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Title: Schöne Aussicht - A Journal of Our Trip Abroad
Author: Spilker, Louise
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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                           Transcriber’s Note

When italics were used in the original book, the corresponding text has
been surrounded by _underscores_. Some corrections have been made to
the printed text. These are listed in a second transcriber’s note at
the end of the text.

[Illustration]



                            Schöne Aussicht


                               A Journal
                           of Our Trip Abroad


                                   By
                             Louise Spilker


                       Illustrated by the Author


                                New York
                        The Knickerbocker Press
                                  1901

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                            COPYRIGHT, 1901
                                   BY
                             LOUISE SPILKER

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                                PREFACE


Sooner or later the average mortal must be tempted in order to see
whether or not he will be found wanting. Naturally the sooner the
ordeal is over, the better. Just now it is a consuming desire to record
my first impressions abroad, to convince myself, if no one else in this
cold and venal world, that while enjoying this privilege of foreign
sights, I lived with my eyes open, trying to see things intelligently
and thoughtfully. Not enough of a travelled worldling to be able to
assimilate new impressions and views of life, or to be modified by new
surroundings without yielding to this temptation, I have had recourse
to the English language (as a vehicle to express my confusion of
ideas), whose words are cheap and easy substitutes for thought.
However, it is not written with the determination to give information,
or to temper it with any sort of humor or guide-book instruction; but
mitigated by actual knowledge of the places and things talked about. It
may prove that I really think I can tell what I saw, just as a
color-blind man thinks he can pick out red or blue; but the color-blind
man, be he ever so teachable, can never know what he misses; and
likewise the writer, without a heaven-sent sense or birthright for
book-making, never knows how ineffective her narration of sights in
book-form really is. It may be equally obvious that the gift has not
been cultivated with zeal or properly directed; but whoever reads, I
trust, will be born with the precious gift of sympathy.

It is amazing that one is not discouraged as they think of the better
utterances upon these same subjects, which have become so constant, so
multiplied, diffused, reported, repeated, stereotyped, telegraphed,
published, and circulated, that books, pamphlets, speeches and reviews
and reports are things that one tries to escape from. This effort will
be characterized by haste and superficiality, caused partly by the lack
of time and thought necessary to condense, or possibly a fear that its
substance might disappear in a process of condensation. He who runs may
read. In that great day of reckoning there will be charged to me so
many golden hours lost between sunrise and sunset, for persistency in
writing monotonous emotions while crossing the Atlantic for the first
time.



                               NEVER MIND


            Whatever your work and whatever its worth,
              No matter how strong and clever,
            Some one will sneer if you pause to hear,
              And scoff at your best endeavor.
            For the target art has a broad expanse,
              And wherever you chance to hit it,
            Though close be your aim to the bulls-eye fame
              There are those who will never admit it.
            Though the house applauds while the artist plays
              And a smiling world adores him,
            Somebody is there with an ennuied air
              To say that the acting bores him.
            For the tower of art has a lofty spire,
              With many a stair and landing,
            And those who climb seem small of time
              To one at the bottom standing.
            So work along in your chosen niche
              With a steady purpose to nerve you;
            Let nothing men say who pass your way
              Relax your courage or swerve you.
            The idle will flock by the Temple of Art
              For just the pleasure of gazing,
            But climb to the top and do not stop
              Though they may not be all praising.

                                                  _Ella Wheeler Wilcox._



                               CHAPTER I


For fear some of you may be deceived about this Atlantic, which was so
serenely peaceful and angelic in disposition when crossing on board the
Hamburg-American liner “Pennsylvania,” July 14, 1900, I will record
later impressions and tell you what a wild, treacherous person she is.
From July 14th to July 26th, was one of the smoothest, most placid
mill-ponds you could ever imagine, in spite of the fact that we started
on the voyage Friday, the 13th, from the Hoboken dock, where the
greatest of sea disasters had taken place but a few hours previous.

The night before our sunrise sailing was one of hideous recollection,
being the recent scene of such an unparalleled holocaust. The air we
breathed (when we could find time to catch it from our warfare with
Jersey mosquitoes and the heat), was permeated with the sickening
stench of decomposed animal flesh, made all the more horrible from the
possibility of there being a little human flesh with it. By our side
lay the charred and sunken wrecks of the “Bremen,” “Main,” and “Salle,”
with their ghastly cargoes, which had so recently been the scene of
many expectant and happy hearts. This terrible sight made the lump of a
big empty something harder to swallow, as we swung round so steadily
but surely from our slip, out into the deeper water. ’Mid the wails of
some and the silent sobs of the more sincere, to the accompaniment of
the little German band, we moved slowly but majestically down the bay,
exhilarated by a beautiful morning, before the fierce heat of the day
could burn. We watched the beloved and familiar sky-scrapers recede;
soon Bartholdi joined them, and they were en masse things of the past,
not to be soon forgotten, however. There were many things to engage
one’s thoughts about this time. My dreams of an ocean greyhound had
always been that it was an abiding-place next to heaven. Imagine my
disappointment as I watched them hiding away in her depths such
unsightly stuff as pig-iron, tallow, oils, and, worst of all, bales and
bales of that inflammable cotton; working for days and nights to
ballast this graceful thing of beauty. Sighs are less frequent, things
are less distinct, now only a fancy, as each revolution of the wheel of
the gigantic and throbbing engine widens that gulf of all gulfs—the
ocean—which I think the most magnificent object under heaven, and I
cannot but feel a slight disgust for the multitudes that view it
without emotion; yet it is with a shudder that I think of its grim,
tragic side, its rough billows and war of waves.

              “Worlds of water heaped up on high,
              Rolling like mountains in wild wilderness,
              Horrible, hideous, roaring with hoarse cry.”

[Illustration]

In all its various forms it is an object of all others the most suited
to affect us with lasting impressions of the awful power that created
and controls it. The first breakfast was quite a feature; the bugle
call from one of the little German band was clearly heard by all. We
read of ocean greyhounds, record-breaking trips, the laying of
submarine cables, the practical subduing of the Atlantic; then we
consult our maps to discover it but a small pond. We read of things
Americans have done in England recently: won the Derby, bought the
underground railway, merchant delegates entertained by the King of
England, great gifts made to Scotch universities, large shares of
government loans taken, etc., until we think that the Atlantic has been
misrepresented. One has but to take his maiden voyage to have this
impression corrected; he can vouch that it is still the roughest and
wildest of oceans. Ten or twelve days’ passage over the Atlantic, with
all means to annihilate distance, one thinks its three thousand or more
tedious miles have been partly done away with; but I can assure you
they are all there. When we have travelled a thousand miles east and
find we are nowhere in particular, but realize we are still pitching
about on an uneasy sea, with an unconstant sky, and that a thousand
miles more will not make any perceptible change, we begin to have some
conception of an unconquerable sea. I can never listen with quite the
same satisfaction to the songs about the sea, “Life on the Ocean Wave,”
“What Are the Wild Waves Saying?” without thinking of its inability to
stand still for one brief second. The narrow berth plays shuffle-board
with your anatomy all night long. You walk up-hill to your “zimmer,”
and upon arriving there, discover that your stateroom is at the bottom
of the hill, and to open the door is equivalent to opening a trap-door.
You attempt to sit down, find you are sitting up, and in promenading
the deck (more than two squares long), you discover everybody who is
not shooting to his stateroom, is reaching out blindly for the
guard-rail, and is walking on a slant, as though a heavy wind were
blowing; the propeller is out of the water more than under, making with
its many revolutions more terrific noise than the cannonading of heavy
artillery. Then if you are fortunate enough to look at food, have your
plate, glass, knife, and fork in a rack, and consider yourself in great
luck if your soup is not in the lap of your best gown, which was made
with a view of enduring the entire trip.

How novel it all is for the first week; after that, you wish the band
would play a greater distance from your stateroom. The freaks that
aroused your keenest interest at first promenading the deck bareheaded,
when you were shivering under the largest steamer rug you could buy,
tire you. Even the celebrities on board, who have so charmingly
entertained you with their wit and music, cease to attract your
attention. Not even our Poultney Bigelow (who is certainly great in his
own mind) could amuse. Nor is “Barnaby,” of the famous “Ideal
Quartette,” as interesting as he once was. The Polish Jew is now the
most persistent in his call for aid for a family of paupers from his
native land whom Uncle Sam fails to receive into his bosom and returns
right side up with care. Even the waltz with the fat “Deutsch” captain
fails to amuse; only the taking of the ship’s log, which promises you
soon a view of the ever welcome sight of land, interests you. We passed
the Scilly Islands, with their menacing, grim rocks, late in the
evening of the 24th, the first sign, for twelve long days, that some
human friend was watching and waiting for us. No more welcome sound
than the scream of the seagull; no lovelier sight will we see abroad,
than the little English village, Plymouth, nestled at the edge of the
sea,—the luxuriant green bluff and red and white sails which fleck the
deep blue sea, together with thousands of white seagulls who came out
to meet us and escort us in. Having at last set foot on terra firma, we
certainly have a more profound respect for the grand old ocean. The
sunset on July 25th tried to make a lasting impression on us; for it
was certainly a most beautiful symphony in rose, gold and sea-foam
green, with all the indescribable tints that the blendings of these
three gorgeous colors could produce. How I would like to have painted
her wonderful color, which the sun dashed upon her sparkling surface!
The young moon, lying in the lap of the old one, superintended the
beautiful sunset, thinking, no doubt, how soon she would quiet these
splendid hues into a silvery sleep, as Wordsworth so perfectly phrases
it:

              “This sea that bares her bosom to the moon.”

Nothing more clearly shows than extensive travel that humanity in every
clime is made with one nature. We are so cogently convinced of being
warmed and cooled by the same sun; grunting and sweating under every
pulsation of the sun and air, and are truly “bone of her bone, and
flesh of her flesh.” How readily we adapt ourselves to her every humor.
That nature shows a particular partiality for man, seems evident from
the fact that he is the only animal who can survive and subsist in all
the moods of all her climates.



                               CHAPTER II


We were dropped at Cuxhaven on July 26th, and from here a train carried
us to Hamburg, arriving on the morning of the 26th of July. With the
name of Hamburg, the idea of seaport is associated; and one can see at
its harbor a forest of masts, but is greatly astonished when he learns
the sea is one hundred kilometres distant. In fact, the grandeur of our
New York harbor is never so emphasized as when you realize that the
large ocean liners that can lie at her very door are unable to enter
European harbors. Little tenders carry all passengers to and fro. The
Elbe between Hamburg and Cuxhaven is in reality an artificially
constructed inlet of the sea, formed by vast dykes, and filled by the
mighty waters of the Elbe, driving back the sea itself. The tide,
however, brings no sea water to Hamburg; it only holds back the waters
of the Elbe, making its effect felt thirty-six kilometres beyond the
seaport. It is hard to understand why this German city is such a
wonderful shipping point, until you are told that the Hamburg dock
possesses the invaluable advantage of being at all times accessible for
ocean steamers, an advantage that is wanting in most seaports, such as
Antwerp, London, Liverpool, etc. They consist of a so-called
“tide-havens,” in contradistinction to “dock-havens.” We will now
traverse an old country but a new empire; for the Germany of to-day
measures its existence by comparatively few decades. Our Civil War was
a thing of the past before German unity was an accomplished fact.

[Illustration]

Our introduction into Germany was certainly a satisfactory one. We were
surprised to find, upon our arrival the first evening, that it was
daylight until 9.30 o’clock and twilight after 10 o’clock; in fact, one
could read the paper at that time; daylight again at 3 A.M. The night
seemed delayed and dawn hastened, thus robbing the night of some hours
at each end. It began to be a serious question as to when Morpheus
would operate, but we found upon awakening next morning it was 12 M.
(mid-day), not interfering in the least with our slumbers. What a scene
of beauty greeted us upon looking out of the window! A beautiful lake,
miles long, running right through the centre of the city; graceful
swans by the hundreds gliding over its azure depths; fairy launches
here, there, and everywhere. The eye rests on beauty—beauty. Pavilions
dot its borders, where the happy German and his family are drinking
their beer and listening to the music (which is always good in
Germany); thoroughly enjoying themselves in their characteristic way,
so enviable. The city possesses beautiful streets and picturesque
squares; its beauty is greatly enhanced by two artificially constructed
lakes called the outer and inner Alster,—“Aussen Alster,” “Binnen
Alster,”—the boulevard, as we would say, but known there as the
“Jungfernstieg,” is one of the most beautiful promenades in all Europe.
Most of the important buildings, monuments, and attractive coffee
houses cluster around the “Inner Alster.” The landscape beauty of
Hamburg is beyond description. “Schöne Aussicht” greets you in bold
letters everywhere you glance, to remind you if you are careless and
indifferent to their beauty. Usually four rows of lindens will run the
entire length of the streets; drives through the residence portion are
quite unlike those of our American cities. The exclusiveness of their
homes is a distinct feature. They are hidden almost from view by dense
but highly cultivated foliage. Flowers are in greatest profusion about
every home, from the palace to the peasant’s home at Cuxhaven. The dogs
pulling the milk wagons through the streets, the women carrying their
wares and green stuffs on their shoulders, suspended in baskets from
wooden sticks, reminds one that he is not in an American city, which
for the moment is forgotten in their more modern haunts. There is
simply a wilderness of foliage in this city; they give it constant
care. Their slavish attention along all artistic lines proves that the
German, while he sips his beer and cannot reverse in the waltz or dance
the two-step, does not lose his love for art; and the high state of its
development here shows him to be above the average American in his
merciless greed for wealth.

After a day and night at Nienburg (the birthplace of George W.
Spilker), we took the “Schnell Zug” for Berlin, making a short
stop-over at Hanover. We were agreeably surprised in their railway
systems. While there is considerably more jostle than on one of our
good trains, there is a degree of comfort enjoyed in second-class
travel that is in some ways superior to our first-class. We ran about
fifty-seven miles an hour, a whole compartment to ourselves; remarking
it “was the pleasantest long ride that we had ever taken on a railroad
train.”



                              CHAPTER III


We are in Berlin, magnificent Berlin: what can I say for it? better,
what can’t I say for it? It seems to be a city where all requirements
are met and filled; nothing being left undone that would gratify the
taste of the most critical connoisseur. Here we see the best in art;
royalty, your next-door neighbor, keeping a respectful distance,
however. Beauty everywhere, stores laden with the choicest wares
(reasonable, too), more soldiers than you could ever possibly look at;
at every turn, nook, and corner, one of these uniform knights bobs up
in sight; and wherever you read the word “Verboden” it means exactly
that, and you quietly acquiesce. If it were not for some of these
little differences you could scarcely realize you were anywhere else
but in an American city. Berlin, like Paris and London, knows no night,
as social evil is equally as great here as in these two other great
cities. They are lax in their treatment of these night prowlers. You
can’t help but think that its splendor will soon equal that of Rome,
and its licentiousness not far behind. At the close of the Thirty
Years’ War, 1648, Berlin had only a few hundred inhabitants. It is now
one of the world’s great cities. The phenomenal rise of Prussia and its
predominance in German affairs gave to its leading city immense
influence and remarkable prosperity, Prussia making herself the leader
of the movement that finally welded together the twenty-six states now
constituting the German Empire, with the Prussian King as Kaiser. It is
essentially modern, and, despite the disadvantages of its location, is
without doubt one of the handsomest cities of Europe. Notable among its
many fine buildings are the Royal Palace and that of the Emperor and
Crown Prince, and the Royal Library, containing a million volumes. We
visited the winter and summer homes (palaces) of the present king and
queen, the Mausoleum at Charlottenburg, and the palace of Frederick the
Great at Potsdam. We passed through the park, Sans Souci, with its
great fountain, around whose basin stand eight marble figures, of which
the Venus (Pigalle) is the most beautiful. Straight ahead we ascended a
broad flight of steps, sixty-six feet high, broken by six terraces,
edged by the most beautiful roses extending their vast length, then by
the graves of Frederick the Great’s dogs. The Emperor himself wished to
be buried here, that he might truly be sans souci. We now enter the
palace of Sans Souci, consisting of only one story. The rooms are in
the same order as Frederick left them. The most interesting apartment
throughout was the room of Voltaire, with its curious wood-carving and
painted walls, designed by Frederick to represent the character of the
French—the peacock typifying his vanity, the ape his mimicry, the
parrot his garrulity. The great infidel visited and died here, where he
taught the king French, and at one time criticising the king’s efforts
at bookmaking so severely that he was held in great disfavor by
Frederick. We had an extra privilege in the new palace, the summer home
of the present Emperor, he being absent on a visit to some of his fifty
or more palaces. We were allowed entrée, the palace being closed to
visitors from May till November. It contains two hundred apartments,
the Imperial family residing in the north wing. The Shell salon is most
beautiful, its entire ceiling and walls decorated with gorgeous shells
and precious stones—souvenirs brought back by William II. from his
travels. Some of the amethysts and topazes are as large as huge blocks
of coal.

We listened to Sousa play at the Royal Garden (for one mark). This is a
bewilderingly beautiful spot, lying adjacent to the Tier gardens, so
enchanting in the twilight. As we came down the Grand Boulevard (which
runs the full length of this wilderness of beauty), we saw groups (very
close together) of the most illustrious statuary in pure white marble,
standing the entire length of the wooded boulevard, like silent
sentinels keeping watch over this beautiful domain. Some of these were
not yet unveiled. All of them were the gift of the Kaiser. While
lingering in this enchanted spot, sipping wine and listening to Sousa
playing his inimitable “Washington Post,” we met at the same table a
gentleman who spoke good English—the very first we had heard since we
left home. We found him to be a celebrated musician, the head of the
Conservatory of Music, and he had been fifteen years with Theodore
Thomas in Cincinnati. He thoroughly enjoyed Sousa, and said “the
Germans were perfectly delighted with Sousa’s rendition of Wagner.”
What greater compliment could he expect?—their loved Wagner. We
conjectured a great deal on why Berlin should be so great a city, lying
away in the interior of the Empire, with no waterways; and why it
should be selected as the nucleus of the modern world of art, with its
grand institutions of learning, and constantly changing collections of
all that is truly new and admirable. One finds here the most varied
products of industrial art, such as bronze, brasswork, glass,
porcelain, etchings, lithographs, and carbon prints, side by side with
the most costly productions of modern art. If one only had the time,
they would have but to walk in some of the large salons, where in rapid
succession appear the works of both native and foreign artists, where
they can be enjoyed at one’s ease. “Unter den Linden,” with its double
rows of lime trees forming a fine avenue, is the finest Street in
Berlin. We were domiciled at the corner of “Unter den Linden” and
“Friedrich Strasse.” Around this street great numbers of celebrated
buildings are erected, from the close of the seventeenth century up to
the present, including the School of Arts and Sciences, royal stables,
universities and palaces of Kaiser Wilhelm I; the old Museum, a
beautiful building in Greek style, all abounding in collections of
choice antiques, art, in the way of frescos, bronzes, gems, vases,
pictures, stationery, and everything on earth to delight the eye of the
connoisseur as well as to tire it; so that royalty and its environs
lose half their interest when forced to gorge oneself day in and day
out. To say that every school of art on earth, from early Italian to
Dutch, Flemish, on down to modern art, is represented in a marked
degree of excellence, would be putting it mildly. We were taken by the
gentleman we met in the Royal Garden, after the concert, to the “Kaiser
Keller,” the well-known Delmonico or Sherry of Berlin. The edifice
calls for the admiration of all. “The Keller” is the corporation of an
idea which has floated in Schönner’s fancy for many years. It is the
expression in stone, iron, and wood of “Hauff’s Phantasy” in Brerner
Raths Keller. The happy manner in which the architect has managed to
clothe his conception renders a walk through the vault and its rooms
(and a stop-over for a drink) very attractive.

[Illustration]

For a few days we turn our heads away from the glitter and display of
royalty, to drink of the famous Wiesbaden waters and rest our eyes, for
a time at least. In Germany the average American, who rests so securely
under his time-honored banner, the Stars and Stripes, enjoying all the
comforts of modern civilization, cares very little about Germany’s
standing army or navy; for he feels sure that Uncle Sam can, with a
week’s notice or less, summon to his command an army or navy that could
lick any army they could encounter, or sink any foreign fleet they
decided upon. This large army of troops, ever in evidence, seems to be
as much in earnest as though the enemy lay in camp about them. We see a
little less of the military pomp and trappings in Wiesbaden than
Berlin, but every few steps stands a soldier by the gaudy portal of his
miniature home.



                               CHAPTER IV


Wiesbaden, admittedly the queen of Continental spas, is a dream of a
town of over 80,000 inhabitants, lying in a sheltered valley on the
southern slope of the Taunus Range. It creeps along the spurs of the
surrounding hill to within one half-hour’s distance of the Rhine. These
hills are densely wooded, a veritable wilderness, traversed by the most
romantic walks and paths. The woods are so dense—apparently all young
trees (by the size only I judge)—that not an inch of the blue canopy
could be seen at any step of the walk; thus sheltering this delightful
watering-place from the bleak winds of the north and east, consequently
affording a climate so mild that the chestnut, almond, and magnolia,
and other of like trees flourish in the open air, the temperature never
reaching zero in their bleakest winters. It is attractive in every way.
Its “Kurhaus,” with its Ionic columns and great flower gardens, looks
across to the “Friedrichsplatz,” connected by the old and new
colonnades. Here is the scene of constant merriment afternoon and
evening; grand music, Sousa occupying the grand-stand the week prior to
our arrival. We attended one of the mid-summer fête balls in this grand
“Kurhaus,” which is conducted very differently from our American
Assembly balls. There are in all three or four beautiful dance halls,
gigantic in size and glorious in appointment. The German band, in the
intermissions, leads the entire assemblage from room to room (all
connected by arches) in the grand march, where they simply proceed with
the dance as they left off. Several Americans, dancing the glide waltz
and two-step, were frequently applauded.

On the south side of the new colonnade rises the Royal Court Theatre, a
handsome pile, with its rich boroque interior, where nothing but grand
opera is played. From here we made a side trip to Frankfort-on-Main to
hear “Tannhäuser.”

The Wiesbaden Springs have been known from Roman times. The waters are
drunk mostly from Kochbrunnen Spring, which supplies the immense “Drink
Halle.” After consulting an eminent specialist, we found three glasses
were the most taken per day; telling us to drink but one. This half-way
disgusted us, who had been accustomed to ten or twelve pints per day.
Then, too, to find it was specially beneficial for aged people, we
became less impressed. Our environs were so charming here, that we
lingered longer than at any place in the province. One delightful day
was spent at Mainz, where we drove in a carry-all with a charming
company. The conveyance, which held eleven persons, represented five
nationalities—a Russian and his wife; the ex-President of the
Argentine Republic, South America, with his wife and daughter (French
and Spanish); an Englishman; several Germans, and ourselves. The
daughter was one of the most exquisite pieces of femininity, both as to
manner and dress, that it is your privilege to meet; her father, having
served as minister to both Chili and Peru, possessed vast wealth; they
were able to give us many ideas of South America’s importance, both
socially and financially. They were equally proud to say they were
Americans.

We witnessed what we would probably term an “Imperial Review,” Kaiser
Wilhelm reviewing a grand body of cavalry and artillery at
Mainz-on-the-Rhine. From the frequency of these affairs, you would
think the Emperor has no idea of peaceful intentions at any time. This
review came off in the morning. The troops were pouring in by the
thousands when we arrived. Train-loads of soldiers and horses. All
Germany must have been there that day. All roads leading to the
training ground were filled with pedestrians and carriages,—many royal
personages. The big hollow square was a noble ground, of level
greensward, perhaps a mile square, hedged about by one of those
beautiful dense woods. It was bordered by thousands of people in their
holiday attire, which always adds to the charm. The whole was a
brilliant spectacle. Your attention was divided between the place where
the Imperial party stood, the central attraction of the group being the
Emperor on a gray horse, backed by his gay and glittering guard, with
their banners and insignia—as brave a show as chivalry ever made—and
the field of green with its long lines in martial array. Every variety
of splendid uniform; their love of gay and dazzling combinations,
combined with their shining brass and gleaming steel, and, last but not
least, their magnificent horses of war, made it a splendid sight. These
regiments of black, gray, and bay lined up to a straight line in the
review before his Majesty with the graceful precision that was not
surpassed by the best-drilled old veterans. Over it all was one of
those beautiful German skies—the sun hidden, and just an atmospheric
condition to make it restful and interesting to the artist. I
understand now much better why the artist longs for a German sky, and
the benefits derived from fellowship with those of similar tastes and
feelings. The Emperor kept changing horses, so as not to be exactly
located. A few days before King Humbert of Italy had been assassinated,
hence his extra precaution. The manœuvrings were such as to stir the
blood of the least sanguine. A regiment, full front, perfectly drilled,
would charge down on a dead run from the far field, men shouting,
sabres flashing, horses prancing, toward the Imperial party, then they
would gallop off and disappear in the woods to scout the enemy. Others
galloping take their places, some coming up the centre, while their
predecessors filed down the sides, so that the whole field in one
minute was a moving mass of splendid color and glistening steel; the
next, all drawn up in precise lines, so that it was a constant wonder
how they could bring order out of such confusion. This display was
followed by flying artillery; battalion after battalion came clattering
by, stretching over the large field. The great guns kept up a repeated
discharging during the sham battle, which waked all the surrounding
country with echoes. The great advantage of smokeless powder was here
demonstrated. What seemed to us a hundred thousand soldiers was said to
have been only thirty thousand. Then followed the rush of the people
and vehicles to see the royal party, pushing and smashing and
tiptoeing, driving at full speed as though there were no crowd, each
trying to get into position to see the Emperor and his guard ride by.
It was minus any Yankee Doodle cheering. We were absolutely too close
to the Emperor to take a snap-shot, as it proved.



                               CHAPTER V

                               THE RHINE


This beautiful and wonderful river, the cause of much contention and
many songs, was less than one half-hour’s ride. Who has not talked and
lectured with stereopticon views on the Rhine the past winter? Every
woman’s club has at least from two to five to give guide-book
descriptions, and expects their fair listeners to believe that in the
few hours passing down this stream in a “schnell Dampfschiffahrt” they
are able to tell all its history. We were near enough to this noble
stream to enjoy it many times, but there was one of our trips more
notable than others. We had taken rate tickets to Coblenz to see its
grand monument and other points of interest. Those who are able to
travel up-stream, as it was our good fortune many times to do, perhaps
had a better opportunity to enjoy the varied and romantic scenery which
comes into view at every turn in the river. We had gone to Coblenz for
the day, but the trip was perverted and twisted to mean anything by a
busybody who could not lay aside her gossip long enough to enjoy the
few hours she was fortunate enough to be on this noble stream. In after
years what a loss to her when she misplaces her guide-book, and her
little mind fails to remember one thing she saw! Rhenish castles lost
their charm as she devoured two people who happened to be on the same
boat because they had a right to be there, and could afford to enjoy
this privilege. But the Rhine! We have all seen pictures of it and read
its legends. You know that the Rhenish province is the richest in
Germany, and it is to Germany what the Nile was to the Egyptians—a
real delight and a theme of song and story. They say over there, “Our
Rhine is like your Hudson.” Don’t think so. I am living near the banks
of the latter and have gone its length many times, but it reminded me
often of the canyons of Colorado in this way: it winds among the craggy
hills of splendid form, turning so abruptly as to leave you often shut
in, with no visible outlet from the wall of rock and vineyards. The
castles were gazed upon, with their ruins, some with feudal towers and
battlements still perfect, and hanging on the crags, or standing sharp
against the sky, or nestling by the stream. The most beautiful one to
me is Burg Rheinstein. I don’t know whether it is admired because of
its claim that Cæsar crossed here or a couple of miles upstream, or
that it was the birthplace of some feudal baron; it is probably better
known for the fine brand of wine made there. Whether its vine-clad
hills resemble a crazy-quilt or not, with its many shades of green
fastened together with stone-wall terraces one way, and joined together
with sticks like bean-poles another way, it is satisfying, and you’ve
seen the Rhine, and you can lord it over some by saying, “When we were
on the Rhine.” In some respects it resembles our own New York. The
mercenary wretches you encounter at every point sort of make one forget
about its legendary reputation.

[Illustration]

Like all Continental Europe a mercenary atmosphere is omnipresent.
You have to buy all your views. The national monument at
Rhüdesheim-on-the-Rhine is one of its most interesting spots, just
opposite Bingen-on-the-Rhine. This grand monument commands a view of
about ninety miles on a clear day in this part of Germany. There is
an inclined railway to it from the village below; but we took a
carriage, driving up its steep hillside, with the vineyards
stretching away in rows for miles on either side. The little houses
clinging to the hillsides are quaint and queer. As we wended our way
through the little village, they seemed jammed into the crevices
between the steep hills. The streets are all cobble-stoned, and, as
we clattered up them, above the clatter of the horses’ feet we could
hear the bells ring loudly for matins, the sound reverberating in the
narrow way, and following us with its benediction when we were far up
the hillside. A splendid forest of trees covered the hilltop, not
trimmed and cut into allées of arches, as we too frequently see on
this side of the Atlantic.

Sometimes one feels that the castles come so thick that our
appreciation would have been greater if they had been fewer. A shifting
panorama of vine-clad hills or mountains, with here and there an old
feudal tower. About the only variation is in the English people you are
meeting at every turn. The variety seems almost infinite, but they all
impress you as a people with no nonsense and very strong individuality,
and whatever information they give you you can rely upon it, “don cher
know!” The American impatience is manifested everywhere—first on boats
and trains and first off. You can bet on them every time. The New York
“step lively” gait.

What shall we do? This was the question as we sat in a most delicious
place in “Kur” Garden in one of those cozy nooks overlooking extensive
grounds under grand old trees (no mosquitoes), listening to the band
playing in its gilded bower, and surrounded by the choicest art, which
for the time being paled the moon which was rising in the same regal
splendor that characterizes her on the western hemisphere. Shall we
continue our daily walks through winding ways up terraced hills,
flanked by splendid masonry and hidden in trees, and palaces as a rich
façade for a background? Here the field sports were being indulged in
by great numbers. Shall we sit here and dream in floods of golden
sunlight, or shall we proceed to Munich by way of Nürnberg?



                               CHAPTER VI


We are on our way to Nürnberg next morning—one of the pleasant
railroad rides of our tour—ever-changing pictures, from undulating
stretches to rugged mountains; we had but to look pleasantly at the
conductor and accompany the billet with a mark—that meant that we
could probably have the entire carriage to ourselves for the long ride.
Thus it proved. Amid cushions and books we spent another delightful
day, so that we were ready and in earnest after our delightful rest at
Wiesbaden for sight-seeing. The advantage a trip has with neither
laid-out plans nor places to make within a limited number of days or
hours, was clearly shown to us. We never knew where we were going, and
seldom went where we set forth. Nürnberg is such an exceedingly
interesting town that most tourists you meet say, “Don’t miss
Nürnberg.” Why it is such a city was the question. All we could find
out that they did there to make it such a busy centre, was the
manufacture of toys and fancy articles.

Nürnberg is characteristically South German, and the quaintest town in
the Empire. In order to preserve that unity of mediæval aspect for
which it is remarkable, the municipal surveyors insist on all new
erections being designed in keeping with the older structures. Through
the centre of the town flows the many-bridged Pegnitz. Here are old
bridges, obelisks, and memorials of triumphal entries of conquerors and
princes. Around the older district runs a well-preserved wall, with
nearly fourscore towers. We visited the old castle standing on the hill
overlooking the old town, and saw the “Deutsche Mädchen” drop the water
in the deep, deep well that takes six seconds to reach the bottom, by
actual count. Here soldiers had to come a half-mile underground for
their drinking-water. We gazed on the house in which Albrecht Dürer
lived; this still possesses many interesting relics of that great
German artist. We noticed the “Rathaus,” whose interior contains a
considerable quantity of mediæval German work, including specimens of
Dürer. A relief facing “Rathaus” is considered the finest of Krafft’s
works; the interior contains some painted glass by Hirschvogel, and
Peter Vischer’s masterpiece, the Sebaldus tomb. One more thing—St.
Lorenzkirche—a beautiful Gothic, dating back to the thirteenth
century; the most striking points of the exterior are the western
façade and its porch, with a splendid rose window above it. It contains
magnificent stained-glass works of art, from the fifteenth to the
sixteenth centuries, including the so-called pyramid, designed and
executed by Adam Krafft, the most exquisite thing I ever saw; and a
candelabra by Peter Vischer. I insisted upon lingering in this artistic
atmosphere of the fifteenth century, but my constant companion balked,
saying, “It might be an artistic atmosphere to some, but it was a
nasty, musty old one to him.”

These old Gothic builders let their fancy riot in grotesque figures of
animals, saints, and imps. Saints and angels and monkeys climb over one
portal of the Cathedral. From the ground to the top is one mass of rich
stonework, the creation of genius that hundreds of years ago knew no
other way to write its poems than with the chisel. This city is a
“has-beener,” no “is-er.” It lives upon the memory of what it has been,
and trades upon relics of its former fame. What it ever would have been
without Albrecht Dürer, and Adam Krafft the stone mason, and Peter
Vischer the bronze-worker, and Viet Stoss the wood-carver, and Hans
Sachs the shoemaker and poet-minstrel it is difficult to say. Truly
their works live after them, their statues are set up in the streets,
their works in almost every church and city building. Pictures and
groups in stone and wood and all sorts of carving are reproduced in all
shop windows for sale. The city is full of their memories, and the
business of the city, aside from its manufactory of endless toys, seems
to consist in reproducing them and their endless works to sell to
strangers. Nürnberg lives in the past, and (like some people we know)
traffics on its ancient reputation. At the fish market we see odd old
women with Rembrandt colors in faces and costumes. During our drive
through crooked, narrow streets, with houses overhanging and thrusting
out gables, we saw many with quaint carvings and odd little windows
above, with panes of glass—hexagons—resembling sections of honeycomb;
with stairs on the outside, and stone floors in the upper passages;
others with dozens of dormer windows, hanging balconies of stone
(carved and figure-beset) and no end of queer rooms.

While we strayed about this strange city, the chimes from lofty towers
fell down. What history crowds upon us, portions of it as old as the
tenth century!



[Illustration]



                              CHAPTER VII


What next! A glass of good Münchner beer, and away we go to Munich on
the “Schnell Zug” (fast train), over a rolling, pleasant country, past
pretty railway stations covered with vines and gay with flowers, as all
German windows are; past switchmen in flaming scarlet jackets, who
stand at the switches, raising their hand to their temple in a military
salute as we go by. As you travel by rail through Bavaria you see the
conductors and guards dismount from the train at the little country
stations to replenish their mugs. Beer takes the place of water. When
you arrive at Munich, pre-eminently the beer capital of the world, the
porters set their mugs down on the platforms anywhere to solicit your
custom. The ever-present stein stands beside the cab-wheel. Next to
London, Paris, and Berlin, Munich is visited by more travellers than
any other European city. Gradually this influence has modernized it,
but there still remain sufficient of the old Bavarian curiosities of
life to entertain and instruct the travelled worldling. Nobody here
thinks of doing anything without an accompaniment of beer. It is always
in order: before breakfast, after dinner, the inevitable nightcap. The
youngsters sit at table and sip it when they are too young to leave
their mothers’ laps. We have listened to loud yelps go up over the
contention for the stein between babies; still they are not a nation of
drunkards. The law prescribes how much beer you shall give your
servants daily. Thank fortune, it has no power to regulate the appetite
of the private consumer. You sweeten all chores, whether to chop wood,
shovel coal, or chaperon a party to an art gallery, with a glass or
stein of beer. Strange as it seems here, where art has attained its
highest, the consumption of beer seems to be the prime business. One of
the curious decorations of Munich streets is its mugs and bottles; some
full, some empty, hem one in on all sides. They are left indifferently
by the owners, but none are ever stolen. The cardinal command for every
Bavarian is, “You shall not steal my beer.” It is a panacea, food, and
drink. If you don’t drink beer at all, the Bavarian does not think you
are merely odd, but he thinks you are in danger in mind and body.

Munich was rebuilt after the great fire, and extended by Emperor
Ludwig, the Bavarian. Indeed, the rulers of Bavaria have spared neither
pains nor expense to make their capital beautiful and attractive.
Artistic buildings and monuments are distributed everywhere. The
“Propylæn,” a magnificent gateway across the handsome “Brienner
Strasse,” is an imitation of that on the Acropolis at Athens, with its
Doric columns on the outside and Ionic within; the pediment groups are
scenes in modern Greek history. Wherever you go, through churches,
palaces, galleries, streets, parks, and gardens, you find frescoes so
crowded out of the way, and rooms so overloaded with statuary and
pictures, all so good, as to sacrifice all effect. Such overproduction
as this gives one the feeling that art has been forced beyond use in
Munich. But when you consider the army of artists there in the way of
painters, sculptors, and plasterers, working with that great unrest and
desire to do something, it is no wonder that everything is painted and
bedecked; seemingly determined to leave nothing for the sweet growth
and blossoming of time. It is the cheapest thing in the world to
criticise when you are filled with their foaming beer (three and a half
cents a quart), which is said by antiquarians to be a good deal better
than the mead drunk in Odin’s Halls; then view the city in a cheerful,
open light, cram-jam full of works of art, ancient and modern, and its
architecture a study of all styles. The long, wide “Ludwig Strasse” is
a street of palaces, built up by the old king. All the buildings, in
Romanesque style, are, in a degree, monotonous. A street with no pretty
shop windows, neither shade nor fountain, leading nowhere, never
attracts, no matter how many kings dictated it.

It has so much that could be criticised, but should not be, by a
passing tourist, if he is a little wearied by repetition. Munich seems
to be the home of the dove; a regular colony is domesticated in the
decorations on the façades of the buildings; they, too, seem seized
with the decorative spirit. My companion differed with me again, when I
thought it added to the artistic interest; the fact that they were
doves seemed to make no difference, “Wouldn’t want them ruining a home
of mine.”

The royal palace is a building of great solidity, but plain. The
Emperor’s room contains valuable jewels and precious stones, including
a large blue diamond called the “Hausdiamant,” and the “Palatinate
Pearl”; an interesting relic of Mary Stuart; also a work ascribed to
Michael Angelo. After you make an effort to see these things, with
slippers drawn over your shoes to protect their highly polished floor,
you are easily satiated. A visit to our own Tiffany is much more to our
taste, with the musty smell and sliding feet barred out. The palace,
built in late Renaissance style, has its main façade toward the Hof
Garden. In a suite of six rooms, strikingly frescoed, representing
scenes from the “Odyssee,” are reliefs by Schwanthaler; portraits of
thirty-six beautiful women are in the banquet hall, with forty-one
paintings of various battles. Its throne-room contains twelve large
gilded statues by Schwanthaler. The Royal Chapel is built in Byzantine
style (1837). North of this is the Hof Garden, a beautiful square whose
two sides have arcades, decorated with frescoes by Kaulbach, Rottmann,
and others. Attached to it are the premises of the Art Union,
containing a permanent exhibition of work of leading masters. To the
west lies the “Odeonplatz,” embellished with an equestrian Statue of
King Ludwig I. Opposite the Palace rises the handsome “Theatiner
Kirche,” in Italian baroque style (1675 A.D.), with all its portals
bestatued and bedecked. The palace of Duke Max has a porch embellished
with statues of the four Evangelists, by Schwanthaler. It contains
celebrated frescoes of the “Day of Judgment,” the most important of
Cornelius’s pictures. Cornelius is of the “Düsseldorf” school, a rival
of the Munich schools.

It seems strange to see these same people, with their steins in hand
and abdomens much in evidence, enjoying these gems of art—largely
Biblical subjects—and the most classic music. A seat under the trees,
with open arcades on two sides for shops, decorated with frescoes and
landscapes of historical subjects, is more interesting. The arcade is
eight hundred feet long, in the revived Italian style, with a fine
Ionic porch, and good Münchener beer to order. The color was not a
pleasing one to me, as it was the royal dirty yellow, an imitation, not
fully carried out, of the Pitti Palace at Florence, so I have heard.
They try hard to imitate the classic and Italian in Munich. They boast
that their Royal Court Chapel’s interior resembles St. Mark’s in
Venice; but the building needs southern sunlight to get the right
quality. The “Glyptothek,” a Grecian structure of one story, erected to
hold the treasures of classic sculpture that the extravagant Bavarian
kings have collected, has a beautiful Ionic porch and pediment. The
outside niches are filled with statues. In the pure sunshine and under
a deep blue sky its white marble glows with an almost ethereal beauty.
Don’t think Munich is all imitation. Its finest street, the Maximilian,
built by the late king of that name, is of a novel and wholly modern
style of architecture, that reminds one of the new portions of Paris
(the only part of Paris that we did see). It begins with the
Post-Office, with its long colonnade and Pompeian-red lining; then the
Hof Theatre, with its pediment frescoes, the largest opera house in
Germany, and so on. Here we saw the opera, “Die Zauberflote,” beginning
at 6.30 summer evenings.

The English Garden must not be forgotten. This was laid out originally
by the munificent American, Count Rumford (Benjamin Thompson), born in
Vermont. Why this should be called English Garden, I don’t know;
perhaps because it is different from their Continental style. Paris has
nothing to compare with it for natural beauty. We have our Central
Park, New York. Wearied tourists generally go to some of the huge beer
gardens and surrender themselves to the divine influence of music, and
watch the honest Germans drink beer and gossip in friendly fellowship.

I have referred before to the great regiments of soldiers mounted and
on guard at all times in Germany. But nowhere outside of Berlin are
they so thick as in Munich. This little kingdom of Bavaria is full of
them. Thousands of troops are in line. Every male must serve three
years continuously; every man between the age of twenty-one and
forty-five must go with his regiment into camp or barracks several
weeks each year, no matter if the harvest rots in the fields or the
customers desert the shops, leaving the unsold wares on shelves. The
service takes three of the best years of a young man’s life. You can
see young soldiers with their hot-looking uniforms, until you feel
everybody is “soldiering” for a living. You meet these young officers
everywhere, most of them fine-looking fellows—good figures—in what, I
suppose, they think handsome-looking uniforms. On the street, salutes
between officers and men are perpetual; the hand being raised to the
temple and held there a second. Their politeness impresses you as much
more sincere than the French. At hotels the landlord, wife, and servant
join in wishing you a good night’s sleep, while the “Deutsche Mädchen
‘Bitte schöne’s’” everything. The most polite I ever knew, with one
exception, at Hotel Windsor in London: the maid there thanked us for
bringing us a pitcher of hot water. The young German is much more
stylish and prepossessing in appearance than his fraulein. A young
officer in his shining uniform, white kids, long sword clanking on the
walk, raising his hand in a condescending salute to a lower in rank or
with affable grace to a superior, is pleasant to see.

One always turns to the strains of the military band and views the
mounted musicians, as well as the uniformed soldiers, mounted as if
born to the saddle, with invariably fine horses that prance in the
sunshine. The clatter of their hoofs on the cobble pavement, the jingle
of bit and sabre, an occasional word of command, the onward sweep of
the well-trained cavalcade, continued for so long a time that I turned
to a gentleman on the sidewalk and said, “How many men are in line?” He
shrugged his shoulders in that detestable fashion, an imitation of the
French, I suppose. I then said, “Wie viel?”—“Zehn tausend.” I then
remarked, “What a foolish waste of time and money”; he no doubt would
have responded to this if he could.

Their chief use (the soldiers), as far as I could see, was to make
pageants in the streets and to furnish music for the public squares.

The Isar River is one of the curiosities of Munich. It is chiefly noted
for running rapidly, and for being nowhere near the battlefield of
Hohenlinden, the poet to the contrary notwithstanding. They say it is a
river sometimes as white as milk, at others as green as grass; and it
is probably the only river of its size in the world that has no boats
on it; nor may one bathe in it, on account of the swiftness of the
current. Its principal use is for people to drown themselves in. They
do use it, however, for the Isar is turned into this beautiful English
Garden. Art takes hold of it and turns it to use, causing it to flow
into more than one stream with its mountain impetuosity, forming lakes
gracefully overhung with trees, which present ever-changing aspects of
loveliness as you walk along its banks.

There are always idlers everywhere. Everybody has leisure in Europe.
One can easily learn how to be idle and let the world wag. They are not
troubled with “Americanitis.” They have found out that the world will
continue to turn over every twenty-four hours without their valuable
aid. They give so many hours to recreation and amusement.

[Illustration]

Munich has developed remarkably in commerce and art. As an industrial
town it is celebrated principally for its enormous breweries. A German
statistician—Germans seem to be mostly statisticians—has recently
calculated that the tramways of Munich get two thirds of their income
in conveying people to the cafés from their homes and places of
business. Once a Münchener finds a café to his taste, he goes there the
rest of his life, and is followed by his progeny, no matter how
inconvenient or how far distant. The women spend afternoons in their
favorite cafés, taking off their wraps and bonnets and doing a little
knitting or crocheting. This industry is indulged in even on the
Sabbath. Here we see peasant women mere beasts of burden, carrying
great loads of wood on their backs up stairways, and doing all kinds of
the heaviest menial service. Woman and her status is really the most
interesting study in all Bavaria. But the short time one has there, he
can only note the most striking things. Dogs come in, in
importance—regular summer dogs, so long that one chills while they
pass in and out of doorways. Dogs everywhere, following after the
streetcars, long trails of dogs, where owners are passengers. They seem
a little lower than the children and a little higher than woman; but
Munich, like the rest of the world, is changing. “Americanisiert,” they
say, but there are still a few places which retain many old forms and
customs and curious sights. Munich attempts to be an architectural
reproduction of classic times. In order to achieve any success in this
direction it is necessary to have the blue heavens and golden sunshine
of Greece. Its prevailing color is gray, but its many-tinted and
frescoed fronts go far to relieve this cheerless aspect. The old
portion of the city has some remains of other days of splendor, as it
abounds in archways and rambling alleys, that suddenly become broad
streets, then contract again; portions of old wall and city gates, old
feudal towers standing in the market-place, still remain. But the
Munich of to-day is as if built to order. King Ludwig I.’s
flower-wreathed bust stands in these days to remind them that he gave
the impulse for all this. The new city is laid out on a magnificent
scale of distances, with wide streets, fine open squares, and plenty of
room for gardens and art.



                              CHAPTER VIII


Ober-Ammergau and the great Passion Play have been much talked about.
Ministers, priests, and laymen have discoursed and “stereopticoned”
this wonderful play, to say nothing of the graphic descriptions of the
mighty army of club-women fortunate enough to be an eye-witness to this
great event. It has been so much better told and illustrated, I
hesitate to make my poor effort, but more to preserve it in my memory
as a little keepsake, cherished most fondly, than to entertain others,
I will review it.

“The story that transformed the world” has been told, sung, and
reiterated throughout the length and breadth of Christendom; yet never
has it been given in a way to so attract and convince, at the same time
so far-reaching in its effects, as these simple-minded peasants were
able to give it. The whole world has had a lesson far more valuable and
lasting than the impressions made by generations of broadcloth orators
from high pulpits. If one ever had a conviction or the slightest
spiritual awakening in his life, it is here that he is reminded of it,
for in the vast daily audiences of over four thousand people sat not
one inattentive listener. The grandest rendition of the greatest operas
will fail to elicit the attention of some of their audiences; the most
climaxing and superb oratory produces restlessness in some of its
hearers; but the close attention of this vast audience, with never a
whisper of applause, through the long hours from 8.30 A.M. to 5.30
P.M., with one short hour for intermission, was never equalled. Why?
Because they were listening to “the story that transformed the world,”
having come thousands of miles by land and sea, and braving every
obstacle and discouragement to reach this place—the only place in all
the world that seems adapted to it, or sacred enough to allow the
enactment of such a tragedy. There was no sound in this large audience
but the turning of the leaves as they closely followed the translation
in English, the play being given in the purest German, only broken by
an occasional blowing of the nose, so popular a method for men to
relieve their surcharged tear-ducts, while the women, with no apparent
desire for concealing their emotions, mopped their eyes incessantly.
Upon our arrival we retired to our room, which was opposite the
smoke-house and commanded ten marks per day, the highest price paid. I
retired between two immense feather beds, with my brain on fire and
thoughts forcing themselves into my mind, rendering sleep impossible.
How I wished for those I loved, whose perfect knowledge of the story
was an every-day delight to their hearts. How selfish I felt with my
privilege—sacred privilege! Doubtless thousands were there who had
never heard this story before, not knowing whether Jacob was Joseph’s
father or Joseph Jacob’s father. But they will never forget the lesson
of that day. As we started on our trip to Ober-Ammergau we were filled
with the thoughts of the great and only Passion Play, and found our
daylight ride from Munich to Ober-Ammergau, through the German Alps,
one panoramic view of loveliness. It is impossible to convey to you the
charms of these Bavarian highlands, with crystal-clear trout streams,
lovely woods of many tints, mountains of wild, weather-worn shape, and,
above all, that deep blue sky overhanging the landscape. The mountains
are clothed with fir trees,—fine old trees,—making a worthy
background for an equally charming picture. The journey from Munich
takes about three hours on a “Schnell Zug.” With an unusually long
train, we rise upwards into the mountains, passing two beautiful lakes
on the way, “Wurm See” and “Staffel See.” After the train left Murnau,
we stood on rear platform watching our ascent, with an American, a
gentleman much travelled, and truly capable of imparting any desired
information. Such a person always gives fresh impetus and appreciation.
We here reach higher mountain scenery, up-grade all the way to
Ober-Ammergau, with double-header engine. As you enter this sacred
village, you can see the theatre off to the left, which stands in a
meadow at the far end of the village; the stage is open to wind and
weather, but this year for the first time all seats are covered. The
new theatre was begun in 1899, the cost of which was borne by the
burghers. It consists of six great arches of iron, with wooden
coverings and roof, and is completely covered with canvas, colored
yellow; saints and prophets are painted on the canvased walls. The
seats are elevated to the rear, affording each one a good view. The
performance goes on uninterruptedly, unless it rains so hard that
nothing can be seen. On Passion Play day you have to rise early, as the
play begins early in the morning, and the first half ends at 12
o’clock, with an hour for luncheon. It is resumed at 1.30 P.M. and
closes at 5.30 P.M. The band parades the street at 6 o’clock in the
morning, and at 7 the theatre begins to fill. You can walk from almost
any part of the village to the theatre. Our early Sunday morning walk
was along the bank of the swift, clear stream which rushes through its
narrow banks over the meadow. The villagers can here be seen washing
their dishes and their clothes in the stream. It was all a scene and
sensation never to be forgotten. It is always cool up here; snow falls
knee-deep in October and stays on until May without thawing. You order
your ticket for the play at the same time that you do your room. Every
room in the village has a ticket allotted to it; the ticket is given
according to the price paid for the room. You cannot purchase a ticket
unless you take a room. It is necessary for you to remain in the
village over night. The play beginning at 8 A.M. necessitates the stay
in the village, which was certainly unique if one didn’t favor sharing
his boudoir with the cows. The rooms were three marks to ten marks. We
had a ten-mark room, which entitled us to the best seat.

Ober-Ammergau is a beautiful little village, standing in a level valley
of the Bavarian Alps, which made the trip here one of beauty; at no
place did we enjoy the scenic beauty of the Alps more than on our ride
to the “Linderhof” Palace, a delicious ride from Ober-Ammergau, the day
before we witnessed the play. Through this village the Ammer runs—the
swift Ammer river, clear as crystal. The population of Ober-Ammergau is
not more than 1300. Everybody has a cow. It is the ideal to be
realized—thirty acres and a cow. There are about six hundred cows in
the village, who use the main street for the coming-home milking time.
They all have bells, as well as the horses and sheep. These latter are
so far outnumbered that they are not noticed. The presentation of the
Passion Play is arranged and performed on the basis of the entire
Scriptures, with only one object in view—the edification of the
Christian world. “Instead of setting forth the Gospel story as it
stands in the New Testament, they take as the fundamental idea the
connection of the Passion, incident by incident, with the types,
figures, and prophecies of the Old Testament. The whole of the Old
Testament is thus made, as it were, the massive pedestal for the Cross.
The course of the narrative of the Passion Play is perpetually
interrupted or illustrated by scenes from the older Bible, which are
supposed to prefigure the next event to be represented on the stage. In
order to explain the meaning of the typical tableaux and to prepare the
audience for the scene which follows, recourse is had to an ingenious
arrangement whereby the interludes between each scene are filled up
with singing in parts and in chorus by a choir of guardian angels, the
orchestra being concealed from view. Whenever the curtain falls, they
resume their old places and the singing proceeds. It is a fine attempt
at grand opera made by these peasant villagers; the music is very
impressive, and the oftener you hear it the more you feel its force and
pathos. Their costumes are very effective. In the centre of the stage,
bright scarlet, with white undertunics with golden edging, yellow
leather sandals, stockings same color as the robes which fall from
their shoulders, held in place by gold cord and tassel; all wearing
coronets with cross in centre, producing a brilliant effect. Twice are
these brilliant robes exchanged for black, immediately before and after
the Crucifixion; the bright robes are resumed at the close, when the
play closes with a burst of hallelujahs and a jubilant triumph over the
Ascension of our Lord.” As we walked away, still under the spell that
holds one from start to finish, we sat down at one of the many little
tables in front of the homes on the sidewalk to refresh ourselves. We
fortunately were joined by an elegant gentleman, a German general, late
from the Boer War. He was trying equally as hard to understand our
crude German as we were his miserable English. He was as refreshing as
the big stein of good Münchener beer which we, with thousands of
others, were making disappear. We were in sight, all day long, of
hundreds of priests in their clerical robes, who were equally enjoying
the beer, as well as most of the players, who were anxious to quench
their thirst after their long engagement.

To return to the villagers. They were washing their dishes in the
stream that flows through village, having come down only a few steps
from their homes. This river would seem like a branch, were it not for
its swiftness. We could hardly be satisfied to think we could not drink
from this clear mountain stream. It certainly is an ideal picture of an
ideal village. The clean white walls of the houses with their green
window-shutters could be seen grouped round the church, which, with its
mosque-like minaret, forms the living centre of the place,
architecturally and morally the keystone of the arch. Seen at sunset or
sunrise, the red-tiled roofs, quaint in shape, under the shade of the
surrounding hills, is most beautiful. The homes of most of the players
are also the homes of their cattle. The people occupy upper floors. We
were at the foot of the lofty “Koful” Crag, where, high overhead, stood
the white cross. In the irregular streets (for streets and sidewalks
are one), can be seen Tyrolese mountaineers, strolling and laughing, in
their picturesque costumes, who always bare their heads and remain so,
until the bells, pealing forth the solemn angelus hours, cease. They
seem to be more Swiss than German. They inhabit the mass of mountains
which divides the flat lands of Germany from the plains of Italy, and
are a fine species of the human race. They are an isolated little
community, secured by its rocky ramparts against any intermeddling of
distant governments, and are necessarily independent and live under a
most simple but sound government. Nearly every man is a landholder, the
poorest owning three acres; the richest, sixty acres.


                                THE VOW

As far back, it is said, as the twelfth century, there has been a
Passion Play performed in the little village, but towards the close of
the sixteenth century the wars that wasted Germany left but little time
to the dwellers of these remote highlands for dramatic representation.
They played dreadful havoc with their homes and fortunes. Among these
unfortunates were the Bavarians of the Tyrol, and as an after
consequence of the wide-wasting Thirty Years’ War, a great pestilence
broke out in the villages surrounding Ober-Ammergau. Whole families
were swept off. In one village two married couples were left alive; a
visitation somewhat similar to our “Black Death.” While village after
village fell a prey to its ravages, the people of Ober-Ammergau
remained untouched, and enforced a vigorous quarantine against all the
outside world. As always happens, one person, Casper Schuchler, broke
through the sanitary regulations. This good man, who was working in the
plague-stricken village of Eschenlohe, felt an uncontrollable desire to
return to his wife and children, who were living in Ober-Ammergau. The
terrible retribution followed. In two days he was dead, and the plague,
which he had brought with him, spread with such fatal haste from house
to house that in thirty-three days eighty-four other villagers had
perished, all sanitary measures having failed. Unless the plague were
stayed, there would soon not be enough to bury the dead. They assembled
to discuss their desperate plight. It was said, “It was as men looking
into the hollow eye-sockets of death.” They cried aloud to God, they
would repent their sins, and in token of their penitence, and as a sign
of gratitude for their deliverance, if they were delivered, they would
every ten years perform this Passion Play. From that hour it ceased;
those who were already smitten with the plague recovered. There were no
more victims of the pestilence. It is said that not since “Moses lifted
up the brazen serpent in the wilderness” has there been so signal a
deliverance from mortal illness on such simple terms. Thus it was that
the Passion Play became a fixed institution in Ober-Ammergau, and has
been performed with few variations, due to wars, ever since. The
performance of the Passion Play, like the angel with the drawn sword
which stands at the summit of the castle of San Angelo, is the pious
recognition of a miraculous interposition for the stay of the
pestilence. But for Casper Schuchler it would have gone the way of all
other Passion plays. He sinned and suffered, but out of his sin and
sorrow has come the Passion Play, the one solitary survivor of what was
at one time a great instrument of religious teaching almost throughout
Europe. As we returned to the village in the quiet of the evening, we
were awe-stricken by the perfectly blue, cloudless sky over-reaching
these sacred hills. The crowd of that day had departed; all was peace;
the whole dramatic troupe were pursuing the even tenor of their
ordinary lives. Most of the best players were wood-carvers, others
peasants or local tradesmen, who were named Matthew, Luke, and John
from their cradles, imitating the lives of these characters from their
birth up. Their royal robes, or rabbinical costumes, were laid aside,
and they would go about their work as ordinary mortals. But what a
revelation, when you consider the latent capacity—musical, dramatical,
intellectual—that a single mountain village can furnish under capable
guidance! Just think,—tinkers, tailors, bakers, and ploughmen being
able to produce such a play! It proves mankind is not lacking in native
capacity. With a guided, active brain, patient love, and careful
education, and the stimulus and inspiration of a great idea, nothing
seems impossible.

We were driven in “Ein Spänner” (one-horse carriage) to Linderhof
Palace by a young Tyrolese, with a little chicken feather in his Alpine
hat. Knowing that all villagers were going through the Passion Play, I
asked why he was not there. He said “he was not born in Ober-Ammergau,
therefore could not take part in the play.” He said this in German, and
seemed quite pleased that we could understand. On our return trip from
Linderhof he pointed out Prince Leopold in his carriage, with
advance-guard. The roadway was quite narrow at this place, so we took a
good look at him. He was quite gray,—the successor of the mad King
Ludwig. They gallantly raised their chapeaux, but we impolite Americans
were so intense in our desire to see nobility, that we in turn forgot
our breeding. All along the various waysides pious souls have erected
shrines. The contours and outlines of those splendid mountains were as
graceful as mobile waves: some rugged and sharp crags hidden by the
clouds—so high; others clearly defined in color against the sky. If
there was anything inharmonious, the atmosphere—that friendly
veil—toned all down into a repose of matchless beauty. The atmosphere
here seems to act as a drapery, dipped in dyes of the gods. You can’t
account for the prismatic coloring, often seen but never told, by pen
or pencil or brush; not just plain, simple, thin sunshine, but a royal
profusion of a golden substance; a sort of transforming quality,—a
vesture of splendor. Amidst this beauty rests the palace of the late
mad king, which seems golden from the covering of the exterior to the
exquisite golden interior. Even the waters of its fountains and lakes
spraying through figures of gold. This palace, no larger than a
metropolitan club-house, contains everything in the way of art that an
abnormal imagination, backed by the coffers of a kingdom, could suggest
and buy. The beautiful marble statue of the young king stands in front
of the palace on a marble elevation, with a beautiful marble peristyle
for a background. The ermine on the royal robe is so perfectly executed
in marble as to cause a desire to run one’s fingers through the fur of
same.

“Schloss Linderhof” we have all possibly heard more about than the
average castle. It shows the characteristic as well as wilful
extravagance of their late king, Ludwig II., for whom it was erected.
It is a fine edifice in rococo style. The interior displays a
magnificence of ornament and a wealth of color and gold which render it
too ornate for the taste of some; but to me it was ideal, both as to
size, decorations, and appointment.

The grotto is certainly worth mention. It is made in the side of a
mountain, and the walk lies under a shaded arbor of continuous beauty.
The entrance to the cave is one huge swinging rock, cut out of a
mountainside, and hung on a pivot, so as to open and close itself.
Within were the stalactites of the grotto, with their beautiful masses,
out of which twinkled myriads of electric lights. On an artificial lake
was an improvised stage with perfect appointments, where the King and
his friends viewed the grand opera from his golden barge that Cleopatra
could never have rivalled. Just outside of this grandeur, which no
human soul inhabited, was a road-house, where the jolly mountaineers
and tourists were eating and drinking, no doubt happier than the king
and all his grandeur had ever been.

It is indeed a strange fate that seems to pursue King Leopold’s family:
one sensational climax after another; brought to death through violence
in tragedies so unsavory that it has been found preferable to leave
them enveloped with a veil of mystery. Surely a strange curse seems to
rest upon the reigning house of Belgium. The curtain is constantly
ringing down on Europe’s royal life tragedies; dethroned, widowed by
assassin, bereaved, and victims of all the fates and furies of Greek
mythology; and now Victoria, Empress Frederick of Germany. Surely there
has been little of late in royal and imperial annals to inspire common
people with envy of the exalted personages born to the purple, and
certainly will cause nobody to long for a crown.

We have now seen the German Alps,—the best time to see them is before
visiting Switzerland,—and still have the pleasure before us of the
loveliness of the Swiss Alpine heights.



                               CHAPTER IX

                              SWITZERLAND


They tell you over here that the Alps have the robust beauty of the
Alleghanies combined with the scenic grandeur of the Rockies; but there
is not the slightest duplicate of the Rocky Mountains that we
discovered. Surely nothing could exceed in loveliness Lucerne. As we
wound down the hillside near the foot of the lake, backed by
precipitous mountains running away to where their peaks lift up their
snows, we saw below us, and around a beautifully colored bay, Lucerne.
It was showery, as it often is, the day we went to Lucerne, but we soon
found that it only added to our excited expectation. We enter, among
real hills and enormous tunnels, the longest I ever passed through,
sweet little valleys; Swiss cottages nestle in the hillside, showing
little else but the enormous roofs that come nearly to the ground,
giving the cottages such a picturesque look; when suddenly, shining
through showers, appeared the Alps, like molten silver in the early
light, the clouds drifting over them, now hiding, now disclosing, the
enchanting heights. Almost every tourist stops at Lucerne, as it
possesses direct communication with all parts of Europe. Lying in the
very heart of Switzerland, it enables travellers to get to all
important spots with comparative ease. It is situated in a most
picturesque spot, at the head of the lake of the four Cantons, which
here pours out its clear crystal waters through the rushing Reuss. This
river has such a current tumbling right through the main street that I
experienced a great solicitude for the inhabitants, for fear it would
get out of its banks into the buildings that line its very edge. I
finally subsided, as no one else seemed anxious. The town itself is
severed by the emerald waters of the bridge-spanned Reuss. We walked
through and over several of them. The quaint old “Kapell Brücke,”
roofed with wood and built across the river in a slanting line to avoid
the great pressure of the waters, is interesting. It has curious old
paintings on its arches throughout its length, and readable German
script. The further end of the bridge opens on to “Schwanen Platz,” a
fashionable promenade of the place, and it is loved for its shady
avenues of chestnut trees and its splendid view of the lake and the
Alps. As our stay was short, we took a cog-wheel to one of its mountain
resorts, which opened to our view the many indescribable charms of
Lucerne and its splendid lake of irregular form. This magnificent lake
runs its gulfs up among the mountains, which are traversed by steamers.
By sitting down at one of the many “Schöne Aussichts” we had a sweeping
view of the city below and its beautiful environments. We could enjoy
its architecture, which embraced pure Renaissance in its Rathhaus, its
“Kirche” in simple Gothic, its Jesuit Church in baroque, its multitude
of Swiss cottages; and, above all, an exceedingly fine view of the near
ranges of the Alps. This embraced the crags of Pilatus and Rigikuln;
beyond them were the immortal snows of the higher Alps.

We were told here to defer our shopping until we went to Zurich, but a
short distance away, situated on a lake to which it has given its name.
We found it to be a busy, industrial city of 160,000 inhabitants, where
all merchandise could be had cheaper than in any city in Europe. It had
a prosperous appearance throughout.

Consul Gifford, stationed at Basel, says that Switzerland’s trade
figures are especially noteworthy. This diminutive republic, about half
as large as the State of Maine, swallowed up in our big Texas, is
commercially the most highly developed part of the world. These
remarkable results, attained by a country without seaports, without
coal or iron, in fact, without any considerable quantity of raw
material for its manufactures, are truly wonderful.



                               CHAPTER X

                                 PARIS

[Illustration]


The question most frequently asked upon one’s return from Continental
Europe is, “Which city did you enjoy the more, Paris or London?” I
could say which I enjoyed the more, but that would not be just to
Paris; for, with the continued sight-seeing of months prior to our
arrival at Paris, we, in a limited time, could not see Paris; then add
to its innumerable charms and interests the Exposition of 1900, and it
would be more honest to say what we did not see than to relate what we
really saw; which, to tell the truth, was little, compared to its
wealth of treasures and sights unseen. You are not there long until you
realize that the cities disagree morally and physically. The
disagreeable English Channel may cause the ill feeling between the two
coasts. When we were taken for English people by the less observing
public servants, we received scarcely civil attention; the contrast was
quite marked when we were known as Americans, a fact apparently hard to
disguise, it seems. The contrast between these two countries, lying so
close together, could not be greater than between different continents,
and the contrast between their capitals is even more decided. They
cannot be called rivals, for each is so great in its own way. As we
came into Paris from Lucerne it was early in the morning, before
fashion’s hour. The country showed the highest state of cultivation; in
fact, the whole of Europe appears as a beautifully kept park. We
noticed attractive roads leading everywhere through France—magnificent
distances, with artistically formed shade trees, as trim and clean as
though they adorned a delightful park, when they are, to all
appearances, mere public highways. The French foliage is thin and a
little sparse, the grass light in color, their landscape resembling our
own in spring tone; a striking contrast to the massive English trees,
which have a look of solidity in substance and color; the grass thick
and as green as emerald. Their vegetable wealth seems as if it were
tropical in luxuriance, hardened and solidified by northern influences.
We had been told we had made a mistake by seeing the Continent first
and England later, but I don’t agree, and felt again we could
congratulate ourselves, as we did, in seeing the Rhenish provinces
before the Swiss Alps. A striking contrast in the habits of the people
is shown in their eating and drinking. Paris is brilliant with cafés,
and the whole world seems to be out in one grand dress parade, sipping
wine, coffee, and, very often, absinthe. They have what is known as the
“absinthe hour,” when almost everyone you meet seems to be under its
influence or some other.

Every American on his maiden trip to Europe turns his mind in friendly
delight and expectation to Paris with almost childlike confidence. “See
Paris and die,” causes many Americans to approach it with no lukewarm
feeling. If you do not rave over it, something is the matter with you,
not Paris; but with us it was, as in exaggerated expectations, more in
the anticipation.

My chief regret being no time to realize my fondest hopes, as I must
confess, my expectations were more joyous and confiding concerning
Paris than any other spot. The rush of the Exposition caused the first
disappointment, all hotel rates far in advance. It was in our
everlasting search for an abiding-place that we discovered the size of
Paris and its smells, where garlic fought for supremacy over other less
desirable odors, resembling very closely the odors of the far East Side
of New York. Then add to this the terrors of their language. We had
stumbled through Germany with our German with American accent, but were
sadly “up against it” here. Laboring under these disadvantages we could
save neither time, money, nor energy; for the most of the last-named
article was exhausted in our effort to make them understand where we
wanted to go, and how.

We were centred in the most fashionable part of the city—Hotel Deux
Monde, on Avenue de l’Opera, which is midway between the Palais Royal
and the Louvre. We have frequently stood on this and other avenues for
one half-hour waiting for an omnibus to stop: they pay no attention to
the flourishing of an umbrella. Finally, wishing to reach some remote
district, you call a carriage to your assistance out of the thousands
anxiously waiting the job, when every cab-driver for squares starts
after you, and you can imagine yourself added to the long list of
unclaimed dead, who, I imagine, receive about as much attention as one
of the many horses you see lying dead during a short ride. On the other
hand, we could be driven in state almost anywhere for, say, thirty
cents apiece, and only three dollars for a seat at grand opera, which
you pay five for in New York. Or you can visit the Louvre, and feast
your eyes without hindrance upon treasures which kings cannot buy. You
can drive in the Bois or walk up the Champs Élysées—that magnificent
avenue—nowhere else is the eye more delighted with life and color. At
the fashionable hour of the day, the Champs Élysées its entire length
is crowded with people. There could not have been less than ten miles
of spectators in triple rows who took their place to watch the turnout
of fashion and rank; vehicles of every description, splendid horses,
and magnificent liveries. Any place else but Paris would be a jam.
Whenever the sun shines all Paris is out, no matter what part of the
city you happen to be in. At the entrance to the Exposition a sight
greets your overstrained optics that opens them wide. We enter the Rue
de Rivoli, with its Corinthian colonnade—the longest in the world.
Here an opportunity is afforded to peep in on the original Redfern. We
passed on to the Place de la Concorde, the largest and most beautiful
in Paris, the memorable spot where Louis XVI. was beheaded. In the
centre rises the obelisk, between two majestic fountains, whose
springing jets, a quivering pillow of water, matched the stone shaft of
Egypt. As you look down the avenue you have the dancing column of
water, the obelisk, the Arc de Triomphe, all in a line, and the trees
and the golden sunset beyond. At this point (the Arc de Triomphe)
twelve beautiful avenues meet, which I could name if I called in the
assistance of a guide-book. On the top of this edifice a splendid view
is obtained. The Champs Élysées, with its myriads of gas-lights, is a
unique sight. It is right here that we sat down one evening and
discussed whether we would visit the Exposition, with its great
pyrotechnic display, or sit and watch the people enjoying themselves in
their own characteristic way. We chose the latter.

When you compare the delicious cooking of the French with that of the
Germans (which becomes quite monotonous after many weeks), it is in
favor of the French, if you don’t know exactly what it is, with its
odds and ends. You realize a great deal for your money in variety and
quantity, and it seems to satisfy your hunger. None of it is as good as
our own home cooking, no matter what the epicurean may say to the
contrary. One of the pleasant things of Paris is the exquisite
gentlewomanhood that is shown you everywhere in the shopping district:
no matter how tired they may be, the customer never sees it. A tact and
delicious gaiety shown by the saleswomen called forth my lasting
gratitude. Then, too, you “kinda” like Paris, when for fifty cents you
can buy the glove you must pay two dollars for in our land of great
industries. These and many other things make you repel the idea that we
excel in everything. Far from it. Paris is wide awake when more
puritanical cities are fast asleep. They seem not to want to be rushed
to bed, nor hurried out in the morning. It is all less a moral affair
with them than a physical and mental one; they move slowly, go to bed
late, and consume equally as much time getting up. The crowded midnight
streets, with their loud and singing parties driving by at every hour,
affects one, if you have often heard it. The streets at eight o’clock
in the morning have such a blank look that you think they have all left
on a holiday. We had seen so much in Germany, where everything was
bedecked and bepainted, that the Exposition had not the charm that it
should have had, simply because it was a repetition on a larger scale
of what we had been feasting on for weeks; even a thought of a palace,
or the faintest hint of a museum or art gallery, caused a panic in our
“household.” There is truly such a thing as having too much of a good
thing. My chief delight was to visit the most fashionable shopping
districts, and cut out art entirely. Although the whole city seems to
be given over to fashion (and upon good authority I hear that these
originators and designers of fashion make some change every six weeks
in some part of the feminine wardrobe) as a means of filling its
coffers, yet there is always one particular part or street that is the
most exclusive, and where the most exclusive things are made and sold.
The Rue de la Paix seems to be the headquarters for the most
fashionable dressmaking and millinery. I think it was on this street
that at least six hats were being trimmed for my inspection, which I
never inspected. They are so willing and anxious to trim one
exclusively for you, that, rather than disappoint them, I assented.
“English spoken here,” as you see quite often in their shops, means
this—“Do you speak English?”—“Yas, a leedle,” and here it ends. I
visited Felix, the greatest of all designers, whose fame and work is
enjoyed by the royalty of Europe, and extends as far as some of the
Sultan’s favorites and a few of the Mikado’s court. He is on Rue de
Honore. We learned when in company at Wiesbaden with the ex-President
of the Argentine Republic and his wife and daughter for several weeks,
that South American belles are among some of his most extravagant
patrons, and it is certainly true, if they were fair representatives.
Paquin’s is one of the most imposing places, as so many modistes have
little shops or a corner of a shop that has no resemblance to our
business establishments. With or without ostentation, Paris can justly
lay claim to being the capital of the world of dress.

The Exposition suffered only by comparison with our Fair of 1893, on
account of the crowded condition of the buildings, and the necessary
absence of the landscape beauty, which so greatly enhanced our Chicago
Fair. The United States building (as has been frequently remarked), was
especially unfortunate in this respect. The very best view of it, from
the Alexandria Bridge was entirely shut off by the Turkish building,
which stood directly in its way. The thing that I thought the most
unattractive, was the treatment or color-scheme of the mural decoration
on its portal; an unfortunate cold, slate-blue tone, as I remember it,
against the severe white building made it lack warmth, and repelled
rather than invited. The German and British buildings were much more
imposing and artistic; especially is this true of their interiors, as
both countries have priceless art treasures to draw upon. Valuable
tapestries were hung upon their walls, and the best in their national
museums were transferred to their buildings. Of course we had no such
fund to draw upon. The part of the Exposition that impressed us most
strongly was the two Art Palaces, which are to be permanent buildings,
and are well worth a visit to the Exposition. No words could express
the beauty and grandeur of these Art Palaces and the treasures they
contained. We experienced deep gratification as we lingered near the
statuary of MacMonnies and St. Gaudens, whose “grand prix” were as
numerous as on the paintings in the United States exhibit. In front of
this beautiful palace we listened to the harmonious strains of the
national French air, which seemed to touch the heart of every born
Frenchman, who not only uncovered his head, but arose to his feet and
joined loudly and feelingly in his national hymn. As the last strain
died away, leaving a pleasant and happy feeling with all, I was both
glad and thankful for this privilege, and had a greater respect for the
Frenchman.

Whistler’s paintings at the Exposition are dreams of color; it is said
“they are the pink of Fragonard, the brown of Rembrandt, the amber of
Titian, the gray of Whistler”; that undefinable gray called “the gray
of mist and of distance,” is made of all the shades—a little white, a
little blue, a little green. He is called the “symphonist of half
tints,” the “musician of the rainbow.” “No other painter has understood
as well the mysterious relations of painting to music—seven colors, as
there are seven notes—and the way to play them with what might be
named the sharps and flats of the prism. Even as a symphony made in D
or a Sonata in A, Whistler’s pictures are orchestrated according to a
tone.” “The Lady with the Iris,” for example: the mauve flower placed
in the hand of the woman is a note signifying that the portrait is a
colored polyphony of lilacs and violets. The Luxembourg has Whistler’s
greatest work,—the portrait of his mother. A French art critic says
concerning the picture: “What a bold and novel line is the one of that
long body, hardly perceptible in its black gown! What a psychological
penetration is in the face! The mind of the sitter colors with the pink
of a sunset her cheeks that age has made pale. The whites of the
picture—the white of the lace bonnet, the white of the handkerchief
held in the hand with the gesture of a communicant—are infinitely
chaste. Does not old age bring me back to initial purity? The deep
black of the drapery, studded with small flowers, is significant.
Behind it the entire life of the woman palpitates but disappears. To
make an accord of those whites and blacks—the gray that adheres to the
walls floats in a mist, extends the softness, makes uniform its tint of
pale ashes, as if it were the ashes of years fled from a material
heart.” Whistler and Poe, it is said, are the greatest men of genius in
Art that America has produced. The figures that they have created have
the same haunting effect—apparitions emerging from the twilight of
backgrounds. They are enigmatic personages. One does not know if they
are entering life or going out of it.



[Illustration]



                               CHAPTER XI

                                 LONDON


We dreaded, as every one does, the crossing of the Channel. It has no
friends in the world; even veteran sailors will call it “the nastiest
bit of water in the world.” We not only crossed it, but sailed up
through its length into the North Sea, and found it about as peaceable
as any, and a very much slandered bit of water. The hatred is so strong
between the people that line its shores, it is not to be wondered at if
it is sometimes disagreeable, just to be agreeable. Our household was
greatly disturbed while crossing the Channel, and although the day was
cold enough for one to be snugly wrapped away in a rug, yet nothing but
a stand near the guard rail, as far front in the bow as possible, where
the cold wind hit the hardest, would satisfy. The fish saw rather a
pale, wan face as it occasionally fed them. After taking a train for
Charing Cross, London, we wound our way through numberless railway
tracks, sometimes over a road and sometimes under one, now through a
tunnel, then past the chimney pots, as we came into the pale light and
thickened industry of London town. Even the ’bus drivers tell you how
disagreeable London is at times, when everybody falls hopelessly into
the dumps. By the way, they are a coterie of highly informed gentlemen
on whatever you wish to know, and take a keen delight in pointing out
objects of interest. Be sure and take a seat beside the driver on one
of these “double-decker omnibuses,” even if you do have the sensation
of colliding or rather taking a header on the horses’ backs.

We were domiciled at Hotel Windsor, Westminster, where we had an
opportunity of passing the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey
whenever we went down town, which meant Trafalgar Square, the centre of
the universe, it seems.

They can all rave about French cooking, but give me the substantial
English meal,—“a dinner off the joint, sir,”—with what belongs to it,
and a waiter to whom you can make known any other wants, and eating
once more is a fascinating theme.

The gigantic London of the present day was once a small town on the
banks of the Thames; in its expansion it has absorbed the more
aristocratic city of Westminster and some eighty-five villages on both
sides of the river. This fact, coupled with its great age and the
undulating character of the district upon which it has grown, has
rendered it very irregular in appearance. Crooked roads, narrow
streets, gloomy slums, are some of the characteristics of the British
metropolis. This condition of affairs was very much verified as we left
the handsome Tower Bridge and walked through the fish market, with its
numerous smells—a terribly congested spot—in order to visit the
Tower, historically the most interesting building in London, or in the
whole of England. To the east of it stands the old Roman wall.
Tradition states that a fortress was erected on this site by Julius
Cæsar, but the present structure, though part of it is Saxon, dates in
the main from the days of William the Conqueror—and has been the scene
of many tragedies. On this same trip we visited the Monument which was
raised in commemoration of the big fire, and is near London Bridge. I
have no pleasant memory of this climb, as, country-like, we climbed up
its spiral stairway hundreds of feet to its top, where other foolish
people have trod. I suppose we would have mounted Eiffel Tower if it
had been possible. I didn’t know who looked and felt the silliest. We
are that silly pot of flame on its summit. I asked what this meant, and
was told: “The architect’s (Sir Christopher Wren’s) intention was to
erect the statue of Charles II. on the summit, but he was overruled by
some inferior judgment.” If they had allowed his designs to be carried
out, London would have been the handsomest city in the world, as he is
responsible for London’s most beautiful edifices, including St. Paul’s
Cathedral, the finest and most famous edifice in London. They say that
St. Peter’s of Rome is finer still; how can it be possible? It is a
Renaissance structure of similar lines to St. Paul’s of Rome. Its
beautiful exterior, although spoiled by London’s smoke, is exceedingly
grand. The dome forms a far-famed whispering gallery, and a handsome
marble pulpit; beautiful carvings by Grinling Gibbons, and a reredos
which has given rise to much heart-burning. The ceiling of the choir
and aspe has within recent years been decorated with rich mosaics by
Mr. Richmond, R.A. But the most interesting parts of the building are
the tombs of Nelson, Wellington, Wren, John Howard, Dr. Johnson, and
others, and presidents of the Royal Academy; the last occupying a spot
which is styled “Painters’ Corner.” As we took our seats under the
nave, scarcely knowing what spot or corner on which to indulge our eyes
longest, one by one dropped down into the pews with bowed head, for a
word of silent prayer at our side; some no doubt beset with the trials
of such a gigantic city, others lured hesitatingly from their
pleasures—doubting, questioning at strife with self—while others
came, throbbing with life and inspiration and ungratified aspirations,
all hoping, fearing, but possibly desiring rest or peace. Did they find
it? Soon the choir voices responded to the organ, and the vox humana
stop was such a wonderful imitation that we sat mastered by the spell;
but it was not in tricks of imitation that the organ was so wonderful,
as in its compass—its power of revealing. We realized for the first
time that we were in the midst of Vespers, a delightful surprise. I
thought as we sat spell-bound under the influence of the music, what
influences of earth and heaven, what meetings and warrings of aspiring
souls, what struggles and contending passion and agony of endeavor and
resistance had these silent sentimentals in marble been witness to! I
wondered how many more surviving ones they would watch over, as they
climbed the steep and rocky way, with the world and self to conquer,
before their souls could attain the serene summit, amid a burst of
triumph from a fuller orchestra than had ever yet been heard—the last
Alpine storm and trial over, clouds rolled by, and the sunshine
perpetual. As we left its sacred portals, the sweet evening hymn
floated through the peaceful air. We went out into the busy street,
crowded and motley, awed and a little comforted, proceeding in silence
for some time.

Each day in passing Westminster Abbey in our sight-seeing, we would
naturally turn to it. The exterior of this ancient building shows the
ravages of time, and particularly smoke. It was founded in the seventh
century, was destroyed by the Danes, and rebuilt by Edward the
Conqueror. As you know, from that day to this it has seen the
coronation of the English sovereigns, many of whom lie buried in it,
but that awakened no particular interest in me; my eyes involuntarily
wandered to the monuments of the mighty men—a host of warriors,
statesmen, poets, and artists who rested beneath its stones. Statues of
many of them fill the edifice, dividing or perpetually disturbing the
awe-inspiring beauty of the interior. The building consists of a nave,
flanked with aisles, a transept, and a fine choir. In the southern
transept, facing the beautiful rose window, with its splendid tints and
shades, lies the Poets’ Corner, containing the remains of many authors,
marked by their busts. Between the Abbey and the river rises
Westminster Hall, the old Parliament House—the greatest monument of
English liberty. As one stands and views the handsome exterior of the
west front of the Abbey, with its tall and stately towers, the entire
edifice embellished with the richest tracery, and the morning sun
bathing its rich old stone, which has stood in the storms for ages, it
seems to tower away into heaven—a mass of carving and sculpture. Then
as he views the interior, the old saints and martyrs who have stood
there for ages (as they have stood in their lifetime, with patient
waiting), he feels as though he were in the best society of his
lifetime. A great company, a mighty host, in attitudes of grace and
pomp, as well as those of praise and worship. There they were, ranks on
ranks, silent in stone. It required little fancy to feel that they had
lived, and as we passed out of the holy sepulchre I looked back at the
long procession which had such an irresistible influence, and tried to
learn a lesson from their impressive patience as they awaited the
Golden Day.

The Thames, the national highway of the greatest city in the world,
seems to London what the elevated railway is to New York—its little
steamers arriving at its numerous piers on almost as good schedule time
(five-minute service) as our own trains.

London is not a Venice, but London’s busy river turns and turns again,
and turns up at points least expected, and is crossed many times by
some of the finest bridges in the world. London Bridge! The very centre
of civilization, with the exception, perhaps, of Calcutta. There is not
another city in the world whose bridge is trodden by so many feet as is
London Bridge. At nine o’clock on a summer morning you see it at its
busiest, and it is an interesting study to note the gradual improvement
that each succeeding half hour brings in the worldly appearance of its
motley crowd, which flocks to its occupation or its business.

                  “Proud and lowly, beggar and lord,
                  Over the bridge they go;
                  Hurry along, sorrow and song,
                  All is vanity ’neath the sun.
                  Velvet and rags, so the world wags,
                  Until the river no more shall run.”

We started to the beautiful Kew Gardens one fine day from Charing Cross
pier, which is the very centre of hotel life in London—all streets and
roads and omnibus lines emanate from Charing Cross. This is one of the
most historically interesting reaches of the Thames. Along this channel
have passed the Briton in his coracle, the Roman in his warship, the
Anglo-Saxon and the Dane in their galleys—the Norman, the Tudor, and
the Stuart in their resplendent barges. Youth, beauty, and gallantry,
genius and learning, the courtier and the soldier, the prelate and the
poet, the merchant and the ’prentice, have taken their pleasures on
these waters through a succession of ages that form no mean portion of
the world’s history. Patriots and traitors have gone this way to their
death in the sullen tower, kings and princes have proceeded by this
silver path in bridal pomp or to festal banquets.

We steamed up the river, with every step of its banks replete with
history, every step having been painted on canvas or commemorated in
song from time immemorial, and not only still retains its charms, but
has even added to them.

            “O veil of bliss! O softly swelling hills,
            Heavens! What a goodly prospect spreads around,
            Of hills and dales, and woods and lawns.”

We got off at the pier of Kew Gardens, where thousands land for a visit
each day to this beautiful spot. No one can afford to miss this place,
even if you are not entertained by the Duchess while there. There’s not
such a park anywhere. What splendid trees it has! The horse-chestnut, a
rich mass from its base—whose branches rest on the ground, as those of
so many trees do here—to its highest dome. Hawthorns, and a variety
that sweep its turf, which is an emerald green, and so deep that you
walk with a grateful sense of drawing life from its wonderful depths.
On this beautiful turf the boys are playing cricket in great numbers,
and the children are getting as intimate with this sweet-smelling earth
as their nurses will allow. The beauty of the green is heightened by
the masses of color from flowers in a state of perfection; the whole
effect is one of luxury and solidity that we encounter nowhere else,
and it was with regret that we harkened to the evening call, which was
musical in its way, to quit the garden.

The Thames is beautiful here. While waiting for the boat, which was
delayed by low tide, we entered a little cottage (which gave notice of
hospitality), and looked out over the beautiful green of a churchyard,
where one of England’s greatest painters, Gainsborough, lies in repose.
He is still in the minds and hearts of not only his own people, but is
appreciated by our American millionaire, Pierpont Morgan, to the extent
of $150,000, the sum expended for the lost gem—the “Duchess of
Devonshire.” Truly, these people are surrounded by history, tradition,
and romance five or six centuries old.



                              CHAPTER XII


The National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, without taking Ruskin’s word
for it, is the most important collection of paintings in Europe. The
most expensive purchases are the “Blenheim Raphael,” “Blenheim Van
Dyke,” the “Pisani,” “Veronese,” the two “Correggios,” and “Lord
Radnor’s” three. They are splendid specimens of the greatest of the
English old masters and so many of their successors; whilst the large
collection of Turner’s is unrivalled and incomparable. In order to
insure the high level of the National Gallery in point of quality, an
act was passed in 1883 authorizing the sale of unsuitable works,
thinning out the gallery in favor of provincial collections. The result
of this wise weeding is that, though there are many galleries in which
there are more pictures to be seen, there are none in which they are
more really worth seeing. There is another way in which pictures
interest the spectator in after ages: a painter inevitably shows us
something of himself in his work. He shows us something of his age—of
its costumes, its manner of life, and, if a portrait painter, the
characters and physiognomy of its men and women. It is necessary to
study them in historic order, as we find painting has in each school
been a progressive one. I first studied the early Flemish pictures,
which are a striking contrast to the Italian pictures. There is no
feeling or beauty in them. What is it, then, that gives these pictures
their worth, and causes their painters to be included among the
greatest masters of the world? Look at the most famous Van Dyke; the
longer you look the more you will see its absolute fidelity to nature
in dress and detail, especially in portraiture. Here the men and women
of the time are set down precisely as they lived. They were the first
to discover the mixing of oil with colors, and made oil painting much
more popular. Their pictures have an imperishable firmness, with
exquisite delicacy.

The French painters were poorly represented here; especially did it
seem so after viewing their wonderful exhibit at the Exposition. The
Paris school is the chief centre of art teaching in the world; and is
marked for its excessive realism and gross sensuality. This reminds me
of one of their pictures exhibited at the Exposition—so shockingly
realistic it should be barred from any exhibit; no place else would it
be allowed to hang. Of course, the French are ideal painters as well;
Claude Poussin and Greuze are striking contrasts.

The chief glory of the English school of painting consists in its
treatment of landscape. The first man who struck out a more distinctly
English line in landscape painting was Gainsborough; then followed
Constable, whom every student of Adams in “Muncie Art School” is
familiar with. How thoroughly I enjoyed seeing the originals,
Constable’s “Valley Farm,” etc. Here they hang in all their
originality. But greater than all his predecessors, and uniting in the
course of his career the tastes and strength of them all, is Turner.
Great difference of opinion is held upon the question wherein his
greatness consists. Was it for truths that he recorded, or visions that
he invented? It did seem as you looked around at his vast
collection—the contrast between the dark and heavy pictures on one
wall and the bright and aerial on the other—that “The gleam, the light
that never was on sea or land—the consecration and the poet’s dream,”
was there shown. His great aim or artistic ambition was to give a
complete knowledge, and reach a complete representation of light in all
its phases; and his greatest pictures are where he completely attains
his aim. He was the first painter who first represented the full beauty
of sun-color. He ended by painting such visions of the sun in his glory
as in the “Téméraire.” Turner said “the sun was God.” How happy I was
to see the real, original “Téméraire,” that I had tried so hard to
reproduce with the assistance of J. O. Adams and Wm. Forsythe. As for
Turner’s faithful rendering of the forms of natural objects, he was
first, says Ruskin, “to draw a mountain or a stone, no other man having
learned their organization and possessed himself of their spirit. The
first to represent the surface of calm, or the force of agitated,
water.” Turner did this with scientific accuracy, not because he was
himself learned in science, but because of his genius for seeing into
the heart of things and seizing their essential form and character, and
that is what is meant by saying “Turner’s landscape is ideal,” and that
is why he is the great impressionist he is. His pictures are of scenes
not as any one might gather, but as representations of how he himself
saw them. He at all times painted his impressions. The faculty of
receiving such impressions strongly, and reproducing them vividly, is
precisely what distinguishes the poet, whether in language or painting.
He was great because the impressions which natural scenery made upon
him were noble impressions. He not only saw nature in its truth and
beauty, but he saw it in relation and subjection to the human soul. He
paints the loveliness of nature, but he ever connects that loveliness
with the soul and labor of men. Looking round this great room you
cannot help note the spirit of the pictures. I tore myself away as the
last call was heard to vacate the room. My next was to try to
appreciate Rubens, Van Dyke, Rembrandt, of which there is a large
collection, and then Raphael. Just opposite the entrance in Room VI.
your eye rests immediately upon his great canvas, the “Ansidei
Madonna.” If you had never heard of Raphael, the crowd that at all
times surrounds it would attract your attention. His “Garvagh Madonna”
is depicted as merely a human mother; so is the child a purely human
child, the divinity being only indicated by a halo;—the two figures
with a little St. John, the children playing with a pink. As late as
1171 the divinity of the Virgin was insisted upon. I lingered by the
canvas of the Holy Family, painted by Michael Angelo. But what is the
use of trying to study that wonderful exhibition as a whole, with its
Leonardo da Vincis, its Murillos, its Velasquezs, and so on. I lingered
in front of one of Rubens’s—a landscape painted in Italy, but a pure
Flemish scene, just because Ruskin has said: “The Dutch painters are
always contented with their flat fields and pollards,” agreeing with
the Lincolnshire farmer in Kingsley’s “Alton Locke”: “None o’ this here
darned ups and downs o’ hills, to shake a body’s victuals out of his
inwards, but all so vlat as a barn’s vloor for forty miles on end—this
is the country to live in!”

The Portrait of “Gevartius,” by Van Dyke, is considered by Van Dyke
himself as his masterpiece, and before he gained his great reputation
he carried it about with him from court to court to show what he could
do as a portrait painter. I only wish I could reproduce it here, so as
to show the liquid, living lustre of the eye that Van Dyke puts before
you in this great portrait. Then there’s Rembrandt’s many pictures. He
is the great master of the school who strive not at representing the
color of the objects, but the contrasts of light and shade upon them.
These effects he attains with magnificent skill and subtlety. The
strong and solitary light, with its impenetrable obscurity around, is
the characteristic feature of many of his best works, just such an
effect as would be produced by the one ray of light admitted into the
lofty chamber of a mill, from the small window, its ventilator. “The
Woman Taken in Adultery” is a “tour de force” in the artist’s specialty
of contrasts of light and shade; there is a succession of these
contrasts which gradually renders the subject intelligible. The eye
falls at once on the woman who is dressed in white, passes then to the
figure of Christ, which next to her is the most strongly lighted, and
so on to Peter, to the Pharisees, to the soldiers, till at length it
perceives in the mysterious gloom of the temple, the high altar, with
the worshippers on the steps.

But I am naturally drawn back to Turner’s wonderful room, possibly
because it seems like associating again with dear old friends, for that
which greets my vision as I enter is Turner’s “Crossing the Brook,” so
much copied in the art school, although the original is as large again
as the copy I attempted of J. O. Adams. It seems twice as valuable to
me since I have had the privilege of noting the beautiful expression of
tender diffused daylight over this wide and varied landscape. I think
it was Charles Lamb who said, “My household gods are held down by
stakes deeply driven, and they cannot be removed without drawing
blood.” After all, one’s associates and co-workers go to make up an
important part of one’s life.

I could not leave without once more turning back to my old “Téméraire.”
She, so I have read, was a ninety-eight-gun ship, was the second ship
in Nelson’s line at the battle of Trafalgar, 1805, and, having little
provisions or water on board, was what sailors call “flying light.” So
as to be able to keep pace with the fast sailing “Victory,” when the
latter drew upon herself all the enemy’s fire, the “Téméraire” tried to
pass her to take it in her stead, but Nelson himself hailed to her to
keep astern. She lay with a French 74-gun ship on each side of
her,—both her prizes,—one lashed to her mainmast and one to her
anchor. She was sold out of the service at Sheerness in 1838, and towed
to Rotherhithe to be broken up. The flag which braved the battle and
the breeze no longer owns her. The picture was first exhibited at the
Academy in 1839, with the above lines cited in the catalogue. Ruskin
says this about it: “Of all the pictures, not visibly involving human
pain, this is, I believe, the most pathetic ever painted; the utmost
pensiveness which can ordinarily be given to a landscape depends on
adjuncts of ruin, but no ruin was ever so affecting as this gliding of
the vessel to the grave. This particular ship, crowned in the Trafalgar
hour of trial with chief victory, surely if ever anything without a
soul deserved honor or affection we owe them here. Surely some sacred
care might have been left in our thoughts for her—some quiet space
amid the lapse of English waters. Nay, not so; we have stern keepers to
trust her glory to, the fire and the worm. Never more shall sunlight
lay golden robe on her, nor starlight tremble on the waves that part at
her gliding. Perhaps when the low gate opens to some cottage garden,
the tired traveller may ask idly, ‘Why the moss grows so green on the
rugged wood?’ And even the sailor’s child may not answer, nor know,
that the night dew lies deep in the war rents of the wood of the old
‘Téméraire.’” The spirit of the picture, the pathetic contrast of the
old ship’s past glory with her present end, is caught in the contrast
of the sunset with the shadow. The cold, deadly shadows of the twilight
are gathering through every sunbeam, and moment by moment as you look
you will fancy some new film and faintness of the night has arisen over
the vastness of the departing form. As I remember it, Mrs. Rose B.
Stewart, of the Muncie Art School, and the writer had a fair copy of
the same, thanks to J. O. Adams.

While there is entertainment and recreation in this delightful
collection, yet for my own personal benefit, aside from a few pets, I
prefer the study and the ownership of modern painters and the new
school.



                              CHAPTER XIII

                                SCOTLAND


We pass castle after castle, tradition after tradition, vouching for
persecutions and the price of blood paid. Here are the historical
surroundings of Queen Mary and her imprisonment, her escape from the
dungeon; there the royal property acquired by the Earl of Rosebery;
then again a square tower resting on the northwest angle of this pile
is replete with history. A mouldering gateway here surmounted by a
crown and the initials and year “M.R., 1561,” tradition claiming this
as the birthplace of Cromwell’s mother; and so on, until one is dizzy
with dates and towers, almost every inch bearing some part in the
history of a country during troublesome times. But as Sir Walter Scott
is authority for a great part of this history, I will refer you to him
as a much more reliable source of information, and will only attempt an
outdoor description of this beautiful country, whose landscape lacks
none of the fervor, picturesqueness, and sincerity which are ascribed
to it—an appropriate background for its unequalled history in those
turbulent days.

We were well satiated by this time with royal institutions, including
palaces, schools of learning, museums of science and art, botanical
gardens, and the zoos, with the exception of one monument in
Edinburgh,—Scott’s grand memorial,—one of the most beautiful on the
handsomest street in the World,—Princess Street, Edinburgh,—which is
unlike any other I had ever seen.

We took what is known as the “Scotch Flyer” from London to Edinburgh.
Its schedule time in some places is seventy miles per hour. It was
about a five-hundred-miles’ run, devoid of interest. As we neared
Edinburgh the grade became very steep, requiring two engines to pull us
up—a very long train and crowded. The conductor told us this was its
chronic condition. The English, next to Americans, are the greatest
gad-abouts in the world. It is hard to decide which does its work the
quickest, the “Scotch Flyer” or Scotch whiskey; while the social evil
is offensive enough in London and Paris, here it assumes a downright
animal coarseness; the effects of Scotch whiskey in Edinburgh is
alarmingly apparent. We saw more men and real young boys beastly drunk
there than in any place on the continent, the police taking no heed of
their noise, apparently so accustomed to it that it went as a matter of
course. Saturday afternoon is a half-holiday in Edinburgh; the whole
city seems to scatter or seek the country highways and environs.
Everybody visits the great Forth Bridge, said to be the greatest and
grandest bridge in the world.

The strait, where this wonderful bridge crosses the Forth at
Queensferry, has from time immemorial been recognized as the chief
natural route of communication between its northern and southern
shores. It was known among the Romans as the “Passage Strait.” The
inconvenience of being dependent in all kinds of weather upon boats for
communication between the two sides of the coast had long been
commented upon, and when any bold spirit talked of a bridge from one
side to the other, he was looked upon as being highly visionary. The
engineering problem involved in the condition at Queensferry was the
most serious one. It was then proposed that a bridge formed upon the
principle of the Tay Bridge be built; the design was by Sir Thomas
Bouch, engineer of the ill-fated Tay Bridge. He proposed to hang his
erection on piers 600 feet high and across the stream by two latticed
girders of 16,000 feet each, held in position on the suspension
principle. This plan involved a double bridge, one for each set of
rails. When the Tay Bridge fell, there fell with it previously unshaken
confidence in the great engineer, and the feeling against the Forth
Suspension bridge became so pronounced that the Abandonment Act was the
result. Those of us who are old enough (and I regret to chronicle that
I have been on the planet long enough to entitle me to such knowledge)
will never forget the sensation produced as they read of this long
train with its human freight signalling the time of its departure when
leaving the station on one side, but which never signalled its arrival
on the other side; never a vestige recovered from that grasping,
merciless monster, the North Sea. In 1882 it was decided that plans
should be made on the cantilever principle; a steel cantilever bridge
should be made—a principle as old as the science of engineering. It
had been practically known to the Chinese, but never before had it been
applied on so magnificent a scale. A feature of the Paris Exposition
was a design for a bridge crossing the English Channel by seventy
cantilever spans, offered by an eminent firm as an alternative to the
Channel tunnel, at an estimated cost of £34,000,000 Sterling. This
project, however, does not meet with the hearty approval of the
Englishman, who wants neither done, having no desire to facilitate
communication with the French.

Foreign engineers all favor this principle of the Forth Bridge, it is
said, since the first publication of the design. Practically every big
bridge throughout the world has been built on that principle. To form
some opinion yourself, the total height of the structure from its base
is fully 450 feet. Visitors can hardly appreciate its actual magnitude
until they compare adjacent objects—ships, houses, human beings, etc.
Its relative size is seen when in figures you compare it to all other
chief erections in the world; higher than the domes of any of the great
cathedrals of the world, or monuments of the old world. Its rail level
would be as high above the sea as the castle esplanade was above
Princess Street, the castle built on the highest overlooking bluff in
Edinburgh, and the steel work of the bridge would soar two hundred feet
higher. The bridge was formally inaugurated on the 4th of March, 1890,
when the Prince of Wales, now the King of England, turned a tap
clinching the last bolt; this declared the bridge open. Her Majesty was
so much delighted with Sir John Fowler, chief engineer of this gigantic
undertaking, and Mr. Benjamin Baker, his colleague in the engineering,
that she created them Knights Commander of the Order of St. Michael and
St. George. It has taken some time to speak of such a huge affair. We
reached Queensferry by the daily coaches (or tally-hos) that run from
Princess Street, carrying forty people on top.

The scenery en route is delightfully attractive and varied, and the
interest is sustained throughout. In addition to the more commanding
natural beauty of the scenery, the woods abound in picturesque
vistas—Dalmeny Castle on one side, the seat of the Earl of Rosebery,
and on the other side the seat of the Earl of Hopetoun; both are
available to the public. But what interested us more than this tiresome
pomp and display were the hundreds of beggars or mendicants that line
or infest the public road, going through all sorts of antics, from
simply standing on their heads in the mud in roadways to some very
clever acrobatic feats; others singing and dancing for pennies that are
thrown to them from the passing coaches. The most comical sight was a
blind Highland fiddler and his bonnie lass (adorned in rags) fiddling,
at the same time cursing some youngsters filled with Scotch whiskey,
who were guying the poor souls beyond endurance. I have heard of all
kinds of swearing, but never by note.

One need not move a step from Princess Street, Edinburgh, to be
satisfied with his trip. It is the most beautiful street in the world.
We stopped at Hotel Clarendon on Princess Street, just opposite the
grand old castle, the scene of such bloody history. The scene from our
window was unsurpassed, overlooking the gardens and grand promenade
which form one side of this beautiful street, with the lofty and grand
Scott Monument just beyond, and the Royal School of Design close
by,—so pure in its Grecian architecture that one could imagine he was
under the shade of the Parthenon. Holyrood Palace and Abbey, where the
Queen’s Park Drive commences, is the finest drive in Europe. The other
side of the street teems with commercial interests, as busy a
thoroughfare as you see in any great metropolis.

Brilliant color, quick movement, and over-anxious faces are the general
rule. Too bracing an air in these Scottish Highlands to admit of
sluggish movement. I imagined we would step out of the whirl of modern
life when we left London and came up here, where one might breathe
easier; but it seems a headland so blessed of two elements—the cool
air and the sea—that one is energized, and I longed to stay under its
influence and enjoy the physical loveliness of this promontory. One of
our favorite walks was a ramble among Salisbury Crags and over Arthur’s
Seat. The view here of Edinburgh is grand. As you climb up to Arthur’s
Seat you pass over a beautiful plateau of rich meadow-land; this
Sabbath day literally alive with men and boys playing all sorts of
gambling games, from the shaking of dice or of craps to ace-high. We
wound up the hill by terraces, great lengths affording views over the
steep wall of rock of the beautiful city below. The air is pure and
exhilarating. The city, with its many historical domes, spires,
castles, and turrets, is seen to advantage here. As you stand beneath
the thick, strong walls, supporting for ages these grand old castles of
such great antiquity, you can but wonder if they are capable of
carrying these vaulted roofs for generations yet to come. As one
climbed these broad, flagged terraces and lounged on the emerald green
turf, so deep and inviting, one can scarcely realize that in the same
spots, over these steep bluffs, both monks and soldiers climbed
centuries ago, and they are still perfectly intact, while in the last
two thousand years, on the coasts, temples and palaces of two
generations have tumbled into the sea. Old and young have been sitting
on these rocks all the while, high above change, worry, and decay,
gossiping and loving. There are groups of rocks standing on the edge of
precipices like mediæval towers, reminding one a little of the “Garden
of the Gods” in Colorado, but not so phenomenal. We emerged upon a
wild, rocky slope, barren of vegetation except little tufts of grass,
the rocks rising up to the sky behind, as we stood upon the jutting
edge of a precipice.

[Illustration]

We are waiting in London for our vessel, where we are sitting before a
Michigan roll-top desk, with a home-made door-mat under our feet, on a
Nebraska swivel chair, dictating a letter on a Syracuse typewriter,
signed by a New York fountain pen, and drying same with a blotter-sheet
from New England, with a small amount of American brains in our head,
and a still smaller amount of American coin in our pockets, ready and
anxious to see New York, which in ten years hence will be the art
centre of the world.



                        DEUTSCHLAND LOSES A MAN.

         The Swift Liner Buffeted by Storms All the Way Across.


The record-holder Deutschland of the Hamburg-American Line had nothing
but weather on the voyage she finished yesterday from Hamburg,
Southampton, and Cherbourg. The disturbance began just after she left
Cherbourg and kept up almost until she got within sight of the coast of
Yankeeland. Despite wind and sea she made an hourly average of 21.16
knots, covering a course of 3,058 knots in 6 days and 33 minutes, thus
establishing a reputation as a storm-defier.

While she was plunging through the crested seas at 7 o’clock on
Wednesday night a part of the crew were ordered forward to put things
shipshape. Eugen Sarazin, an able seaman of Russia, 19 years old, was
the first man to respond to the order. As he got out on the open deck
the Deutschland plunged into a giant comber. The forward deck of the
ship looked for a moment like the beach of Coney Island on a stormy
day. The young Russian was caught in the swirl and swept overboard.
Shipmates who saw him disappear raised an alarm and the great liner was
stopped. A lifeboat with four volunteer seamen, under Second Officer
Franck, was lowered. It cruised about in the blackness nearly half an
hour and found no trace of the luckless tar.

Passengers aboard the liner crowded to the rails and peered into the
night hopefully while the lifeboat was searching for Sarazin. When it
got back with no news of him a sympathetic passenger suggested that a
purse should be raised for Sarazin’s family. Three contribution boxes
were put up in the ship, and passengers filled them with gold, silver,
and paper money. By this system of subscription, new in nautical
annals, the left hand knew not what the right hand did. The contents of
the boxes will be counted to-day.

Capt. Albers of the Deutschland said the voyage was one of the roughest
on record for September. The women passengers didn’t have much
pleasure. The ship was at times reduced to fifteen knots. The mighty
combers through which she smashed scraped the paint off her bows.

Among the big liner’s passengers were: George C. Boldt, Leonard
Lewisohn, Rud and Henry Kunhardt, Dr. William Tod Helmuth, Charles
Dupont Coudert, and Mr. and Mrs. Carl Spilker.—_N. Y. Sun._



                          Transcriber’s Notes


Some presumed printer’s errors have been corrected, including
normalizing punctuation. Further corrections are listed below.

              p. 21 bouvelard -> boulevard
              p. 45 Deutsche Madchen -> Deutsche Mädchen
              p. 48 directon -> direction
              p. 70 Amercan -> American
              p. 70 most of of the -> most of the
              p. 71 Champ Élysées -> Champs Élysées
              p. 81 Grindling Gibbons -> Grinling Gibbons
              p. 93 ninty-eight -> ninety-eight





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