flowers and waving trees. Here you may sit and watch the
little steamers coming and going every few minutes from the Djurgárd
Park. The waters are alive with these boats, and with other craft, for
the locomotion of the city is mostly conducted by water. One can go
anywhere and everywhere, it would seem, for a few ocre, and remember
there are a hundred ocre in a riksdollar, and a riksdollar is about
thirteen pence of our money.

One of the first of many pleasant excursions that we made was to
Mariefred and the royal castle of Gripsholm. This interesting place is
on the south side of the Mälar Lake. The steamer from Stockholm takes
about three hours, and the voyage gives one an opportunity of seeing
some of the prettiest scenery in the environs of the capital. The
deep fjords, the fairy islands, the well-wooded banks of the Mälar
Lake, present an ever-changing combination of picturesque objects.
Conspicuous among the rest is the high rock of Kungshatt, where stands
a pole with a hat, to keep alive the story of some king of old, who
jumped on horseback from this giddy summit into the water below, when
pursued by enemies, and only suffered the inconvenience of losing his
hat. What a habit this must have been in the old times! for one hardly
ever sees a nasty bit of rock with an ugly chasm yawning beneath, that
you don't hear of some ill-advised persons taking the leap either for
love or hate....

The Castle of Gripsholm was erected in the twelfth century by Bo
Jonsson Grip, a certain Croesus of those days; in fact, he was the
most powerful noble in the land, and was selected by Alberta of
Mecklenburg to be his "all-powerful helper," for then as now the Swedes
hated the Germans. The Rhyming Chronicler of the time says that Bo
Jonsson "ruled the land with a glance of his eye." He had a bad habit,
however, of using his sword as well as his eye, for history tells us
how he followed his foe, knight Karl Nilsson, into the church of the
Franciscans at Stockholm, and hacked him to pieces before the high

When Gustavus Vasa became king, after his romantic wanderings and
hair-breadth escapes in Dalecarlia, he rebuilt Gripsholm, and it became
the favorite residence of royalty. These castle walls have witnessed
many dismal scenes, quite out of harmony with the lovely and natural
surroundings, for there are few fairer spots in all Sweden.

In one of the towers Eric XIV. kept his brother John a prisoner for
several years. The latter had married a Polish princess, and was
concerned in a war against Sweden, but, falling prisoner, was sent by
the king to the castle of Gripsholm. This Eric was one of our Queen
Elizabeth's suitors, and history records that by way of making himself
acceptable he sent ambassadors to the English court with costly gifts,
among which were eighteen piebald horses and several chests of uncoined
bars of gold and silver, strings of Oriental pearls, and many valuable
furs. Queen Elizabeth accepted the gifts, but declined the alliance. It
was a way she had.

The interior of Gripsholm is a perfect museum of curiosities: there
are nearly two thousand historical portraits, and a vast quantity of
antique furniture, old tapestry, and curious silver vessels, which had
served their time at royal banquets.



       [The midnight sun, as visible at the summer solstice from the
     North Cape of Norway, is becoming one of the necessary spectacles
     of modern travel. Alike for those who cannot and for those who
     hope to go there we give the following description of what a
     former traveller saw from this cape and on the way thither.]

I really cannot tell what is the great charm of Norway, nor do I think
the nameless charm is the same for each. Perhaps those who are old
travellers enjoy Norway most. It is well known that in order to do the
Whole Duty of Travel an apprenticeship must be served, by no means an
irksome one; on the contrary, full of delight; nevertheless, it is an
apprenticeship, and, until it has been served, no man can pass as a
member of the travelled community. The curriculum includes a knowledge
of Paris, of the Rhine, of Switzerland, and a dozen regular rounds.
When these have all been "done," then comes Norway as a land of pure
delight to the traveller.

There are no picture-galleries to make one's neck ache; no museum
to make the weary feet throb; no promenades; no sherry-cobblers to
sip while bands play in the gardens; no continuations of London and
Brighton. There are no crowds; you may see a magnificent waterfall all
by yourself, or ascend a hundred Rigis without meeting a soul. There
are no loafers; and you may get into boats and out of boats, into
carrioles and out of carrioles, without one humpbacked beggar-boy or
man with his eye in a sling to whine at you, or one officious person
getting in the way in order to be paid for it. There are no mammoth
hotels, where you have to climb a dozen flights of stairs before you
can reach your bed; no billiards when once you have left the three
chief towns; no stuffy railways to whizz you past the best scenery; no
dressing for dinner.

Now, all these things, to one who has been over and over again to the
most civilized places in the world, are very refreshing; and yet these
are perhaps but minor points, and do not explain the secret of the
great charm of Norway. Rip Van Winkle's was a wonderful sleep; he woke
and found the world had gone forward a hundred years; but the traveller
who sleeps on the North Sea and wakes up in the morning in Norway has
had a more wonderful sleep. He wakes and finds the world has gone back
half a millennium! Southward the countries of Europe have struggled and
slaved in the race for the perfection of civilization, while Norway is
as it was in the beginning. Southward the countries have obeyed the
watchword, "Forward!" Norway has obeyed the signal, "As you were!"

Now, fancy yourself--you, who have done as the Southerners do--arriving
at a little village in an out-of-the-way place in Norway. Nobody
flutters about your carriole to escort you to a hotel, but you enter
the "station," a low, rambling wooden structure, with diffidence. You
see the lady of the house and shake hands with her; you ask her to be
good enough to let you stay there the night; you enter a bedroom, where
everything is plain as a deal box, but clean as a Dutch tulip. Then
you sit down with the family in the general room to your meal. It will
assuredly consist of either trout and salmon, or salmon and trout, with
perhaps an egg, perhaps potatoes, perhaps black bread. No Bass, but
perhaps some Norsk Öl, a very pleasant beverage. After supper you will
smoke a pipe with your landlord, who will probably invite you to see
the pigs, or will lend you a hand to splice up any broken harness of
your carriole.

About nine or ten o'clock you will go to bed, in the broad daylight if
it be summer-time, and in the morning you will wake up, finding the
landlady's daughter at your bedside, with a delicious cup of hot coffee
and a natty little roll, or perchance a biscuit. And then, still early
in the morning, you will bid farewell as to old friends, you will shake
hands all round, and away in your carriole to drive through romantic
scenery, and to feel as though Norway had been made specially for you.

Before you have been two days in the country you will love the quaint,
unsophisticated people, so hearty in their kindness, so ungrudging
in their hospitality, and their Old-World manners and customs, so
genuine in an age of sham, so solid in an age of veneer. One great
charm of Norway, then, is its people; another, and perhaps more to be
appreciated by some, is its scenery.

"Is it like Switzerland?" No; Norway is only like Norway. It is not
so grand as regards the height of its mountains, yet its grandeur is
far more solemn. It has a dozen fjords more startling than the Lake
of Lucerne; in a day's journey you will pass waterfalls and cascades
which would make a fortune to "proprietors" in Switzerland, and are
not so much as mentioned in the Norwegian guide-books. Switzerland
is grand beyond compare, but it must be confessed it is a monotonous
grandeur. Not so with Norway: its charms of scenery are varied as they
are unique. A coast wild and rugged; mighty pine-forests, interminable;
lakes beautiful as Windermere; fjords awful in their grandeur; valleys
rich in their fertility; fjelds bare and barren; sport with the gun,
sport with the rod; these and a hundred other charms may be entered in
the catalogue.

But all these are outweighed by the strange, weird beauty and grandeur
of the neighborhood of the North Cape. I know of nothing that comes
within the range of tourist experiences that will make a more lasting
impression on the memory than a day or two in the region of the
midnight sun.

For the student, the professional man, the overworked generally, and
especially those whose brains are overworked, there is no tour that
will be more beneficial than the one I propose briefly to sketch.

Go to Christiansand. Then, if you have never been to Norway, proceed to
Christiania, and, after staying a day or two in that interesting town
and neighborhood, continue your journey either to Trondhjem or Bergen,
it matters not which, or, better still, if you can, do both. The trip
to one, the other, or both, will give you a good idea of scenery in
Norway. At either Bergen or Trondhjem take the steamer for Hammerfest.
And then will commence one of the most delightful voyages it is
possible to make.

The steamer keeps close to the shore, and the shore is the most curious
in the world; you have but to look at a map to see its wonderful
indentations; you cannot realize them until you find yourself now in
a bay or a cove, now among groups of islands, then in the midst of a
fjord, with sheer rocks rising perpendicularly from the sea, and anon
in the harbor of a little town, with groups of wondering peasantry
around you. You will see some parts of the coast so wild that you
cannot credit the fact that human beings can be found there, and you
will find verdant nooks so peaceful and pretty that you will be tempted
to think that there, away from the world, you would like to build your
house and finish up your days. At one time you will come to the haunts
of water-fowl innumerable; at another a shoal of whales will be around

The towns and villages at which you will halt will have a special
charm. The curious costumes of the people; the antique architecture of
their houses and churches; the good, but old-fashioned, contrivances
connected with their fishing avocations,--all these will be novel.

Among the red-letter days of the trip will be a sail among the Loffoden
Islands, "jagged as the jaws of a shark," and swarming with sea-fowl;
a glimpse at the neighborhood of the Maelström, so celebrated in
fable; a visit to a Lapp encampment, and an occasional stroll through
some of the towns at which the steamer stays. Tromsö is one of these
halting-places: it is a modern town, which has grown rapidly. It was
only founded in 1794, and in 1816 had but three hundred inhabitants;
now, owing to the success of its herring-fishery, it has grown
strangely for Norway, and has a population of over five thousand. It is
charmingly situated on an island, and its rich fertility contrasts most
singularly with the wildness of the surrounding mountains. Hammerfest,
too, is interesting, not only because it is the most northerly
town in the world, and because "in the season" it is crowded with
representatives of all nations, who come here to trade, but because
here you are within the limits of the region of the Midnight Sun, and
from here you will take your boat (unless you continue by the Vadsö
steamer) for the North Cape.

The effect of the midnight sun has been variously described. Carlyle
revels in the idea that while all the nations of the earth are
sleeping, you here stand in the presence of that great power which
will wake them all; Bayard Taylor delights in the gorgeous coloring;
and each traveller has some new poetic thought to register. For myself
the midnight sun has a solemnity which nothing else in nature has.
Midnight is solemn in the darkness; it is a hundredfold more solemn in
the glare of sunlight, richer than ever is sun under tropical skies.
It is "silence, as of death;" not the hum of a bird, not the buzz of
an insect, not the distant voice of a human being. Silence palpable.
You do not feel drowsy, though it is midnight; you feel a strange fear
creep over you as if in a nightmare, and dare not speak; you think what
if it should be true that the world is in its last sleep, and you are
the last living ones, yourselves on the verge of the Eternal Ocean?

It is amusing, afterwards, to think of the way in which you landed
on your excursion to the North Cape; how every one seemed impressed
with the same idea that it was a sacrilege to break the silence, and
the party that set forth in high spirits had settled down into the
gravity of a funeral cortége. And it is strange how the stillness and
awfulness, felt while in the little boat upon the silent sea, held you
spellbound and entranced; and the spell could not be broken until you
set to work on the difficult climb to the head of the North Cape. And
when you reached the top you felt--well, I don't know how.

To some standing on the highest part of the plateau, a thousand feet
above the sea, and looking away to that great unknown Arctic Ocean, it
has seemed as if they had come to the end of the earth; that they were
gazing upon the confines of the eternal regions; that they saw in the
distance the outlines of the land of which it is said, "There is no
night there."

Every tourist mind has its own particular magnet. I do not know what
event in the history of a tourist life most attracts my memory. No one
can ever forget the day when he first gazes upon Jerusalem from the
Mount of Olives; or Damascus seen from the Mount of Mohammed; or the
sunny morning when he rounds the Golden Horn, and Constantinople bursts
on the view.

These are memories which never grow dim; and I am inclined to think
that when a tourist finds himself in a small boat at midnight, drawing
near to the North Cape in the midst of the most gorgeous sunlight ever
seen, he has found a sensation which will be green in his memory to the
day of his death.

In this brief paper I have not found time to be practical. The trip to
the North Cape should be made in June or July; it may be made in August
or September, and in the latter month there is a chance of seeing the
first blushes of the Aurora Borealis. I am much inclined to think that
a winter excursion to the North Cape would be one of the grandest
sensations that the tourist's heart could wish, but of this I am not in
a position to judge.

If my readers are like myself, they never bring one summer trip to a
close before they have arranged in their own minds for the next; and so
I throw out the hint that ere the North Cape shall be scribbled over
with the names of Smith and Jones; ere excursion boats, with Ethiopian
serenaders on board, shall put forth from Hammerfest; ere a big hotel
shall stand upon the summit, and a man shall blow a horn to announce
when "the sun is at its best," it will be well to consider whether a
trip to the North Cape is not worth serious consideration.



       ["Arctic Sunbeams," by Hon. S. S. Cox, is full of matter of
     interest, the author seeing well and telling ably. We give some of
     his impressions of St. Petersburg, beginning his journey at the
     fortress and city of Cronstadt, the strongly-defended port of the
     capital of Russia.]

Leaving the arsenals, dock-yards, wharves, batteries, and ships of
this Gibraltar of the Czar,--and but for which St. Petersburg might
have been burned, like another Moscow, by its own hands, rather than
it should have fallen into those of an invader,--our steamer glides on
what becomes a summer sea of smoothness. The few passengers begin to
appear on deck and stretch their vision for the first glance at the
imperial city. Upon the right, snug amidst its royal greenery, lies the
town of Peterhoff and its domes, minarets, and imperial palace, with
its splendid woods and waters. Our time is opportune for a glorious
sight, for it is sunset, and the sun goes down here at a discreet
hour. Bright dots of burnished gold begin faintly to spangle the sky
in front. They are domes, half hidden by the mist and the distance.
Then a tall spire, also gilded, brilliant and needle-like, pierces
the heavens! It is the Admiralty spire, or perhaps that of the Church
of the Fortress, the Westminster of Russia, the mausoleum of its dead
kings. A few moments, and St. Isaac's Church, the St. Peter's of
Russia, looms up in majestic and stupendous proportions. Its copper
dome is surrounded by four others, all ablaze, like burnished gold,
and surmounted by the gilded Greek cross which towers aloft, above the
bronze saints and angels which people its architraves and its corners,
its roofs and its pillared granite cupola! Beneath it is a city whose
roofs of varied hue cover almost a million of people; a city the
outgrowth from a swamp in less than two hundred years.

We enter the Neva, whose divided waters flow in canals and lagoons
between grand pavements and superb palaces. At length we are
moored--alas! how soon the beatific vision vanishes!--amidst the
traffic and troubles of trade. We are to undergo a search, the first
yet made with rigor since our journey began. Nor can I complain of
this rigor. Recent events make police regulations here necessarily
stringent. But was it not a little humorous to see the long-robed
customs officers scrutinize the heterogeneous matters in our trunks?
Nothing was found contraband but--what think you?--New York journals!

We had received a mail at Stockholm, and expected to read up fully
in St. Petersburg. Some dozen of these journals lay in a pile in my
wife's trunk. It would have done you good to see the leonine voracity
with which these papers were seized. Who was it that talked of the
thousand tongues of the press, clearer far than the silver trumpet of
the jubilee,--louder than the voice of the herald at the games? These
tongues had not a word of protest; the music of their trumpet was
frozen like that of the veracious traveller. Out of the bundle tumbled
an engraving of Charles XII., the old enemy of Russia! Did I tremble
for the ominous spectre of this dead madcap of Sweden? The courteous
officer handed it back with a gracious smile to my wife, who reached
for the rest of the bundle, while her face flushed at the indignity to
and the confusion of her domestic arrangements. But, with a hasty push
and an impetuous "Niebt! Niebt!" (No! no!) our papers were confiscated
to the state. The _Sun_ would not go down in this land; the _Tribune_
was a voiceless oracle; the _World_ ceased to "move after all;" the
_Times_ were out of joint, and the _Express_ came to a dead halt! But
all this had its compensations; for soon we cross the great bridge, and
are housed in the Hôtel d'Angleterre, where though no papers were found
in our expected mail, plenty of news as to the President, and the land
we love, were found in letters, and these twelve days only from New

There shine into my windows, in dazzling glitter, the copper domes of
that marvel of cathedrals, St. Isaac's, which we saw from afar, upon
whose sides and pedestals, encamping night and day about us, are the
angels of this edifice of beauty! The guns of the citadel thunder out
the memory of this, the birthday of the Empress of this vast empire;
and, in spite of all ominous auguries to the contrary, we sojourn
in peace and safety in this city of beauty and bazaars, palaces and
pigeons, monuments and minarets, domes and deviltry, ceremonies and
cemeteries, armies and assassinations!

Why does everybody, except the Russians, call this city St. Petersburg?
It was not named after St. Peter, but Peter the Great. It is a
magnificent city of palaces and wide avenues. Its very hospitals and
barracks are palatial, and there is no narrowness to any thoroughfare.
Its domes, where not painted blue with golden stars, or green, are
gilded, and make the city seem like a Constantinople new-risen upon the
North. In fact, with its canals and rivers, its streets, columns, and
palaces, its churches, and their outside and inside decorations, St.
Petersburg combines in itself and in its vistas, in its plan and its
magnificence, Venice, Amsterdam, Paris, and Constantinople. If it were
not stucco on the yellow houses, if it were only solid stone, how much
more impressive would be its mighty and superb aspect! Only one palace
is of granite, and but one church, St. Isaac's, of marble.

The energy which has reared such a city out of a bog in less than two
centuries betokens the one-man energy which its founder inspired and
illustrated. Still, St. Petersburg, as a look from an elevation will
show, unless it be approached as we approached it, by the gulf and
river, is a vast plain, if not a swamp. The Neva saves it. It is a
splendid river, and makes its delta where the city stands. It is a city
of islands, connected by beautiful bridges. Red granite faces the banks
and makes the quays solid structures. Everything is colossal like the
empire. The informing genius of the male gender is Peter the Great, and
of the other gender Catherine II. If these sovereigns were insane, and
they were very peculiar for Russia, more insanity is desirable among
the princes of the earth. Peter opened this city, as he said, for a
window for Russia to look out of into civilized Europe. Peter was a
useful emperor for Russia and his time, although he did many diabolical

       [Mr. Cox ventured upon a witticism, in consequence of which he
     was mistaken for Mark Twain, whose peculiar vein of humor seems
     to have made its mark on the Russian guide. He proceeds to give
     his opinion of Russian humor.]

The Russian humor is like that of Byron, which Edgar Poe said was too
savage to be laughed at. Some one calls it grotesque savagery; and
illustrates it by the freaks of Russian princes and czars. John the
Terrible thought there was no church like that of St. Basil, and put
out the architect's eyes to end any future work of that gifted artist.
Peter the Great proposed to hang the lawyers in his realm. He thought
one was too much. There is a story of the Empress Anne, who married
off her favorite dwarf or fool in an ice palace and gave them an icy
marriage-bed, where they froze to death. This I have seen pictured in
fine color and delineation. It was a Russian pleasantry. Catherine II.
slaughtered many of the men whom she did not love--out of a vagary of
fun. Most of the people here hold their revels in graveyards. Peter
stuffed the skin of one of his favorite servants--a tall fellow--and
put him in a museum. Paul issued a ukase against shoestrings and round
hats. He was fond of colors, and had fantastic hues painted on bridges
and gates. It is hardly mirthful to make an eagle out of gun-flints
and swords, or portray a group in heaven of Russians looking down on
Jews, Germans, and negroes. But this is Muscovite merriment. In the
Moscow markets the slaughtered animals are stuffed with sawdust and
look odd. It is said of the Emperor Paul that he dug up the bones of
those who murdered his father to pulverize them and blow them to the
winds. He arrested an Englishman for not taking off his hat to Royalty,
and ordered him to wear magnifying-glasses. This was jolly but not
exceptional, for the Russian is not adept in making genial fun. The
climate is not genial.

       [After seeing something of St. Petersburg on foot, he took a
     carriage,--whose characteristics he thus describes:]

The drosky is an odd-looking fleet sort of cab, which barely seats
two. It is near the ground, and if it upsets, it is safer than when it
is going. Its speed over the boulders is immense. Its driver is good,
and good-humored. The carts, wagons, drays, as well as droskies, have
a peculiar harness for the horse. The eminent characteristic of the
establishment is a sort of harness or yoke, about four or five feet
above the animal's shoulders. This is not peculiar to Russia, but it
is here developed in a higher degree. It rests on the shafts, and
somehow, as I believe (_loquor non inexpertus_), the horse has freer
motion and an easier draught under this yoke. It does not strain him
about the vitalities like our harness. He seems to run loosely as under
a canopy of green, though many of the yokes are thus painted with
emblems and owners' names on them.

While watching a caravan of these yokes which do not oppress, I
had occasion to look through a long line of them, fifty in number,
carrying the rye-flour in sacks across the city, and discovered another
peculiarity. There is a stout rope from the horse's shoulders to the
front axle, which extends some two feet out of the hub to hold these
extra traces. The strain seemed to be upon these traces as much as
upon the shafts; and just as I was driving in a hurried way--for our
driver was dashing at the usual pace--one of our wheels came off and
rolled a rod, and down we were! Thanks to the good gray team and some
promptitude, we escaped harm; while sympathies all about from the
gathered crowd showed that there was much kindness upon the street....

What sights to our unaccustomed eyes are on every side as we drive!
Little Tartar children dressed in green; the soldiers with heavy coats
and long spears, from the tribes of the Don, the Cossack of history;
hussars of red, gay uniform; Caucasian soldiers, with dresses as gay
as the Spahis of Algiers,--with the various large-breeched natives, in
top-boots, or with red shirts only covered by a dark vest,--add to the

The avenues are wide, and lined with high yellow buildings, palaces,
and government edifices, all proportionate to the immense empire of the
two continents. The signs look quaint with their peculiar lettering,
and the houses, which rarely have doors in front, are unusual in their
aspect. The sheet-iron roofs painted green and red; the police in
their green uniform and sword; the rivers and canals, full of strange
craft darting about in active business, some from far inland, laden
with grain, and some bearing passengers over the Neva and under its
bridges,--all these odd pictures contribute to keep us on the alert. We
drive along the Neva, whose splendid avenues and quays are one. They
are lined by the same yellow buildings, where the families of the royal
house reside. Then we cross the Neva on a pontoon bridge, called the
Troutsen, from which a splendid view is had of the spreading waters of
the river,--bounded at one end by the elegant edifice of the Commercial
Exchange. In winter the river is used for races upon the ice.

Then we turn into Alexandria Park, and admire the villas of the
merchant princes upon the lagoons into which the Neva is divided.
From the rounding point we perceive the Finland Gulf, Cronstadt, and
Peterhoff, and all the points which we passed on our route hither.
Then we turn into the Zoological Gardens, where white bears and young
cubs, wolves, and walruses, along with thousands of pleasure-seekers,
together enjoy the brilliant mimic scenes till midnight. There we found
(for fifteen cents only) a splendid theatre, out-doors, and famous dogs
and monkeys performing, followed by a ballet in pantomime, in which
Greeks and Turks play parts, and in which the heroes and heroines of
the former are lifted through a gorgeous display of many-colored lights
into clouds of glory, amidst the cheers of the populace, which never
forgets that Turkey is its natural foe, and that Constantinople is its
natural if not national capital....

Upon our drive we notice some fine triumphal arches--copied after the
classic models and those of other countries--and other monuments, but
none equals the superb Alexander column, erected in 1832. It is a
solid shaft of red granite, the greatest monolith of the world. It is
based on an enormous block of red granite. There is an angel on the
summit. The monument is one hundred and fifty-four feet high, and has
a noble and inspiring grace and grandeur. Other statues to Peter and
Catherine, besides statues to soldiers and poets, make every square
of this grand city monumental. There is also an equestrian statue of
Nicholas. The horse is like that of General Jackson's in Lafayette
Square, Washington, and stands upon his hind legs only. It is so much
more elegantly and gracefully posed that I could not but compare it to
the disadvantage of our own favorite charger.

On no day have we failed to find something about Peter the Great! In
"the summer gardens" there is an old palace, where are sacred relics
of his handiwork, such as chairs, cabinets, and Chinese designs. The
kitchen and bathroom have tiles of the old Dutch style, which he
greatly affected. The chimney is as huge as the room. Within is a
prison, where he is said to have kept his personal enemies, without
benefit of habeas corpus or clergy. It looks gloomy, and the grating
seems to be peculiarly adapted to a jail; but it is not very likely
that Peter would have enjoyed such society in his own favorite home....

The drives in the parks are beautiful. Therein is a lovely palace where
lived the Princess Dagmar before she became empress. The armory here
forms a museum of wonderful interest, for it has gifts of untold value
from Spain to Persia and beyond. Every kind of gun, sword, and dagger
is here; and those from the conquered sheiks and khans of Asia shine
resplendent in jewels by the mass. The saddle-cloths from the Orient,
and especially the presents from the Shah of Persia, are the richest
known to any collection in the world. Among the manifold things here
to be seen are the lock and key found near the site of the temple of
Jerusalem; the jewelry of the harem of the Khan of Khiva,--a wonderful
collection for female adornment; Chevalier Bayard's cuirass; a spear
which opens after it enters the body; an alarm clock which shoots
off a gun to awaken the sleeper; the flags taken in the Hungarian
insurrection of 1849; the baton of Schamyl, the Circassian chief, who
fought Russia so many years; the emeralds, by the quantity, which the
Shah of Persia sent to the Czar; the "horse furniture" of the Indian
sheiks, and a circular knife which they used to hurl, which cut your
head off before you could say your little prayer; and as a proper
apex to this collection of curious gifts and gems, worth alone sixty
millions of rubles, the sword of Mazeppa, the brave hetman of the
Poles, who will never cease to ride through histrionic and historic
dangers on that fierce untamed charger of the desert!...

If you would find in full perfection the richest in all respects of
all the palaces in the world, I suppose the Winter Palace would be
that superlative edifice. Since the attempt to blow it up as the royal
people were about to dine it has been closed. I made an effort, through
Colonel Hoffman, our chargé d'affaires, to obtain an entrance for the
Americans now stopping here, but vainly. Recent events forbade. The
Czar himself will not go into it again. It is shut for two years. This
was a disappointment, but it was partly compensated for by admission to
the "Hermitage," which is a part or a neighbor to the Winter Palace.
But the Hermitage seems to be enough for all our time.

All the "masters," old and young, native and foreign, are in profusion
here, as well as specimens of the exhaustless mineral glories of Russia
and Siberia in every form of carved beauty and tasteful grace. Museums
of ancient statuary, coins, jewels, and intaglios, illustrating every
age and phase of history, and, as a climax of interest, the relics
of the city of Kertch and other palaces in the Greek colonies of two
thousand years ago,--now in southern Russia,--are here. This exhibition
supplements General Cesnola's Cyprian antiquities, and would add fresh
interest to our home museum. Upon these Greek relics are found such
dresses, worn by the ancient Scythians, as our drosky-drivers now wear,
and bas-reliefs on these old vases show horses managed exactly as my
former Ohio constituent, Rarey, used to quell the worst "Cruisers" of
the equestrian world.

But, as a small American boy remarked at the end of our six hours'
promenade through these corridors, "We feel two thousand years old
ourselves, we have travelled so much and so far."

Do you ask, is Peter the Great to be found at the Hermitage? Surely, he
is everywhere. Here are his lathes, tools and knives, and _plaques_,
or disks of copper and ivory, cut by his own hand. Here, too, is his
measuring-staff, which was a foot taller than any one in our party, and
that of his valet, a foot taller than Peter! How could he be such a
warrior, statesman, mechanic, and architect, ruling such an immense and
incongruous people so well, and make so many knick-knacks with his own
hand and out of his own mechanical contrivance? This conundrum puzzles
the brain. We are curious to know the secret of Peter's power, and of
the glamour of grandeur around this giant of Muscovite history and
modern civilization....

The staircase of this palace of the Hermitage has no equal in its size
and proportion. Outside, there are immense black colossal porphyry
figures bearing up the portico, each an Atlas itself. They are emblems
of the eighty millions of subjects, which from every rank uphold this
extended empire. With its sixty millions of farmers, now free; its
seven millions of villagers, its one million of gentry, nobles, and
officers, and its four millions of military men and their families, it
would seem that the vast edifice of the Russian power would be stable,
supported by such Atlantean shoulders. Is it really so? Time will tell.
For the welfare of all it is to be wished that there was more comfort
and elevation among these vast masses of men.



       [Finland is now Northern Russia, and the Finns are classed as
     Russians; but it is so only in autocratic decrees and tax-lists.
     The Finns cannot, by any governmental metamorphosis, be
     transformed into Russians, and their land will still retain its
     individuality. In winter it lies deep within the domain of the
     ice-king. How it appears in summer is described in the following
     record of travel.]

"Why don't you go to Imatra?" asks my friend P---- as we lean over
the side of the Peterhof steamer and watch the golden domes of St.
Petersburg rising slowly from the dull gray level of the Gulf of
Finland. "Now that you've seen a bit of Central Russia, that's the next
thing for you to do. Go to Imatra, and I'll go too."

"And where on earth is Imatra?" ask I, innocently.

"Oh, come! you don't mean to say you've never heard of Imatra? Why,
everybody knows it. Let's go there next week."

Nevertheless, it so happens that I have _not_ heard of Imatra,--an
ignorance probably shared by most people out of Russia, and perhaps not
a few in it. But I am destined to a speedier acquaintance than I had
anticipated with the famous waterfall (or "foss," as the natives call
it), which, lying forty miles due north of the Finnish port of Viborg,
close to the renowned "Saima Lake," attracts the amateur fishermen of
St. Petersburg by scores every summer....

Accordingly, behold all our preparations made,--knapsacks packed,
tear-and-wear garments put in requisition, many-colored Russian notes
exchanged (at a fearful discount) for dingy Finnish silver,--and at
half-past ten on a not particularly bright July morning we stand on the
deck of the anything but "good ship" "Konstantin," bound for Viborg.

Despite her tortoise qualities as a steamer, however (which prolong
our voyage to nearly nine hours), the vessel is really luxurious in
her accommodations; and were her progress even slower, the motley
groups around us (groups such as only Dickens could describe or Leech
portray) would sufficiently beguile the time,--jaunty boy-officers
in brand-new uniforms, gallantly puffing their _papirossi_ (paper
cigarettes) in defiance of coming nausea, and discussing the merits
of the new opera loud enough to assure every one within earshot that
they know nothing whatever about it; squat Finnish peasants, whose
round, puffy faces and thick yellow hair are irresistibly suggestive
of over-boiled apple-dumplings; gray-coated Russian soldiers, with
the dogged endurance of their race written in every line of their
patient, stolid, unyielding faces; a lanky Swede, whose huge cork hat
and broad collar give him the look of an exaggerated medicine-bottle;
the inevitable tourist in the inevitable plaid suit, struggling with
endless convolutions of fishing-tackle and hooking himself in a fresh
place at every turn; three or four pale-faced clerks on leave, looking
very much as if their "overwork" had been in some way connected with
cigars and bad brandy; a German tradesman from Vasili-Ostroff (with the
short turnip-colored moustache characteristic of Wilhelm in his normal
state), in dutiful attendance on his wife, who is just completing her
preparations for being comfortably ill as soon as the vessel starts;
and a fine specimen of the real British merchant, talking vehemently
(in a miraculous dialect of his own invention) to a Russian official,
whose air of studied politeness shows plainly that he does not
understand a word of his neighbor's discourse.

Directly we go off the rain comes on, with that singular fatality
characteristic of pleasure-trips in general, arising, doubtless,
from the mysterious law which ordains that a man shall step into a
puddle the instant he has had his boots blacked, and that a piece of
bread-and-butter shall fall (how would Sir Isaac Newton have accounted
for it?) with the buttered side downward. In a trice the deck is
deserted by all save two or three self-devoted martyrs in mackintosh,
who "pace the plank" with that air of stern resolution worn by an
Englishman when dancing a quadrille or discharging any other painful
duty. The scenery throughout the entire voyage consists chiefly of
fog, relieved by occasional patches of sand-bank; and small wonder if
the superior attractions of the well-spread dinner-table detain most
of our fellow-sufferers below. What is this first dish that they offer
us? _Raw salmon_, by the shade of Soyer! sliced thin and loaded with
pepper. Then follow soup, fried trout, roast beef, boiled ditto, slices
of German sausage, neck of veal and bacon, fried potatoes and cabbage.
Surely, now, "Hold, enough!" Not a bit of it: enter an enormous
plum-pudding, which might do duty for a globe at any provincial school;
next, a dish of rice and preserve, followed by some of the strongest
conceivable cheese; finally, strawberries and bilberries, with cream
and sugar _ad libitum_. Involuntarily I recall the famous old American
story of the "boss" at a railway refreshment-room who demanded fifty
cents extra from a passenger who stuck to the table after all the
rest had dined and gone away. "Your board says, 'Dinner, three dollars
and fifty cents!'" remonstrated the victim.--"Ah! that's all very well
for reasonable human bein's with one stomach apiece," retorted the
Inexorable; "but when a feller eats _as if there were no hereafter_,
we've got to pile it on!"

As we pass Cronstadt the fog "lifts" slightly, giving us a momentary
glimpse of the huge forts that guard the passage,--the locked door
which bars out Western Europe. There is nothing showy or pretentious
about these squat, round-shouldered, narrow-eyed sentinels of the
channel; but they have a grim air of reserved strength, as though
they could be terribly effective in time of need. Two huge forts now
command the "southern channel," in addition to the four which guarded
it at the time of the Baltic expedition during the Crimean war; and the
land-batteries (into which no outsider is now admitted without special
permission) are being strengthened by movable shields of iron and other
appliances of the kind, for which nearly one million roubles (one
hundred and fifty thousand pounds) have been set apart. The seaward
approaches are commanded by numerous guns of formidable calibre, and
far away on the long, level promontory of the North Spit we can just
descry a dark excrescence,--the battery recently constructed for
the defence of the "northern passage." Thus, from the Finnish coast
to Oranienbaum a bristling line of unbroken fortification proclaims
Russia's aversion to war, and the gaping mouths of innumerable cannon
announce to all who approach, with silent eloquence, that "L'empire
c'est la paix." It is a fine political parable that the Western
traveller's first glimpse of Russian civilization should assume the
form of a line of batteries, reminding one of poor Mungo Park's
splendid unconscious sarcasm, when, while wandering helplessly in the
desert, he came suddenly upon a gibbet with a man hanging in chains
upon it; "Whereupon," says he, "I kneeled down and gave hearty thanks
to Almighty God, who had been pleased to conduct me once more into a
Christian and civilized country."

       [The steamboat journey ended at the Finnish port of Viborg,
     eighty miles by land from St. Petersburg, and now accessible
     by rail.]

"We must breakfast early to-morrow, mind," says P----, as we settle
into our respective beds, "for a march in the sun here is no joke, you

"Worse than in Arabia or South America?" ask I with calm scorn.

"You'll find the north of Russia a pretty fair match for both at this
season. Do you happen to know that one of the hottest places in the
world is Archangelsk on the White Sea? In summer the pitch melts off
the vessels like butter, and the mosquitoes are so thick that the men
on board the grain-ships fairly burrow into the corn for shelter.
Good-night! Sharp six to-morrow, mind!"

Accordingly, the early daylight finds us tramping along the edge of
the picturesque little creek (dappled here and there with wood-crowned
islets) in order to get well into our work before the sun is high
in the sky, for a forty-mile march, knapsack on shoulder, across a
difficult country, in the heat of a real Russian summer, is not a thing
to be trifled with, even by men who have seen Turkey and Syria. A
sudden turn of the road soon blots out the sea, and we plunge at once
into the green silent depths of the northern forest.

It is characteristic of the country that, barely out of sight of one
of the principal ports of Finland, we are in the midst of a loneliness
as utter as if it had never been broken by man. The only tokens of
his presence are the narrow swath of road running between the dim,
unending files of the shadowy pine-trees, and the tall wooden posts,
striped black and white like a zebra, which mark the distance in versts
from Viborg, the verst being two-thirds of a mile.

To an unpractised eye the marvellous smoothness and hardness of this
forest highway (unsurpassed by any macadamized road in England) might
suggest a better opinion of the local civilization than it deserves;
for in this case it is the soil, not the administration, that merits
all the credit. In granite-paved Finland, as in limestone-paved
Barbadoes, Nature has already laid down your road in a way that no
human engineering can rival, and all you have to do is to smooth it to
your own liking.

And now the great panorama of the far North--a noble change from the
flat unending monotony of the Russian steppes--begins in all its
splendor. At one moment we are buried in a dark depth of forest,
shadowy and spectral as those which haunt us in the weird outlines
of Retzsch; the next minute we burst upon an open valley, bright
with fresh grass, and with a still, shining lake slumbering in the
centre, the whole picture framed in a background of sombre woods. Here
rise giant boulders of granite, crested with spreading pines,--own
brothers, perhaps, of the block dragged hence eighty years ago from
which the greatest of Russian rulers still looks down upon the city
that bears his name; there, bluffs of wooded hill rear themselves
above the surrounding sea of foliage, and at times the roadside is
dotted with the little wooden huts of the natives, whence wooden-faced
women, turbaned with colored handkerchiefs, and white-headed children,
in nothing but a short night-gown with a warm lining of dirt, stare
wonderingly at us as we go striding past. And over all hangs the clear,
pearly-gray northern sky.

One hour is past, and still the air keeps moderately fresh, although
the increasing glare warns us that it will be what I once heard a
British tourist call "more hotterer" by and by. So far, however, we
have not turned a hair, and the second hour's work matches the first
to an inch. As we pass through the little hamlet which marks the first
quarter of our allotted distance we instinctively pull out our watches:
"Ten miles in two hours! Not so bad, but we must keep it up."

So we set ourselves to the third hour, and out comes the sun--bright
and beautiful and destroying as Homer's Achilles:

    "Bright are his rays, but evil fate they send,
     And to sad man destroying heat portend."

Hitherto, despite the severity of our pace, we have contrived to keep
up a kind of flying conversation, but now grim silence settles on our
way. There is a point in every match against time when the innate
ferocity of man, called forth by the exercises which civilization has
borrowed from the brute creation, comes to the front in earnest,--when
your best friend becomes your deadly enemy, and the fact of his being
one stride in advance of you is an injury only to be atoned by blood.
Such is the precise point that we have reached now; and when we
turn from exchanging malignant looks with each other, it is only to
watch with ominous eagerness for the coming in sight of the painted
verst-posts, which somehow appear to succeed one another far more
slowly than they did an hour ago.

By the middle of the fourth hour we are marching with coats off and
sleeves rolled up, like amateur butchers; and although our "pace" is
as good as ever, the elastic swing of our first start is now replaced
by that dogged, "hard-and-heavy" tramp which marks the point where
the flesh and the spirit begin to pull in opposite directions. Were
either of us alone, the pace would probably slacken at once, and each
may safely say in his heart, as Condorcet said of the dying D'Alembert,
"Had I not been there he _must_ have flinched!"

But just as the fourth hour comes to an end (during which we have
looked at our watches as often as Wellington during the terrible
mid-day hours that preceded the distant boom of the Prussian cannon)
we come round a sharp bend in the road, and there before us lies
the quaint little log-built post-house (the "half-way house" in
very truth), with its projecting roof and painted front and striped
doorposts; just at which auspicious moment I stumble and twist my foot.

"You were right to reserve _that_ performance to the last," remarks
P----, with a grin, helping me to the door; and we order a _samovar_
(tea-urn) to be heated, while we ourselves indulge in a scrambling wash
of the rudest kind, but very refreshing nevertheless.

Reader, did you ever walk five miles an hour for four hours together
over a hilly country, with the thermometer at eighty-three degrees in
the shade? If so, then will you appreciate our satisfaction as we throw
aside our heavy boots, plunge our swollen feet into cold water, and,
with coats off and collars thrown open, sit over our tea and black
bread in that quaint little cross-beamed room, with an appetite never
excited by the best _plats_ of the Erz-Herzog Karl or the Trois Frères
Provençaux. Two things, at least, one may always be sure of finding in
perfection at a Russian post-station: tea is the one; the other I need
not particularize, as its presence does not usually become apparent
till you retire to rest" (?).

Our meal being over and my foot still unfit for active service, we
order a _telyayga_ (cart) and start anew for Imatra Foss. Our vehicle
is simply a wooden tray on wheels, with a bag of hay in it, on which we
do our best to recline, while our driver perches himself on the edge of
the cart, thereby doubtless realizing vividly the sensation of rowing
hard in a pair of thin unmentionables. Thanks to the perpetual gaps in
the road formed by the great thaw two months ago (the Finnish winter
ending about the beginning of May), during the greater part of the ride
we play an animated though involuntary game of cup-and-ball, being
thrown up and caught again incessantly. At length a dull roar, growing
ever louder and louder, breaks the dreamy stillness of the forest, and
before long we come to a little chalet-like inn embosomed in trees,
where we alight, for this is the "Imatra Hotel."

Let us cast one glance out of the back window before sitting down to
supper (in a long, bare, chilly chamber like a third-class waiting
room), for such a view is not seen every day. We are on the very brink
of a deep narrow gorge, the upper part of which is so thickly clad with
pines as to resemble the crest of some gigantic helmet, but beneath
the naked granite stands out in all its grim barrenness, lashed by the
spray of the mighty torrent that roars between its projecting rocks.
Just below us, the river, forced back by a huge boulder in the centre
of its course, literally piles itself up into a kind of liquid mound,
foaming, flashing, and trembling incessantly, the ceaseless motion
and tremendous din of the rapids having an indescribably bewildering

But the lake itself is, if possible, even more picturesque than the
river. It is one of those long, straggling bodies of water so common
in the far North, resembling not so much one great lake as an endless
series of small ones. Just at the sortie of the river a succession of
rapids, scarcely less magnificent than those of the "Foss" itself,
rush between the wooded shores, their unresting whirl and fury
contrasting gloriously with the vast expanse of glassy water above,
crested with leafy islets and mirroring the green boughs that droop
over it along the shore. Here did we spend many a night fishing and
"spinning yarns," in both of which accomplishments the ex-chasseur
was pre-eminent; and strange enough it seemed, lying in the depths
of that northern forest, to listen to descriptions of the treeless
sands of Egypt and the burning wastes of the Sahara. Our midnight
camp, on a little promontory just above the rapids, was a study for
Rembrandt,--the slender pine-stems reddened by the blaze of our
camp-fire; the group of bearded faces coming and going as the light
waxed and waned; beyond the circle of light a gloom all the blacker
for the contrast; the ghostly white of the foam shimmering through the
leaves, and the clear moonlit sky overhanging all.

When a wet day came upon us the inexhaustible ex-chasseur (who, like
Frederick the Great, could "do everything but keep still") amused
himself and us with various experiments in cookery, of which art he
was a perfect master. His versatility in sauces might have aroused the
envy of Soyer himself, and the party having brought with them a large
stock of provisions, he was never at a loss for materials. Our ordinary
dinner consisted of trout sauced with red wine, mutton, veal, duck,
cheese, fresh strawberries, and coffee; after which every man took his
tumbler of tea, with a slice of lemon in it, from the stove, and the
evening began.

_The_ sight of the country, however, is undoubtedly the natives
themselves. Their tawny skins, rough yellow hair, and coarse flat faces
would look uninviting enough to those who have never seen a Kalmuck
or a Samoyede, but, despite their diet of dried fish and bread mixed
with sawdust both men and women are remarkably healthy and capable of
surprising feats of strength and endurance. They make great use of bark
for caps, shoes, plates, etc., in the making of which they are very
skilful. As to their dress, it baffles description, and the horror of
my friend the ex-chasseur at his first glimpse of it was as good as a

But there needs only a short journey here to show the folly of further
annexations on the part of Russia while those already made are so
lamentably undeveloped. Finland, which, rightly handled, might be one
of the Czar's richest possessions, is now, after nearly seventy years'
occupation, as unprofitable as ever. Throughout the whole province
there are only three hundred and ninety-eight miles of railway. Post
roads, scarce enough in the South, are absolutely wanting in the North.
Steam navigation on the Gulf of Bothnia extends only to Uleaborg, and
is, so far as I can learn, actually non-existent on the great lakes,
except between Tanasthuus and Tammerfors. Such is the state of a land
containing boundless water-power, countless acres of fine timber,
countless ship-loads of splendid granite. But what can be expected of
an untaught population under two millions left to themselves in an
unreclaimed country nearly as large as France?

But better days are now dawning on the afflicted land. Roads and
railways are being pushed forward into the interior, and the ill-judged
attempts formerly made to Russianize the population have given place
to a more conciliatory policy. A Russian from Helsingfors tells me
that lectures are being delivered there, and extracts from native
works read, in the aboriginal tongue; that it is being treated with
special attention in the great schools of Southern Finland; that there
has even been some talk of dramatic representations in Finnish at the
Helsingfors theatre.



       [Of the English travellers of the latter part of the last
     century, none acquired greater distinction than Dr. Clarke. Born
     in Sussex in 1769, in 1790 he made a tour of Great Britain, in
     1792 visited France, Switzerland, and Italy, and in 1799 started
     on a three-years' tour of Northern Europe, Turkey, Syria, Egypt,
     etc., publishing, in 1810, "Travels in Various Parts of Europe,
     Asia, and Africa," one of the most delightful and popular works of
     travel ever issued, and which has given him a durable celebrity.
     He died in 1822. We give below a portion of his animated
     description of Moscow, which he visited in 1800, years before the
     invasion of Napoleon and the burning of this celebrated Russian

There is nothing more extraordinary in this country than the transition
of the seasons. The people of Moscow have no spring: winter _vanishes_,
and summer _is_. This is not the work of a week, or a day, but of one
instant, and the manner of it exceeds belief. We came from Petersburg
to Moscow on sledges. The next day snow was gone. On the 8th of April,
at mid-day, snow beat in at our carriage windows. On the same day, at
sunset, arriving in Moscow, we had difficulty in being dragged through
the mud to the commandant's. The next morning the streets were dry, the
double windows had been removed from the houses, the casements thrown
open, all the carriages were upon wheels, and the balconies filled with
spectators. Another day brought with it twenty-three degrees of heat of
Celsius, when the thermometer was placed in the shade at noon.

We arrived at the season of the year in which this city is most
interesting to strangers. Moscow is in everything extraordinary, as
well in disappointing expectation as in surpassing it; in causing
wonder and derision, pleasure and regret. Let me conduct the reader
back with me again to the gate by which we entered, and thence through
the streets. Numerous spires, glittering with gold, amidst burnished
domes and painted palaces, appear in the midst of an open plain for
several versts before you reach this gate. Having passed, you look
about, and wonder what has become of the city, or where you are, and
are ready to ask, once more, "How far is it to Moscow?" They will tell
you, "This is Moscow!" and you behold nothing but a wide and scattered
suburb,--houses, gardens, pigsties, brick walls, churches, dung-hills,
palaces, timber-yards, warehouses, and a refuse, as it were, of
materials, sufficient to stock an empire with miserable towns and
miserable villages.

One might imagine all the states of Europe and Asia had sent a
building, by way of representative, to Moscow, and, under this
impression, the eye is presented with deputies from all countries,
holding congress: timber huts from regions beyond the Arctic; plastered
palaces from Sweden and Denmark, not whitewashed since their arrival;
painted walls from the Tyrol; mosques from Constantinople; Tartar
temples from Bucharia; pagodas, pavilions, and verandas from China;
cabarets from Spain; dungeons, prisons, and public offices from France;
architectural ruins from Rome; terraces and trellises from Naples, and
warehouses from Wapping.

[Illustration: MOSCOW]

Having heard accounts of its immense population, you wander through
deserted streets. Passing suddenly towards the quarter where the shops
are situated, you might walk upon the heads of thousands. The daily
throng is there so immense that, unable to force a passage through it,
or assign any motive that might convene such a multitude, you ask the
cause, and are told that it is always the same. Nor is the costume
less various than the aspect of the buildings. Greeks, Turks, Tartars,
Cossacks, Chinese, Muscovites, English, French, Italians, Poles,
Germans, all parade in the habits of their respective countries.

We were in a Russian inn, a complete epitome of the city itself.
The next room to ours was filled by ambassadors from Persia. In a
chamber beyond the Persians lodged a party of Kirghisians, a people
yet unknown, and any one of whom might be exhibited in a cage as some
newly-discovered species. They had bald heads, covered by conical
embroidered caps, and wore sheep's hides. Beyond the Kirghisians lodged
a _nidus_ of Bucharians, wild as the asses of Numidia. All these were
ambassadors from their respective districts, extremely jealous of each
other, who had been to Petersburg to treat of commerce, peace, and war.

The doors of all our chambers opened into one gloomy passage, so that
sometimes we all encountered, and formed a curious masquerade. The
Kirghisians and Bucharians were best at arm's length; but the worthy
old Persian, whose name was Orazai, often exchanged visits with us.
He brought us presents, according to the custom of his country, and
was much pleased with an English pocketknife we had given him, with
which he said he should shave his head. At his devotions he stood
silent for an hour together, on two small carpets, barefooted, with his
face towards Mecca, holding, as he said, intellectual converse with

Ambassadors of other more Oriental hordes drove into the court-yard of
the inn from Petersburg. The Emperor had presented each of them with a
barouche. Never was anything more ludicrous than their appearance. Out
of respect to the sovereign they had maintained a painful struggle to
preserve their seat, sitting cross-legged, like Turks. The snow having
melted, they had been jolted in this manner over the trunks of trees,
which form a timber causeway between Petersburg and Moscow; so that,
when taken from their fine new carriages, they could hardly crawl, and
made the most pitiable grimaces imaginable. A few days after coming to
Moscow they ordered all the carriages to be sold for whatever sum any
person would offer.

       [Immediately after Mr. Clarke's arrival at Moscow the Easter
     ceremonies were celebrated with great pomp and display. Of
     these he gives an animated description, of which we select the
     concluding portion.]

The third and most magnificent ceremony of all is celebrated two hours
after midnight, in the morning of Easter Sunday. It is called the
ceremony of the Resurrection, and certainly exceeded everything of the
kind celebrated at Rome, or anywhere else. I have not seen so splendid
a sight in any Roman Catholic country, not even that of the benediction
by the Pope during the Holy Week.

At midnight the great bell of the cathedral tolled. Its vibrations
seemed the rolling of distant thunder, and they were instantly
accompanied by the noise of all the bells in Moscow. Every inhabitant
was stirring, and the rattling of carriages in the streets was greater
than at noonday. The whole city was in a blaze, for lights were seen
in all the windows, and innumerable torches in the streets. The tower
of the cathedral was illuminated from its foundation to its cross.
The same ceremony takes place in all the churches; and, what is truly
surprising, considering their number, it is said they are all equally

We hastened to the cathedral, which was filled with a prodigious
assembly of all ranks and sexes, bearing lighted wax tapers, to
be afterwards heaped as vows on the different shrines. The walls,
ceilings, and every part of this building are covered by the pictures
of saints and martyrs. In the moment of our arrival the doors were
shut, and on the outside appeared Reato, the archbishop, preceded by
banners and torches, and followed by all his train of priests, with
crucifixes and censers, who were making three times, in procession, the
tour of the cathedral, chanting with loud voices, and glittering in
sumptuous vestments, covered by gold, silver, and precious stones. The
snow had not melted so rapidly in the Kremlin as in the streets of the
city, and this magnificent procession was therefore constrained to move
upon planks over the deep mud which surrounded the cathedral.

After completing the third circuit they all halted opposite the great
doors, which were shut; and the archbishop, with a censer, scattered
incense against the doors and over the priests. Suddenly these doors
were opened, and the effect was beyond description great. The immense
throng of spectators within, bearing innumerable tapers, formed two
lines, through which the archbishop entered, advancing with his train
to a throne near the centre. The profusion of lights in all parts of
the cathedral, and, among others, of the enormous chandelier which
hung from the centre, the richness of the dresses, and the vastness
of the assembly, filled us with astonishment. Having joined the suite
of the archbishop, we accompanied the procession, and passed even
to the throne, on which the police officers permitted us to stand,
among the priests, near an embroidered stool of satin, placed for
the archbishop. The loud chorus which burst forth at the entrance to
the church continued as the procession moved towards the throne, and
after the archbishop had taken his seat, when my attention was for a
moment called off by seeing one of the Russians earnestly crossing
himself with his right hand, while his left was employed in picking my
companion's pocket of his handkerchief.

Soon after the archbishop descended, and went all round the cathedral,
first offering incense to the priests, and then to the people, as he
passed along. When he had returned to his seat the priests, two by two,
performed the same ceremony, beginning with the archbishop, who rose
and made obeisance with a lighted taper in his hand. From the moment
the church doors were opened the spectators had continued bowing their
heads and crossing themselves, insomuch that some of the people seemed
really exhausted by the constant motion of the head and hands.

I had now leisure to examine the dresses and figures of the priests,
which were certainly the most striking I ever saw. Their long dark
hair, without powder, fell down in ringlets, or straight and thick,
far over their rich robes and shoulders. Their dark thick beards,
also, entirely covered their breasts. On the heads of the archbishop
and bishops were high caps, covered with gems and adorned by miniature
paintings, set in jewels, of the crucifixion, the Virgin, and the
saints. Their robes of various-colored satin were of the most costly
embroidery, and even on these were miniature pictures set with precious

After two hours had been spent in various ceremonies, the archbishop
advanced, holding forth a cross, which all the people crowded to
embrace, squeezing each other nearly to suffocation. As soon, however,
as their eagerness had been somewhat satisfied, he retired to the
sacristy, where, putting on a plain purple robe, he again advanced,
exclaiming three times in a very loud voice, "Christ is risen!"

The most remarkable part of the solemnity now followed. The archbishop,
descending into the body of the church, concluded the whole ceremony
by crawling round the pavement on his hands and knees, kissing the
consecrated pictures, whether on the pillars, the walls, the altars,
or the tombs, the priests and all the people imitating his example.
Sepulchres were opened and all the mummied bodies of incorruptible
saints exhibited, all of which underwent the same general kissing.

Thus was Easter proclaimed, and riot and debauchery instantly broke
loose. The inn in which we lodged became a pandemonium. Drinking,
dancing, and singing continued through the night and day. But in the
midst of all these excesses quarrels hardly ever took place. The wild,
rude riot of a Russian populace is full of humanity. Few disputes are
heard; no blows are given; no lives endangered, but by drinking. No
meetings take place of any kind without repeating the expressions of
peace and joy, _Christos voscress!_ "Christ is risen!" to which the
answer always is the same, _Vo isteney voscress!_ "He is risen indeed!"

On Easter Monday begins the presentation of the paschal eggs: lovers to
their mistresses, relatives to each other, servants to their masters,
all bring ornamented eggs. Every offering at this season is called a
paschal egg. The meanest pauper in the street, presenting an egg, and
repeating the words, _Christos voscress_, may demand a salute, even of
the Empress. All business is laid aside; the upper ranks are engaged in
visiting, balls, dinners, suppers, and masquerades, while boors fill
the air with their songs or roll drunk about the streets. Servants
appear in new and tawdry liveries, and carriages in the most sumptuous

After London and Constantinople, Moscow is, doubtless, the most
remarkable city in Europe. A stranger, passing rapidly through, might
pronounce it the dullest, dirtiest, and most uninteresting city in
the world, while another, having resided there, would affirm that it
had rather the character of a great commercial and wealthy metropolis
of a vast and powerful empire. If the grandeur and riches of the
inhabitants are to be estimated by the number of equipages, and the
number of horses attached to each, Moscow would excel in splendor all
the cities of the globe. There is hardly an individual, above the rank
of plebeian, who would be seen without four horses to his carriage,
and the generality have six. But the manner in which this pomp is
displayed is a perfect burlesque upon stateliness. A couple of ragged
boys are placed as postilions, before a coachman in such sheep's hides
as are worn by the peasants in the woods, and behind the carriage are
stationed a couple of lackeys, more tawdry but not less ludicrous
than their drivers. To give all this greater effect, the traces of
the horses are so long that it requires considerable management to
preserve the horses from being entangled whenever they turn the corner
of a street or make a halt. Notwithstanding this, no stranger, however
he may deride its absurdity, will venture to visit the nobles, if
he wishes for their notice, without four horses to his chariot, a
ragged coachman and postilion, and a parade of equipage that must
excite his laughter in proportion as it insures their countenance and

The numberless bells of Moscow continue to ring during the whole of
Easter week, tinkling and tolling without any kind of harmony or order.
The large bell near the cathedral is only used on important occasions,
and yields the finest and most solemn tone I ever heard. When it
sounds, a deep and hollow murmur vibrates all over Moscow, like the
fullest and lowest tones of a vast organ, or the rolling of distant
thunder. This bell is suspended in a tower called the Belfry of St.
Ivan, beneath others which, though of less size, are enormous. It is
forty feet nine inches in circumference, sixteen inches and a half
thick, and it weighs more than fifty-seven tons.

The Kremlin is, above all other places, most worthy a traveller's
notice. It was our evening walk, whenever we could escape the
engagements of society. The view it affords of the city surpasses every
other, both in singularity and splendor, especially from St. Ivan's
tower. This fortress is surrounded on all sides by walls, towers,
and ramparts, and stuffed full of domes and steeples. The appearance
differs in every point of view, on account of the strange irregularity
in the edifices it contains....

The great bell of Moscow, known to be the largest ever founded, is in
a deep pit in the midst of the Kremlin. The history of its fall is a
fable, and, as writers are accustomed to copy each other, the story
continues to be propagated. The fact is, the bell remains in the place
where it was originally cast. It never was suspended. The Russians
might as well attempt to suspend a first-rate line-of-battle ship with
all its guns and stores. A fire took place in the Kremlin, the flames
of which caught the building erected over the pit in which the bell
yet remained, in consequence of which the metal became hot, and water
thrown to extinguish the fire fell upon the bell, causing the fracture
which has taken place.

The entrance is by a trap-door placed even with the surface of the
earth. We found the steps very dangerous. Some of them were wanting,
and others broken, which occasioned me a severe fall down the whole
extent of the first flight and a narrow escape for my life in not being
dashed upon the bell. In consequence of this accident a sentinel was
stationed afterwards at the trap-door to prevent people from becoming
victims to their curiosity. He might have been as well employed in
mending the steps as in waiting all day to say that they were broken.

The bell is truly a mountain of metal. They relate that it contains
a very large proportion of gold and silver, for that, while it was
in fusion, the people cast in, as votive offerings, their plate and
money. It is permitted to doubt the truth of traditionary tales,
particularly in Russia, where people are much disposed to relate
what they have heard without once reflecting on its probability. I
endeavored in vain to assay a small part. The natives regard it with
superstitious veneration, and they would not allow even a grain to be
filed off; at the same time it may be said the compound has a white,
shining appearance, unlike bell-metal in general, and perhaps its
silvery appearance has strengthened, if not given rise to, a conjecture
respecting the richness of its materials.

       [The bell, two feet above its lower part,--which was buried in
     the earth,--measured in circumference sixty-seven feet four
     inches; its height was twenty-one feet four and a half inches; in
     its thickest part it measured twenty-three inches. The estimated
     weight is four hundred and forty-three thousand seven hundred and
     seventy-two pounds.]

The architecture exhibited in different parts of the Kremlin, in
its palaces and churches, is like nothing seen in Europe. It is
difficult to say from what country it has been principally derived.
The architects were generally Italians; but the style is Tartarian,
Indian, Chinese, and Gothic. Here a pagoda, there an arcade! In some
parts richness and even elegance; in others, barbarity and decay. Taken
altogether, it is a jumble of magnificence and ruin. Old buildings
repaired and modern structures not completed. Half-open vaults and
mouldering walls and empty caves, amidst whitewashed brick buildings
and towers and churches, with glittering, gilded, or painted domes.
In the midst of it some devotees are seen entering a little, mean
structure, more like a stable than a church. This, they tell you, is
the first place of Christian worship erected in Moscow....

The view of Moscow from the terrace in the Kremlin, near the spot where
the artillery is preserved, would afford a fine subject for a panorama.
The number of magnificent buildings, the domes, the towers, the spires,
which fill all the prospect, make it, perhaps, the most novel and
interesting sight in Europe. All the wretched hovels and miserable
wooden buildings, which appear in passing through the streets, are
lost in the vast assemblage of magnificent edifices, among which the
Foundling Hospital is particularly conspicuous. Below the walls of
the Kremlin the Moscva, already become a river of importance, is seen
flowing towards the Volga. The new promenade forming on its banks,
immediately below the fortress, is a superb work, and promises to rival
the famous quay at Petersburg.



       [Those who would like to obtain a lively picture of life in
     Russia and on the Asiatic steppes should read Captain Burnaby's
     "A Ride to Khiva" (1875), which is one of the most sprightly works
     of travel extant. We have elsewhere made a selection illustrative
     of the traveller's adventures in Asia, and present here some of
     his experiences in Russia. We take him up at the railroad terminus
     at Sizeran, whence he proposes to make his way by sleigh to
     Orenburg, _via_ Samara.]

"You had better put on plenty of clothes," was the friendly caution I
received from my companion as I entered the dressing-room, "for the
thermometer marks twenty degrees below zero, Reaumur, and there is a

People in this country who have never experienced a Russian winter
have little idea of the difference even a slight breeze makes when the
mercury stands low in the thermometer, for the wind then cuts through
you, furs and all, and penetrates to the very bones. Determined to
be on my guard against the frost, I dressed myself, as I thought, as
warmly as possible, and so as to be utterly impervious to the elements.

First came three pairs of the thickest stockings, drawn high up above
the knee, and over them a pair of fur-lined low shoes, which in their
turn were inserted into leather galoches, my limbs being finally
deposited in a pair of enormous cloth boots, the latter reaching up
to the thigh. Previously I had put on some extra thick drawers and a
pair of trousers, the astonishment of the foreman of Messrs. Kino's
establishment, "Lord love you, sir," being his remark when I tried them
on, "no cold could get through them trousers, anyhow."

I must confess that I rather chuckled as my legs assumed herculean
proportions, and I thought that I should have a good laugh at the wind,
no matter how cutting it might be; but Æolus had the laugh on his side
before the journey was over. A heavy flannel undershirt, and shirt
covered by a thick wadded waistcoat and coat, encased my body, which
was further enveloped in a huge _shuba_, or fur pelisse, reaching to
the heels, while my head was protected by a fur cap and _vashlik_, a
sort of cloth head-piece of a conical shape, made to cover the cap, and
having two long ends which tie round the throat.

Being thus accoutred in all my armor, I sallied forth to join my
companion, who, an enormous man naturally, now seemed a very Colossus
of Rhodes in his own winter attire. "I think you will do," said my
friend, scanning me well over; "but you will find your feet get very
cold, for all that. It takes a day or so to get used to this sleigh
travelling; and, though I am only going a little beyond Samara, I shall
be uncommonly glad when my journey is over."

He was buckling on his revolver; and as we were informed that there
were a great many wolves in the neighborhood, I tried to do the same;
but this was an impossibility; the man who made the belt had never
foreseen the gigantic proportions my waist would assume when clad
in this Russian garb. I was obliged to give it up in despair, and
contented myself by strapping the weapon outside my saddle-bags....

Three horses abreast, their coats white with pendent icicles and
hoar-frost, were harnessed to the sleigh; the centre animal was in the
shafts, and had his head fastened to a huge wooden head-collar, bright
with various colors. From the summit of the head-collar was suspended
a belt, while the two outside horses were harnessed by cord-traces to
splinter-bars attached to the sides of the sleigh. The object of all
this is to make the animal in the middle trot at a brisk pace, while
his two companions gallop, their necks arched round in a direction
opposite to the horse in the centre, this poor beast's head being
tightly reined up to the head-collar.

A well-turned-out troika, with three really good horses, which get over
the ground at the rate of twelve miles an hour, is a pretty sight to
witness, particularly if the team has been properly trained, and the
outside animals never attempt to break into a trot, while the one in
the shafts steps forward with high action; but the constrained position
in which the horses are kept must be highly uncomfortable to them, and
one not calculated to enable a driver to get as much pace out of his
animals as they could give him if harnessed in another manner.

Off we went at a brisk pace, the bell dangling from our horse's
head-collar and jingling merrily at every stride of the team.

The sun rose high in the heavens; it was a bright and glorious morning,
in spite of the intense cold, and the amount of oxygen we inhaled
was enough to elevate the spirits of the most dyspeptic of mankind.
Presently, after descending a slight declivity, our Jehu turned sharply
to the right; then came a scramble and succession of jolts and jerks
as we slid down a steep bank, and we found ourselves on what appeared
to be a broad high-road. Here the sight of many masts and shipping,
which, bound in by the icy fetters of a relentless winter, would remain
embedded in the ice till the ensuing spring, showed me that we were on
the Volga.

It was an animated spectacle, this frozen highway, thronged with
peasants who strode beside their sledges which were bringing cotton and
other goods from Orenburg to the railway. Now a smart troika would dash
by us, its driver shouting as he passed, when our Jehu, stimulating
his steeds by loud cries and frequent applications of the whip, would
vainly strive to overtake his brother coachman. Old and young alike
seemed octogenarians, their short, thick beards and moustaches being
white as hoar-frost from the congealed breath.... An iron bridge was
being constructed a little farther down the Volga. Here the railroad
was to pass, and it was said that in two years' time there would be
railway communication, not only between Samara and the capital, but
even as far as Orenburg. Presently the scenery became very picturesque
as we raced over the glistening surface, which flashed like a burnished
cuirass beneath the rays of the rising sun. Now we approach a spot
where seemingly the waters from some violent blast or other had been in
a state of foam and commotion, when a stern frost transformed them into
a solid mass. Pillars and blocks of the shining and hardened element
were seen modelled into a thousand quaint and grotesque patterns.
Here a fountain, perfectly formed with Ionic and Doric columns, was
reflecting a thousand prismatic hues from the diamond-like stalactites
which had attached themselves to its crest. There a huge obelisk,
which, if of stone, might have come from ancient Thebes, lay half
buried beneath a pile of fleecy snow. Farther on we came to what might
have been a Roman temple or vast hall in the palace of a Cæsar, where
many half-hidden pillars and monuments erected their tapering summits
above the piles of the débris. The wind had done in that northern
latitude what has been performed by some violent preadamite agency in
the Berber desert. Take away the ebon blackness of the stony masses
which have been there cast forth from the bowels of the earth, and
replace them on a smaller scale by the crystal forms I have faintly
attempted to describe, and the resemblance would be striking....

The road now changed its course, and our driver directed his steeds
towards the bank. Suddenly we discovered that immediately in front of
us the ice had broken beneath a horse and sleigh, and that the animal
was struggling in the water. The river here was fortunately only about
four feet deep, so there would not be much difficulty in extracting
the quadruped; but what to ourselves seemed far more important was to
solve the knotty problem of how to get to land, for between our sleigh
and the shore was a wide gulf, and there seemed to be no possibility
of driving through it without a wetting. "Pleasant," muttered my
companion, "pleasant, very! Let us get out and have a good look round,
to see if we cannot find a place where we can get across in safety."

"I will pull you through," observed our Jehu, with a broad grin on his
lobster-colored countenance, and apparently much amused with the state
of affairs.

"No, oh, son of an animal," retorted my companion; "stay here till we

After considerable search we found a spot where the water-channel was
certainly not much more than twelve feet across, and some peasants who
were fishing in the river came up and volunteered their assistance. One
of them produced a pole about eight feet long, with which, he said,
we could jump the chasm. My companion looked at me with a melancholy
smile, in which resolution and caution struggled for the mastery.
"It is very awful," he said, "very awful, but there is no other
alternative, and I much fear that we must."

With these words he seized the pole, and carefully inserted one end
of it in the muddy bottom. "If the ice gives way when I land on the
other side!" he suddenly observed, releasing his hold of the leaping
bar. "Why, if it does, you will get a ducking," was my remark: "but be
quick; the longer you look at it the less you will like it; and it is
very cold standing here: now, then, jump over."

       [The corpulent Russian, however, could not bring himself to face
     the chasm, and preferred the risk of a wetting in being dragged
     through in the sleigh. Burnaby's turn came, and he chose the pole,
     piqued thereto by the chaffing remarks of the grinning peasants.]

"How fat they are!" said one. "No, it's their furs," observed another.
"How awkward he is!" continued a third; "why, I could jump it
myself."--"I tell you what it is, my friend," I at length observed, "if
you continue this conversation, I think it very likely you will jump
either over or in, for I want to find out the exact distance, and am
thinking of throwing you over first, in order to satisfy my mind as to
how wide it is, and how deep."

This remark, uttered in rather a sharp tone, had the desired effect,
and, seizing the pole convulsively, I prepared for the leap, which,
nothing to a man not clad in furs, was by no means a contemptible one
in my sleigh attire. One, two, three! a bound, a sensation of flying
through the air, a slip, a scramble, and I found myself on the other
side, having got over with no more damage than one wet leg, the boot
itself being instantly covered with a shining case of ice.

"Come along quick!" cried my friend, who by this time had been dragged
through; "let us get on as quickly as possible." And without giving
me time to see if my cartridges or other baggage on the bottom of the
sleigh had suffered from the ducking, we rattled off once more in the
direction of Samara.

       [Soon after they reached a stopping-place, changed horses, and
     were off again, now in a howling wind and falling snow.]

Very soon that so-called "pins-and-needles" sensation, recalling some
snow-balling episodes of my boyish days, began once more to make itself
felt, and I found myself commencing a sort of double-shuffle against
the boards of the vehicle. The snow was falling in thick flakes, and
with great difficulty our driver could keep the track, his jaded horses
sinking sometimes up to the traces in the rapidly forming drifts, and
floundering heavily along the now thoroughly hidden road. The cracks
of his whip sounded like pistol-shots against their jaded flanks, and
volleys of invectives issued from his lips.

"Oh, sons of animals!" (Whack.)

"Oh, spoiled one!" (Whack.) This to a brute which looked as if he had
never eaten a good feed of corn in his life. "Oh, woolly ones!" (Whack!
whack! whack!)

"Oh, Lord God!" This, as we were all upset into a snowdrift, the
sleigh being three parts overturned, and our Jehu precipitated in the
opposite direction.

"How far are we from the next halting-place?" suddenly inquired my
companion, with an ejaculation which showed that even his good temper
had given way under the cold and our situation.

"Only four versts, one of noble birth," replied the struggling Jehu,
who was busily engaged endeavoring to right the half-overturned sleigh.
A Russian verst about nightfall, and under such conditions as I have
endeavored to point out to the reader, is an unknown quantity. A Scotch
mile and a bit, an Irish league, a Spanish legua, or the German stunde,
are at all times calculated to call forth the wrath of the traveller,
but in no way equal to the first-named division of distance. For the
verst is barely two-thirds of an English mile, and when, after driving
yet for an hour, we were told there were still two versts more before
we could arrive at our halting-place, it began fully to dawn upon my
friend that either our driver's knowledge of distance, or otherwise his
veracity, was at fault.

At last we reached a long, straggling village, where our horses stopped
before a detached cottage. The proprietor came out to meet us at the
threshold. "Samovar, samovar!" (urn) said my companion. "Quick, quick!
samovar!" and hurrying by him and hastily throwing off our furs,
we endeavored to regain our lost circulation beside the walls of a
well-heated stove.

In a few minutes, and when the blood had begun once more to flow in its
proper channels, I began to look round and observe the other occupants
of the room. These were for the most part Jews, as could easily be seen
by that peculiarity of the nose which unfailingly denotes any member of
the tribe of Israel. Some half-open boxes of wares in the corner also
showed their trade. The men were hawkers of fancy jewelry and other
finery calculated to please the wives of the farmers or better-to-do
peasants in the neighborhood.

The smell was anything but agreeable, and the stench of sheep-skins,
unwashed humanity, and some oily cooking going on in a very dirty
frying-pan at last caused my companion to inquire if there was no other
room vacant. We were shown into a small adjoining apartment, where the
smell, though very pungent, was not quite so disagreeable as in the one
inhabited by the family.

"This is a little better," muttered my companion, unpacking his
portmanteau and taking out a teapot, with two small metal cases
containing tea and sugar. "Quick, Tëtka, Aunt!" he cried (this to
the old woman of the house), "quick with the samovar!" when an aged
female, who might have been any age from eighty to a hundred, for she
was almost bent double by decrepitude, carried in a large copper urn,
the steam hissing merrily under the influence of the red-hot charcoal

By this time I had unstrapped the mess tins, and was extracting their
contents. "Let me be the carver," said my friend, at the same time
trying to cut one of the cutlets with a knife; but he might as well
have tried to pierce an ironclad with a pea-shooter, for the meat was
turned into a solid lump of ice. It was as hard as a brick-bat, and
when we tried the bread it was equally impenetrable; in fact, it was
only after our provisions had been placed within the stove for about
ten minutes that they became in any way eatable.

In the mean time my companion had concocted a most delicious brew,
and with a large glass of pale or rather amber-colored tea, with a
thin slice of lemon floating on the top, I was beginning to realize
how pleasant it is to have been made thoroughly uncomfortable, for it
is only after having arrived at this point of misery that you can
thoroughly appreciate what real enjoyment is. "What is pleasure?" asked
a pupil of his master. "Absence of pain," was the philosopher's answer;
and let any one who doubts that a feeling of intense enjoyment can be
obtained from drinking a mere glass of tea, try a sleighing journey
through Russia with the thermometer at 20° Reaumur and a wind. [20°
Reaumur below zero equals -13° Fahrenheit.]

In almost an hour's time we were ready to start, but not so our driver,
and to the expostulations of my companion he replied, "No, little
father, there is a snow-storm; we might be lost, and I might be frozen.
Oh, Lord God! there are wolves; they might eat me; the ice in the river
might give way and we might all be drowned. For the sake of God, let us
stop here!"

"You shall have a good tea-present" [tip], I observed, "if you will
drive us."

"Oh, one of noble birth," was his answer, "we will stop here to-night,
and Batooshka, little father, also," pointing to my companion; "but
to-morrow we will have beautiful horses, and go like birds to the next

It was useless attempting to persuade him. Resigning ourselves to our
fate, my companion and self lay down on the planks to obtain what sleep
could be found, notwithstanding the noise that was going on in the next
room, the Jew peddlers being occupied in trying to sell some of their
wares and drive a bargain with the antique mistress of the house.

       [We cannot undertake to relate the adventures of our traveller in
     full, and it will suffice to say that, what with being overturned,
     lost, and frozen, his whole journey was the reverse of agreeable.
     He relates an amusing instance of his dealing with the Russians.]

Fortunately, there was a vacant room in the inn, and here I was at once
supplied with the smallest of basins and a table napkin. In the mean
time I despatched Nazar [his Tartar servant] to the post to desire the
inspector to send me three horses immediately. There was no time to
lose, and I wanted to hurry forward that afternoon.

Presently my man returned with a joyous countenance, which betokened
something disagreeable. In fact, in all countries where I have hitherto
travelled human nature, as typified in domestics, is much the same;
they invariably look pleased when they have a piece of bad news to
impart to their masters.

"What is it?" I asked. "Sleigh broken?"

"No, sir. No horses to be had; that is all. General Kauffmann went
through early this morning and took them all. The inspector says you
must wait till to-morrow, and that then he will have a team ready for
you. It is nice and warm," continued Nazar, looking at the stove. "We
will sleep here, little father; eat till we fill our clothes, and
continue our journey to-morrow."

"Nazar," I replied, giving my countenance the sternest expression it
could assume, "I command; you obey. We leave in an hour's time. Go and
hire some horses as far as the next stage. If you find it impossible to
obtain any at the station, try and get some from a private dealer; but
horses I must have."

In a few minutes my servant returned with a still more joyous
countenance than before. The inspector would not send any horses, and
no one could be found in the town who was inclined to let his animals
out on hire.

There was nothing to be done but to search myself. Nazar had evidently
made up his mind to sleep at Orsk. However, I had made up mine to
continue the journey.

Leaving the inn, I hailed a passing sleigh, the driver appearing to me
to have a more intelligent expression than his fellows. Getting into
the vehicle, I inquired if he knew of any one who had horses to hire.

"Yes," was the answer. One of his relatives had some; but the house
to which I was driven was shut up, and no one was at home. I began to
despair, and think that I should have as much difficulty in obtaining
horses at Orsk as I had in procuring a servant at Orenburg.

I now determined to try what gold, or rather silver, would do, and said
to the driver, "If you will take me to any one who has horses for hire,
I will give you a ruble for yourself."

"A whole ruble!" cried the man, with a broad grin of delight; and,
jumping off his seat, he ran to a little knot of Tartars, one of whom
was bargaining with the others for a basket of frozen fish, and began
to ply them with questions. In a minute he returned, "Let us go," he
said; and with a "Burr" (the sound which is used by the Russians to
urge on their horses) and a loud crack with his lash, he drove rapidly
in another direction.

I had arrived at the outskirts of the town, and we stopped before a
dirty-looking wooden cottage.

A tall man, dressed in a long coat reaching to his heels, bright yellow
trousers, which were stuffed into a pair of red leather boots, while an
enormous black sheep-skin cap covered his head, came out and asked my
business. I said that I wanted three horses to go to the next stage,
and asked him what he would drive me there for, the regular postal
tariff being about two rubles.

"One of noble birth," replied the fellow, "the roads are bad, but my
horses will gallop the whole way. They are excellent horses; all the
people in the town look at them and envy me. They say, how fat they
are! look, how round! The governor has not got any horses like mine in
his stable. I spoil them; I cherish them; and they gallop like the
wind. The people look, wonder, and admire. Come and see the dear little

"I have no doubt about it. They are excellent horses," I replied; "but
what will you take me for?"

"Let us say four rubles, your excellency, and give me one on account.
One little whole silver ruble; for the sake of God, let me put it in my
pocket, and we will bless you."

"All right," was my answer. "Send the horses to the Tzarskoe Selo Inn

Presently the fellow rushed into my room, and, bowing to the ground,
took off his cap with a grandiose air; then, drawing out the money I
had given him from some hidden recess in the neighborhood of his skin,
he thrust the ruble into my hand, and exclaimed, "Little father, my
uncle owns one of the horses; he is very angry. He says that he was not
consulted in the matter, and that he loves the animal like a brother.
My uncle will not let his horse leave the stable for less than five
rubles. What is to be done? I told him that I had agreed to take you,
and even showed him the money, but he is hard-hearted and stern."

"Very well," I said; "bring round the horses."

In a few minutes the fellow returned, and exclaimed, "One of noble
birth. I am ashamed."

"Quite right," I said; "you have every reason to be so. But go on; is
your uncle's horse dead?"

"No, one of noble birth, not so bad as that; but my brother is vexed.
He has a share in one of the animals; he will not let me drive him to
the next station for less than six rubles;" and the man, putting on
an expression in which cunning, avarice, and pretended sorrow were
blended, rubbed his forehead and added, "What shall we do?"

I said, "You have a grandmother?"

"Yes," he replied, much surprised. "How did you know that? I have; a
very old grandmother."

"Well," I continued, "go and tell her that, fearing lest she should be
annoyed if any accident were to happen during our journey,--for you
know misfortunes occur sometimes; God sends them," I added, piously.

"Yes, he does," interrupted the man; "we are simple people, your

"And, not wishing to hurt the old lady's feelings, should the fore leg
of your uncle's horse, or the hind leg of your brother's, suffer on the
road, I have changed my mind, and shall not go with you to-day, but
take post-horses to-morrow."

The man now became alarmed, thinking that he was about to lose his
fare. He rubbed his forehead violently, and then exclaimed, "I will
take your excellency for five rubles."

"But your brother?"

"Never mind; he is an animal; let us go."

"No," I answered. "I shall wait; the post-horses are beautiful horses.
I am told that they gallop like the wind; all the people in the town
look at them, and the inspector loves them."

"Let us say four rubles, your excellency."

"But your uncle might beat you. I should not like you to be hurt."

"No," was the answer; "we will go;" and the knotty point being thus
settled, we drove off, much to the dissatisfaction of my little
servant, Nazar, a blue-eyed siren in Orsk having, as the Orientals say,
made roast meat of his heart, in spite of his being a married man.


  Alpine Mountain Climbing            EDWARD WHYMPER                   121
  Amsterdam, Paris                    OLIVER H. G. LEIGH                 5
  Antwerp and Its People              ROSE G. KINGSLEY                 140
  Athens and Its Temples              J. L. T. PHILLIPS                 79
  Austria, The Capital of             JOHN RUSSELL                     201

  Berlin, The Streets of              MATTHEW WOODS                    165
  BROWNE, J. ROSS                     The Salt-Mines of Wieliczka      183
  BURNABY, FREDERICK                  A Russian Sleigh Journey         267

  CLARKE, EDWARD D.,                  The Seraglio on the Golden Horn  100
    "       "    ",                   Moscow In 1800                   257
  COLERIDGE, LANGLEY                  The Midnight Sun                 229
  COX, SAMUEL S.                      In the Russian Capital           236
  CROSSE, MRS. ANDREW                 From Hamburg to Stockholm        221

  Day in Rome, A                      BAYARD TAYLOR                     37
  DE AMICIS, EDMONDO                  A Typical Dutch City             131
  Dresden, Art Museums of             ELIZABETH PEAKE                  147
  Dutch City, A Typical               EDMONDO DE AMICIS                131

  Echternach, The Jumping Procession
      at                              M. OGLE                          193
  Eszterhazy Palaces, The             JOHN PAGET                       210
  Etna in Eruption, Mount             BAYARD TAYLOR                     61

  FIELD, HENRY M.                     The Isles of Greece               89
  Finland, A Visit to                 DAVID KER                        246
  Florence and Its Art Treasures      LIPPINCOTT, SARAH J.              16

  Golden Horn, The Seraglio on the    EDWARD D. CLARKE                 100
  Greece, The Isles of                HENRY M. FIELD                    89

  Hamburg to Stockholm, From          MRS. ANDREW CROSSE               221
  Heidelberg, The Students of         BAYARD TAYLOR                    158
  HOPE, STANLEY                       Zermatt and Its Scenery          112

  Isles of Greece, The                HENRY M. FIELD                    89
  Italy, The Lake Region of           ROBERT A. MCLEOD                  26

  Jumping Procession at Echternach,
       The                            M. OGLE                          193

  KER, DAVID                          A Visit to Finland               246
  KINGSLEY, ROSE G.                   Antwerp and Its People           140

  Lake Region of Italy                ROBERT A. MCLEOD                  26
  LEE, ALFRED E.                      Pompeii and Its Destroyer         48
  LEIGH, OLIVER H. G.                 Paris, Amsterdam                   5
  LIPPINCOTT, SARAH J.                Florence and Its Art Treasures    16

  MCLEOD, ROBERT A.                   The Lake Region of Italy          26
  Midnight Sun, The                   LANGLEY COLERIDGE                229
  Moscow in 1800                      EDWARD D. CLARKE                 257

  OGLE, M.                            The Jumping Procession at
                                           Echternach                  193

  PAGET, JOHN                         The Eszterhazy Palaces           210
  Paris, Amsterdam                    OLIVER H. G. LEIGH                 5
  PEAKE, ELIZABETH                    Art Museums of Dresden           147
  PHILLIPS, J. L. T.                  Athens and Its Temples            79
  Plebeian Life in Venice             HORACE ST. JOHN                   70
  Pompeii and Its Destroyer           ALFRED E. LEE                     48
  POWERS, STEPHEN                     A Ramble in Prussia              176
  Prussia, A Ramble in                STEPHEN POWERS                   176

  Rome, A Day in                      BAYARD TAYLOR                     37
  Rotterdam                           EDMONDO DE AMICIS                131
  RUSSELL, JOHN                       The Capital of Austria           201
  Russian Capital, In the             SAMUEL S. COX                    236
  Russian Sleigh Journey, A           FREDERICK BURNABY                267

  ST. JOHN, HORACE                    Plebeian Life in Venice           70
  Salt-Mines of Wieliczka             J. ROSS BROWNE                   183
  Seraglio on the Golden Horn         EDWARD D. CLARKE                 100
  Sleigh Journey, A Russian           FREDERICK BURNABY                267
  Stockholm, From Hamburg to          MRS. ANDREW CROSSE               221

  TAYLOR, BAYARD                      A Day in Rome                     37
     "      "                         Mount Etna in Eruption            61
     "      "                         The Students of Heidelberg       158

  Venice, Plebeian Life in            HORACE ST. JOHN                   70
  Vienna, The Capital of Austria      JOHN RUSSELL                     201

  WHYMPER, EDWARD                     Alpine Mountain Climbing         121
  WOODS, MATTHEW                      The Streets of Berlin            165

  Zermatt and Its Scenery             STANLEY HOPE                     112


Minor changes have been made to correct typesetters' errors; otherwise,
every effort has been made to remain true to the words and intent of the
authors, even if the spelling and punctuation do not conform to modern

Some words, such as stair-way, spell-bound, out-door, appear in both
hyphenated and non-hyphenated form. This may be attributed to the fact
that this is an anthology of numerous authors with individual styles.

Italic text is denoted by _underscores_ and bold text by
=equal signs=. The motto in the chapter on the salt mines was originally
typeset as bold, but also in a dark gothic font centered on its own line.

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