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Title: Our Hundred Days in Europe
Author: Holmes, Oliver Wendell
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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[Illustration: OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES AT THE AGE OF 82. From a painting
by Sarah W. Whitman]

OUR HUNDRED DAYS IN EUROPE

BY

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES



To

MY DAUGHTER AMELIA

(MRS. TURNER SARGENT)

MY FAITHFUL AND DEVOTED COMPANION

THIS OUTLINE OF OUR SUMMER EXCURSION

IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED



CONTENTS.

       *       *       *       *       *

INTRODUCTORY

A PROSPECTIVE VISIT



OUR HUNDRED DAYS IN EUROPE.

CHAPTER

I. THE VOYAGE.--LIVERPOOL.--CHESTER.--LONDON.--EPSOM

II. EPSOM.--LONDON.--WINDSOR

III. LONDON.--ISLE OF WIGHT.--CAMBRIDGE.--OXFORD.--YORK.--EDINBURGH

IV. STRATFORD-ON-AVON.--GREAT MALVERN.--TEWKESBURY.--BATH.--SALISBURY.
--STONEHENGE

V. STONEHENGE.--SALISBURY.--OLD SARUM.--BEMERTON.--BRIGHTON

VI. LONDON

VII. BOULOGNE.--PARIS.--LONDON.--LIVERPOOL.--THE HOMEWARD PASSAGE

VIII. GENERAL IMPRESSIONS.--MISCELLANEOUS OBSERVATIONS



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

       *       *       *       *       *

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES AT THE AGE OF 82. From a painting by Sarah W.
Whitman

ROBERT BROWNING

MAGDALEN COLLEGE, OXFORD

SALISBURY CATHEDRAL

PLACE DE LA CONCORDE



INTRODUCTORY.

A PROSPECTIVE VISIT.

       *       *       *       *       *

After an interval of more than fifty years, I propose taking a second
look at some parts of Europe. It is a Rip Van Winkle experiment which I
am promising myself. The changes wrought by half a century in the
countries I visited amount almost to a transformation. I left the
England of William the Fourth, of the Duke of Wellington, of Sir Robert
Peel; the France of Louis Philippe, of Marshal Soult, of Thiers, of
Guizot. I went from Manchester to Liverpool by the new railroad, the
only one I saw in Europe. I looked upon England from the box of a
stage-coach, upon France from the coupé of a diligence, upon Italy from
the cushion of a carrozza. The broken windows of Apsley House were still
boarded up when I was in London. The asphalt pavement was not laid in
Paris. The Obelisk of Luxor was lying in its great boat in the Seine, as
I remember it. I did not see it erected; it must have been an exciting
scene to witness, the engineer standing underneath, so as to be crushed
by the great stone if it disgraced him by falling in the process. As for
the dynasties which have overlaid each other like Dr. Schliemann's
Trojan cities, there is no need of moralizing over a history which
instead of Finis is constantly ending with What next?

With regard to the changes in the general conditions of society and the
advance in human knowledge, think for one moment what fifty years have
done! I have often imagined myself escorting some wise man of the past
to our Saturday Club, where we often have distinguished strangers as our
guests. Suppose there sat by me, I will not say Sir Isaac Newton, for he
has been too long away from us, but that other great man, whom Professor
Tyndall names as next to him in intellectual stature, as he passes along
the line of master minds of his country, from the days of Newton to our
own,--Dr. Thomas Young, who died in 1829. Would he or I be the listener,
if we were side by side? However humble I might feel in such a presence,
I should be so clad in the grandeur of the new discoveries, inventions,
ideas, I had to impart to him that I should seem to myself like the
ambassador of an Emperor. I should tell him of the ocean steamers, the
railroads that spread themselves like cobwebs over the civilized and
half-civilized portions of the earth, the telegraph and the telephone,
the photograph and the spectroscope. I should hand him a paper with the
morning news from London to read by the electric light, I should startle
him with a friction match, I should amaze him with the incredible truths
about anesthesia, I should astonish him with the later conclusions of
geology, I should dazzle him by the fully developed law of the
correlation of forces, I should delight him with the cell-doctrine, I
should confound him with the revolutionary apocalypse of Darwinism. All
this change in the aspects, position, beliefs, of humanity since the
time of Dr. Young's death, the date of my own graduation from college!

I ought to consider myself highly favored to have lived through such a
half century. But it seems to me that in walking the streets of London
and Paris I shall revert to my student days, and appear to myself like a
relic of a former generation. Those who have been born into the
inheritance of the new civilization feel very differently about it from
those who have lived their way into it. To the young and those
approaching middle age all these innovations in life and thought are as
natural, as much a matter of course, as the air they breathe; they form
a part of the inner framework of their intelligence, about which their
mental life is organized. To men and women of more than threescore and
ten they are external accretions, like the shell of a mollusk, the
jointed plates of an articulate. This must be remembered in reading
anything written by those who knew the century in its teens; it is not
likely to be forgotten, for the fact betrays itself in all the writer's
thoughts and expressions.

The story of my first visit to Europe is briefly this: my object was to
study the medical profession, chiefly in Paris, and I was in Europe
about two years and a half, from April, 1833, to October, 1835. I sailed
in the packet ship Philadelphia from New York for Portsmouth, where we
arrived after a passage of twenty-four days. A week was spent in
visiting Southampton, Salisbury, Stonehenge, Wilton, and the Isle of
Wight. I then crossed the Channel to Havre, from which I went to Paris.
In the spring and summer of 1834 I made my principal visit to England
and Scotland. There were other excursions to the Rhine and to Holland,
to Switzerland and to Italy, but of these I need say nothing here. I
returned in the packet ship Utica, sailing from Havre, and reaching New
York after a passage of forty-two days.

A few notes from my recollections will serve to recall the period of my
first visit to Europe, and form a natural introduction to the
experiences of my second. I take those circumstances which happen to
suggest themselves.

After a short excursion to Strasbourg, down the Rhine, and through
Holland, a small steamer took us from Rotterdam across the Channel, and
we found ourselves in the British capital.

The great sight in London is--London. No man understands himself as an
infinitesimal until he has been a drop in that ocean, a grain of sand on
that sea-margin, a mote in its sunbeam, or the fog or smoke which stands
for it; in plainer phrase, a unit among its millions.

I had two letters to persons in England: one to kind and worthy Mr.
Petty Vaughan, who asked me to dinner; one to pleasant Mr. William
Clift, conservator of the Hunterian Museum, who asked me to tea.

To Westminster Abbey. What a pity it could not borrow from Paris the
towers of Notre Dame! But the glory of its interior made up for this
shortcoming. Among the monuments, one to Rear Admiral Charles Holmes, a
descendant, perhaps, of another namesake, immortalized by Dryden in the
"Annus Mirabilis" as

  "the Achates of the general's fight."

He accompanied Wolfe in his expedition which resulted in the capture of
Quebec. My relative, I will take it for granted, as I find him in
Westminster Abbey. Blood is thicker than water,--and warmer than marble,
I said to myself, as I laid my hand on the cold stone image of the once
famous Admiral.

To the Tower, to see the lions,--of all sorts. There I found a "poor
relation," who made my acquaintance without introduction. A large
baboon, or ape,--some creature of that family,--was sitting at the open
door of his cage, when I gave him offence by approaching too near and
inspecting him too narrowly. He made a spring at me, and if the keeper
had not pulled me back would have treated me unhandsomely, like a
quadrumanous rough, as he was. He succeeded in stripping my waistcoat of
its buttons, as one would strip a pea-pod of its peas.

To Vauxhall Gardens. All Americans went there in those days, as they go
to Madame Tussaud's in these times. There were fireworks and an
exhibition of polar scenery. "Mr. Collins, the English PAGANINI,"
treated us to music on his violin. A comic singer gave us a song, of
which I remember the line,

  "You'll find it all in the agony bill."

This referred to a bill proposed by Sir Andrew Agnew, a noted Scotch
Sabbatarian agitator.

To the opera to hear Grisi. The king, William the Fourth, was in his
box; also the Princess Victoria, with the Duchess of Kent. The king
tapped with his white-gloved hand on the ledge of the box when he was
pleased with the singing.--To a morning concert and heard the real
Paganini. To one of the lesser theatres and heard a monologue by the
elder Mathews, who died a year or two after this time. To another
theatre, where I saw Listen in Paul Pry. Is it not a relief that I am
abstaining from description of what everybody has heard described?

To Windsor. Machinery to the left of the road. Recognized it instantly,
by recollection of the plate in "Rees's Cyclopedia," as Herschel's great
telescope.--Oxford. Saw only its outside. I knew no one there, and no
one knew me.--Blenheim,--the Titians best remembered of its objects on
exhibition. The great Derby day of the Epsom races. Went to the race
with a coach-load of friends and acquaintances. Plenipotentiary, the
winner, "rode by P. Connelly." So says Herring's picture of him, now
before me. Chestnut, a great "bullock" of a horse, who easily beat the
twenty-two that started. Every New England deacon ought to see one Derby
day to learn what sort of a world this is he lives in. Man is a sporting
as well as a praying animal.

Stratford-on-Avon. Emotions, but no scribbling of name on
walls.--Warwick. The castle. A village festival, "The Opening of the
Meadows," a true exhibition of the semi-barbarism which had come down
from Saxon times.--Yorkshire. "The Hangman's Stone." Story told in my
book called the "Autocrat," etc. York Cathedral.--Northumberland.
Alnwick Castle. The figures on the walls which so frightened my man John
when he ran away from Scotland in his boyhood. Berwick-on-Tweed. A
regatta going on; a very pretty show. Scotland. Most to be remembered,
the incomparable loveliness of Edinburgh.--Sterling. The view of the
Links of Forth from the castle. The whole country full of the romance of
history and poetry. Made one acquaintance in Scotland, Dr. Robert Knox,
who asked my companion and myself to breakfast. I was treated to five
entertainments in Great Britain: the breakfast just mentioned; lunch
with Mrs. Macadam,--the good old lady gave me bread, and not a stone;
dinner with Mr. Vaughan; one with Mr. Stanley, the surgeon; tea with Mr.
Clift,--for all which attentions I was then and am still grateful, for
they were more than I had any claim to expect. Fascinated with
Edinburgh. Strolls by Salisbury Crag; climb to the top of Arthur's Seat;
delight of looking up at the grand old castle, of looking down on
Holyrood Palace, of watching the groups on Calton Hill, wandering in the
quaint old streets and sauntering on the sidewalks of the noble avenues,
even at that time adding beauty to the new city. The weeks I spent in
Edinburgh are among the most memorable of my European experiences. To
the Highlands, to the Lakes, in short excursions; to Glasgow, seen to
disadvantage under gray skies and with slippery pavements. Through
England rapidly to Dover and to Calais, where I found the name of M.
Dessein still belonging to the hotel I sought, and where I read Sterne's
"Preface Written in a Désobligeante," sitting in the vehicle most like
one that I could find in the stable. From Calais back to Paris, where I
began working again.

All my travelling experiences, including a visit to Switzerland and
Italy in the summer and autumn of 1835, were merely interludes of my
student life in Paris. On my return to America, after a few years of
hospital and private practice, I became a Professor in Harvard
University, teaching Anatomy and Physiology, afterwards Anatomy alone,
for the period of thirty-five years, during part of which time I paid
some attention to literature, and became somewhat known as the author of
several works in prose and verse which have been well received. My
prospective visit will not be a professional one, as I resigned my
office in 1882, and am no longer known chiefly as a teacher or a
practitioner.

BOSTON, _April_, 1886.



OUR HUNDRED DAYS IN EUROPE

       *       *       *       *       *

I.


I begin this record with the columnar, self-reliant capital letter to
signify that there is no disguise in its egoisms. If it were a chapter
of autobiography, this is what the reader would look for as a matter of
course. Let him consider it as being such a chapter, and its egoisms
will require no apology.

I have called the record _our_ hundred days, because I was
accompanied by my daughter, without the aid of whose younger eyes and
livelier memory, and especially of her faithful diary, which no fatigue
or indisposition was allowed to interrupt, the whole experience would
have remained in my memory as a photograph out of focus.

We left Boston on the 29th of April, 1886, and reached New York on the
29th of August, four months of absence in all, of which nearly three
weeks were taken up by the two passages; one week was spent in Paris,
and the rest of the time in England and Scotland.

No one was so much surprised as myself at my undertaking this visit. Mr.
Gladstone, a strong man for his years, is reported as saying that he is
too old to travel, at least to cross the ocean, and he is younger than I
am,--just four months, to a day, younger. It is true that Sir Henry
Holland came to this country, and travelled freely about the world,
after he was eighty years old; but his pitcher went to the well once too
often, and met the usual doom of fragile articles. When my friends asked
me why I did not go to Europe, I reminded them of the fate of Thomas
Parr. He was only twice my age, and was getting on finely towards his
two hundredth year, when the Earl of Arundel carried him up to London,
and, being feasted and made a lion of, he found there a premature and
early grave at the age of only one hundred and fifty-two years. He lies
in Westminster Abbey, it is true, but he would probably have preferred
the upper side of his own hearth-stone to the under side of the slab
which covers him.

I should never have thought of such an expedition if it had not been
suggested by a member of my family that I should accompany my daughter,
who was meditating a trip to Europe. I remembered how many friends had
told me I ought to go; among the rest, Mr. Emerson, who had spoken to me
repeatedly about it. I had not seen Europe for more than half a century,
and I had a certain longing for one more sight of the places I
remembered, and others it would be a delight to look upon. There were a
few living persons whom I wished to meet. I was assured that I should be
kindly received in England. All this was tempting enough, but there was
an obstacle in the way which I feared, and, as it proved, not without
good reason. I doubted whether I could possibly breathe in a narrow
state-room. In certain localities I have found myself liable to attacks
of asthma, and, although I had not had one for years, I felt sure that I
could not escape it if I tried to sleep in a state-room.

I did not escape it, and I am glad to tell my story about it, because it
excuses some of my involuntary social shortcomings, and enables me to
thank collectively all those kind members of the profession who trained
all the artillery of the pharmacopoeia upon my troublesome enemy, from
bicarbonate of soda and Vichy water to arsenic and dynamite. One costly
contrivance, sent me by the Reverend Mr. Haweis, whom I have never duly
thanked for it, looked more like an angelic trump for me to blow in a
better world than what I believe it is, an inhaling tube intended to
prolong my mortal respiration. The best thing in my experience was
recommended to me by an old friend in London. It was Himrod's asthma
cure, one of the many powders, the smoke of which when burning is
inhaled. It is made in Providence, Rhode Island, and I had to go to
London to find it. It never failed to give at least temporary relief,
but nothing enabled me to sleep in my state-room, though I had it all to
myself, the upper berth being removed. After the first night and part of
the second, I never lay down at all while at sea. The captain allowed me
to have a candle and sit up in the saloon, where I worried through the
night as I best might. How could I be in a fit condition to accept the
attention of my friends in Liverpool, after sitting up every night for
more than a week; and how could I be in a mood for the catechizing of
interviewers, without having once lain down during the whole return
passage? I hope the reader will see why I mention these facts. They
explain and excuse many things; they have been alluded to, sometimes
with exaggeration, in the newspapers, and I could not tell my story
fairly without mentioning them. I got along well enough as soon as I
landed, and have had no return of the trouble since I have been back in
my own home. I will not advertise an assortment of asthma remedies for
sale, but I assure my kind friends I have had no use for any one of them
since I have walked the Boston pavements, drank, not the Cochituate, but
the Belmont spring water, and breathed the lusty air of my native
northeasters.

My companion and I required an attendant, and we found one of those
useful androgynous personages known as _courier-maids_, who had
travelled with friends of ours, and who was ready to start with us at a
moment's warning. She was of English birth, lively, short-gaited,
serviceable, more especially in the first of her dual capacities. So far
as my wants were concerned, I found her zealous and active in providing
for my comfort.

It was no sooner announced in the papers that I was going to England
than I began to hear of preparations to welcome me. An invitation to a
club meeting was cabled across the Atlantic. One of my countrywomen who
has a house in London made an engagement for me to meet friends at her
residence. A reverend friend, who thought I had certain projects in my
head, wrote to me about lecturing: where I should appear, what fees I
should obtain, and such business matters. I replied that I was going to
England to spend money, not to make it; to hear speeches, very possibly,
but not to make them; to revisit scenes I had known in my younger days;
to get a little change of my routine, which I certainly did; and to
enjoy a little rest, which I as certainly did not, at least in London.
In a word, I wished a short vacation, and had no thought of doing
anything more important than rubbing a little rust off and enjoying
myself, while at the same time I could make my companion's visit
somewhat pleasanter than it would be if she went without me. The visit
has answered most of its purposes for both of us, and if we have saved a
few recollections which our friends can take any pleasure in reading,
this slight record may be considered a work of supererogation.

The Cephalonia was to sail at half past six in the morning, and at that
early hour a company of well-wishers was gathered on the wharf at East
Boston to bid us good-by. We took with us many tokens of their
thoughtful kindness; flowers and fruits from Boston and Cambridge, and a
basket of champagne from a Concord friend whose company is as
exhilarating as the sparkling wine he sent us. With the other gifts came
a small tin box, about as big as a common round wooden match box. I
supposed it to hold some pretty gimcrack, sent as a pleasant parting
token of remembrance. It proved to be a most valued daily companion,
useful at all times, never more so than when the winds were blowing hard
and the ship was struggling with the waves. There must have been some
magic secret in it, for I am sure that I looked five years younger after
closing that little box than when I opened it. Time will explain its
mysterious power.

All the usual provisions for comfort made by seagoing experts we had
attended to. Impermeable rugs and fleecy shawls, head-gear to defy the
rudest northeasters, sea-chairs of ample dimensions, which we took care
to place in as sheltered situations as we could find,--all these were a
matter of course. Everybody stays on deck as much as possible, and lies
wrapped up and spread out at full length on his or her sea-chair, so
that the deck looks as if it had a row of mummies on exhibition. Nothing
is more comfortable, nothing, I should say, more indispensable, than a
hot-water bag,--or rather, _two_ hot-water bags; for they will
burst sometimes, as I found out, and a passenger who has become intimate
with one of these warm bosom friends feels its loss almost as if it were
human.

Passengers carry all sorts of luxuries on board, in the firm faith that
they shall be able to profit by them all. Friends send them various
indigestibles. To many all these well-meant preparations soon become a
mockery, almost an insult. It is a clear case of _Sic(k) vos non
vobis_. The tougher neighbor is the gainer by these acts of kindness;
the generosity of a sea-sick sufferer in giving away the delicacies
which seemed so desirable on starting is not ranked very high on the
books of the recording angel. With us three things were best: grapes,
oranges, and especially oysters, of which we had provided a half barrel
in the shell. The "butcher" of the ship opened them fresh for us every
day, and they were more acceptable than anything else.

Among our ship's company were a number of family relatives and
acquaintances. We formed a natural group at one of the tables, where we
met in more or less complete numbers. I myself never missed; my
companion, rarely. Others were sometimes absent, and sometimes came to
time when they were in a very doubtful state, looking as if they were
saying to themselves, with Lear,--

  "Down, thou climbing sorrow,
  Thy element's below."

As for the intellectual condition of the passengers, I should say that
faces were prevailingly vacuous, their owners half hypnotized, as it
seemed, by the monotonous throb and tremor of the great sea-monster on
whose back we were riding. I myself had few thoughts, fancies, emotions.
One thing above all struck me as never before,--the terrible solitude of
the ocean.

  "So lonely 'twas that God himself
  Scarce seemed there to be."

Whole days passed without our seeing a single sail. The creatures of the
deep which gather around sailing vessels are perhaps frightened off by
the noise and stir of the steamship. At any rate, we saw nothing more
than a few porpoises, so far as I remember.

No man can find himself over the abysses, the floor of which is paved
with wrecks and white with the bones of the shrieking myriads of human
beings whom the waves have swallowed up, without some thought of the
dread possibilities hanging over his fate. There is only one way to get
rid of them: that which an old sea-captain mentioned to me, namely, to
keep one's self under opiates until he wakes up in the harbor where he
is bound. I did not take this as serious advice, but its meaning is that
one who has all his senses about him cannot help being anxious. My old
friend, whose beard had been shaken in many a tempest, knew too well
that there is cause enough for anxiety.

What does the reader suppose was the source of the most ominous thought
which forced itself upon my mind, as I walked the decks of the mighty
vessel? Not the sound of the rushing winds, nor the sight of the
foam-crested billows; not the sense of the awful imprisoned force which
was wrestling in the depths below me. The ship is made to struggle with
the elements, and the giant has been tamed to obedience, and is manacled
in bonds which an earthquake would hardly rend asunder. No! It was the
sight of the _boats_ hanging along at the sides of the deck,--the
boats, always suggesting the fearful possibility that before another day
dawns one may be tossing about in the watery Sahara, shelterless,
fireless, almost foodless, with a fate before him he dares not
contemplate. No doubt we should feel worse without the boats; still they
are dreadful tell-tales. To all who remember Géricault's Wreck of the
Medusa,--and those who have seen it do not forget it,--the picture the
mind draws is one it shudders at. To be sure, the poor wretches in the
painting were on a raft, but to think of fifty people in one of these
open boats! Let us go down into the cabin, where at least we shall not
see them.

The first morning at sea revealed the mystery of the little round tin
box. The process of _shaving_, never a delightful one, is a very
unpleasant and awkward piece of business when the floor on which one
stands, the glass in which he looks, and he himself are all describing
those complex curves which make cycles and epicycles seem like
simplicity itself. The little box contained a reaping machine, which
gathered the capillary harvest of the past twenty-four hours with a
thoroughness, a rapidity, a security, and a facility which were a
surprise, almost a revelation. The idea of a guarded cutting edge is an
old one; I remember the "Plantagenet" razor, so called, with the
comb-like row of blunt teeth, leaving just enough of the edge free to do
its work. But this little affair had a blade only an inch and a half
long by three quarters of an inch wide. It had a long slender handle,
which took apart for packing, and was put together with the greatest
ease. It was, in short, a lawn-mower for the masculine growth of which
the proprietor wishes to rid his countenance. The mowing operation
required no glass, could be performed with almost reckless boldness, as
one cannot cut himself, and in fact had become a pleasant amusement
instead of an irksome task. I have never used any other means of shaving
from that day to this. I was so pleased with it that I exhibited it to
the distinguished tonsors of Burlington Arcade, half afraid they would
assassinate me for bringing in an innovation which bid fair to destroy
their business. They probably took me for an agent of the manufacturers;
and so I was, but not in their pay nor with their knowledge. I
determined to let other persons know what a convenience I had found the
"Star Razor" of Messrs. Kampf, of New York, without fear of reproach for
so doing. I know my danger,--does not Lord Byron say, "I have even been
accused of writing puffs for Warren's blacking"? I was once offered pay
for a poem in praise of a certain stove polish, but I declined. It is
pure good-will to my race which leads me to commend the Star Razor to
all who travel by land or by sea, as well as to all who stay at home.

With the first sight of land many a passenger draws a long sigh of
relief. Yet everybody knows that the worst dangers begin after we have
got near enough to see the shore, for there are several ways of landing,
not all of which are equally desirable. On Saturday, May 8th, we first
caught a glimpse of the Irish coast, and at half past four in the
afternoon we reached the harbor of Queenstown. A tug came off, bringing
newspapers, letters, and so forth, among the rest some thirty letters
and telegrams for me. This did not look much like rest, but this was
only a slight prelude to what was to follow. I was in no condition to go
on shore for sight-seeing, as some of the passengers did.

We made our way through the fog towards Liverpool, and arrived at 1.30,
on Sunday, May 9th. A special tug came to take us off: on it were the
American consul, Mr. Russell, the vice-consul, Mr. Sewall, Dr. Nevins,
and Mr. Rathbone, who came on behalf of our as yet unseen friend, Mr.
Willett, of Brighton, England. Our Liverpool friends were meditating
more hospitalities to us than, in our fatigued condition, we were equal
to supporting. They very kindly, however, acquiesced in our wishes,
which were for as much rest as we could possibly get before any attempt
to busy ourselves with social engagements. So they conveyed us to the
Grand Hotel for a short time, and then saw us safely off to the station
to take the train for Chester, where we arrived in due season, and soon
found ourselves comfortably established at the Grosvenor Arms Hotel. A
large basket of Surrey primroses was brought by Mr. Rathbone to my
companion. I had set before me at the hotel a very handsome floral harp,
which my friend's friend had offered me as a tribute. It made melody in
my ears as sweet as those hyacinths of Shelley's, the music of whose
bells was so

  "delicate, soft, and intense,
  It was felt like an odor within the sense."

At Chester we had the blissful security of being unknown, and were left
to ourselves. Americans know Chester better than most other old towns in
England, because they so frequently stop there awhile on their way from
Liverpool to London. It has a mouldy old cathedral, an old wall, partly
Roman, strange old houses with overhanging upper floors, which make
sheltered sidewalks and dark basements. When one sees an old house in
New England with the second floor projecting a foot or two beyond the
wall of the ground floor, the country boy will tell him that "them
haouses was built so th't th' folks upstairs could shoot the Injins when
they was tryin' to git threew th' door or int' th' winder." There are
plenty of such houses all over England, where there are no "Injins" to
shoot. But the story adds interest to the somewhat lean traditions of
our rather dreary past, and it is hardly worth while to disturb it. I
always heard it in my boyhood. Perhaps it is true; certainly it was a
very convenient arrangement for discouraging an untimely visit. The oval
lookouts in porches, common in our Essex County, have been said to
answer a similar purpose, that of warning against the intrusion of
undesirable visitors. The walk round the old wall of Chester is
wonderfully interesting and beautiful. At one part it overlooks a wide
level field, over which the annual races are run. I noticed that here as
elsewhere the short grass was starred with daisies. They are not
considered in place in a well-kept lawn. But remembering the cuckoo song
in "Love's Labour's Lost," "When daisies pied ... do paint the meadows
with delight," it was hard to look at them as unwelcome intruders.

The old cathedral seemed to me particularly mouldy, and in fact too
high-flavored with antiquity. I could not help comparing some of the
ancient cathedrals and abbey churches to so many old cheeses. They have
a tough gray rind and a rich interior, which find food and lodging for
numerous tenants who live and die under their shelter or their
shadow,--lowly servitors some of them, portly dignitaries others, humble
holy ministers of religion many, I doubt not,--larvae of angels, who
will get their wings by and by. It is a shame to carry the comparison so
far, but it is natural enough; for Cheshire cheeses are among the first
things we think of as we enter that section of the country, and this
venerable cathedral is the first that greets the eyes of great numbers
of Americans.

We drove out to Eaton Hall, the seat of the Duke of Westminster, the
many-millioned lord of a good part of London. It is a palace,
high-roofed, marble-columned, vast, magnificent, everything but
homelike, and perhaps homelike to persons born and bred in such
edifices. A painter like Paul Veronese finds a palace like this not too
grand for his banqueting scenes. But to those who live, as most of us
do, in houses of moderate dimensions, snug, comfortable, which the
owner's presence fills sufficiently, leaving room for a few visitors, a
vast marble palace is disheartening and uninviting. I never get into a
very large and lofty saloon without feeling as if I were a weak solution
of myself,--my personality almost drowned out in the flood of space
about me. The wigwam is more homelike than the cavern. Our wooden houses
are a better kind of wigwam; the marble palaces are artificial caverns,
vast, resonant, chilling, good to visit, not desirable to live in, for
most of us. One's individuality should betray itself in all that
surrounds him; he should _secrete_ his shell, like a mollusk; if he
can sprinkle a few pearls through it, so much the better. It is best,
perhaps, that one should avoid being a duke and living in a
palace,--that is, if he has his choice in the robing chamber where souls
are fitted with their earthly garments.

One of the most interesting parts of my visit to Eaton Hall was my tour
through the stables. The Duke is a famous breeder and lover of the turf.
Mr. Rathbone and myself soon made the acquaintance of the chief of the
stable department. Readers of Homer do not want to be reminded that
_hippodamoio_, horse-subduer, is the genitive of an epithet applied
as a chief honor to the most illustrious heroes. It is the last word of
the last line of the Iliad, and fitly closes the account of the funeral
pageant of Hector, the tamer of horses. We Americans are a little shy of
confessing that any title or conventional grandeur makes an impression
upon us. If at home we wince before any official with a sense of
blighted inferiority, it is by general confession the clerk at the hotel
office. There is an excuse for this, inasmuch as he holds our destinies
in his hands, and decides whether, in case of accident, we shall have to
jump from the third or sixth story window. Lesser grandeurs do not find
us very impressible. There is, however, something about the man who
deals in horses which takes down the spirit, however proud, of him who
is unskilled in equestrian matters and unused to the horse-lover's
vocabulary. We followed the master of the stables, meekly listening and
once in a while questioning. I had to fall back on my reserves, and
summoned up memories half a century old to gain the respect and win the
confidence of the great horse-subduer. He showed us various fine
animals, some in their stalls, some outside of them. Chief of all was
the renowned Bend Or, a Derby winner, a noble and beautiful bay,
destined in a few weeks to gain new honors on the same turf in the
triumph of his offspring Ormonde, whose acquaintance we shall make
by-and-by.

The next day, Tuesday, May 11th, at 4.25, we took the train for London.
We had a saloon car, which had been thoughtfully secured for us through
unseen, not unsuspected, agencies, which had also beautified the
compartment with flowers.

Here are some of my first impressions of England as seen from the
carriage and from the cars.--How very English! I recall Birket Foster's
Pictures of English Landscape,--a beautiful, poetical series of views,
but hardly more poetical than the reality. How thoroughly England _is
groomed_! Our New England out-of-doors landscape often looks as if it
had just got out of bed, and had not finished its toilet. The glowing
green of everything strikes me: green hedges in place of our
rail-fences, always ugly, and our rude stone-walls, which are not
wanting in a certain look of fitness approaching to comeliness, and are
really picturesque when lichen-coated, but poor features of landscape as
compared to these universal hedges. I am disappointed in the trees, so
far; I have not seen one large tree as yet. Most of those I see are of
very moderate dimensions, feathered all the way up their long slender
trunks, with a lop-sided mop of leaves at the top, like a wig which has
slipped awry. I trust that I am not finding everything _couleur de
rose_; but I certainly do find the cheeks of children and young
persons of such brilliant rosy hue as I do not remember that I have ever
seen before. I am almost ready to think this and that child's face has
been colored from a pink saucer. If the Saxon youth exposed for sale at
Rome, in the days of Pope Gregory the Great, had complexions like these
children, no wonder that the pontiff exclaimed, Not _Angli_, but
_angeli_! All this may sound a little extravagant, but I am giving
my impressions without any intentional exaggeration. How far these first
impressions may be modified by after-experiences there will be time
enough to find out and to tell. It is better to set them down at once
just as they are. A first impression is one never to be repeated; the
second look will see much that was not noticed before, but it will not
reproduce the sharp lines of the _first proof_, which is always
interesting, no matter what the eye or the mind fixes upon. "I see men
as trees walking." That first experience could not be mended. When
Dickens landed in Boston, he was struck with the brightness of all the
objects he saw,--buildings, signs, and so forth. When I landed in
Liverpool, everything looked very dark, very dingy, very massive, in the
streets I drove through. So in London, but in a week it all seemed
natural enough.

We got to the hotel where we had engaged quarters, at eleven o'clock in
the evening of Wednesday, the 12th of May. Everything was ready for
us,--a bright fire blazing and supper waiting. When we came to look at
the accommodations, we found they were not at all adapted to our needs.
It was impossible to stay there another night. So early the next morning
we sent out our courier-maid, a dove from the ark, to find us a place
where we could rest the soles of our feet. London is a nation of
something like four millions of inhabitants, and one does not feel easy
without he has an assured place of shelter. The dove flew all over the
habitable districts of the city,--inquired at as many as twenty houses.
No roosting-place for our little flock of three. At last the good angel
who followed us everywhere, in one shape or another, pointed the
wanderer to a place which corresponded with all our requirements and
wishes. This was at No. 17 Dover Street, Mackellar's Hotel, where we
found ourselves comfortably lodged and well cared for during the whole
time we were in London. It was close to Piccadilly and to Bond Street.
Near us, in the same range, were Brown's Hotel and Batt's Hotel, both
widely known to the temporary residents of London.

We were but partially recovered from the fatigues and trials of the
voyage when our arrival pulled the string of the social shower-bath, and
the invitations began pouring down upon us so fast that we caught our
breath, and felt as if we should be smothered. The first evening saw us
at a great dinner-party at our well-remembered friend Lady Harcourt's.
Twenty guests, celebrities and agreeable persons, with or without
titles. The tables were radiant with silver, glistening with choice
porcelain, blazing with a grand show of tulips. This was our "baptism of
fire" in that long conflict which lasts through the London season. After
dinner came a grand reception, most interesting, but fatiguing to
persons hardly as yet in good condition for social service. We lived
through it, however, and enjoyed meeting so many friends, known and
unknown, who were very cordial and pleasant in their way of receiving
us.

It was plain that we could not pretend to answer all the invitations
which flooded our tables. If we had attempted it, we should have found
no time for anything else. A secretary was evidently a matter of
immediate necessity. Through the kindness of Mrs. Pollock, we found a
young lady who was exactly fitted for the place. She was installed in
the little room intended for her, and began the work of accepting with
pleasure and regretting our inability, of acknowledging the receipt of
books, flowers, and other objects, and being very sorry that we could
not subscribe to this good object and attend that meeting in behalf of a
deserving charity,--in short, writing almost everything for us except
autographs, which I can warrant were always genuine. The poor young lady
was almost tired out sometimes, having to stay at her table, on one
occasion, so late as eleven in the evening, to get through her day's
work. I simplified matters for her by giving her a set of formulae as a
base to start from, and she proved very apt at the task of modifying
each particular letter to suit its purpose.

From this time forward continued a perpetual round of social
engagements. Breakfasts, luncheons, dinners, teas, receptions with
spread tables, two, three, and four deep of an evening, with receiving
company at our own rooms, took up the day, so that we had very little
time for common sight-seeing.

Of these kinds of entertainments, the breakfast, though pleasant enough
when the company is agreeable, as I always found it, is the least
convenient of all times and modes of visiting. You have already
interviewed one breakfast, and are expecting soon to be coquetting with
a tempting luncheon. If one had as many stomachs as a ruminant, he would
not mind three or four serious meals a day, not counting the tea as one
of them. The luncheon is a very convenient affair: it does not require
special dress; it is informal; it is soon over, and may be made light or
heavy, as one chooses. The afternoon tea is almost a necessity in London
life. It is considered useful as "a pick me up," and it serves an
admirable purpose in the social system. It costs the household hardly
any trouble or expense. It brings people together in the easiest
possible way, for ten minutes or an hour, just as their engagements or
fancies may settle it. A cup of tea at the right moment does for the
virtuous reveller all that Falstaff claims for a good sherris-sack, or
at least the first half of its "twofold operation:" "It ascends me into
the brain; dries me there all the foolish and dull and crudy vapors
which environ it; makes it apprehensive, quick, forgetive, full of
nimble, fiery and delectable shapes, which delivered over to the voice,
the tongue, which is the birth, becomes excellent wit."

But it must have the right brain to work upon, and I doubt if there is
any brain to which it is so congenial and from which it brings so much
as that of a first-rate London old lady. I came away from the great city
with the feeling that this most complex product of civilization was
nowhere else developed to such perfection. The octogenarian Londoness
has been in society,--let us say the highest society,--all her days. She
is as tough as an old macaw, or she would not have lasted so long. She
has seen and talked with all the celebrities of three generations, all
the beauties of at least half a dozen decades. Her wits have been kept
bright by constant use, and as she is free of speech it requires some
courage to face her. Yet nobody can be more agreeable, even to young
persons, than one of these precious old dowagers. A great beauty is
almost certainly thinking how she looks while one is talking with her;
an authoress is waiting to have one praise her book; but a grand old
lady, who loves London society, who lives in it, who understands young
people and all sorts of people, with her high-colored recollections of
the past and her grand-maternal interests in the new generation, is the
best of companions, especially over a cup of tea just strong enough to
stir up her talking ganglions.

A breakfast, a lunch, a tea, is a circumstance, an occurrence, in social
life, but a dinner is an event. It is the full-blown flower of that
cultivated growth of which those lesser products are the buds. I will
not try to enumerate, still less to describe, the various entertainments
to which we were invited, and many of which we attended. Among the
professional friends I found or made during this visit to London, none
were more kindly attentive than Dr. Priestley, who, with his charming
wife, the daughter of the late Robert Chambers, took more pains to carry
out our wishes than we could have asked or hoped for. At his house I
first met Sir James Paget and Sir William Gull, long well known to me,
as to the medical profession everywhere, as preëminent in their several
departments. If I were an interviewer or a newspaper reporter, I should
be tempted to give the impression which the men and women of distinction
I met made upon me; but where all were cordial, where all made me feel
as nearly as they could that I belonged where I found myself, whether
the ceiling were a low or a lofty one, I do not care to differentiate my
hosts and my other friends. _Fortemque Gyan fortemque Cloanthum_,--I
left my microscope and my test-papers at home.

Our friends, several of them, had a pleasant way of sending their
carriages to give us a drive in the Park, where, except in certain
permitted regions, the common numbered vehicles are not allowed to
enter. Lady Harcourt sent her carriage for us to go to her sister's,
Mrs. Mildmay's, where we had a pleasant little "tea," and met one of the
most agreeable and remarkable of those London old ladies I have spoken
of. For special occasions we hired an unnumbered carriage, with
professionally equipped driver and footman.

Mrs. Bloomfield Moore sent her carriage for us to take us to a lunch at
her house, where we met Mr. Browning, Sir Henry and Lady Layard, Oscar
Wilde and his handsome wife, and other well-known guests. After lunch,
recitations, songs, etc. House full of pretty things. Among other
curiosities a portfolio of drawings illustrating Keeley's motor, which,
up to this time, has manifested a remarkably powerful _vis
inertice_, but which promises miracles. In the evening a grand
reception at Lady Granville's, beginning (for us, at least) at eleven
o'clock. The house a palace, and A---- thinks there were a thousand
people there. We made the tour of the rooms, saw many great personages,
had to wait for our carriage a long time, but got home at one o'clock.

English people have queer notions about iced-water and ice-cream. "You
will surely die, eating such cold stuff," said a lady to my companion.
"Oh, no," she answered, "but I should certainly die were I to drink your
two cups of strong tea." I approved of this "counter" on the teacup, but
I did not think either of them was in much danger.

The next day Rev. Mr. Haweis sent his carriage, and we drove in the
Park. In the afternoon we went to our Minister's to see the American
ladies who had been presented at the drawing-room. After this, both of
us were glad to pass a day or two in comparative quiet, except that we
had a room full of visitors. So many persons expressed a desire to make
our acquaintance that we thought it would be acceptable to them if we
would give a reception ourselves. We were thinking how we could manage
it with our rooms at the hotel, which were not arranged so that they
could be thrown together. Still, we were planning to make the best of
them, when Dr. and Mrs. Priestley suggested that we should receive our
company at their house. This was a surprise, and a most welcome one, and
A---- and her kind friend busied themselves at once about the
arrangements.

We went to a luncheon at Lansdowne House, Lord Rosebery's residence, not
far from our hotel. My companion tells a little incident which may
please an American six-year-old: "The eldest of the four children,
Sibyl, a pretty, bright child of six, told me that she wrote a letter to
the Queen. I said, 'Did you begin, Dear Queen?' 'No,' she answered, 'I
began, Your Majesty, and signed myself, Your little humble servant,
Sibyl.'" A very cordial and homelike reception at this great house,
where a couple of hours were passed most agreeably.

On the following Sunday I went to Westminster Abbey to hear a sermon
from Canon Harford on A Cheerful Life. A lively, wholesome, and
encouraging discourse, such as it would do many a forlorn New England
congregation good to hear. In the afternoon we both went together to the
Abbey. Met our Beverly neighbor, Mrs. Vaughan, and adopted her as one of
our party. The seats we were to have were full, and we had to be stowed
where there was any place that would hold us. I was smuggled into a
stall, going through long and narrow passages, between crowded rows of
people, and found myself at last with a big book before me and a set of
official personages around me, whose duties I did not clearly
understand. I thought they might be mutes, or something of that sort,
salaried to look grave and keep quiet. After service we took tea with
Dean Bradley, and after tea we visited the Jerusalem Chamber. I had been
twice invited to weddings in that famous room: once to the marriage of
my friend Motley's daughter, then to that of Mr. Frederick Locker's
daughter to Lionel Tennyson, whose recent death has been so deeply
mourned. I never expected to see that Jerusalem in which Harry the
Fourth died, but there I found myself in the large panelled chamber,
with all its associations. The older memories came up but vaguely; an
American finds it as hard to call back anything over two or three
centuries old as a sucking-pump to draw up water from a depth of over
thirty-three feet and a fraction. After this A---- went to a musical
party, dined with the Vaughans, and had a good time among American
friends.

The next evening we went to the Lyceum Theatre to see Mr. Irving. He had
placed the Royal box at our disposal, so we invited our friends the
Priestleys to go with us, and we all enjoyed the evening mightily.
Between the scenes we went behind the curtain, and saw the very curious
and admirable machinery of the dramatic spectacle. We made the
acquaintance of several imps and demons, who were got up wonderfully
well. Ellen Terry was as fascinating as ever. I remembered that once
before I had met her and Mr. Irving behind the scenes. It was at the
Boston Theatre, and while I was talking with them a very heavy piece of
scenery came crashing down, and filled the whole place with dust. It was
but a short distance from where we were standing, and I could not help
thinking how near our several life-dramas came to a simultaneous
_exeunt omnes_.

A long visit from a polite interviewer, shopping, driving, calling,
arranging about the people to be invited to our reception, and an
agreeable dinner at Chelsea with my American friend, Mrs. Merritt,
filled up this day full enough, and left us in good condition for the
next, which was to be a very busy one.

In the Introduction to these papers, I mentioned the fact that more than
half a century ago I went to the famous Derby race at Epsom. I
determined, if possible, to see the Derby of 1886, as I had seen that of
1834. I must have spoken of this intention to some interviewer, for I
find the following paragraph in an English sporting newspaper, "The
Field," for May 29th, 1886:--

"The Derby has always been the one event in the racing year which
statesmen, philosophers, poets, essayists, and _littérateurs_
desire to see once in their lives. A few years since Mr. Gladstone was
induced by Lord Granville and Lord Wolverton to run down to Epsom on the
Derby day. The impression produced upon the Prime Minister's sensitive
and emotional mind was that the mirth and hilarity displayed by his
compatriots upon Epsom race-course was Italian rather than English in
its character. On the other hand, Gustave Doré, who also saw the Derby
for the first and only time in his life, exclaimed, as he gazed with
horror upon the faces below him, _Quelle scène brutale!_ We wonder
to which of these two impressions Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes inclined, if
he went last Wednesday to Epsom! Probably the well-known, etc., etc.--Of
one thing Dr. Holmes may rest finally satisfied: the Derby of 1886 may
possibly have seemed to him far less exciting than that of 1834; but
neither in 1834 nor in any other year was the great race ever won by a
better sportsman or more honorable man than the Duke of Westminster."

My desire to see the Derby of this year was of the same origin and
character as that which led me to revisit many scenes which I
remembered. I cared quite as much about renewing old impressions as
about getting new ones. I enjoyed everything which I had once seen all
the more from the blending of my recollections with the present as it
was before me.

The Derby day of 1834 was exceedingly windy and dusty. Our party, riding
on the outside of the coach, was half smothered with the dust, and
arrived in a very deteriorated condition, but recompensed for it by the
extraordinary sights we had witnessed. There was no train in those days,
and the whole road between London and Epsom was choked with vehicles of
all kinds, from four-in-hands to donkey-carts and wheelbarrows. My
friends and I mingled freely in the crowds, and saw all the "humours" of
the occasion. The thimble-riggers were out in great force, with their
light, movable tables, the cups or thimbles, and the "little jokers,"
and the coachman, the sham gentleman, the country greenhorn, all
properly got up and gathered about the table. I think we had "Aunt
Sally," too,--the figure with a pipe in her mouth, which one might shy a
stick at for a penny or two and win something, I forget what. The
clearing the course of stragglers, and the chasing about of the
frightened little dog who had got in between the thick ranks of
spectators, reminded me of what I used to see on old "artillery
election" days.

It was no common race that I went to see in 1834. "It is asserted in the
columns of a contemporary that Plenipotentiary was absolutely the best
horse of the century." This was the winner of the race I saw so long
ago. Herring's colored portrait, which I have always kept, shows him as
a great, powerful chestnut horse, well deserving the name of "bullock,"
which one of the jockeys applied to him. "Rumor credits Dr. Holmes," so
"The Field" says, "with desiring mentally to compare his two Derbies
with each other." I was most fortunate in my objects of comparison. The
horse I was about to see win was not unworthy of being named with the
renowned champion of my earlier day. I quote from a writer in the
"London Morning Post," whose words, it will be seen, carry authority
with them:--

"Deep as has hitherto been my reverence for Plenipotentiary, Bay
Middleton, and Queen of Trumps from hearsay, and for Don John, Crucifix,
etc., etc., from my own personal knowledge, I am inclined to award the
palm to Ormonde as the best three-year-old I have ever seen during close
upon half a century's connection with the turf."

Ormonde, the Duke of Westminster's horse, was the son of that other
winner of the Derby, Bend Or, whom I saw at Eaton Hall.

Perhaps some coeval of mine may think it was a rather youthful idea to
go to the race. I cannot help that. I was off on my first long vacation
for half a century, and had a right to my whims and fancies. But it was
one thing to go in with a vast crowd at five and twenty, and another
thing to run the risks of the excursion at more than thrice that age. I
looked about me for means of going safely, and could think of nothing
better than to ask one of the pleasantest and kindest of gentlemen, to
whom I had a letter from Mr. Winthrop, at whose house I had had the
pleasure of making his acquaintance. Lord Rosebery suggested that the
best way would be for me to go in the special train which was to carry
the Prince of Wales. First, then, I was to be introduced to his Royal
Highness, which office was kindly undertaken by our very obliging and
courteous Minister, Mr. Phelps. After this all was easily arranged, and
I was cared for as well as if I had been Mr. Phelps himself. On the
grand stand I found myself in the midst of the great people, who were
all very natural, and as much at their ease as the rest of the world.
The Prince is of a lively temperament and a very cheerful aspect,--a
young girl would call him "jolly" as well as "nice." I recall the story
of "Mr. Pope" and his Prince of Wales, as told by Horace Walpole. "Mr.
Pope, you don't love princes." "Sir, I beg your pardon." "Well, you
don't love kings, then." "Sir, I own I love the lion best before his
claws are grown." Certainly, nothing in Prince Albert Edward suggests
any aggressive weapons or tendencies. The lovely, youthful-looking,
gracious Alexandra, the always affable and amiable Princess Louise, the
tall youth who sees the crown and sceptre afar off in his dreams, the
slips of girls so like many school misses we left behind us,--all these
grand personages, not being on exhibition, but off enjoying themselves,
just as I was and as other people were, seemed very much like their
fellow-mortals. It is really easier to feel at home with the highest
people in the land than with the awkward commoner who was knighted
yesterday. When "My Lord and Sir Paul" came into the Club which
Goldsmith tells us of, the hilarity of the evening was instantly
checked. The entrance of a dignitary like the present Prince of Wales
would not have spoiled the fun of the evening. If there is any one
accomplishment specially belonging to princes, it is that of making the
persons they meet feel at ease.

The grand stand to which I was admitted was a little privileged
republic. I remember Thackeray's story of his asking some simple
question of a royal or semi-royal personage whom he met in the courtyard
of an hotel, which question his Highness did not answer, but called a
subordinate to answer for him. I had been talking some time with a tall,
good-looking gentleman, whom I took for a nobleman to whom I had been
introduced. Something led me to think I was mistaken in the identity of
this gentleman. I asked him, at last, if he were not So and So. "No," he
said, "I am Prince Christian." You are a Christian prince, anyhow, I
said to myself, if I may judge by your manners.

I once made a similar mistake in addressing a young fellow-citizen of
some social pretensions. I apologized for my error.

"No offence," he answered.

_Offence_ indeed! I should hope not. But he had not the "_manière
de prince_", or he would never have used that word.

I must say something about the race I had taken so much pains to see.
There was a preliminary race, which excited comparatively little
interest. After this the horses were shown in the paddock, and many of
our privileged party went down from the stand to look at them. Then they
were brought out, smooth, shining, fine-drawn, frisky, spirit-stirring
to look upon,--most beautiful of all the bay horse Ormonde, who could
hardly be restrained, such was his eagerness for action. The horses
disappear in the distance.--They are off,--not yet distinguishable, at
least to me. A little waiting time, and they swim into our ken, but in
what order of precedence it is as yet not easy to say. Here they come!
Two horses have emerged from the ruck, and are sweeping, rushing,
storming, towards us, almost side by side. One slides by the other, half
a length, a length, a length and a half. Those are Archer's colors, and
the beautiful bay Ormonde flashes by the line, winner of the Derby of
1886. "The Bard" has made a good fight for the first place, and comes in
second. Poor Archer, the king of the jockeys! He will bestride no more
Derby winners. A few weeks later he died by his own hand.

While the race was going on, the yells of the betting crowd beneath us
were incessant. It must have been the frantic cries and movements of
these people that caused Gustave Doré to characterize it as a brutal
scene. The vast mob which thronged the wide space beyond the shouting
circle just round us was much like that of any other fair, so far as I
could see from my royal perch. The most conspicuous object was a man on
an immensely tall pair of stilts, stalking about among the crowd. I
think it probable that I had as much enjoyment in forming one of the
great mob in 1834 as I had among the grandeurs in 1886, but the last is
pleasanter to remember and especially to tell of.

After the race we had a luncheon served us, a comfortable and
substantial one, which was very far from unwelcome. I did not go to the
Derby to bet on the winner. But as I went in to luncheon, I passed a
gentleman standing in custody of a plate half covered with sovereigns.
He politely asked me if I would take a little paper from a heap there
was lying by the plate, and add a sovereign to the collection already
there. I did so, and, unfolding my paper, found it was a blank, and
passed on. The pool, as I afterwards learned, fell to the lot of the
Turkish Ambassador. I found it very windy and uncomfortable on the more
exposed parts of the grand stand, and was glad that I had taken a shawl
with me, in which I wrapped myself as if I had been on shipboard. This,
I told my English friends, was the more civilized form of the Indian's
blanket. My report of the weather does not say much for the English May,
but it is generally agreed upon that this is a backward and unpleasant
spring.

After my return from the race we went to a large dinner at Mr. Phelps's
house, where we met Mr. Browning again, and the Lord Chancellor
Herschell, among others. Then to Mrs. Cyril Flower's, one of the most
sumptuous houses in London; and after that to Lady Rothschild's, another
of the private palaces, with ceilings lofty as firmaments, and walls
that might have been copied from the New Jerusalem. There was still
another great and splendid reception at Lady Dalhousie's, and a party at
Mrs. Smith's, but we were both tired enough to be willing to go home
after what may be called a pretty good day's work at enjoying ourselves.

We had been a fortnight in London, and were now inextricably entangled
in the meshes of the golden web of London social life.



II.


The reader who glances over these papers, and, finding them too full of
small details and the lesser personal matters which belong naturally to
private correspondences, turns impatiently from them, has my entire
sympathy and good-will. He is not one of those for whom these pages are
meant. Having no particular interest in the writer or his affairs, he
does not care for the history of "the migrations from the blue bed to
the brown" and the many Mistress Quicklyisms of circumstantial
narrative. Yet all this may be pleasant reading to relatives and
friends.

But I must not forget that a new generation of readers has come into
being since I have been writing for the public, and that a new
generation of aspiring and brilliant authors has grown into general
recognition. The dome of Boston State House, which is the centre of my
little universe, was glittering in its fresh golden pellicle before I
had reached the scriptural boundary of life. It has lost its lustre now,
and the years which have dulled its surface have whitened the dome of
that fragile structure in which my consciousness holds the session of
its faculties. Time is not to be cheated. It is easy to talk of
perennial youth, and to toy with the flattering fictions which every
ancient personage accepts as true so far as he himself is concerned, and
laughs at as foolish talk when he hears them applied to others. When, in
my exulting immaturity, I wrote the lines not unknown to the reading
public under the name of "The Last Leaf", I spoke of the possibility
that I myself might linger on the old bough until the buds and blossoms
of a new spring were opening and spreading all around me. I am not as
yet the solitary survivor of my literary contemporaries, and,
remembering who my few coevals are, it may well be hoped that I shall
not be. But I feel lonely, very lonely, in the pages through which I
wander. These are new names in the midst of which I find my own. In
another sense I am very far from alone. I have daily assurances that I
have a constituency of known and unknown personal friends, whose
indulgence I have no need of asking. I know there are readers enough who
will be pleased to follow me in my brief excursion, _because I am
myself_, and will demand no better reason. If I choose to write for
them, I do no injury to those for whom my personality is an object of
indifference. They will find on every shelf some publications which are
not intended for them, and which they prefer to let alone. No person is
expected to help himself to everything set before him at a public table.
I will not, therefore, hesitate to go on with the simple story of our
Old World experiences.

Thanks to my Indian blanket,--my shawl, I mean,--I found myself nothing
the worse for my manifold adventures of the 27th of May. The cold wind
sweeping over Epsom downs reminded me of our own chilling easterly
breezes; especially the northeasterly ones, which are to me less
disagreeable than the southeasterly. But the poetical illusion about an
English May,--

  "Zephyr with Aurora playing,
  As he met her once a-Maying,"--

and all that, received a shrewd thrust. Zephyr ought to have come in an
ulster, and offered Aurora a warm petticoat. However, in spite of all
difficulties, I brought off my recollections of the Derby of 1886 in
triumph, and am now waiting for the colored portrait of Ormonde with
Archer on his back,--Archer, the winner of five Derby races, one of
which was won by the American horse Iroquois. When that picture, which I
am daily expecting, arrives, I shall have it framed and hung by the side
of Herring's picture of Plenipotentiary, the horse I saw win the Derby
in 1834. These two, with an old portrait of the great Eclipse, who, as
my engraving of 1780 (Stubbs's) says, "was never beat, or ever had
occation for Whip or Spur," will constitute my entire sporting gallery.
I have not that vicious and demoralizing love of horse-flesh which makes
it next to impossible to find a perfectly honest hippophile. But a racer
is the realization of an ideal quadruped,--

  "A pard-like spirit, beautiful and swift;"

so ethereal, so bird-like, that it is no wonder that the horse about
whom those old story-tellers lied so stoutly,--telling of his running a
mile in a minute,--was called Flying Childers.

The roses in Mrs. Pfeiffer's garden were hardly out of flower when I
lunched with her at her pretty villa at Putney. There I met Mr.
Browning, Mr. Holman Hunt, Mrs. Ritchie, Miss Anna Swanwick, the
translator of Æschylus, and other good company, besides that of my
entertainer.

One of my very agreeable experiences was a call from a gentleman with
whom I had corresponded, but whom I had never met. This was Mr. John
Bellows, of Gloucester, publisher, printer, man of letters, or rather of
words; for he is the author of that truly remarkable little manual, "The
Bona Fide Pocket Dictionary of the French and English Languages." To the
review of this little book, which is dedicated to Prince Lucien
Bonaparte, the "London Times" devoted a full column. I never heard any
one who had used it speak of it except with admiration. The modest
Friend may be surprised to find himself at full length in my pages, but
those who know the little miracle of typography, its conciseness,
completeness, arrangement, will not wonder that I was gratified to see
the author, who sent it to me, and who has written me most interesting
letters on the local antiquities of Gloucester and its neighborhood.

We lunched that day at Lady Camperdown's, where we were happy to meet
Miss Frances Power Cobbe. In the afternoon we went by invitation to a
"tea and talk" at the Reverend Mr. Haweis's, at Chelsea. We found the
house close packed, but managed to get through the rooms, shaking
innumerable hands of the reverend gentleman's parishioners and other
visitors. It was very well arranged, so as not to be too fatiguing, and
we left the cordial gathering in good condition. We drove home with
Bishop and Mrs. Ellicott.

After this Sir James Paget called, and took me to a small and early
dinner-party; and A---- went with my secretary, the young lady of whom I
have spoken, to see "Human Nature," at Drury Lane Theatre.

On the following day, after dining with Lady Holland (wife of Sir Henry,
niece of Macaulay), we went across the street to our neighbor's, Lady
Stanley's. There was to be a great meeting of schoolmistresses, in whose
work her son, the Honorable Lyulph Stanley, is deeply interested. Alas!
The schoolma'ams were just leaving as we entered the door, and all we
saw of them was the trail of their descending robes. I was very sorry
for this, for I have a good many friends among our own
schoolmistresses,--friends whom I never saw, but know through the kind
words they have addressed to me.

No place in London looks more reserved and exclusive than Devonshire
House, standing back behind its high wall, extending along Piccadilly.
There is certainly nothing in its exterior which invites intrusion. We
had the pleasure of taking tea in the great house, accompanying our
American friend, Lady Harcourt, and were graciously received and
entertained by Lady Edward Cavendish. Like the other great houses, it is
a museum of paintings, statues, objects of interest of all sorts. It
must be confessed that it is pleasanter to go through the rooms with one
of the ladies of the household than under the lead of a liveried
servant. Lord Hartington came in while we were there. All the men who
are distinguished in political life become so familiar to the readers of
"Punch" in their caricatures, that we know them at sight. Even those who
can claim no such public distinction are occasionally the subjects of
the caricaturist, as some of us have found out for ourselves. A good
caricature, which seizes the prominent features and gives them the
character Nature hinted, but did not fully carry out, is a work of
genius. Nature herself is a remorseless caricaturist, as our daily
intercourse with our fellow men and women makes evident to us, and as is
curiously illustrated in the figures of Charles Lebrun, showing the
relations between certain human faces and those of various animals.
Hardly an English statesman in bodily presence could be mistaken by any
of "Punch's" readers.

On the same day that we made this quiet visit we attended a great and
ceremonious assembly. There were two parts in the programme, in the
first of which I was on the stage _solus_,--that is, without my
companion; in the second we were together. This day, Saturday, the 29th
of May, was observed as the Queen's birthday, although she was born on
the 24th. Sir William Harcourt gave a great dinner to the officials of
his department, and later in the evening Lady Rosebery held a reception
at the Foreign Office. On both these occasions everybody is expected to
be in court dress, but my host told me I might present myself in
ordinary evening dress. I thought that I might feel awkwardly among so
many guests, all in the wedding garments, knee-breeches and the rest,
without which I ventured among them. I never passed an easier evening in
any company than among these official personages. Sir William took me
under the shield of his ample presence, and answered all my questions
about the various notable personages at his table in a way to have made
my fortune if I had been a reporter. From the dinner I went to Mrs.
Gladstone's, at 10 Downing Street, where A---- called for me. She had
found a very small and distinguished company there, Prince Albert Victor
among the rest. At half past eleven we walked over to the Foreign Office
to Lady Rosebery's reception.

Here Mr. Gladstone was of course the centre of a group, to which I was
glad to add myself. His features are almost as familiar to me as my own,
for a photograph of him in his library has long stood on my revolving
bookcase, with a large lens before it. He is one of a small circle of
individuals in whom I have had and still have a special personal
interest. The year 1809, which introduced me to atmospheric existence,
was the birth-year of Gladstone, Tennyson, Lord Houghton, and Darwin. It
seems like an honor to have come into the world in such company, but it
is more likely to promote humility than vanity in a common mortal to
find himself coeval with such illustrious personages. Men born in the
same year watch each other, especially as the sands of life begin to run
low, as we can imagine so many damaged hour-glasses to keep an eye on
each other. Women, of course, never know who are their contemporaries.

Familiar to me as were the features of Mr. Gladstone, I looked upon him
with astonishment. For he stood before me with epaulets on his shoulders
and a rapier at his side, as military in his aspect as if he had been
Lord Wolseley, to whom I was introduced a short time afterwards. I was
fortunate enough to see and hear Mr. Gladstone on a still more memorable
occasion, and can afford to leave saying what were my impressions of the
very eminent statesman until I speak of that occasion.

A great number of invitations had been given out for the reception at
Lady Rosebery's,--over two thousand, my companion heard it said.
Whatever the number was, the crowd was very great,--so great that one
might well feel alarmed for the safety of any delicate person who was in
the _pack_ which formed itself at one place in the course of the
evening. Some obstruction must have existed _a fronte_, and the
_vis a tergo_ became fearful in its pressure on those who were
caught in the jam. I began thinking of the crushes in which I had been
caught, or which I had read and heard of: the terrible time at the
execution of Holloway and Haggerty, where some forty persons were
squeezed or trampled to death; the Brooklyn Theatre and other similar
tragedies; the crowd I was in at the unveiling of the statue on the
column of the Place Vendome, where I felt as one may suppose Giles Corey
did when, in his misery, he called for "more weight" to finish him. But
there was always a _deus ex machina_ for us when we were in
trouble. Looming up above the crowd was the smiling and encouraging
countenance of the ever active, always present, always helpful Mr.
Smalley. He cleared a breathing space before us. For a short time it was
really a formidable wedging together of people, and if a lady had
fainted in the press, she might have run a serious risk before she could
have been extricated. No more "marble halls" for us, if we had to
undergo the _peine forte et dure_ as the condition of our presence!
We were both glad to escape from this threatened asphyxia, and move
freely about the noble apartments. Lady Rosebery, who was kindness
itself, would have had us stay and sit down in comfort at the
supper-table, after the crowd had thinned, but we were tired with all we
had been through, and ordered our carriage. _Ordered our carriage!_

  "I can call spirits from the vasty deep." ...
  _But will they come when you do call for them?_"

The most formidable thing about a London party is getting away from it.
"C'est le _dernier_ pas qui coute." A crowd of anxious persons in
retreat is hanging about the windy door, and the breezy stairway, and
the airy hall.

A stentorian voice, hard as that of Rhadamanthus, exclaims,--

"Lady Vere de Vere's carriage stops the way!"

If my Lady Vere de Vere is not on hand, and that pretty quickly, off
goes her carriage, and the stern voice bawls again,--

"Mrs. Smith's carriage stops the way!"

Mrs. Smith's particular Smith may be worth his millions and live in his
marble palace; but if Mrs. Smith thinks her coachman is going to stand
with his horses at that door until she appears, she is mistaken, for she
is a minute late, and now the coach moves on, and Rhadamanthus calls
aloud,--

"Mrs. Brown's carriage stops the way!"

Half the lung fevers that carry off the great people are got waiting for
their carriages.

I know full well that many readers would be disappointed if I did not
mention some of the grand places and bring in some of the great names
that lend their lustre to London society. We were to go to a fine
musical party at Lady Rothschild's on the evening of the 30th of May. It
happened that the day was Sunday, and if we had been as punctilious as
some New England Sabbatarians, we might have felt compelled to decline
the tempting invitation. But the party was given by a daughter of
Abraham, and in every Hebrew household the true Sabbath was over. We
were content for that evening to shelter ourselves under the old
dispensation.

The party, or concert, was a very brilliant affair. Patti sang to us,
and a tenor, and a violinist played for us. How we two Americans came to
be in so favored a position I do not know; all I do know is that we were
shown to our places, and found them very agreeable ones. In the same row
of seats was the Prince of Wales, two chairs off from A----'s seat.
Directly in front of A---- was the Princess of Wales, "in ruby velvet,
with six rows of pearls encircling her throat, and two more strings
falling quite low;" and next her, in front of me, the startling presence
of Lady de Grey, formerly Lady Lonsdale, and before that Gladys Herbert.
On the other side of the Princess sat the Grand Duke Michael of Russia.

As we are among the grandest of the grandees, I must enliven my sober
account with an extract from my companion's diary:--

"There were several great beauties there, Lady Claude Hamilton, a
queenly blonde, being one. Minnie Stevens Paget had with her the pretty
Miss Langdon, of New York. Royalty had one room for supper, with its
attendant lords and ladies. Lord Rothschild took me down to a long table
for a sit-down supper,--there were some thirty of us. The most superb
pink orchids were on the table. The [Thane] of ---- sat next me, and how
he stared before he was introduced! ... This has been the finest party
we have been to, sitting comfortably in such a beautiful ball-room,
gazing at royalty in the flesh, and at the shades of departed beauties
on the wall, by Sir Joshua and Gainsborough. It was a new experience to
find that the royal lions fed upstairs, and mixed animals below!"

A visit to Windsor had been planned, under the guidance of a friend
whose kindness had already shown itself in various forms, and who,
before we left England, did for us more than we could have thought of
owing to any one person. This gentleman, Mr. Willett, of Brighton,
called with Mrs. Willett to take us on the visit which had been arranged
between us.

Windsor Castle, which everybody knows, or can easily learn, all about,
is one of the largest of those huge caverns in which the descendants of
the original cave men, when they have reached the height of human
grandeur, delight to shelter themselves. It seems as if such a great
hollow quarry of rock would strike a chill through every tenant, but
modern improvements reach even the palaces of kings and queens, and the
regulation temperature of the castle, or of its inhabited portions, is
fixed at sixty-five degrees of Fahrenheit. The royal standard was not
floating from the tower of the castle, and everything was quiet and
lonely. We saw all we wanted to,--pictures, furniture, and the rest. My
namesake, the Queen's librarian, was not there to greet us, or I should
have had a pleasant half-hour in the library with that very polite
gentleman, whom I had afterwards the pleasure of meeting in London.

After going through all the apartments in the castle that we cared to
see, or our conductress cared to show us, we drove in the park, along
the "three-mile walk," and in the by-roads leading from it. The
beautiful avenue, the open spaces with scattered trees here and there,
made this a most delightful excursion. I saw many fine oaks, one about
sixteen feet of honest girth, but no one which was very remarkable. I
wished I could have compared the handsomest of them with one in Beverly,
which I never look at without taking my hat off. This is a young tree,
with a future before it, if barbarians do not meddle with it, more
conspicuous for its spread than its circumference, stretching not very
far from a hundred feet from bough-end to bough-end. I do not think I
saw a specimen of the British _Quercus robur_ of such consummate
beauty. But I know from Evelyn and Strutt what England has to boast of,
and I will not challenge the British oak.

Two sensations I had in Windsor park, or forest, for I am not quite sure
of the boundary which separates them. The first was the lovely sight of
the _hawthorn_ in full bloom. I had always thought of the hawthorn
as a pretty shrub, growing in hedges; as big as a currant bush or a
barberry bush, or some humble plant of that character. I was surprised
to see it as a tree, standing by itself, and making the most delicious
roof a pair of young lovers could imagine to sit under. It looked at a
little distance like a young apple-tree covered with new-fallen snow. I
shall never see the word hawthorn in poetry again without the image of
the snowy but far from chilling canopy rising before me. It is the very
bower of young love, and must have done more than any growth of the
forest to soften the doom brought upon man by the fruit of the forbidden
tree. No wonder that

  "In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of
  love,"

with the object of his affections awaiting him in this boudoir of
nature. What a pity that Zekle, who courted Huldy over the apples she
was peeling, could not have made love as the bucolic youth does, when

  "Every shepherd tells his tale
  Under the hawthorn in the dale!"

(I will have it _love_-tale, in spite of Warton's comment.) But
I suppose it does not make so much difference, for love transmutes the
fruit in Huldy's lap into the apples of the Hesperides.

In this way it is that the associations with the poetry we remember come
up when we find ourselves surrounded by English scenery. The great poets
build temples of song, and fill them with images and symbols which move
us almost to adoration; the lesser minstrels fill a panel or gild a
cornice here and there, and make our hearts glad with glimpses of
beauty. I felt all this as I looked around and saw the hawthorns in full
bloom, in the openings among the oaks and other trees of the forest.
Presently I heard a sound to which I had never listened before, and
which I have never heard since:--

Coooo--coooo!

Nature had sent one cuckoo from her aviary to sing his double note for
me, that I might not pass away from her pleasing show without once
hearing the call so dear to the poets. It was the last day of spring. A
few more days, and the solitary voice might have been often heard; for
the bird becomes so common as to furnish Shakespeare an image to fit
"the skipping king:"--

  "He was but as the cuckoo is in June,
  Heard, not regarded."

For the lyric poets the cuckoo is "companion of the spring," "darling of
the spring;" coming with the daisy, and the primrose, and the blossoming
sweet-pea. Where the sound came from I could not tell; it puzzled
Wordsworth, with younger eyes than mine, to find whence issued

     "that cry
  Which made me look a thousand ways
  In bush, and tree, and sky."

Only one hint of the prosaic troubled my emotional delight: I could not
help thinking how capitally the little rogue imitated the cuckoo clock,
with the sound of which I was pretty well acquainted.

On our return from Windsor we had to get ready for another great dinner
with our Minister, Mr. Phelps. As we are in the habit of considering our
great officials as public property, and as some of my readers want as
many glimpses of high life as a decent regard to republican
sensibilities will permit, I will borrow a few words from the diary to
which I have often referred:--

"The Princess Louise was there with the Marquis, and I had the best
opportunity of seeing how they receive royalty at private houses. Mr.
and Mrs. Phelps went down to the door to meet her the moment she came,
and then Mr. Phelps entered the drawing-room with the Princess on his
arm, and made the tour of the room with her, she bowing and speaking to
each one of us. Mr. Goschen took me in to dinner, and Lord Lorne was on
my other side. All of the flowers were of the royal color, red. It was a
grand dinner.... The Austrian Ambassador, Count Karoli, took Mrs. Phelps
in [to dinner], his position being higher than that of even the Duke [of
Argyll], who sat upon her right."

It was a very rich experience for a single day: the stately abode of
royalty, with all its manifold historical recollections, the magnificent
avenue of forest trees, the old oaks, the hawthorn in full bloom, and
the one cry of the cuckoo, calling me back to Nature in her spring-time
freshness and glory; then, after that, a great London dinner-party at a
house where the kind host and the gracious hostess made us feel at home,
and where we could meet the highest people in the land,--the people whom
we who live in a simpler way at home are naturally pleased to be with
under such auspices. What of all this shall I remember longest? Let me
not seem ungrateful to my friends who planned the excursion for us, or
to those who asked us to the brilliant evening entertainment, but I feel
as Wordsworth felt about the cuckoo,--he will survive all the other
memories.

  "And I can listen to thee yet,
     Can lie upon the plain
  And listen, till I do beget
     That golden time again."

Nothing is more hackneyed than an American's description of his feelings
in the midst of the scenes and objects he has read of all his days, and
is looking upon for the first time. To each of us it appears in some
respects in the same way, but with a difference for every individual. We
may smile at Irving's emotions at the first sight of a distinguished
Englishman on his own soil,--the ingenious Mr. Roscoe, as an earlier
generation would have called him. Our tourists, who are constantly going
forward and back between England and America, lose all sense of the
special distinctions between the two countries which do not bear on
their personal convenience. Happy are those who go with unworn,
unsatiated sensibilities from the New World to the Old; as happy, it may
be, those who come from the Old World to the New, but of that I cannot
form a judgment.

On the first day of June we called by appointment upon Mr. Peel, the
Speaker of the House of Commons, and went through the Houses of
Parliament. We began with the train-bearer, then met the housekeeper,
and presently were joined by Mr. Palgrave. The "Golden Treasury" stands
on my drawing-room table at home, and the name on its title-page had a
familiar sound. This gentleman is, I believe, a near relative of
Professor Francis Turner Palgrave, its editor.

Among other things to which Mr. Palgrave called our attention was the
death-warrant of Charles the First. One name in the list of signers
naturally fixed our eyes upon it. It was that of John Dixwell. A lineal
descendant of the old regicide is very near to me by family connection,
Colonel Dixwell having come to this country, married, and left a
posterity, which has resumed the name, dropped for the sake of safety at
the time when he, Goffe, and Whalley, were in concealment in various
parts of New England.

We lunched with the Speaker, and had the pleasure of the company of
Archdeacon Farrar. In the afternoon we went to a tea at a very grand
house, where, as my companion says in her diary, "it took full six men
in red satin knee-breeches to let us in." Another grand personage asked
us to dine with her at her country place, but we were too full of
engagements. In the evening we went to a large reception at Mr. Gosse's.
It was pleasant to meet artists and scholars,--the kind of company to
which we are much used in our aesthetic city. I found our host as
agreeable at home as he was when in Boston, where he became a favorite,
both as a lecturer and as a visitor.

Another day we visited Stafford House, where Lord Ronald Gower, himself
an artist, did the honors of the house, showing us the pictures and
sculptures, his own included, in a very obliging and agreeable way. I
have often taken note of the resemblances of living persons to the
portraits and statues of their remote ancestors. In showing us the
portrait of one of his own far-back progenitors, Lord Ronald placed a
photograph of himself in the corner of the frame. The likeness was so
close that the photograph might seem to have been copied from the
painting, the dress only being changed. The Duke of Sutherland, who had
just come back from America, complained that the dinners and lunches had
used him up. I was fast learning how to sympathize with him.

Then to Grosvenor House to see the pictures. I best remember
Gainsborough's beautiful Blue Boy, commonly so called, from the color of
his dress, and Sir Joshua's Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic Muse, which
everybody knows in engravings. We lunched in clerical company that day,
at the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol's, with the Archbishop of York,
the Reverend Mr. Haweis, and others as guests. I told A---- that she was
not sufficiently impressed with her position at the side of an
archbishop; she was not _crumbling bread_ in her nervous
excitement. The company did not seem to remember Sydney Smith's remark
to the young lady next him at a dinner-party: "My dear, I see you are
nervous, by your crumbling your bread as you do. _I_ always crumble
bread when I sit by a bishop, and when I sit by an archbishop I crumble
bread with both hands." That evening I had the pleasure of dining with
the distinguished Mr. Bryce, whose acquaintance I made in our own
country, through my son, who has introduced me to many agreeable persons
of his own generation, with whose companionship I am glad to mend the
broken and merely fragmentary circle of old friendships.

The 3d of June was a memorable day for us, for on the evening of that
day we were to hold our reception. If Dean Bradley had proposed our
meeting our guests in the Jerusalem Chamber, I should hardly have been
more astonished. But these kind friends meant what they said, and put
the offer in such a shape that it was impossible to resist it. So we
sent out our cards to a few hundreds of persons,--those who we thought
might like invitations. I was particularly desirous that many members of
the medical profession whom I had not met, but who felt well disposed
towards me, should be at this gathering. The meeting was in every
respect a success. I wrote a prescription for as many baskets of
champagne as would be consistent with the well-being of our guests, and
such light accompaniments as a London company is wont to expect under
similar circumstances. My own recollections of the evening, unclouded by
its festivities, but confused by its multitudinous succession of
introductions, are about as definite as the Duke of Wellington's alleged
monosyllabic description of the battle of Waterloo. But A---- writes in
her diary: "From nine to twelve we stood, receiving over three hundred
people out of the four hundred and fifty we invited." As I did not go to
Europe to visit hospitals or museums, I might have missed seeing some of
those professional brethren whose names I hold in honor and whose
writings are in my library. If any such failed to receive our cards of
invitation, it was an accident which, if I had known, I should have
deeply regretted. So far as we could judge by all we heard, our
unpretentious party gave general satisfaction. Many different social
circles were represented, but it passed off easily and agreeably. I can
say this more freely, as the credit of it belongs so largely to the care
and self-sacrificing efforts of Dr. Priestley and his charming wife.

I never refused to write in the birthday book or the album of the
humblest schoolgirl or schoolboy, and I could not refuse to set my name,
with a verse from one of my poems, in the album of the Princess of
Wales, which was sent me for that purpose. It was a nice new book, with
only two or three names in it, and those of musical
composers,--Rubinstein's, I think, was one of them,--so that I felt
honored by the great lady's request. I ought to describe the book,
but I only remember that it was quite large and sumptuously elegant,
and that I copied into it the last verse of a poem of mine called
"The Chambered Nautilus," as I have often done for plain republican
albums.

The day after our simple reception was notable for three social events
in which we had our part. The first was a lunch at the house of Mrs.
Cyril Flower, one of the finest in London,--Surrey House, as it is
called. Mr. Browning, who seems to go everywhere, and is one of the
vital elements of London society, was there as a matter of course. Miss
Cobbe, many of whose essays I have read with great satisfaction, though
I cannot accept all her views, was a guest whom I was very glad to meet
a second time.

In the afternoon we went to a garden-party given by the Princess Louise
at Kensington Palace, a gloomy-looking edifice, which might be taken
for a hospital or a poorhouse. Of all the festive occasions which I
attended, the garden-parties were to me the most formidable. They are
all very well for young people, and for those who do not mind the
nipping and eager air, with which, as I have said, the climate of
England, no less than that of America, falsifies all the fine things the
poets have said about May, and, I may add, even June. We wandered about
the grounds, spoke with the great people, stared at the odd ones, and
said to ourselves,--at least I said to myself,--with Hamlet,

  "The air bites shrewdly, it is very cold."

[Illustration: Robert Browning.]

The most curious personages were some East Indians, a chocolate-colored
lady, her husband, and children. The mother had a diamond on the side of
her nose, its setting riveted on the inside, one might suppose; the
effect was peculiar, far from captivating. A---- said that she should
prefer the good old-fashioned nose-ring, as we find it described and
pictured by travellers. She saw a great deal more than I did, of course.
I quote from her diary: "The little Eastern children made their native
salaam to the Princess by prostrating themselves flat on their little
stomachs in front of her, putting their hands between her feet, pushing
them aside, and kissing the print of her feet!"

I really believe one or both of us would have run serious risks of
catching our "death o' cold," if we had waited for our own carriage,
which seemed forever in coming forward. The good Lady Holland, who was
more than once our guardian angel, brought us home in hers. So we got
warmed up at our own hearth, and were ready in due season for the large
and fine dinner-party at Archdeacon Farrar's, where, among other guests,
were Mrs. Phelps, our Minister's wife, who is a great favorite alike
with Americans and English, Sir John Millais, Mr. Tyndall, and other
interesting people.

I am sorry that we could not have visited Newstead Abbey. I had a letter
from Mr. Thornton Lothrop to Colonel Webb, the present proprietor, with
whom we lunched. I have spoken of the pleasure I had when I came
accidentally upon persons with whose name and fame I had long been
acquainted. A similar impression was that which I received when I found
myself in the company of the bearer of an old historic name. When my
host at the lunch introduced a stately-looking gentleman as Sir Kenelm
Digby, it gave me a start, as if a ghost had stood before me. I
recovered myself immediately, however, for there was nothing of the
impalpable or immaterial about the stalwart personage who bore the name.
I wanted to ask him if he carried any of his ancestor's "powder of
sympathy" about with him. Many, but not all, of my readers remember that
famous man's famous preparation. When used to cure a wound, it was
applied to the weapon that made it; the part was bound up so as to bring
the edges of the wound together, and by the wondrous influence of the
sympathetic powder the healing process took place in the kindest
possible manner. Sir Kenelm, the ancestor, was a gallant soldier, a
grand gentleman, and the husband of a wonderfully beautiful wife, whose
charms he tried to preserve from the ravages of time by various
experiments. He was also the homoeopathist of his day, the Elisha
Perkins (metallic tractors) of his generation. The "mind cure" people
might adopt him as one of their precursors.

I heard a curious statement which was illustrated in the person of one
of the gentlemen we met at this table. It is that English sporting men
are often deaf on one side, in consequence of the noise of the frequent
discharge of their guns affecting the right ear. This is a very
convenient infirmity for gentlemen who indulge in slightly aggressive
remarks, but when they are hit back never seem to be conscious at all of
the _riposte_,--the return thrust of the fencer.

Dr. Allchin called and took me to a dinner, where I met many
professional brothers, and enjoyed myself highly.

By this time every day was pledged for one or more engagements, so that
many very attractive invitations had to be declined. I will not follow
the days one by one, but content myself with mentioning some of the more
memorable visits. I had been invited to the Rabelais Club, as I have
before mentioned, by a cable message. This is a club of which the late
Lord Houghton was president, and of which I am a member, as are several
other Americans. I was afraid that the gentlemen who met,

  "To laugh and shake in Rabelais's easy chair,"

might be more hilarious and demonstrative in their mirth than I, a sober
New Englander in the superfluous decade, might find myself equal to. But
there was no uproarious jollity; on the contrary, it was a pleasant
gathering of literary people and artists, who took their pleasure not
sadly, but serenely, and I do not remember a single explosive guffaw.

Another day, after going all over Dudley House, including Lady Dudley's
boudoir, "in light blue satin, the prettiest room we have seen," A----
says, we went, by appointment, to Westminster Abbey, where we spent two
hours under the guidance of Archdeacon Farrar. I think no part of the
Abbey is visited with so much interest as Poets' Corner. We are all
familiarly acquainted with it beforehand. We are all ready for "O rare
Ben Jonson!" as we stand over the place where he was planted standing
upright, as if he had been dropped into a post-hole. We remember too
well the foolish and flippant mockery of Gay's "Life is a Jest." If I
were dean of the cathedral, I should be tempted to alter the _J_ to
a _G_. Then we could read it without contempt; for life _is_ a
gest, an achievement,--or always ought to be. Westminster Abbey is too
crowded with monuments to the illustrious dead and those who have been
considered so in their day to produce any other than a confused
impression. When we visit the tomb of Napoleon at the Invalides, no
side-lights interfere with the view before us in the field of mental
vision. We see the Emperor; Marengo, Austerlitz, Waterloo, Saint Helena,
come before us, with him as their central figure. So at Stratford,--the
Cloptons and the John a Combes, with all their memorials, cannot make us
lift our eyes from the stone which covers the dust that once breathed
and walked the streets of Stratford as Shakespeare.

Ah, but here is one marble countenance that I know full well, and knew
for many a year in the flesh! Is there an American who sees the bust of
Longfellow among the effigies of the great authors of England without
feeling a thrill of pleasure at recognizing the features of his native
fellow-countryman in the Valhalla of his ancestral fellow-countrymen?
There are many memorials in Poets' Corner and elsewhere in the Abbey
which could be better spared than that. Too many that were placed there
as luminaries have become conspicuous by their obscurity in the midst of
that illustrious company. On the whole, the Abbey produces a distinct
sense of being overcrowded. It appears too much like a lapidary's
store-room. Look up at the lofty roof, which we willingly pardon for
shutting out the heaven above us,--at least in an average London day;
look down at the floor and think of what precious relics it covers; but
do not look around you with the hope of getting any clear, concentrated,
satisfying effect from this great museum of gigantic funereal bricabrac.
Pardon me, shades of the mighty dead! I had something of this feeling,
but at another hour I might perhaps be overcome by emotion, and weep, as
my fellow-countryman did at the grave of the earliest of his ancestors.
I should love myself better in that aspect than I do in this coldblooded
criticism; but it suggested itself, and as no flattery can soothe, so no
censure can wound, "the dull, cold ear of death."

Of course we saw all the sights of the Abbey in a hurried way, yet with
such a guide and expositor as Archdeacon Farrar our two hours' visit was
worth a whole day with an undiscriminating verger, who recites his
lesson by rote, and takes the life out of the little mob that follows
him round by emphasizing the details of his lesson, until "Patience on a
monument" seems to the sufferer, who knows what he wants and what he
does not want, the nearest emblem of himself he can think of. Amidst all
the imposing recollections of the ancient edifice, one impressed me in
the inverse ratio of its importance. The Archdeacon pointed out the
little holes in the stones, in one place, where the boys of the choir
used to play marbles, before America was discovered, probably,--centuries
before, it may be. It is a strangely impressive glimpse
of a living past, like the _graffiti_ of Pompeii. I find it
is often the accident rather than the essential which fixes my attention
and takes hold of my memory. This is a tendency of which I suppose I
ought to be ashamed, if we have any right to be ashamed of those
idiosyncrasies which are ordered for us. It is the same tendency which
often leads us to prefer the picturesque to the beautiful. Mr. Gilpin
liked the donkey in a forest landscape better than the horse. A touch of
imperfection interferes with the beauty of an object and lowers its
level to that of the picturesque. The accident of the holes in the stone
of the noble building, for the boys to play marbles with, makes me a boy
again and at home with them, after looking with awe upon the statue of
Newton, and turning with a shudder from the ghastly monument of Mrs.
Nightingale.

What a life must be that of one whose years are passed chiefly in and
about the great Abbey! Nowhere does Macbeth's expression "dusty death"
seem so true to all around us. The dust of those who have been lying
century after century below the marbles piled over them,--the dust on
the monuments they lie beneath; the dust on the memories those monuments
were raised to keep living in the recollection of posterity,--dust,
dust, dust, everywhere, and we ourselves but shapes of breathing dust
moving amidst these objects and remembrances! Come away! The good
Archdeacon of the "Eternal Hope" has asked us to take a cup of tea with
him. The tea-cup will be a cheerful substitute for the funeral urn, and
a freshly made infusion of the fragrant leaf is one of the best things
in the world to lay the dust of sad reflections.

It is a somewhat fatiguing pleasure to go through the Abbey, in spite of
the intense interest no one can help feeling. But my day had but just
begun when the two hours we had devoted to the visit were over. At a
quarter before eight, my friend Mr. Frederick Locker called for me to go
to a dinner at the Literary Club. I was particularly pleased to dine
with this association, as it reminded me of our own Saturday Club, which
sometimes goes by the same name as the London one. They complimented me
with a toast, and I made some kind of a reply. As I never went prepared
with a speech for any such occasion, I take it for granted that I
thanked the company in a way that showed my gratitude rather than my
eloquence. And now, the dinner being over, my day was fairly begun.

This was to be a memorable date in the record of the year, one long to
be remembered in the political history of Great Britain. For on this
day, the 7th of June, Mr. Gladstone was to make his great speech on the
Irish question, and the division of the House on the Government of
Ireland Bill was to take place. The whole country, to the corners of its
remotest colony, was looking forward to the results of this evening's
meeting of Parliament. The kindness of the Speaker had furnished me with
a ticket, entitling me to a place among the "distinguished guests,"
which I presented without modestly questioning my right to the title.

The pressure for entrance that evening was very great, and I, coming
after my dinner with the Literary Club, was late upon the ground. The
places for "distinguished guests" were already filled. But all England
was in a conspiracy to do everything possible to make my visit
agreeable. I did not take up a great deal of room,--I might be put into
a seat with the ambassadors and foreign ministers. And among them I was
presently installed. It was now between ten and eleven o'clock, as
nearly as I recollect. The House had been in session since four o'clock.
A gentleman was speaking, who was, as my unknown next neighbor told me,
Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, a leading member, as we all know, of the
opposition. When he sat down there was a hush of expectation, and
presently Mr. Gladstone rose to his feet. A great burst of applause
welcomed him, lasting more than a minute. His clean-cut features, his
furrowed cheeks, his scanty and whitened hair, his well-shaped but not
extraordinary head, all familiarized by innumerable portraits and
emphasized in hundreds of caricatures, revealed him at once to every
spectator. His great speech has been universally read, and I need only
speak of the way in which it was delivered. His manner was forcible
rather than impassioned or eloquent; his voice was clear enough, but
must have troubled him somewhat, for he had a small bottle from which he
poured something into a glass from time to time and swallowed a little,
yet I heard him very well for the most part. In the last portion of his
speech he became animated and inspiriting, and his closing words were
uttered with an impressive solemnity: "Think, I beseech you, think well,
think wisely, think not for a moment, but for the years that are to
come, before you reject this bill."

After the burst of applause which followed the conclusion of Mr.
Gladstone's speech, the House proceeded to the division on the question
of passing the bill to a second reading. While the counting of the votes
was going on there was the most intense excitement. A rumor ran round
the House at one moment that the vote was going in favor of the second
reading. It soon became evident that this was not the case, and
presently the result was announced, giving a majority of thirty against
the bill, and practically overthrowing the liberal administration. Then
arose a tumult of applause from the conservatives and a wild confusion,
in the midst of which an Irish member shouted, "Three cheers for the
Grand Old Man!" which were lustily given, with waving of hats and all
but Donnybrook manifestations of enthusiasm.

I forgot to mention that I had a very advantageous seat among the
diplomatic gentlemen, and was felicitating myself on occupying one of
the best positions in the House, when an usher politely informed me that
the Russian Ambassador, in whose place I was sitting, had arrived, and
that I must submit to the fate of eviction. Fortunately, there were some
steps close by, on one of which I found a seat almost as good as the one
I had just left.

It was now two o'clock in the morning, and I had to walk home, not a
vehicle being attainable. I did not know my way to my headquarters, and
I had no friend to go with me, but I fastened on a stray gentleman, who
proved to be an ex-member of the House, and who accompanied me to 17
Dover Street, where I sought my bed with a satisfying sense of having
done a good day's work and having been well paid for it.



III.


On the 8th of June we visited the Record Office for a sight of the
Domesday Book and other ancient objects of interest there preserved. As
I looked at this too faithful memorial of an inexorable past, I thought
of the battle of Hastings and all its consequences, and that reminded me
of what I have long remembered as I read it in Dr. Robert Knox's "Races
of Men." Dr. Knox was the monoculous Waterloo surgeon, with whom I
remember breakfasting, on my first visit to England and Scotland. His
celebrity is less owing to his book than to the unfortunate connection
of his name with the unforgotten Burke and Hare horrors. This is his
language in speaking of Hastings: "... that bloody field, surpassing far
in its terrible results the unhappy day of Waterloo. From this the Celt
has recovered, but not so the Saxon. To this day he feels, and feels
deeply, the most disastrous day that ever befell his race; here he was
trodden down by the Norman, whose iron heel is on him yet.... To this
day the Saxon race in England have never recovered a tithe of their
rights, and probably never will."

The Conqueror meant to have a thorough summing up of his stolen
property. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says,--I quote it at second
hand,--"So very straitly did he cause the survey to be made, that there
was not a single hyde, nor a yardland of ground, nor--it is shameful to
say what he thought no shame to do--was there an ox or a cow, or a pig
passed by, and that was not down in the accounts, and then all these
writings were brought to him." The "looting" of England by William and
his "twenty thousand thieves," as Mr. Emerson calls his army, was a
singularly methodical proceeding, and Domesday Book is a searching
inventory of their booty, movable and immovable.

From this reminder of the past we turned to the remembrances of home;
A---- going to dine with a transplanted Boston friend and other ladies
from that blessed centre of New England life, while I dined with a party
of gentlemen at my friend Mr. James Russell Lowell's.

I had looked forward to this meeting with high expectations, and they
were abundantly satisfied. I knew that Mr. Lowell must gather about him,
wherever he might be, the choicest company, but what his selection would
be I was curious to learn. I found with me at the table my own
countrymen and his, Mr. Smalley and Mr. Henry James. Of the other
guests, Mr. Leslie Stephen was my only old acquaintance in person; but
Du Maurier and Tenniel I have met in my weekly "Punch" for many a year;
Mr. Lang, Mr. Oliphant, Mr. Townsend, we all know through their
writings; Mr. Burne-Jones and Mr. Alma Tadema, through the frequent
reproductions of their works in engravings, as well as by their
paintings. If I could report a dinner-table conversation, I might be
tempted to say something of my talk with Mr. Oliphant. I like well
enough conversation which floats safely over the shallows, touching
bottom at intervals with a commonplace incident or truism to push it
along; I like better to find a few fathoms of depth under the surface;
there is a still higher pleasure in the philosophical discourse which
calls for the deep sea line to reach bottom; but best of all, when one
is in the right mood, is the contact of intelligences when they are off
soundings in the ocean of thought. Mr. Oliphant is what many of us call
a mystic, and I found a singular pleasure in listening to him. This
dinner at Mr. Lowell's was a very remarkable one for the men it brought
together, and I remember it with peculiar interest. My entertainer holds
a master-key to London society, and he opened the gate for me into one
of its choicest preserves on that evening.

I did not undertake to renew my old acquaintance with hospitals and
museums. I regretted that I could not be with my companion, who went
through the Natural History Museum with the accomplished director,
Professor W. H. Flower. One old acquaintance I did resuscitate. For the
second time I took the hand of Charles O'Byrne, the celebrated Irish
giant of the last century. I met him, as in my first visit, at the Royal
College of Surgeons, where I accompanied Mr. Jonathan Hutchinson. He was
in the condition so longed for by Sydney Smith on a very hot day;
namely, with his flesh taken off, and sitting, or rather standing, in
his bones. The skeleton measures eight feet, and the living man's height
is stated as having been eight feet two, or four inches, by different
authorities. His hand was the only one I took, either in England or
Scotland, which had not a warm grasp and a hearty welcome in it.

A---- went with Boston friends to see "Faust" a second time, Mr. Irving
having offered her the Royal box, and the polite Mr. Bram Stoker serving
the party with tea in the little drawing-room behind the box; so that
she had a good time while I was enjoying myself at a dinner at Sir Henry
Thompson's, where I met Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Browning, and other
distinguished gentlemen. These dinners of Sir Henry's are well known for
the good company one meets at them, and I felt myself honored to be a
guest on this occasion.

Among the pleasures I had promised myself was that of a visit to
Tennyson, at the Isle of Wight. I feared, however, that this would be
rendered impracticable by reason of the very recent death of his younger
son, Lionel. But I learned from Mr. Locker-Lampson, whose daughter Mr.
Lionel Tennyson had married, that the poet would be pleased to see me at
his place, Farringford; and by the kind intervention of Mr.
Locker-Lampson, better known to the literary world as Frederick Locker,
arrangements were made for my daughter and myself to visit him. I
considered it a very great favor, for Lord Tennyson has a poet's
fondness for the tranquillity of seclusion, which many curious explorers
of society fail to remember. Lady Tennyson is an invalid, and though
nothing could be more gracious than her reception of us both, I fear it
may have cost her an effort which she would not allow to betray itself.
Mr. Hallam Tennyson and his wife, both of most pleasing presence and
manners, did everything to make our stay agreeable. I saw the poet to
the best advantage, under his own trees and walking over his own domain.
He took delight in pointing out to me the finest and the rarest of his
trees,--and there were many beauties among them. I recalled my morning's
visit to Whittier at Oak Knoll, in Danvers, a little more than a year
ago, when he led me to one of his favorites, an aspiring evergreen which
shot up like a flame. I thought of the graceful American elms in front
of Longfellow's house and the sturdy English elms that stand in front of
Lowell's. In this garden of England, the Isle of Wight, where everything
grows with such a lavish extravagance of greenness that it seems as if
it must bankrupt the soil before autumn, I felt as if weary eyes and
overtasked brains might reach their happiest haven of rest. We all
remember Shenstone's epigram on the pane of a tavern window. If we find
our "warmest welcome at an inn," we find our most soothing companionship
in the trees among which we have lived, some of which we may ourselves
have planted. We lean against them, and they never betray our trust;
they shield us from the sun and from the rain; their spring welcome is a
new birth, which never loses its freshness; they lay their beautiful
robes at our feet in autumn; in winter they "stand and wait," emblems of
patience and of truth, for they hide nothing, not even the little
leaf-buds which hint to us of hope, the last element in their triple
symbolism.

This digression, suggested by the remembrance of the poet under his
trees, breaks my narrative, but gives me the opportunity of paying a
debt of gratitude. For I have owned many beautiful trees, and loved many
more outside of my own leafy harem. Those who write verses have no
special claim to be lovers of trees, but so far as one is of the
poetical temperament he is likely to be a tree-lover. Poets have, as a
rule, more than the average nervous sensibility and irritability. Trees
have no nerves. They live and die without suffering, without
self-questioning or self-reproach. They have the divine gift of silence.
They cannot obtrude upon the solitary moments when one is to himself the
most agreeable of companions. The whole vegetable world, even "the
meanest flower that blows," is lovely to contemplate. What if creation
had paused there, and you or I had been called upon to decide whether
self-conscious life should be added in the form of the existing animal
creation, and the hitherto peaceful universe should come under the rule
of Nature as we now know her,

  "red in tooth and claw"?

Are we not glad that the responsibility of the decision did not rest on
us?

I am sorry that I did not ask Tennyson to read or repeat to me some
lines of his own. Hardly any one perfectly understands a poem but the
poet himself. One naturally loves his own poem as no one else can. It
fits the mental mould in which it was cast, and it will not exactly fit
any other. For this reason I had rather listen to a poet reading his own
verses than hear the best elocutionist that ever spouted recite them. He
may not have a good voice or enunciation, but he puts his heart and his
inter-penetrative intelligence into every line, word, and syllable. I
should have liked to hear Tennyson read such lines as

  "Laborious orient ivory, sphere in sphere;"

and in spite of my good friend Matthew Arnold's _in terrorem_, I
should have liked to hear Macaulay read,

  "And Aulus the Dictator
    Stroked Auster's raven mane,"

and other good mouthable lines, from the "Lays of Ancient Rome." Not
less should I like to hear Mr. Arnold himself read the passage
beginning,--

  "In his cool hall with haggard eyes
    The Roman noble lay."

The next day Mrs. Hallam Tennyson took A---- in her pony cart to see
Alum Bay, The Needles, and other objects of interest, while I wandered
over the grounds with Tennyson. After lunch his carriage called for us,
and we were driven across the island, through beautiful scenery, to
Ventnor, where we took the train to Ryde, and there the steamer to
Portsmouth, from which two hours and a half of travel carried us to
London.

       *       *       *       *       *

My first visit to Cambridge was at the invitation of Mr. Gosse, who
asked me to spend Sunday, the 13th of June, with him. The rooms in
Neville Court, Trinity College, occupied by Sir William Vernon Harcourt
when lecturing at Cambridge, were placed at my disposal. The room I
slept in was imposing with the ensigns armorial of the Harcourts and
others which ornamented its walls. I had great delight in walking
through the quadrangles, along the banks of the Cam, and beneath the
beautiful trees which border it. Mr. Gosse says that I stopped in the
second court of Clare, and looked around and smiled as if I were
bestowing my benediction. He was mistaken: I smiled as if I were
receiving a benediction from my dear old grandmother; for Cambridge in
New England is my mother town, and Harvard University in Cambridge is my
Alma Mater. She is the daughter of Cambridge in Old England, and my
relationship is thus made clear.

Mr. Gosse introduced me to many of the younger and some of the older men
of the university. Among my visits was one never to be renewed and never
to be forgotten. It was to the Master of Trinity, the Reverend William
Hepworth Thompson. I hardly expected to have the privilege of meeting
this very distinguished and greatly beloved personage, famous not alone
for scholarship, or as the successor of Dr. Whewell in his high office,
but also as having said some of the wittiest things which we have heard
since Voltaire's _pour encourager les autres_. I saw him in his
chamber, a feeble old man, but noble to look upon in all "the monumental
pomp of age." He came very near belonging to the little group I have
mentioned as my coevals, but was a year after us. Gentle, dignified,
kindly in his address as if I had been his schoolmate, he left a very
charming impression. He gave me several mementoes of my visit, among
them a beautiful engraving of Sir Isaac Newton, representing him as one
of the handsomest of men. Dr. Thompson looked as if he could not be very
long for this world, but his death, a few weeks after my visit, was a
painful surprise to me. I had been just in time to see "the last of the
great men" at Cambridge, as my correspondent calls him, and I was very
grateful that I could store this memory among the hoarded treasures I
have been laying by for such possible extra stretch of time as may be
allowed me.

My second visit to Cambridge will be spoken of in due season.

While I was visiting Mr. Gosse at Cambridge, A---- was not idle. On
Saturday she went to Lambeth, where she had the pleasure and honor of
shaking hands with the Archbishop of Canterbury in his study, and of
looking about the palace with Mrs. Benson. On Sunday she went to the
Abbey, and heard "a broad and liberal sermon" from Archdeacon Farrar.
Our young lady-secretary stayed and dined with her, and after dinner
sang to her. "A peaceful, happy Sunday," A---- says in her diary,--not
less peaceful, I suspect, for my being away, as my callers must have got
many a "not at 'ome" from young Robert of the multitudinous buttons.

On Monday, the 14th of June, after getting ready for our projected
excursions, we had an appointment which promised us a great deal of
pleasure. Mr. Augustus Harris, the enterprising and celebrated manager
of Drury Lane Theatre, had sent us an invitation to occupy a box, having
eight seats, at the representation of "Carmen." We invited the
Priestleys and our Boston friends, the Shimminses, to take seats with
us. The chief singer in the opera was Marie Roze, who looked well and
sang well, and the evening went off very happily. After the performance
we were invited by Mr. Harris to a supper of some thirty persons, where
we were the special guests. The manager toasted me, and I said
something,--I trust appropriate; but just what I said is as
irrecoverable as the orations of Demosthenes on the seashore, or the
sermons of St. Francis to the beasts and birds.

Of all the attentions I received in England, this was, perhaps, the
least to be anticipated or dreamed of. To be fêted and toasted and to
make a speech in Drury Lane Theatre would not have entered into my
flightiest conceptions, if I had made out a programme beforehand. It is
a singularly gratifying recollection. Drury Lane Theatre is so full of
associations with literature, with the great actors and actresses of the
past, with the famous beauties who have stood behind the footlights and
the splendid audiences that have sat before them, that it is an
admirable nucleus for remembrances to cluster around. It was but a vague
spot in memory before, but now it is a bright centre for other images of
the past. That one evening seems to make me the possessor of all its
traditions from the time when it rose from its ashes, when Byron's poem
was written and recited, and when the brothers Smith gave us the
"Address without a Phoenix," and all those exquisite parodies which make
us feel towards their originals somewhat as our dearly remembered Tom
Appleton did when he said, in praise of some real green turtle soup,
that it was almost as good as mock.

With much regret we gave up an invitation we had accepted to go to
Durdans to dine with Lord Rosebery. We must have felt very tired indeed
to make so great a sacrifice, but we had to be up until one o'clock
getting ready for the next day's journey; writing, packing, and
attending to what we left behind us as well as what was in prospect.

On the morning of Wednesday, June 16th, Dr. Donald Macalister called to
attend us on our second visit to Cambridge, where we were to be the
guests of his cousin, Alexander Macalister, Professor of Anatomy, who,
with Mrs. Macalister, received us most cordially. There was a large
luncheon-party at their house, to which we sat down in our travelling
dresses. In the evening they had a dinner-party, at which were present,
among others, Professor Stokes, President of the Royal Society, and
Professor Wright. We had not heard much talk of political matters at the
dinner-tables where we had been guests, but A---- sat near a lady who
was very earnest in advocating the Irish side of the great impending
question.

The 17th of June is memorable in the annals of my country. On that day
of the year 1775 the battle of Bunker's Hill was fought on the height I
see from the window of my library, where I am now writing. The monument
raised in memory of our defeat, which was in truth a victory, is almost
as much a part of the furniture of the room as its chairs and tables;
outside, as they are inside, furniture. But the 17th of June, 1886, is
memorable to me above all the other anniversaries of that day I have
known. For on that day I received from the ancient University of
Cambridge, England, the degree of Doctor of Letters, "Doctor Litt.," in
its abbreviated academic form. The honor was an unexpected one; that is,
until a short time before it was conferred.

Invested with the academic gown and cap, I repaired in due form at the
appointed hour to the Senate Chamber. Every seat was filled, and among
the audience were youthful faces in large numbers, looking as if they
were ready for any kind of outbreak of enthusiasm or hilarity.

The first degree conferred was that of LL.D., on Sir W. A. White,
G.C.M., G.C.B., to whose long list of appended initials it seemed like
throwing a perfume on the violet to add three more letters.

When I was called up to receive my honorary title, the young voices were
true to the promise of the young faces. There was a great noise, not
hostile nor unpleasant in its character, in answer to which I could
hardly help smiling my acknowledgments. In presenting me for my degree
the Public Orator made a Latin speech, from which I venture to give a
short extract, which I would not do for the world if it were not
disguised by being hidden in the mask of a dead language. But there will
be here and there a Latin scholar who will be pleased with the way in
which the speaker turned a compliment to the candidate before him, with
a reference to one of his poems and to some of his prose works.

_"Juvat nuper audivisse eum cujus carmen prope primum 'Folium ultimum'
nominatum est, folia adhuc plura e scriniis suis esse prolaturum.
Novimus quanta lepore descripserit colloquia illa antemeridiana,
symposia illa sobria et severa, sed eadem festiva et faceta, in quibus
totiens mutata persona, modo poeta, modo professor, modo princeps et
arbiter, loquendi, inter convivas suos regnat."_

I had no sooner got through listening to the speech and receiving my
formal sentence as Doctor of Letters than the young voices broke out in
fresh clamor. There were cries of "A speech! a speech!" mingled with the
title of a favorite poem by John Howard Payne, having a certain amount
of coincidence with the sound of my name. The play upon the word was not
absolutely a novelty to my ear, but it was good-natured, and I smiled
again, and perhaps made a faint inclination, as much as to say, "I hear
you, young gentlemen, but I do not forget that I am standing on my
dignity, especially now since a new degree has added a moral cubit to my
stature." Still the cries went on, and at last I saw nothing else to do
than to edge back among the silk gowns, and so lose myself and be lost
to the clamorous crowd in the mass of dignitaries. It was not
indifference to the warmth of my welcome, but a feeling that I had no
claim to address the audience because some of its younger members were
too demonstrative. I have not forgotten my very cordial reception, which
made me feel almost as much at home in the old Cambridge as in the new,
where I was born and took my degrees, academic, professional, and
honorary.

The university town left a very deep impression upon my mind, in which a
few grand objects predominate over the rest, all being of a delightful
character. I was fortunate enough to see the gathering of the boats,
which was the last scene in their annual procession. The show was
altogether lovely. The pretty river, about as wide as the Housatonic, I
should judge, as that slender stream winds through "Canoe Meadow," my
old Pittsfield residence, the gaily dressed people who crowded the
banks, the flower-crowned boats, with the gallant young oarsmen who
handled them so skilfully, made a picture not often equalled. The walks,
the bridges, the quadrangles, the historic college buildings, all
conspired to make the place a delight and a fascination. The library of
Trinity College, with its rows of busts by Roubiliac and Woolner, is a
truly noble hall. But beyond, above all the rest, the remembrance of
King's College Chapel, with its audacious and richly wrought roof and
its wide and lofty windows, glowing with old devices in colors which are
ever fresh, as if just from the furnace, holds the first place in my
gallery of Cambridge recollections.

I cannot do justice to the hospitalities which were bestowed upon us in
Cambridge. Professor and Mrs. Macalister, aided by Dr. Donald
Macalister, did all that thoughtful hosts could do to make us feel at
home. In the afternoon the ladies took tea at Mr. Oscar Browning's. In
the evening we went to a large dinner at the invitation of the
Vice-Chancellor. Many little points which I should not have thought of
are mentioned in A----'s diary. I take the following extract from it,
toning down its vivacity more nearly to my own standard:--

"Twenty were there. The Master of St. John's took me in, and the
Vice-Chancellor was on the other side.... The Vice-Chancellor rose and
returned thanks after the meats and before the sweets, as usual. I have
now got used to this proceeding, which strikes me as extraordinary.
Everywhere here in Cambridge, and the same in Oxford, I believe, they
say grace and give thanks. A gilded ewer and flat basin were passed,
with water in the basin to wash with, and we all took our turn at the
bath! Next to this came the course with the finger-bowls!... Why two
baths?"

On Friday, the 18th, I went to a breakfast at the Combination Room, at
which about fifty gentlemen were present, Dr. Sandys taking the chair.
After the more serious business of the morning's repast was over, Dr.
Macalister, at the call of the chairman, arose, and proposed my welfare
in a very complimentary way. I of course had to respond, and I did so in
the words which came of their own accord to my lips. After my
unpremeditated answer, which was kindly received, a young gentleman of
the university, Mr. Heitland, read a short poem, of which the following
is the title:--

LINES OF GREETING TO DR. OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.

AT BREAKFAST IN COMBINATION ROOM, ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE,
ENGLAND.

I wish I dared quote more than the last two verses of these lines, which
seemed to me, not unused to giving and receiving complimentary tributes,
singularly happy, and were so considered by all who heard them. I think
I may venture to give the two verses referred to:--

  "By all sweet memory of the saints and sages
    Who wrought among us in the days of yore;
  By youths who, turning now life's early pages,
    Ripen to match the worthies gone before:

  "On us, O son of England's greatest daughter,
    A kindly word from heart and tongue bestow;
  Then chase the sunsets o'er the western water,
    And bear our blessing with you as you go."

I need not say that I left the English Cambridge with a heart full of
all grateful and kindly emotions.

I must not forget that I found at Cambridge, very pleasantly established
and successfully practising his profession, a former student in the
dental department of our Harvard Medical School, Dr. George Cunningham,
who used to attend my lectures on anatomy. In the garden behind the
quaint old house in which he lives is a large medlar-tree,--the first I
remember seeing.

On this same day we bade good-by to Cambridge, and took the two o'clock
train to Oxford, where we arrived at half past five. At this first visit
we were to be the guests of Professor Max Müller, at his fine residence
in Norham Gardens. We met there, at dinner, Mr. Herkomer, whom we have
recently had with us in Boston, and one or two others. In the evening we
had music; the professor playing on the piano, his two daughters, Mrs.
Conybeare and her unmarried sister, singing, and a young lady playing
the violin. It was a very lovely family picture; a pretty house,
surrounded by attractive scenery; scholarship, refinement, simple
elegance, giving distinction to a home which to us seemed a pattern of
all we could wish to see beneath an English roof. It all comes back to
me very sweetly, but very tenderly and sadly, for the voice of the elder
of the two sisters who sang to us is heard no more on earth, and a deep
shadow has fallen over the household we found so bright and cheerful.

Everything was done to make me enjoy my visit to Oxford, but I was
suffering from a severe cold, and was paying the penalty of too much
occupation and excitement. I missed a great deal in consequence, and
carried away a less distinct recollection of this magnificent seat of
learning than of the sister university.

If one wishes to know the magic of names, let him visit the places made
memorable by the lives of the illustrious men of the past in the Old
World. As a boy I used to read the poetry of Pope, of Goldsmith, and of
Johnson. How could I look at the Bodleian Library, or wander beneath its
roof, without recalling the lines from "The Vanity of Human Wishes"?

  "When first the college rolls receive his name,
  The young enthusiast quits his ease for fame;
  Resistless burns the fever of renown,
  Caught from the strong contagion of the gown:
  O'er Bodley's dome his future labors spread,
  And Bacon's mansion trembles o'er his head."

The last line refers to Roger Bacon. "There is a tradition that the
study of Friar Bacon, built on an arch over the bridge, will fall when a
man greater than Bacon shall pass under it. To prevent so shocking an
accident, it was pulled down many years since." We shall meet with a
similar legend in another university city. Many persons have been shy of
these localities, who were in no danger whatever of meeting the fate
threatened by the prediction.

We passed through the Bodleian Library, only glancing at a few of its
choicest treasures, among which the exquisitely illuminated missals were
especially tempting objects of study. It was almost like a mockery to
see them opened and closed, without having the time to study their
wonderful miniature paintings. A walk through the grounds of Magdalen
College, under the guidance of the president of that college, showed us
some of the fine trees for which I was always looking. One of these, a
wych-elm (Scotch elm of some books), was so large that I insisted on
having it measured. A string was procured and carefully carried round
the trunk, above the spread of the roots and below that of the branches,
so as to give the smallest circumference. I was curious to know how the
size of the trunk of this tree would compare with that of the trunks of
some of our largest New England elms. I have measured a good many of
these. About sixteen feet is the measurement of a large elm, like that
on Boston Common, which all middle-aged people remember. From twenty-two
to twenty-three feet is the ordinary maximum of the very largest trees.
I never found but one exceed it: that was the great Springfield elm,
which looked as if it might have been formed by the coalescence from the
earliest period of growth, of two young trees. When I measured this in
1837, it was twenty-four feet eight inches in circumference at five feet
from the ground; growing larger above and below. I remembered this tree
well, as we measured the string which was to tell the size of its
English rival. As we came near the end of the string, I felt as I did
when I was looking at the last dash of Ormonde and The Bard at
Epsom.--Twenty feet, and a long piece of string left.--Twenty-one.
--Twenty-two.--Twenty-three.--An extra heartbeat or two.--Twenty-four!
--Twenty-five and six inches over!!--The Springfield elm may have grown
a foot or more since I measured it, fifty years ago, but the tree at
Magdalen stands ahead of all my old measurements. Many of the fine old
trees, this in particular, may have been known in their younger days to
Addison, whose favorite walk is still pointed out to the visitor.

I would not try to compare the two university towns, as one might who
had to choose between them. They have a noble rivalry, each honoring the
other, and it would take a great deal of weighing one point of
superiority against another to call either of them the first, except in
its claim to antiquity.

After a garden-party in the afternoon, a pleasant evening at home, when
the professor played and his daughter Beatrice sang, and a garden-party
the next day, I found myself in somewhat better condition, and ready for
the next move.

[Illustration: Magdalen College, Oxford.]

At noon on the 23d of June we left for Edinburgh, stopping over night at
York, where we found close by the station an excellent hotel, and where
the next morning we got one of the best breakfasts we had in our whole
travelling experience. At York we wandered to and through a flower-show,
and _did_ the cathedral, as people _do_ all the sights they
see under the lead of a paid exhibitor, who goes through his lesson like
a sleepy old professor. I missed seeing the slab with the inscription
_miserrimus_. There may be other stones bearing this sad
superlative, but there is a story connected with this one, which sounds
as if it might be true.

In the year 1834, I spent several weeks in Edinburgh. I was fascinated
by the singular beauties of that "romantic town," which Scott called his
own, and which holds his memory, with that of Burns, as a most precious
part of its inheritance. The castle with the precipitous rocky wall out
of which it grows, the deep ravines with their bridges, pleasant Calton
Hill and memorable Holyrood Palace, the new town and the old town with
their strange contrasts, and Arthur's Seat overlooking all,--these
varied and enchanting objects account for the fondness with which all
who have once seen Edinburgh will always regard it.

We were the guests of Professor Alexander Crum Brown, a near relative of
the late beloved and admired Dr. John Brown. Professor and Mrs. Crum
Brown did everything to make our visit a pleasant one. We met at their
house many of the best known and most distinguished people of Scotland.
The son of Dr. John Brown dined with us on the day of our arrival, and
also a friend of the family, Mr. Barclay, to whom we made a visit on the
Sunday following. Among the visits I paid, none was more gratifying to
me than one which I made to Dr. John Brown's sister. No man could leave
a sweeter memory than the author of "Rab and his Friends," of "Pet
Marjorie," and other writings, all full of the same loving, human
spirit. I have often exchanged letters with him, and I thought how much
it would have added to the enjoyment of my visit if I could have taken
his warm hand and listened to his friendly voice. I brought home with me
a precious little manuscript, written expressly for me by one who had
known Dr. John Brown from the days of her girlhood, in which his
character appears in the same lovable and loving light as that which
shines in every page he himself has written.

On Friday, the 25th, I went to the hall of the university, where I was
to receive the degree of LL.D. The ceremony was not unlike that at
Cambridge, but had one peculiar feature: the separate special investment
of the candidate with the _hood_, which Johnson defines as "an
ornamental fold which hangs down the back of a graduate." There were
great numbers of students present, and they showed the same exuberance
of spirits as that which had forced me to withdraw from the urgent calls
at Cambridge. The cries, if possible, were still louder and more
persistent; they must have a speech and they would have a speech, and
what could I do about it? I saw but one way of pacifying a crowd as
noisy and long-breathed as that which for about the space of two hours
cried out, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians!" So I stepped to the front
and made a brief speech, in which, of course, I spoke of the
"_perfervidum ingenium Scotorum_." A speech without that would have
been like that "Address without a Phoenix" before referred to. My few
remarks were well received, and quieted the shouting Ephesians of the
warm-brained and warm-hearted northern university. It gave me great
pleasure to meet my friend Mr. Underwood, now American consul in
Glasgow, where he has made himself highly esteemed and respected.

In my previous visit to Edinburgh in 1834, I was fond of rambling along
under Salisbury Crags, and climbing the sides of Arthur's Seat. I had
neither time nor impulse for such walks during this visit, but in
driving out to dine at Nidrie, the fine old place now lived in by Mr.
Barclay and his daughters, we passed under the crags and by the side of
the great hill. I had never heard, or if I had I had forgotten, the name
and the story of "Samson's Ribs." These are the columnar masses of rock
which form the face of Salisbury Crags. There is a legend that one day
one of these pillars will fall and crush the greatest man that ever
passes under them. It is said that a certain professor was always very
shy of "Samson's Ribs," for fear the prophecy might be fulfilled in his
person. We were most hospitably received at Mr. Barclay's, and the
presence of his accomplished and pleasing daughters made the visit
memorable to both of us. There was one picture on their walls, that of a
lady, by Sir Joshua, which both of us found very captivating. This is
what is often happening in the visits we make. Some painting by a master
looks down upon us from its old canvas, and leaves a lasting copy of
itself, to be stored in memory's picture gallery. These surprises are
not so likely to happen in the New World as in the Old.

It seemed cruel to be forced to tear ourselves away from Edinburgh,
where so much had been done to make us happy, where so much was left to
see and enjoy, but we were due in Oxford, where I was to receive the
last of the three degrees with which I was honored in Great Britain.

Our visit to Scotland gave us a mere glimpse of the land and its people,
but I have a very vivid recollection of both as I saw them on my first
visit, when I made an excursion into the Highlands to Stirling and to
Glasgow, where I went to church, and wondered over the uncouth ancient
psalmody, which I believe is still retained in use to this day. I was
seasoned to that kind of poetry in my early days by the verses of Tate
and Brady, which I used to hear "entuned in the nose ful swetely,"
accompanied by vigorous rasping of a huge bass-viol. No wonder that
Scotland welcomed the song of Burns!

On our second visit to Oxford we were to be the guests of the
Vice-Chancellor of the university, Dr. Jowett. This famous scholar and
administrator lives in a very pleasant establishment, presided over by
the Muses, but without the aid of a Vice-Chancelloress. The hospitality
of this classic mansion is well known, and we added a second pleasant
chapter to our previous experience under the roof of Professor Max
Müller. There was a little company there before us, including the Lord
Chancellor and Lady Herschell, Lady Camilla Wallop, Mr. Browning, and
Mr. Lowell. We were too late, in consequence of the bad arrangement of
the trains, and had to dine by ourselves, as the whole party had gone
out to a dinner, to which we should have accompanied them had we not
been delayed. We sat up long enough to see them on their return, and
were glad to get to bed, after our day's journey from Edinburgh to
Oxford.

At eleven o'clock on the following day we who were to receive degrees
met at Balliol College, whence we proceeded in solemn procession to the
Sheldonian Theatre. Among my companions on this occasion were Mr. John
Bright, the Lord Chancellor Herschell, and Mr. Aldis Wright. I have an
instantaneous photograph, which was sent me, of this procession. I can
identify Mr. Bright and myself, but hardly any of the others, though
many better acquainted with their faces would no doubt recognize them.
There is a certain sensation in finding one's self invested with the
academic gown, conspicuous by its red facings, and the cap with its
square top and depending tassel, which is not without its accompanying
satisfaction. One can walk the streets of any of the university towns in
his academic robes without being jeered at, as I am afraid he would be
in some of our own thoroughfares. There is a noticeable complacency in
the members of our Phi Beta Kappa society when they get the pink and
blue ribbons in their buttonholes, on the day of annual meeting. How
much more when the scholar is wrapped in those flowing folds, with their
flaming borders, and feels the dignity of the distinction of which they
are the symbol! I do not know how Mr. John Bright felt, but I cannot
avoid the impression that some in the ranks which moved from Balliol to
the Sheldonian felt as if Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like
the candidates for the degree of D.C.L.

After my experience at Cambridge and Edinburgh, I might have felt some
apprehension about my reception at Oxford. I had always supposed the
audience assembled there at the conferring of degrees was a more
demonstrative one than that at any other of the universities, and I did
not wish to be forced into a retreat by calls for a speech, as I was at
Cambridge, nor to repeat my somewhat irregular proceeding of addressing
the audience, as at Edinburgh. But when I found that Mr. John Bright was
to be one of the recipients of the degree I felt safe, for if he made a
speech I should be justified in saying a few words, if I thought it
best; and if he, one of the most eloquent men in England, remained
silent, I surely need not make myself heard on the occasion. It was a
great triumph for him, a liberal leader, to receive the testimonial of a
degree from the old conservative university. To myself it was a graceful
and pleasing compliment; to him it was a grave and significant tribute.
As we marched through the crowd on our way from Balliol, the people
standing around recognized Mr. Bright, and cheered him vociferously.

The exercises in the Sheldonian Theatre were more complex and lasted
longer than those at the other two universities. The candidate stepped
forward and listened to one sentence, then made another move forward and
listened to other words, and at last was welcomed to all the privileges
conferred by the degree of Doctor of Civil Law, which was announced as
being bestowed upon him. Mr. Bright, of course, was received with
immense enthusiasm. I had every reason to be gratified with my own
reception. The only "chaffing" I heard was the question from one of the
galleries, "Did he come in the One-Hoss Shay?"--at which there was a
hearty laugh, joined in as heartily by myself. A part of the
entertainment at this ceremony consisted in the listening to the reading
of short extracts from the prize essays, some or all of them in the dead
languages, which could not have been particularly intelligible to a
large part of the audience. During these readings there were frequent
_interpellations_, as the French call such interruptions, something
like these: "That will do, sir!" or "You had better stop, sir!"--always,
I noticed, with the sir at the end of the remark. With us it
would have been "Dry up!" or "Hold on!" At last came forward the young
poet of the occasion, who read an elaborate poem, "Savonarola," which
was listened to in most respectful silence, and loudly applauded at its
close, as I thought, deservedly. Prince and Princess Christian were
among the audience. They were staying with Professor and Mrs. Max
Müller, whose hospitalities I hope they enjoyed as much as we did. One
or two short extracts from A----'s diary will enliven my record: "The
Princess had a huge bouquet, and going down the aisle had to bow both
ways at once, it seemed to me: but then she has the Guelph spine and
neck! Of course it is necessary that royalty should have more elasticity
in the frame than we poor ordinary mortals. After all this we started
for a luncheon at All Souls, but had to wait (impatiently) for H. R. H.
to rest herself, while our resting was done standing."

It is a long while since I read Madame d'Arblay's Recollections, but if
I remember right, _standing_ while royalty rests its bones is one
of the drawbacks to a maid of honor's felicity.

"Finally, at near three, we went into a great luncheon of some fifty.
There were different tables, and I sat at the one with royalty. The
Provost of Oriel took me in, and Mr. Browning was on my other side.
Finally, we went home to rest, but the others started out again to go to
a garden-party, but that was beyond us." After all this came a
dinner-party of twenty at the Vice-Chancellor's, and after that a
reception, where among others we met Lord and Lady Coleridge, the lady
resplendent in jewels. Even after London, this could hardly be called a
day of rest.

The Chinese have a punishment which consists simply in keeping the
subject of it awake, by the constant teasing of a succession of
individuals employed for the purpose. The best of our social pleasures,
if carried beyond the natural power of physical and mental endurance,
begin to approach the character of such a penance. After this we got a
little rest; did some mild sight-seeing, heard some good music, called
on the Max Müllers, and bade them good-by with the warmest feeling to
all the members of a household which it was a privilege to enter. There
only remained the parting from our kind entertainer, the
Vice-Chancellor, who added another to the list of places which in
England and Scotland were made dear to us by hospitality, and are
remembered as true homes to us while we were under their roofs.

On the second day of July we left the Vice-Chancellor's, and went to the
Randolph Hotel to meet our friends, Mr. and Mrs. Willett, from Brighton,
with whom we had an appointment of long standing. With them we left
Oxford, to enter on the next stage of our pilgrimage.



IV.


It had been the intention of Mr. Willett to go with us to visit Mr.
Ruskin, with whom he is in the most friendly relations. But a letter
from Mr. Ruskin's sister spoke of his illness as being too serious for
him to see company, and we reluctantly gave up this part of our plan.

My first wish was to revisit Stratford-on-Avon, and as our travelling
host was guided in everything by our inclinations, we took the cars for
Stratford, where we arrived at five o'clock in the afternoon. It had
been arranged beforehand that we should be the guests of Mr. Charles E.
Flower, one of the chief citizens of Stratford, who welcomed us to his
beautiful mansion in the most cordial way, and made us once more at home
under an English roof.

I well remembered my visit to Stratford in 1834. The condition of the
old house in which Shakespeare was born was very different from that in
which we see it to-day. A series of photographs taken in different years
shows its gradual transformation since the time when the old projecting
angular sign-board told all who approached "The immortal Shakespeare was
born in this House." How near the old house came to sharing the fortunes
of Jumbo under the management of our enterprising countryman, Mr.
Barnum, I am not sure; but that he would have "traded" for it, if the
proprietors had been willing, I do not doubt, any more than I doubt that
he would make an offer for the Tower of London, if that venerable
structure were in the market. The house in which Shakespeare was born is
the Santa Casa of England. What with my recollections and the
photographs with which I was familiarly acquainted, it had nothing very
new for me. Its outside had undergone great changes, but its bare
interior was little altered.

My previous visit was a hurried one,--I took but a glimpse, and then
went on my way. Now, for nearly a week I was a resident of
Stratford-on-Avon. How shall I describe the perfectly ideal beauty of
the new home in which I found myself! It is a fine house, surrounded by
delightful grounds, which skirt the banks of the Avon for a considerable
distance, and come close up to the enclosure of the Church of the Holy
Trinity, beneath the floor of which lie the mortal remains of
Shakespeare. The Avon is one of those narrow English rivers in which
half a dozen boats might lie side by side, but hardly wide enough for a
race between two rowing abreast of each other. Just here the river is
comparatively broad and quiet, there being a dam a little lower down the
stream. The waters were a perfect mirror, as I saw them on one of the
still days we had at Stratford. I do not remember ever before seeing
cows walking with their legs in the air, as I saw them reflected in the
Avon. Along the banks the young people were straying. I wondered if the
youthful swains quoted Shakespeare to their ladyloves. Could they help
recalling Romeo and Juliet? It is quite impossible to think of any human
being growing up in this place which claims Shakespeare as its child,
about the streets of which he ran as a boy, on the waters of which he
must have often floated, without having his image ever present. Is it
so? There are some boys, from eight to ten or a dozen years old, fishing
in the Avon, close by the grounds of "Avonbank," the place at which we
are staying. I call to the little group. I say, "Boys, who was this man
Shakespeare, people talk so much about?" Boys turn round and look up
with a plentiful lack of intelligence in their countenances. "Don't you
know who he was nor what he was?" Boys look at each other, but confess
ignorance.--Let us try the universal stimulant of human faculties. "Here
are some pennies for the boy that will tell me what that Mr. Shakespeare
was." The biggest boy finds his tongue at last. "He was a writer,--he
wrote plays." That was as much as I could get out of the youngling. I
remember meeting some boys under the monument upon Bunker Hill, and
testing their knowledge as I did that of the Stratford boys. "What is
this great stone pillar here for?" I asked. "Battle fought here,--great
battle." "Who fought?" "Americans and British." (I never hear the
expression Britishers.) "Who was the general on the American side?"
"Don' know,--General Washington or somebody."--What is an old battle,
though it may have settled the destinies of a nation, to the game of
base-ball between the Boston and Chicago Nines which is to come off
to-morrow, or to the game of marbles which Tom and Dick are just going
to play together under the shadow of the great obelisk which
commemorates the conflict?

The room more especially assigned to me looked out, at a distance of not
more than a stone's-throw, on the northern aspect of the church where
Shakespeare lies buried. Workmen were busy on the roof of the transept.
I could not conveniently climb up to have a talk with the roofers, but I
have my doubts whether they were thinking all the time of the dust over
which they were working. How small a matter literature is to the great
seething, toiling, struggling, love-making, bread-winning,
child-rearing, death-awaiting men and women who fill this huge,
palpitating world of ours! It would be worth while to pass a week or a
month among the plain, average people of Stratford. What is the relative
importance in human well-being of the emendations of the text of Hamlet
and the patching of the old trousers and the darning of the old
stockings which task the needles of the hard-working households that
fight the battle of life in these narrow streets and alleys? I ask the
question; the reader may answer it.

Our host, Mr. Flower, is more deeply interested, perhaps, than any other
individual in the "Shakespeare Memorial" buildings which have been
erected on the banks of the Avon, a short distance above the Church of
the Holy Trinity. Under Mr. Flower's guidance we got into one of his
boats, and were rowed up the stream to the Memorial edifice. There is a
theatre, in a round tower which has borrowed some traits from the
octagon "Globe" theatre of Shakespeare's day; a Shakespeare library and
portrait gallery are forming; and in due time these buildings, of
stately dimensions and built solidly of brick, will constitute a
Shakespearean centre which will attract to itself many mementoes now
scattered about in various parts of the country.

On the 4th of July we remembered our native land with all the
affectionate pride of temporary exiles, and did not forget to drink at
lunch to the prosperity and continued happiness of the United States of
America. In the afternoon we took to the boat again, and were rowed up
the river to the residence of Mr. Edgar Flower, where we found another
characteristic English family, with its nine children, one of whom was
the typical English boy, most pleasing and attractive in look, voice,
and manner.

I attempt no description of the church, the birthplace, or the other
constantly visited and often described localities. The noble bridge,
built in the reign of Henry VII. by Sir Hugh Clopton, and afterwards
widened, excited my admiration. It was a much finer piece of work than
the one built long afterwards. I have hardly seen anything which gave me
a more striking proof of the thoroughness of the old English workmen.
They built not for an age, but for all time, and the New Zealander will
have to wait a long while before he will find in any one of the older
bridges that broken arch from which he is to survey the ruins of London.

It is very pleasant to pick up a new epithet to apply to the poet upon
whose genius our language has nearly exhausted itself. It delights me to
speak of him in the words which I have just found in a memoir not yet a
century old, as "the Warwickshire bard," "the inestimable Shakespeare."

Ever since Miss Bacon made her insane attempt to unearth what is left of
Shakespeare's bodily frame, the thought of doing reverently and openly
what she would have done by stealth has been entertained by
psychologists, artists, and others who would like to know what were his
cranial developments, and to judge from the conformation of the skull
and face which of the various portraits is probably the true one. There
is little doubt that but for the curse invoked upon the person who
should disturb his bones, in the well-known lines on the slab which
covers him, he would rest, like Napoleon, like Washington, in a fitting
receptacle of marble or porphyry. In the transfer of his remains the
curiosity of men of science and artists would have been gratified, if
decay had spared the more durable portions of his material structure. It
was probably not against such a transfer that the lines were
written,--whoever was their author,--but in the fear that they would be
carried to the charnel-house.

"In this charnel-house was contained a vast collection of human bones.
How long they had been deposited there is not easily to be determined;
but it is evident, from the immense quantity contained in the vault, it
could have been used for no other purpose for many ages." "It is
probable that from an early contemplation of this dreary spot
Shakespeare imbibed that horror of a violation of sepulture which is
observable in many parts of his writings."

The body of Raphael was disinterred in 1833 to settle a question of
identity of the remains, and placed in a new coffin of lead, which was
deposited in a marble sarcophagus presented by the Pope. The
sarcophagus, with its contents, was replaced in the same spot from which
the remains had been taken. But for the inscription such a transfer of
the bones of Shakespeare would have been proposed, and possibly carried
out. Kings and emperors have frequently been treated in this way after
death, and the proposition is no more an indignity than was that of the
exhumation of the remains of Napoleon, or of André, or of the author of
"Home, Sweet Home." But sentiment, a tender regard for the supposed
wishes of the dead poet, and a natural dread of the consequences of
violating a dying wish, coupled with the execration of its contemner,
are too powerful for the arguments of science and the pleadings of art.
If Shakespeare's body had been embalmed,--which there is no reason that
I know of to suppose,--the desire to compare his features with the bust
and the portraits would have been much more imperative. When the body of
Charles the First was examined, under the direction of Sir Henry
Halford, in the presence of the Regent, afterwards George the Fourth,
the face would have been recognized at once by all who were acquainted
with Vandyke's portrait of the monarch, if the lithograph which comes
attached to Sir Henry's memoir is an accurate representation of what
they found. Even the bony framework of the face, as I have had occasion
to know, has sometimes a striking likeness to what it was when clothed
in its natural features. As between the first engraved portrait and the
bust in the church, the form of the bones of the head and face would
probably be decisive. But the world can afford to live without solving
this doubt, and leave his perishing vesture of decay to its repose.

After seeing the Shakespeare shrines, we drove over to Shottery, and
visited the Anne Hathaway cottage. I am not sure whether I ever saw it
before, but it was as familiar to me as if I had lived in it. The old
lady who showed it was agreeably communicative, and in perfect keeping
with the place.

A delightful excursion of ten or a dozen miles carried our party,
consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Flower, Mr. and Mrs. Willett, with A---- and
myself, to Compton Wynyate, a most interesting old mansion, belonging to
the Marquis of Northampton, who, with his daughter-in-law, Lady William
Compton, welcomed us and showed us all the wonders of the place. It was
a fine morning, but hot enough for one of our American July days. The
drive was through English rural scenery; that is to say, it was lovely.
The old house is a great curiosity. It was built in the reign of Henry
the Eighth, and has passed through many vicissitudes. The place, as well
as the edifice, is a study for the antiquarian. Remains of the old moat
which surrounded it are still distinguishable. The twisted and variously
figured chimneys are of singular variety and exceptional forms. Compton
_Wynyate_ is thought to get its name from the vineyards formerly
under cultivation on the hillsides, which show the signs of having been
laid out in terraces. The great hall, with its gallery, and its
hangings, and the long table made from the trunk of a single tree,
carries one back into the past centuries. There are strange nooks and
corners and passages in the old building, and one place, a queer little
"cubby-hole," has the appearance of having been a Roman Catholic chapel.
I asked the master of the house, who pointed out the curiosities of the
place most courteously, about the ghosts who of course were tenants in
common with the living proprietors. I was surprised when he told me
there were none. It was incredible, for here was every accommodation for
a spiritual visitant. I should have expected at least one haunted
chamber, to say nothing of blood-stains that could never be got rid of;
but there were no legends of the supernatural or the terrible.

Refreshments were served us, among which were some hot-house peaches,
ethereally delicate as if they had grown in the Elysian Fields and been
stolen from a banquet of angels. After this we went out on the lawn,
where, at Lady William Compton's request, I recited one or two poems;
the only time I did such a thing in England.

It seems as if Compton Wynyate must have been written about in some
novel or romance,--perhaps in more than one of both. It is the place of
all others to be the scene of a romantic story. It lies so hidden away
among the hills that its vulgar name, according to old Camden, was
"Compton in the Hole." I am not sure that it was the scene of any actual
conflict, but it narrowly escaped demolition in the great civil war, and
in 1646 it was garrisoned by the Parliament army.

On the afternoon of July 6th, our hosts had a large garden-party. If
nothing is more trying than one of these out-of-door meetings on a cold,
windy, damp day, nothing can be more delightful than such a social
gathering if the place and the weather are just what we could wish them.
The garden-party of this afternoon was as near perfection as such a
meeting could well be. The day was bright and warm, but not
uncomfortably hot, to me, at least. The company strolled about the
grounds, or rested on the piazzas, or watched the birds in the aviary,
or studied rudimentary humanity in the monkey, or, better still, in a
charming baby, for the first time on exhibition since she made the
acquaintance of sunshine. Every one could dispose of himself or herself
as fancy might suggest. I broke away at one time, and wandered alone by
the side of the Avon, under the shadow of the tall trees upon its bank.
The whole scene was as poetical, as inspiring, as any that I remember.
It would be easy to write verses about it, but unwritten poems are so
much better!

One reminiscence of that afternoon claims precedence over all the rest.
The reader must not forget that I have been a medical practitioner, and
for thirty-five years a professor in a medical school. Among the guests
whom I met in the grounds was a gentleman of the medical profession,
whose name I had often heard, and whom I was very glad to see and talk
with. This was Mr. Lawson Tait, F.R.C.S., M.D., of Birmingham. Mr., or
more properly Dr., Tait has had the most extraordinary success in a
class of cases long considered beyond the reach of surgery. If I refer
to it as a scientific _hari kari_, not for the taking but for the
saving of life, I shall come near enough to its description. This
operation is said to have been first performed by an American surgeon in
Danville, Kentucky, in the year 1809. So rash and dangerous did it seem
to most of the profession that it was sometimes spoken of as if to
attempt it were a crime. Gradually, however, by improved methods, and
especially by the most assiduous care in nursing the patient after the
operation, the mortality grew less and less, until it was recognized as
a legitimate and indeed an invaluable addition to the resources of
surgery. Mr. Lawson Tait has had, so far as I have been able to learn,
the most wonderful series of successful cases on record: namely, one
hundred and thirty-nine consecutive operations without a single death.

As I sat by the side of this great surgeon, a question suggested itself
to my mind which I leave the reader to think over. Which would give the
most satisfaction to a thoroughly humane and unselfish being, of
cultivated intelligence and lively sensibilities: to have written all
the plays which Shakespeare has left as an inheritance for mankind, or
to have snatched from the jaws of death more than a hundred
fellow-creatures,--almost seven scores of suffering women,--and restored
them to sound and comfortable existence? It would be curious to get the
answers of a hundred men and a hundred women, of a hundred young people
and a hundred old ones, of a hundred scholars and a hundred operatives.
My own specialty is asking questions, not answering them, and I trust I
shall not receive a peck or two of letters inquiring of me how I should
choose if such a question were asked me. It may prove as fertile a
source of dispute as "The Lady or the Tiger."

It would have been a great thing to pass a single night close to the
church where Shakespeare's dust lies buried. A single visit by daylight
leaves a comparatively slight impression. But when, after a night's
sleep, one wakes up and sees the spire and the old walls full before
him, that impression is very greatly deepened, and the whole scene
becomes far more a reality. Now I was nearly a whole week at
Stratford-on-Avon. The church, its exterior, its interior, the
birthplace, the river, had time to make themselves permanent images in
my mind. To effect this requires a certain amount of exposure, as much
as in the case of a photographic negative.

       *       *       *       *       *

And so we bade good-by to Stratford-on-Avon and its hospitalities, with
grateful remembrances of our kind entertainers and all they did for our
comfort and enjoyment.

Where should we go next? Our travelling host proposed Great Malvern, a
famous watering-place, where we should find peace, rest, and good
accommodations. So there we went, and soon found ourselves installed at
the "Foley Arms" hotel. The room I was shown to looked out upon an
apothecary's shop, and from the window of that shop stared out upon me a
plaster bust which I recognized as that of Samuel Hahnemann. I was glad
to change to another apartment, but it may be a comfort to some of his
American followers to know that traces of homoeopathy,--or what still
continues to call itself so,--survive in the Old World, which we have
understood was pretty well tired of it.

We spent several days very pleasantly at Great Malvern. It lies at the
foot of a range of hills, the loftiest of which is over a thousand feet
in height. A---- and I thought we would go to the top of one of these,
known as the Beacon. We hired a "four-wheeler," dragged by a
much-enduring horse and in charge of a civil young man. We turned out of
one of the streets not far from the hotel, and found ourselves facing an
ascent which looked like what I should suppose would be a pretty steep
toboggan slide. We both drew back. _"Facilis ascensus,"_ I said to
myself, _"sed revocare gradum."_ It is easy enough to get up if you
are dragged up, but how will it be to come down such a declivity? When
we reached it on our return, the semi-precipice had lost all its
terrors. We had seen and travelled over so much worse places that this
little bit of slanting road seemed as nothing. The road which wound up
to the summit of the Beacon was narrow and uneven. It ran close to the
edge of the steep hillside,--so close that there were times when every
one of our forty digits curled up like a bird's claw. If we went over,
it would not be a fall down a good honest precipice,--a swish through
the air and a smash at the bottom,--but a tumbling, and a rolling over
and over, and a bouncing and bumping, ever accelerating, until we
bounded into the level below, all ready for the coroner. At one sudden
turn of the road the horse's body projected so far over its edge that
A---- declared if the beast had been an inch longer he would have
toppled over. When we got close to the summit we found the wind blowing
almost a gale. A---- says in her diary that I (meaning her honored
parent) "nearly blew off from the top of the mountain." It is true that
the force of the wind was something fearful, and seeing that two young
men near me were exposed to its fury, I offered an arm to each of them,
which they were not too proud to accept; A---- was equally attentive to
another young person; and having seen as much of the prospect as we
cared to, we were glad to get back to our four-wheeler and our hotel,
after a perilous journey almost comparable to Mark Twain's ascent of the
Riffelberg.

At Great Malvern we were deliciously idle. We walked about the place,
rested quietly, drove into the neighboring country, and made a single
excursion,--to Tewkesbury. There are few places better worth seeing than
this fine old town, full of historical associations and monumental
relics. The magnificent old abbey church is the central object of
interest. The noble Norman tower, one hundred and thirty-two feet in
height, was once surmounted by a spire, which fell during divine service
on Easter Day of the year 1559. The arch of the west entrance is sixteen
feet high and thirty-four feet wide. The fourteen columns of the nave
are each six feet and three inches in diameter and thirty feet in
height. I did not take these measurements from the fabric itself, but
from the guidebook, and I give them here instead of saying that the
columns were huge, enormous, colossal, as they did most assuredly seem
to me. The old houses of Tewkesbury compare well with the finest of
those in Chester. I have a photograph before me of one of them, in which
each of the three upper floors overhangs the one beneath it, and the
windows in the pointed gable above project over those of the fourth
floor.

I ought to have visited the site of Holme Castle, the name of which
reminds me of my own origin. "The meaning of the Saxon word 'Holme' is a
meadow surrounded with brooks, and here not only did the castle bear the
name, but the meadow is described as the 'Holme,--where the castle
was.'" The final _s_ in the name as we spell it is a frequent
addition to old English names, as Camden mentions, giving the name
Holmes among the examples. As there is no castle at the Holme now, I
need not pursue my inquiries any further. It was by accident that I
stumbled on this bit of archaeology, and as I have a good many
namesakes, it may perhaps please some of them to be told about it. Few
of us hold any castles, I think, in these days, except those _châteaux
en Espagne_, of which I doubt not, many of us are lords and masters.

In another of our excursions we visited a venerable church, where our
attention was called to a particular monument. It was erected to the
memory of one of the best of husbands by his "wretched widow," who
records upon the marble that there never was such a man on the face of
the earth before, and never will be again, and that there never was
anybody so miserable as she,--no, never, never, never! These are not the
exact words, but this is pretty nearly what she declares. The story is
that she married again within a year.

From my window at the Foley Arms I can see the tower of the fine old
abbey church of Malvern, which would be a centre of pilgrimages if it
were in our country. But England is full of such monumental structures,
into the history of which the local antiquarians burrow, and pass their
peaceful lives in studying and writing about them with the same innocent
enthusiasm that White of Selborne manifested in studying nature as his
village showed it to him.

In our long drives we have seen everywhere the same picturesque old
cottages, with the pretty gardens, and abundant flowers, and noble
trees, more frequently elms than any other. One day--it was on the 10th
of July--we found ourselves driving through what seemed to be a
gentleman's estate, an ample domain, well wooded and well kept. On
inquiring to whom this place belonged, I was told that the owner was Sir
Edmund Lechmere. The name had a very familiar sound to my ears. Without
rising from the table at which I am now writing, I have only to turn my
head, and in full view, at the distance of a mile, just across the
estuary of the Charles, shining in the morning sun, are the roofs and
spires and chimneys of East Cambridge, always known in my younger days
as Lechmere's Point. Judge Richard Lechmere was one of our old Cambridge
Tories, whose property was confiscated at the time of the Revolution. An
engraving of his handsome house, which stands next to the Vassall house,
long known as Washington's headquarters, and since not less celebrated
as the residence of Longfellow, is before me, on one of the pages of the
pleasing little volume, "The Cambridge of 1776." I take it for granted
that our Lechmeres were of the same stock as the owner of this property.
If so, he probably knows all that I could tell him about his colonial
relatives, who were very grand people, belonging to a little
aristocratic circle of friends and relatives who were faithful to their
king and their church. The Baroness Riedesel, wife of a Hessian officer
who had been captured, was for a while resident in this house, and her
name, scratched on a window-pane, was long shown as a sight for eyes
unused to titles other than governor, judge, colonel, and the like. I
was tempted to present myself at Sir Edmund's door as one who knew
something about the Lechmeres in America, but I did not feel sure how
cordially a descendant of the rebels who drove off Richard and Mary
Lechmere would be received.

From Great Malvern we went to Bath, another place where we could rest
and be comfortable. The Grand Pump-Room Hotel was a stately building,
and the bath-rooms were far beyond anything I had ever seen of that
kind. The remains of the old Roman baths, which appear to have been very
extensive, are partially exposed. What surprises one all over the Old
World is to see how deeply all the old civilizations contrive to get
buried. Everybody seems to have lived in the cellar. It is hard to
believe that the cellar floor was once the sun surface of the smiling
earth.

I looked forward to seeing Bath with a curious kind of interest. I once
knew one of those dear old English ladies whom one finds all the world
over, with their prim little ways, and their gilt prayer-books, and
lavender-scented handkerchiefs, and family recollections. She gave me
the idea that Bath, a city where the great people often congregate, was
more especially the paradise of decayed gentlewomen. There, she told me,
persons with very narrow incomes--not _demi-fortunes_, but
_demi-quart-de-fortunes_--could find everything arranged to
accommodate their modest incomes. I saw the evidence of this everywhere.
So great was the delight I had in looking in at the shop-windows of the
long street which seemed to be one of the chief thoroughfares that,
after exploring it in its full extent by myself, I went for A----, and
led her down one side its whole length and up the other. In these shops
the precious old dears could buy everything they wanted in the most
minute quantities. Such tempting heaps of lumps of white sugar, only
twopence! Such delectable cakes, two for a penny! Such seductive scraps
of meat, which would make a breakfast nourishing as well as relishing,
possibly even what called itself a dinner, blushing to see themselves
labelled threepence or fourpence! We did not know whether to smile or to
drop a tear, as we contemplated these baits hung out to tempt the coins
from the exiguous purses of ancient maidens, forlorn widows, withered
annuitants, stranded humanity in every stage of shipwrecked penury. I am
reminded of Thackeray's "Jack Spiggot." "And what are your pursuits,
Jack? says I. 'Sold out when the governor died. Mother lives at Bath. Go
down there once a year for a week. Dreadful slow. Shilling whist.'" Mrs.
Gaskell's picture of "Cranford" is said to have been drawn from a
village in Cheshire, but Bath must have a great deal in common with its
"elegant economies." Do not make the mistake, however, of supposing that
this splendid watering-place, sometimes spoken of as "the handsomest
city in Britain," is only a city of refuge for people that have seen
better days. Lord Macaulay speaks of it as "that beautiful city which
charms even eyes familiar with the masterpieces of Bramante and
Palladio." If it is not quite so conspicuous as a fashionable resort as
it was in the days of Beau Nash or of Christopher Anstey, it has never
lost its popularity. Chesterfield writes in 1764, "The number of people
in this place is infinite," and at the present time the annual influx of
visitors is said to vary from ten to fourteen thousand. Many of its
public buildings are fine, and the abbey church, dating from 1499, is an
object of much curiosity, especially on account of the sculptures on its
western façade. These represent two ladders, with angels going up and
down upon them,--suggested by a dream of the founder of the church,
repeating that of Jacob.

On the 14th of July we left Bath for Salisbury. While passing Westbury,
one of our fellow-passengers exclaimed, "Look out! Look out!" "What is
it?" "The horse! the horse!" All our heads turned to the window, and all
our eyes fastened on the figure of a white horse, upon a hillside some
miles distant. This was not the white horse which Mr. Thomas Hughes has
made famous, but one of much less archaic aspect and more questionable
history. A little book which we bought tells us all we care to know
about it. "It is formed by excoriating the turf over the steep slope of
the northern escarpment of Salisbury Plain." It was "remodelled" in
1778, and "restored" in 1873 at a cost of between sixty and seventy
pounds. It is said that a smaller and ruder horse stood here from time
immemorial, and was made to commemorate a victory of Alfred over the
Danes. However that may be, the horse we now see on the hillside is a
very modern-looking and well-shaped animal, and is of the following
dimensions: length, 170 feet; height from highest part of back, 128
feet; thickness of body, 55 feet; length of head, 50 feet; eye, 6 by 8
feet. It is a very pretty little object as we see it in the distance.

Salisbury Cathedral was my first love among all the wonderful
ecclesiastical buildings which I saw during my earlier journey. I looked
forward to seeing it again with great anticipations of pleasure, which
were more than realized.

Our travelling host had taken a whole house in the Close,--a privileged
enclosure, containing the cathedral, the bishop's palace, houses of the
clergy, and a limited number of private residences, one of the very best
of which was given over entirely into the hands of our party during our
visit. The house was about as near the cathedral as Mr. Flower's house,
where we stayed at Stratford-on-Avon, was to the Church of the Holy
Trinity. It was very completely furnished, and in the room assigned to
me as my library I found books in various languages, showing that the
residence was that of a scholarly person.

If one had to name the apple of the eye of England, I think he would be
likely to say that Salisbury Cathedral was as near as he could come to
it, and that the white of the eye was Salisbury Close. The cathedral is
surrounded by a high wall, the gates of which,--its eyelids,--are closed
every night at a seasonable hour, at which the virtuous inhabitants are
expected to be in their safe and sacred quarters. Houses within this
hallowed precinct naturally bring a higher rent than those of the
unsanctified and unprotected region outside of its walls. It is a realm
of peace, glorified by the divine edifice, which lifts the least
imaginative soul upward to the heavens its spire seems trying to reach;
beautified by rows of noble elms which stretch high aloft, as if in
emulation of the spire; beatified by holy memories of the good and great
men who have worn their lives out in the service of the church of which
it is one of the noblest temples.

For a whole week we lived under the shadow of the spire of the great
cathedral. Our house was opposite the north transept, only separated by
the road in front of it from the cathedral grounds. Here, as at
Stratford, I learned what it was to awake morning after morning and find
that I was not dreaming, but there in the truth-telling daylight the
object of my admiration, devotion, almost worship, stood before me. I
need not here say anything more of the cathedral, except that its
perfect exterior is hardly equalled in beauty by its interior, which
looks somewhat bare and cold. It was my impression that there is more to
study than to admire in the interior, but I saw the cathedral so much
oftener on the outside than on the inside that I may not have done
justice to the latter aspect of the noble building.

Nothing could be more restful than our week at Salisbury. There was
enough in the old town besides the cathedral to interest us,--old
buildings, a museum, full of curious objects, and the old town itself.
When I was there the first time, I remember that we picked up a
guide-book in which we found a verse that has remained in my memory ever
since. It is an epitaph on a native of Salisbury who died in Venice.

  "Born in the English Venice, thou didst dye
  Dear Friend, in the Italian Salisbury."

This would be hard to understand except for the explanation which the
local antiquarians give us of its significance. The Wiltshire Avon flows
by or through the town, which is drained by brooks that run through its
streets. These, which used to be open, are now covered over, and thus
the epitaph becomes somewhat puzzling, as there is nothing to remind one
of Venice in walking about the town.

While at Salisbury we made several excursions: to Old Sarum; to
Bemerton, where we saw the residence of holy George Herbert, and visited
the little atom of a church in which he ministered; to Clarendon Park;
to Wilton, the seat of the Earl of Pembroke, a most interesting place
for itself and its recollections; and lastly to Stonehenge. My second
visit to the great stones after so long an interval was a strange
experience. But what is half a century to a place like Stonehenge?
Nothing dwarfs an individual life like one of these massive, almost
unchanging monuments of an antiquity which refuses to be measured. The
"Shepherd of Salisbury Plain" was represented by an old man, who told
all he knew and a good deal more about the great stones, and sheared a
living, not from sheep, but from visitors, in the shape of shillings and
sixpences. I saw nothing that wore unwoven wool on its back in the
neighborhood of the monuments, but sheep are shown straggling among them
in the photographs.

The broken circle of stones, some in their original position, some
bending over like old men, some lying prostrate, suggested the thoughts
which took form in the following verses. They were read at the annual
meeting, in January, of the class which graduated at Harvard College in
the year 1829. Eight of the fifty-nine men who graduated sat round the
small table. There were several other classmates living, but infirmity,
distance, and other peremptory reasons kept them from being with us. I
have read forty poems at our successive annual meetings. I will
introduce this last one by quoting a stanza from the poem I read in
1851:--

  As one by one is falling
    Beneath the leaves or snows,
  Each memory still recalling
    The broken ring shall close,
  Till the night winds softly pass
    O'er the green and growing grass,
  Where it waves on the graves
    Of the "Boys of 'Twenty-nine."

  THE BROKEN CIRCLE.

  I stood on Sarum's treeless plain,
    The waste that careless Nature owns;
  Lone tenants of her bleak domain,
    Loomed huge and gray the Druid stones.

  Upheaved in many a billowy mound
    The sea-like, naked turf arose,
  Where wandering flocks went nibbling round
    The mingled graves of friends and foes.

  The Briton, Roman, Saxon, Dane,
    This windy desert roamed in turn;
  Unmoved these mighty blocks remain
    Whose story none that lives may learn.

  Erect, half buried, slant or prone,
    These awful listeners, blind and dumb,
  Hear the strange tongues of tribes unknown,
    As wave on wave they go and come.

  "Who are you, giants, whence and why?"
    I stand and ask in blank amaze;
  My soul accepts their mute reply:
    "A mystery, as are you that gaze.

  "A silent Orpheus wrought the charm
    From riven rocks their spoils to bring;
  A nameless Titan lent his arm
    To range us in our magic ring.

  "But Time with still and stealthy stride,
    That climbs and treads and levels all,
  That bids the loosening keystone slide,
    And topples down the crumbling wall,--

  "Time, that unbuilds the quarried past,
    Leans on these wrecks that press the sod;
  They slant, they stoop, they fall at last,
    And strew the turf their priests have trod.

  "No more our altar's wreath of smoke
    Floats up with morning's fragrant dew;
  The fires are dead, the ring is broke,
    Where stood the many stand the few."

  --My thoughts had wandered far away,
     Borne off on Memory's outspread wing,
  To where in deepening twilight lay
     The wrecks of friendship's broken ring.

  Ah me! of all our goodly train
     How few will find our banquet hall!
  Yet why with coward lips complain
     That this must lean and that must fall?

  Cold is the Druid's altar-stone,
     Its vanished flame no more returns;
  But ours no chilling damp has known,--
     Unchanged, unchanging, still it burns.

  So let our broken circle stand
     A wreck, a remnant, yet the same,
  While one last, loving, faithful hand
     Still lives to feed its altar-flame!

My heart has gone back over the waters to my old friends and my own
home. When this vision has faded, I will return to the silence of the
lovely Close and the shadow of the great Cathedral.



V.


The remembrance of home, with its early and precious and long-enduring
friendships, has intruded itself among my recollections of what I saw
and heard, of what I felt and thought, in the distant land I was
visiting. I must return to the scene where I found myself when the
suggestion of the broken circle ran away with my imagination.

The literature of Stonehenge is extensive, and illustrates the weakness
of archaeologists almost as well as the "Praetorium" of Scott's
"Antiquary." "In 1823," says a local handbook, "H. Browne, of Amesbury,
published 'An Illustration of Stonehenge and Abury,' in which he
endeavored to show that both of these monuments were antediluvian, and
that the latter was formed under the direction of Adam. He ascribes the
present dilapidated condition of Stonehenge to the operation of the
general deluge; for, he adds, 'to suppose it to be the work of any
people since the flood is entirely monstrous.'"

We know well enough how great stones--pillars and obelisks--are brought
into place by means of our modern appliances. But if the great blocks
were raised by a mob of naked Picts, or any tribe that knew none of the
mechanical powers but the lever, how did they set them up and lay the
cross-stones, the imposts, upon the uprights? It is pleasant, once in a
while, to think how we should have managed any such matters as this if
left to our natural resources. We are all interested in the make-shifts
of Robinson Crusoe. Now the rudest tribes make cords of some kind, and
the earliest, or almost the earliest, of artificial structures is an
earth-mound. If a hundred, or hundreds, of men could drag the huge
stones many leagues, as they must have done to bring them to their
destined place, they could have drawn each of them up a long slanting
mound ending in a sharp declivity, with a hole for the foot of the stone
at its base. If the stone were now tipped over, it would slide into its
place, and could be easily raised from its slanting position to the
perpendicular. Then filling in the space between the mound and two
contiguous stones, the impost could be dragged up to its position. I
found a pleasure in working at this simple mechanical problem, as a
change from the more imaginative thoughts suggested by the mysterious
monuments.

One incident of our excursion to Stonehenge had a significance for me
which renders it memorable in my personal experience. As we drove over
the barren plain, one of the party suddenly exclaimed, "Look! Look! See
the lark rising!" I looked up with the rest. There was the bright blue
sky, but not a speck upon it which my eyes could distinguish. Again, one
called out, "Hark! Hark! Hear him singing!" I listened, but not a sound
reached my ear. Was it strange that I felt a momentary pang? _Those
that look out at the windows are darkened, and all the daughters of
music are brought low._ Was I never to see or hear the soaring
songster at Heaven's gate,--unless,--unless,--if our mild humanized
theology promises truly, I may perhaps hereafter listen to him singing
far down beneath me? For in whatever world I may find myself, I hope I
shall always love our poor little spheroid, so long my home, which some
kind angel may point out to me as a gilded globule swimming in the
sunlight far away. After walking the streets of pure gold in the New
Jerusalem, might not one like a short vacation, to visit the
well-remembered green fields and flowery meadows? I had a very sweet
emotion of self-pity, which took the sting out of my painful discovery
that the orchestra of my pleasing life-entertainment was unstringing its
instruments, and the lights were being extinguished,--that the show was
almost over. All this I kept to myself, of course, except so far as I
whispered it to the unseen presence which we all feel is in sympathy
with us, and which, as it seemed to my fancy, was looking into my eyes,
and through them into my soul, with the tender, tearful smile of a
mother who for the first time gently presses back the longing lips of
her as yet unweaned infant.

On our way back from Stonehenge we stopped and took a cup of tea with a
friend of our host, Mr. Nightingale. His house, a bachelor
establishment, was very attractive to us by the beauty within and around
it. His collection of "china," as Pope and old-fashioned people call all
sorts of earthenware, excited the enthusiasm of our host, whose
admiration of some rare pieces in the collection was so great that it
would have run into envy in a less generous nature.

It is very delightful to find one's self in one of these English country
residences. The house is commonly old, and has a history. It is
oftentimes itself a record, like that old farmhouse my friend John
Bellows wrote to me about, which chronicled half a dozen reigns by
various architectural marks as exactly as if it had been an official
register. "The stately homes of England," as we see them at Wilton and
Longford Castle, are not more admirable in their splendors than "the
blessed homes of England" in their modest beauty. Everywhere one may see
here old parsonages by the side of ivy-mantled churches, and the
comfortable mansions where generations of country squires have lived in
peace, while their sons have gone forth to fight England's battles, and
carry her flags of war and commerce all over the world. We in America
can hardly be said to have such a possession as a family home. We
encamp,--not under canvas, but in fabrics of wood or more lasting
materials, which are pulled down after a brief occupancy by the
builders, and possibly their children, or are modernized so that the
former dwellers in them would never recognize their old habitations.

In my various excursions from Salisbury I was followed everywhere by the
all-pervading presence of the towering spire. Just what it was in that
earlier visit, when my eyes were undimmed and my sensibilities unworn,
just such I found it now. As one drives away from the town, the roofs of
the houses drop out of the landscape, the lesser spires disappear one by
one, until the great shaft is left standing alone,--solitary as the
broken statue of Ozymandias in the desert, as the mast of some mighty
ship above the waves which have rolled over the foundering vessel. Most
persons will, I think, own to a feeling of awe in looking up at it. Few
can look down from a great height without creepings and crispations, if
they do not get as far as vertigos and that aerial calenture which
prompts them to jump from the pinnacle on which they are standing. It
does not take much imagination to make one experience something of the
same feeling in looking up at a very tall steeple or chimney. To one
whose eyes are used to Park Street and the Old South steeples as
standards of height, a spire which climbs four hundred feet towards the
sky is a new sensation. Whether I am more "afraid of that which is high"
than I was at my first visit, as I should be on the authority of
Ecclesiastes, I cannot say, but it was quite enough for me to let my
eyes climb the spire, and I had no desire whatever to stand upon that
"bad eminence," as I am sure that I should have found it.

I soon noticed a slight deflection from the perpendicular at the upper
part of the spire. This has long been observed. I could not say that I
saw the spire quivering in the wind, as I felt that of Strasburg doing
when I ascended it,--swaying like a blade of grass when a breath of air
passes over it. But it has been, for at least two hundred years, nearly
two feet out of the perpendicular. No increase in the deviation was
found to exist when it was examined early in the present century. It is
a wonder that this slight-looking structure can have survived the
blasts, and thunderbolts, and earthquakes, and the weakening effects of
time on its stones and timbers for five hundred years. Since the spire
of Chichester Cathedral fell in 1861, sheathing itself in its tower like
a sword dropping into its scabbard, one can hardly help looking with
apprehension at all these lofty fabrics. I have before referred to the
fall of the spire of Tewkesbury Abbey church, three centuries earlier.
There has been a good deal of fear for the Salisbury spire, and great
precautions have been taken to keep it firm, so that we may hope it will
stand for another five hundred years. It ought to be a "joy forever,"
for it is a thing of beauty, if ever there were one.

I never felt inclined to play the part of the young enthusiast in
"Excelsior," as I looked up at the weathercock which surmounts the
spire. But the man who oils the weathercock-spindle has to get up to it
in some way, and that way is by ladders which reach to within thirty
feet of the top, where there is a small door, through which he emerges,
to crawl up the remaining distance on the outside. "The situation and
appearance," says one of the guide-books, "must be terrific, yet many
persons have voluntarily and daringly clambered to the top, even in a
state of intoxication." Such, I feel sure, was not the state of my most
valued and exemplary clerical friend, who, with a cool head and steady
nerves, found himself standing in safety at the top of the spire, with
his hand upon the vane, which nothing terrestrial had ever looked down
upon in its lofty position, except a bird, a bat, a sky-rocket, or a
balloon.

In saying that the exterior of Salisbury Cathedral is more interesting
than its interior, I was perhaps unfair to the latter, which only yields
to the surpassing claims of the wonderful structure as seen from the
outside. One may get a little tired of marble Crusaders, with their
crossed legs and broken noses, especially if, as one sometimes finds
them, they are covered with the pencilled autographs of cockney
scribblers. But there are monuments in this cathedral which excite
curiosity, and others which awaken the most striking associations. There
is the "Boy Bishop," his marble effigy protected from vandalism by an
iron cage. There is the skeleton figure representing Fox (who should
have been called Goose), the poor creature who starved himself to death
in trying to imitate the fast of forty days in the wilderness. Since
this performance has been taken out of the list of miracles, it is not
so likely to be repeated by fanatics. I confess to a strong suspicion
that this is one of the ambulatory or movable stories, like the
"hangman's stone" legend, which I have found in so many different parts
of England. Skulls and crossbones, sometimes skeletons or skeleton-like
figures, are not uncommon among the sepulchral embellishments of an
earlier period. Where one of these figures is found, the forty-day-fast
story is likely to grow out of it, as the mistletoe springs from the oak
or apple tree.

With far different emotions we look upon the spot where lie buried many
of the Herbert family, among the rest,

  "Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother,"

for whom Ben Jonson wrote the celebrated epitaph. I am almost afraid to
say it, but I never could admire the line,

  "Lies the subject of all verse,"

nor the idea of Time dropping his hour-glass and scythe to throw a dart
at the fleshless figure of Death. This last image seems to me about the
equivalent in mortuary poetry of Roubiliac's monument to Mrs.
Nightingale in mortuary sculpture,--poor conceits both of them, without
the suggestion of a tear in the verses or in the marble; but the
rhetorical exaggeration does not prevent us from feeling that we are
standing by the resting-place of one who was

  "learn'd and fair and good"

enough to stir the soul of stalwart Ben Jonson, and the names of Sidney
and Herbert make us forget the strange hyperboles.

History meets us everywhere, as we stray among these ancient monuments.
Under that effigy lie the great bones of Sir John Cheyne, a mighty man
of war, said to have been "overthrown" by Richard the Third at the
battle of Bosworth Field. What was left of him was unearthed in 1789 in
the demolition of the Beauchamp chapel, and his thigh-bone was found to
be four inches longer than that of a man of common stature.

The reader may remember how my recollections started from their
hiding-place when I came, in one of our excursions, upon the name of
Lechmere, as belonging to the owner of a fine estate by or through which
we were driving. I had a similar twinge of reminiscence at meeting with
the name of Gorges, which is perpetuated by a stately monument at the
end of the north aisle of the cathedral. Sir Thomas Gorges, Knight of
Longford Castle, may or may not have been of the same family as the
well-remembered grandiose personage of the New England Pilgrim period.
The title this gentleman bore had a far more magnificent sound than
those of his contemporaries, Governor Carver and Elder Brewster. No
title ever borne among us has filled the mouth quite so full as that of
"Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Lord Palatine of the Province of Maine," a
province with "Gorgeana" (late the plantation of Agamenticus) as its
capital. Everywhere in England a New Englander is constantly meeting
with names of families and places which remind him that he comes of a
graft from an old tree on a new stock. I could not keep down the
associations called up by the name of Gorges. There is a certain
pleasure in now and then sprinkling our prosaic colonial history with
the holy water of a high-sounding title; not that a "Sir" before a man's
name makes him any better,--for are we not all equal, and more than
equal, to each other?--but it sounds pleasantly. Sir Harry Vane and Sir
Harry Frankland look prettily on the printed page, as the illuminated
capital at the head of a chapter in an old folio pleases the eye of the
reader. Sir Thomas Gorges was the builder of Longford Castle, now the
seat of the Earl of Radnor, whose family name is Bouverie. Whether our
Sir Ferdinando was of the Longford Castle stock or not I must leave to
my associates of the Massachusetts Historical Society to determine.

We lived very quietly at our temporary home in Salisbury Close. A
pleasant dinner with the Dean, a stroll through the grounds of the
episcopal palace, with that perpetual feast of the eyes which the
cathedral offered us, made our residence delightful at the time, and
keeps it so in remembrance. Besides the cathedral there were the very
lovely cloisters, the noble chapter-house with its central pillar,--this
structure has been restored and rejuvenated since my earlier visit,--and
there were the peaceful dwellings, where I insist on believing that only
virtue and happiness are ever tenants. Even outside the sacred enclosure
there is a great deal to enjoy, in the ancient town of Salisbury. One
may rest under the Poultry Cross, where twenty or thirty generations
have rested before him. One may purchase his china at the well-furnished
establishment of the tenant of a spacious apartment of ancient
date,--"the Halle of John Halle," a fine private edifice built in the
year 1470, restored and beautified in 1834; the emblazonment of the
royal arms having been executed by the celebrated architectural artist
Pugin. The old houses are numerous, and some of them eminently
picturesque.

Salisbury was formerly very unhealthy, on account of the low, swampy
nature of its grounds. The Sanitary Reform, dating from about thirty
years ago, had a great effect on the condition of the place. Before the
drainage the annual mortality was twenty-seven in the thousand; since
the drainage twenty in the thousand, which is below that of Boston. In
the Close, which is a little Garden of Eden, with no serpent in it that
I could hear of, the deaths were only fourteen in a thousand. Happy
little enclosure, where thieves cannot break through and steal, where
Death himself hesitates to enter, and makes a visit only now and then at
long intervals, lest the fortunate inhabitants should think they had
already reached the Celestial City!

[Illustration: Salisbury Cathedral.]

It must have been a pretty bitter quarrel that drove the tenants of the
airy height of Old Sarum to remove to the marshy level of the present
site of the cathedral and the town. I wish we could have given more time
to the ancient fortress and cathedral town. This is one of the most
interesting historic localities of Great Britain. We looked from
different points of view at the mounds and trenches which marked it as a
strongly fortified position. For many centuries it played an important
part in the history of England. At length, however, the jealousies of
the laity and the clergy, a squabble like that of "town and gown," but
with graver underlying causes, broke up the harmony and practically
ended the existence of the place except as a monument of the past. It
seems a pity that the headquarters of the Prince of Peace could not have
managed to maintain tranquillity within its own borders. But so it was;
and the consequence followed that Old Sarum, with all its grand
recollections, is but a collection of mounds and hollows,--as much a
tomb of its past as Birs Nimroud of that great city, Nineveh. Old Sarum
is now best remembered by its long-surviving privilege, as a borough, of
sending two members to Parliament. The farcical ceremony of electing two
representatives who had no real constituency behind them was put an end
to by the Reform Act of 1832.

Wilton, the seat of the Earl of Pembroke, within an easy drive's
distance from Salisbury, was the first nobleman's residence I saw in my
early visit. Not a great deal of what I then saw had survived in my
memory. I recall the general effect of the stately mansion and its
grounds. A picture or two of Vandyke's had not quite faded out of my
recollection. I could not forget the armor of Anne de Montmorenci,--not
another Maid of Orleans, but Constable of France,--said to have been
taken in battle by an ancestor of the Herberts. It was one of the first
things that made me feel I was in the Old World. Miles Standish's sword
was as far back as New England collections of armor carried us at that
day. The remarkable gallery of ancient sculptures impressed me at the
time, but no one bust or statue survived as a distinct image. Even the
beautiful Palladian bridge had not pictured itself on my mental tablet
as it should have done, and I could not have taken my oath that I had
seen it. But the pretty English maidens whom we met on the day of our
visit to Wilton,--daughters or granddaughters of a famous inventor and
engineer,--still lingered as vague and pleasing visions, so lovely had
they seemed among the daisies and primroses. The primroses and daisies
were as fresh in the spring of 1886 as they were in the spring of 1833,
but I hardly dared to ask after the blooming maidens of that early
period.

One memory predominates over all others, in walking through the halls,
or still more in wandering through the grounds, of Wilton House. Here
Sir Philip Sidney wrote his "Arcadia," and the ever youthful presence of
the man himself rather than the recollection of his writings takes
possession of us. There are three young men in history whose names
always present themselves to me in a special companionship: Pico della
Mirandola, "the Phoenix of the Age" for his contemporaries; "the
Admirable Crichton," accepting as true the accounts which have come down
to us of his wonderful accomplishments; and Sidney, the Bayard of
England, "that glorious star, that lively pattern of virtue and the
lovely joy of all the learned sort, ... born into the world to show unto
our age a sample of ancient virtue." The English paragon of excellence
was but thirty-two years old when he was slain at Zutphen, the Italian
Phoenix but thirty-one when he was carried off by a fever, and the
Scotch prodigy of gifts and attainments was only twenty-two when he was
assassinated by his worthless pupil. Sir Philip Sidney is better
remembered by the draught of water he gave the dying soldier than by all
the waters he ever drew from the fountain of the Muses, considerable as
are the merits of his prose and verse. But here, where he came to cool
his fiery spirit after the bitter insult he had received from the Earl
of Leicester; here, where he mused and wrote, and shaped his lofty plans
for a glorious future, he lives once more in our imagination, as if his
spirit haunted the English Arcadia he loved so dearly.

The name of Herbert, which we have met with in the cathedral, and which
belongs to the Earls of Pembroke, presents itself to us once more in a
very different and very beautiful aspect. Between Salisbury and Wilton,
three miles and a half distant, is the little village of Bemerton, where
"holy George Herbert" lived and died, and where he lies buried. Many
Americans who know little else of him recall the lines borrowed from him
by Irving in the "Sketch-Book" and by Emerson in "Nature." The
"Sketch-Book" gives the lines thus:--

  "Sweet day, so pure, so calm, so bright,
    The bridal of the earth and sky."

In other versions the fourth word is _cool_ instead of _pure_,
and _cool_ is, I believe, the correct reading. The day when we
visited Bemerton was, according to A----'s diary, "perfect." I was
struck with the calm beauty of the scene around us, the fresh greenness
of all growing things, and the stillness of the river which mirrored the
heavens above it. It must have been this reflection which the poet was
thinking of when he spoke of the bridal of the earth and sky. The river
is the Wiltshire Avon; not Shakespeare's Avon, but the southern stream
of the same name, which empties into the British Channel.

So much of George Herbert's intellectual and moral character repeat
themselves in Emerson that if I believed in metempsychosis I should
think that the English saint had reappeared in the American philosopher.
Their features have a certain resemblance, but the type, though an
exceptional and fine one, is not so very rare. I found a portrait in the
National Gallery which was a good specimen of it; the bust of a near
friend of his, more intimate with him than almost any other person, is
often taken for that of Emerson. I see something of it in the portrait
of Sir Philip Sidney, and I doubt not that traces of a similar mental
resemblance ran through the whole group, with individual characteristics
which were in some respects quite different. I will take a single verse
of Herbert's from Emerson's "Nature,"--one of the five which he
quotes:--

       "Nothing hath got so far
  But man hath caught and kept it as his prey;
       His eyes dismount the highest star:
       He is in little all the sphere.
  Herbs gladly cure our flesh because that they
       Find their acquaintance there."

Emerson himself fully recognizes his obligations to "the beautiful
psalmist of the seventeenth century," as he calls George Herbert. There
are many passages in his writings which sound as if they were
paraphrases from the elder poet. From him it is that Emerson gets a word
he is fond of, and of which his imitators are too fond:--

  "Who sweeps a room as for thy laws
  Makes that and the action _fine_."

The little chapel in which Herbert officiated is perhaps half as long
again as the room in which I am writing, but it is four or five feet
narrower,--and I do not live in a palace. Here this humble servant of
God preached and prayed, and here by his faithful and loving service he
so endeared himself to all around him that he has been canonized by an
epithet no other saint of the English Church has had bestowed upon him.
His life as pictured by Izaak Walton is, to borrow one of his own lines,

  "A box where sweets compacted lie;"

and I felt, as I left his little chapel and the parsonage which he
rebuilt as a free-will offering, as a pilgrim might feel who had just
left the holy places at Jerusalem.

Among the places which I saw in my first visit was Longford Castle, the
seat of the Earl of Radnor. I remembered the curious triangular
building, constructed with reference to the doctrine of the Trinity, as
churches are built in the form of the cross. I remembered how the
omnipresent spire of the great cathedral, three miles away, looked down
upon the grounds about the building as if it had been their next-door
neighbor. I had not forgotten the two celebrated Claudes, Morning and
Evening. My eyes were drawn to the first of these two pictures when I
was here before; now they turned naturally to the landscape with the
setting sun. I have read my St. Ruskin with due reverence, but I have
never given up my allegiance to Claude Lorraine. But of all the fine
paintings at Longford Castle, no one so much impressed me at my recent
visit as the portrait of Erasmus by Hans Holbein. This is one of those
pictures which help to make the Old World worth a voyage across the
Atlantic. Portraits of Erasmus are not uncommon; every scholar would
know him if he met him in the other world with the look he wore on
earth. All the etchings and their copies give a characteristic
presentation of the spiritual precursor of Luther, who pricked the false
image with his rapier which the sturdy monk slashed with his broadsword.
What a face it is which Hans Holbein has handed down to us in this
wonderful portrait at Longford Castle! How dry it is with scholastic
labor, how keen with shrewd scepticism, how worldly-wise, how conscious
of its owner's wide-awake sagacity! Erasmus and Rabelais,--Nature used
up all her arrows for their quivers, and had to wait a hundred years and
more before she could find shafts enough for the outfit of Voltaire,
leaner and keener than Erasmus, and almost as free in his language as
the audacious creator of Gargantua and Pantagruel.

I have not generally given descriptions of the curious objects which I
saw in the great houses and museums which I visited. There is, however,
a work of art at Longford Castle so remarkable that I must speak of it.
I was so much struck by the enormous amount of skilful ingenuity and
exquisite workmanship bestowed upon it that I looked up its history,
which I found in the "Beauties of England and Wales." This is what is
there said of the wonderful steel chair: "It was made by Thomas Rukers
at the city of Augsburgh, in the year 1575, and consists of more than
130 compartments, all occupied by groups of figures representing a
succession of events in the annals of the Roman Empire, from the landing
of Æneas to the reign of Rodolphus the Second." It looks as if a life
had gone into the making of it, as a pair or two of eyes go to the
working of the bridal veil of an empress.

Fifty years ago and more, when I was at Longford Castle with my two
companions, who are no more with us, we found there a pleasant, motherly
old housekeeper, or attendant of some kind, who gave us a draught of
home-made ale and left a cheerful remembrance with us, as, I need hardly
say, we did with her, in a materialized expression of our good-will. It
always rubbed very hard on my feelings to offer money to any persons who
had served me well, as if they were doing it for their own pleasure. It
may have been the granddaughter of the kindly old matron of the year
1833 who showed us round, and possibly, if I had sunk a shaft of
inquiry, I might have struck a well of sentiment. But

  "Take, O boatman, thrice thy fee,"

carried into practical life, is certain in its financial result to the
subject of the emotional impulse, but is less sure to call forth a
tender feeling in the recipient. One will hardly find it worth while to
go through the world weeping over his old recollections, and paying gold
instead of silver and silver instead of copper to astonished boatmen and
bewildered chambermaids.

On Sunday, the 18th of July, we attended morning service at the
cathedral. The congregation was not proportioned to the size of the
great edifice. These vast places of worship were built for ages when
faith was the rule and questioning the exception. I will not say that
faith has grown cold, but it has cooled from white heat to cherry red or
a still less flaming color. As to church attendance, I have heard the
saying attributed to a great statesman, that "once a day is Orthodox,
but twice a day is Puritan." No doubt many of the same class of people
that used to fill the churches stay at home and read about evolution or
telepathy, or whatever new gospel they may have got hold of. Still the
English seem to me a religious people; they have leisure enough to say
grace and give thanks before and after meals, and their institutions
tend to keep alive the feelings of reverence which cannot be said to be
distinctive of our own people.

In coming out of the cathedral, on the Sunday I just mentioned, a
gentleman addressed me as a fellow-countryman. There is something,--I
will not stop now to try and define it,--but there is something by which
we recognize an American among the English before he speaks and betrays
his origin. Our new friend proved to be the president of one of our
American colleges; an intelligent and well-instructed gentleman, of
course. By the invitation of our host he came in to visit us in the
evening, and made himself very welcome by his agreeable conversation.

I took great delight in wandering about the old town of Salisbury. There
are no such surprises in our oldest places as one finds in Chester, or
Tewkesbury, or Stratford, or Salisbury, and I have no doubt in scores or
hundreds of similar places which I have never visited. The best
substitute for such rambles as one can take through these mouldy
boroughs (or burrows) is to be found in such towns as Salem,
Newburyport, Portsmouth. Without imagination, Shakespeare's birthplace
is but a queer old house, and Anne Hathaway's home a tumble-down
cottage. With it, one can see the witches of Salem Village sailing out
of those little square windows, which look as if they were made on
purpose for them, or stroll down to Derby's wharf and gaze at
"Cleopatra's Barge," precursor of the yachts of the Astors and Goulds
and Vanderbilts, as she comes swimming into the harbor in all her gilded
glory. But it must make a difference what the imagination has to work
upon, and I do not at all wonder that Mr. Ruskin would not wish to live
in a land where there are no old ruins of castles and monasteries. Man
will not live on bread only; he wants a great deal more, if he can get
it,--frosted cake as well as corn-bread; and the New World keeps the
imagination on plain and scanty diet, compared to the rich traditional
and historic food which furnishes the banquets of the Old World.

What memories that week in Salisbury and the excursions from it have
left in my mind's picture gallery! The spire of the great cathedral had
been with me as a frequent presence during the last fifty years of my
life, and this second visit has deepened every line of the impression,
as Old Mortality refreshed the inscriptions on the tombstones of the
Covenanters. I find that all these pictures which I have brought home
with me to look at, with

  "that inward eye
  Which is the bliss of solitude,"

are becoming clearer and brighter as the excitement of overcrowded days
and weeks gradually calms down. I can _be_ in those places where I
passed days and nights, and became habituated to the sight of the
cathedral, or of the Church of the Holy Trinity, at morning, at noon, at
evening, whenever I turned my eyes in its direction. I often close my
eyelids, and startle my household by saying, "Now I am in Salisbury," or
"Now I am in Stratford." It is a blessed thing to be able, in the
twilight of years, to illuminate the soul with such visions. The
Charles, which flows beneath my windows, which I look upon between the
words of the sentence I am now writing, only turning my head as I sit at
my table,--the Charles is hardly more real to me than Shakespeare's
Avon, since I floated on its still waters, or strayed along its banks
and saw the cows reflected in the smooth expanse, their legs upward, as
if they were walking the skies as the flies walk the ceiling. Salisbury
Cathedral stands as substantial in my thought as our own King's Chapel,
since I slumbered by its side, and arose in the morning to find it still
there, and not one of those unsubstantial fabrics built by the architect
of dreams.

On Thursday, the 22d of July, we left Salisbury for Brighton, where we
were to be guests at Arnold House, the residence of our kind host. Here
we passed another delightful week, with everything around us to
contribute to our quiet comfort and happiness. The most thoughtful of
entertainers, a house filled with choice works of art, fine paintings,
and wonderful pottery, pleasant walks and drives, a visitor now and
then, Mr. and Mrs. Goldwin Smith among the number, rest and peace in a
magnificent city built for enjoyment,--what more could we have asked to
make our visit memorable? Many watering-places look forlorn and desolate
in the intervals of "the season." This was not the time of Brighton's
influx of visitors, but the city was far from dull. The houses are very
large, and have the grand air, as if meant for princes; the shops are
well supplied; the salt breeze comes in fresh and wholesome, and the
noble esplanade is lively with promenaders and Bath chairs, some of them
occupied by people evidently ill or presumably lame, some, I suspect,
employed by healthy invalids who are too lazy to walk. I took one
myself, drawn by an old man, to see how I liked it, and found it very
convenient, but I was tempted to ask him to change places and let me
drag him.

With the aid of the guide-book I could describe the wonders of the
pavilion and the various changes which have come over the great
watering-place. The grand walks, the two piers, the aquarium, and all
the great sights which are shown to strangers deserve full attention
from the tourist who writes for other travellers, but none of these
things seem to me so interesting as what we saw and heard in a little
hamlet which has never, so far as I know, been vulgarized by sightseers.
We drove in an open carriage,--Mr. and Mrs. Willett, A----, and
myself,--into the country, which soon became bare, sparsely settled, a
long succession of rounded hills and hollows. These are the South Downs,
from which comes the famous mutton known all over England, not unknown
at the table of our Saturday Club and other well-spread boards. After a
drive of ten miles or more we arrived at a little "settlement," as we
Americans would call it, and drove up to the door of a modest parsonage,
where dwells the shepherd of the South Down flock of Christian
worshippers. I hope that the good clergyman, if he ever happens to see
what I am writing, will pardon me for making mention of his hidden
retreat, which he himself speaks of as "one of the remoter nooks of the
old country." Nothing I saw in England brought to my mind Goldsmith's
picture of "the man to all the country dear," and his surroundings, like
this visit. The church dates, if I remember right, from the thirteenth
century. Some of its stones show marks, as it is thought, of having
belonged to a Saxon edifice. The massive leaden font is of a very great
antiquity. In the wall of the church is a narrow opening, at which the
priest is supposed to have sat and listened to the confession of the
sinner on the outside of the building. The dead lie all around the
church, under stones bearing the dates of several centuries. One
epitaph, which the unlettered Muse must have dictated, is worth
recording. After giving the chief slumberer's name the epitaph adds,--

  "Here lies on either side, the remains of each of his former wives."

Those of a third have found a resting-place close by, behind him.

It seemed to me that Mr. Bunner's young man in search of Arcady might
look for it here with as good a chance of being satisfied as anywhere I
can think of. But I suppose that men and women and especially boys,
would prove to be a good deal like the rest of the world, if one lived
here long enough to learn all about them. One thing I can safely
say,--an English man or boy never goes anywhere without his fists. I saw
a boy of ten or twelve years, whose pleasant face attracted my
attention. I said to the rector, "That is a fine-looking little fellow,
and I should think an intelligent and amiable kind of boy." "Yes," he
said, "yes; he can strike from the shoulder pretty well, too. I had to
stop him the other day, indulging in that exercise." Well, I said to
myself, we have not yet reached the heaven on earth which I was fancying
might be embosomed in this peaceful-looking hollow. Youthful angels can
hardly be in the habit of striking from the shoulder. But the well-known
phrase, belonging to the pugilist rather than to the priest, brought me
back from the ideal world into which my imagination had wandered.

Our week at Brighton was passed in a very quiet but most enjoyable way.
It could not be otherwise with such a host and hostess, always arranging
everything with reference to our well-being and in accordance with our
wishes. I became very fond of the esplanade, such a public walk as I
never saw anything to compare with. In these tranquil days, and long,
honest nights of sleep, the fatigues of what we had been through were
forgotten, the scales showed that we were becoming less ethereal every
day, and we were ready for another move.

We bade good-by to our hosts with the most grateful and the warmest
feeling towards them, after a month of delightful companionship and the
experience of a hospitality almost too generous to accept, but which
they were pleased to look upon as if we were doing them a favor.

On the 29th of July we found ourselves once more in London.



VI.


We found our old quarters all ready and awaiting us. Mrs. Mackellar's
motherly smile, Sam's civil bow, and the rosy cheeks of many-buttoned
Robert made us feel at home as soon as we crossed the threshold.

The dissolution of Parliament had brought "the season" abruptly to an
end. London was empty. There were three or four millions of people in
it, but the great houses were for the most part left without occupants
except their liveried guardians. We kept as quiet as possible, to avoid
all engagements. For now we were in London for London itself, to do
shopping, to see sights, to be our own master and mistress, and to live
as independent a life as we possibly could.

The first thing we did on the day of our arrival was to take a hansom
and drive over to Chelsea, to look at the place where Carlyle passed the
larger part of his life. The whole region about him must have been
greatly changed during his residence there, for the Thames Embankment
was constructed long after he removed to Chelsea. We had some little
difficulty in finding the place we were in search of. Cheyne (pronounced
"Chainie") Walk is a somewhat extended range of buildings. Cheyne Row is
a passage which reminded me a little of my old habitat, Montgomery
Place, now Bosworth Street. Presently our attention was drawn to a
marble medallion portrait on the corner building of an ordinary-looking
row of houses. This was the head of Carlyle, and an inscription informed
us that he lived for forty-seven years in the house No. 24 of this row
of buildings. Since Carlyle's home life has been made public, he has
appeared to us in a different aspect from the ideal one which he had
before occupied. He did not show to as much advantage under the
Boswellizing process as the dogmatist of the last century, dear old Dr.
Johnson. But he remains not the less one of the really interesting men
of his generation, a man about whom we wish to know all that we have a
right to know.

The sight of an old nest over which two or three winters have passed is
a rather saddening one. The dingy three-story brick house in which
Carlyle lived, one in a block of similar houses, was far from
attractive. It was untenanted, neglected; its windows were unwashed, a
pane of glass was broken; its threshold appeared untrodden, its whole
aspect forlorn and desolate. Yet there it stood before me, all covered
with its associations as an ivy-clad tower with its foliage. I wanted to
see its interior, but it looked as if it did not expect a tenant and
would not welcome a visitor. Was there nothing but this forbidding
house-front to make the place alive with some breathing memory? I saw
crossing the street a middle-aged woman,--a decent body, who looked as
if she might have come from the lower level of some not opulent but
respectable household. She might have some recollection of an old man
who was once her neighbor. I asked her if she remembered Mr. Carlyle.
Indeed she did, she told us. She used to see him often, in front of his
house, putting bits of bread on the railing for the birds. He did not
like to see anything wasted, she said. The merest scrap of information,
but genuine and pleasing; an instantaneous photograph only, but it makes
a pretty vignette in the volume of my reminiscences. There are many
considerable men in every generation of mankind, but not a great number
who are personally interesting,--not a great many of whom we feel that
we cannot know too much; whose foibles, even, we care to know about;
whose shortcomings we try to excuse; who are not models, but whose
special traits make them attractive. Carlyle is one of these few, and no
revelations can prevent his interesting us. He was not quite finished in
his parental existence. The bricklayer's mortar of his father's calling
stuck to his fingers through life, but only as the soil he turned with
his ploughshare clung to the fingers of Burns. We do not wish either to
have been other than what he was. Their breeding brings them to the
average level, carries them more nearly to the heart, makes them a
simpler expression of our common humanity. As we rolled in the cars by
Ecclefechan, I strained my eyes to take in every point of the landscape,
every cottage, every spire, if by any chance I could find one in that
lonely region. There was not a bridge nor a bit of masonry of any kind
that I did not eagerly scrutinize, to see if it were solid and honest
enough to have been built by Carlyle's father. Solitary enough the
country looked. I admired Mr. Emerson's devotion in seeking his friend
in his bare home among what he describes as the "desolate heathery
hills" about Craigenputtock, which were, I suppose, much like the region
through which we were passing.

It is one of the regrets of my life that I never saw or heard Carlyle.
Nature, who seems to be fond of trios, has given us three dogmatists,
all of whom greatly interested their own generation, and whose
personality, especially in the case of the first and the last of the
trio, still interests us,--Johnson, Coleridge, and Carlyle. Each was an
oracle in his way, but unfortunately oracles are fallible to their
descendants. The author of "Taxation no Tyranny" had wholesale opinions,
and pretty harsh ones, about us Americans, and did not soften them in
expression: "Sir, they are a race of convicts, and ought to be thankful
for anything we allow them short of hanging." We smile complacently when
we read this outburst, which Mr. Croker calls in question, but which
agrees with his saying in the presence of Miss Seward, "I am willing to
love all mankind _except an American_."

A generation or two later comes along Coleridge, with his circle of
reverential listeners. He says of Johnson that his fame rests
principally upon Boswell, and that "his _bow-wow_ manner must have
had a good deal to do with the effect produced." As to Coleridge
himself, his contemporaries hardly know how to set bounds to their
exaltation of his genius. Dibdin comes pretty near going into rhetorical
hysterics in reporting a conversation of Coleridge's to which he
listened: "The auditors seemed to be wrapt in wonder and delight, as one
observation more profound, or clothed in more forcible language, than
another fell from his tongue.... As I retired homeward I thought a
SECOND JOHNSON had visited the earth to make wise the sons of men." And
De Quincey speaks of him as "the largest and most spacious intellect,
the subtlest and most comprehensive, in my judgment, that has yet
existed amongst men." One is sometimes tempted to wish that the
superlative could be abolished, or its use allowed only to old experts.
What are men to do when they get to heaven, after having exhausted their
vocabulary of admiration on earth?

Now let us come down to Carlyle, and see what he says of Coleridge. We
need not take those conversational utterances which called down the
wrath of Mr. Swinburne, and found expression in an epigram which
violates all the proprieties of literary language. Look at the
full-length portrait in the Life of Sterling. Each oracle denies his
predecessor, each magician breaks the wand of the one who went before
him. There were Americans enough ready to swear by Carlyle until he
broke his staff in meddling with our anti-slavery conflict, and buried
it so many fathoms deep that it could never be fished out again. It is
rather singular that Johnson and Carlyle should each of them have
shipwrecked his sagacity and shown a terrible leak in his moral
sensibilities on coming in contact with American rocks and currents,
with which neither had any special occasion to concern himself, and
which both had a great deal better have steered clear of.

But here I stand once more before the home of the long-suffering,
much-laboring, loud-complaining Heraclitus of his time, whose very smile
had a grimness in it more ominous than his scowl. Poor man! Dyspeptic on
a diet of oatmeal porridge; kept wide awake by crowing cocks; drummed
out of his wits by long-continued piano-pounding; sharp of speech, I
fear, to his high-strung wife, who gave him back as good as she got! I
hope I am mistaken about their everyday relations, but again I say, poor
man!--for all his complaining must have meant real discomfort, which a
man of genius feels not less, certainly, than a common mortal.

I made a second visit to the place where he lived, but I saw nothing
more than at the first. I wanted to cross the threshold over which he
walked so often, to see the noise-proof room in which he used to write,
to look at the chimney-place down which the soot came, to sit where he
used to sit and smoke his pipe, and to conjure up his wraith to look in
once more upon his old deserted dwelling. That vision was denied me.

After visiting Chelsea we drove round through Regent's Park. I suppose
that if we use the superlative in speaking of Hyde Park, Regent's Park
will be the comparative, and Battersea Park the positive, ranking them
in the descending grades of their hierarchy. But this is my conjecture
only, and the social geography of London is a subject which only one who
has become familiarly acquainted with the place should speak of with any
confidence. A stranger coming to our city might think it made little
difference whether his travelling Boston acquaintance lived in Alpha
Avenue or in Omega Square, but he would have to learn that it is farther
from one of these places to the other, a great deal farther, than it is
from Beacon Street, Boston, to Fifth Avenue, New York.

An American finds it a little galling to be told that he must not drive
in his _numbered_ hansom or four-wheeler except in certain portions
of Hyde Park. If he is rich enough to keep his own carriage, or if he
will pay the extra price of a vehicle not vulgarized by being on the
numbered list, he may drive anywhere that his Grace or his Lordship
does, and perhaps have a mean sense of satisfaction at finding himself
in the charmed circle of exclusive "gigmanity." It is a pleasure to meet
none but well-dressed and well-mannered people, in well-appointed
equipages. In the high road of our own country, one is liable to fall in
with people and conveyances that it is far from a pleasure to meet. I
was once driving in an open carriage, with members of my family, towards
my own house in the country town where I was then living. A cart drawn
by oxen was in the road in front of us. Whenever we tried to pass, the
men in it turned obliquely across the road and prevented us, and this
was repeated again and again. I could have wished I had been driving in
Hyde Park, where clowns and boors, with their carts and oxen, do not
find admittance. Exclusiveness has its conveniences.

The next day, as I was strolling through Burlington Arcade, I saw a
figure just before me which I recognized as that of my townsman, Mr.
Abbott Lawrence. He was accompanied by his son, who had just returned
from a trip round the planet. There are three grades of recognition,
entirely distinct from each other: the meeting of two persons of
different countries who speak the same language,--an American and an
Englishman, for instance; the meeting of two Americans from different
cities, as of a Bostonian and a New Yorker or a Chicagonian; and the
meeting of two from the same city, as of two Bostonians.

The difference of these recognitions may be illustrated by supposing
certain travelling philosophical instruments, endowed with intelligence
and the power of speech, to come together in their wanderings,--let us
say in a restaurant of the Palais Royal. "Very hot," says the talking
Fahrenheit (Thermometer) from Boston, and calls for an ice, which he
plunges his bulb into and cools down. In comes an intelligent and
socially disposed English Barometer. The two travellers greet each
other, not exactly as old acquaintances, but each has heard very
frequently about the other, and their relatives have been often
associated. "We have a good deal in common," says the Barometer. "Of the
same blood, as we may say; quicksilver is thicker than water." "Yes,"
says the little Fahrenheit, "and we are both of the same mercurial
temperament." While their columns are dancing up and down with laughter
at this somewhat tepid and low-pressure pleasantry, there come in a New
York Réaumur and a Centigrade from Chicago. The Fahrenheit, which has
got warmed up to _temperate_, rises to _summer heat_, and even
a little above it. They enjoy each other's company mightily. To be sure,
their scales differ, but have they not the same freezing and the same
boiling point? To be sure, each thinks his own scale is the true
standard, and at home they might get into a contest about the matter,
but here in a strange land they do not think of disputing. Now, while
they are talking about America and their own local atmosphere and
temperature, there comes in a second Boston Fahrenheit. The two of the
same name look at each other for a moment, and rush together so eagerly
that their bulbs are endangered. How well they understand each other!
Thirty-two degrees marks the freezing point. Two hundred and twelve
marks the boiling point. They have the same scale, the same fixed
points, the same record: no wonder they prefer each other's company!

I hope that my reader has followed my illustration, and finished it off
for himself. Let me give a few practical examples. An American and an
Englishman meet in a foreign land. The Englishman has occasion to
mention his weight, which he finds has gained in the course of his
travels. "How much is it now?" asks the American. "Fourteen stone. How
much do you weigh?" "Within four pounds of two hundred." Neither of them
takes at once any clear idea of what the other weighs. The American has
never thought of his own, or his friends', or anybody's weight in
_stones_ of fourteen pounds. The Englishman has never thought of
any one's weight in _pounds_. They can calculate very easily with a
slip of paper and a pencil, but not the less is their language but half
intelligible as they speak and listen. The same thing is in a measure
true of other matters they talk about. "It is about as large a space as
the Common," says the Boston man. "It is as large as St. James's Park,"
says the Londoner. "As high as the State House," says the Bostonian, or
"as tall as Bunker Hill Monument," or "about as big as the Frog Pond,"
where the Londoner would take St. Paul's, the Nelson Column, the
Serpentine, as his standard of comparison. The difference of scale does
not stop here; it runs through a great part of the objects of thought
and conversation. An average American and an average Englishman are
talking together, and one of them speaks of the beauty of a field of
corn. They are thinking of two entirely different objects: one of a
billowy level of soft waving wheat, or rye, or barley; the other of a
rustling forest of tall, jointed stalks, tossing their plumes and
showing their silken epaulettes, as if every stem in the ordered ranks
were a soldier in full regimentals. An Englishman planted for the first
time in the middle of a well-grown field of Indian corn would feel as
much lost as the babes in the wood. Conversation between two Londoners,
two New Yorkers, two Bostonians, requires no foot-notes, which is a
great advantage in their intercourse.

To return from my digression and my illustration. I did not do a great
deal of shopping myself while in London, being contented to have it done
for me. But in the way of looking in at shop windows I did a very large
business. Certain windows attracted me by a variety in unity which
surpassed anything I have been accustomed to. Thus one window showed
every conceivable convenience that could be shaped in ivory, and nothing
else. One shop had such a display of magnificent dressing-cases that I
should have thought a whole royal family was setting out on its travels.
I see the cost of one of them is two hundred and seventy guineas.
Thirteen hundred and fifty dollars seems a good deal to pay for a
dressing-case.

On the other hand, some of the first-class tradesmen and workmen make no
show whatever. The tailor to whom I had credentials, and who proved
highly satisfactory to me, as he had proved to some of my countrymen and
to Englishmen of high estate, had only one small sign, which was placed
in one of his windows, and received his customers in a small room that
would have made a closet for one of our stylish merchant tailors. The
bootmaker to whom I went on good recommendation had hardly anything
about his premises to remind one of his calling. He came into his
studio, took my measure very carefully, and made me a pair of what we
call Congress boots, which fitted well when once on my feet, but which
it cost more trouble to get into and to get out of than I could express
my feelings about without dangerously enlarging my limited vocabulary.

Bond Street, Old and New, offered the most inviting windows, and I
indulged almost to profligacy in the prolonged inspection of their
contents. Stretching my walk along New Bond Street till I came to a
great intersecting thoroughfare, I found myself in Oxford Street. Here
the character of the shop windows changed at once. Utility and
convenience took the place of show and splendor. Here I found various
articles of use in a household, some of which were new to me. It is very
likely that I could have found most of them in our own Boston Cornhill,
but one often overlooks things at home which at once arrest his
attention when he sees them in a strange place. I saw great numbers of
illuminating contrivances, some of which pleased me by their arrangement
of reflectors.

Bryant and May's safety matches seemed to be used everywhere. I procured
some in Boston with these names on the box, but the label said they were
made in Sweden, and they diffused vapors that were enough to produce
asphyxia. I greatly admired some of Dr. Dresser's water-cans and other
contrivances, modelled more or less after the antique, but I found an
abundant assortment of them here in Boston, and I have one I obtained
here more original in design and more serviceable in daily use than any
I saw in London. I should have regarded Wolverhampton, as we glided
through it, with more interest, if I had known at that time that the
inventive Dr. Dresser had his headquarters in that busy-looking town.

One thing, at least, I learned from my London experience: better a small
city where one knows all it has to offer, than a great city where one
has no disinterested friend to direct him to the right places to find
what he wants. But of course there are some grand magazines which are
known all the world over, and which no one should leave London without
entering as a looker-on, if not as a purchaser.

There was one place I determined to visit, and one man I meant to see,
before returning. The place was a certain book-store or book-shop, and
the person was its proprietor, Mr. Bernard Quaritch. I was getting very
much pressed for time, and I allowed ten minutes only for my visit. I
never had any dealings with Mr. Quaritch, but one of my near relatives
had, and I had often received his catalogues, the scale of prices in
which had given me an impression almost of sublimity. I found Mr.
Bernard Quaritch at No. 15 Piccadilly, and introduced myself, not as one
whose name he must know, but rather as a stranger, of whom he might have
heard through my relative. The extensive literature of catalogues is
probably little known to most of my readers. I do not pretend to claim a
thorough acquaintance with it, but I know the luxury of reading good
catalogues, and such are those of Mr. Quaritch. I should like to deal
with him; for if he wants a handsome price for what he sells, he knows
its value, and does not offer the refuse of old libraries, but, on the
other hand, all that is most precious in them is pretty sure to pass
through his hands, sooner or later.

"Now, Mr. Quaritch," I said, after introducing myself, "I have ten
minutes to pass with you. You must not open a book; if you do I am lost,
for I shall have to look at every illuminated capital, from the first
leaf to the colophon." Mr. Quaritch did not open a single book, but let
me look round his establishment, and answered my questions very
courteously. It so happened that while I was there a gentleman came in
whom I had previously met,--my namesake, Mr. Holmes, the Queen's
librarian at Windsor Castle. My ten minutes passed very rapidly in
conversation with these two experts in books, the bibliopole and the
bibliothecary. No place that I visited made me feel more thoroughly that
I was in London, the great central mart of all that is most precious in
the world.

_Leave at home all your guineas, ye who enter here_, would be a
good motto to put over his door, unless you have them in plenty and can
spare them, in which case _Take all your guineas with you_ would be
a better one. For you can here get their equivalent, and more than their
equivalent, in the choicest products of the press and the finest work of
the illuminator, the illustrator, and the binder. You will be sorely
tempted. But do not be surprised when you ask the price of the volume
you may happen to fancy. You are not dealing with a _bouquiniste_
of the Quais, in Paris. You are not foraging in an old book-shop of New
York or Boston. Do not suppose that I undervalue these dealers in old and
rare volumes. Many a much-prized rarity have I obtained from Drake and
Burnham and others of my townsmen, and from Denham in New York; and
in my student years many a choice volume, sometimes even an Aldus or
an Elzevir, have I found among the trumpery spread out on the parapets
of the quays. But there is a difference between going out on the Fourth
of July with a militia musket to shoot any catbird or "chipmunk" that
turns up in a piece of woods within a few miles of our own cities, and
shooting partridges in a nobleman's preserves on the First of September.
I confess to having felt a certain awe on entering the precincts made
sacred by their precious contents. The lord and master of so many
_Editiones Principes_, the guardian of this great nursery full of
_incunabula_, did not seem to me like a simple tradesman. I felt that
I was in the presence of the literary purveyor of royal and imperial
libraries, the man before whom millionaires tremble as they calculate,
and billionaires pause and consider. I have recently received two of Mr.
Quaritch's catalogues, from which I will give my reader an extract or two,
to show him what kind of articles this prince of bibliopoles deals in.

Perhaps you would like one of those romances which turned the head of
Don Quixote. Here is a volume which will be sure to please you. It is on
one of his lesser lists, confined principally to Spanish and Portuguese
works:--

"Amadis de Gaula ... folio, gothic letter, FIRST EDITION, unique ... red
morocco super extra, _doublé_ with olive morocco, richly gilt,
tooled to an elegant Grolier design, gilt edges ... in a neat case."

A pretty present for a scholarly friend. A nice old book to carry home
for one's own library. Two hundred pounds--one thousand dollars--will
make you the happy owner of this volume.

But if you would have also on your shelves the first edition of the
"Cronica del famoso cabaluero cid Ruy Diaz Campadero," not "richly
gilt," not even bound in leather, but in "cloth boards," you will have
to pay two hundred and ten pounds to become its proprietor. After this
you will not be frightened by the thought of paying three hundred
dollars for a little quarto giving an account of the Virginia
Adventurers. You will not shrink from the idea of giving something more
than a hundred guineas for a series of Hogarth's plates. But when it
comes to Number 1001 in the May catalogue, and you see that if you would
possess a first folio Shakespeare, "untouched by the hand of any modern
renovator," you must be prepared to pay seven hundred and eighty-five
pounds, almost four thousand dollars, for the volume, it would not be
surprising if you changed color and your knees shook under you. No doubt
some brave man will be found to carry off that prize, in spite of the
golden battery which defends it, perhaps to Cincinnati, or Chicago, or
San Francisco. But do not be frightened. These Alpine heights of
extravagance climb up from the humble valley where shillings and
sixpences are all that are required to make you a purchaser.

One beauty of the Old World shops is that if a visitor comes back to the
place where he left them fifty years before, he finds them, or has a
great chance of finding them, just where they stood at his former visit.
In driving down to the old city, to the place of business of the
Barings, I found many streets little changed. Temple Bar was gone, and
the much-abused griffin stood in its place. There was a shop close to
Temple Bar, where, in 1834, I had bought some brushes. I had no
difficulty in finding Prout's, and I could not do less than go in and
buy some more brushes. I did not ask the young man who served me how the
old shopkeeper who attended to my wants on the earlier occasion was at
this time. But I thought what a different color the locks these brushes
smooth show from those that knew their predecessors in the earlier
decade!

I ought to have made a second visit to the Tower, so tenderly spoken of
by Artemus Ward as "a sweet boon," so vividly remembered by me as the
scene of a personal encounter with one of the animals then kept in the
Tower menagerie. But the project added a stone to the floor of the
underground thoroughfare which is paved with good intentions.

St. Paul's I must and did visit. The most striking addition since I was
there is the massive monument to the Duke of Wellington. The great
temple looked rather bare and unsympathetic. Poor Dr. Johnson, sitting
in semi-nude exposure, looked to me as unhappy as our own half-naked
Washington at the national capital. The Judas of Matthew Arnold's poem
would have cast his cloak over those marble shoulders, if he had found
himself in St. Paul's, and have earned another respite. We brought away
little, I fear, except the grand effect of the dome as we looked up at
it. It gives us a greater idea of height than the sky itself, which we
have become used to looking upon.

A second visit to the National Gallery was made in company with A----.
It was the repetition of an attempt at a draught from the Cup of
Tantalus. I was glad of a sight of the Botticellis, of which I had heard
so much, and others of the more recently acquired paintings of the great
masters; of a sweeping glance at the Turners; of a look at the
well-remembered Hogarths and the memorable portraits by Sir Joshua. I
carried away a confused mass of impressions, much as the soldiers that
sack a city go off with all the precious things they can snatch up,
huddled into clothes-bags and pillow-cases. I am reminded, too, of Mr.
Galton's composite portraits; a thousand glimpses, as one passes through
the long halls lined with paintings, all blending in one not unpleasing
general effect, out of which emerges from time to time some single
distinct image.

In the same way we passed through the exhibition of paintings at the
Royal Academy. I noticed that A---- paid special attention to the
portraits of young ladies by John Sargent and by Collier, while I was
more particularly struck with the startling portrait of an ancient
personage in a full suit of wrinkles, such as Rembrandt used to bring
out with wonderful effect. Hunting in couples is curious and
instructive; the scent for this or that kind of game is sure to be very
different in the two individuals.

I made but two brief visits to the British Museum, and I can easily
instruct my reader so that he will have no difficulty, if he will follow
my teaching, in learning how not to see it. When he has a spare hour at
his disposal, let him drop in at the Museum, and wander among its books
and its various collections. He will know as much about it as the fly
that buzzes in at one window and out at another. If I were asked whether
I brought away anything from my two visits, I should say, Certainly I
did. The fly sees some things, not very intelligently, but he cannot
help seeing them. The great round reading-room, with its silent
students, impressed me very much. I looked at once for the Elgin
Marbles, but casts and photographs and engravings had made me familiar
with their chief features. I thought I knew something of the sculptures
brought from Nineveh, but I was astonished, almost awe-struck, at the
sight of those mighty images which mingled with the visions of the
Hebrew prophets. I did not marvel more at the skill and labor expended
upon them by the Assyrian artists than I did at the enterprise and
audacity which had brought them safely from the mounds under which they
were buried to the light of day and the heart of a great modern city. I
never thought that I should live to see the Birs Nimroud laid open, and
the tablets in which the history of Nebuchadnezzar was recorded spread
before me. The Empire of the Spade in the world of history was founded
at Nineveh by Layard, a great province added to it by Schliemann, and
its boundary extended by numerous explorers, some of whom are diligently
at work at the present day. I feel very grateful that many of its
revelations have been made since I have been a tenant of the travelling
residence which holds so many secrets in its recesses.

There is one lesson to be got from a visit of an hour or two to the
British Museum,--namely, the fathomless abyss of our own ignorance. One
is almost ashamed of his little paltry heartbeats in the presence of the
rushing and roaring torrent of Niagara. So if he has published a little
book or two, collected a few fossils, or coins, or vases, he is crushed
by the vastness of the treasures in the library and the collections of
this universe of knowledge.

I have shown how not to see the British museum; I will tell how to see
it.

Take lodgings next door to it,--in a garret, if you cannot afford
anything better,--and pass all your days at the Museum during the whole
period of your natural life. At threescore and ten you will have some
faint conception of the contents, significance, and value of this great
British institution, which is as nearly as any one spot the _noeud
vital_ of human civilization, a stab at which by the dagger of
anarchy would fitly begin the reign of chaos.

On the 3d of August, a gentleman, Mr. Wedmore, who had promised to be my
guide to certain interesting localities, called for me, and we took a
hansom for the old city. The first place we visited was the Temple, a
collection of buildings with intricate passages between them, some of
the edifices reminding me of our college dormitories. One, however, was
a most extraordinary exception,--the wonderful Temple church, or rather
the ancient part of it which is left, the round temple. We had some
trouble to get into it, but at last succeeded in finding a slip of a
girl, the daughter of the janitor, who unlocked the door for us. It
affected my imagination strangely to see this girl of a dozen years old,
or thereabouts, moving round among the monuments which had kept their
place there for some six or seven hundred years; for the church was
built in the year 1185, and the most recent of the crusaders' monuments
is said to date as far back as 1241. Their effigies have lain in this
vast city, and passed unharmed through all its convulsions. The Great
Fire must have crackled very loud in their stony ears, and they must
have shaken day and night, as the bodies of the victims of the Plague
were rattled over the pavements.

Near the Temple church, in a green spot among the buildings, a plain
stone laid flat on the turf bears these words: "Here lies Oliver
Goldsmith." I believe doubt has been thrown upon the statement that
Goldsmith was buried in that place, but, as some poet ought to have
written,

  Where doubt is disenchantment
  'Tis wisdom to believe.

We do not "drop a tear" so often as our Della Cruscan predecessors, but
the memory of the author of the "Vicar of Wakefield" stirred my feelings
more than a whole army of crusaders would have done. A pretty rough set
of filibusters they were, no doubt.

The whole group to which Goldsmith belonged came up before me, and as
the centre of that group the great Dr. Johnson; not the Johnson of the
"Rambler," or of "The Vanity of Human Wishes," or even of "Rasselas,"
but Boswell's Johnson, dear to all of us, the "Grand Old Man" of his
time, whose foibles we care more for than for most great men's virtues.
Fleet Street, which he loved so warmly, was close by. Bolt Court,
entered from it, where he lived for many of his last years, and where he
died, was the next place to visit. I found Fleet Street a good deal like
Washington Street as I remember it in former years. When I came to the
place pointed out as Bolt Court, I could hardly believe my eyes that so
celebrated a place of residence should be entered by so humble a
passageway. I was very sorry to find that No. 3, where he lived, was
demolished, and a new building erected in its place. In one of the other
houses in this court he is said to have labored on his dictionary. Near
by was a building of mean aspect, in which Goldsmith is said to have at
one time resided. But my kind conductor did not profess to be well
acquainted with the local antiquities of this quarter of London.

If I had a long future before me, I should like above all things to
study London with a dark lantern, so to speak, myself in deepest shadow
and all I wanted to see in clearest light. Then I should want time,
time, time. For it is a sad fact that sight-seeing as commonly done is
one of the most wearying things in the world, and takes the life out of
any but the sturdiest or the most elastic natures more efficiently than
would a reasonable amount of daily exercise on a treadmill. In my
younger days I used to find that a visit to the gallery of the Louvre
was followed by more fatigue and exhaustion than the same amount of time
spent in walking the wards of a hospital.

Another grand sight there was, not to be overlooked, namely, the
Colonial Exhibition. The popularity of this immense show was very great,
and we found ourselves, A---- and I, in the midst of a vast throng, made
up of respectable and comfortable looking people. It was not strange
that the multitude flocked to this exhibition. There was a jungle, with
its (stuffed) monsters,--tigers, serpents, elephants; there were
carvings which may well have cost a life apiece, and stuffs which none
but an empress or a millionairess would dare to look at. All the arts of
the East were there in their perfection, and some of the artificers were
at their work. We had to content ourselves with a mere look at all these
wonders. It was a pity; instead of going to these fine shows tired,
sleepy, wanting repose more than anything else, we should have come to
them fresh, in good condition, and had many days at our disposal. I
learned more in a visit to the Japanese exhibition in Boston than I
should have learned in half a dozen half-awake strolls through this
multitudinous and most imposing collection of all

  "The gorgeous East with richest hand
  Showers on her kings,"

and all the masterpieces of its wonder-working artisans.

One of the last visits we paid before leaving London for a week in Paris
was to the South Kensington Museum. Think of the mockery of giving one
hour to such a collection of works of art and wonders of all kinds! Why
should I consider it worth while to say that we went there at all? All
manner of objects succeeded each other in a long series of dissolving
views, so to speak, nothing or next to nothing having a chance to leave
its individual impress. In the battle for life which took place in my
memory, as it always does among the multitude of claimants for a
permanent hold, I find that two objects came out survivors of the
contest. The first is the noble cast of the column of Trajan, vast in
dimensions, crowded with history in its most striking and enduring form;
a long array of figures representing in unquestioned realism the
military aspect of a Roman army. The second case of survival is thus
described in the catalogue: "An altar or shrine of a female saint,
recently acquired from Padua, is also ascribed to the same sculptor
[Donatello]. This very valuable work of art had for many years been used
as a drinking-trough for horses. A hole has been roughly pierced in it."
I thought the figure was the most nearly perfect image of heavenly
womanhood that I had ever looked upon, and I could have gladly given my
whole hour to sitting--I could almost say kneeling--before it in silent
contemplation. I found the curator of the Museum, Mr. Soden Smith,
shared my feelings with reference to the celestial loveliness of this
figure. Which is best, to live in a country where such a work of art is
taken for a horse-trough, or in a country where the products from the
studio of a self-taught handicraftsman, equal to the shaping of a
horse-trough and not much more, are put forward as works of art?

A little time before my visit to England, before I had even thought of
it as a possibility, I had the honor of having two books dedicated to me
by two English brother physicians. One of these two gentlemen was Dr.
Walshe, of whom I shall speak hereafter; the other was Dr. J. Milner
Fothergill. The name Fothergill was familiar to me from my boyhood. My
old townsman, Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, who died in 1846 at the age of
ninety-two, had a great deal to say about his relative Dr. John
Fothergill, the famous Quaker physician of the last century, of whom
Benjamin Franklin said, "I can hardly conceive that a better man ever
existed." Dr. and Mrs. Fothergill sent us some beautiful flowers a
little before we left, and when I visited him he gave me a medallion of
his celebrated kinsman.

London is a place of mysteries. Looking out of one of the windows at the
back of Dr. Fothergill's house, I saw an immense wooden blind, such as
we have on our windows in summer, but reaching from the ground as high
as the top of the neighboring houses. While admitting the air freely, it
shut the property to which it belonged completely from sight. I asked
the meaning of this extraordinary structure, and learned that it was put
up by a great nobleman, of whose subterranean palace and strange
seclusion I had before heard. Common report attributed his unwillingness
to be seen to a disfiguring malady with which he was said to be
afflicted. The story was that he was visible only to his valet. But a
lady of quality, whom I met in this country, told me she had seen him,
and observed nothing to justify it. These old countries are full of
romances and legends and _diableries_ of all sorts, in which truth
and lies are so mixed that one does not know what to believe. What
happens behind the high walls of the old cities is as much a secret as
were the doings inside the prisons of the Inquisition.

Little mistakes sometimes cause us a deal of trouble. This time it was
the presence or absence of a single letter which led us to fear that an
important package destined to America had miscarried. There were two
gentlemen unwittingly involved in the confusion. On inquiring for the
package at Messrs. Low, the publishers, Mr. Watts, to whom I thought it
had been consigned, was summoned. He knew nothing about it, had never
heard of it, was evidently utterly ignorant of us and our affairs. While
we were in trouble and uncertainty, our Boston friend, Mr. James R.
Osgood, came in. "Oh," said he, "it is Mr. Watt you want, the agent of a
Boston firm," and gave us the gentleman's address. I had confounded Mr.
Watt's name with Mr. Watts's name. "W'at's in a name?" A great deal
sometimes. I wonder if I shall be pardoned for quoting six lines from
one of my after-dinner poems of long ago:--

  --One vague inflection spoils the whole with doubt,
  One trivial letter ruins all, left out;
  A knot can change a felon into clay,
  A not will save him, spelt without the k;
  The smallest word has some unguarded spot,
  And danger lurks in i without a dot.

I should find it hard to account for myself during our two short stays
in London in the month of August, separated by the week we passed in
Paris. The ferment of continued over-excitement, calmed very much by our
rest in the various places I have mentioned, had not yet wholly worked
itself off. There was some of that everlasting shopping to be done.
There were photographs to be taken, a call here and there to be made, a
stray visitor now and then, a walk in the morning to get back the use of
the limbs which had been too little exercised, and a drive every
afternoon to one of the parks, or the Thames Embankment, or other
locality. After all this, an honest night's sleep served to round out
the day, in which little had been effected besides making a few
purchases, writing a few letters, reading the papers, the Boston "Weekly
Advertiser" among the rest, and making arrangements for our passage
homeward. The sights we saw were looked upon for so short a time, most
of them so very superficially, that I am almost ashamed to say that I
have been in the midst of them and brought home so little. I remind
myself of my boyish amusement of _skipping stones_,--throwing a
flat stone so that it shall only touch the water, but touch it in half a
dozen places before it comes to rest beneath the smooth surface. The
drives we took showed us a thousand objects which arrested our
attention. Every street, every bridge, every building, every monument,
every strange vehicle, every exceptional personage, was a show which
stimulated our curiosity. For we had not as yet changed our Boston eyes
for London ones, and very common sights were spectacular and dramatic to
us. I remember that one of our New England country boys exclaimed, when
he first saw a block of city dwellings, "Darn it all, who ever see
anything like that 'are? Sich a lot o' haousen all stuck together!" I
must explain that "haousen" used in my early days to be as common an
expression in speaking of houses among our country-folk as its phonetic
equivalent ever was in Saxony. I felt not unlike that country-boy.

In thinking of how much I missed seeing, I sometimes have said to
myself, Oh, if the carpet of the story in the Arabian Nights would only
take me up and carry me to London for one week,--just one short
week,--setting me down fresh from quiet, wholesome living, in my usual
good condition, and bringing me back at the end of it, what a different
account I could give of my experiences! But it is just as well as it is.
Younger eyes have studied and will study, more instructed travellers
have pictured and will picture, the great metropolis from a hundred
different points of view. No person can be said to know London. The most
that any one can claim is that he knows something of it. I am now just
going to leave it for another great capital, but in my concluding pages
I shall return to Great Britain, and give some of the general
impressions left by what I saw and heard in our mother country.



VII.


Straitened as we were for time, it was impossible to return home without
a glimpse, at least, of Paris. Two precious years of my early manhood
were spent there under the reign of Louis Philippe, king of the French,
_le Roi Citoyen_. I felt that I must look once more on the places I
knew so well,--once more before shutting myself up in the world of
recollections. It is hardly necessary to say that a lady can always find
a little shopping, and generally a good deal of it, to do in Paris. So
it was not difficult to persuade my daughter that a short visit to that
city was the next step to be taken.

We left London on the 5th of August to go _via_ Folkestone and
Boulogne. The passage across the Channel was a very smooth one, and
neither of us suffered any inconvenience. Boulogne as seen from the
landing did not show to great advantage. I fell to thinking of Brummel,
and what a satisfaction it would have been to treat him to a good
dinner, and set him talking about the days of the Regency. Boulogne was
all Brummel in my associations, just as Calais was all Sterne. I find
everywhere that it is a distinctive personality which makes me want to
linger round a spot, more than an important historical event. There is
not much worth remembering about Brummel; but his audacity, his starched
neckcloth, his assumptions and their success, make him a curious subject
for the student of human nature.

Leaving London at twenty minutes before ten in the forenoon, we arrived
in Paris at six in the afternoon. I could not say that the region of
France through which we passed was peculiarly attractive. I saw no fine
trees, no pretty cottages, like those so common in England. There was
little which an artist would be tempted to sketch, or a traveller by the
railroad would be likely to remember.

The place where we had engaged lodgings was Hôtel d'Orient, in the Rue
Daunou. The situation was convenient, very near the Place Vendome and
the Rue de la Paix. But the house was undergoing renovations which made
it as unpresentable as a moulting fowl. Scrubbing, painting of blinds,
and other perturbing processes did all they could to make it
uncomfortable. The courtyard was always sloppy, and the whole condition
of things reminded me forcibly of the state of Mr. Briggs's household
while the mason was carrying out the complex operations which began with
the application of "a little compo." (I hope all my readers remember Mr.
Briggs, whose adventures as told by the pencil of John Leech are not
unworthy of comparison with those of Mr. Pickwick as related by
Dickens.) Barring these unfortunate conditions, the hotel was
commendable, and when in order would be a desirable place of temporary
residence.

It was the dead season of Paris, and everything had the air of suspended
animation. The solitude of the Place Vendome was something oppressive; I
felt, as I trod its lonely sidewalk, as if I were wandering through
Tadmor in the Desert. We were indeed as remote, as unfriended,--I will
not say as melancholy or as slow,--as Goldsmith by the side of the lazy
Scheldt or the wandering Po. Not a soul did either of us know in that
great city. Our most intimate relations were with the people of the
hotel and with the drivers of the fiacres. These last were a singular
looking race of beings. Many of them had a dull red complexion, almost
brick color, which must have some general cause. I questioned whether
the red wine could have something to do with it. They wore glazed hats,
and drove shabby vehicles for the most part; their horses would not
compare with those of the London hansom drivers, and they themselves
were not generally inviting in aspect, though we met with no incivility
from any of them. One, I remember, was very voluble, and over-explained
everything, so that we became afraid to ask him a question. They were
fellow-creatures with whom one did not naturally enter into active
sympathy, and the principal point of interest about the fiacre and its
arrangements was whether the horse was fondest of trotting or of
walking. In one of our drives we made it a point to call upon our
Minister, Mr. McLane, but he was out of town. We did not bring a single
letter, but set off exactly as if we were on a picnic.

While A---- and her attendant went about making their purchases, I
devoted myself to the sacred and pleasing task of reviving old memories.
One of the first places I visited was the house I lived in as a student,
which in my English friend's French was designated as "Noomero sankont
sank Roo Monshure ler Pranse." I had been told that the whole region
thereabout had been transformed by the creation of a new boulevard. I
did not find it so. There was the house, the lower part turned into a
shop, but there were the windows out of which I used to look along the
Rue Vaugirard,--_au troisième_ the first year, _au second_ the
second year. Why should I go mousing about the place? What would the
shopkeeper know about M. Bertrand, my landlord of half a century ago; or
his first wife, to whose funeral I went; or his second, to whose bridal
I was bidden?

I ought next to have gone to the hospital La Pitié, where I passed much
of my time during those two years. But the people there would not know
me, and my old master's name, Louis, is but a dim legend in the wards
where he used to teach his faithful band of almost worshipping students.
Besides, I have not been among hospital beds for many a year, and my
sensibilities are almost as impressible as they were before daily habit
had rendered them comparatively callous.

How strange it is to look down on one's venerated teachers, after
climbing with the world's progress half a century above the level where
we left them! The stethoscope was almost a novelty in those days. The
microscope was never mentioned by any clinical instructor I listened to
while a medical student. _Nous avons changé tout cela_ is true of
every generation in medicine,--changed oftentimes by improvement,
sometimes by fashion or the pendulum-swing from one extreme to another.

On my way back from the hospital I used to stop at the beautiful little
church St. Etienne du Mont, and that was one of the first places to
which I drove after looking at my student-quarters. All was just as of
old. The tapers were burning about the tomb of St. Genevieve. Samson,
with the jawbone of the ass, still crouched and sweated, or looked as if
he did, under the weight of the pulpit. One might question how well the
preacher in the pulpit liked the suggestion of the figure beneath it.
The sculptured screen and gallery, the exquisite spiral stairways, the
carved figures about the organ, the tablets on the walls,--one in
particular relating the fall of two young girls from the gallery, and
their miraculous protection from injury,--all these images found their
counterpart in my memory. I did not remember how very beautiful is the
stained glass in the _charniers_, which must not be overlooked by
visitors.

It is not far from St. Etienne du Mont to the Pantheon. I cannot say
that there is any odor of sanctity about this great temple, which has
been consecrated, if I remember correctly, and, I will not say
desecrated, but secularized from time to time, according to the party
which happened to be uppermost. I confess that I did not think of it
chiefly as a sacred edifice, or as the resting-place, more or less
secure, of the "_grands hommes_" to whom it is dedicated. I was
thinking much more of Foucault's grand experiment, one of the most
sublime visible demonstrations of a great physical fact in the records
of science. The reader may not happen to remember it, and will like,
perhaps, to be reminded of it. Foucault took advantage of the height of
the dome, nearly three hundred feet, and had a heavy weight suspended by
a wire from its loftiest point, forming an immense pendulum,--the
longest, I suppose, ever constructed. Now a moving body tends to keep
its original plane of movement, and so the great pendulum, being set
swinging north and south, tended to keep on in the same direction. But
the earth was moving under it, and as it rolled from west to east the
plane running through the north and south poles was every instant
changing. Thus the pendulum appeared to change its direction, and its
deviation was shown on a graduated arc, or by the marks it left in a
little heap of sand which it touched as it swung. This experiment on the
great scale has since been repeated on the small scale by the aid of
other contrivances.

My thoughts wandered back, naturally enough, to Galileo in the Cathedral
at Pisa. It was the swinging of the suspended lamp in that edifice which
set his mind working on the laws which govern the action of the
pendulum. While he was meditating on this physical problem, the priest
may have been holding forth on the dangers of meddling with matters
settled by Holy Church, who stood ready to enforce her edicts by the
logic of the rack and the fagot. An inference from the above remarks is
that what one brings from a church depends very much on what he carries
into it.

The next place to visit could be no other than the Café Procope. This
famous resort is the most ancient and the most celebrated of all the
Parisian cafés. Voltaire, the poet J. B. Rousseau, Marmontel, Sainte
Foix, Saurin, were among its frequenters in the eighteenth century. It
stands in the Rue des Fossés-Saint Germain, now Rue de l'Ancienne
Comédie. Several American students, Bostonians and Philadelphians,
myself among the number, used to breakfast at this café every morning. I
have no doubt that I met various celebrities there, but I recall only
one name which is likely to be known to most or many of my readers. A
delicate-looking man, seated at one of the tables, was pointed out to me
as Jouffroy. If I had known as much about him as I learned afterwards, I
should have looked at him with more interest. He had one of those
imaginative natures, tinged by constitutional melancholy and saddened by
ill health, which belong to a certain class of poets and sentimental
writers, of which Pascal is a good example, and Cowper another. The
world must have seemed very cruel to him. I remember that when he was a
candidate for the Assembly, one of the popular cries, as reported by the
newspapers of the time, was _A bas le poitrinaire!_ His malady soon
laid him low enough, for he died in 1842, at the age of forty-six. I
must have been very much taken up with my medical studies to have
neglected my opportunity of seeing the great statesmen, authors,
artists, orators, and men of science outside of the medical profession.
Poisson, Arago, and Jouffroy are all I can distinctly recall, among the
Frenchmen of eminence whom I had all around me.

The Café Procope has been much altered and improved, and bears an
inscription telling the date of its establishment, which was in the year
1689. I entered the cafe, which was nearly or quite empty, the usual
breakfast hour being past.

_Garçon! Une tasse de café._

If there is a river of _mneme_ as a counterpart of the river
_lethe_, my cup of coffee must have got its water from that stream
of memory. If I could borrow that eloquence of Jouffroy which made his
hearers turn pale, I might bring up before my readers a long array of
pallid ghosts, whom these walls knew well in their earthly habiliments.
Only a single one of those I met here still survives. The rest are
mostly well-nigh forgotten by all but a few friends, or remembered
chiefly in their children and grandchildren.

"How much?" I said to the garçon in his native tongue, or what I
supposed to be that language. "_Cinq sous_," was his answer. By the
laws of sentiment, I ought to have made the ignoble sum five francs, at
least. But if I had done so, the waiter would undoubtedly have thought
that I had just come from Charenton. Besides, why should I violate the
simple habits and traditions of the place, where generation after
generation of poor students and threadbare Bohemians had taken their
morning coffee and pocketed their two lumps of sugar? It was with a
feeling of virile sanity and Roman self-conquest that I paid my five
sous, with the small additional fraction which I supposed the waiter to
expect, and no more.

So I passed for the last time over the threshold of the Café Procope,
where Voltaire had matured his plays and Piron sharpened his epigrams;
where Jouffroy had battled with his doubts and fears; where, since their
time,--since my days of Parisian life,--the terrible storming youth,
afterwards renowned as Léon Michel Gambetta, had startled the quiet
guests with his noisy eloquence, till the old _habitués_ spilled
their coffee, and the red-capped students said to each other, _"Il ira
loin, ce gaillard-là!"_

But what to me were these shadowy figures by the side of the group of my
early friends and companions, that came up before me in all the
freshness of their young manhood? The memory of them recalls my own
youthful days, and I need not go to Florida to bathe in the fountain of
Ponce de Leon.

I have sometimes thought that I love so well the accidents of this
temporary terrestrial residence, its endeared localities, its precious
affections, its pleasing variety of occupation, its alternations of
excited and gratified curiosity, and whatever else comes nearest to the
longings of the natural man, that I might be wickedly homesick in a
far-off spiritual realm where such toys are done with. But there is a
pretty lesson which I have often meditated, taught, not this time by the
lilies of the field, but by the fruits of the garden. When, in the June
honeymoon of the seasons, the strawberry shows itself among the bridal
gifts, many of us exclaim for the hundredth time with Dr. Boteler,
"Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never
did." Nature, who is God's handmaid, does not attempt a rival berry. But
by and by a little woolly knob, which looked and saw with wonder the
strawberry reddening, and perceived the fragrance it diffused all
around, begins to fill out, and grow soft and pulpy and sweet; and at
last a glow comes to its cheek, and we say the peach is ripening. When
Nature has done with it, and delivers it to us in its perfection, we
forget all the lesser fruits which have gone before it. If the flavor of
the peach and the fragrance of the rose are not found in some fruit and
flower which grow by the side of the river of life, an earth-born spirit
might be forgiven for missing them. The strawberry and the pink are very
delightful, but we could be happy without them.

So, too, we may hope that when the fruits of our brief early season of
three or four score years have given us all they can impart for our
happiness; when "the love of little maids and berries," and all other
earthly prettinesses, shall "soar and sing," as Mr. Emerson sweetly
reminds us that they all must, we may hope that the abiding felicities
of our later life-season may far more than compensate us for all that
have taken their flight.

I looked forward with the greatest interest to revisiting the Gallery of
the Louvre, accompanied by my long-treasured recollections. I retained a
vivid remembrance of many pictures, which had been kept bright by seeing
great numbers of reproductions of them in photographs and engravings.

The first thing which struck me was that the pictures had been
rearranged in such a way that I could find nothing in the place where I
looked for it. But when I found them, they greeted me, so I fancied,
like old acquaintances. The meek-looking "Belle Jardinière" was as
lamb-like as ever; the pearly nymph of Correggio invited the stranger's
eye as frankly as of old; Titian's young man with the glove was the
calm, self-contained gentleman I used to admire; the splashy Rubenses,
the pallid Guidos, the sunlit Claudes, the shadowy Poussins, the moonlit
Girardets, Géricault's terrible shipwreck of the Medusa, the exquisite
home pictures of Gerard Douw and Terburg,--all these and many more have
always been on exhibition in my ideal gallery, and I only mention them
as the first that happen to suggest themselves. The Museum of the Hôtel
Cluny is a curious receptacle of antiquities, many of which I looked at
with interest; but they made no lasting impression, and have gone into
the lumber-room of memory, from which accident may, from time to time,
drag out some few of them.

After the poor unsatisfactory towers of Westminster Abbey, the two
massive, noble, truly majestic towers of Notre Dame strike the traveller
as a crushing contrast. It is not hard to see that one of these grand
towers is somewhat larger than the other, but the difference does not
interfere with the effect of the imposing front of the cathedral.

I was much pleased to find that I could have entrance to the Sainte
Chapelle, which was used, at the time of my earlier visit, as a
storehouse of judicial archives, of which there was a vast accumulation.

With the exception of my call at the office of the American Legation, I
made but a single visit to any person in Paris. That person was M.
Pasteur. I might have carried a letter to him, for my friend Mrs.
Priestley is well acquainted with him, but I had not thought of asking
for one. So I presented myself at his headquarters, and was admitted
into a courtyard, where a multitude of his patients were gathered. They
were of various ages and of many different nationalities, every one of
them with the vague terror hanging over him or her. Yet the young people
seemed to be cheerful enough, and very much like scholars out of school.
I sent my card in to M. Pasteur, who was busily engaged in writing, with
his clerks or students about him, and presently he came out and greeted
me. I told him I was an American physician, who wished to look in his
face and take his hand,--nothing more. I looked in his face, which was
that of a thoughtful, hard-worked student, a little past the grand
climacteric,--he was born in 1822. I took his hand, which has performed
some of the most delicate and daring experiments ever ventured upon,
with results of almost incalculable benefit to human industries, and the
promise of triumph in the treatment of human disease which prophecy
would not have dared to anticipate. I will not say that I have a full
belief that hydrophobia--in some respects the most terrible of all
diseases--is to be extirpated or rendered tractable by his method of
treatment. But of his inventive originality, his unconquerable
perseverance, his devotion to the good of mankind, there can be no
question. I look upon him as one of the greatest experimenters that ever
lived, one of the truest benefactors of his race; and if I made my due
obeisance before princes, I felt far more humble in the presence of this
great explorer, to whom the God of Nature has entrusted some of her most
precious secrets.

There used to be--I can hardly think it still exists--a class of
persons who prided themselves on their disbelief in the reality of any
such distinct disease as hydrophobia. I never thought it worth while to
argue with them, for I have noticed that this disbelief is only a
special manifestation of a particular habit of mind. Its advocates will
be found, I think, most frequently among "the long-haired men and the
short-haired women." Many of them dispute the efficacy of vaccination.
Some are disciples of Hahnemann, some have full faith in the mind-cure,
some attend the séances where flowers (bought from the nearest florist)
are materialized, and some invest their money in Mrs. Howe's Bank of
Benevolence. Their tendency is to reject the truth which is generally
accepted, and to accept the improbable; if the impossible offers itself,
they deny the existence of the impossible. Argument with this class of
minds is a lever without a fulcrum.

I was glad to leave that company of--patients, still uncertain of their
fate,--hoping, yet pursued by their terror: peasants bitten by mad
wolves in Siberia; women snapped at by their sulking lap-dogs in London;
children from over the water who had been turned upon by the irritable
Skye terrier; innocent victims torn by ill-conditioned curs at the doors
of the friends they were meaning to visit,--all haunted by the same
ghastly fear, all starting from sleep in the same nightmare.

If canine rabies is a fearful subject to contemplate, there is a sadder
and deeper significance in _rabies humana_; in that awful madness
of the human race which is marked by a thirst for blood and a rage for
destruction. The remembrance of such a distemper which has attacked
mankind, especially mankind of the Parisian sub-species, came over me
very strongly when I first revisited the Place Vendôme. I should have
supposed that the last object upon which Parisians would, in their
wildest frenzy, have laid violent hands would have been the column with
the figure of Napoleon at its summit. We all know what happened in 1871.
An artist, we should have thought, would be the last person to lead the
iconoclasts in such an outrage. But M. Courbet has attained an
immortality like that of Erostratus by the part he took in pulling down
the column. It was restored in 1874. I do not question that the work of
restoration was well done, but my eyes insisted on finding a fault in
some of its lines which was probably in their own refracting media.
Fifty years before an artist helped to overthrow the monument to the
Emperor, a poet had apostrophized him in the bitterest satire since the
days of Juvenal:--

  "Encor Napoléon! encor sa grande image!
    Ah! que ce rude et dur guerrier
  Nous a couté de sang et de pleurs et d'outrage
    Pour quelques rameaux de laurier!

       *       *       *       *       *

  "Eh bien! dans tous ces jours d'abaissement, de peine,
    Pour tous ces outrages sans nom,
  Je n'ai jamais chargé qu'un être de ma haine,...
    Sois maudit, O Napoléon!"

After looking at the column of the Place Vendôme and recalling these
lines of Barbier, I was ready for a visit to the tomb of Napoleon. The
poet's curse had helped me to explain the painter's frenzy against the
bronze record of his achievements and the image at its summit. But I
forgot them both as I stood under the dome of the Invalides, and looked
upon the massive receptacle which holds the dust of the imperial exile.
Two things, at least, Napoleon accomplished: he opened the way for
ability of all kinds, and he dealt the death-blow to the divine right of
kings and all the abuses which clung to that superstition. If I brought
nothing else away from my visit to his mausoleum, I left it impressed
with what a man can be when fully equipped by nature, and placed in
circumstances where his forces can have full play. "How infinite in
faculty! ... in apprehension how like a god!" Such were my reflections;
very much, I suppose, like those of the average visitor, and too
obviously having nothing to require contradiction or comment.

Paris as seen by the morning sun of three or four and twenty and Paris
in the twilight of the superfluous decade cannot be expected to look
exactly alike. I well remember my first breakfast at a Parisian café in
the spring of 1833. It was in the Place de la Bourse, on a beautiful
sunshiny morning. The coffee was nectar, the _flute_ was ambrosia,
the _brioche_ was more than good enough for the Olympians. Such an
experience could not repeat itself fifty years later. The first
restaurant at which we dined was in the Palais Royal. The place was hot
enough to cook an egg. Nothing was very excellent nor very bad; the wine
was not so good as they gave us at our hotel in London; the enchanter
had not waved his wand over our repast, as he did over my earlier one in
the Place de la Bourse, and I had not the slightest desire to pay the
garçon thrice his fee on the score of cherished associations.

We dined at our hotel on some days, at different restaurants on others.
One day we dined, and dined well, at the old Café Anglais, famous in my
earlier times for its turbot. Another day we took our dinner at a very
celebrated restaurant on the boulevard. One sauce which was served us
was a gastronomic symphony, the harmonies of which were new to me and
pleasing. But I remember little else of superior excellence. The garçon
pocketed the franc I gave him with the air of having expected a
napoleon.

Into the mysteries of a lady's shopping in Paris I would not venture to
inquire. But A---- and I strolled together through the Palais Royal in
the evening, and amused ourselves by staring at the glittering windows
without being severely tempted. Bond Street had exhausted our
susceptibility to the shop-window seduction, and the napoleons did not
burn in the pockets where the sovereigns had had time to cool.

Nothing looked more nearly the same as of old than the bridges. The Pont
Neuf did not seem to me altered, though we had read in the papers that
it was in ruins or seriously injured in consequence of a great flood.
The statues had been removed from the Pont Royal, one or two new bridges
had been built, but all was natural enough, and I was tempted to look
for the old woman, at the end of the Pont des Arts, who used to sell me
a bunch of violets, for two or three sous,--such as would cost me a
quarter of a dollar in Boston. I did not see the three objects which a
popular saying alleges are always to be met on the Pont Neuf: a priest,
a soldier, and a white horse.

The weather was hot; we were tired, and did not care to go to the
theatres, if any of them were open. The pleasantest hours were those of
our afternoon drive in the Champs Elysées and the Bois de Boulogne,--or
"the Boulogne Woods," as our American tailor's wife of the old time
called the favorite place for driving. In passing the Place de la
Concorde, two objects in especial attracted my attention,--the obelisk,
which was lying, when I left it, in the great boat which brought it from
the Nile, and the statue of Strasbourg, all covered with wreaths and
flags. How like children these Parisians do act; crying "À Berlin, à
Berlin!" and when Berlin comes to Paris, and Strasbourg goes back to her
old proprietors, instead of taking it quietly, making all this parade of
patriotic symbols, the display of which belongs to victory rather than
to defeat!

I was surprised to find the trees in the Bois de Boulogne so well grown:
I had an idea that they had been largely sacrificed in the time of the
siege. Among the objects which deserve special mention are the shrieking
parrots and other birds and the yelping dogs in the grounds of the
Society of Acclimatization,--out of the range of which the visitor will
be glad to get as soon as possible. A fountain visited by newly married
couples and their friends, with a restaurant near by, where the bridal
party drink the health of the newly married pair, was an object of
curiosity. An unsteadiness of gait was obvious in some of the feasters.
At one point in the middle of the road a maenad was flinging her arms
about and shrieking as if she were just escaped from a madhouse. But the
drive in the Bois was what made Paris tolerable. There were few fine
equipages, and few distinguished-looking people in the carriages, but
there were quiet groups by the wayside, seeming happy enough; and now
and then a pretty face or a wonderful bonnet gave variety to the
somewhat _bourgeois_ character of the procession of fiacres.

[Illustration: Place de la Concorde]

I suppose I ought to form no opinion at all about the aspect of Paris,
any more than I should of an oyster in a month without an _r_ in
it. We were neither of us in the best mood for sight-seeing, and Paris
was not sitting up for company; in fact, she was "not at home."
Remembering all this, I must say that the whole appearance of the city
was dull and dreary. London out of season seemed still full of life;
Paris out of season looked vacuous and torpid. The recollection of the
sorrow, the humiliation, the shame, and the agony she had passed through
since I left her picking her way on the arm of the Citizen King, with
his old _riflard_ over her, rose before me sadly, ominously, as I
looked upon the high board fence which surrounded the ruins of the
Tuileries. I can understand the impulse which led the red caps to make a
wreck of this grand old historical building. "Pull down the nest," they
said, "and the birds will not come back." But I shudder when I think
what "the red fool-fury of the Seine" has done and is believed capable
of doing. I think nothing has so profoundly impressed me as the story of
the precautions taken to preserve the Venus of Milo from the brutal
hands of the mob. A little more violent access of fury, a little more
fiery declamation, a few more bottles of _vin bleu_, and the
Gallery of the Louvre, with all its treasures of art, compared with
which the crown jewels just sold are but pretty pebbles, the market
price of which fairly enough expresses their value,--much more, rather,
than their true value,--that noble gallery, with all its masterpieces
from the hands of Greek sculptors and Italian painters, would have been
changed in a single night into a heap of blackened stones and a pile of
smoking cinders.

I love to think that now that the people have, or at least think they
have, the power in their own hands, they will outgrow this form of
madness, which is almost entitled to the name of a Parisian endemic.
Everything looked peaceable and stupid enough during the week I passed
in Paris. But among all the fossils which Cuvier found in the Parisian
basin, nothing was more monstrous than the _poissardes_ of the old
Revolution, or the _pétroleuses_ of the recent Commune, and I fear
that the breed is not extinct. An American comes to like Paris as warmly
as he comes to love England, after living in it long enough to become
accustomed to its ways, and I, like the rest of my countrymen who
remember that France was our friend in the hour of need, who remember
all the privileges and enjoyments she has freely offered us, who feel
that as a sister republic her destinies are of the deepest interest to
us, can have no other wish than for her continued safety, order, and
prosperity.

We returned to London on the 13th of August by the same route we had
followed in going from London to Paris. Our passage was rough, as
compared to the former one, and some of the passengers were seasick. We
were both fortunate enough to escape that trial of comfort and
self-respect.

I can hardly separate the story of the following week from that of the
one before we went to Paris. We did a little more shopping and saw a few
more sights. I hope that no reader of mine would suppose that I would
leave London without seeing Madame Tussaud's exhibition. Our afternoon
drives made us familiar with many objects which I always looked upon
with pleasure. There was the obelisk, brought from Egypt at the expense
of a distinguished and successful medical practitioner, Sir Erasmus
Wilson, the eminent dermatologist and author of a manual of anatomy
which for many years was my favorite text-book. There was "The
Monument," which characterizes itself by having no prefix to its generic
name. I enjoyed looking at and driving round it, and thinking over
Pepys's lively account of the Great Fire, and speculating as to where
Pudding Lane and Pie Corner stood, and recalling Pope's lines which I
used to read at school, wondering what was the meaning of the second
one:--

  "Where London's column, pointing to the skies
  Like a tall bully, lifts its head and lies."

The week passed away rapidly enough, and we made ready for our
departure. It was no easy matter to get a passage home, but we had at
last settled it that we would return in the same vessel in which we had
at first engaged our passage to Liverpool, the Catalonia. But we were
fortunate enough to have found an active and efficient friend in our
townsman, Mr. Montgomery Sears, who procured staterooms for us in a much
swifter vessel, to sail on the 21st for New York, the Aurania.

Our last visitor in London was the faithful friend who had been the
first to welcome us, Lady Harcourt, in whose kind attentions I felt the
warmth of my old friendship with her admired and honored father and her
greatly beloved mother. I had recently visited their place of rest in
the Kensal Green Cemetery, recalling with tenderest emotions the many
years in which I had enjoyed their companionship.

On the 19th of August we left London for Liverpool, and on our arrival
took lodgings at the Adelphi Hotel.

The kindness with which I had been welcomed, when I first arrived at
Liverpool, had left a deep impression upon my mind. It seemed very
ungrateful to leave that noble city, which had met me in some of its
most esteemed representatives with a warm grasp of the hand even before
my foot had touched English soil, without staying to thank my new
friends, who would have it that they were old friends. But I was
entirely unfit for enjoying any company when I landed. I took care,
therefore, to allow sufficient time in Liverpool, before sailing for
home, to meet such friends, old and recent, as cared to make or renew
acquaintance with me. In the afternoon of the 20th we held a reception,
at which a hundred visitors, more or less, presented themselves, and we
had a very sociable hour or two together. The Vice-Consul, Mr. Sewall,
in the enforced absence of his principal, Mr. Russell, paid us every
attention, and was very agreeable. In the evening I was entertained at a
great banquet given by the Philomathean Society. This flourishing
institution enrolls among its members a large proportion of the most
cultivated and intelligent gentlemen of Liverpool. I enjoyed the meeting
very highly, listened to pleasant things which were said about myself,
and answered in the unpremeditated words which came to my lips and were
cordially received. I could have wished to see more of Liverpool, but I
found time only to visit the great exhibition, then open. The one class
of objects which captivated my attention was the magnificent series of
models of steamboats and other vessels. I did not look upon them with
the eye of an expert, but the great number and variety of these
beautiful miniature ships and boats excited my admiration.

On the 21st of August we went on board the Aurania. Everything was done
to make us comfortable. Many old acquaintances, friends, and family
connections were our fellow-passengers. As for myself, I passed through
the same trying experiences as those which I have recorded as
characterizing my outward passage. Our greatest trouble during the
passage was from fog. The frequency of collisions, of late years, tends
to make everybody nervous when they hear the fog-whistle shrieking. This
sound and the sight of the boats are not good for timid people.
Fortunately, no one was particularly excitable, or if so, no one
betrayed any special uneasiness.

On the evening of the 27th we had an entertainment, in which Miss
Kellogg sang and I read several poems. A very pretty sum was realized
for some charity,--I forget what,--and the affair was voted highly
successful. The next day, the 28th, we were creeping towards our harbor
through one of those dense fogs which are more dangerous than the old
rocks of the sirens, or Scylla and Charybdis, or the much-lied-about
maelstrom.

On Sunday, the 29th of August, my birthday, we arrived in New York. In
these days of birthday-books our chronology is not a matter of secret
history, in case we have been much before the public. I found a great
cake had been made ready for me, in which the number of my summers was
represented by a ring of raisins which made me feel like Methuselah. A
beautiful bouquet which had been miraculously preserved for the occasion
was for the first time displayed. It came from Dr. Beach, of Boston,
_via_ London. Such is the story, and I can only suppose that the
sweet little cherub who sits up aloft had taken special charge of it, or
it would have long ago withered.

We slept at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, which we found fresh, sweet,
bright,--it must have been recently rejuvenated, I thought. The next day
we took the train for New Haven, Springfield, and Boston, and that night
slept in our own beds, thankful to find ourselves safe at home after our
summer excursion, which had brought us so many experiences delightful to
remember, so many friendships which have made life better worth living.

In the following section I shall give some of the general impressions
which this excursion has left in my memory, and a few suggestions
derived from them.



VIII.


My reader was fairly forewarned that this narrative was to be more like
a chapter of autobiography than the record of a tourist. In the language
of philosophy, it is written from a subjective, not an objective, point
of view. It is not exactly a "Sentimental Journey," though there are
warm passages here and there which end with notes of admiration. I
remind myself now and then of certain other travellers: of Benjamin of
Tudela, going from the hospitalities of one son of Abraham to another;
of John Buncle, finding the loveliest of women under every roof that
sheltered him; sometimes, perhaps, of that tipsy rhymester whose record
of his good and bad fortunes at the hands of landlords and landladies is
enlivened by an occasional touch of humor, which makes it palatable to
coarse literary feeders. But in truth these papers have many of the
characteristics of private letters written home to friends. They
_are_ written for friends, rather than for a public which cares
nothing about the writer. I knew that there were many such whom it would
please to know where the writer went, whom he saw and what he saw, and
how he was impressed by persons and things.

If I were planning to make a tour of the United Kingdom, and could
command the service of all the wise men I count or have counted among my
friends, I would go with such a retinue summoned from the ranks of the
living and the dead as no prince ever carried with him. I would ask Mr.
Lowell to go with me among scholars, where I could be a listener; Mr.
Norton to visit the cathedrals with me; Professor Gray to be my
botanical oracle; Professor Agassiz to be always ready to answer
questions about the geological strata and their fossils; Dr. Jeffries
Wyman to point out and interpret the common objects which present
themselves to a sharp-eyed observer; and Mr. Boyd Dawkins to pilot me
among the caves and cairns. Then I should want a better pair of eyes and
a better pair of ears, and, while I was reorganizing, perhaps a quicker
apprehension and a more retentive memory; in short, a new outfit, bodily
and mental. But Nature does not care to mend old shoes; she prefers a
new pair, and a young person to stand in them.

What a great book one could make, with such aids, and how many would
fling it down, and take up anything in preference, provided only that it
were short enough; even this slight record, for want of something
shorter!

Not only did I feel sure that many friends would like to read our
itinerary, but another motive prompted me to tell the simple story of
our travels. I could not receive such kindness, so great evidences of
friendly regard, without a strong desire, amounting to a positive
necessity, for the expression of my grateful sense of all that had been
done for us. Individually, I felt it, of course, as a most pleasing
experience. But I believed it to have a more important significance as
an illustration of the cordial feeling existing between England and
America. I know that many of my countrymen felt the attentions paid to
me as if they themselves shared them with me. I have lived through many
strata of feeling in America towards England. My parents, full-blooded
Americans, were both born subjects of King George III. Both learned in
their early years to look upon Britons as the enemies of their country.
A good deal of the old hostility lingered through my boyhood, and this
was largely intensified by the war of 1812. After nearly half a century
this feeling had in great measure subsided, when the War of Secession
called forth expressions of sympathy with the slaveholding States which
surprised, shocked, and deeply wounded the lovers of liberty and of
England in the Northern States. A new generation is outgrowing that
alienation. More and more the older and younger nations are getting to
be proud and really fond of each other. There is no shorter road to a
mother's heart than to speak pleasantly to her child, and caress it, and
call it pretty names. No matter whether the child is something
remarkable or not, it is _her_ child, and that is enough. It may be
made too much of, but that is not its mother's fault. If I could believe
that every attention paid me was due simply to my being an American, I
should feel honored and happy in being one of the humbler media through
which the good-will of a great and generous country reached the heart of
a far-off people not always in friendly relations with her.

I have named many of the friends who did everything to make our stay in
England and Scotland agreeable. The unforeseen shortening of my visit
must account for many disappointments to myself, and some, it may be, to
others.

First in the list of lost opportunities was that of making my bow to the
Queen. I had the honor of receiving a card with the invitation to meet
Her Majesty at a garden-party, but we were travelling when it was sent,
and it arrived too late.

I was very sorry not to meet Mr. Ruskin, to whom Mr. Norton had given me
a note of introduction. At the time when we were hoping to see him it
was thought that he was too ill to receive visitors, but he has since
written me that he regretted we did not carry out our intention. I
lamented my being too late to see once more two gentlemen from whom I
should have been sure of a kind welcome,--Lord Houghton and Dean
Stanley, both of whom I had met in Boston. Even if I had stayed out the
whole time I had intended to remain abroad, I should undoubtedly have
failed to see many persons and many places that I must always feel sorry
for having missed. But as it is, I will not try to count all that I
lost; let me rather be thankful that I met so many friends whom it was a
pleasure to know personally, and saw so much that it is a pleasure to
remember.

I find that many of the places I most wish to see are those associated
with the memory of some individual, generally one of the generations
more or less in advance of my own. One of the first places I should go
to, in a leisurely tour, would be Selborne. Gilbert White was not a
poet, neither was he a great systematic naturalist. But he used his eyes
on the world about him; he found occupation and happiness in his daily
walks, and won as large a measure of immortality within the confines of
his little village as he could have gained in exploring the sources of
the Nile. I should make a solemn pilgrimage to the little town of Eyam,
in Derbyshire, where the Reverend Mr. Mompesson, the hero of the plague
of 1665, and his wife, its heroine and its victim, lie buried. I should
like to follow the traces of Cowper at Olney and of Bunyan at Elstow. I
found an intense interest in the Reverend Mr. Alger's account of his
visit to the Vale of Llangollen, where Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss
Ponsonby passed their peaceful days in long, uninterrupted friendship.
Of course the haunts of Burns, the home of Scott, the whole region made
sacred by Wordsworth and the group to which he belongs would be so many
shrines to which I should make pilgrimages.

I own, also, to having something of the melodramatic taste so notable in
Victor Hugo. I admired the noble façade of Wells cathedral and the grand
old episcopal palace, but I begged the bishop to show me the place where
his predecessor, Bishop Kidder, and his wife, were killed by the falling
chimney in the "Great Storm."--I wanted to go to Devizes, and see the
monument in the market-place, where Ruth Pierce was struck dead with a
lie in her mouth,--about all which I had read in early boyhood. I
contented myself with a photograph of it which my friend, Mr. Willett,
went to Devizes and bought for me.

There are twenty different Englands, every one of which it would be a
delight to visit, and I should hardly know with which of them to begin.

The few remarks I have to make on what I saw and heard have nothing
beyond the value of first impressions; but as I have already said, if
these are simply given, without pretending to be anything more, they are
not worthless. At least they can do little harm, and may sometimes amuse
a reader whom they fail to instruct. But we must all beware of hasty
conclusions. If a foreigner of limited intelligence were whirled through
England on the railways, he would naturally come to the conclusion that
the chief product of that country is _mustard_, and that its most
celebrated people are Mr. Keen and Mr. Colman, whose great advertising
boards, yellow letters on a black ground, and black letters on a yellow
ground, stare the traveller in the face at every station.

Of the climate, as I knew it in May and the summer months, I will only
say that if I had any illusions about May and June in England, my
fireplace would have been ample evidence that I was entirely
disenchanted. The Derby day, the 26th of May, was most chilly and
uncomfortable; at the garden-party at Kensington Palace, on the 4th of
June, it was cold enough to make hot drinks and warm wraps a comfort, if
not a necessity. I was thankful to have passed through these two ordeals
without ill consequences. Drizzly, or damp, or cold, cloudy days were
the rule rather than the exception, while we were in London. We had some
few hot days, especially at Stratford, in the early part of July. In
London an umbrella is as often carried as a cane; in Paris _"un homme
à para-pluie"_ is, or used to be, supposed to carry that useful
article because he does not keep and cannot hire a carriage of some
sort. He may therefore be safely considered a person, and not a
personage.

The soil of England does not seem to be worn out, to judge by the
wonderful verdure and the luxuriance of vegetation. It contains a great
museum of geological specimens, and a series of historical strata which
are among the most instructive of human records. I do not pretend to
much knowledge of geology. The most interesting geological objects in
our New England that I can think of are the great boulders and the
scratched and smoothed surface of the rocks; the fossil footprints in
the valley of the Connecticut; the trilobites found at Quincy. But the
readers of Hugh Miller remember what a variety of fossils he found in
the stratified rocks of his little island, and the museums are full of
just such objects. When it comes to underground historical relics, the
poverty of New England as compared with the wealth of Old England is
very striking. Stratum after stratum carries the explorer through the
relics of successive invaders. After passing through the characteristic
traces of different peoples, he comes upon a Roman pavement, and below
this the weapons and ornaments of a tribe of ancient Britons. One cannot
strike a spade into the earth, in Great Britain, without a fair chance
of some surprise in the form of a Saxon coin, or a Celtic implement, or
a Roman fibula. Nobody expects any such pleasing surprise in a New
England field. One must be content with an Indian arrowhead or two, now
and then a pestle and mortar, or a stone pipe. A top dressing of
antiquity is all he can look for. The soil is not humanized enough to be
interesting; whereas in England so much of it has been trodden by human
feet, built on in the form of human habitations, nay, has been itself a
part of preceding generations of human beings, that it is in a kind of
dumb sympathy with those who tread its turf. Perhaps it is not literally
true that

  One half her soil has walked the rest
  In poets, heroes, martyrs, sages;

but so many of all these lie within it that the whole mother island is a
_campo santo_ to all who can claim the same blood as that which
runs in the veins of her unweaned children.

The flora and fauna of a country, as seen from railroad trains and
carriages, are not likely to be very accurately or exhaustively studied.
I spoke of the trees I noticed between Chester and London somewhat
slightingly. But I did not form any hasty opinions from what happened to
catch my eye. Afterwards, in the oaks and elms of Windsor Park, in the
elms of Cambridge and Oxford and Salisbury, in the lindens of Stratford,
in the various noble trees, including the cedar of Lebanon, in which
Tennyson very justly felt a pride as their owner, I saw enough to make
me glad that I had not uttered any rash generalizations on the strength
of my first glance. The most interesting comparison I made was between
the New England and the Old England elms. It is not necessary to cross
the ocean to do this, as we have both varieties growing side by side in
our parks,--on Boston Common, for instance. It is wonderful to note how
people will lie about big trees. There must be as many as a dozen trees,
each of which calls itself the "largest elm in New England." In my
younger days, when I never travelled without a measuring-tape in my
pocket, it amused me to see how meek one of the great swaggering elms
would look when it saw the fatal measure begin to unreel itself. It
seemed to me that the leaves actually trembled as the inexorable band
encircled the trunk in _the smallest place it could find_, which is
the only safe rule. The English elm (_Ulmus campestris_) as we see
it in Boston comes out a little earlier perhaps, than our own, but the
difference is slight. It holds its leaves long after our elms are bare.
It grows upward, with abundant dark foliage, while ours spreads,
sometimes a hundred and twenty feet, and often droops like a weeping
willow. The English elm looks like a much more robust tree than ours,
yet they tell me it is very fragile, and that its limbs are constantly
breaking off in high winds, just as happens with our native elms. Ours
is not a very long-lived tree; between two and three hundred years is, I
think, the longest life that can be hoped for it. Since I have heard of
the fragility of the English elm, which is the fatal fault of our own, I
have questioned whether it can claim a greater longevity than ours.
There is a hint of a typical difference in the American and the
Englishman which I have long recognized in the two elms as compared to
each other. It may be fanciful, but I have thought that the compactness
and robustness about the English elm, which are replaced by the long,
tapering limbs and willowy grace and far-spreading reach of our own,
might find a certain parallelism in the people, especially the females
of the two countries.

I saw no horse-chestnut trees equal to those I remember in Salem, and
especially to one in Rockport, which is the largest and finest I have
ever seen; no willows like those I pass in my daily drives.

On the other hand, I think I never looked upon a Lombardy poplar equal
to one I saw in Cambridge, England. This tree seems to flourish in
England much more than with us.

I do not remember any remarkable beeches, though there are some very
famous ones, especially the Burnham beeches.

No apple-trees I saw in England compare with one next my own door, and
there are many others as fine in the neighborhood.

I have spoken of the pleasure I had in seeing by the roadside primroses,
cowslips, and daisies. Dandelions, buttercups, hawkweed looked much as
ours do at home. Wild roses also grew at the roadside,--smaller and
paler, I thought, than ours.

I cannot make a chapter like the famous one on Iceland, from my own
limited observation: _There are no snakes in England._ I can say
that I found two small caterpillars on my overcoat, in coming from Lord
Tennyson's grounds. If they had stayed on his premises, they might
perhaps have developed into "purple emperors," or spread "the tiger
moth's deep damasked wings" before the enraptured eyes of the noble
poet. These two caterpillars and a few house-flies are all I saw, heard,
or felt, by day or night, of the native fauna of England, except a few
birds,--rooks, starlings, a blackbird, and the larks of Salisbury Plain
just as they rose; for I lost sight of them almost immediately. I
neither heard nor saw the nightingales, to my great regret. They had
been singing at Oxford a short time before my visit to that place. The
only song I heard was that which I have mentioned, the double note of
the cuckoo.

England is the paradise of horses. They are bred, fed, trained, groomed,
housed, cared for, in a way to remind one of the Houyhnhnms, and
strikingly contrasting with the conditions of life among the wretched
classes whose existence is hardly more tolerable than that of those
_quasi_-human beings under whose name it pleased the fierce
satirist to degrade humanity. The horses that are driven in the hansoms
of London are the best I have seen in any public conveyance. I cannot
say as much of those in the four-wheelers.

Broad streets, sometimes, as in Bond Street, with narrow sidewalks;
_islands_ for refuge in the middle of many of them; deep areas;
lofty houses; high walls; plants in the windows; frequent open spaces;
policemen at near intervals, always polite in my experience,--such are
my recollections of the quarter I most frequented.

Are the English taller, stouter, lustier, ruddier, healthier, than our
New England people? If I gave my impression, I should say that they are.
Among the wealthier class, tall, athletic-looking men and stately,
well-developed women are more common, I am compelled to think, than with
us. I met in company at different times five gentlemen, each of whom
would be conspicuous in any crowd for his stature and proportions. We
could match their proportions, however, in the persons of well-known
Bostonians. To see how it was with other classes, I walked in the Strand
one Sunday, and noted carefully the men and women I met. I was surprised
to see how many of both sexes were of low stature. I counted in the
course of a few minutes' walk no less than twenty of these little
people. I set this experience against the other. Neither is convincing.
The anthropologists will settle the question of man in the Old and in
the New World before many decades have passed.

In walking the fashionable streets of London one can hardly fail to be
struck with the well-dressed look of gentlemen of all ages. The special
point in which the Londoner excels all other citizens I am conversant
with is the hat. I have not forgotten Béranger's

  "_Quoique leurs chapeaux soient bien laids_
  *** ***! moi, j'aime les Anglais;"

but in spite of it I believe in the English hat as the best thing of its
ugly kind. As for the Englishman's feeling with reference to it, a
foreigner might be pardoned for thinking it was his fetich, a North
American Indian for looking at it as taking the place of his own
medicine-bag. It is a common thing for the Englishman to say his prayers
into it, as he sits down in his pew. Can it be that this imparts a
religious character to the article? However this may be, the true
Londoner's hat is cared for as reverentially as a High-Church altar. Far
off its coming shines. I was always impressed by the fact that even with
us a well-bred gentleman in reduced circumstances never forgets to keep
his beaver well brushed, and I remember that long ago I spoke of the hat
as the _ultimum moriens_ of what we used to call gentility,--the
last thing to perish in the decay of a gentleman's outfit. His hat is as
sacred to an Englishman as his beard to a Mussulman.

       *       *       *       *       *

In looking at the churches and the monuments which I saw in London and
elsewhere in England, certain resemblances, comparisons, parallels,
contrasts, and suggestions obtruded themselves upon my consciousness. We
have one steeple in Boston which to my eyes seems absolutely perfect:
that of the Central Church, at the corner of Newbury and Berkeley
streets. Its resemblance to the spire of Salisbury had always struck me.
On mentioning this to the late Mr. Richardson, the very distinguished
architect, he said to me that he thought it more nearly like that of the
Cathedral of Chartres. One of our best living architects agreed with me
as to its similarity to that of Salisbury. It does not copy either
exactly, but, if it had twice its actual dimensions, would compare well
with the best of the two, if one is better than the other.
Saint-Martin's-in-the-Fields made me feel as if I were in Boston. Our
Arlington Street Church copies it pretty closely, but Mr. Gilman left
out the columns. I could not admire the Nelson Column, nor that which
lends monumental distinction to the Duke of York. After Trajan's and
that of the Place Vendôme, each of which is a permanent and precious
historical record, accounting sufficiently for its existence, there is
something very unsatisfactory in these nude cylinders. That to the Duke
of York might well have the confession of the needy knife grinder as an
inscription on its base. I confess in all honesty that I vastly prefer
the monument commemorating the fire to either of them. That _has_ a
story to tell and tells it,--with a lie or two added, according to Pope,
but it tells it in language and symbol.

As for the kind of monument such as I see from my library window
standing on the summit of Bunker Hill, and have recently seen for the
first time at Washington, on a larger scale, I own that I think a
built-up obelisk a poor affair as compared with an Egyptian monolith of
the same form. It was a triumph of skill to quarry, to shape, to
transport, to cover with expressive symbols, to erect, such a stone as
that which has been transferred to the Thames Embankment, or that which
now stands in Central Park, New York. Each of its four sides is a page
of history, written so as to endure through scores of centuries. A
built-up obelisk requires very little more than brute labor. A child can
shape its model from a carrot or a parsnip, and set it up in miniature
with blocks of loaf sugar. It teaches nothing, and the stranger must go
to his guide-book to know what it is there for. I was led into many
reflections by a sight of the Washington Monument. I found that it was
almost the same thing at a mile's distance as the Bunker Hill Monument
at half a mile's distance; and unless the eye had some means of
measuring the space between itself and the stone shaft, one was about as
good as the other. A mound like that of Marathon or that at Waterloo, a
cairn, even a shaft of the most durable form and material, are fit
memorials of the place where a great battle was fought. They seem less
appropriate as monuments to individuals. I doubt the durability of these
piecemeal obelisks, and when I think of that vast inverted pendulum
vibrating in an earthquake, I am glad that I do not live in its shadow.
The Washington Monument is more than a hundred feet higher than
Salisbury steeple, but it does not look to me so high as that, because
the mind has nothing to climb by. But the forming taste of the country
revels in superlatives, and if we could only have the deepest artesian
well in the world sunk by the side of the tallest column in all
creation, the admiring, not overcritical patriot would be happier than
ever was the Athenian when he looked up at the newly erected Parthenon.

I made a few miscellaneous observations which may be worth recording.
One of these was the fact of the repetition of the types of men and
women with which I was familiar at home. Every now and then I met a new
acquaintance whom I felt that I had seen before. Presently I identified
him with his double on the other side. I had found long ago that even
among Frenchmen I often fell in with persons whose counterparts I had
known in America. I began to feel as if Nature turned out a batch of
human beings for every locality of any importance, very much as a
workman makes a set of chessmen. If I had lived a little longer in
London, I am confident that I should have met myself, as I did actually
meet so many others who were duplicates of those long known to me.

I met Mr. Galton for a few moments, but I had no long conversation with
him. If he should ask me to say how many faces I can visually recall, I
should have to own that there are very few such. The two pictures which
I have already referred to, those of Erasmus and of Dr. Johnson, come up
more distinctly before my mind's eye than almost any faces of the
living. My mental retina has, I fear, lost much of its sensitiveness.
Long and repeated exposure of an object of any kind, in a strong light,
is necessary to fix its image.

       *       *       *       *       *

Among the gratifications that awaited me in England and Scotland was
that of meeting many before unseen friends with whom I had been in
correspondence. I have spoken of Mr. John Bellows. I should have been
glad to meet Mr. William Smith, the Yorkshire antiquary, who has sent me
many of his antiquarian and biographical writings and publications. I do
not think I saw Mr. David Gilmour, of Paisley, whose "Paisley Folk" and
other writings have given me great pleasure. But I did have the
satisfaction of meeting Professor Gairdner, of Glasgow, to whose
writings my attention was first called by my revered instructor, the
late Dr. James Jackson, and with whom I had occasionally corresponded. I
ought to have met Dr. Martineau. I should have visited the Reverend
Stopford Brooke, who could have told me much that I should have liked to
hear of dear friends of mine, of whom he saw a great deal in their hours
of trial. The Reverend Mr. Voysey, whose fearless rationalism can hardly
give him popularity among the conservative people I saw most of, paid me
the compliment of calling, as he had often done of sending me his
published papers. Now and then some less known correspondent would
reveal himself or herself in bodily presence. Let most authors beware of
showing themselves to those who have idealized them, and let readers not
be too anxious to see in the flesh those whom they have idealized. When
I was a boy, I read Miss Edgeworth's "L'Amie Inconnue." I have learned
to appreciate its meaning in later years by abundant experiences, and I
have often felt unwilling to substitute my real for my imaginary
presence. I will add here that I must have met a considerable number of
persons, in the crowd at our reception and elsewhere, whose names I
failed to hear, and whom I consequently did not recognize as the authors
of books I had read, or of letters I had received. The story of my
experience with the lark accounts for a good deal of what seemed like
negligence or forgetfulness, and which must be, not pardoned, but sighed
over.

I visited several of the well-known clubs, either by special invitation,
or accompanied by a member. The Athenaeum was particularly attentive,
but I was unable to avail myself of the privileges it laid freely open
before me during my stay in London. Other clubs I looked in upon were:
the Reform Club, where I had the pleasure of dining at a large party
given by the very distinguished Dr. Morell Mackenzie; the Rabelais, of
which, as I before related, I have been long a member, and which was one
of the first places where I dined; the Saville; the Savage; the St.
George's. I saw next to nothing of the proper club-life of London, but
it seemed to me that the Athenaeum must be a very desirable place of
resort to the educated Londoner, and no doubt each of the many
institutions of this kind with which London abounds has its special
attractions.

My obligations to my brethren of the medical profession are too numerous
to be mentioned in detail. Almost the first visit I paid was one to my
old friend and fellow-student in Paris, Dr. Walter Hayle Walshe. After
more than half a century's separation, two young friends, now old
friends, must not expect to find each other just the same as when they
parted. Dr. Walshe thought he should have known me; my eyes are not so
good as his, and I would not answer for them and for my memory. That he
should have dedicated his recent original and ingenious work to me,
before I had thought of visiting England, was a most gratifying
circumstance. I have mentioned the hospitalities extended to me by
various distinguished members of the medical profession, but I have not
before referred to the readiness with which, on all occasions, when
professional advice was needed, it was always given with more than
willingness, rather as if it were a pleasure to give it. I could not
have accepted such favors as I received had I not remembered that I, in
my time, had given my services freely for the benefit of those of my own
calling. If I refer to two names among many, it is for special reasons.
Dr. Wilson Fox, the distinguished and widely known practitioner, who
showed us great kindness, has since died, and this passing tribute is
due to his memory. I have before spoken of the exceptional favor we owed
to Dr. and Mrs. Priestley. It enabled us to leave London feeling that we
had tried, at least, to show our grateful sense of all the attentions
bestowed upon us. If there were any whom we overlooked, among the guests
we wished to honor, all such accidental omissions will be pardoned, I
feel sure, by those who know how great and bewildering is the pressure
of social life in London.

I was, no doubt, often more or less confused, in my perceptions, by the
large number of persons whom I met in society. I found the
dinner-parties, as Mr. Lowell told me I should, very much like the same
entertainments among my home acquaintances. I have not the gift of
silence, and I am not a bad listener, yet I brought away next to nothing
from dinner-parties where I had said and heard enough to fill out a
magazine article. After I was introduced to a lady, the conversation
frequently began somewhat in this way:--

"It is a long time since you have been in this country, I believe?"

"It is a _very_ long time: fifty years and more."

"You find great changes in London, of course, I suppose?"

"Not so great as you might think. The Tower is where I left it. The
Abbey is much as I remember it. Northumberland House with its lion is
gone, but Charing Cross is in the same old place. My attention is drawn
especially to the things which have not changed,--those which I
remember."

That stream was quickly dried up. Conversation soon found other springs.
I never knew the talk to get heated or noisy. Religion and politics
rarely came up, and never in any controversial way. The bitterest
politician I met at table was a quadruped,--a lady's dog,--who refused a
desirable morsel offered him in the name of Mr. Gladstone, but snapped
up another instantly on being told that it came from Queen Victoria. I
recall many pleasant and some delightful talks at the dinner-table; one
in particular, with the most charming woman in England. I wonder if she
remembers how very lovely and agreeable she was? Possibly she may be
able to identify herself.

People--the right kind of people--meet at a dinner-party as two ships
meet and pass each other at sea. They exchange a few signals; ask each
other's reckoning, where from, where bound; perhaps one supplies the
other with a little food or a few dainties; then they part, to see each
other no more. But one or both may remember the hour passed together all
their days, just as I recollect our brief parley with the brig
Economist, of Leith, from Sierra Leone, in mid ocean, in the spring of
1833.

I am very far from despising the science of gastronomy, but if I wished
to institute a comparison between the tables of England and America, I
could not do it without eating my way through the four seasons. I will
say that I did not think the bread from the bakers' shops was so good as
our own. It was very generally tough and hard, and even the muffins were
not always so tender and delicate as they ought to be. I got impatient
one day, and sent out for some biscuits. They brought some very
excellent ones, which we much preferred to the tough bread. They proved
to be the so-called "seafoam" biscuit from New York. The potatoes never
came on the table looking like new fallen snow, as we have them at home.
We were surprised to find both mutton and beef overdone, according to
our American taste. The French talk about the Briton's "_bifteck
saignant_," but we never saw anything cooked so as to be, as we
should say, "rare." The tart is national with the English, as the pie is
national with us. I never saw on an English table that excellent
substitute for both, called the Washington pie, in memory of him whom we
honor as first in pies, as well as in war and in the hearts of his
countrymen.

The truth is that I gave very little thought to the things set before
me, in the excitement of constantly changing agreeable companionship. I
understand perfectly the feeling of the good liver in Punch, who
suggests to the lady next him that their host has one of the best cooks
in London, and that it might therefore be well to defer all conversation
until they adjourned to the drawing-room. I preferred the conversation,
and adjourned, indefinitely, the careful appreciation of the
_menu_. I think if I could devote a year to it, I might be able to
make out a graduated scale of articles of food, taking a well-boiled
fresh egg as the unit of gastronomic value, but I leave this scientific
task to some future observer.

The most remarkable piece of European handiwork I remember was the steel
chair at Longford Castle. The most startling and frightful work of man I
ever saw or expect to see was another specimen of work in steel, said to
have been taken from one of the infernal chambers of the Spanish
Inquisition. It was a complex mechanism, which grasped the body and the
head of the heretic or other victim, and by means of many ingeniously
arranged screws and levers was capable of pressing, stretching,
piercing, rending, crushing, all the most sensitive portions of the
human body, one at a time or many at once. The famous Virgin, whose
embrace drove a hundred knives into the body of the poor wretch she took
in her arms, was an angel of mercy compared to this masterpiece of
devilish enginery.

Ingenuity is much better shown in contrivances for making our daily life
more comfortable. I was on the lookout for everything that promised to
be a convenience. I carried out two things which seemed to be new to the
Londoners: the Star Razor, which I have praised so freely, and still
find equal to all my commendations; and the mucilage pencil, which is a
very handy implement to keep on the writer's desk or table. I found a
contrivance for protecting the hand in drawing corks, which all who are
their own butlers will appreciate, and luminous match-boxes which really
shine brightly in the dark, and that after a year's usage; whereas one
professing to shine by night, which I bought in Boston, is only visible
by borrowed light. I wanted a very fine-grained hone, and inquired for
it at a hardware store, where they kept everything in their line of the
best quality. I brought away a very pretty but very small stone, for
which I paid a large price. The stone was from Arkansas, and I need not
have bought in London what would have been easily obtained at a dozen or
more stores in Boston. It was a renewal of my experience with the
seafoam biscuit. "Know thyself" and the things about thee, and "Take the
good the gods provide thee," if thou wilt only keep thine eyes open, are
two safe precepts.

Who is there of English descent among us that does not feel with Cowper,

  "England, with all thy faults, I love thee still"?

Our recently naturalized fellow-citizens, of a different blood and
different religion, must not suppose that we are going to forget our
inborn love for the mother to whom we owe our being. Protestant England
and Protestant America are coming nearer and nearer to each other every
year. The interchange of the two peoples is more and more frequent, and
there are many reasons why it is likely to continue increasing.

Hawthorne says in a letter to Longfellow, "Why don't you come over,
being now a man of leisure and with nothing to keep you in America? If I
were in your position, I think I should make my home on this side of the
water,--though always with an indefinite and never-to-be-executed
intention to go back and die in my native land. America is a good land
for young people, but not for those who are past their prime. ... A man
of individuality and refinement can certainly live far more comfortably
here--provided he has the means to live at all--than in New England. Be
it owned, however, that I sometimes feel a tug at my very heart-strings
when I think of my old home and friends." This was written from
Liverpool in 1854.

We must not forget that our fathers were exiles from their dearly loved
native land, driven by causes which no longer exist. "Freedom to worship
God" is found in England as fully as in America, in our day. In placing
the Atlantic between themselves and the Old World civilizations they
made an enormous sacrifice. It is true that the wonderful advance of our
people in all the arts and accomplishments which make life agreeable has
transformed the wilderness into a home where men and women can live
comfortably, elegantly, happily, if they are of contented disposition;
and without that they can be happy nowhere. What better provision can be
made for a mortal man than such as our own Boston can afford its wealthy
children? A palace on Commonwealth Avenue or on Beacon Street; a
country-place at Framingham or Lenox; a seaside residence at Nahant,
Beverly Farms, Newport, or Bar Harbor; a pew at Trinity or King's
Chapel; a tomb at Mount Auburn or Forest Hills; with the prospect of a
memorial stained window after his lamented demise,--is not this a pretty
programme to offer a candidate for human existence?

Give him all these advantages, and he will still be longing to cross the
water, to get back to that old home of his fathers, so delightful in
itself, so infinitely desirable on account of its nearness to Paris, to
Geneva, to Rome, to all that is most interesting in Europe. The less
wealthy, less cultivated, less fastidious class of Americans are not so
much haunted by these longings. But the convenience of living in the Old
World is so great, and it is such a trial and such a risk to keep
crossing the ocean, that it seems altogether likely that a considerable
current of re-migration will gradually develop itself among our people.

Some find the climate of the other side of the Atlantic suits them
better than their own. As the New England characteristics are gradually
superseded by those of other races, other forms of belief, and other
associations, the time may come when a New Englander will feel more as
if he were among his own people in London than in one of our seaboard
cities. The vast majority of our people love their country too well and
are too proud of it to be willing to expatriate themselves. But going
back to our old home, to find ourselves among the relatives from whom we
have been separated for a few generations, is not like transferring
ourselves to a land where another language is spoken, and where there
are no ties of blood and no common religious or political traditions. I,
for one, being myself as inveterately rooted an American of the
Bostonian variety as ever saw himself mirrored in the Frog Pond, hope
that the exchanges of emigrants and re-migrants will be much more evenly
balanced by and by than at present. I hope that more Englishmen like
James Smithson will help to build up our scientific and literary
institutions. I hope that more Americans like George Peabody will call
down the blessings of the English people by noble benefactions to the
cause of charity. It was with deep feelings of pride and gratitude that
I looked upon the bust of Longfellow, holding its place among the
monuments of England's greatest and best children. I see with equal
pleasure and pride that one of our own large-hearted countrymen has
honored the memory of three English poets, Milton, and Herbert, and
Cowper, by the gift of two beautiful stained windows, and with still
ampler munificence is erecting a stately fountain in the birthplace of
Shakespeare. Such acts as these make us feel more and more the truth of
the generous sentiment which closes the ode of Washington Allston,
"America to Great Britain:" We are one!

       *       *       *       *       *

I have told our story with the help of my daughter's diary, and often
aided by her recollections. Having enjoyed so much, I am desirous that
my countrymen and countrywomen should share my good fortune with me. I
hesitated at first about printing names in full, but when I remembered
that we received nothing but the most overflowing hospitality and the
most considerate kindness from all we met, I felt sure that I could not
offend by telling my readers who the friends were that made England a
second home to us. If any one of them is disturbed by such reference as
I have made to him or to her, I most sincerely apologize for the liberty
I have taken. I am far more afraid that through sheer forgetfulness I
have left unmentioned many to whom I was and still remain under
obligations.

If I were asked what I think of people's travelling after the commonly
accepted natural term of life is completed, I should say that everything
depends on constitution and habit. The old soldier says, in speaking of
crossing the Beresina, where the men had to work in the freezing stream
constructing the bridges, "Faut du tempérament pour cela!" I often
thought of this expression, in the damp and chilly weather which not
rarely makes English people wish they were in Italy. I escaped unharmed
from the windy gusts at Epsom and the nipping chill of the Kensington
garden-party; but if a score of my contemporaries had been there with
me, there would not improbably have been a funeral or two within a week.
If, however, the super-septuagenarian is used to exposures, if he is an
old sportsman or an old officer not retired from active service, he may
expect to elude the pneumonia which follows his footsteps whenever he
wanders far from his fireside. But to a person of well-advanced years
coming from a counting-room, a library, or a studio, the risk is
considerable, unless he is of hardy natural constitution; any other will
do well to remember, "Faut du tempérament pour cela!"

Suppose there to be a reasonable chance that he will come home alive,
what is the use of one's going to Europe after his senses have lost
their acuteness, and his mind no longer retains its full measure of
sensibilities and vigor? I should say that the visit to Europe under
those circumstances was much the same thing as the _petit
verre_,--the little glass of Chartreuse, or Maraschino, or Curaçoa,
or, if you will, of plain Cognac, at the end of a long banquet. One has
gone through many courses, which repose in the safe recesses of his
economy. He has swallowed his coffee, and still there is a little corner
left with its craving unappeased. Then comes the drop of liqueur,
_chasse-café_, which is the last thing the stomach has a right to
expect. It warms, it comforts, it exhales its benediction on all that
has gone before. So the trip to Europe may not do much in the way of
instructing the wearied and overloaded intelligence, but it gives it a
fillip which makes it feel young again for a little while.

Let not the too mature traveller think it will change any of his habits.
It will interrupt his routine for a while, and then he will settle down
into his former self, and be just what he was before. I brought home a
pair of shoes I had made in London; they do not fit like those I had
before I left, and I rarely wear them. It is just so with the new habits
I formed and the old ones I left behind me.

But am I not glad, for my own sake, that I went? Certainly I have every
reason to be, and I feel that the visit is likely to be a great source
of happiness for my remaining days. But there is a higher source of
satisfaction. If the kindness shown me strengthens the slenderest link
that binds us in affection to that ancestral country which is, and I
trust will always be to her descendants, "dear Mother England," that
alone justifies my record of it, and to think it is so is more than
reward enough. If, in addition, this account of our summer experiences
is a source of pleasure to many friends, and of pain to no one, as I
trust will prove to be the fact, I hope I need never regret giving to
the public the pages which are meant more especially for readers who
have a personal interest in the writer.





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