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Title: A Bundle of Letters From Over the Sea
Author: Robinson, Louise B.
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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                          A BUNDLE OF LETTERS
                          FROM OVER THE SEA.

                            [Illustration]

_This book may be obtained through any bookseller in the United States,
 for two dollars, or will be mailed, postage paid, on receipt of that
                      amount by the publishers._



                          A BUNDLE OF LETTERS

                           FROM OVER THE SEA

                                  BY

                          Louise B. Robinson

                     “Visions of the days departed
                    Shadowy phantoms fill my brain”

                                BOSTON
                         J. G. CUPPLES COMPANY
                        The Back Bay Bookstore
                          94 BOYLSTON STREET
                                 1890

                          _COPYRIGHT_, 1889,
                        BY LOUISE B. ROBINSON.

                        _All rights reserved._

                        Cupples Press: Boston.

                   PRINTED BY J. G. CUPPLES COMPANY.


                            [Illustration]

                        DEDICATED BY THE AUTHOR
                             To Her Mother



CONTENTS.


                                                                    PAGE

PREFACE                                                               ix

LETTER I.                                                              1
I am off. On the sea.

LETTER II.                                                            13
Liverpool. Chester. Rugby. Leamington.
Stratford-on-Avon. Kenilworth. Warwick.

LETTER III.                                                           29
London.

LETTER IV.                                                            67
Paris.

LETTER V.                                                            127
Ambrieau. Geneva.

LETTER VI.                                                           143
Chamouni. Mer de Glace. Tête Noire.

LETTER VII.                                                          157
Martigny. Chillon. Berne. Interlaken.

LETTER VIII.                                                         171
Lucerne. Altorf. The Rigi. Zurich. Schaffhausen.

LETTER IX.                                                           191
Strassburg. Baden Baden. Willbad. Carlsruhe.
Heidelberg.

LETTER X.                                                            217
Mayence. Wiesbaden. The Rhine.

LETTER XI.                                                           233
Cologne.

LETTER XII.                                                          247
Utrecht. Amsterdam.

LETTER XIII.                                                         263
The Hague. Rotterdam. Brussels.

LETTER XIV.                                                          281
Antwerp.

LETTER XV.                                                           291
On Shipboard. New York. Boston.



PREFACE.


_In presenting my little book to the public, I feel that I should
apologize for so doing, instead of introducing it; for at the time my
letters were written I had no idea of publishing them. Since my return,
however, several friends who had read them have assured me that they
greatly enjoyed them, and felt that others would do so, also, had they
the opportunity. The letters have, at least, the merit of being fresh
and honest impressions of the places described, as they were written on
the spots. Remembering how eagerly I have always read letters of travel,
I sincerely hope that mine may prove a source of pleasure to some--to
those who have been over the same ground, and to many who have the
pleasure in anticipation. I am aware that the route I describe is a
well-worn thoroughfare, but every eye has its own perspective, and
different views of the same pictures assist the sight-seer in
comprehending the whole. Therefore, I here beg the charity of all into
whose hands this little book may fall._

_L. B. R._

_Hotel Oxford, Boston,

December 20, 1889._



[Illustration]



A BUNDLE OF LETTERS FROM OVER THE SEA.



LETTER I.

CUNARD ROYAL MAIL STEAMSHIP _Etruria_,
MID-OCEAN, _June 12_.


Well, was not this starting for Europe in a hurry? I left Boston
Saturday, June 9th, at five A.M., only deciding the day previous to go.
A number of letters and telegrams, from New York, urging me to join a
delightful party who were to make the journey, proved to be too much of
a temptation to accept the change I so much needed, to resist. For
several previous seasons I have seen friends off, honestly glad to have
them enjoy so much, but after awhile enthusiasm in the pleasures of
others, who enjoy much and leave you behind to be glad for them, grows
dull, like champagne long uncorked, not much sparkle to it, ‘for all
work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ A hurried packing; good-by
letters; messenger boys running here and there; a turning of the keys;
and I am off. To my maid, to the elevator boy, to the expressman and the
coachman, I excitedly said, ‘I am going to Europe,’ but their faces did
not light up with delight as I expected they would; and I thought--How
unappreciative we all are, after all, of other people’s enthusiasm. The
train was a slow one, but the only one that could possibly get me to New
York in time to take the steamer. Some trouble with the machinery of the
engine detained us, and I spent the time, while the cars were stopped,
praying to be resigned, if I had got to be disappointed, as, for a
while, matters looked as if it would be impossible for me to reach my
friends on the hour for the ship to sail. But prayers and the work of an
ingenious Yankee mechanic carried us through. It was after 3 P.M. when
we rolled into the Grand Central Depot. I rushed into the nearest cab
like one mad--urged, coaxed, and fee’d my driver, who quickly
comprehended the situation and ran his horses to the best of their
speed, and did get me to the Cunard Wharf about ten minutes before the
Etruria moved; but it was in truth a ‘John Gilpin ride.’ My friends were
on the lookout with anxious eyes, and, when they caught a sight of me,
greeted my appearance with shouts of delight. After the excitement was
over, we settled down into an ‘all right’ atmosphere and looked about.
The sights that met my eyes I shall never forget. The huge ship with the
bright-colored flags flying, the hundreds of people crowded on her,
hundreds more on the wharf, throwing kisses, waving handkerchiefs and
adieus, everybody loaded with flowers, many laughing and more crying.
‘God bless you. Take care of yourselves. Write soon and often,’ were the
oft-repeated words we heard. The planks are drawn, the band struck up
‘The Girl I left behind me,’ and off we steamed down the beautiful
harbor of New York, fast leaving the shores of America in the distance.
I thought of all the loved friends we were sailing away from, in the
body but not in spirit, and asked our dear ‘Father in Heaven’ to take
care of us all. I was tired, so dined early, settled things a little in
our state-room, and retired. I went immediately to sleep, without a
care, like a weary, confiding child on its mother’s breast, and did not
once awaken until nine the next morning--Sunday. My rest was perfect,
thus ‘rocked in the cradle of the deep,’ while the waves sung to me
their sweet lullaby. I arose feeling thoroughly refreshed--rubbed my
eyes well to be convinced that I was not dreaming, and that in reality I
was far out at sea. We have a fine state-room; two wide berths and a
sofa; and only F. and I its occupants; plenty of room for our things,
and two looking-glasses; so we shall be sure to keep amiable on this
trip. The Etruria is a beautiful and an immense steamer. Four hundred
persons make up the crew and she takes fifty engineers. We have a music
room, a library, a large saloon, reception rooms, dining room, etc.,
all finely and conveniently furnished and spacious. We have six hundred
passengers on board, all first class, and a fairly good-looking crowd
notwithstanding there are but few from Boston. We take no second class
passengers or emigrants. So far the weather has been charming. We settle
ourselves in our steamer chairs in the most deliciously idle and
comfortable positions, E. tucks his numerous nice wraps about us, for
the air is keen but most wholesomely pure and sweet, and we give
ourselves up both body and mind to perfect rest and repose, such as no
condition on land can bring. I even find myself wishing that the steamer
would not speed on quite so rapidly. I am afraid we shall sight land too
soon. On shipboard, the slightest incident becomes to all a matter of
great interest. A ship in the distance, or a whale’s back, will cause as
much excitement as Barnum’s circus in a country town. We have seen two
steamers far away, many sea-gulls and Mother Cary’s chickens, and a
school of porpoises followed us a long distance, creating much
amusement. We have two dukes on board, a real lord and a lady, but they
look very like the rest of us mortals, and seem to do quite as much
stretching, yawning, walking, and eating. We have met here several old
friends, and have made some new ones. Everybody seems inclined to be
agreeable and social. I cannot imagine how any one could ever think a
sea voyage dull. I get so interested in all about me, that their
interests and purposes become my own. A bright little Cuban miss
confided to me that she was going to travel for a year, because her rich
father had taken to himself a new companion younger than herself, and
she could not stay at home and see the young girl in her mother’s place.
We have six school-girls on board with their chaperone, and a jolly good
time they are having. School-girls are the same everywhere. A bride and
groom sit at table near us, trying to act as if they had been always
married, but are really continually revealing their new condition. Ah!
‘the old, old story,’ but ever new. A gentleman from the West, who had
been cabled to ‘hurry over--wife sick,’ walks the deck with a face that
tells of the sad heart he carries. How we all sympathize with him, and
yet are so helpless in comforting him! We had a fine concert in the
grand saloon last evening, for ‘sweet charity;’ and many of the ladies
honored the occasion by changing their travelling dresses for evening
costumes. Mlle. Zelie de Lussan sang two pieces most charmingly, and on
encore gave us ‘Coming thro’ the Rye’ and ‘Dors mon ange.’ She is a
great favorite with all on board, and no wonder, for she endeavors in
her sweet way to add to the happiness of all. She was enthusiastically
applauded. We had some fine instrumental music on both violin and piano,
and ‘Tony’ Pastor was irresistible in his manner of rendering several
comic selections, and very kind to repeat them in acknowledgment of
hearty applause. Our young ladies passed around the hats, into which
coin was quickly deposited to the amount of over three hundred dollars.
Rev. Dr. H., of New York, made a few remarks. He is a forcible,
impressive speaker and with a physique equal to our own Trinity Rector.
He also has exhibited a commendable spirit in helping make the time pass
agreeably for all with whom he has come in contact. Editor P. is also
amongst us, leaving his ‘New York World’ behind for a time, but not
under a bushel. Our table and the service are excellent: and what
gormandizers we are to be sure! Hungry as sharks every meal,
notwithstanding the hourly extras of bouillon and crackers on deck, and
the daily treats from our own boxes of fruit, wine, and bon-bons. If any
one should now ask me ‘What is the chief end of man?’ I should honestly
answer, To eat of all, at least, on board our ship. Poor E. looks upon
his chest of medicines for sea-sickness as a lost investment; stocks way
down--not even a shadow of an excuse yet for opening it. Miss C., the
noted beauty, is on board, but her fair face is closely enveloped in
veils, that the sun and wind may not be too familiar. One loses much not
to take the whole of this blessed, invigorating air, and look out
unhampered on the exquisite sky and cloud effects above us, and the
artistic blending of blues and greens on the waves beneath.

_Liverpool, England, June 17, 1888._--We first saw land yesterday
morning, very early. It was a perfect morning, clear and warm, and when
we emerged from our state-room and made our way on deck, we found the
greater portion of our comrades ahead of us, with their glasses in hand,
peering toward the rocky coast of not far away ‘Old Ireland.’ It is a
rough, rugged shore, with here and there a lighthouse, built as if to
last for ages, on rocks, strong and high, and all colored white with
some black trimmings. Occasionally an old castle is seen. The fields of
flax, colored with all the shades of green, are very beautiful, and add
much to vary the scene.

We have had, as one of our daily companions crossing over, an Irish
gentleman of much intelligence and culture. He is a large land-holder,
and has a fine home not very far from Dublin; has been travelling some
in America, but mostly in the Western States. I have gained much
information from him of his country and its people. He was amazed at the
extent of our own land, but with all his intelligence could not
comprehend everything connected with our divisions of country clearly,
and said to me--‘Boston, that city is very near Massachusetts, is it
not?’ He admired American ladies, and thought ‘Mrs. Cleveland should
reign in Washington longer.’ His brogue was fascinating, and he talked
much of the Pot-o-mac River.

In speaking of the poor of his country, I did not hesitate to ask him
how he and gentlemen of his kind could endure having the poor so
oppressed by the rich landlords; that to me it seemed most cruel. With a
sympathetic sigh he replied, ‘If you will visit me, I will show to you
more than I can tell you.’

Our big steamer stopped, for the first time, for the passengers who were
booked for the ‘Green Isle’ to get on to the little tug which came
puffing down from Queenstown, and we said good-by to many of our
fellow-voyagers reluctantly. A large mail was thrown on board also for
Ireland, carrying undoubtedly happiness and help into many homes.

On again we started, and reached Liverpool at one o’clock A.M. We
certainly had a perfect trip over, and the Etruria and her watchful,
careful commander, Captain Cook, will have ever a grateful place in my
memory. Blessed be the gift of memory! The one thing that holds
precious treasures that cannot be taken from us; from which we can at
all times summon the delights and joys of the past, without money and
without price.



[Illustration: decorative bar]



LETTER II.


We landed at seven A.M. Were detained but a short time at the
Custom-house. The ordeal of examining luggage there, proved much less
than we expected; one pleasant official, remarking that he did not wish
to disturb my nicely packed bags, would pass them over if I would swear
that I had no tobacco or cigars. Hasty good-bys, cards and kisses
exchanged, and we were soon whirled to our hotel--the Adelphi. What a
transition! We have nice rooms, and a pretty maid, with a demi-trained
white cambric dress on, to wait upon us, looking as fresh as a daisy.
After breakfast, we went to drive about the city, the largest seaport in
the world. The docks are many miles in length. We visited the museum,
St. George’s Hall, and looked into one or two churches. The city looks
solid and business-like, but not attractive. The suburbs are more so,
and have fine trees. No more horse-cars for us, but trams, with seats on
top, which we very much like. After luncheon, we crossed the Mersey in a
ferry, to Birkenhead, and there took steam cars for Chester, thirty
miles away. Chester! old, odd, quaint, red-walled Chester! We hurried to
the Cathedral, to be in time for service, which proved to be a choral
one, of great beauty and sacredness, and the first words that greeted us
were sweetly sung, and impressed us in a stronger way than ever did the
same words before:--

    ‘Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
     Doth his successive journeys run;
     His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
     Till moons shall wax and wane no more.’

Of this cathedral you have read many descriptions, and yet one can have
but little idea of it without seeing it. As I sat in the chancel, and
looked about me, I felt as if I belonged to the past. There seemed to be
a spirit of antique rest and repose pervading the whole interior. After
service, we peeped into the nooks and corners of the old church, and
then out into the rich balmy air of this perfect day in June, and walked
on the old wall which was built to protect the town. We looked from the
windows of the tower, where Charles I. stood and saw his army defeated
by Cromwell. How many reminiscences of our lessons in history at school
these old towns bring up! An open carriage stood near us, into which we
jumped, and were driven through the grounds and to the home of the Duke
of Westminster, who is, I believe, the richest man in England. As it was
Sunday, we could not be admitted to the palace, but enjoyed the drive
through the perfect grounds immensely. The town contains a beautiful
park, in which is a fine statue of the father of the present duke. The
narrow streets and the odd-looking old houses in the oldest part of the
town were intensely attractive to me, so, leaving the rest of my party
to wander in the park, I strolled off alone. I pulled the latch-string
of a little house, and a kindly faced old lady appeared. I asked for
some water, and she urged me to come in and rest, and I lingered a long
time, so interesting to me were her tales of Chester, where she had all
her life lived, not even having been so far away as ‘Lunnon town.’ The
custom of ringing what used to be the ‘curfew bell’ is still kept up. A
bell rings at nine P.M., and if maids are out alone after that hour they
may be arrested. ‘A good custom it is,’ said the old lady; ‘God made the
night to sleep, and not for gadding.’ Back to Liverpool, and good-by to
E. He remains here, and we go to-morrow to Leamington Spa.

_June 18._--At seven A.M. we left Liverpool. The morning was a perfect
one, and our train ran slowly, perhaps purposely that we might see
beautiful old England. And beautiful it is! Such green fields, such
magnificent trees, such hedges, ivy, hawthorn, and a tangled mass of
sweetbrier and wild rose. Houses covered with ivy and roses. Roses in
bloom everywhere, little plots of ground around the stations filled with
roses--red, white, and yellow, their sweet fragrance pouring into the
windows of our car. The flocks of sheep, the herds of cattle in the
fields and meadows, resting, or cooling their feet in silver streams. O
how beautiful this all is! The blue sky of to-day seems so near us.
Glimpses of cathedrals and palatial homes greet us. The fields of wild
poppies and wheat add brilliancy to it all. Surely we must be in the
highly cultivated, most beautiful part of England! But no, it is all the
same. There are no rough spots in England, no stony pastures, no broken
fences: it is all a beautiful garden from one end to the other. F. says
almost too ‘spick and span;’ but to me, perfection. Our first stop was
at Rugby. Ascertaining that we must remain there two or three hours, and
remembering ‘Tom Brown,’ we set out to see the world-renowned school.
Its buildings are large and castle-like. Any man who has resided in the
county two years is entitled to send his sons to the school, to be
educated free of expense. There is a pretty chapel here, and in the
transept a monument to the revered Dr. Thomas Arnold. One of the
stained-glass windows is also in memory of him, and the words beneath it
seemed to me particularly touching and appropriate:--

     ‘And Jesus said unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me thou
     hast believed: blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have
     believed.’

The name of Arnold seems to be revered by every one in Rugby, and his
best monument is the school for which he did so much. He buried creeds
and lived by the Golden Rule.

Our next halt was at Leamington, and here we are, feeling quite like
citizens. The town is crowded with visitors, and we were most fortunate
in finding rooms at a small hotel which had just been vacated by
Americans. This town is a health resort and a fashionable and popular
one. There are four medicinal springs, each one different from the
others in remedial properties. The streets of the town are broad, shaded
by grand old trees that form perfect arches for long distances. The
residences are immense and very handsome, some quite palatial; but
seeing ‘To Let’ on many of them, we came to the conclusion that they
were too expensive for the owners to live in, but were afterwards told
that the richest and most cultivated people of the place rent their
houses for almost fabulous sums, for the months of May and June, and
take that time to travel themselves, on the Continent. Near the royal
pump-room, at the beautiful Jephson Gardens, on the banks of the river
Leam, in the little parks, in the streets, and everywhere else here, we
see bath-chairs on wheels--people of all ages, from infants to aged men
and women, being drawn in them by their servants. I thought at first
they must all be invalids from some cause, but it seems not: many are
being trolled about in this manner for enjoyment. The drives in the town
and about its suburbs are of unrivalled beauty. We stood under the shade
of a large oak tree, said to be in the very centre of England. From here
we made an excursion to Stratford, which town has, if possible, an older
look than Chester. We asked a little girl to direct us to the church
where Shakespeare was buried. She looked somewhat frightened, and
answered, ‘He is not buried; he keeps store down that way.’ It was
evident the little tot was not Stratford-born. We sauntered along, and
soon met a gentleman who gave us the desired information. Walking
through a beautiful avenue of lime trees, we soon reached the church.
In the chancel is the tomb of Shakespeare. A bust of the great poet is
on the wall, and there is a flagstone bearing the inscription familiar
to all:--

    ‘Good friend, for Jesvs sake forbeare
     To digg the dvst encloased heare:
     Bleste be ye man that spares thes stones.
     And curst be he that moves my bones.’

The church is very old,--a cruciform, with central tower and spire; and
some portions of the old carvings attracted our attention. I was much
disappointed with the expression of the face of the bust: it looked as
if the great man felt nauseated, and the atmosphere of the church made
me feel intensely so, so close and musty was it; so out into the air we
gladly went. We strolled about in the churchyard for a while, looking at
the old stones and reading the queer epitaphs. On one were these words,
after the name of a wife, her age, and time of decease: ‘The Lord has
done great things for us, whereof we are exceeding glad.’ I doubt that
widowed husband being able to win wife number two. The house where the
poet was born is a little old structure of wood and plaster, but well
preserved. The walls of several of the rooms are entirely covered with
names written by the sight-seers who have visited them. How strange but
how true it is, that real genius nearly always springs from homes of
poverty! Everything in the town has a Shakespearian flavor. The fine
fountain presented by our own countryman, George W. Childs, is a
beautiful offering. The Shakespeare Memorial Buildings, in the form of a
theatre, are very elegant, and contain some fine pictures. F. left me to
enjoy the interior of this new edifice, saying to ‘look for her on the
banks of the Avon,’ and when I did so, found her sleeping in a boat, on
the immortalized waters, with the willow trees on the banks throwing
their shadows over her. One can scarcely help feeling tinges of romance
and sentiment here, this river has been so sweetly sung of; and yet it
is a very unpretentious, quiet, narrow stream; but memories of the Bard
of Avon linger in every spot.

We were shown, at the Red Horse Hotel, the rooms which were occupied by
our own Washington Irving during his visit here, and in the parlor was
the ‘Sexton’s Clock’ which he refers to in the ‘Sketch Book.’ We have
seen the oddest names in England, for inns and boarding-houses,
imaginable, such as the Pied Bull, The Elephant and the Castle, The
Turtle and the Lamb, The Pig and the Whistle, The Hole in the Wall, and
The Struggling Man. Now the English are not wise in the selection of
such names. For my part, I should look farther for a stopping place. I
would not care to try to rest in The Hole in the Wall, or to be
protected by The Struggling Man.

We visited New Place, Shakespeare’s home, and the Guild Chapel close by,
and ended the day by taking a short drive through some of the quaint
streets and the green lanes of this reposeful, historical, and
beautifully situated Stratford, whose whole atmosphere seems to be that
conducive to pure, high thoughts, spiritual exaltation, rest, and peace.
We returned to Leamington in time for a pleasant evening drive, after a
fair dinner.

_June 19th._--We slept well, and took an early breakfast, then started
for Kenilworth Castle. It was a glorious morning. Where are the clouds
and fogs of England? We have yet seen none, and the road we were driven
over was beautiful. The pastoral scenes, made up of pretty homes,
cultivated fields, and flowers and ivy everywhere before and around us,
made us eagerly drink all in as a sweet nectar. And, more than all, the
entire way was clothed with historic interest. We could easily imagine
Queen Elizabeth and her lords and ladies dashing along over this very
ground in regal splendor. The castle is a ruin, but a grand one. It
stands on a high hill surrounded by a wall and moat, the former now down
in many places and the moat dry. The walls of the castle, sixteen feet
through, are now covered with a luxuriant growth of ivy, so thick that
the length of my long-handled parasol was lost in the mass of dark-green
leaves. When I look at this ivy and think of my little one at home, that
I have carefully tended for years, and yet it is no thicker now than a
jellyfish, I do not think much of English ivy torn from its mother soil.
The numerous turrets and towers are also covered with the same vine,
and are homes for hundreds of ravens. It is owing to the works of Scott
that this old castle is of such famous interest. As we wandered from
cells to banquet halls, we recalled the revellings and grandeur in the
latter, and the groans in the former that could not reach the ear of
mortals. In the ball-room we thought of the Earl of Leicester, who
ordered all clocks stopped that Elizabeth should take no note of time.
And at the entrance of the deep, dark dungeon we sighed for the
suffering Amy. But, had we stayed in the ruins much longer, ruined
financially should I have been, for the several ‘gentlemen,’ who seemed
to be looking at the same objects and with the same interest as myself,
and of whom I asked questions, proved to be guides or informers, and
expected their shillings. ‘How could I have known it?’ I exclaimed as F.
advised me not to talk so much. Well, I fear it is true that in this
country, if we ask a question, we must generally pay for the answer.
‘Pity ’tis ’tis true.’

Adieu to Kenilworth, and on to Warwick, which is of itself a village of
considerable size. Warwick Castle is the finest baronial residence in
all England. The approach to it is charming. We passed under the arched
and massive gateways into a winding avenue cut out of solid, unbroken
rock, and on which the castle itself is built; each side the rocks tower
far above our heads and are covered with ivy and other vines, and oh so
cool and beautiful it looks; so refreshing to us. All at once, and at an
unexpected turn, the magnificent castle is in sight. The lawn in front
of it, with its rare plants and parterres of gorgeous blossoms, the
sparkling fountains, and the many peacocks strutting about on the velvet
sward, with their gay plumage spread to its utmost extent, as if for our
especial admiration, almost dazzled us. We paused to take in the scene
before us, exhausting our vocabulary of adjectives in expressions of
delight. Every feature of the aspect was bright, winning, and
delightful. Some aristocratic terriers were grouped under the shade of a
white lilac, as if holding council. Dignified swans were lazily swimming
in the lake, and the red and gold uniformed Guards seemed perfectly
satisfied to spend the rest of their lives in slowly pacing up and down
the gravelled walks. The castle is in complete preservation, and its
long list of halls, libraries, and drawing-rooms are filled with rare
objects of beauty and interest, of great value. The guide who showed us
through the rooms carried himself in a most stately manner: his backbone
was surely made of iron, and ran up to the top of his head to hold on
his bushy wig, for he could not bend his body or turn his neck. Not
hearing one of his explanations in regard to a mosaic table, formerly
owned by Queen Elizabeth, I asked him what he said. This ‘Grand Mogul’
slowly whirled his entire breadth toward me, and articulated in a
monotone these words, ‘The explanation I have once rendered.’ I said, ‘I
am sorry I did not comprehend it, but, as you are here for the purpose
of explaining, will you please tell me the story of the table again.’ F.
was dazed, but the man changed his superior attitude, and from that on
through the entire castle he gave me his devoted attention. In one of
the halls is a wonderful table, entirely formed of precious stones,
which once belonged to the ill-fated Queen Marie Antoinette. Statues
and original busts of many old warriors and kings are here. There is a
red, a gilt, and a cedar drawing-room, all filled with really
magnificent paintings. I took great interest in studying the portraits
of Queen Elizabeth, the Earl of Leicester, and others who participated
in the gay life led near this spot.

In the grounds are Guy’s and Cæsar’s Towers, and in one of the
greenhouses we saw the celebrated Warwick Vase, which was found in the
bottom of a lake in Rome, as long ago as 1770, I think. The Earl and
family live here a part of the year, but are now in London. This estate
must bring the Earl quite a revenue, as from fifty to one hundred
persons visit it every day, and each one leaves a shilling or more.

Near the castle gate is the house where Walter Savage Landor was born,
and this whole Warwickshire is rich in the genius it has given to the
world. Green and Drayton opened their eyes on its illustrious soil, and
George Eliot, whose talent has enriched this age, here first saw light.
How can one feel like a common mortal, or lead an everyday life in a
country like this, so hallowed with historic and artistic associations.

‘Step out of the past now into the present,’ said F., ‘and I will tell
you a story of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary. Did I ever tell it to
you?’

‘I do not recollect any such story that you ever told. Was it a good
one?’

‘O yes!’

‘Then you never told it.’ I did not get the story.

Not far from the castle is a cathedral of considerable pretensions,
after visiting which, we were driven back to Leamington, having spent a
most delightful day. Finding that an express train would get us to
London to-night, we paid our bills, took our bags, bade good-by to the
pretty Spa and our pleasant landlady, and were soon off.



[Illustration: decorative bar]



LETTER III.

EDWARDS HOTEL, GEORGE ST., HANOVER SQ.,
LONDON, _June 20_.


Our rooms we had telegraphed for, so upon reaching the city we had
nothing to do but enter a cab and be driven to them. We have homelike
accommodations, and our meals served in our own private parlor.
Everything in the house is so quiet that I did not know but we had made
a mistake and got into a retreat for the deaf and dumb. F. thinks it
fine, but I must say that when I am at a hotel I like the bustle and
excitement of one.

The ‘office’ is a small room, presided over by two pretty young ladies,
who I imagine look upon us as intruders, but I talk _at_ them so much,
they are obliged to speak occasionally, although it seems an effort.
They drop their h’s, and I am sometimes puzzled to understand the little
information they condescend to give us.

‘Boots,’ too, is equally taciturn so far: I think we shall have to be
more liberal with our English shillings!

We hire our rooms here at a fair price, and make extra arrangements for
our meals. For breakfast, F. desired boiled eggs, and I chose fried.
Upon asking why my bill was more than hers, I was told that it was more
work to fry eggs than to boil them, and that is so. I look in vain for
ice-water: there is surely none around. I ask for some; and after
waiting long enough for water to freeze, am served with a pitcher of
water and a few small bits of ice in a glass. The Yankee ice-pitcher,
kept well filled, is an article unknown here.

Out into the streets of London! What a crowd, what a bustle! What
fine-looking gentlemen, every one with a button-hole bouquet! The
streets crowded with handsome turnouts dashing quickly along; why, we
cannot cross the streets without assistance. Boston is a quiet village
compared to this. Groups of ladies, and rosy-cheeked girls laughing and
chatting, all wearing flowers; even the horses and carriages are trimmed
with them. Lines of hansoms, with generally a lady in each. Little
children, with overpowering big hats and bonnets, trotting along with
their nurses. Showily uniformed Guards as thick as flies at a summer
hotel,--and this is London to-day.

Here is St. George’s Church, where so many of the aristocracy have taken
each other for better or for worse. And here in Hanover square is a fine
bronze statue of William Pitt. It looks to me like extraordinary good
work, but F. calls, ‘Come, you cannot spend much time cogitating over
any one man in this big place, dead or alive. If you want to soliloquize
over statues, come to St. Paul.’ And to St. Paul’s we went. There are
but two churches in the world larger than this: St Peter’s at Rome and
the Cathedral at Milan. As I tried to realize its immense proportions
before entering, I thought of the Yorkshire-man who brought his better
half to see the sights of London. ‘There, lass,’ said he, ‘there be
Paul’s Church. Ecod, he be a soizable one, he be.’ And we agreed with
him long before we finished seeing the interior and its contents. There
are many, many monuments, and some exceedingly costly and beautiful, but
it is utterly impossible to comprehend so much at once. Some of the
sculptures of the church, telling the touching story of the incarnation
and life of our Saviour, were sadly beautiful, especially the figure of
Mary with the child in her arms, and the ideal figure of the ‘Risen
Christ.’ The ornamentations of the church are greatly in gilt and
marble, but the most of the latter material looked as if it needed
‘scrubbing.’ The huge organ, which seemed to be built on both sides of
the choir, was being tested by some noted organist; so we had the
pleasure of hearing its rich, full, exquisitely musical tones.

Next we visited the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England; then made
our way to the ‘Tower,’ where kings and queens once lived, and where
many lost their heads. Just after entering the gates, a Guard approached
us, and without any apology or hesitation said, ‘Will you tell me the
name of the man who ran with Cleveland for president.’ As soon as we
could recover ourselves, we gladly gave him the desired information,
without expecting the usual shilling _we_ pay for asking a question
here. But we were astonished that he should have so quickly recognized
us as Americans, without hearing our voices. He returned to his comrade,
and they evidently resumed their interrupted conversation.

The ‘Tower of London’ is now something of a historic museum. The room
containing the real Crown jewels was of much interest to me. Queen
Victoria’s crown is there, which she wore at her coronation and has worn
several times since, on state occasions. It is a large, high crown,
principally of gold, with a narrow strip of ermine about the lower edge.
The upper portion is completely studded with precious stones, a blazing
mass of diamonds, emeralds, and rubies. Many other crowns and ornaments
are here, all containing jewels beyond value. They were indeed a sight
to behold, and really a delight to the eye. But before entering the
ground, in the street beyond, a weary, sunken-eyed woman, with an
emaciated child in her arms, asked me for enough money to buy some
bread. As I looked upon that scene and upon this, I felt the meaning of
the words which my maid at home uses when matters do not suit her,
‘There is a screw loose somewhere.’ Or perhaps over here the screw is
too tight. We went into the different rooms and towers where so many
royal prisoners suffered. In the Beauchamp Tower we found, amongst the
many inscriptions on the wall, the word ‘Jane,’ supposed to have been
placed there by the gentle, ill-starred Lady Jane Grey. We saw dungeons,
the bloody tower, the green where Anne Boleyn and many others were
executed; and all these places were so steeped with monstrous, cruel
deeds that it was a relief to turn away from them and shake off the
terrible memories.

We somehow felt heavy-hearted, and F. decided it would be a good thing
to see a different extreme, and take a look at ‘wax figgers.’ The
underground railway, our first ride of the kind, soon carried us to
Madame Tussaud’s museum.

These railways are, after all, not so very different from railways above
ground. There are so many stations where the daylight streams in, that
one does not have time to realize entire darkness. And what tremendous
space, thoroughly availed of, these stations give for advertisers. I
feel very familiar already with most of the stores, from these
advertising bills that stare us so conspicuously in the face.

Madame Tussaud was really an artist, and modelled greatly in clay and
wax. For a long time she lived at the Tuileries and at Versailles, as
companion for noted porsonages of the Court. She was highly educated,
and possessed large means, but the Revolution compelled her to leave
France. Having lost her property, she began to exhibit her ‘figures,’
and from that beginning has grown this large collection. A figure of
Voltaire, made by her from life, is simply wonderful. The entire
collection is much superior to the collection in the Eden Musee, New
York, and although some subjects are made to appear somewhat ridiculous,
the most are life-like and excellent. The murdered queens distressed
us; the wax ones have cheered us: and now for a ride in the open air!

We took outside seats on a tram, and rode to the National Museum. I
delight in these top seats; we get such unobstructed views of everything
about us.

We remained in the museum until the hour for closing, but only saw a
vast, immense accumulation of everything heard, unheard of, or dreamed
of.

How singular many of the expressions we hear, sound to us. Lemonade is
called lemon-squash; the price of an article is the tariff;
ticket-offices are booking-rooms; and baggage, luggage always. The money
gave me some annoyance at first, but I now generally know what is the
correct change to give or to receive, but have one coin on hand which
puzzles me: all that I can see on it is--‘Thanks be to God and to
Victoria.’ I cannot quite decide the value of it.

_June 21st._--Early this morning we sauntered toward St James’s Park,
noting the fine residences,--Marlborough House, the home of the Prince
of Wales and family, included. It is a plain, large building, dreary
looking; and our free to go and come American girl says, ‘I am thankful
I am not a princess. What a stupid time those girls, Louise, Maud, and
Victoria must have, shut up behind those walls without ever being able
to take a walk with “Tom, Dick, and Harry” unattended.’

An English lady told us, at our hotel, that there is a rumor that the
Princess Louise is very much in love with an English Earl much older
than herself. These girls are said to be all very plain looking,
inheriting none of the graces of their beautiful mother, who seems to be
greatly beloved by all the English people, and whose unfortunate
deafness excites heartfelt compassion and sympathy.

The houses in London, even homes of the greatest simplicity, are named,
and the names are generally placed where they can be plainly seen and
read. The names of the residences of the nobility, as well as many names
of the streets, often give us a clue to their founders, and are
therefore appropriate and helpful.

The Prince and Princess of Wales are now in Germany, on account of the
death of the Emperor Frederick, the husband of the oldest sister of the
Prince. The entire royal family are of course in deep mourning. In fact,
two thirds of all the people here are now dressed in black. Our little
chambermaid, at our hotel, did not appear this morning as early as usual
to give us her service, and when she made her appearance I asked her if
she was ill. She replied: ‘Not at all, but we have been ordered into
Court mourning, and I sat up late to get my black dress made, so felt
very weary, and slept late.’

We soon found ourselves near the military quarters, where we stopped to
see the Grenadiers, the Queen’s Guard, parade and drill, and to listen
to the fine music of the band.

Buckingham Palace is quite near enough to Marlborough House for
Alexandra to run over to her mother-in-law, Mrs Guelph, to borrow her
spoons, in case her own number should be insufficient for any little tea
party, or for the good grandmother to be called if the children should
unexpectedly ‘come down’ with the chicken-pox or the measles; it looks
as if it might be a real social neighborhood. The exterior of the
palace is of light-colored stone, but not nearly as fine a building as
we had expected to see, as the principal residence of the Queen. The
family had left for Windsor the day before. We were shown the royal
stables and saw the state coach. These royal residences do not impress
us as being in the least remarkable. They are immense in size, but
possess no merits in the way of architecture.

This part of London is very beautiful, with its handsome streets and
soft green-turfed parks.

We continued our walk to Westminster Abbey, and entered. If palaces have
not come up to my expectations, this far exceeds them. The church is
huge, built in the form of a Latin cross, a great pile of grandeur. The
interior is indeed most beautiful, and one might spend weeks within, and
yet feel that the half had not been seen. Such a succession of
wonderfully beautiful monuments and memorials to the distinguished,
illustrious, and talented dead. As works of art, this exquisite
sculpture delighted my eye more than anything I had ever seen. Kings
and queens lie here, statesmen and historians, generals and
philosophers, inventors and poets, and the remains of many that were
great on earth, and the beautiful marble covers them! But oh, I know I
would rather lie like the poorest peasant under the greensward, where
the sun could shine on my resting-place. The reclining statue of the
wife of Dean Stanley is lovely beyond description. The angelic
expression of the beautiful sweet face seems to tell us that she has
found rest in her ‘Father’s mansion’ and is satisfied. How short a time
ago does it seem that I heard the Dean in our own Trinity. His body now
rests here. The words inscribed on the monument in memory of Franklin,
the Arctic explorer, were sadly touching: so simple, and yet so full of
meaning:--

    O ye Frost and Snow!
    O ye Ice and Cold!

In the Poet’s Corner lies the mouldering dust of Thackeray, Southey,
Milton, Chaucer, Dickens, and many, many others, whose works will live
forever, and whose words and characters will carry companionship and
comfort into many a household, as do the lines of our own Longfellow,
of whom his English admirers have here placed a beautiful bust. It is of
pure white marble, and the likeness excellent. It stands between the
monuments of Cowley and Dryden. Some one had placed a fresh red rose in
the folds of the drapery, probably some American, sight-seeing like
ourselves, and it all brought our home so near to me that tears came
unbidden

    ‘Then the forms of the departed
       Enter at the open door:
     The beloved, the true-hearted,
       Come to visit me once more.’

And now, even in this temple of the dead, how sure we feel ‘There is no
death; what seems so is transition.’ A magnificent monumental chapel,
with costly statues and sculptures, surmounts the tomb of one of the
Henrys. Many other chapels, in memory of saints, are also here, with
aisles and transepts filled with monuments. The beautiful rose window
and the marigold window are worth crossing the ocean to see. But of the
numberless wonderful things here I must not now tell you much more,
only will tell you that the Coronation Chair we have touched, in which
have been crowned all the English sovereigns from Edward the Confessor
to Queen Victoria. I reluctantly left this sacred building impressed
deeply with its wonders.

We next went to a gorgeous restaurant to dine, fully coming to the
realization that we are still in the flesh. These London restaurants are
a surprise to us, in the quantity of excellent food they give, well
cooked and served, for very little money. I never before knew the real
meaning of a good mutton chop, for we get none in America like these
over here. The whitebait, here considered so great a delicacy, I do not
‘hanker’ for--should rather have a ‘Taunton herring.’

After dining, we visited a collection of paintings, an annual exhibition
by English artists. After looking about there, we went to the exhibition
of the Royal Academy of Arts, which gave us great pleasure. The Royal
Academy is a private society, and from its fund supports a fine-art
school; and the judges of paintings connected with the Academy are
considered so perfect in their estimates, that it increases the money
value greatly of a picture if accepted by them and hung at their
exhibitions. We were told that on an average ten thousand pictures are
sent them for every annual exhibit, but rarely over two thousand are
accepted. This, of course, causes some hard feeling amongst the artists.
A portrait of Sir William Jenner, physician to the Queen, by Frank Holl,
R. A., was most life-like. Many portraits by Herkomer were also
excellent, particularly one of his aged father and his own young sons.
One painting, named ‘A Hopeless Dawn,’ by Bramley, attracted me greatly.
It portrayed the full meaning of the quotation from Ruskin: ‘Human
effort and sorrow going on perpetually from age to age; waves rolling
forever, and winds moaning, and faithful hearts wasting and sickening
forever, and brave lives dashed away about the rattling beach like weeds
forever; and still, at the helm of every lonely boat, through starless
night and hopeless dawn, His hand who spreads the fisher’s net over the
dust of the Sidonian palaces, and gave into the fisher’s hand the keys
of the kingdom of heaven.’ Besides the oils and water-colors, the
collection of miniatures, etchings, drawings, engravings, and sculpture,
all exceptionally fine, gave us a rare pleasure. We here met the first
large assemblage of Londonites that we have seen. The élite of society
were present, and many noted persons pointed out to us. The ladies do
not dress as well as our own Americans, but I must give precedence to
the English gentlemen for both good looks and style, courtly manners and
taste in costumes.

Having occasion to be near the Houses of Parliament, we thought we would
utilize time by going in then and there. But how to get in? We had not
taken time, as yet, to call upon Mr. Phelps for letters, as we had meant
to do later, having a letter of introduction to our Minister from a
personal friend of his and our own. ‘But time in London is precious,’
said F., ‘so let us try.’ Parliament was in session, and being earnestly
anxious to see its workings, we screwed our courage to its utmost
tension and proceeded. After battling with a half-dozen Guards and
coaxing another half-dozen, we found ourselves inside the Lobby. An
immense concourse of ladies and gentlemen were in the corridors, waiting
their turn to be admitted, and our chances without a pass began to look
rather doubtful. However, with true Yankee pluck I looked over the faces
of the officials, and finally settled upon an amiable-appearing one,
belonging to a ‘Sergeant-at-arms’ and approached him--told him our
situation, and appealed to him for aid. He was every inch a gentleman,
and evidently anxious to assist us. Told us the only possible way to get
in was to send our card to a member. Yes, but we only knew names of
members, unfortunately; not one personally. Lowering his voice he said,
‘I have a brother inside, an official: give me your cards; I will send
them to my brother to give to Hon. ---- ----. He is the champion and the
favorite of all ladies, and never refuses, at any sacrifice, to do them
a favor.’ We wrote ‘Boston, U. S. A.,’ in the corner of our pasteboards
(which is, we find, a good place to hail from), and they went from us to
seek their fortune and ours. Word soon came back, brought by a handsome
page, that Mr. ---- was then delivering a speech, but would see us soon.
We waited some time, with much about us to take our attention, when a
Guard called in stentorian tones, ‘The Hon. Mr. ----.’ We arose as we
were told to do by our new-found ally, and saw approaching us a small,
pleasant-faced gentleman, who immediately extended his hand with words
of welcome, as if we were expected guests. To the kind-hearted, gallant,
and courteous Irish M. P. shall we ever be grateful! A way was made for
us into the gallery of the chamber of peers, from which we had a good
view of the brilliant show below. Many ladies were present on the
benches, mostly peeresses or relatives of nobility. Later, our kind
escort sent for us to take seats in the ladies’ gallery of the House of
Commons, which, not without difficulty, he had secured. We realize the
great honor of being here, and yet it is a good deal like sitting up in
an organ loft, or being placed, front side out, in a bread toaster, for
we are separated from the M. P.’s by metal spokes. The reporters have a
place under us, and the members occupy the other galleries and the
three or four hundred seats about the tables. A member was speaking, but
his enunciation was so poor that I failed to understand him; so spent
the time in looking about. Gladstone was present, but did not speak; I
had a very good view of him. He does not look at all ‘John Bullish,’ in
the old sense of the expression, but is a refined, modest-looking
gentleman, with rather a tired-out air about him. A number with wigs and
gowns, some stiff-appearing functionaries wearing garbs that looked as
if they were prepared for the stage, many pages rushing hither and
thither, the buzz of voices, and the hand-clapping, all made a
bewildering scene. It seemed very much out of keeping with the usually
ceremonious proceedings of the Commons, to see the members costumed in
perfect evening dress, wearing their hats.

In the House of Lords the throne is the chief object of interest, and
the peers, upon entering, always salute it, I presume as something of a
compliment to royalty. It contains three seats: the middle one is the
Queen’s, the right-hand one that of the Prince of Wales, and the one on
the left has not been allowed to be occupied since the death of Prince
Albert. When the Lord Chancellor takes his seat in this room, he wears a
red gown, an ermine mantle, a big wig, and a three-cornered hat. We
thanked our new-made friend for his unusual kindness, for he really
seemed determined to make us feel that showing us about was the greatest
pleasure of his lifetime, and we left the Houses at ten P.M., with the
workings going on as lively as if just commenced.

I think the manners of a Massachusetts legislative body superior in
dignity to those of the members of the House of Commons. But who under
the gilded dome on Beacon Hill would give himself as much trouble to
entertain a strange English lady, as our member took upon himself to
entertain us! Do not all speak at once, gentlemen.

_Friday, June 22nd._--The clerk of the weather will come in rightfully
for his share of praise, for another bright morning greets us. We took
an early start for the National Gallery. Turner has here the most of
his works. Some of his paintings, although not considered as masterly as
his Slave Ship, please me better, but it seems to me he delights in
capricious methods in the use of his brush. It is a treat to our eyes to
see the originals of Landseer, Rosa Bonheur, and other works of artists
which have become familiar to us from engravings. One of Raphael’s
Madonnas is here, and long held our attention. London is full of
artists, and in the galleries we see hundreds of students copying, and
some excellent work they do. Here lives Herkomer, who was with us at one
time, also Millais, Sir Frederick Leighton, Alma Tadema, and others
whose talent has brought them large fortunes. The chimes ring out our
hour for leaving, although our time here has not been half long enough.
I love these chime bells! And nearly all of the churches have them, and
sweetly do they sound their pretty airs.

A drive of about four miles brought us to the exhibition of the Royal
Military Tournament. The pavilion contained an aristocratic audience,
and the good horsemanship of the soldiers, on their handsome and
well-trained animals, was a novel sight. A lady sat next me with her two
little girls and their maid. The children had material enough in their
bonnets to have covered them all over comfortably, but their legs were
bare to the knees and looked cold, for the wind had changed, and a damp
draught chilled us. I offered part of my lap-wrap to the little ones,
and the mother kindly thanked me, but added, ‘They do not need it if
only their heads are warm; they cannot take cold; one never takes cold
in the legs, you know.’ And undoubtedly English mothers all agree with
her, for the children’s limbs are universally unprotected from the
weather. They wear heavy shoes but short stockings. I have already come
to the opinion that it is not of much use to differ with the English. If
we do, differently from them, they feel a little sorry for us that we do
not know the better way, which is always their way.

This evening we went to the Covent Garden Theatre to hear Minnie Hauk,
in ‘Carmen.’ Not wishing to take time to get into full dress, we changed
our hats, substituting pretty, light-colored evening ones, and added
fresh, sweet roses to our costumes, and started, and thought our
appearance would do ourselves and all else credit. But to our
discomfort, opinions differed, and we could not be admitted to our box
without leaving our pretty head-gear outside, where they had no chance
of being seen and admired. After getting comfortably seated, we looked
about us. The ladies were dressed as if for a grand ball, silks, satins,
velvets, and tulles, of every color, composed the gowns, invariably made
décolleté--‘much, more, and most’ décolleté. Gentlemen were, of course,
all in dress suits, and every one wearing and carrying flowers. It was
indeed a brilliant scene, but I like the more modest costuming of our
own countrywomen, in public places, better. Displays like this, it seems
to me, should be made only, if at all, at private gatherings. The
setting of the opera and the music were superb. Hauk’s voice has
improved wonderfully since heard in America some years ago. She is a
great favorite here, and many of the aristocracy were of the audience,
and a loudly enthusiastic one it was. All the principal artists were
deluged with flowers, and Hauk received a laurel wreath of solid gold
leaves at the close of the last act. Prices to first-class
entertainments here are higher than in America, and programmes have to
be paid for always. They employ young women as ushers. Between acts,
ices and cool drinks are brought to the audience, but a round price is
asked for them. We lingered to see the people more distinctly as they
left their seats. The ladies lack the grace and beauty of Americans, but
look bright, rosy-cheeked, and healthful, but the gentlemen are
certainly superior in looks, carriage, and physique. Our little newsy
chambermaid tells us the London gentlemen all wear ‘stays.’ I wonder if
they do!

_Saturday, June 23d._--What an immense city London is, to be sure!
Twenty miles long or more, and just as bustling at one end as the other.
There is such a mass of everything that it is almost overpowering.
To-day we have been driven through some of the best and some of the
worst streets in the city. We saw ‘The Old Curiosity Shop,’ and many
other spots immortalized by Dickens. We have looked into some of the
old churches and some of the new ones. Have been into the best stores,
and there are many fine ones. We find furs and silks cheaper, and
cottons dearer than at home. We could not find a pair of French kid
boots of a good shape in all London, and rubber overshoes are not kept
at all. We walked across London Bridge to take a look at the river,
crowded with barges, boats, ships, and water-craft of every make and
shape. We took luncheon at the Holborn Restaurant, and thought we had
stepped into a palace, so sumptuous were the surroundings. It was very
pleasing to take our bouillon on a mosaic table, surrounded with Carrara
marble statuary, and listening to the strains of lulling, restful music.

After replenishing the ‘inner man,’ we boarded a little steamer for a
sail up the Thames. The banks of the river are full of interest. The
water of the lower part is thick and muddy, and I should think that even
a desperate, would-be suicide would turn from it disgusted. As we go up
farther, where the shipping is less, it becomes clearer. Excursion
steamers, barges, and yachts, freighted with humanity, are busily plying
up and down, and the bridges open gracefully to let us pass. The river
itself, with the Victoria Embankment on the one side and the Albert
Embankment on the other, the fine buildings, the parks, and the noble
trees, all seen through the rich atmosphere of this perfect June day,
make a picturesque and enjoyable impression, not soon to be forgotten.

We landed, on our return, where we could take a carriage for Hyde Park.
As we are in London ‘in the season,’ in the Park, about five P.M., we
see all the ‘swelldom’ driving and riding, for it is here they take
their airing. The Park itself is lovely, with large, perfect roads and
walks, grand, magnificent old trees, plump, clean sheep and graceful
deer grazing contentedly, as well they may in such quarters. The
kaleidoscope views of the interminable throng in the ‘Drive’ and the
‘Row,’ the fine horses, the gorgeous equipages, the showy liveries, and
the gay toilettes, are bewildering. Here surely is abundance of style.
Here are hundreds of elegant turnouts, many with armorial bearings,
fours-in-hand, sixes-in-hand, dog-carts, T-carts, tandems, and phaetons;
footmen and coachmen in livery of red and white, and red and gilt, some
with wigs and some without. Here comes a pony carriage with a load of
laughing children, there an antiquated yellow-bodied ducal coach, with
postilions well powdered and the dowagers inside looking powdered also;
a low buggy with a light-blue body, and a blue-ribboned girl with ‘her
young man’ beside her looking into her blue eyes; a black carriage hung
high, footmen and coachmen in black, and the ladies within draped in
crape. And this is Hyde Park! Solemnity and gayety! Prince and commoner
meet, and all are lookers on. The boats on the Serpentine, and that
wonderful pile of marble and bronze, the Albert Memorial, next attracted
us. The marble groups representing the four great nations, and the
bas-reliefs of great artists and poets, are fine. Although London is so
immense and so crowded, its people have plenty of beautiful breathing
spots, more beautiful than the people of any other city, unless the
Parisians. To our hotel to dress and out to dinner, our first dinner
here with friends.

Our visit in a London home, last evening, was delightful, we were so
cordially welcomed and so hospitably entertained. The house, in one of
the best streets of the city, was a large, square one with hall in the
centre. The rooms were spacious, with dark finishings and furnishings,
therefore not wearing the cheery look of our own homes. The massiveness
of the elaborately carved furniture seemed to overshadow heavily the
very few ornamental articles displayed. There were no paintings on the
walls, but a small gallery in the rear of the house contained a good
collection. The effect of the living rooms without the bright, living
faces would have been somewhat sombre. I think a happy medium would be
desirable, a little more bric-a-brac in European homes and a little less
in our own, in which I have often had to navigate carefully to avoid
running against ornamental articles. The English people are at their
best under their own ‘fig-tree.’ They build homes for a lifetime, and
for their children and grandchildren after them. They make but few
changes in them, and the women particularly stay, or ‘stop’ as they
would say, the greater portion of their lives in their homes, for as a
people they travel but little. They are very hospitable after once
having been introduced, and entirely at ease in entertaining, as an
English household is rarely without its guests. Our host, an M. P., has
a house in the country, and they only spend the ‘season’ in town. The
English greatly love the country and out-of-door life and sports.
Several friends of our entertainers had been invited to meet us, and we
found them all very gracious and charming. I think the English are a
good deal like a Devonshire pie,--wearing a thick crust, but when once
the crust is broken the ‘goodies’ are unusually delicious. Our menu at
dinner consisted of soup, fish, entrée, roast-beef, chicken, and desert,
with wines and coffee. No carving was done at the table. The vegetables
were brought in served in individual dishes. By the way, no vegetables
are palatably prepared in England, for they are never seasoned. The
English keep many servants, and at this dinner there seemed to be a
servant for every guest. The English are great eaters, but they take
plenty of time to do it in. The general appearance of the setting of the
table was not different from our own home tables; perhaps more flowers,
and more beautiful ones. I mention these details to show you that
dinners informal here do not vary much from the same in America. Our
pleasant evening with Mr. M. and his lovely family will long be
remembered.

_Sunday, June 24th._--No London fog yet! We have had but one unpleasant
day since we have been here. To-day is simply perfect. There is a
‘shimmer’ about these lovely June mornings that can be felt but not
described. Out with the crowd of churchgoers go we, and, to the credit
of the English people be it said, they all go to church. We first went
to old St. Giles’. Here we saw the tomb of Milton. What a safe, homelike
feeling it brings us to hear in far-away lands our precious church
service. Somehow it gives us a sense of security, of encouragement, such
as a child in the dark feels, when he hears his mother’s voice.

From St. Giles’ we wandered into a church near by, where a young man was
preaching to a large congregation. From his fine presence and good
voice, we hoped to hear also a good sermon--but were disappointed. He
seemed to suppose the Creator knew but little, and that it was his duty
to inform Him: he told Him of the needs of London, and especially of the
wants of his churchpeople. The only good part of the service was the
music.

Later, we seated ourselves on a Thames steamer, which had evidently put
on its Sunday dress, and sailed up to Kew. I can give to you no
description of these beautiful gardens. They contain, I believe, the
largest conservatories in the world. The ferns and the palms were
forests of cool, green loveliness. The Victoria Regia lily is here, in
unsurpassed beauty. We wandered off into a shady, retired nook, and
seated ourselves on the grass, a lovely sheet of water in front of us,
birds trilling their vespers about us, and the myriads of blossoms
wafting to us their fragrant incense. It was all to us a sermon that
was good for us. ‘For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy works;
and I will rejoice in giving praise for the operations of thy hands.’

Next, we went by carriage to Richmond, a place of great historic
interest and attractions. The drive was beautiful. The distant views
were lovely. We passed many stately residences, surrounded by well-kept
grounds, ivy and flowers in abundance. But the English will build high
walls about their country homes, thus shutting themselves, oyster-like,
from the passers-by. These unsightly walls spoil what would without them
delight the eye. We stopped on Richmond Hill to see the beautiful views
from that elevation, and were well repaid. The river going on and on,
the meadows, the hills, the elms and the chestnuts throwing dark
shadows, the heaths and downs, the farm-houses and the mansions, Windsor
in the distance, and the peculiar mellowness of the whole landscape,
were worth the looking upon. At Hampton Court we took a look at the rich
tapestries and the paintings, including the ‘Hampton Court Beauties.’
This old court has echoed to the footsteps of many kings and many noted
in history. Cardinal Wolsey fitted the place up in regal style, meaning
to give it the honor of his own presence, but King Henry looked on with
jealous, envious eyes, and asked him his reasons for having made so
costly a palace. The wily Cardinal was ingenious in his reply,
answering--‘To show how noble a palace a subject may offer to his king.’
This palace is now used as a home by members of the nobility whose
incomes have been reduced. We spent a short time in the park and then
started toward London, a distance of twelve miles or more. We were
fortunate in securing front seats on a tally-ho coach, drawn by four
handsome gray horses. We stocked ourselves well with delicious fruit,
which the venders pass up to us on poles, temptingly arranged in little
baskets, and on we went over a beautiful road, through the glorious
Bushey Park, with its majestic elms and chestnuts. ‘O, we have no such
rural beauty as England!’ said I. ‘But we shall have when we are as
old,’ said my true American beside me.

And that reminds me of what a gentleman at Leamington said, in answer to
my question, ‘How do you get the beautiful green your lawns wear?’

‘We only water the grass,’ he replied.

‘But,’ said I, ‘we keep our American lawns well watered and they do not
look like yours.’

‘You forget, Madame, that we have watered ours for centuries,’ said he
with a smile.

At last we enter the city, and drive through, through, through it, a
long, long way. Crowds of people in the streets, crowds in the parks,
crowds everywhere! Men are preaching on the corners, women singing,
members of the Salvation Army exhorting and praying, and at last we
reach our journey’s end safely. It is ten P.M., and yet not dark, so
long are these English twilights!

_June 25th._--The third one of our trio has again joined us, much to our
satisfaction, and to-day we have been to the Crystal Palace, the
Zoological Gardens, and have accomplished one hundred and one other
things. In the palace there is much to be seen--pictures, sculpture, and
other works of art. To-day an unusual crowd had gathered there to
attend the concert in the large hall in the afternoon. We were fearful
we might not be able, owing to the jam, to see all we came for, and here
we desire to thank again the secretary of the association for his
kindness toward us. If the English gentlemen are all like those we have
come in contact with, I for one shall ever sing their praises. Here we
heard ‘The Messiah’ by the ‘Handel and Haydn’ society. Albani and
Lillian Norton were two of the artistes, which quite Americanized the
company, and all were almost perfect in their parts. In the evening
elaborate pyrotechnic displays were made, which with the colored lights
and fountains, the bands playing, a company of ballet dancers performing
out-of-doors, and the army of gayly dressed people, made it seem like
veritable fairy-land. It is all alluring, but we must turn our backs
upon it, as we have an invitation to ‘The Criterion’ to see Windom as
David Garrick. The play was well acted, and when over, a supper at a
fine restaurant near, where a choir of boys sang to us beautiful glees,
with their sweet voices, ended another enjoyable day. We have seen much
in London, and must leave much unseen, nor can I here tell you of the
half we have seen, but have given you some ideas of what I thought you
would best like to hear about.

Of our trip to Brighton I believe I have not said a word, but will now
tell you a little about it, as it was different from any other. Brighton
is the largest and most fashionable of all English watering-places, but
as it is not yet the season there, the place had rather a deserted air.
It is a city of brick, and the houses look as if built to remain
forever, as does everything else in England. There is an esplanade of
solid stone, with promenades on top; on the one side of it is the beach
and sea, and on the other the large hotels and fine houses. A part of
every day’s programme is to dress in one’s best, and promenade up and
down the esplanade, but the promenaders all looked as solemn as if on
their way to a funeral. The ladies smiled not, and the men looked as if
they had iron pokers run up and down their backs, arms akimbo, heads
bent back to assist the glass over one eye to stay in place,--all quite
English, ‘you know.’ On the beach were plenty of ‘bathing machines,’
which are really bathhouses on wheels, bath-chairs, and children with
their nurses, and in the surf a few bathers. The ladies seemed to have
more on than our water-nymphs at Narragansett Pier, and the gentlemen
apparently wore but little clothing; in fact, I was reminded of pictures
I used to see in my geography, of the costumes worn by natives in--well,
I think it was Africa; but they carried themselves, even in the water,
with dignity. Our drive back to London on a tally-ho was delightful.

We have been favored here with pleasant weather, but I can imagine how
grim and black certain parts of the city would look, in bad. They use
much coal here, and, as everywhere else, it leaves its mark. We have
seen the best of London, and we have had glimpses of her rich citizens
and of her poor. There are many rich families here, because their wealth
has been inherited, just as the poor have inherited their poverty.
Families here keep in about the same groove that their ancestors did
before them. The Queen is greatly beloved, and we all know she is a good
woman and a gracious sovereign. Of the Prince of Wales, also, I hear
many good things. But why should there be such a thing as ‘royalty?’ How
much better and higher is the code of self-government, than servile
obedience to any king or queen, human beings like ourselves. I could not
breathe freely as a citizen of a country where son of mine could not
take the highest place in the nation, if he were worthy of it and the
people’s choice. Thank God that ‘in the land of the free,’ our own
America, we can be whatever we make ourselves, and not what the accident
of birth has made us. Of ‘Merrie England,’ however, I shall carry away
with me grateful remembrances of her people, and a score of memories of
the beautiful land itself, which will ever be a source of enjoyment to
summon.



[Illustration: decorative bar]



LETTER IV.

JUNE 26, 1888.


From London to New Haven by rail, and there took steamer to cross the
English Channel. It was stormy and very rough, and nearly all but our
party succumbed to sea-sickness. We could not remain outside, the storm
was so severe, and the close proximity of the _mal-de-mer_ victims
proved a little contagious. The gong sounded for dinner, but I feared
dinner and my stomach would not agree, and remembering my determination
not to be sick, turned my back upon those that were, took a bright
little story, and soon got so interested in it that I entirely got over
my nearness to a capitulation. But we decided we liked the sea better
than the choppy Channel.

We landed at Dieppe, and stepped upon French soil! We looked about the
queer old French town with our usual enthusiasm and curiosity, and then
proceeded to Rouen. Had three hours there. We dined in the garden of our
inn, on a table in an arbor covered with yellow roses of a peculiarly
sweet fragrance. The people looked at us with as much wonderment in
their faces as we at them. And what a bedlam their clatter makes to be
sure. Well for us that our escort can understand every language under
the sun--good, bad, or indifferent. We took a carriage and were driven
about the town. We went inside of three cathedrals, and we saw the spot
where Joan of Arc was burned. The streets of the old town are very
narrow, the houses queer and foreign. All of the women and children
seemed to be sitting out of doors, with knitting work in hand. They wear
little close caps and wooden shoes, and the skin of the women looks like
shrivelled leather. I am told that the lower class of the citizens of
Dieppe are very superstitious, that they believe, if the souls of those
drowned are not prayed for by their living relatives, at every
midnight, for one year, a terrible storm will arise, and the ghosts of
the departed appear to them.

At four P.M. we took train for Paris, running through a pretty country,
with fields of red poppies and large orchards of cherry trees, red with
ripe fruit. We bought them at every station, and most delicious were
they. The many hamlets or clusters of little thatched cottages, so very
close together, looked at least social.

At eleven P.M. our train rolled into the station in the city of Paris;
and such a babel! Why will these people chatter so fast? We had no
trouble with our trunks, and with them were immediately driven to our
engaged apartments, in Rue Clement Marot, where we are to remain during
our stay. The name of the street has the right sound, at any rate, for
Marot was not only a poet but a philosopher, and his philosophy we may
need in ‘doing’ Paris.

_Paris, Wednesday, June 27th, 1888._--Our hostess and her family have
given us a cordial welcome, and we already feel quite at home. Our
apartments are convenient and prettily furnished, and we are to be very
happy here, I am sure. Our journey of yesterday tempted me to sleep late
this morning, but F---- let in the bright daylight, with an exclamation
of disapprobation at time in Paris being spent in slumber. So I was soon
ready, feeling like ‘a new top,’ for the day’s whirl. We have here,
served early in our rooms, or in the breakfast room, as we choose, rolls
and coffee. At noon we have ‘déjeuner à la fourchette;’ at five, tea;
and at seven a sumptuous dinner. A sweet young lady from Beverly and
several New Yorkers are of the household, so we make a pleasant family
party. We are near the Champs Elysées, and this part of the city is
beautiful--broad, fine streets shaded with trees. We took an early drive
in this vicinity, and were later left at the Salon, spending several
hours there. What a bewildering collection of pleasing pictures! I do
love these paintings of lovely faces, of home scenes, of restful bits of
scenery, by these modern artists. We so feel them; we comprehend them;
they gladden the heart as well as the eye. The painting which won the
first prize this year was a battle-piece by D’Etaille. I recall a
picture at the Metropolitan Museum, in New York, by this same artist.
Meissonier had been his teacher, and he had also been chosen to award
the prizes, but when he attempted to address this man, his successful
pupil, he could not speak, and impulsively threw his arms about him and
burst into tears and kissed him. Surely there was no envy there. We have
seen many of Meissonier’s pictures here, and they are all wonderful in
their exactness to nature. His portraits are very life-like, and one
almost sees the blood go and come under the skin, so natural are the
flesh-tints. Pictures, like poems, must be read to be appreciated. But
to me, the most that I have seen of Turner’s I should label ‘Sanscrit,’
not being able to read them. For instance, the one called ‘Tapping the
Furnace:’ I searched in vain in it for any object that looked like a
furnace, and I thought of the story I had heard of the farmer’s wife,
whose city cousin took her to see paintings in London. She looked at
Turner’s ‘The Day after the Deluge’--put on her spectacles, and read the
title: ‘Well! I should think it wur,’ said she and passed on. Great
minds possess an intuition by which they can see farther into things
than ordinary minds can, and such minds probably understand and admire
Turner.

On the river Seine are hundreds of little steamers plying up and down,
from which one gets good views of the river’s banks. From one we were
much amused to see how the washing of Paris is done. The washerwomen
bring their clothes to the river and wade in quite a distance, and rub
them in the muddy-looking water. We saw old women, pretty girls, and
children all thus at work. I cannot imagine what keeps them from having
rheumatism, neuralgia, and all the diseases that flesh is heir to. How
linen can be made to look white in such water I do not understand, and
yet some which we had laundered, and returned to us this morning, was
immaculate--white skirts and furbelows included, all for two francs a
dozen.

We stepped from our steamer on shore, near Notre Dame, and entered this
cathedral, which, from pictures and descriptions familiar to us, seemed
quite like an old acquaintance. The exterior is a regular cruciform,
with an octagon end. At the other extreme are two lofty square towers,
and back of them a spire, surmounted with a gilt cross. The outside is
also adorned with some massive statues. The multitude of statues, of
bas-reliefs, of beautiful sculpture, in the interior of the building, is
wonderful in design, richness and beauty. The subjects are mostly from
church history. There are many statues of the Virgin and Child, and the
expressions of all are angelic and peaceful, and yet each one greatly
differs from the rest. The face of St. Martin, who is represented in the
act of sharing his mantle with a beggar, to protect him from the cold,
is heavenly in its sweetness and beauty, and one turns again and again
to look at it. Some of the subjects, however, are not as pleasing or as
helpful. The Last Judgment is portrayed in three parts: the second scene
represents the separation of the righteous from the sinners, but the
faces of the ‘elect’ had such a victorious, triumphant, ‘I told you so’
look, as they gazed down upon their condemned brothers and sisters, that
my sympathies were entirely with the sinners, and I thought I should
rather have cast my lot with them. Amongst the sculptures of the Arch is
a remarkable one of the Saviour trampling the wicked under His feet, and
motioning to Satan to drag them off to hell. This is not our idea of the
Saviour, who has said, ‘Come unto me,’ and ‘There shall be one fold and
one Shepherd.’ The sacristy of the cathedral consists of a lofty hall
(all of the large churches of Europe have sacristies and treasuries, in
which are kept the valuables belonging to the church) and in this one we
saw wealth untold. Church utensils, mitres, crosses, crosiers, swords,
and many other articles, studded with precious stones, dazzling in their
splendor. The robes which were worn by Pius VII. at the coronation of
Napoleon I. were exhibited to us: they were very richly embroidered with
silver and gold. A statue, as large as life, of the Virgin and Child,
made of solid silver, is also here.

We next went to the church of St. Eustache. The altar of this church is
exceedingly high, and composed of pure white marble, exquisitely
sculptured, and the church also contains fine frescoes. Took a glance
at the church of St. Germaine, which was the favorite place of worship
of the Empress Eugénie. Also took in St. Chappelle, where we heard some
soul-stirring music. All of these cathedrals are rich in stained glass,
and are of immense proportions and varied beautiful architecture.

Feeling that we could not comprehend the wonders of any more churches in
one day, we changed our train of thoughts to justice, by going through
the Palais de Justice and into several other handsome public buildings.
My eyes were brightened, also, by a look at the glitter of brilliant
gems in the shops of the Palais Royal, although the other wise minds
thought time thus spent a waste. ‘Stores enough in New York and Boston,’
they said; but oh, not such stores! How bright, how tempting the
contents of those windows were! The shopkeepers of Paris think all
Americans millionaires, and under some circumstances it might be
flattering to be thus considered, but in shopping in Paris it is
unfortunate, as in many stores here I am sure they advance the price of
articles when an American seems to wish to purchase. I very much
desired to obtain an odd little pin in one of the shops, but found it
much dearer than I expected. The next day the daughter of my hostess
secured it for me for about half the amount they valued it at when they
thought _I_ wished to buy it. But this is not the principle of all the
stores, by any means.

The cabs of Paris are a great convenience. They are cheap to employ, and
are handsome and most comfortable, much the shape of our Victorias. They
use good, well-kept looking horses, well harnessed, and the _cochers_
are attentive and polite. For all of this one has only to pay one franc
to be carried anywhere within the city limits, or two persons can ride
one hour for two francs. When I think of my carriage bills at home, in
the party season especially, I feel like staying in Paris--and riding on
forever--it is such a great pleasure for so little money.

During the day, we secured tickets for the opera this evening, but there
were as many forms to go through with as we have for the inauguration of
the President of the United States, and when the desired articles are
at last transferred to the purchasers’ hands, at the rate of five
dollars apiece, they are so cumbrous that one needs a valet to carry
them. Our own method of going to the ticket window and quickly securing
our little pieces of pasteboard, for half the money, is much better.
After a fully appreciated dinner at home we arrayed ourselves for the
entertainment, knowing better than to go in street costume, or with
bonnets on, this time. Our box was a lower one, in the centre of the
row, and from which we had a fine opportunity of seeing the audience and
the beautiful interior of this house. It is simply magnificent. The
decorations are rich, light, and cheerful. The vestibule and stairways
are gorgeous and dazzling. About the halls and corridors are placed
tables, where between acts the ladies and gentlemen sit, and sip cool
drinks and ices, chatting and laughing as if life were all a gala day.
All are in full dress, and the ladies’ gowns are exquisitely made and
worn; low corsages, with diamond necklaces clasped around the throats of
the fair wearers, predominate. As these French ladies and their
dark-moustached escorts promenade over the white marble stairs to the
strains of the sweet music, it is a gay and festive scene. We watched,
with much interest and admiration, one very beautiful girl, the very
loveliest of them all, and how delighted we were when we heard her
speak, and found her to be an American. The opera was ‘L’Africaine,’ and
was gorgeously set and grandly rendered. It was one A.M. when we reached
home, but our kind hostess was waiting for us, to have the pleasure, as
she said, of serving us with strawberries and cream.

By the way, such delicious cherries, strawberries, raspberries, and
apricots as we have here do not grow in America. The market women drag
the fresh, luscious fruits in wagons through the streets, and for a few
sous one gets his fill.

_Thursday, June 28, 1888._--Another morning spent in the Salon, and I
wish we could have had time to have given the entire day there. We
lingered before our favorite pictures, and at last turned reluctantly
away from them, as from living friends. Spent the next hour at the
Trocadero and its beautiful garden. The hall in the ‘Palace of the
Trocadero’ will seat 10,000 people. The aquarium and museum connected
are of much interest. Some of the statuary and sculpture are so
beautiful that it seems impossible that human hands could have carved
the speaking faces from blocks of marble. It is opposite here that the
Exposition of 1889 is to be held. Museums in Paris are as thick as plums
in a Thanksgiving pudding. Going toward the Madeleine, we stopped in the
flower-market; tables and baskets were piled with flowers,--tons of
them--cut flowers, and potted plants in bloom, and selling for a ‘mere
song’ compared with home prices. We have so often looked eagerly in the
florists’ windows on Tremont Street, just wishing and longing for even
one jacquiminot, but when that took a dollar we had often to be
satisfied with looking. ‘And now,’ said F., ‘we will have all we want;
we will wear them, and smell them, to our hearts’ content, and is not
Paris delightful, and what a good time we are having!’ Loaded with sweet
blossoms, we strayed into the Madeleine, and seated ourselves just as a
bridal party was entering the other aisle. We were uninvited but
sympathetic guests. The bride looked very young, with a pretty face and
figure, and a confiding, trustful manner; and when the groom, rather a
distinguished-looking Frenchman, took her hand, and promised to love and
cherish always, our hearts and lips cried Amen! We hope this little
bride chose her own husband, for husbands, here, we are told, are
generally selected by the parents of the girls for them, and they rarely
rebel. Nearly all marriages among the wealthy class are ‘mariages de
convenance.’ Indeed, a young girl here has a sorry sort of a time of it
before she is married; she cannot be alone with gentlemen long enough to
know whom she would like to choose for a husband, and consequently is
more willing to accept submissively the one chosen for her, for marriage
brings to her more freedom, liberty of action, and pleasure.

Since here, we invited a French lady to go to an entertainment with us.
She accepted, but came to us later to apologize and decline, as she
found herself obliged to chaperone her daughter, who was going to a
garden party with Monsieur M., and of course could not go with a man
alone. ‘Why, what is the matter with her man? Is he a lunatic?’ said F.
‘I went shopping alone yesterday, and asked information about the shops
and streets of several of the genus, and they all seemed sane and
gentlemanly.’ ‘Yes,’ was the lady’s reply, ‘they knew you to be an
American, and American girls can do as they please here, unmolested, for
they have always so respected themselves that all respect them.’ We were
glad of the compliment for our countrywomen. The new-made wife and
husband, with bridesmaids and ‘assistants’ (as they term, here, the
ushers) and their friends, passed from the church, with our best wishes.
This noted church is Grecian in style. Its altars are of carved wood and
gold. The huge bronze doors have illustrations of the Ten Commandments
in bas-relief. The altar is richly sculptured, and one portion of it
represents angels bearing Magdalen to Paradise on their wings. Our good
escort lights candles in all churches we enter, and the longest ones
too, for the forgiveness of our sins, so I trust ere we leave this land
we may be immaculate.

Out of the church, with all its holy sacredness and beauty, into the
sunlight and the brightness of the streets. A barouche is waiting for
us, in which we are soon seated, and rapidly dashing along on the
asphalt pavement of the most beautiful boulevard in the whole world, the
Champs Elysées. The avenue is broad, flanked with stately residences and
beautiful rows of elms and limes, and long shady parks. We sped along,
meeting showy equipages filled with gay people, behind high steppers
managed by light-colored costumed coachmen, with remarkably big buttons.
Many are on horseback, and the broad sidewalks are filled with happy
promenaders. Surely it was a merry sight, and all were enjoying it in
the rich atmosphere of this lovely June day. We paused, to see the Arc
de Triomphe, then passed under it to the Bois de Boulogne, a lovely park
and driveway, with lakes, cool groves, fountains, cascades, rustic
houses and seats, and everything beautiful to make it what it is, a
delightful resort. We alighted, sailed about the lake in a
Cleopatra-like barge, sat at a vine-covered table, and drank the sweet
milk that a pretty, black-eyed milkmaid brought to us fresh from her
cow, and felt that this was our ‘life’s holiday.’

A lady, a Bostonian too, but whose home has been here for several years,
said to me to-day: ‘And so you live in Boston. Why, it makes me blue to
even think of Boston, with its stiff society, its spectacled women, and
its doleful teas!’ But I could not agree with her. Another lady, now
living here, a woman of wealth and rare intelligence, told me that she
spent a year in Boston, and that repeatedly she had been a guest at
small parties and large ones, where she had not been introduced to any
one of the assemblage. Such a neglect, in the best society of Europe,
would be considered a great breach of politeness or a marked rudeness.
Here, all persons invited to meet at the house of a friend consider it
almost obligatory to speak with each other, if by chance or oversight
they are not presented, and it is the custom for the hostess of an
invited company to have her daughters and their young lady friends move
amongst the guests, to see that all are introduced, and are having a
pleasant, enjoyable time.

Shall I tell you our menu for dinner to-night? It will be, I am sure,
rather different from your own. But at our Paris home everything is
deliciously cooked and served, and E. says we had better make the most
of it; food will not be as temptingly prepared for us in Germany. First,
soup, followed by fish, cheese, and radishes, preserves and mustard,
roast beef and maccaroni, potatoes, chicken and salad, cake,
strawberries, cherries, and apricots, with wines of various kinds, all
followed by coffee.

I forgot to tell you that in our drive to-day we met Sara Bernhardt; she
looked very bright and happy, and not at all the dying ‘Camille’ that
she was the last time my eyes gazed upon her. She has a fine home here,
and receives all who choose to call upon her one day each week. She is
charitable, helpful, and sympathetic to all, and the Parisians adore
her.

_Paris, June 29th._--It rained to-day, for even in Paris it must
sometimes rain. We went to the galleries of the Louvre early, and were
so absorbed that we remained until 4 P.M. E., our escort to-day, once
lived six years in Paris, and the paintings in the Louvre were his old
friends, so that the information he gave us was of great instruction and
benefit. F., too, had been well drilled for the enjoyment by studying
the old masters and by her readings of the schools of early art. Not
being an artist myself like my two companions, I could scarcely enter
their sphere of enjoyment, or see with their eyes, so looked in my own
way. This, you know, is the largest gallery in the world, and contains
the most of the valuable works of all the great masters, Rubens,
Raphael, Murillo, Titian, Rembrandt, Claude Lorraine, Paul Veronese, and
other world-renowned artists. The works of no artist are placed here
until the artist himself has been dead ten years or more; they are
retained in the Luxembourg galleries during the life of the painter. E.
wished us to take certain pictures of Rubens first, of which artist he
has great knowledge and a keen appreciation. He says it is impossible
for us to see best many pictures in a short time, so we must take the
best pictures and see them in many ways. The allegorical pictures
relating to Marie de Medici were our first study, but the angels were
very unangelic-looking to me. Each one looked as if tipping the scales
at two hundred pounds would be an easy matter. In fact, all of Rubens
women that I have so far seen look more earthly than spiritual. These
pictures bring up many thoughts of the hapless Marie de Medici, a woman
of great beauty, and of Richelieu, the intriguing, powerful Cardinal,
whose influence was so great over the King, her son, Louis XIII. This
woman, Rubens so often painted, died at last, after the implacability of
Richelieu caused her to be banished from France, in the attic of the
house where Rubens was born, in Cologne. The Salon Carré contains the
great treasures of the Louvre, or the most of them. Here we saw the
indeed beautiful painting of Mary Anointing the Feet of Jesus, and the
even more wonderful one of The Marriage Feast at Cana, both by Paul
Veronese. I cannot imagine a human mind even conceiving such a picture,
much more putting it on canvas. It is simply perfect. Titian’s works
have a great charm for me, and Raphael’s, also. We roam from room to
room; my delighted companions turn their attentions to me often with
remarks of this nature: ‘Now do look at this; it is one of the great
works of the world.’ ‘You remember this happened in the reign of King or
Queen So-and-so.’ ‘You recollect the story in the Old Testament of ----,’
and so forth and so on! I look; say, Oh yes! Am sometimes a little
inwardly muddled, but quietly decide to know for myself what I honestly
like best. Of all the Madonnas, I like Murillo’s the most. His colors,
not as positive as those of Rubens, are warm, deep, and rich, with a
certain peculiar softness of finish that no other artist has. Surely
genius is God-given. We made no attempt to see the antiquities this
time, but could not leave without paying our respects to the most
beautiful of all women--the Venus de Milo. Our ever-gallant escort says,
‘No;’ no woman can be the most beautiful to him, who cannot extend her
arms to greet him; but beautiful she is. A whole day in the Louvre, and
yet comparatively how little of it have we seen. This evening we saw
‘Adrienne Lecouvrer’ played at the Comédie Française.

_Saturday, June 30th._--The sun shone for us brightly again this
morning, and we took an early drive through the always attractive
streets and parks of Paris. Early as it was, crowds of people were to be
seen, driving, walking, and sitting in the ‘sidewalk cafés,’ and under
the trees, chatting, laughing, and everybody seeming to have plenty of
leisure time. How is it that no one appears to be in a hurry here? One
reason that the ladies have so much more time is because their
housekeeping cares are so much less than those of Americans. Always, all
of the laundry work is sent out, and much of the cooking of a household
is done outside: bread, pastry, cakes, and roasts are prepared in
special establishments, and sent hot and deliciously cooked to private
tables, without a suggestion of ‘bakehouse’ flavor about them. The
servants, or one of them does all the ‘planning’ and the marketing,
rendering her accounts to her mistress weekly. Everything connected
with the domestic part of a Paris home runs very smoothly, and with much
less care and expense than in Bostonian homes. I remember once visiting
a dear, busy, neat, systematic young housekeeper at her home in a
country town in New England. One Monday morning her maid of all work
overslept, and we heard this wide-awake, orderly mistress call her,
saying, ‘Katie, get up; why, it is seven o’clock now, and to-day is
washing day, to-morrow will be ironing day, and the next day baking.’
There are no such days in Paris! And I should think Parisians would say,
‘For which we devoutly give thanks.’

The gardens of the Tuileries brought up thoughts of Eugénie, who used to
love the spot so well. The once-beautiful Empress whom the French people
followed is now never mentioned, not even a picture of her seen in Paris
windows; and once when I spoke of her to a dealer in photographs, asking
why he had not a picture of her, he answered, ‘Remember Sedan.’

The long walk in the cool, crisp air made us hungry, and seeing some
neatly prepared tables near we seated ourselves for a luncheon. The
bouillon was good, and the chop fairly so, and the charges reasonable we
thought, but when the bill was presented we were charged extra for
service, for the napkins we used, and for the chairs we sat on. I asked
the garçon why they did not charge for the air we breathed. Moral!
Always make your bargains in Paris before consummating them.

The Luxembourg was near, and we spent most of the rest of the day in its
galleries. Some of the masterpieces of Rosa Bonheur, Gerome, Couture and
Meissonier are here. To see Cabanel’s Venus was of itself a great
delight. I remember seeing the portrait of Miss Wolf, in the
Metropolitan Art Museum, in New York, painted by this same Alexander
Cabanel. There are two of Henner’s pictures here, one exquisitely
lovely. He is considered one of the best living painters of the nude;
his figures are remarkably graceful and modest, poetical studies of the
flesh; and it is often an intense delight and relief to turn toward
them, from the nudes of some other artists. We have seen his works also
in several private collections, and wherever there is a Henner there is
always a crowd, so lovely are they. One characteristic of them we
observed, namely, that in every picture of his that we have seen his
figures are not far from a lake, brook, or river, with the figure
partially hid by shrubbery and trees, and one of our trio said that he
was forcibly reminded of the old nursery rhyme,--

    “‘Mother, may I go out to swim?’
       ‘Yes, my darling daughter;
     Hang your clothes on a hickory limb--
       But don’t go near the water!’”

A stroll in the beautiful gardens of the Luxembourg, and a visit to the
Jardin des Plantes, with its botanical, mineralogical, and geological
museums, and a visit to the monkeys--the cutest of all
monkeys,--finished the day; and to-night we are to dine with a duchess.
How fortunate we have a ‘noble’ escort. Otherwise, although we did ‘come
over in the Mayflower,’ we might not have been called upon by, and
invited to dine with, the Duke and Duchess de la R---- at their chateau
near San Cloud.

Some of the customs here seem very odd to us. After a couple are
married, they go to drive about the city; the wealthier class in their
own carriages, the less wealthy in hired ones, and the poor on foot, but
all arrayed in the wedding dress, with veil and the orange flowers. We
met eight brides in one afternoon’s drive, and we have seen many others
in the different museums and galleries. The French are indeed a
pleasure-loving people. Every green spot, and they are legion, here is
bright with life. Lovely children are out in great numbers with their
dark-eyed, handsome _bonnes_. These nurses are very picturesque, with
their white-frilled turbans on, from which hang lengths of broad white
ribbon nearly to their feet. The babies themselves are generally
costumed in the richest of laces, and often look uncomfortably loaded
down with the big white hats even the tiniest of them wear, well covered
with ostrich plumes. All seem to enjoy life--the middle classes and the
poor in their own way as entirely as the rich in theirs. The parks and
numerous gardens are filled with women sitting about with work or book
in hand, seemingly perfectly contented with their condition and
beautiful surroundings. They wander into the cathedrals and picture
galleries at will, and surely such constant familiarity with beauty and
art must have a refining influence. Of these poorer people, who have
really been taught nothing, some have more knowledge of art than many
Americans who have studied it. I, one morning, asked my chambermaid to
assist me in wrapping up a few photographs I had in my room. In doing so
she told me I ought to get Murillo’s ‘Birth of the Virgin’ and Titian’s
‘Holy Family,’ and recommended several art stores as excellent places to
select photographs and etchings. The many and great variety of
exhibitions of pictures here, offer instruction to all and are a
constant spur to one’s ambition. The Parisians should be thanked by the
people of every nation for throwing open their public institutions to
all classes to enter ‘without money and without price.’ Paris thus gives
freely to all who will accept a liberal education. The Comédie Française
and the Conservatoire of Music and Acting give free instruction to all
who have talent sufficient to be admitted. With the French people’s love
for the beautiful, with their especial love for Paris, with their
seeming contentment of position, with their hospitality and their
never-failing politeness as we now see them, it does not seem possible
that in times of rebellion and riot they so lose themselves as to burn
and destroy that they have so dearly loved, and that they become
disloyal and unreasonable toward each other. The burning of the
Tuileries in 1871 was an exhibition of their insanity in times of
excitement.

Here is my Paris edition of the _New York Herald_. I bless James Gordon
Bennett every time I take up this little paper, so grateful am I to him
for it. After struggling with French conversation, French books, French
signs, French everything, all the day, it is a delight to me to see my
own language in print, to see American news, and often to see the name
of some one I know or know of. Oh, we do not realize how dear America is
to us until we are far from her shores.

_Paris, Sunday, July 1st._--And so the month dedicated to Juno is
really gone. A month filled with joys has it been to us! It does not
seem possible that it can be July. It has been so cool here,--cool and
bright, just the weather for tramps.

First of all, dear, I must tell you a little of our dinner with the
Duchess last night. How I did wish you were with me, and how every hour
you are in loving thought and memory with me everywhere. I know just
what you will do to-day. But no one will ever know all the kind acts you
perform, all the sacrifices you make, save the recording angels. We gave
considerable time to our toilettes last evening, even to having a French
hairdresser. F. looked ‘smart’ in her Wörth-made pink gown, and in
French conversation did us all credit. Only two of the sixteen guests
spoke English, beside our host and hostess and ourselves. We were not
only cordially received, but affectionately. Our hostess was charming in
face and grace, and her husband not far behind. The halls, dining-rooms,
and salon of the house were immense, with polished floors, and rugs, and
the woodwork and furniture of the latter in white and gold. Everything
was massive and stately, but with a cheerful, bright effect. The menu
consisted of fourteen courses, served table d’hôte. The hostess was
first helped, then the oldest lady at the table, and so on, down to the
youngest lady present. Then the gentlemen in the same manner. I should
think this custom would sometimes puzzle the waiters to know whom first
to serve. The table was decorated with flowers, and the cumbrous gold
candelabra were, with the gold service, very imposing. There was not an
article of silver on the table. Every utensil was gold, china, or glass.
It is a great error to suppose that, because Frenchwomen love dress and
pleasure, they are not devoted mothers, true wives, and intelligent
companions. Of course there are exceptions, and so there are in all
countries. Our little party of last night was unusually bright,
intelligent, and familiar with American history, her institutions, and
her literature. They thought our language the hardest of all languages
to comprehend or to speak. They referred to our many words ending with
‘gh,’ and each one pronounced so entirely differently. A gentleman who
had been in New York said, if a business was to be _stopped_ there they
‘wound it up,’ if clocks were to _go_ they wound them up. Strings were
wound up, and he one day received a telegram from the wife of a friend
whom he expected to meet, which read thus: ‘Henry is wound up for the
day; hopes to see you to-morrow.’ Did not know whether Henry was
‘stopped’ or ‘going,’ but understood later that he was indisposed. They
asked us many questions about our own city, and one lady told me that
she read in a paper that not long ago a man was imprisoned for preaching
on Boston Common, but she supposed it was a mistake, as such a thing
could scarcely have taken place in a free country. After dinner we had
music and dancing, and bade our entertainers ‘Bon soir,’ having had a
delightful evening with them, and feeling that the nice points of the
social code, with dukes and duchesses, are not much different from our
own.

Sunday in Paris is a great contrast to our New England Sunday. People go
to church, to be sure, but they go to the theatre after if they wish
to, and think it all right. It is the one great day for families to go
into the parks and the woods and the gardens near the city. The larger
shops are closed, not because it is Sunday, but because one day in the
week is demanded by the employees for rest and recreation. Theatres,
circuses, and hundreds of places of amusement are open, and are all
thronged, notwithstanding the great exodus into the suburbs. One can
hardly blame clerks and working people, who are in cages, as it were,
every other day, for taking Sunday to see the green hills, breathe the
country air, and gather flowers with their little ones, for Monday puts
them in harness again. Going to places of amusement on Sunday is not
just our way, but we are not here to criticise.

After early service in the American Church we took a boat up the Seine
for St. Cloud, where have lived many kings of France. The palace where
Eugénie, in the height of her popularity, so magnificently entertained,
has never been rebuilt since its destruction in the siege of 1870. We
sat on the broad, handsome steps which had led to the palace, with the
leafy avenues of the parks before us, over which the lovely Eugénie,
with her imperial husband, and the ladies of her court, clad in their
costumes of the chase, had many times cantered. Here they entertained,
at certain seasons, sovereigns, princes of the blood, ambassadors, and
‘lords and ladies of high degree,’ and everything that could be devised
or money procure was placed before them for their pleasure. Music,
games, dancing, and feasting went on--and the people paid for it.
Although there never was and never could be the slightest unfavorable
criticism upon the moral life of the Empress, her intense love of
gayety, admiration, dress, and power caused her to forget the thousands
of suffering poor so near her. Had she given more thought to them, with
a helping hand, she could so easily have made their dark days less so.
Beauty of person and power are rare gifts, but if they so dazzle as to
make dim the more divine gift of a charitable heart and hand, they are
to be undesired, and--

    ‘It were better to be lowly born
     And range with humble lives in content.’

But the golden-haired, sweet-faced Empress, in her green riding habit,
with the flowing white plumes in her hat, rides on under the arches of
these beautiful linden trees, and is gone from our thoughts, and the
memory of a gray-haired, childless widow in Chiselhurst rises before us.
God help her! The fountains and cascades here, scintillating in the rays
of the sun this bright morning, are beautiful, and the walks about are
superb. We went to the very top of the hill, and were well repaid by the
admirable views of Paris, the Seine, and the surrounding scenery.

Our long tramp made us hungry, so we turned our footsteps toward the
café at the gate. The tables inside looked very attractive, but my
comrades thought the ones outside more so, so we seated ourselves at one
in a vine-covered arbor, for dinner table d’hôte. We have got so used to
eating out-of-doors--in arbors in the country, and on pavements in
town,--that you need not be surprised if I, some Sunday morning, invite
you to baked beans and brown bread on the curbstones of the Oxford, and
every bean served as a course.

The town of St. Cloud is built on the slope of the hill. The streets are
very narrow, and the stores to-day are all open and well filled.
Wandering about, I was attracted by the sound of music in a
quaint-looking little church and stepped in. Upon coming out, my
companions were nowhere visible. I sat down in a conspicuous place on
some steps, to wait for them to find me. A richly dressed Frenchman
walked past me several times. I felt that I was the object of his
gaze--so looked in every direction but toward him, for here let me say
that the French are really prolonged starers, notwithstanding their
uniform courtesy and politeness. My imagination got the better of me,
and I prepared for battle, trying to think of annihilating names in
French, that I might call him should he dare address me, and looking at
the strong handle of my parasol with renewed confidence. Secondly, I
thought it might be good policy to pretend to be deaf and dumb--yes,
should he speak, I will really put my finger to my ears and my mouth
and he will think I am a dummy, planned I. Thus, with a reinforced
feeling of safety and victory, I looked squarely up at him. Imagine my
surprise when he raised his hat, and in fair English said: ‘Pardon me,
but are you not Mrs. ---- of Boston?’ It was Monsieur C----, who formerly
taught French in my family. I need not tell you that I gave him a
vigorous Yankee hand-shaking. He left America a year ago to take
possession of an inherited property. Moral: Consider every man,
everywhere, a gentleman, until you have proof that he is not. A
Frenchman never sits when a lady in his presence stands, nor does he
ever smoke or expectorate in a lady’s presence. Do the Americans? A
French lady asked me, and I had to say with humility, ‘Yes.’ After this
little incident my friends appeared, more worried about me than I about
them, and we soon took ‘top seats’ on steam-cars and were carried to
Versailles.

The gardens of Versailles are superior in beauty to any others that I
have seen. I wish I could give you a good idea of them, as they appear
to me this lovely day. Beautiful trees, shrubs, flowers of every size,
fragrance, and color, orangeries, conservatories, palms, ferns, lakes,
vine-covered seats, shaded walks, arbors, statues, grottoes cool and
mossy, cascades, and the large fountains playing, with the Palace
beyond, and the blue sky above it all--were indeed worth seeing. Linger
longer outside we would like to, but the big, huge Palace is before us,
and we must see a little of its contents. The galleries, or rooms, are
of vast size, and are filled with paintings, sculpture, bric-a-brac,
tapestries, and articles of intense historical interest. The State
apartments, the living rooms of kings and queens, the theatre, and the
chapel, with their frescoes and paintings, are a delight to us. In a
suite of eleven rooms are pictures illustrating all the most noted
events in the history of France. A white marble statue of the Duke of
Orleans is very beautiful and remarkably graceful. We also noticed a
fine statue of Joan of Arc. The chamber of Louis XIV. is absorbingly
interesting, and is one of the gems of the Palace. The ceiling was
painted by Paul Veronese, and was brought here by Napoleon I. from
Venice. It represents Jupiter punishing Crime, and is of itself a day’s
study, and more. The furniture and decorations of the room are rich and
grand, said to be about as when the ‘Grand Monarque’ died in the room,
entirely against his intentions and inclinations. The bedstead upon
which he breathed his last, with the same hangings and coverlid, are
here. It is a two-story one, and we wonder how he ever got on to it with
any degree of dignity. This magnificent apartment of Louis Quatorze,
peopled with ghosts of his time, brought to us many thoughts. This
place, under his management, was made grand and beautiful, but at the
cost of crippling the treasury of France and exciting discontent amongst
her already overtaxed people, and it was not for their enjoyment, but
for his own and his satellites’. In the queen’s card room the painted
ceiling, by Le Brun, represents France, dispensing peace and abundance
_to all_. What a mockery! At this very time, while royalty at Versailles
was sipping wine from cups of gold, the hunger of the poor outside was
beginning to make them mad. The painting of the marriage of Louis XIV.
with Maria Theresa, and some of the battle pieces, are fairly well done.
All that one has ever read of the greatness of Louis XIV., the evil of
Louis Quinze, and the horrors of the Revolution, comes to one’s mind at
Versailles. It seems to me that nowhere else could one so thoroughly
feel and comprehend France,--her history and her changes. We saw the
room in which Louis Quinze died alone, of small-pox, just as if he had
never been a king. We saw the narrow passage where the beautiful Marie
Antoinette went through to escape the fury of the Parisian mob, while
the brave, noble Swiss Guards were cut down like grass. We thought of
her standing on the balcony, between her innocent little ones, crying in
vain to the howling throng for mercy; and yet Louis XVI., although a
weak king, did not mean to be a bad one. F. says, her sympathy aroused
for the ill-fated family, ‘How horrid the people were!’ Yes; but let not
the name of Marie Antoinette make us forget the rights of the
long-suffering and wronged people. These rulers were living in
profligacy and luxury: the people, many of them, were in a starving
condition, made so by the exorbitant demands upon them by Louis. Justice
was not given them, and they took it, and the forced necessity of such
terrible work made them maniacs. We feel sorry for mistaken royalty, and
more sorry for the innocent, but let us go out into the beautiful
gardens of Versailles, and see there the multitude enjoying its
delights, instead of a few kings and queens, and be thankful. The palace
and its gems are educators for them, and the gardens a place of rest,
and may they ever thus remain. It was at Versailles that ‘good Queen
Vic’ was royally entertained by Louis Napoleon, and it was also here
that Emperor William was, later, crowned King of Prussia.

A hasty visit to Great and Little Trianon ended our day at Versailles.
The first named was built by Louis XIV. for Madam de Maintenon, and
although we had about had our fill of luxury, we grew enthusiastic over
the Malachite Hall and the mosaics and bronzes we here saw. The Little
Trianon, Louis XV. gave to Madame du Barry. Here we saw the old state
carriages and harnesses. Madame du Barry’s carriage, in which she used
to take her airings, cost 60,000 francs, and on state occasions she
carried a bouquet of diamonds, which Louis had made for her at a cost of
300,000 francs. She had also a dressing-stand of gold studded with gems,
and two cupids held a crown of diamonds above it, so made that whenever
the owner looked into the mirror this crown was reflected as if resting
upon her own head. This is an example of the way the revenues of France
were then expended. Is it any wonder that there was a revolution?

An open carriage took us to the station, and again we took our places,
on top of a steam-car, for Paris. This would be a delightful way of
riding if only the engine would be sufficiently polite to turn its smoke
in another direction than our faces. We had a fine view of the city and
its suburbs as we approached it, and with dirty faces, tired feet, and
our hands filled with French wild flowers and grasses, we reached Paris;
and the ever-convenient cab soon landed us in Clement Marot. A friend
had sent us tickets for the theatre, but we decided that we would spend
the evening in the pretty drawing-room of our hostess and make it as
nearly like a Sunday evening at home as possible. One of our number
remarked how fortunate no one of our party has felt at all homesick. A
bunch arose in my throat, but I swallowed it down, and I have told no
one that often, when I think of the dear ones far away, longings for a
sight of their faces will creep in.

_Monday, July 2d._--Galleries and churches are not open to visitors on
Mondays, so we planned for out-of-door sights to-day. The cheapness of
these little, open barouches make us feel able to ride at any time. I
wish I could take one home to Boston with me, cocher and all. We first
went to the Arc d’Etoile, for the second time, and ascended to the top,
for the views. It is said that the views from the Eiffel Tower, when
completed, will surpass anything gained elsewhere, but those from the
Arc d’Etoile are very grand.

This huge, superb monument of Napoleon I. stands in a ‘round square’
called the ‘Place d’Etoile.’ From this street twelve beautiful avenues
lead, somewhat like spokes from the hub of a wheel. Now imagine this,
and these streets built up with elegant residences, with pretty grounds
about them, and the avenues filled with showy turnouts and merry throngs
of people, promenading on the broad sidewalks, shaded by two rows of
magnificent trees, and you get a little idea, with the picture I send
you, of the Arc de Triomphe and its surroundings. The figures you see,
which will look small on paper, are, some of them, over twenty feet
high, representing Victory, Fame, etc. When we first walked under the
arch, F. said, ‘I think this is a good deal like walking under the body
of Jumbo,’--which experience we once had.

From the Arch we were driven straight down the beautiful Avenue des
Champs Elysées to the Place de la Concorde, in which square stands the
obelisk, the gift of the Pacha of Egypt. Immense bronze fountains are in
the square, and large marble statues on pedestals, representing the
country’s largest cities, around it. It is a lovely, peaceful spot, this
glorious morning, with no signs of the terrible deeds that were once
enacted here. But here it was the guillotine stood and did its murderous
work. Here the rabble surged, crying for more blood. Here Charlotte
Corday, here Marie Antoinette, met death. And here heads were cut off at
the rate of forty or fifty a day; and men looked on, women sat about
with their knitting, occasionally saying, ‘Look, there goes another.’

Do not dwell upon such horrors! we will go and buy some ribbons! Our
first look into the Bon Marché. What a beautiful store it is, to be
sure. The largest in the world. How the bargains tempt us! The clerks
look bright and fresh, and are remarkably well dressed and intelligent
appearing. And they have reason to be--they are all partners of this
great money-making establishment, and time, opportunities, and means
given them for study. The little articles here, fans, ornaments, toilet
articles, handkerchiefs, gloves, etc., are irresistible, so pretty and
so cheap. In one apartment, cake, cookies, bread, crackers, wine, tea
and coffee, and the very best of their kind, are served to all who come,
gratuitously. Wanamaker’s store in Philadelphia, and Shepard &
Norwell’s, of Boston, are somewhat similar,--the first mentioned
comparing very favorably, the second not as extensive but conducted
partly on the same principle.

Leaving the Bon Marché we knew we had got our money’s worth, but had
precious few coins left, so thought it a good time to see a little of
the poorer class of this rich-appearing city. So into the Latin quarter
are we driven. That sounds very intellectual and classical, but is
really the old and poorer part of Paris. Here the streets are narrow,
the men wear blue blouses, and the women look coarse and hard;
exceptions there are, certainly, but such the general appearance.

Next, to Père La Chaise, the city of the dead. Much disappointed in its
appearance. Does not compare with our beautiful Forest Hills. The walks
are not well kept. Immortelles and shrivelled wreaths decorate the
graves, instead of fresh flowers. Numerous monuments are here, and some
very fine ones, but the most are costly without beauty. On the graves of
children we saw toys, dolls, wooden horses, etc. We saw Rachel’s
monument, and that of Abélard and Héloise, which is really beautiful. F.
said she always meant to make a pilgrimage to this spot, from pure
sympathy. We saw many names, on monuments, familiar to us from history;
but as a whole, everything is too mixed up for it to be considered a
beautiful cemetery. We saw a young girl bending over a grave in tears,
and our own fell for her. She left a wreath on the, to her, precious
earth, composed of white immortelles, with words made of the yellow
flowers embedded in the white, which read, as nearly as we could
translate, ‘To the loved man who was to have been my husband.’ That told
the sad story. We thought Victor Hugo rested here, but one of our trio
said no; at the Pantheon, he felt sure. ‘Well, he was a good and great
man enough to have had two burial places,’ said F. And so say we all of
us!

We went to the Hippodrome this evening,--sort of a fashionable circus;
but not caring much for the entertainment, came out and walked about to
see a little of Paris by gaslight--and such a sight! The entire
population of the city seems to be poured into the streets. Bands of
music playing in the squares; the sidewalk cafés have their tables
surrounded with ‘evening dressed’ ladies and gentlemen. There are
illuminated swings, merry-go-rounds, inclined planes, roller skating
platforms, for the children, and all seeming to be respectably
conducted. Paris is a clean city; the streets are like a well-swept
floor all the time, no dirt to be seen. Two-thirds of the families live
in apartment houses. These are better arranged than our Boston flats.
The rooms are spacious, and no dark, windowless ones, as there is always
an open court in the centre, to admit light and air, and about the
windows facing these courts are balconies, pleasant to sit out on. The
courts are cultivated, and either have shrubbery and flowers growing, or
have grassy lawns, and this is all cared for by the landlords. The rents
are much lower, also, than with us.

_Tuesday, July 3d._--Too quickly the days go by. The weather is so
deliciously fair and bright this morning that it is a joy to be alive.
Out into the sunshine we go, ‘not caring a sou where, if only these days
could last forever,’ said F. Yes, Paris is indeed fascinating, but we
must remember that life is not all a holiday, nor would we wish it to
be. We owe to our Maker something higher in aim and in good works. We
owe to our beloved country ourselves, and the help of our acts and
purposes. When human beings are born and bred in the same air, speak the
same tongue, it is a disloyal thing to turn faces from each other.
‘United we stand,’ We heard of a party of Americans finding difficulty
in entering Germany not long ago because they had no passports, so I
thought we had better fortify ourselves with the documents. Hunted up
the abode of the American Legation. Found the apartments to resemble the
rooms of a private family, more than those of business. We were duly
questioned, measured, and pen-portraits taken of us, and after a
sufficient amount of ‘red-tape delay,’ the desired papers were in our
hands. Very likely we shall not be obliged to use them, but they serve
to tell us how tall we are, and, better still, that my nose is straight,
which I never knew before.

We next went to the Pantheon, which is something of a reproduction of
St. Peter’s at Rome, and is now devoted to receiving the remains of
great men who have merited the gratitude of France. The church was
formerly called the church of St. Geneviève, she having been the patron
saint of Paris. There are some beautiful frescoes here relating to her
life. The rich Corinthian columns, the marble groups, frescoes, and
bas-reliefs, are all an interesting study. France is represented
bestowing honors on her noted sons. On the frieze is this inscription:
‘Aux Grands Hommes La Patrie Reconnaissante.’ There are some beautiful
frescoes here by Cabanel, which represent different scenes in the life
of St. Louis. The one where Blanche of Castile, his mother, is talking
with him is very lovely. The artist has succeeded in investing the faces
of St. Louis with much beauty and spirituality. I looked at these
paintings with great satisfaction, as I admire the results of Cabanel’s
brush always. I thought, too, not only of St. Louis, but of Louis S. S.,
and wished I could see his pleasant face. I have so often called him my
St. Louis. Please tell him this when you see him, and love to them all.
Yet, with all of the objects I have told you of, and many, many others,
the interior of the Pantheon has a cold, bare look. Underneath this
building are immense vaults, and Victor Hugo’s remains are here. The
coffin, covered with cloth, mounted and embroidered with silver, stands
on trestles facing the tomb of Rousseau,--although the remains of the
latter are at Geneva. A huge pyramid of immortelles is before us, that
were brought, by those who loved the great man, on the day of his
funeral. All that was mortal of him is here, but a mind that could give
‘Les Miserables’ must be working for good still, in the ‘great
somewhere.’

Noticing the interest I felt in everything pertaining to Victor Hugo, a
Paris friend, with us to-day, said, ‘Let us sit down and rest near these
withered blossoms, and I will tell you a little about his funeral, which
took place just three years ago this month, and of which I was an
eye-witness.’ Although Victor Hugo was born an aristocrat, and was the
greatest poet of France, his sympathy and love for the common people,
and his strong and earnestly avowed republican tendencies, led him to
request in his will that he should be carried to his grave in the hearse
of the poor. And although this was done, never were such preparations
made before for the celebration and the honoring of any dead. France
claimed him as her greatest, noblest son. His body was laid in state,
under the Arch of Triumph, on a catafalque draped with black velvet
embroidered with silver, standing in a bank of flowers. Bands of crape
were draped from the top of the huge arch to the ground. Through the
day, and through the night, torches were lighted, and thousands of
people visited the spot. It was known that he said it would be his
choice to be laid without ceremony by the side of his wife, in the
little country churchyard, but the people would not have it thus; only
to the Pantheon should he be carried! But the Pantheon bore a visible
cross, indicating dedication to the Roman church. Hugo could not rest
there. His religion was of no sect. He believed in God and loved Him. He
believed in his fellow-man--loved and helped him. His creed was the
Golden Rule, and he lived by it. The Government ordered the cross
removed from the building, and it was done, and on June 1st, 1885, all
that was mortal of Victor Hugo--whose motto was ever ‘Fraternity,
Equality, and Liberty’--was carried there, followed by the greatest and
wisest citizens of France, her ministers, her soldiers, and her people.
We arose, laid our corsage ornament--a beautiful fleur-de-lis--by the
great man’s last resting-place, and turned away.

By the way, the French love this flower, the national emblem of their
country. There is a legend about it, that runs like this: Clovis, who
was an infidel, went to battle with the Germans. He fought bravely, but
was losing ground, when he remembered his young Queen’s faith in God. He
called in his despair upon this Great Being the Christians so trusted
in, pledging himself to this God’s service forever if He would but give
him this one victory. The battle was his, and he was immediately
baptized. During the solemn ceremony an angel appeared and threw about
King Clovis an exquisite banner embroidered with the lovely flowers of
the fleur-de-lis. From that time to the French Revolution the kings of
France bore the flower on their banners.

From the Pantheon to the Hotel des Invalides, a comfortable home for
disabled soldiers and for aged ones, containing kitchens, dormitories,
libraries, museums, etc. We chatted with a very old soldier with but one
leg, and he said that he was much happier with that one than most men
were with two legs, so well was he there cared for. Next, to the Tomb of
Napoleon the First, and I should have known it to have been his burial
place had I opened my eyes upon it unexpectedly, anywhere, so
‘Napoleonically’ magnificent is it all, in the Church of the Invalides,
so called. Napoleon so loved Paris, that in his will he requested ‘that
his body might rest on the banks of the Seine, amongst the French people
he loved so well.’ Light for the interior of this building comes through
violet-colored glass in the immense cupola, and falls with a peculiar,
weird effect upon the sarcophagus, which seems to be of granite, and
rests upon two large blocks of different colored stone, one upon the
other, making a high pile. The foundation upon which this all stands is
a crown of laurels, in green marble, on a floor of black and white, and
upon which are seen the names of many of his victories. Twelve victories
are also represented by the same number of colossal statues. The crypt
containing the sarcophagus is round, and immediately under the dome, in
the exact centre, and has around it a marble railing. We went down into
this crypt, around the sarcophagus, to a chapel, where we saw the very
sword he wore at Austerlitz, the insignia he wore, the battle colors,
and the crown of gold given to him by the citizens of Cherbourg. At the
farther end is the statue of the Emperor, with the characteristic lines
of his face strongly portrayed, and it is clothed in the imperial robes.
The gallery leading to this is always lighted by bronze funeral lamps.
Other chapels, dedicated to different saints, are richly decorated, and
the remains of a number of the relatives of Napoleon rest within them.
At the entrance to the tomb, as the whole building or church is called,
are two sarcophagi, dedicated, the one to Marshal Duroc, and the other
to Marshal Bertrand, the devoted and true friends of the Emperor in his
hours of trial. Way high up in the cupola, which is, I have already told
you, right over the sarcophagus containing Napoleon’s dust, is a
beautiful picture of Jesus, in the midst of angels, looking tenderly
down. This crypt is in the centre to be sure, and yet is in front of
steps which lead to the beautiful altar. The steps are of white marble,
and the high, superb altar is of both black and white marble, with a
canopy of gold, beneath which is a figure of Christ on the cross. The
cost of this entire monument was nearly two million dollars, and is all
so rich and effective that I hope my description of it will enable you
to see it, a little, as with my eyes. The life of conquest and glory,
defeat and suffering, which this man knew is without a parallel. His
spirit left the body in obscurity and exile; that body now rests in the
costliest of mausoleums. Here in this very city he once lived in a
garret, and wandered hopelessly about seeking employment; here also he
lived in palaces, and ruled everything before him. We have seen the
Hotel de la Colonnade, Rue des Capucines, where he was married to
Josephine, and it was at the Tuileries his divorce from her was
proclaimed. His ambition was indeed his ruling passion, when he could
put from him the woman who loved him, saying to her, ‘Josephine, thou
knowest I love thee; to thee alone do I owe the only moments of true
happiness that I have ever had, but my destiny overrules my will.’ Dying
on his lonely bed, on the bleak, rude heights of St. Helena, without
kith or kin to love him, what then to him were ambition, fame, or
victories, even such as his had been?

We spent the rest of the day in the Cluny, an extensive old museum,
containing statues, paintings, armor, and wonderfully beautiful
tapestries, and rare antiquities of all descriptions. One exquisite and
very odd piece of pottery so interested me, being entirely different
from anything I had ever before seen, that I asked one of the near
attendants where it came from; he answered, ‘Hades.’ Fearing I did not
understand him, I asked the question for the second time, and called my
companions to interpret, but ‘Hades’ he repeated, and we could say no
more. F. said it seemed well baked, and told us a story of an Englishman
who was travelling in France, and had with him a French courier, the
latter speaking English a little, but making some peculiar translations.
The English gentleman asked concerning a friend whom he knew to be
residing somewhere in France. The interpreter innocently assured him
that his friend had gone to Thunder in Burgundy. The Englishman, not
knowing of the town Tounerre, drew his own conclusions.

_Wednesday, July 4th._--A pleasant surprise awaited us this morning. Our
hostess, in our honor, had thrown from our balcony our own glorious
flag! Our stars and stripes! None other as beautiful in all the world
floats. It seemed a part of our own dear land, our home and friends. We
are up in the fifth story; the horses are kept in the first. The higher
up the rooms are, the more desirable are they considered here, and the
greater is the rent. We took an early drive, then spent a little time
shopping, and made our way to the monumental chapel containing the tombs
and monuments of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI., called the Chapel
Expiatoire. Here is a beautiful statue of the unfortunate Queen, and one
also of her husband, on the pedestal of which is inscribed, in letters
of gold, his will, in which he commends his wife and children to his
Maker, and expresses a wish that his wife may be allowed to keep their
children, for her maternal tenderness for them he has never doubted. It
all expresses the thoughts and feelings of a good man. The remains of
the brave Swiss Guard who so faithfully defended the royal family, are
also here.

A little more sight-seeing, a few social calls made, last lingering
glances at the Palais Royal and the Rue de Rivoli shops, and home to
dine. After dinner we, with the entire household, went to an out-of-door
fête, in the streets and on the sidewalks of Paris, and a grotesque,
comical, ridiculous celebration it was. Old and young were dancing in
the streets; open booths for shooting, angling, and all sorts of games
of chance were well patronized; cheap shows, theatres, concerts,
cycloramas, and panoramas, all in full blast, and Punch and Judy doing
their part vigorously; a beautiful girl, with a fine voice, and dressed
in white silk, thus exposed to the public gaze, was giving a concert in
the open air, and the crowd about her were really ladies and gentlemen;
every jim-crack ever manufactured was for sale in the miles of tents
temporarily erected;--and altogether it was a strange sight. I could not
have believed it possible that intelligent men and women could have
enjoyed such a conglomeration, but they seemed to. At midnight, after
walking some distance to find our cabs, we were driven to Rue Clement
Marot, through the Arch, and this grand monument looked even more grand
in the full blaze of the electric lights. To-morrow we regretfully leave
this beautiful city and our pleasant friends, who have done so much to
make our stay here a happy one. Whatever is rich, Paris is richer.
Whatever is grand, Paris is grander! Whatever is beautiful, Paris is
more so. I hope to see it all again.

_July 5th._.--We left Paris at 10 A.M. to-day, leaving the house early
enough to step into St. Chapelle for one more look at the incomparable
rose window and the other remarkably beautiful stained-glass windows of
this gorgeous church. The morning was a bright one, and as the rays of
the sun streamed in upon us, through the rich colors of the glass, and
mingled with the delicate blue tone reflected from the arched roof of
the edifice, the effect was glorious. This exquisite ceiling is thickly
dotted with gilt stars. The whole interior is decorated with gilt
diamonds, with paintings of fleur-de-lis, St. Louis’s flower between. We
went into the little chamber where the saintly King used to sit and
listen to the church services, through a window opening into the nave.
On reaching the station we found our friends waiting for us, to give us
a pleasant send-off toward Geneva.



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LETTER V.


We cannot be French very much longer, and must turn our tongue into
German. E. does not accompany us, so our own interpreters we shall have
to be. Our carriage contained, beside ourselves, a French gentleman and
an Italian gentleman, ‘we four, and no more.’ We sped on through villas
and villages, and fields of bright wild flowers, with but little of
interest, however, to detail.

Our Italian seemed troubled in regard to an apparently new glove which
he tore badly in raising a window. After a long, disconsolate look at
it, he took from his travelling bag, needle and thread, and went
carefully at work to repair the injury, but made a bad tangle of it. As
F. had implements handy, including a thimble, she offered to mend it
for him. He accepted graciously, and his handsome face grew luminous as
he watched his pet glove grow whole under her deft fingers. What might
he do for us? Would we drink wine with him? ‘No, thanks,’ we said. What
else he offered, to show his gratitude, we could not understand; when
out from his pocket he took a phrase-book of Italian and English words,
and pointed to the sentence, ‘Shall I sing for you?’ We gladly
acquiesced, and to our great delight he poured forth one of the
grandest, sweetest voices I ever in my life listened to. It was like
Brignoli’s in his best days. He sung the choicest airs from different
operas, and warbled, in his own musical language, tender songs. The
distinguished-looking French gentleman joined us in thanking him for
making the hours pass so delightfully--for it is a long run from Paris
to Geneva. We find fellow passengers, in this country, much more
thoughtful of the comfort of others than they are in England or America.
We also like the steam-cars here much better than our own, unless one
always rides in a Pullman. Even many of the second class cars have high
backs and cushions, all softly upholstered. Early in the afternoon a
thunderstorm struck us, and we had heavy showers. Later the sun shone
out brightly, and set gorgeously in red. At six P.M. we made our first
stop, at Dijon, and had at the station a fine table d’hôte dinner, wine
included, and we did all justice, for we were as hungry as bears, not
having provided ourselves with a luncheon, thinking we should stop
somewhere for one. Remember this, all who go from Paris to Dijon. Much
refreshed, we continued our journey to Macon, where we had planned to
spend the night, but our polite and helpful Frenchman, who had all along
the road kindly given us much information of the country we came
through, assured us that if we did so we could not reach Geneva until
three P.M. the next day, but if we kept on to Ambrieau, and would spend
the night there, we could take an early morning train and reach Geneva
at eleven A.M. So this we decided to do, bidding here our kind informant
adieu, as his home is in Lyons, hoping to be able in the future to
accept his invitation to sometime go through his silk factory, under his
escort.

We rolled into the little station at Ambrieau about ten P.M., our
Italian companion keeping on to Genoa, waving his last farewell from the
car window, with a white silk handkerchief in one hand and a scarlet one
in the other. To our dismay we found it raining in torrents, intensely
dark, and not a car or carriage, nor man or beast, to be found. The only
live article around was the station-agent, to whom we hurried back,
fearing he too would disappear, which he was making hasty preparations
to do. We ascertained from him that the principal inn of the place was
more than a mile distant, and no way of reaching it at that hour of
night but to walk. Near by, he said, was a small house where he thought
we could get a room and be comfortably lodged, and assured us we should
be safe. We could do nothing but accept. He piloted us across the street
and into the front room of a house, where some men were sitting around a
table drinking beer. A pretty girl was waiting upon them, with whom our
escort had some words, and without giving us attention she filled a
glass with beer for him. We began to feel a little uncomfortable, and
again asked our leader if we were safe. He answered ‘Oui, oui;’ but
still stood there. All at once we thought of his expected franc, on
putting which into his hand he retreated, leaving us in the care of the
pretty maid. She took our bags, and we followed her, through a dark rear
room, then through a large bare kitchen, out into the back yard. She led
us on, through the furious rain, up two long flights of stairs, built on
the outside of the house, and on the landing unlocked a door with a huge
iron key, which door creaked and squeaked on its hinges, as if they had
not been disturbed for many a day. As getting the door open was the work
of some minutes, we were pretty thoroughly soaked by the time we stepped
into the queer-looking entry, with its stone floor and roughly plastered
walls. Out of that we went into and through a long, narrow, crooked
hall, with a shrine at the extreme end, to our room. It was a small one,
with bare floor--a single bed, one chair, and a table with a wash-bowl
and pitcher on top, the former about as deep as a soup plate, and the
pitcher minus water and handle; but enough of the former was dripping
from our clothes to equalize conditions. We found it impossible to turn
the lock of the door, so placed what furniture the room contained
against it, feeling sure that the ‘Blessed Mother’ in the shrine outside
would keep us from all harm. We left lighted our two long candles--found
the little bed sweet and clean, and soon forgot our tribulations.

_Ambrieau, July 6th._--A clear morning, and our trust not misplaced. We
are safe, and are refreshed by our night’s rest. After being served with
a bowl of black coffee and some blacker bread, for our breakfast, on a
clean wooden table, we paid our little bill of five francs, and went our
way rejoicing. At seven A.M. we were facing Geneva, rushing into and
through the prettiest valley of country we had ever seen. The Alps
towered up on both sides of us, and in the valley were clusters of
thatched and vine-covered cottages, with open doors, near which
contented grandmothers sat knitting and watching the children playing
at their feet, while the younger women could be seen, not far away,
minding the flock of geese or the herd of sheep. I am told there is much
affection for each other exhibited in the simple homes of these
peasants: often the entire families of several generations live under
one roof in entire harmony and peace. These ‘ganders and geese’ are
wonderfully wise, if what a travelling companion told me is true. She
said that when a male child is born in these homes, the ganders form a
line, and march around the house, but when the other sex is born they
hide themselves. Poor ganders! Probably jealous.

At eleven A.M. we reached Geneva, and found our room at the Metropole
ready for us. It is really an elegant one, spacious, and in the front of
the house, with windows to the floor, by which we can sit and look out
upon the Jardin du Lac and the beautiful blue waters of Lake Geneva, or
Leman, often called. Our early breakfast not having been a very
nourishing one, we decided to take another here before going out. A good
one it was, and was quickly served. While enjoying it, a lady came to
us, an American, and told us where to buy furs, where diamonds were the
cheapest, and where we could find the best places to purchase
watches--giving us her card at the same time. We were afterwards told
that a number of American ladies make quite an income from commissions
earned in this way. An open carriage was soon at hand, and from it we
took our first look at Geneva. There is nothing very remarkable about
the place, as a city. There are many hotels, and upon the quay are
numerous elegant stores, mostly jewelry stores. In some of these we saw
the beautiful enamelled watches, that are nowhere else so exquisitely
made. Watches in almost everything saw we here--in necklaces, bracelets,
canes, and umbrellas, and at all prices. We went into one of the
factories, and found that women do much of the fine work, a certain
number working only on certain parts, and therefore constant practice
makes them extremely dexterous in their specialty. They were well
dressed, and looked intelligent and contented.

Here the lake receives the waters of the Rhone, and about midway of the
fine bridge which crosses it is Rousseau’s island, on which stands a
bronze statue of him. The upper streets of Geneva are very hilly, and
the older part is quaint and odd in its buildings, like the old French
towns. We saw the house Calvin lived in, and went into the church where
he preached his hard logic, but we could shed no tears for his departure
from this world, but might for the suffering Servetus, whom he caused to
be burned for not believing as he did. It has always seemed to me that
the stern, dogmatic Calvin showed a spirit of malice, as well as great
uncharitableness, but of course, in those days very few lived who
considered it right for one to have an opinion different from their
leaders. What a huge bonfire there would be if freethinkers were thus
treated in these days! And was it not Calvin, also, who caused the
Prince of Condé to be punished because he made himself agreeable to
ladies, and thereby injured the interests of God? That reminds us of one
club man who is always at his club when we want him for better
purposes. Has he a little of the spirit of Calvin?

This city is full of associations of intellectual lives which bring
fragrance of good deeds, the good works of Mme. de Staël, her Father
Neckar, of Pestalozzi, Père Gérand, and many others.

In the afternoon we took a sail up the lake. The shores are closely
dotted with hotels, fine residences, little villages, picturesque
chalets, fronted with green, well-kept lawns, running to the water’s
edge, on the one side of the lake, while the Alps rise high and dark on
the other. We landed at Nyon, and climbed innumerable steps to see an
old castle, from which we had charming outlooks. We sailed back to
Geneva at the hour of sunset. All my life I had heard much of the
sudden, striking color changes that sunset produces on the summits of
the Alps--and we have seen them in all their great beauty. At one
instant, the terraces of mountain tops looked as if clothed in gold, and
next as if painted crimson,--and as the sun sunk lower they were left
huge dark piles, casting their shadows over us. On landing, we took a
walk, and inspected the much-heard-of monument of the Duke of Brunswick,
for the erection of which he left plans and money. Did not admire it. It
is very ‘giddy,’ but the placing of it there poured funds into the
treasury of the town. We looked at the pretty little American church
with a tender interest, for one dear to us was married within its walls.
In the evening we went to an open-air concert, and a very good one too,
in the garden in front of our hotel.

Called at an office to see about getting front seats on diligence, for
our trip to Chamouni to-morrow. F. speaking French the better, did the
talking, but was assured we could have no front seats for the next day,
and we were about coming to the conclusion that we should have to take
back ones, much to our disappointment; but it is here as almost
everywhere else, if you are willing to take ‘back seats’ you may never
take front ones, and this time I was not willing. Remembering the
potency of the silver key, I resorted to that as a forlorn hope, mixed
in with my poor French, and succeeded in securing the desired places. On
our way home, F. said she feared my earnestness and my not always
grammatical French might place me in as bad a position as an American
woman occupied, of whom she heard this story. She was rather proud of
her somewhat limited knowledge of the French language, and fond of
airing it. She went to secure places on a diligence for one of the Swiss
mountain trips, and approaching the conductor, demanded--

‘Etes-vous les diligence?’

‘Non, Madame, pardon; Je suis le conducteur.’

Lady--somewhat angry at the correction--said excitedly, ‘C’est tout de
même; Je prenderai deux places dans votre interieur?’

_July 9th, 1888._--Never a pleasanter morning dawned for a ride on a
diligence! Ours was a new one, painted in bright colors, and we had the
two seats between the driver and conductor. Our six strong horses wore
strings of bells about their necks, and we started off right merrily.
The road from Geneva to Chamouni is as familiar to tourists as the way
from the Oxford to Boston Common, but all do not see it alike, and you
have not seen it at all, so I know you will enjoy hearing of it, told
to you in my way. The road over which we rolled was simply perfect, and
the panorama in front of and about us, magnificent. We went through the
valley of the Arve, past well-cultivated farms, and little factories run
by water turning the big wheels, past pretty chalets, nestled in green,
stopping often to change horses and drivers, when the pretty Swiss
children would gather about us and entreat us to buy their nosegays of
wild flowers. There is something so pathetic in the faces of these
little ones, that we could not find it in our hearts to disappoint them,
so our decorations became as thick as those of a brigadier-general.

But soon we leave these rural scenes, and strike into scenery so grand
that I fear it is beyond description. Imagine us going over the road,
with the river tumbling, foaming, along by its edge, the mountains
towering up on each side of us, some rocky, others covered with green
pines, with a sheet of mosses, lichens, and mountain blossoms at their
bases, and frequent cascades of water rushing down pell-mell from
tremendous heights, forming vast clouds of vapor long before reaching
the valley below, and sparkling in the rays of the sun like millions of
diamonds. One long, narrow waterfall, fringed with green foliage, like
orange leaves, well merited its name of ‘the bridal veil,’ so pure,
lace-like, and fleecy did it look. ‘This will be a fine day to see Mt.
Blanc,’ said our conductor, and soon the mountain chain, with every
shape of peak, including Mt. Blanc, shot up like giant commanders above
the regions of the clouds, in full view against the blue sky background,
which blue was intensified by the snow-clad tips. After leaving the
Baths of St. Gervais, a health resort approached through a beautiful
avenue of trees, and where we dined, we find the road even better than
at its beginning. These roads were built, and are taken care of, by the
Government, and there is scarcely a stone or an uneven place on them.
Every few miles we see crosses erected, some costly ones, but more of
wood simply painted, with images of the Saviour or of some saint on the
pedestals or in glass cases. Over the doors or windows of most of the
houses are statues or pictures of saints, for we are in Catholic
Switzerland now. Here too we are assailed by beggars, and from one house
the whole family, including the grandparents, all ragged and dirty,
besieged us for alms. What a blot is this upon beautiful Switzerland. On
this road also we first saw victims of cretinism and goitre. We met one
old beggar woman whose neck was so swollen that we could only see the
upper part of her head protruding from the swollen mass of flesh
beneath. We were told that the medical and scientific men of the country
have for years endeavored to ascertain the cause and a cure for this
loathsome disease, but have so far been unsuccessful. Many attribute it
to the use of snow water, but I should be more willing to think the use
of no water caused it, for dirtier, more repulsive-looking: mendicants I
never beheld. At about seven P.M. we reached the little village of
Chamouni, and alighted at our hotel without a feeling of fatigue, so
comfortable and full of delight had been our trip.



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LETTER VI.


Chamouni is a small town at the foot of the mountains, surrounded in all
directions by grand scenery, and the river Arve rushing through it, but
our impressions of the place we will give you to-morrow. We find our
hotel full of people from all over the world, and, alas, we see by the
register that some friends from Boston have just left. Why could they
not have stayed one day longer? We rush from table d’hôte into the yard
to see a party dismount from their mules after a day’s excursion in the
mountains, and a tired but jolly crowd they were. ‘This is what you have
got to do to-morrow, so pick out your thoroughbred,’ said F. I scanned
the creatures, but took no stock in them; but mules have a wise look.

_Chamouni, July 10th._--What a day this has been in my calendar, to be
sure! Thanks be to the good Lord that I am alive to-night to tell you
about it. This early morning, before breakfast, we took a stroll about
the town, which is composed greatly of hotels, as this is everybody’s
starting point for the mountain and glacier trips of this part of
Switzerland. There are two or three churches here and some stores, and
groups of small but comfortable-looking homes, but mules
predominate--mules in the streets, mules in every yard, and mules on
every corner; in fact, the principal part of the population is mules and
the principal part of industry mule riding, at least one would so judge
from the general aspect. We met a party of gentlemen coming from Mt.
Blanc, who had made a hazardous journey, and for whom we had heard some
anxiety expressed by their friends at the hotel, but they are safe, and
we imagine the young, rosy-cheeked English maiden will now leave the
telescope, where she has stood for so much of the time since our
arrival, looking anxiously toward the ice-capped giant, hoping to see
‘Albert.’ There is probably much satisfaction to scientists in the
ascent of Mt. Blanc, but to the man ordinary one would not think it
would pay, as the results are often quite serious, even if one does get
through with whole limbs--the skin generally peels from one’s face and
the eyesight is often badly affected.

We stepped into the church for a blessing and back to our hotel, the
D’Angleterre, for breakfast, with an appetite ready to devour anything.
The table is excellent, and such butter! so sweet and fresh, that one
eats an extra roll for the sake of the butter with it. Here we met some
friends from America, who are to join us on our trip to the Mer de
Glace. ‘But I do not wish to ride a mule; can I not be carried in a
chair?’ ‘No, no,’ said the crowd, ‘here they come, mules and guides.’
‘Come now, let us get started; you may have the first choice,’ said F.
‘Six mules and three guides. And is that what you engaged? I must have
the whole attention of one guide.’ I opened conversation thus with the
oldest man, who seemed used to being questioned: ‘Which is the easiest
trotter?’ ‘Not much difference, all easy.’ ‘These saddles look hard,’
said I. ‘The softest in Chamouni.’ I walked around one mule, and he,
eying me, brayed in disapproval, but by this time the rest of the party
had mounted the other five, and I was helped to the saddle of this sixth
one, wondering how my one hundred and thirty pounds avoirdupois looked
at mule-back elevation, not daring yet to think how a back not made of
iron might stand the ordeal. After a good deal of merriment in getting
started, out of the yard we filed, a gay party, two ladies and three
gentlemen, all thinking it delightful but myself. For a while muley was
very demure, and the fearless riders kindly gave to me the most
experienced guide, so we led the string. The zigzag path as we ascended
the mountain, however, grew narrower and steeper, with now a big stone
in the way, and next a slippery hole made by running water, and my beast
gave me terrible shakings as if he would rather ‘go it alone.’ The young
people in the rear were enjoying the scenery, and I could hear their gay
voices and exclamations of delight, but I did not think it such a good
time, for I had to give my entire attention to keeping on my saddle,
such bumps into the air that mule did give me. My guide said he was
young and playful, and there was no danger, which quite reassured me,
notwithstanding he endeavored to whirl about very often, as if he had
been stung, or had hit his crazy bone, or stepped on an electric wire.
F. cries out, ‘Do not be frightened; you will get used to it.’ But when
the creature suddenly jumped from the hand of the guide, a yard or two
down the embankment, with the yawning precipice below, to eat a bunch of
green grass he had spied, almost throwing the guide down, and I keeping
on only by holding on to his neck with both arms for dear life, I
concluded I would not wait to get used to it, and dismounted, feeling
that ‘shanks mare’ was a safer medium of locomotion than a Chamouni
mule. The creature knew well that he had scored a victory, shook his
long ears satisfactorily, winked considerably and wisely, and walked
along contentedly. And so did I. We saw many wild goats and one chamois,
only that was in a little house and for the sight of it we had to pay.
We met a number of pedestrians with their alpine sticks, and I gathered
large bunches of lovely, bright-red flowers, called the mountain rose,
somewhat like our rhododendron.

It took us about three hours to reach the summit where the Mer de Glace,
the great sea of ice, came in sight. The glacier extends for about
twelve miles, and at this spot is about two miles wide, a solid mass of
ice with enormous cracks and crevices, with tall ramparts, turrets, and
towers of ice, all glistening in the sunshine like crystal,
scintillating with gorgeous colors. From the hotel piazza, which hotel,
a new one, stands on the plateau above the gorge, the effect is
dazzlingly grand. At the hotel we were provided with strong alpine
sticks, with socks and shoes, for walking on the ice, and with fresh
guides commenced our journey across. It was difficult getting along
sometimes, but the beauty, strangeness, and fearfulness of it all more
than repaid us for the physical exertion. We were on the ice, with
frozen mountains and spires all about us. Many of the columns and
pinnacles and huge pieces of ice looked like crystal cathedrals and
palaces. In other places it appeared as if huge sea waves had been
instantaneously frozen. A grotto had been naturally formed, into which
four of us stepped. Deep crevasses, hundreds of feet deep, met us, some
narrow enough to leap over, and others we passed over on little ice
bridges our guides made for us. Midway we halted, looking about us, lost
in wonder and amazement, when suddenly we were brought back to everyday
life by a photographer, with his camera, suddenly appearing before us
asking in plain English if we would have our pictures taken. Where the
man came from we did not see, nor where he went we cared not, for we did
not choose to be served up on ice that day. We crossed safely and
recrossed at a different place, where the ice scenery varied as much as
mountain scenery does from various outlooks, and we felt that never in
our lives before had we seen anything so magnificent. As I was ascending
the jagged points of the cliff to step on land, something fluttered like
a feather before my eyes; but I soon saw that it was a butterfly; my
guide caught it for me, and I had, as my trophy, a pure-white butterfly.
My guide, an intelligent fellow, said he occasionally saw gray ones,
but had never before seen a pure-white one there. A few yards from this
sea of ice vegetation flourishes, and almost at its very edge I found a
cluster of little blossoms resembling our ‘forget-me-not,’ only white
instead of blue. They grew very close together, and none others of their
kind were to be seen, and they looked as though they realized that they
had been left out in the cold, far from home, and tried to comfort each
other.

At the hotel we had a poor dinner, for which we paid a big price, but
the magnificent views we here had from the house piazzas made up for it.
Clouds began to thicken and we made hasty preparations for our descent.
I exchanged mules, and the last one proved less frisky, but our going
down the mountain seemed more hazardous than going up. Pretty Miss M.,
of Nashville, Tennessee, with her bright golden hair streaming over her
blue cloth dress, led the van on my former steed, who, apparently
feeling proud of his lighter burden, behaved very well, but we had not
gone far when the rain poured as only it can pour in these mountains.
We were all provided with umbrellas, but I had to use my hands to hold
on to the pommel of my saddle, for my mule’s hind feet were higher than
his front ones, and I preferred getting wet to being dismounted. A boy
had trotted up the mountain with us, and kept near us on our way down,
so I gave him my umbrella, as it was impossible for me to use it, to
protect himself. (More of that umbrella later.) As we neared the valley
it ceased raining, the clouds broke, and for a little while the sun
shone brightly and sank slowly in the west just as we entered our hotel
yard, the young people exclaiming to those who came out to greet us, ‘We
have had a charming time,’ but I, with every article of clothing
thoroughly soaked, and my body feeling as if I had been under a
thrashing machine, parted with mule society most willingly.

Of our guides let me here say, in case you come this way some time, they
were all careful, polite, and attentive to us, and from mine, although
he could not speak one word of English, I gained considerable
information in regard to Chamouni guides. They are formed into a
society and are employed in rotation, sometimes showing sufficient
gallantry, however, to allow ladies travelling without gentlemen to
choose their guides, if for any reason they have a preference. These
men, before they can be accepted by the club, must be familiar with the
mountains and the glaciers and must be proven to be honest and reliable.
My guide was evidently a man of observation, and told me the guides all
liked Americans, they seemed to enjoy everything so much. ‘The American
ladies look happy; the English ladies are sad,’ he said, probably
meaning that they were not as enthusiastic, for the people of every
country like to have its wonders appreciated. With aching limbs I
retired early, and F. thought manipulation, with a little hot water and
whiskey, might ward off a severe cold, and I submitted to the treatment,
while the others, not a bit used up, went off for an evening’s ramble. I
think they must have been brought up on mules.

_Wednesday, July 11th._--When we went to pay our bill this morning we
found amongst the items charged, ‘eight glasses of whiskey.’ ‘What does
this mean?’ ‘Means that Madame has had eight glasses of whiskey.’ ‘There
is some mistake; the only whiskey we have had was about half a gill, and
probably not that, brought up to me in a wine-glass last night.’ ‘No,
Madame, no mistake; we are very particular.’ ‘Do I look like a woman
that has had eight glasses of whiskey? Take that off my bill, that I may
pay what I owe you,’ said I, and I immediately counted out the amount,
including one gill of whiskey. All of this in French, which I could not
talk fast enough to show him the depth of my anger. F. was getting
alarmed, and whispered, ‘Don’t mind; do pay it.’ ‘No, I will not pay one
sou of it, for we do not owe it,’ and the clerk, seeing that I was
determined, accepted what I gave him and receipted the bill. Now if that
man was honest, he thinks we have defrauded him; if not honest, he will
conclude American ladies are business-like at least.

After this scene we were about ready to jog along, our carriage in the
yard waiting for us, to which I went to deposit some wraps, when my boy
of yesterday made his appearance, and said, ‘I want my pay for carrying
your umbrella.’ I looked at him with the stare of a maniac! ‘Pay! why, I
loaned it to you, to keep you dry.’ I was in no mood to be imposed upon;
but the boy began to cry, so I gave him a penny or two, and wondered
what would be the next demand.

The carriage which was to take us to Martigny was like a buggy with the
top tipped back, and a comfortable seat for us two and a short seat
front of us for our driver. Two good horses and a bright morning. Our
tickets had been purchased for this trip ‘half way by mule,’ but by
losing something, I was enabled to exchange them. No more mule riding
for me! We were told by friends that if others were going over the same
route, by joining forces and hiring a two-seated vehicle, expenses for
all would be much less. We spoke of this at the hotel office the day
before, twice, but were each time assured that there was no one else
going, and consequently our day’s trip was a costly one. At nine A.M. we
bade our friends, who were going on to Geneva, adieu, and saw the last
of Chamouni.

The Swiss are considered an honest people, but they either show great
carelessness or we have several times been cheated. At the Baths of St.
Gervais, upon paying for our dinner, they did not return to us enough
change; we both knew they did not, and yet the man who took the money
declared they did, and as we had not time to contend the case, we let it
go. To be sure, there is some dishonesty everywhere, and some honesty
that is a little hard to understand. The whiskey case might have been of
that class; something like the bills of some American dressmakers, who,
after charging for every possible thing that could be used in making a
dress, modestly put at the end of the long list: ‘Findings, one dollar.’
I have never been able to find out the definition of that word
‘findings.’



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LETTER VII.

MARTIGNY.


Our ride of thirty miles has been delightful. There is no railroad, of
course, from Chamouni to this place. We passed many pedestrians of both
sexes, with their bags and waterproofs strapped across their backs,
following in a line like a row of ants, apparently having a jolly time
seeing Switzerland on foot; also passed parties on mules. The scenery
was glorious all the way. We looked back to take our last view of Mt.
Blanc and the Mt. Blanc range and the lovely valley below. Our road was
good, but in some places so narrow, and the ravines so deep on the one
side and the mountains so high on the other, that it gave us a little
anxiety; but our driver was very cautious, and soon inspired us with
confidence. Up and down we went, constantly seeing new and wonderful
views--deep gorges, waterfalls, and the green-clad mountains; and at
last, through a tunnel cut through a solid rocky point of the mountain
that blocked the road, we came to Tête Noire, where we stopped to
refresh man and beast.

Upon going in to dinner we were surprised to see there two ladies whom
we met at Chamouni the day before, and who were travelling alone like
ourselves. They told us they left at eight o’clock, after being assured
that no others at the hotel desired to come with them, as far as was
known; so they had a carriage to themselves as we did, when we should
all have been glad to have made the trip together. Was that a mistake
also? After dinner we continued our journey, with four other carriage
loads in our train, which made the trip seem very social and jolly. We
passed through a beautiful forest, and then into an opening past houses
far apart, pasture lands, and fields of pretty wild flowers. Here we saw
pansies growing wild in great profusion, and the lovely pink, and
crimson yarrow. In our descent of the Col de Forclag we had a fine viem
of the Rhone valley, and at about six P.M. reached Martigny. Switzerland
is indeed mighty; and its great mountains, its lakes and valleys, make
us cry out, in truth, ‘Great is Thy firmament, O Lord, and wonderful the
works of Thy hand!’ Martigny is a small village in the valley, where we
are to spend the night.

_Thursday, July 12th, 1888._--We can see, in the distance, St. Bernard
covered with snow, and would like to see the celebrated hospice, the
self-sacrificing brothers and their noble dogs, but shall not take the
time this season, but hope to, some time. Of the two great gifts, memory
and hope, I know not which gives us the most satisfaction. There is but
little of interest at Martigny--a good place to rest; and feeling
entirely refreshed we left at nine A.M. for Interlaken in steam-cars,
which seem quite a novelty to us now. I think I was rather glad to get
out of the mountain region for a little while: one’s eyes grow weary
with the looking up and the looking down, and the mind tired in the
appreciating of so much sublimity at once. The country we came over was
charming; fields of wild flowers of every color looking as if arranged
by an artistic hand, and the hillsides covered with vineyards. Our road,
for a long distance, kept near Lake Geneva; the water looked as deeply
blue as a sapphire, and the sail-boats and steamers passing each other
made a pleasing scene.

At Chillon we stopped to see the ‘Castle of Chillon.’ It is a
picturesque old building, with turrets and towers, standing on a point
of rock that extends out into the lake. The ring of iron to which
Bonnivard was chained is still there; and the path which his feet wore
in the stone floor, in the weary, solitary six years’ march back and
forth over those few stones, is plainly visible.

    ‘Chillon! thy prison is a holy place,
       And thy sad floor an altar, for ’twas trod,
     Until his very steps have left a trace
       Worn, as if thy cold pavement were a sod,
     By Bonnivard! May none those marks efface;
       For they appeal from tyranny to God.’

It would be almost impossible for one to keep from quoting Byron’s lines
here, for everything we see brings them to mind, and on one of the
pillars is his name, cut by his own hand. To look at the dungeons and
cells makes one’s blood run cold, and even worse is the deep, deep hole
down which prisoners, untried, were thrown to fall upon pointed iron
stakes. And while these terrible horrors were being perpetrated below,
above it all, Duke Victor Amadeus and his Duchess ate, slept, and
enjoyed themselves. Could they have been human? We saw many implements
of torture, which made our heads swim with pain even to look at them,
and be told for what they had been used, and we gladly turned our backs
upon it all and walked out into God’s sunshine, thanking Him, as never
before, that we live in an age when such things are kept only as ancient
curiosities. This portion of ‘clear, placid Leman’ and the country
around it bring forcibly to mind many portions of Childe Harold’s
pilgrimage.

Our next stopping place was at Lausanne, and at the station we met some
Boston friends, seeing them just long enough for an affectionate
greeting and to say good-by, every one of us

    ‘All kind o’ smily round the lips,
     An’ teary round the lashes,’

for home faces are sweet to look upon, and our own language sweet to
hear, in this far-away land. Here we changed cars for Berne, and of all
the queer-looking towns, this is the queerest. Having but a few hours
here, we are inclined to give the most of it to the bears. The city’s
coat of arms is a bear, and pictures, carvings of, and stuffed bears
meet one’s gaze everywhere, on clocks, fountains, towers, houses, and
public buildings; and at a restaurant where we called for ice cream
Bruin’s figure was served to us in chocolate. There is also a den
containing about twenty live bears, who are sacredly cared for by the
city government, and they walk about and climb poles with more dignity
than common bears, as if fully realizing that they are ‘monarchs of all
they survey.’ We were driven through the principal streets and thought
the homes of the people looked very comfortable, with the outside
balconies at the windows, and the red-covered cushions on them, as if
inviting travellers to stop and rest. It happened to be cheese market
day; and in the middle of a square were long tables covered with piles
of cheese, of all shapes and colors, enough to provide the citizens of
the whole world, for the rest of their lives, ‘cheese for their
doughnuts.’ But the odor! It was not to us ‘of Araby blest.’ There is a
great deal of beautiful carved woodwork here, and how we want to buy
everything odd and pretty, but oh, those ‘duties’ to come. We went into
the cathedral, which is a handsome one, and walked on its terrace, from
which we had a fine view of the river Aar and distant mountain peaks. We
then hastened to the old clock tower, to be there at just the time to
hear and see the curious old clock strike the hour of six. A cock steps
out and flaps his wings, an ogre eats a child, and has his pockets full
of children in reserve to be similarly disposed of, a troop of bears
march across the tower, and a man strikes the number of the hour on a
big bell with a hammer. These, you understand, are all statues carved
of wood, and move correctly every hour. A bearded man also turns an
hourglass and counts the number of the hour by raising a sceptre and
opening his mouth as if speaking. One needs to look very closely to see
all the movements, and the whole is wonderfully ingenious, and it is
indeed an ‘old clock,’ as it was built in the year 1191.

After leaving Berne, we changed cars twice before reaching the lake. I
cannot understand why the railroad officials of Switzerland do not
arrange matters to dispense with so much changing from one car to
another, and also to shorten the delays, unless they are desirous of
accommodating the women they employ, in giving them ample time to finish
whatever they may be doing ere they blow that horn, which sounded like a
‘Swampscott fish horn,’ and which at several stations has seemed to be
the order for us to move. At one station I saw a woman come through a
gate with a horn or trumpet, or whatever it may be called, and partly
raise it to her mouth as if to sound the signal for us to start, but
suddenly, seeing a dog scratching up the earth in her garden, ran and
beat the dog first, then returned and tooted loudly, and off we started.
A short sail on Lake Thun, which seemed weird and lonely, as it was by
this time quite dark, another car ride, and we see the lights of
Interlaken, which speak to us of rest, for we are weary.

_Interlaken, July 14th._--This is cheerful. Everything at our hotel, the
Victoria, looked delightfully pleasant to us this morning as we tripped
down stairs as good as new. ‘What a pretty front yard, and do see all of
these huge hotels in a row; do you suppose they are all full?’ said F.
Well, Interlaken does seem to have hotels enough to take in all the
tourists of the world, but they are all well filled at this season. The
shops are attractive, and the pretty girls in them, dressed in their
native costumes, are very polite and seem perfectly willing to show
their wares without urging one to buy. But the beautiful embroideries
are temptation enough for one to spend money, without any words. We saw
in every shop handkerchiefs more beautiful than in the last we entered,
although we declared those there, when we looked at them, were the
loveliest that could be made. And the exquisite embroidered soft white
laces almost make one want to be a bride to wear them. Girls and women
are sitting in the stores, on the steps, in their door yards, and in the
parks, all busy embroidering. We have a good view of the Jungfrau from
our hotel piazza. We have taken long walks in and about the town, and
very pleasant ones. We wandered into a church and found that one half of
the building was used by the Presbyterians and the other half by the
Catholics. We were pleased to meet some friends from Boston here, who
added much to the pleasure of our stay.

_July 16th._--F. has been with Mr. F., one of our home friends, over the
Wengern Alp to Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen to see the glaciers and the
ice-caves. I declined, not caring for another mule ride. They report
having had a fine time, repaid fully by the sights they enjoyed, and
rode horses instead of mules,--and horses do have some consideration for
their riders. Evenings we have had ‘hops’ at our hotel and fine music,
and after table d’hôte are always entertained by the orchestrian and
the bright-looking little wooden man that wields the baton.

_Lucerne, July 17th._--A short ride from Interlaken this morning early
brought us to Lake Brienz, which we sailed across, stopping for a short
time at Giessbach to see the falls, which are formed from numerous
cascades. Their reputation is the greater part of them. We left the
steamer at Brienz and took steam cars to travel over the Brunig Pass.
Until this summer, travellers have been obliged to make this journey by
carriage or mules. The new railroad is narrow, and the sides of the
little cars are of glass, so that the scenery all about us can be easily
seen. We crept cautiously, slowly along, up the zigzag road, higher and
higher, through jagged rocks and under them, clasping each other’s hands
and almost holding our breath, so fearfully grand did it all seem. The
lovely Meiringen valley below, lying peacefully dotted with pretty
villages and protected by high mountains on each side, seemed very far
from us, and the river running through its centre looked like yards of
silver ribbon unfurled to beautify some one’s bridal day. But when the
descent is safely made we almost want to go back again, it was all so
beautiful. The last two hours of our day’s travel was on Lake Lucerne,
the loveliest bit of water in all Europe. A tall, gaunt,
masculine-looking German woman happened to sit near us on the boat, and
seemed to look upon us as ‘curiosities,’ and to feel it her duty on her
native soil to give us some information. This woman had been all day at
work in the mountains, but at what we could not understand. Coarse and
repulsive-looking as she was, she had a good bit of the poetic
temperament in her nature, and knew every mountain peak and bit of
scenery in sight and the traditions connected with them. The peasant
women of Switzerland, owing to their toilsome lives, wear a look of
anxiety and hardness in their faces that a woman’s face ought never to
have. And yet there is no country in the world, excepting our own, where
women have done so much for the progression, education, and good of
their sex. In Protestant Switzerland there is but little begging; in
Catholic Switzerland beggars waylay you at every turn. It was nearly
sundown when we crossed the lake, and Mt. Pilatus showed off well and
did not disappoint us. The old German woman assured us that Pontius
Pilate fled there from Jerusalem, heart-broken, and ended his life by
throwing himself into the lake: ‘See, right in that spot,’ she said, ‘he
threw himself!’ Then as if reflecting, added, ‘But Pilate did what
was--what he had to do.’ All this she spoke in German, and I have given
you the literal translation. Who shall say that woman was not a
philosopher? Pointing in another direction she said, ‘That is where
Kriss Kringle was born. Does he come down the chimneys in America? It is
well for children to know him.’ And this woman of sentiment and feeling
worked daily out of doors. The scenery from Lake Lucerne is indeed
beautiful and is full of glorious associations, for it was about here
that the struggle was made for the liberty and freedom of Switzerland
and her people. The mountains all about us, the stately chateaux, the
pretty chalets, old watch towers, castle ruins, and the green foliage
about them, the beautiful lake, and the steamers going and coming, make
a peaceful, restful scene. The sun sinks almost out of sight, and all at
once, as a surprise, we turn, and are at the city of Lucerne.



[Illustration: decorative bar]



LETTER VIII.

LUCERNE, _July 18th, 1888_.


In going to the breakfast-room this morning I saw, in a pantry we
passed, some real cucumbers, green and fresh looking, as if they had
just been picked in a garden I am thinking of, not a hundred miles from
Boston. My mouth fairly watered for a few crisp slices. I had a
conversation with my table waiter about them, who thought it might be
possible to get some for me. I waited patiently with refreshing
anticipations, but when they came their crispness had departed: they
were soaked in oil. I longed to go into that kitchen and teach the cook
how to serve cucumbers. But making the most of the hard bread, which I
very much dislike, and it is the same all over the Continent--crust an
inch thick, and the passable beefsteak and poor coffee, we got through
our morning meal. We soon forgot our disappointment at breakfast in the
delight of getting letters. Oh how glad to read them, and no bad news.
Now we can go out sight-seeing, stronger and happier than ever.

Lucerne is beautifully situated on both banks of the river Reuss, with
the lake in front, and has many attractions, I think. The lake, this
clear morning, looked so luring that the first thing we enjoyed was a
sail to Fluellen, where we took carriage for Altorf, the village made
classic forever by the heroic deeds of William Tell. The spots of ground
where his son was placed and where Tell stood when he shot the apple
from the boy’s head were shown us. In our school days, Tell was ever one
of our favorite patriots, and we fear we always felt glad of that hidden
second arrow, which was to have shot the tyrant Gessler if the first had
killed his boy. On our return to Lucerne we saw the old castle of
Hapsburg, once the summer home of Wagner. The king of the sights of the
town is, however, the Lion of Lucerne. This piece of sculpture is, as
everybody knows, a monument to the brave Swiss guards of whom we thought
so much about at Versailles. The beast is twenty-eight feet long,
magnificent in proportions, and cut out in relief on the face of the
natural rock. He is wounded by a spear, and dying, but making a
desperate struggle, even in death, to protect the shield of France.
There is a pathetic expression in the expiring creature’s face that is
almost human. Ivy and running vines cover the sides of much of the huge
rock about him, and at its foot is a pond of clear water in which the
whole is reflected. The lion was designed by Thorwaldsen, the noted
Danish sculptor, who was born in Copenhagen, and whose Reliefs of the
Seasons, and his Day and Night, are familiar to you from the
photographs. ‘We cannot let our eagle scream here, F.,’ said I;
‘Cogswell fountains do not equal this.’

We went into the Glacier Garden and saw the bas-relief of Central
Switzerland, modelled from nature by General Pfyffer one hundred and
forty years ago; and were then driven to the old cathedral, where there
is a fine organ handled by a noted organist every evening. It is quite
the fashion for visitors in the place to flock there to hear the music
after dinner; but we, not liking the rooms given us at our hotel, ‘The
Swan,’ although undoubtedly they did for us the best they could, and as
we could not get into the Schweizerhof at all, the best hotel in the
place, have decided to leave this afternoon. Our last act of
sight-seeing was the old covered bridge, in which there are over a
hundred pictures, scenes of Switzerland’s history and pictures of
saints, although some of them did not look very saintly. There are four
bridges across the river,--two modern, and the other two very ancient
and curious.

Went to Vitzman by boat, then took front seats on a platform car to
ascend the Rigi. Only one car is sent up at a time, and that is driven
by steam power. The railway seems to be the same as any narrow-gauge
road, but between the outside rails are two other rails quite near each
other, in which a cogwheel, which is under the engine, runs or works. We
ascend slowly, leaving the lake and the towns far below us, and beyond
and above us are the mountain peaks. We go through a tunnel and across a
deep yawning ravine on an iron bridge; and the scenery is beautiful all
around us, which we can fully enjoy at our ease, as there are no
dangerous places and no frisky mules to distract one’s attention. We
pass many tourists, but the path must appear almost endless to them, for
it seems to us, even at our speed, that the top of the mountain grows
farther away. But at last we reach our hotel, the Rigi Kulm, above the
clouds. Would we could always rise above them so delightfully! It was
very cold, so we put on all the wraps we had, and started out for views
from the Rigi. Just imagine yourself on the very top of this high
mountain, which juts up towards the heavens like a ‘popover’ in a hot
oven. In the valley below we can count eight lakes, and the many towns
so far below us look like the little wooden villages made of blocks for
children to play with. Looking beyond in all directions, we see
mountains towering up to the sky--Rocky Pilatus, the snow-clad range of
the Bernese Alps, and the green Rigi group close about us. We see the
rugged heights of the Silberhorn, the three peaks of the Wetterhorn,
and, grandest of all, the Finsteraarhorn. What a personal interest we
have in these peaks of Switzerland as soon as we know them.

The mountain was covered with travellers, like ourselves, enjoying the
views and anticipating a gorgeous sunset, as there was scarcely a cloud
to be seen. I sat on the grass near the edge of the mountain wondering
at the extent of this magnificent panorama, when I felt a weight on my
shoulder; turning quickly a cow raised her head from the resting place
she had chosen and looked at me in a way that said, ‘Why did you move?’
A little later we met Mr. W., of New York, and his handsome German
doctor, who added greatly to our pleasure during the rest of our stay
here. Seeing a boy with some freshly picked wild flowers, and an
edelweiss among them, I asked where he found it, and wandered off in the
direction indicated, anxious to pick for myself one of these blossoms.
We had bought them fresh, we had bought them dried, and the semblance
of them in all sorts of ornaments, but not one had I seen growing. I
clambered down the steep and rocky path, and was rewarded after a long
search by finding two of these flowers which the Swiss love so well, and
I victoriously exhibited them to my friends as I met them coming in
search of me. We grouped ourselves on a high platform, built on the
summit, which was already well crowded, to see the sun go down. But why
do we get up here? we were high enough before. Because it is the thing
to do, and here is glass of every color to look through. But I only wish
to see it all in its natural colors. How the wind blows, and how cold it
is! There goes the Doctor’s hat. No use to try to recover it; it is
dashing on to see where the sun goes to. Put this wrap over your head,
Doctor.

Look, look! The great ball of fire was sinking to the edge of the
horizon, which was streaked gorgeously with crimson and gold. Golden
tints fell far and near, upon valley, lakes, and mountains, and the
white robes of the snow-clad peaks, were changed to rose. All voices
were hushed, for a spectacle so sublime awakened in every one emotions
too deep for words. Lower and lower, until only a great gold shield
remained, and soon all light was gone, and the shadows covered us.
‘These are Thy works also, O God, for Thou didst make the heavens and
the earth.’

Stiff with cold, we hurried to our hotel, whose lights twinkled
cheerfully for us in the distance, and a good dinner, with warm drinks,
soon thawed us into a comfortable condition. After dinner we tried to
find a room heated sufficiently for us to remain in and not freeze, but
there was none. Large, handsome parlors and corridors, but all as cold
as ice-caves. The proprietors of this house make a great mistake in not
providing fires for the comfort of their guests; and for the very lack
of this necessity to one’s health, we decided to leave as early as
possible in the morning. After a brisk promenade through the hall with
our friends, we bade them good-night, promising to rise at the sound of
the alpine horn and meet them in the parlor, to go out and see the
rising of the sun, which they assured us would be far more wonderful
than its setting. ‘Now you will be sure to be on hand,’ said Mr. W. ‘I
would not have you miss it for anything. I have a fur coat here which I
will unpack to put about you; you will have to rise at three o’clock,
you know.’ ‘O yes, I will surely be ready. We have come far to see the
sun rise on the Rigi, and I must not miss it. Good-night,’ and off we go
to our room at the very top of the house. Just hear the wind roar.

Our chamber was cold, our chambermaid colder, and upon our asking her
for more bed covering she undoubtedly reached the freezing-point
somewhere, for she disappeared and we saw her not again. After prolonged
and vigorous ringings of our bell, a petrified-looking boy appeared, but
he manifested some signs of life as our money touched his palm, and we
succeeded in coaxing him to bring us an extra feather bed. That bed was
warm, and as our own was cold and clammy, I felt pretty sure the boy
gave us his own bed. But I was grateful, and he was satisfied with the
bargain.

‘Get up, and dress as soon as you can,’ said F., holding a ghostly
candle in front of my face. ‘Up! why I had just got to sleep.’ ‘The
alpine horn has sounded, and you must see the sun rise.’ ‘No, I am just
beginning to get warm; what does it rise at this unheard-of time for?’
‘There, Mr. W. is calling us outside our door; do come, hurry.’ ‘No!’
The horn tooted most unmusically. I was too tired and sleepy, with a bad
cold thrown in, to care whether the sun ever rose or not. I had had too
hard work to get a comfortable resting place, to have no benefit from
it, so off F. went, and I knew no more until seven o’clock, when she
exasperatingly informed me of what a delightful time they had, that the
sun setting was not to be compared in glory to its rising, that it was a
wonderful revelation, and that I had persistently refused to enjoy it. O
dear! why will people always tell you that the sights you do not see are
those the best worth seeing.

_Thursday, July 19th, 1888._--Although we ordered our breakfast last
night, it was not ready for us when we went to the dining-room. ‘Very
sorry, some mistake,’ said the waiter; but that did not give us our
breakfast, and it was nearly time for the car to leave. We choked down
some cold bread and half-made coffee, and rushed, meeting a waiter just
bringing our hot rolls and chops, which we had paid for when we settled
our bill the night before. I took out a clean napkin from my bag, and
took from him our breakfast, wrapped it in my napkin, and said
good-morning to the half-dazed man, who ejaculated just one word, which
sounded like ‘whew.’ Our friends were at the car to see us off, and
tried to exchange their tickets for some that would take them our route,
but could not, so good-bys were said, and off we pushed to descend the
Rigi. We have been unusually fortunate in having such perfect weather
for this mountain trip. This morning is lovely. We move cautiously down
a road, on the opposite side from the one we went up, so all views are
new to us. We soon reached Lake Zug. Our car conductor gracefully
saluted us as we left his care to take the boat. These Swiss conductors
have a pretty custom of always saluting each other when they meet, also.

We crossed the lake to the city of Zug. Had two hours to wait there, so
walked about the queer little town. Wandered into a church where were
several good pictures. On our way back to the station we stepped into a
neat-looking wayside inn and called for a bottle of wine to go with our
Rigi spoils for a luncheon. The proprietress and her fair daughter
seemed much interested in us. We spread out our luncheon on a clean
tablecloth, were served with delicious butter and honey, and enjoyed it
at our leisure. With the curiosity of the sex, these women wondered who
and what we were. Our dress was strange to them, and our language
stranger. We told them we were from America, and were travelling to see
their country. ‘Wo ist der Herr,’ asked the woman. ‘We have none,’ we
answered. ‘Mein Gott!’ said she. We hear no more French spoken now; all
German.

Our next stopping place was Zurich, where we had a good table d’hôte
dinner, and then pushed on to Schaffhausen, where we alight for the
Falls of the Rhine, and ride in a carriage about two miles to our hotel,
‘The Schweizerhoff.’ This house, with all its appointments, is the best
we have yet seen in all Europe. It is situated in the midst of
beautiful grounds, on the bank of the Rhine, with the falls in full
sight. Our room was not only comfortable, but approached elegance, and
the long windows opened on to a veranda where stood two large, soft
easy-chairs, as if waiting to welcome us, and give us the best pictures
of the country about. Making a hasty toilette, we went down stairs and
out on to the piazza, where sat at their ease a distinguished-appearing
company to see the falls, which our guidebook had told us were the
largest in Europe.

In front of us, at the foot of the garden, ran the river, and a little
to the right was a small rapid, apparently about as high as the fall of
water that I used to see running a saw-mill on the East Taunton road,
but not for an instant did we suppose that those were ‘the falls.’ ‘Will
you please tell me where the Falls of the Rhine are?’ I asked a lady
near me. The woman looked dazed, and turned toward me to see if I was
blind, but politely answered, ‘Why, there they are!’ Impulsively, with a
disgusted tone, I exclaimed, so disappointed was I, ‘Those the Rhine
Falls! Well, just think of Niagara.’ ‘Sh--sh,’ said F., ‘you are forever
waving the stars and stripes.’ If the house and place had not given us
so much pleasure we should have felt our time wasted in coming here, but
these exceed our expectations. The cuisine was simply perfect, and at
table we were served by pretty, rosy-cheeked Swiss maids, dressed in
white skirts, full-sleeved white waists and black velvet bodices, and
looking as fresh and sweet as pinks. They moved, as if one person, to
the sound of a bell, doing entirely away with long waits between
courses, and every dish brought to us was most delicious.

_Friday, July 20th._--We had our breakfast served on the broad piazza,
fronting the Rhine, by our pleasant Swiss girl this morning, and the
fragrance from the sweet flowers about us brought memories of the orange
groves in Florida where we stood only a few months ago. Time and steam
do wonders. Hoping to consider the falls a less disappointment on a
closer approach to them, we decided to go to their very centre in a
boat. About in the middle of them stands a rock, on which has been
erected a pavilion, and to which boatmen are ready to take passengers
at all times. We reached the landing safely, through currents and
whirlpools, and the rapids themselves did appear of much greater
magnitude on closer proximity, but I doubt their being the largest in
Europe. The town of Schaffhausen is very ancient, with its queer old
houses, gateways, and walls. On the old bell of the cathedral is an
inscription, which translated means, ‘I call the living: I mourn the
dead: I break the thunder;’ which it is said, prompted Schiller to write
the exquisite verses of ‘The Song of the Bell.’

_Saturday, July 21st._--Yes, the Schweizerhoff is a haven of rest, and
had we time, we should like to tarry longer. We are close to Germany
now, and must see something of it, but I fear the majestic scenery of
Switzerland has spoiled us for any scenery of less beauty. The
proprietors of these Swiss hotels have a custom of giving to each
departing lady guest a bouquet. Mine this morning was unusually
beautiful, and when I said to the giver, ‘We have really been charmed
with your house,’ a pretty picture of the place was added to the first
offering. To the omnibus in which we rode to the station from the
hotel, was harnessed, as our leader, an immense cream-colored bull, a
handsome creature, truly huge in his proportions. I doubt if I shall
admire Paul Potter’s as much.

In our car we had as our only travelling companions two priests, with
their long, flowing gowns and big hats. They continually prayed and
crossed themselves for a while, and we feared that they did not realize
that we were also two human beings and Christians, so entirely did they
ignore us. But after a time they looked up, and we found an occasion to
make a remark to them, which opened the way for a conversation, although
a limited one, as they could not understand one word of English, and we
stumbled much in German, but they were very bright, and looked over with
us our German conversation book, and we made quite a merry party. Our
route was through and over the Black Forest mountains, said to be the
most picturesque of all mountains. We passed through numerous tunnels,
some very long ones, and in utter darkness, as they did not light the
cars at all, giving one a good chance to think of all the terrible
accidents one ever heard of, and making one feel all the time as if
something dreadful might happen. I never did like to be in the dark,
unless as a tired child with my mother’s arms close about me. When not
underground, which seemed but little of the time, the scenery we saw was
bold and memorable. The whole region of this Black Forest is full of
traditional stories, and we stretched our necks as we turned precipitous
corners, hoping to get a glimpse of the ‘Black Huntsman’ dashing down
the dizzy heights back of us or in the green valleys below. We saw two
castles, and a huge monastery, ‘built on a rock’ on a high elevation.
And now, being in the mood, I think I will tell you of something we saw
later,--a cavern which is called ‘The Noble Lady’s Grave,’ and this is
the story which shows why so named, as told to us, or at least the main
points: ‘The husband of the lady left her alone in their home in the
Black Forest, with only her attendants for society, and, of course, she
being of noble birth, could not ‘chum’ much with her servants. He left
her thus to join the Crusades. She pleaded with all a loving wife’s
earnestness for him to remain with her, but without avail. It looks as
if the knight cared more for glory than for his better half, but may be,
let us be charitable, ‘he had business she could not understand,’ or
perhaps ‘he had to meet a man,’ as many of the self-sacrificing husbands
of our own time are obliged to do, greatly to their own discomfort, but
‘duty is duty, you know.’ At any rate he tore himself away from her
clinging arms, in spite of tears and entreaties, undoubtedly hoping to
cover himself with glory in the holy city. Perhaps he had wearied of the
gloom, dismalness, and monotony of life in the Black Forest, and ‘needed
a change.’ His wife, of course, had more resources for pleasure; she
could do the mending of the family, tell the cook what to have for
dinner, and go to church and give thanks for so brave a husband, and
offer prayers for his welfare. The lonely, noble lady did all of these
things most faithfully for a while, but they soon ceased to be
entertaining, and life itself grew wearisome. There was no mail to be
expected in those days, no letters to answer, no progressive euchre
parties, no Browning clubs, no sewing circles, no amateur theatricals,
and not even a neighbor to talk about, and no one to talk about the
neighbors with. Poor forlorn woman! Worn and weary with the watching and
the waiting, ‘He cometh not,’ she said. Her crusader most selfishly
tarried too long. But one fine day somebody’s else crusader came along,
and just as the noble lady was packing her ‘Saratoga’ to fly with him to
the lands where loneliness and the ‘blues’ were unknown, her own lawful
crusader appeared, killed her would-be rescuer, and shut the poor,
out-of-patience wife up in this cave in the hillside, which was her
prison living and her grave when dead.

After the descent of the Black Forest range was made, we struck into
pretty, green valleys, where women, young girls, and children were
making hay,--Gretchens and Maud Müllers. Oxen and cows were used instead
of horses, and I saw two women _harnessed_ into a hay-cart, which was
loaded with hay, and a man riding comfortably on top, smoking his pipe.
I would have liked to have seen him fall off, but I was told that men at
home, in this part of the world, are so few, that the women give them
the easy places, and work for them, and coddle and pet them to their
hearts’ content. The large majority of the men are away at the barracks.
The homes of the working people, just here, look as if intended to
illustrate a revised edition of ‘the happy family.’ Human beings, both
sexes, of several generations, judging from the very old looking women
and the few old men, and the little babies we see, with horses, cattle,
sheep, pigs, and hens, all live under one outside upper roof, having
perhaps the choice of apartments inside. The door-yards look neat, but
without exception, every house has somewhere near the never-to-be-missed
fertilizer pile, often higher than the house, and generally the bigger
the house the bigger the pile. Stocks up, they sell; stocks down, they
buy. Financial excitements, you see, are necessary even here. The houses
are never painted, and the roofs are covered with straw. At one station
where we changed cars we saw a group of Alsatian women with the genuine
Alsatian bows on their heads instead of bonnets. The bows were made of
some black material, and I think must have measured fully one yard from
one end to the other.



[Illustration: decorative bar]



LETTER IX.

HOTEL DE LA VILLE DE PARIS, STRASSBURG.


MY DEAR ----: Strassburg is a larger city than I had expected to see, and
some parts of it are very fine. The university buildings are handsome,
as are many others. The great cathedral, however, is the one particular
object of interest. We first took a look at the exterior, and many
looks, for its beauties are manifold. The carvings, statues, and
bas-reliefs are magnificent, as are also the towers, turrets, and the
spire. The west front, so called, has a rose window, and on each side of
this window is a large square tower. The entire façade is most
exquisitely sculptured. ‘But oh!’ said F., ‘do look up at the spire;
does it seem possible any object so elaborate and graceful could be made
of stone?’ The height of this spire is nearly five hundred feet. It
looks so light and airy, so like a wonderfully executed piece of
filagree work, towering towards the clouds, that I fear you cannot
imagine its beauty from a hasty description. It has been said to look
like ‘lace work,’ and the building itself, so fine are its carvings and
sculptures, said ‘to look as if it were placed behind a rich, open,
flower-like screen, or in a case of open-work stone,’ and these
comparisons will, I think, convey to you a little idea of its general
appearance, and you will be spared the lameness of neck that I suffered,
from the long stretch in looking up. Even in this land of art,
architecture, music, sculpture, and poetry, we are often reminded that
flesh, muscle, and nerves need some consideration. This church is indeed
a rare poem, an epic of the first water, and its author, the architect,
was Erwin von Steinbach, whose tomb is in one of the chapels. F.,
anxious to do the most daring things, decided to ascend the spire by way
of the spiral staircase; I declined. She ascended and descended with a
level head, and declared she would not have missed the sights, for
anything, of the closer view of the stone-work, and of the panoramic
picture from the elevation. Of the interior I shall not tell you much,
but its rich, elegant carvings, its beautiful stained-glass windows, its
clusters of pillars, its ornately sculptured pulpit, were objects of our
great enthusiasm and delight.

Of the wonderful clock I will tell you a little. This astronomical clock
is in the south transept, and tells not only the time of the day but
indicates every event connected with astronomical phenomena, like the
changes of the moon, the seasons, the church calendar, and so forth. A
child strikes the quarter of the hour, a youth the half hour, a young
man the third quarter, and an aged man, tottering slowly, comes and
touches the bell with his staff, and passes on, soon followed by the
figure of Death, who strikes the full hour with a human bone; and just
then, the figures representing the twelve Apostles march in front of a
statue of the Saviour, who bends to give each one his blessing, and a
cock crows loudly thrice, while another figure--Time--turns an
hour-glass, for running of the sand to indicate the next hour. It is
all extremely ingenious and interesting. The clock has been partly
reconstructed, as it is said the original, made in 1448, was partially
destroyed by the maker. The legend runs that the genius who invented and
made this wonderful structure of mechanism for Strassburg was urged to
make one for another town. The Strassburgers becoming jealous, sent for
the clock-maker, and requested him to give his promise that he would
never make another; but this he refused to do, which so angered them
they gave an order to have the poor man’s eyes put out. Hearing of this
terrible crime which was soon to be inflicted upon him, he offered to
make a few necessary repairs on the clock before losing his eyesight. As
soon as he had done this, his eyes were forever destroyed, but at the
same moment a crash from the clock was heard--weights, bells, and
figures fell to the ground, for the man had destroyed instead of
repairing his work. The clock just escaped being again destroyed at the
time of the bombardment by the Germans in 1870. The cathedral was
greatly damaged, but has been well repaired. One cannot wonder that the
French feel bitterly toward the Germans for taking from them, with
Alsace, this city so rich in its churches, but such is war. And long
ago, when this same place was a free German town, Louis XVI. captured it
for France, and now Germany claims it again. French and German seem to
be about equally spoken here.

We met E. W. in the street to-day, and a pleasant surprise was her face.
In this strange country, mere acquaintances seem like dear friends, and
dear friends dearer than ever before. I wish I could hear your voice
to-day, but I know you are with us in thought, and glad that these days
are so filled with brightness for us, but we must not forget that they
cannot always last; we are so apt to, just as in summer we forget that
flowers so soon wither; but the fragrance of their fallen leaves remains
with us long, as will the sweet memories of these gliding hours.

_Holland Hotel, Baden Baden, July 23d, 1888._--At four P.M. we reached
here from Strassburg. Our hotel is one of the best, and after settling
our baggage in our spacious, handsomely furnished room, we went out to
reconnoitre. The town is lovely,--beautiful streets, buildings, shops,
and grand old shade trees everywhere, and just now the place is crowded
with people, driving, walking, flirting, and sauntering through the
streets, stores, and gardens, bareheaded. This reminds me more of
Saratoga in the summer season than any place I have before seen,
although there is not the display of dress here, or the taste displayed
in what dress there is, that we see in our American watering-places. In
fact, so far, I have had to come to the conclusion that European ladies
show very little good judgment and no style in dress, with the one
exception of the Parisians. The Duchess of Baden, who is the daughter of
the good old Emperor William, lives very near our hotel, and other
members of the royal family of Germany are here, but are, of course, all
in deep mourning for the dearly loved and much-lamented late Emperor
Frederick.

After an excellent dinner we went to the ‘Conversation Haus,’ a large,
fine building in the midst of beautiful grounds, where everybody goes
evenings to hear the fine music and see the people. What else they go
for I cannot positively say, but am told that there is still some
gambling carried on somewhere within the walls of this building; but we
saw only its elegant drawing-rooms, ball and reception rooms, rich in
appearance as pictures and gilt, velvet, and silk furnishings could make
them. If any gambling is done here, or about here, in these days it is
done secretly, for when the German Government awakened to the fact that
accomplished scoundrels from all over the world met here to carry on
their nefarious practice, it suppressed all gambling, greatly to the
credit of the Government, for by so doing thousands of dollars that were
left here annually were spent in some other country than Germany. When
this was done it was feared that the prosperity of Baden was over, but
it did not prove so. The place is too lovely to be neglected by
travellers, and now, many of the wealthier and most respected Europeans
spend a portion of the summer here. There are over twenty large hotels
and more small ones, and they are now all well filled.

_July 24th._--This morning we visited the ‘Trink Halle,’ an elegant
building, which is decorated with frescoes illustrating many of the old
German legends of the Black Forest. People flock here mornings to drink
the waters as they do at Congress Spring at Saratoga. Crowds of people
were present drinking the vile stuff as if they enjoyed it, but I found
it the least palatable of any mineral water I ever tasted. The Fraülein
who, at her leisure, at last waited upon us, acted as if it were a great
condescension on her part to allow us to taste the horrid liquid, but
she did not hesitate to take our money. I observed the same spirit in
all of the female employees in the town with whom we had anything to do.
They did not seem to wish us to see anything or to buy anything; and in
one store where we looked at a garment, after hearing the price, I
remarked to my companion that it would not cost much less, if any, than
at home, if we paid duties, and the girl, understanding English, said,
‘You could probably buy it elsewhere for less,’ and continued the
reading of a book she held in her hand. With such indifferent clerks I
should not suppose sales would be very large; but all merchandise was
dear at Baden excepting the little things found at the booths out of
doors and in the two rows of stores leading to the Conversation Haus.
These were very attractive, and everything for sale in them, from
magnificent diamonds and gems of all kinds, exquisite engravings and
photographs, down to buttons and hair pins, and the gentlemanly
proprietors and clerks were very polite.

We next went to the Friedrichsbad, the finest bathing establishment in
the whole world. It is built of red and white stone, and is artistically
decorated with carvings. But the attendants there, the women, were as
disagreeable as the sex were at the Trink Halle; but as they were
remarkably good looking, they may have been placed there for ornament
instead of use, and the mistake our own in expecting them to give us any
information. We did not see the private baths, as it was not the hour to
show them, but we did succeed in seeing the magnificent round, white,
marble-lined swimming bath by waylaying the only man we saw in the
establishment and asking him to show it to us.

We took a carriage to visit the ‘Alt Schloss,’ or old castle, now a ruin
and a very picturesque one, and then to the ‘Neue Schloss,’ where the
Grand Duke of Baden lives a part of the time. This is a home fit for the
gods--a grand castle, on an eminence overlooking the town and a
beautiful country round about it. It is surrounded by magnificent
grounds, and contains many valuable paintings and a gallery of antiques.
You remember the Duke’s wife is the daughter of old Emperor William, and
now, since the Emperor Frederick’s death, she is his only child living.
As none of the royal family were in the castle all of the apartments
were shown us, all attractive and rich in furnishings and finishings,
with lovely views of the beautiful valley of Baden Baden from the
windows. We next followed our guide down, down, into the dungeons below,
made in the rock on which the castle stands. All around us were
instruments of torture, and near us a deep excavation where condemned
persons were formerly thrown alive, and from which no cry for help could
be heard. We were glad to turn our backs upon these places of old-time
cruelty and try to forget the barbarity of old margraves in admiration
of the late loved emperors of the country, William and Frederick, both
of whom have recently gone to their reward.

These German duchies are small, very small, kingdoms. The duchy of Baden
is not as large as our State of Massachusetts, but the Grand Duke lives
in a kingly manner. He not only has his palaces here, but has one at
Carlsruhe, a short distance from here, one in Freiburg, one in
Heidelberg, and three or four others, and each one must require an
immense revenue to be cared for as they are. Now, just think of the
taxes the people must have levied upon them to keep up all this
grandeur. Supposing we had to, by being more largely taxed, pay our
governors a sum sufficient to live in such luxury, I think we should
soon rebel, and if we did not, I should fear our honest Puritan blood
had run out. From the ‘Neue Schloss’ we visited the pretty Greek church,
which is a gem, and finished our drive along the Lichtenthal Allée, the
beautiful avenue, shaded by magnificent trees and filled with carriages
of every description in which were seated lovely women, with gay
dresses and sparkling gems. Promenaders from all parts of the world
walking up and down, bands of music playing, and bright and brilliant is
the scene. Yes, Baden is delightful, and we have been cared for with
much thoughtfulness at our hotel and recommend it to all who come this
way.

_Willbad Springs, Germany, July 25th, 1888._--I do not imagine that you
ever heard of this place, but it is worth hearing about. It is a small
watering-place, with natural springs, hot and cold, these springs being
considered by many the very fountains to dip in to ensure the
everlasting duration of youth, strength, and beauty. And here we are
visiting our own relatives, who have come from Dresden to tarry a while
for the benefit of the waters. How glad we were to see them all--our own
kith and kin! Cousin E. and his pretty little ‘foreign’ niece were at
the station to meet us, and you may well believe our tongues did run
fast for a while. Aunt M. is an encyclopedia of a most charming edition,
and has delighted us with stories of her experiences in living and
travelling on this continent and with her cordiality towards us.
Hundreds of people are here, as the country about is attractive, and
then, too, the sick, lame, deaf, and blind come to be made whole. ‘Let
us bathe in these wonderful waters,’ said F. Here, as at Baden, there is
a fine building in which the baths are fitted up, with all the
conveniences, and the water brought into them from the natural springs.
What a furnace there must be here in the bowels of good mother earth,
and how well regulated to keep this water and send it to her children of
just the right temperature for a bath. I could not possibly think of any
irregularity of my body that needed doctoring, but was advised that when
‘in Rome I should do as the Romans do,’ and was told also by one of the
pleasant assistants (very different from the class at Baden) that many
American ladies had derangements of the liver, and I undoubtedly would
have some time, being an American, and these baths were a sure
preventive as well as a sure cure. I had never thought much about my
liver, as it had never called for special attention, but feeling that
here was the grand opportunity for ‘taking time by the forelock,’
plunged in. Result: stayed a day longer at Willbad than was my
intention. They make very good gruel at Willbad! I had no right to the
healing properties of Willbad waters, for there was nothing wrong with
my constitution. The waters took their own way of revenging imposition.

_July 26th, 1888._--Have been in the house all day. This evening half of
our household went to the opera and the rest of us listened to some fine
music in the Park. The band was a splendid one, and the programme
contained choice selections, such as we should have to pay a dollar or
two to hear at home. How full of music these Germans are, and how
soulfully they execute! We have just decided not to go with E. to
Bayreuth to the Wagner Festival, but to take the time to see more of
this country, for this we cannot have at home, but we can have Wagner’s
music, and, better still, our own Symphony and Gericke. We lingered in
the drawing-room of our relatives late, hating to say ‘good-night,’ for
the morning will be the beginning of a longer parting. And when shall
we all meet again. Adieus must be said, and when we thanked our friends
for the pleasant time with them they said, ‘But we have done so little!’
Ah! life is made up of little things; loving words, smiles, and kindly
acts win the heart always.

_Hotel de l’Europe, Heidelberg, Germany, July 27th, 1888._--On our way
here from Willbad we stopped for a few hours at Carlsruhe, which is one
of the residences of the Court of Baden and is the capital of the grand
duchy of Baden. We are getting tired of palaces, so, instead of visiting
the very magnificent one at Carlsruhe, spent what time we had in the
palace gardens and in the botanical garden, the orangery, and the
hothouses. The flowers are about the same as we have at similar places
at home, with a few plants and blossoms strangers to us. We reached
Heidelberg at five P.M. and were considered distinguished arrivals, I am
sure, for a carpet was spread awaiting our footsteps from the carriage
to the hotel door and several gentlemen in dress suits stood in a line
with folded arms and bowed very low to us as we passed along. Now, this
was delightful! They never do that at Parker’s or Young’s when we go
there. This hotel is fine, standing in the centre of a pretty garden. We
have a luxurious room and on the first floor. We are getting to like the
single beds, one apiece, that we have everywhere over here very much,
for if one does feel like taking the ‘spoon fashion’ position, there is
no one with coequal rights near to object. Nor are the employees as
attentive at the home hotels. Here we no sooner get settled in our rooms
than the polite portier appears, takes our names and residence; no going
to the office to register here, and the letters U. S. A. act like magic,
for are not the United States of America overrun with millionaires, and
so many of them resort to travel purposely to get rid of a portion of
their troublesome, superfluous incomes. ‘Would we like a glass of wine
brought to our room? Is our room satisfactory? Perhaps we would like a
special maid during our stay, which he hopes will be long. When it suits
us to allow him, it will give him much pleasure to tell us about the
city and what to visit and the pleasantest way to see all.’ Well,
really, these portiers are invaluable, and although there may be some
grasping ones, who impose upon strangers, we have found nearly all of
great assistance and apparently well satisfied with what we have given
them, which has never been more than we felt that they deserved for
service rendered.

We took a drive about the city, which is a long, narrow place sandwiched
in between the river Neckar and the hills, on the highest one of which
stands the ruins of the old castle. We were driven through a long
avenue, with pretty trees on each side and some residences, but more
stores, and the sidewalks filled with people. This street is called the
Anlage; and is the principal boulevard of the city. We saw the ‘Helig
Geist Kirche’--Church of the Holy Ghost, into which the people of
Heidelberg were driven, crowded in like animals, so closely that they
could not move, by the French army in the time of Louis XIV., and left
there to suffer, until the steeple took fire as the town was being
burned. This old structure has had many critical changes in its history,
and is now divided by a thick wall, on one side of which the Roman
Catholics worship, and on the other the Protestants. Our driver was a
talker, and told us much we understood, and more that we did not, of the
places of interest we passed. ‘Now show us the university buildings,’ we
said, and he soon halted in front of an old, plastered or stuccoed
structure, that resembled barracks more than a renowned seat of
learning, and was a great disappointment to us. A drive over an old
stone bridge, from the farther end of which we had a charming view of
the castle perched on the mountain side, overhanging the town, with its
towers, battlements and arches, a regal ruin in truth, and back to our
hotel, ended our first sight of Heidelberg.

We had scarcely entered our room when a band of musicians stationed
themselves directly under our window and struck up the ‘Wedding March’
from Lohengrin, and it was exquisitely played too, and on fine
instruments. We came to the conclusion that we were supposed to be
brides on our wedding tour, and had commenced disciplining our ‘better
halves’ by leaving them at home, as we find it is a source of great
wonder to the Europeans, and especially to the English and the Germans,
that the American wives travel about so much without their husbands. One
lovely German lady, in Baden, in speaking on this subject, said to me,
‘And what do these husbands left alone do?’ ‘Do?’ I answered, ‘why, they
not only attend to their own business matters, but they run the house,
take care of the children, and write daily love letters to their absent
wives, and love them better than ever, if possible, when they reach home
again. You must believe,’ I said, ‘that American husbands are the best
in the world, and that with us, in all grades of life, wives are treated
with tenderness and consideration, and as equals.’ She looked a little
incredulous, and I could not wonder when I thought of the pitiable
sights of her country, that are before us daily, of women, bronze faced,
half dressed, working in the fields, digging, hoeing, pushing the
plough; in the towns breaking stone, sawing wood, and bending beneath
heavy loads of many kinds, carried on head or back, while their husbands
take their ease, at the barracks, perhaps, and when at home take the
money earned by their wives. One of the worst features, too, of this
condition of things is that the women do not rebel; if their husbands
take them into the gardens on Sunday, and drink beer with them, often
paid for with the little earnings of the overworked wives, they are
satisfied. Poor things, they have never known anything better. Amongst
the poor of Germany, matrimony was not commenced right. I think the
military laws of the country are to blame greatly for the degradation of
the women of the so-called lower classes. A man who is or has been in
the army considers it beneath him to do honest labor, but not beneath
him to allow his wife to do it.

_July 28th, 1888._--Life is a glorious gift, and a morning so bright and
lovely as this makes one thankful! Immediately after breakfast we went
to the castle, of which we have had views from a distance, and of which
all our lives we have heard so much. There it stood, massive and grand,
the most magnificent architectural ruin in the world. It is a ruin, but
there is very much more of the original building left than of
Kenilworth, that has walls only left; this has halls, rooms, and
chapels, some of which have been restored. There is a moat around it,
after crossing which we passed under and through a picturesque gateway,
from which ivy and wild vines were waving, and entered the courtyard.
The façade is of three stories, and on it are allegorical figures,
statues, medallions, and stone carvings. Tradition gives Michael Angelo
as the architect of this façade. Ball-rooms and banquet-halls were shown
to us, some containing paintings in a fairly good state of preservation,
which seems more remarkable when we consider that they have been there
since long before America was discovered. Of the woman who acted as our
guide we asked many questions, for one feels so much more interest in
the history of a place when on the spots talked of. She was well
informed, and told us what we had often read, that the castle was built
in the thirteenth century, and that for several hundred years the Counts
Palatine lived here in royal magnificence, and that at one period
eighteen hundred persons formed the family, or the Court, of the
Elector. No wonder they needed fireplaces large enough to roast oxen
whole. The building was several times partly destroyed by armies, but
was rendered useless to live in by lightning, at last.

What jolly times the high in power and the old sprigs of royalty in
those days meant to have! One would have surely a dull imagination, or
no imagination at all, who could here wander from room to room and not
see with the mind’s eye the revellings of the long ago. The big tun in
the cellar is hogshead-shaped, and really will hold forty-nine thousand
gallons, and has been twelve times filled with the best wines. Can you
comprehend such an amount, and a receptacle huge enough to contain it?
The ‘Elizabethan Bau’ still shows that Frederick V. brought his bride,
Elizabeth of England, to a princely home. But the silence and the decay
of these ‘banquet halls deserted’ remind us forcibly of the brevity of
the power and glory of this life, and should be a lesson to us to
prepare for the life to come, which only is lasting. The wonderful
beauty of the castle itself, the romantic situation, and the exquisite
landscape views from its rich stone terrace, will be choice pictures in
our memories for many a day.

There are but few attractive shops in Heidelberg; plenty of bologna
sausages and pretzels; portraits and photographs of the two dead
emperors everywhere, and many of the new Emperor William. ‘The king is
dead. Long live the king.’ The city seems full of soldiers, all with
black crape on their arms, and the citizens--men, women, and
children--wear it also. Everything shows to us that we are indeed in
Germany.

In our walks and drives in the town we have looked for the university
students, and we have seen them--plenty of them, with faces cut and
scarred, court-plastered and bandaged. What an abominable custom is
this: to allow these naturally fine looking young men to make each other
so hideous and repulsive in appearance for the rest of their lives. The
American students here have nothing whatever to do with this disgraceful
custom, and yet the Germans know well they are no cowards. A student
from New York gave evidence of his willingness to risk his life, in a
really noble act, by jumping into the River Neckar and saving the life
of a child who had fallen from the bridge here, a short time ago. These
German students are formed into five sections, or corps, and the members
of each corps wear caps alike, so that it may be known by all who see
them to which corps they belong. The colors are white, yellow, red,
blue, and green, and the members of one corps never allow themselves to
be in the least friendly with members of any other corps, for they may
have to haggle them with swords within the next twenty-four hours. These
corps students, we are told, belong to the most aristocratic families of
Germany, and yet at the slightest provocation, and indeed with no
provocation at all, they fight each other like wild cats. Very recently
one of the red caps, by mistake, took a book belonging to a white cap,
was challenged for so doing, and was slashed with his opponent’s sword
unmercifully. I tell you this, as told to us, to show you how little it
takes to cause a duel. If the members of the corps do not challenge each
other, the president of a corps challenges for them--fight they must, or
be forever branded as cowards, and to show the slightest sign of being
afraid to do so would make life in Heidelberg unbearable for them
forever after. In the duel, no matter how seriously one is hurt--his ear
may be cut off, or his nose split--he must not wince or show a sign of
the ‘white feather.’ Now is not this disgusting? Brave they say it makes
them! Thank God, our young men show their bravery in nobler directions!
Seeing students everywhere in our strolls about town, I wondered when
they studied, and asked many questions in regard to the rules of the
university. It seems rules are few. Heidelberg University gives to all
who choose to hear, at a very small charge, lectures on all the sciences
and arts, delivered by men of great wisdom; so if students wish to
learn, they have great opportunities. If they are indifferent, everybody
else is in regard to them; they can do as they please. We heard a great
deal of their capacity for, and indulgence in, beer drinking, but saw
little of it.

In the old castle there is a banquet-room where they congregate for
their revels often. This grand old ruin now belongs to the Duke of
Baden.

We have made some purchases of leather goods here--pocket-books,
card-cases, and so forth, extremely pretty and cheap--and they all bear
the impress of the castle; so you shall see many views of it when we get
home. At our hotel to-day a young American girl heard of the sudden
death of her father, and refused to be comforted. Poor dear child, how
our hearts went out in sympathy for her. And how hard it is for us all,
amid the sorrows and griefs of this life, to keep always God’s love for
us in view.



[Illustration: decorative bar]



LETTER X.

MAYENCE, GERMANY, _July 29th, 1888_.


A fine city is this, a large one too, with broad, handsome streets. Our
first visit was, as usual, to the cathedral. Service was going on, and
this being some anniversary day, the church was profusely decorated with
fresh plants and flowers. The entire chancel was filled with ferns and
white blossoms. I sat a while listening to the service, but the only
portion of it I was capable of appreciating was the fine tone of the
organ as it sent out its waves of sweetness over me. When I arose to go
I could not find F., nor could I find the way out. A handsome old German
immediately comprehended my situation, and gallantly escorted me to the
door, and upon leaving me bowed nearly to the ground. The German
gentlemen are very polite; and when we were at Strassburg, at our first
table d’hôte dinner there, we were the only ladies at the table, and
there were ten gentlemen. We were the first to rise to leave, when, to
our surprise and embarrassment, every gentleman arose and bowed. We of
course recognized the courtesy by bowing also. In this Mayence cathedral
we saw the monument to Gen. Lahmberg, who was killed at the siege of
Mainz, and wondered at the ridiculousness of this costly piece of
marble, which is like this: a figure representing Death is pushing the
much-bewigged general into a sarcophagus, which appears altogether too
small for him. Some of the statues and monuments, however, were very
beautiful and appropriate; one of Frauenlob, the ‘champion of women,’
exceptionally so. His bier was carried to the grave by eight beautiful
and noble women.

Like the rest of the German cities, this one seems full of soldiers. At
the barracks we saw crowds of them, and in the streets saw several
regiments marching, fine-looking specimens of mankind, and moving as if
one man. I am told that in this one town there are more soldiers than in
our whole army. That may be so, but I am thankful that our men devote
their lives to better uses than the everlasting preparing for war! Think
of the progress of our comparatively new country. Think of the condition
of our working people! Think of the multitude of invaluable inventions
American brains have given to the world! And when war has to come, that
good may come from it, American men are not far behind, but they do not
spend much time in ‘playing soldier.’ True it is that the military
spirit pervades, fills, the whole of Germany in all ways and in all
directions. At all of the railway stations it greets and surrounds us.
Every man in Germany has served a number of years in the army. They all
stand in a military attitude, and walk with a military step. The
railroad officials and employees have all been soldiers. The rank of
their present positions is indicated by their special uniforms. The
captain of the station wears a showy costume of blue trousers with a red
side-stripe, a frock coat, double-breasted, a gilt belt, and plenty of
large gilt buttons, and a red cap always, with gilt trimmings. The
guards are also dressed in uniform, but wear blue caps. When the
passengers alight, these guards bow and salute, whether to do honor to
the arrivals, or whether the salutes were for each other only, I cannot
say, but will say it is a pretty custom, and much superior to the
hurry-scurry, jostle-about manner of the depot employees in our own
cities.

The railroad stations in Germany are very much finer than our own. The
interiors of the buildings are neat, with comfortable furnishings, fine
restaurants, and dress-coated waiters quick and ready to serve. The
station-houses are surrounded with well-cared-for grounds, containing
flowers, fountains often, gravelled walks, and comfortable seats, so
that waiting for trains never becomes tedious. Think of all this, you
who wait at some of our country stations! And, better than all, every
man is courteous and polite, never in too much of a hurry to answer
questions and give information. To the captain at the station here we
are particularly indebted for kindness and grateful to him for his
assistance, and especially for rendering all as if it were his greatest
pleasure. In a drive about the city we visited the museum. Saw many
quaint old buildings, watch-towers, statues, the Elector’s palace, and a
variety of other fine buildings.

_Grand Hotel du Rhin, Wiesbaden, Germany, July 30th, 1888._--I believe
Wiesbaden is more attractive than Baden. At any rate, nothing could have
charmed me more than the appearance of this town--the name of which
means ‘Meadow bath’--in the lovely drive we have just had through its
pretty streets, bordered with fine trees and magnificent residences.
Hotels are crowded, as we are here in the season for fashionable
recreation and rest, and perhaps I may add, fashionable dissipation.
People bathe in and drink the unsavory waters, and think they are made
as good as new. The springs are a curiosity, and as the water bubbles up
to the surface it emits clouds of vapor, and sends out an odor
suggestive of having washed out Hades. We were fortunate in meeting, in
our drive, Louise, Princess of Nassau, in a very ordinary-looking
turnout, and not prepossessing-looking herself, but our driver informed
us that she is charitable and well-beloved by all. We, later, visited
the palace of the Duke of Nassau. There is a pretty English church here,
and a very beautiful Greek chapel, built by one of the Nassau dukes in
memory of his Russian wife. A figure of the sleeping Duchess, in white
marble, is lovely. These Greek chapels have always a gilded dome. The
natural beauties of Wiesbaden are numerous and unusual. It is said
Kaiser William loved the place.

This evening we went to the Cursaal, a handsome edifice, in which are
ball-rooms, concert rooms, and so forth. There are beautiful grounds,
beautifully laid out, around the building, with parterres of flowers,
miniature lakes, fountains, rustic arbors and seats, and everything to
make the place attractive. The Cursaal, the gardens, and the colonnades
were all brilliantly illuminated, and a fine band playing in front of
the piazza on which we sat. The seats and gardens were thronged with
people,--sitting or walking about, chatting, drinking wine or beer,
listening to the fine music, and having a good time generally. Before
the suppression of gambling in 1872, it was here carried on to about as
great an extent as at Baden. While sitting taking in the brilliant
scene, a lady sitting next me, who could speak a little English,
addressed me. It was quite evident that her tongue must move constantly
in some language. She was ‘cute’ and discerning, and after looking us
well over, ventured to ask, as if know she must, ‘American or English?’
‘American,’ I replied. ‘I thought so; and you never saw a sight like
this before, did you?’ Many of the intelligent people over here seem to
think that there is nothing ornamental or beautiful in America, and it
gives me great pleasure to undeceive and surprise them. Many seem to
have an idea that we are as crude as savages.

These watering-places have some advantages over our own Saratoga and the
Springs of Virginia, in the way of natural scenery, drives, and foliage,
but the hotels at this place do not equal our own, the equipages are far
less elegant, and one can see more handsome women and more tasteful
costumes in one day at Newport than in a whole season here. This hotel
we have not liked as well as the one in which we stayed at Baden. Our
meals have been served in a sort of rustic arbor on a large scale,
gorgeously gotten up, with vines, evergreens, running water, and
flowers; but I must say I had rather eat in the house, where there are
no suggestions of bugs or worms; but the Germans love to eat and drink
out of doors. My candle is growing short, therefore I must make this
letter so, with loving thoughts of you all. Good-night.

_Tuesday, July 31st, 1888._--The sun shone brightly in answer to our
prayers this morning, and we are thankful, for we did want a clear sky
for our canopy while on the Rhine. At seven A.M. we left our hotel, and
were driven a distance of three miles, over a fine road, to the river,
where we found a boat ready for us. The steamers that ply on the Rhine
look very different from our own craft. They are long, narrow, and low.
We made our way on board, with hands full of maps and descriptive
books, with the rest of the crowd, picked up our stools as we went
along, and seated ourselves for a day’s trip on the Rhine, filled with
‘unspeakable emotions’ and a poor breakfast.

At first we see but little of interest,--small villages, gardens,
vineyards, and inns, near the water, and excursionists sitting on their
porticos eating and drinking. Occasionally a cross or a statue on the
hillside varies the scene. We are disappointed in the vineyards: the
vines run up on sticks, and look like stunted pole-bean vines growing,
and our expectations of graceful green-clothed arches and arbors vanish.
‘How muddy the water looks, too!’ said I, ‘and when or where do we get
to the delightful part of the Rhine?’ A young German gentleman sat near
us, who evidently did not like that question, as if it could be for once
thought that any part of the romantic river could be anything but
beautiful. I will tell you more of this gentleman later. At Bingen we
made our first stop, and thought, as everybody does, of Mrs. Norton’s
poem. And I thought of the little boy I so earnestly once trained to
recite her touching lines:--

    ‘O friend, I fear the lightest heart
     Makes sometimes heaviest mourning.’

From childhood we have read of the Rhine and its romantic legends, and
now to us it seems as if every spot must be inhabited by princes and
princesses, dragons, warriors, knights and syrens. The tower, called the
Mouse Tower, which is in the middle of the river, was built in order to
collect taxes from every boat that passed. The legend runs that an
archbishop, at the time of a famine, took what grain there was from the
poor, for his own wants. The starving throng begged him for bread, and
he said to them, ‘You shall have it; go into that empty barn and I will
give you warm bread!’ The people rushed into the barn, when he closed
the doors, and set it on fire, and when they all cried out in terror he
coolly said, ‘Listen to the pipings of the mice.’ From the ashes of the
people armies of mice came to devour him; he rushed to the tower for
safety; but the mice, undaunted, followed him, and ate his flesh to the
bone, and his skeleton was found in the Rhine. You will recall now these
words of the poem--

    ‘They whetted their teeth against the stones,
     And then they picked the bishop’s bones.’

Fragments of poetry come to one’s mind constantly here, for nearly every
spot has been sung of by some one.

Near by is the great ruin of the Castle Ehrenfels, where the Archbishop
of Mayence, or Mainz, as the Germans say, used to flee for safety in
times of agitation. Opposite is the Castle of Rheinstein (Rhine Stone),
which has been restored, and is owned and often occupied by the royal
family of Germany, and looks indeed very inviting. The legend connected
with this castle is a pretty tale, because the end gives Gerda, the
lovely daughter of Count Siegfried, to Kuno, the man she loved,
notwithstanding the treachery of his bachelor cousin Kurt, who
endeavored to win her for himself, but as a meet punishment fell from
his horse while following her and was killed. Kuno inherited his
estates, and he, with Gerda, ever after ‘lived in peace.’

We saw the _Siebenjungfrauen_, ‘Seven Virgins,’ now seven cold rocks,
once beautiful maidens. The Lurlei, a river nymph, turned them into
stone for flirting too much with the susceptible youth of the Rhine.
Near by are the huge rocks of the Lurlei, where dwelt the syren, whose
sweet voice lured all who heard it, and whose greatest delight was to
charm these admirers on to their own destruction. It is said that even
now, at the uncanny hour of midnight, the phantom of a boat can be seen,
with the shadowy figure of a man with outstretched arms standing in the
centre, gazing toward the cliff, where he had once seen and been
entranced by the lovely maid and her sweet voice.

    “To the Rhine, to the Rhine, go not to the Rhine,
       My son, I counsel thee well:
     For there life is too sweet and too fine,
       And every breath is a spell.
     The Nixie calls to thee out of the flood;
       And if thou her smiles shouldst see,
     And the Lorelei, with her beautiful lips,
       Then ’tis all over with thee;
         For bewitched and delighted
           Yet seized with fear,
         Thy home is forgotten,
           And mourners weep here.”

I become so absorbed in all these old traditions, that I feel like
telling you the stories as if they were new, but you know them all, and
I must stop or weary you, for you are in practical Boston, and I on this
historic, romantic stream. Near us, on the boat, sat a
distinguished-looking party of Germans, one of whom was the young
gentleman I previously alluded to, and who had watched us, we felt, with
considerable interest, for the citizens of one nation are always
interested in travellers from far-off lands, taking notes of their own.
Hearing me ask of F. a question in regard to one of the old ruins, which
information she was unable to give me, he kindly volunteered the desired
explanation, apologizing at the same time for addressing us. He was
every inch a gentleman, and spoke English a little. His knowledge of
everything in the vicinity, his kind attentions, and the use of his
superior glasses, added greatly to the pleasure of our trip. I think he
_looked_ at my companion, but he talked with me, and was charming. ‘Have
you reached “the delightful part of the Rhine”?’ he asked, and I felt
that I had. The only really beautiful portion is from Bingen to Bonn. It
is between these cities that the river turns and winds from one
mountain side to the other, on whose heights stand the picturesque old
ruins--castles, convents, and crags. Of course the Drachenfels, or
Dragon’s Rock, with the castle ruins, brought to us many memories of the
‘Niebelungen Lay,’ for it was here, on this romantic ground, that young
Siegfried showed his wonderful strength, which has been told and sung of
ever since. If only he had dipped his entire body in the dragon’s blood,
and not left the one spot exposed! But, ah me! I fear we all have the
one vulnerable spot somewhere, for we are all human! In and near this
vicinity the finest grapes grow, and the vineyards are extensive and
receive constant care.

We made a short stop at Bonn, long enough to see the fine statue of
Beethoven, who was born here, and who was descended from a family of
wonderful musicians. Saw the university buildings also, where a young
gallant, once ours, studied, and then we pushed on down the river, the
banks now flat and of little interest, until Cologne came in sight.

Yes, we have greatly enjoyed the Rhine, but taking it entire, I am a
little disappointed, and as these are honest letters, telling you of
sights just as I am impressed by them, I must say, that with the
exception of that portion of the river I have spoken of to you, which is
bordered by the mountains, castle-tipped, I think our own Hudson, with
its lovely banks and its shadowy Catskills, the more beautiful. I am
thinking now of the time, one year ago, when I sat on the deck of the
Mary Powell running up past the grand palisades and dear, lovely, old
West Point. Well, I shall be homesick if I dwell upon that trip. Our
attentive German escort, whose card has told us that he is the son of
Baron von H., and a student at Bonn, now taking his vacation, requested
my consent to accompany us to our hotel, as he was to stop at the same
one, hoping to be able to be of service to us, which very kind offer we
declined, and stepped into a droschky, which soon safely landed us at
the Hotel Disch.



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LETTER XI.


COLOGNE.

Our room was all ready for us, and it was a fine one, and a
rocking-chair in it, as sure as we are here, the first one seen since
leaving Paris. How home-like! Letters, too! the best welcome of all. One
from you, dear, who have proved by services and self-sacrifices that
‘love’ is more than a word; and two from dear friends whose rare
friendship has known no change. How eagerly we read them! How thankful
to know you are all well! Oh how far away in body we feel from you
to-night!

A rap at the door! A note handed me! What is this? Credentials, and a
letter formally introducing our young fellow-traveller of our trip down
the Rhine. He was well known by our hotel proprietor. Well, he has
worked rapidly since landing to try to assure us more earnestly that he
is the gentleman he seemed, and of which I was perfectly positive
without his having taken all this trouble. He sends us some fresh, sweet
roses, and asks if he may sit with us at table d’hôte. A little resting
in our room, a little lingering at the window, from which we have a fine
view, and our first, of the great cathedral, and down to dinner we go,
Miss F. not forgetting to wear her share of the lovely jacqueminots. Our
friend was waiting for us, and looked handsomer than ever in his fine
dress-suit. We were all hungry, and did wish a little more speed could
be used in serving table d’hôte dinners. If one is sight-seeing, and
desires the time for something besides waiting, these long-drawn-out
affairs require the patience of a Job to sit to the end of them.

After dining we walked out into one of the parks and heard excellent
music, looked about the old town, guided by our German, who was familiar
with every spot and who quite educated us upon Cologne and its history.
Upon bidding him good-night, he said he should be happy to escort us
about the next day, but previous arrangements compelled us to decline
with the heartiest of thanks. He was disappointed, and the big, dreamy
blue eyes rested upon the sun-browned girl with me, who looks thoroughly
the tramp she is. They two converse in German, and so rapidly! I must
practise German more; I can hardly follow them. Why will people talk all
languages but our own as if tongues were propelled by steam?

_Hotel Disch, Cologne, August 1st, 1888._--Thanks we offer for a good
night’s rest and for this lovely morning. Our bell rings, and I find at
our door a maid with a basket of exquisite flowers tied with blue
ribbon, colored, I am sure, with the reflection of a certain pair of
eyes. A card, with the donor’s name, hoping the ladies are well. A
pretty morning welcome, surely! We receive a call later, and bid
God-speed to our German friend, who seems as reluctant to leave us as we
are to have him go. But such is travelling: we meet as ships at sea,
salute each other and then pass on. Moral of this little episode: If
you wish in journeying about to have plenty of attention, take a young
lady with you.

Cologne, or Köln, is a large city, and in some of the streets where much
of the perfume is made the odor is very evident and much more welcome
than the cheese scent of Berne or the garlic-impregnated air of some of
the German towns. This is a fascinating old place, and the streets of
shops, gay, bright, and progressive looking, and the old, narrow,
crooked thoroughfares very odd, with their queer old buildings. The
garrison here contains seven thousand soldiers: think of their seven
thousand ‘ribs’ at home digging potatoes. There are many churches here,
old towers and fountains, an archbishop’s palace, and statues of the
different German emperors, one fine one of Gen. Moltke and one of
Bismarck, all good specimens of careful work. Cologne water is for sale
everywhere, stores of it, in bottles and flasks of every shape, on the
street corners, in the corridors of hotels, and children rush up to you
and take it out of their pockets, urging you to buy. Throughout Germany
I have seen the beautiful face of Queen Louise carved, chiselled,
painted and photographed, but here, in an art store, I saw an engraving
of the same sweet face, the loveliest of all. No wonder old Emperor
William cherished her memory so sacredly, and forgot not the insults of
Napoleon heaped upon his beloved, noble mother. We went, for a short
time in each, to the Zoological and the Botanical gardens. We thought we
would see some of the sights of the town before going into the
cathedral, but the huge pile was before us at every turn and we could
wait no longer to see the crowning glory of the place.

Cologne Cathedral! Dear, of this great piece of Gothic architecture,
with its majestic arches, columns, pillars, windows, and all else that
helps make up its wonderful beauty, I have no words to tell you. It is
perfect: nothing has equalled it. We wandered about, then seated
ourselves, with never before in our lives so beautiful a perspective
before us, and I was so overpowered with it all that I am not sure but I
should still be sitting there if F. had not said, ‘Come, we must see the
chapels.’ There are seven of them, all filled with costly pictures and
relics. In the treasury of the church there are gold and silver,
diamonds, pearls, emeralds, and rubies enough to buy bread for all
Germany. The beautiful churches of this country, the wonderful telling
of sacred stories in their paintings, the speaking statues, which bring
to us the ‘good tidings’ anew, the soothing, restful colors, are all
great lessons and we can get much good from them. But the sacristies,
filled with gold and silver in meaningless shapes, precious, costly gems
imbedded in old skulls repulsive to look upon, are indeed abominations.
If all these riches were turned into money to help the Saviour’s poor,
would it not be a better way of doing ‘His bidding’? For the poor and
the hungry are not far from the masses of wealth, wherever or in
whatever form it may be. I appreciate æsthetically this dazzling display
of artistic splendor and riches, but my heart goes out in pity and
sympathy toward the multitude who are taxed to support it. And are not
these terrible differences, whether in church or in society, the seed
which may some time grow into anarchy and revolution? Even in dear,
good Boston, not long ago, I heard a delicate woman, who toiled daily
for her invalid husband and three little ones, say, ‘I am so discouraged
to-day in my struggle for the necessities of life that it is almost
maddening to take up the paper and see that Mrs. A. had a thousand
dollars worth of flowers at her ball last night, that Mrs. B. wore a ten
thousand dollar necklace, and so on.’

This town is well supplied with churches, there being twenty noted ones
here. I did not feel much inclined to see anything less impressive than
the cathedral, but submissively followed F. to St. Ursula, for, she
said, nowhere else could I see the bones of eleven thousand virgins. And
sure enough, there they were! many of them placed in position, like
rails in a Virginia fence. Three thousand skulls are also ranged along
on shelves together, grinning silently at each other. If Hamlet runs out
of skulls, there are plenty in Cologne. The decorations, however, would
probably not be thrown in, as they are worth a good deal more than the
skulls. Some wear embroidered and jewelled hoods, others wear caps of
silver and gold. There is a painting of St. Ursula here,’ and the shrine
of St. Ursula, set with precious stones. ‘And this is the arm-bone of
St. Ursula,’ said our solemn guide. ‘Is it really?’ said I. ‘And this is
her foot,’ ‘My! just think of it, F.! St. Ursula’s foot!’ And with
renewed solemnity our guide continued, ‘And this is her hair net,’ ‘Her
hair net! do let me see it closer. Are her false crimps here also?’ ‘And
here are the teeth of the virgins,’ ‘Blessed virgins! they will never
have the toothache any more from these teeth!’ ‘And here is the vase in
which the water was turned to wine at the marriage-feast at Cana, in
Galilee!’ ‘Is it possible? do you really believe it?’ said I. The man--a
handsome priest--bowed low and crossed himself. Much of the story of St.
Ursula and her pilgrimage is illustrated in paintings on the walls of
the church. We surely had our money’s worth, and our fill of churches
for one day.

Our German friend does not forget us, although now miles away! Flowers,
and a letter to F., which we find upon returning to our hotel, prove
this. The letter is so ‘cute,’ and so original, also, in its attempts to
express its writer’s feelings in English, that I will copy it for you,
word for word, for you will appreciate it, and I am sure he would not
object, for you do not even know his name:--

     MY DEAR MISS ----: I fear this first letter will be very
     sentimental, but I cannot help it. I must once more tell it to you
     how sorry I am that I fear our acquaintance will now be finished
     already, and how much I felicite myself to have had the bonheur of
     this acquaintance. Also I feel obliged to thank you much for the
     confidence you kindly have had in granting unto me this
     acquaintance. It I never will forget. Yes, it is a bad, sorry word,
     the word Abschied. I don’t know it meant in English. Before all, if
     we pronounce it, with the very doubtful hope to see the person
     everywhere again, to whom we have to pronounce that word. You must
     have seen how much it gave me pain and trouble to say it to you
     that evening. By writing, that goes better, than I not do see your
     eyes, hear your voice, feel your presence but in mind. I now bow
     down for trying to say to you that forever I will cherish you, as I
     was an old friend of yours, and that I desire, of all my heart, you
     may be as happy in all your life as anybody can be, and as you want
     to be. Wherever you exist, all my wishes and love will be for you,
     and all the regards for Madame ---- accompanying you. And now, enough
     of my deep feelings, for I fear you may become angry to so hear
     them, and regulate of your promise to hear my correspondence. If
     you will have a next letter, I will do my very better to be less
     melancolie in that following letter, for to-day I cannot else.
     Allow me pleasure to send you some sweet roses--similie, similie,
     say the homeopaths; that means--O I know here that means true here,
     and you must know it. Farewell, my sweet American lady, and
     good-bye. My hope and longing for the seeing you again is
     inexplicable. Please now make my most respectful compliments to
     Madame ----, and do hold me, while life lasts, in your good
     friendship. I hope you will excuse my bad English, for it all
     comes from this heart, and not from this head of your faithful
     friend forever, who is in pain to say adieu to you, and more than
     ever before must I go to America and your city Boston. I pray you
     do write to me, your friend, who shall wait and watch for your
     words.

---- ----.’



I doubt if we could answer in German, on paper, and make ourselves as
clearly understood. We hope sometime to see our devoted and much-valued
friend again.

_Hotel Disch, August 2d, 1888._--We have had a long drive about the city
to-day. We saw the bridge of boats and went into the cathedral for the
third time, and each time its beauty impresses us more and more. If the
tradition connected with the architecture of the cathedral is true, that
his Satanic majesty designed it, he certainly did that better than any
of the rest of his works. The exterior is also most pleasing to the eye,
look at it in any way you will, and the spires, the towers, and the
buttresses, with their elaborately carved pinnacles, are ‘things of
beauty,’ never to be forgotten.

In our ramble later in the day through the streets, which seem to be
laid out something like half circles, a little ragamuffin pulled my
dress and asked in German, ‘Can I show you the horses.’ The child’s
dirty face was wan and haggard, so we could not begrudge a few pennies
given him, and I took his hand, which seemed to please him immensely and
on we walked together. ‘There they are,’ said he. And sure enough,
looking from a second story window of an old house are two gray horses,
stuffed, I presume, but their appearance is very life-like. The story
explaining their being there runs like this. The beautiful wife of a
rich man apparently died. The grief of the husband was so intense that
he would allow no one to come near her, and placed her in the tomb
himself, with her rich garments and jewelry on. Thieves went at night to
steal these articles, when at their touch she arose and asked, ‘Where am
I?’ The men, alarmed, ran away at full speed, leaving the doors open,
and the woman, who had only been in a trance, walked out into the
street, and to her husband’s house. She knocked at the door until her
husband was aroused and asked who knocked. She replied, ‘It is I, thy
own Richmodis, thy wife,’ ‘No,’ said he, ‘my wife is dead, and the dead
rise no more; sooner would my two grays trot up the staircase into my
room and look out of the window.’ He immediately heard a noise, and his
two horses came into his room, placed their fore feet on the window sill
and looked out, and there they have been looking ever since. And the
poor wife, let us hope, was received as flesh and blood. Old traditions
and history repeat themselves constantly in these ancient foreign
cities.

A party of young girls, with their teacher, arrived at our hotel to-day
from Massachusetts, and it was a delight to see their faces and to hear
our own tongue. E. reached us this evening from Bayreuth, filled to the
brim with Wagner, and greatly regretting that we were not there to see
and to hear. Of the latter pleasure we know something from the
exquisitely rendered Parsifal selections given at our own Symphony
Concerts, but to see Parsifal in the home of its composer is a delight
yet to come.

_August 3d, 1888._--Leaving Cologne, and carrying much cologne with us,
we started at nine o’clock A.M. for Utrecht, turning our faces toward
the cathedral’s spire as long as we could catch a glimpse of it, and
soon we are out of Germany and in Holland. For all the Germans drink so
much beer, we have never seen in the country one intoxicated person, and
who could go far in our own land and say that? ’Tis true, and pity ’tis
’tis true,’ that the poor whiskey deluded Americans drink is many times
more deadly and destructive than beer. Although we have had few
opportunities of seeing the better class of Germans in their homes, we
know that home-life is sweet and sacred to them, and the Germans are
everywhere proverbially honest and their word to be depended upon. Their
country is not only a military one, but it is the nation of music, of
the sciences, and people of all other nations flock here for
instruction.



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LETTER XII.


At Utrecht, our first Holland city, at the station, we had our first
glimpse of a Holland lady in her national costume. She stepped from her
carriage and stood near us for several moments, and in that time, I
fear, we proved to be as good ‘starers’ as the French are. I wish I
could make you see her just as I did. She was a large-framed,
good-looking woman. Her dress skirt was of stiff black satin, in length
considerably above her ankles. She wore a full white waist, over which
she had a jacket, cut the shape of a zouave garment, of black cloth,
upon the front of which seemed to be gilt or gold ornaments, that looked
like military decorations; but her head rigging was the oddest of all.
First she had on a cap-like covering, that looked as if made of white
tarleton, with a full front, into which were stuck numerous gold pins,
from the heads of several of which diamonds flashed; a broad gold band
ran from side to side across her forehead, and from each end hung a gold
ornament; over this she wore a flaring straw bonnet. She had on white
kid gloves, and looked and moved every inch a lady.

We were a good while delayed before being able to get a two-seated
carriage, for everybody in the sleepy old town moved slowly, but after a
while we were furnished with an open barouche and a handsome pair of
slow-moving black horses, and were driven about the city. Utrecht means
‘Old Ford,’ and the place looks quiet and dull, although it has a
beautiful park and many fine, large residences, but they all seemed shut
up; and we came to the conclusion, after a disgusting incident a little
later, of which I will tell you, that the older people were off
travelling.

On one of the best streets of Utrecht stood a group of well-dressed
children, intelligent and attractive looking. Just as I had finished a
remark complimentary to them, we were covered, deluged, blinded with mud
and manure thrown at us by these remarkably innocent looking children,
who had grouped there for this very purpose with the dirt in their
hands, coolly awaiting and watching our approach. A second time, in
another part of the city, we were attacked in the same manner by
children, and this time E. rushed from the carriage, so indignant was he
at the coarse outrage; and although both times the children took fast to
their heels, they would have been severely and justly punished if I had
not begged our defender to let them go, and not take up the little time
we had in having them overtaken. Our driver said it was a very common
occurrence for the youth of the town to thus attack strangers. I just
longed to give them a good Yankee chastisement. We visited the
cathedral, and my companions went up into the tower, from which they had
a good view, but I had seen all of Utrecht that I desired, but was
destined to see one more disturbing scene.

A canal runs through the town, and the boats are mostly managed and
towed along by women,--old white-haired women lifting and tugging away
at bags and barrels, pulling at the ropes of the boats; and at the rope
of one huge canal boat a _woman_ and a _cow_ were pulling together. The
water in the canal was low and the mosquitoes were high, for they also
attacked us in our carriage, the very first ones we have met with on the
continent. So, after a really good dinner--the only acceptable attention
received by us in Utrecht,--we were glad to push on to Amsterdam.

Holland is largely a grazing country, very level, with vast pastures
filled with cattle, horses, and sheep, all fine-looking specimens of
their race. At one little station where we waited I stepped close to a
dike, on the other side of which were hundreds of sheep; as if by one
consent they all raised their heads and looked at me in such a human way
that I felt like an intruder, bowed respectfully to them, and retreated.
The Holstein cattle are noble-looking creatures, and the horses of
Holland handsome animals,--dignified steppers, but heavy and slow.
Cattle and horses are all black, or black and white, and all the cats I
have yet seen here are black. I saw four big black tabbies at Utrecht.
We pass through several little Dutch villages, see farmhouses in the
distance, glints of blue water far away, dikes all about us, and, as we
near Amsterdam, big windmills without number. And here we are!

_Amsterdam, August 4th, 1888._--Do you remember our old Dutch nurse, who
used to tell me stories, in Pittsburg, Penn., of her home in Amsterdam?
And now here I am to tell you a little about the same place as I see it.
Our first stroll revealed to us one of the queerest, quaintest cities we
had anywhere visited. Directly after breakfast we went to the markets,
where the peasantry were selling fruit, vegetables, fowl, crocheted
articles, plants and flowers, cheese, butter, and much else; the venders
themselves, in their queer dress, being the most attractive of all to
us. The women nearly all wore the queer-looking head-dresses of their
country, although not made up as richly as the one we saw at Utrecht,
and all had on heavy, woollen stockings and wooden shoes, and when not
busy otherwise were vigorously knitting.

From the market we went to the quarters of the poorer class of Jews,
where the streets were narrow, the homes squalid, and the little rooms
fairly crowded with human beings, packed closer than were ever sardines.
In one small, dirty front entry we counted sixteen children. Our
carriage was surrounded, every time we stopped, by crowds of lookers-on,
young and old, tattered and torn, but all behaved well. ‘How true it is
that one half of the world knows not how the other half lives’, There
are about thirty thousand Jews in this city,--many richer than kings,
and many who know not ‘where to lay their heads.’

Acquaintances who have visited this city have given me different ideas
of it, more disparaging it than praising, but I find it delightful, and
filled with interest.

Amsterdam, now the capital of Holland, you know, and by far its richest
city, was in the twelfth century only a small village. When the
Spaniards persecuted the so-called Reformers of other Dutch and Flemish
towns, they fled to Amsterdam, taking with them their riches and their
industries, and to them the place owes the beginning of prosperity. The
River Amstel divides the place, the one side being called the Oude Zijde
(old side), and the other Nieuwe Zijde (new side). It is said that
ninety canals intersect the city, and I know there is one in about every
street, and drawbridges are built over them. In the prettier parts of
the city these canals have avenues of handsome residences, and lines of
shade trees on one or both sides. On these houses, nailed close to the
side of the upper windows, we observed the so-called ‘Spiegless’
mirrors--on hinges, which could be turned so as to allow a person
sitting within to see all that was going on in the street below, up or
down. They answer the purposes of our bay-windows. In some of the older
parts of the city the queer Dutch houses are painted black, with white
trimmings, and were apparently ‘dropped down’ together, and remain
wherever they happened to light, Marblehead-like; and in many of them
the upper story pitches forward, as if to greet the opposite roof, in a
most neighborly and social manner, and altogether they are exceedingly
picturesque.

We visited one of the large diamond factories, and saw every process
used on the stone in its rough condition, to cause it to become the
glittering, costly gem, ready for the adornment of ‘my lady.’ The
different work upon the stones was to me intensely interesting. We saw
little mounds of diamonds, cut and polished, ready for the diamond
market, that were radiantly brilliant. The gentleman who escorted us
through the building was very polite, and exerted himself to give us
clear explanations of everything we wished to understand. Two officials
kept pretty close to us, however; they may have thought that ‘piles’ of
diamonds might prove too seductive for even American honesty. These
mills give employment to about ten thousand workmen, mostly Jews, and
many of the establishments are owned by wealthy Jews. Most of the best
cut stones of the present age have been cut here. Well, we cannot always
live amongst diamonds, so out into the air we go, for if but one can be
ours, the latter is better,--oxygen rather than carbon.

The commerce of the place is extensive, as a visit to the docks proved.
Ships from nearly every part of the world bring merchandise here, and
take back the products of Holland. Amsterdam cheese, gin, and chocolate
we well know, but we did not suppose so many other valuable articles
were manufactured here. We see not merely one woman at work here on the
boats, but hundreds of women. Many of them know no other home; whole
families live on boats, children are born on them, and on them many
human beings close their eyes on this life. Everything about these boats
is scrupulously clean; pretty Dutch girls, with their short dresses and
wooden shoes, peep from behind the fresh, white muslin curtains to look
at us; and women who are not doing harder work sit around with the
inevitable queer head-dress on, and the blue kerchiefs pinned across
their breasts, knitting away as if lives depended upon stockings being
finished. These Amsterdam canal boats have sails, and look very odd to
us.

We took a three-mile sail for a rest, then landed, and lunched in a
rose-embowered arbor in a pretty garden. Refreshed, we took a barge
back, thus getting good views of the river banks; and next went to the
Zoological Gardens, the best we have seen anywhere. How the beautiful,
bright-plumaged birds, walking and flying in the open air, seemingly
free from the almost invisible chains that held them, welcomed us in
their gorgeous costumes; how the tall flamingo showed us his best ballet
steps,--I have not time to give you details. The extensive aquarium
connected with the gardens contained a wealth of wonders. Why do we not
have places of such interest in Boston? As we stepped out of the garden
we observed, on a neat-looking house, a singular sign, ‘Hot Popjies.’
With our usual curiosity we entered, and found that ‘popjies’ were
nothing more or less than genuine Yankee griddle cakes, and very good
ones too, served with butter and sugar.

The best picture gallery in Amsterdam, the Rijks Museum, is the best in
Holland. Here we saw Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch,’ of which we have often
seen engravings, but were not prepared for such beautiful effects of
colors as we found in the original. Near this painting is a still
larger one, representing a celebrated banquet of the City Guard of
Amsterdam, in 1684, by Vander Heist, and here too is Jan Steen’s ‘Lady
and the Parrot,’ and other beautiful paintings by this pleasing artist.
One picture here, by Gerard Duow, called the ‘Evening School,’ cost
forty thousand dollars, although not over a half-yard long, and not
measuring as much across. This painting has five or six different
effects of light produced on it from the burning candles represented. A
girl is pointing to her lesson with her finger, and a boy is writing on
a slate; a candle, held by another girl standing back of them, throws a
light on their backs, and another candle, lighted, which is on a table,
throws light upon their faces, but it would be impossible for you to
imagine the peculiar glow and loveliness of it all. All of the works
from this man’s easel are charming. There are here several of Paul
Potter’s paintings, wonderful in execution, and particularly to be
considered so when we think how young he must have been when he painted
them. Here are hens, chickens, geese, and ducks, all so natural that we
almost hear their cackle. Here are landscapes, interiors of Dutch homes,
and portraits without number, works of Tenier, Van Mieris, Van Dyck,
Peter Schilder, Dolens, Frans Hals, and the many other Dutch artists. It
is one of the most enjoyable collections of pictures we have anywhere
seen. It is a marvel to me how the old masters and the noted artists
ever did so much work; they must have gone right ahead, and not even
laid down their brushes long enough to have had pleasant little disputes
over the hanging of their pictures. But thanks to them for having left
to us such great sources of pleasure!

Amsterdam abounds in excellent charitable institutions. I think I could
name over as many as there are in Boston; and there are schools and
societies for educating the poor, and for their advancement, that do
great credit to the citizens. I am told that the rich here of every sect
spend freely their money for the benefit of the poor. There is a palace
on a square called the Dam, in the middle of the city, containing large
rooms, but without much elegance excepting the ball-room. The churches
of the city are numerous, and some fine ones, but as we have not time to
see everything in this remarkable place, we have decided to omit the
churches this time.

We were told of a ‘swell’ restaurant, and for a change dined there
to-day. It was a ‘swell’ place, we had a ‘swell’ dinner, and paid
‘swell’ prices. They certainly know how to tempt one’s appetite, but the
submitting to the temptation must be generously paid for. We have seen a
fine statue of Rembrandt; and we have observed objects very new to us,
which are queer, ludicrous-looking faces, over the doors of drug stores,
with mouths wide open, and tongues protruding, as if to show that they
were coated, or feverish, and needed doctoring. I was so amused at these
that I asked the meaning of them, if they had any, but no one seemed to
know, only that they were called ‘Gappers.’

After seeing pretty thoroughly the business part of the city, we were
more surprised than ever upon being driven to the aristocratic end,
where the wealthier people live, to find so much beauty. The streets
were broad and finely cared for; the residences palatial, large, and
varied in architecture, with beautiful grounds about them. Fine
carriages abounded, filled with well-dressed people, in whom we supposed
we saw the descendants of the Van Dycks, Van de Werffs, and all of the
other Vans; and these families maintain much elegance and regal style in
living. In this drive we had many glimpses of it; and ended the day by
being entertained right royally in one of these beautiful homes by a
gentleman and his charming family, to whom we had letters of
introduction, and who had previously called upon us, and engaged us for
the evening. If we could have spared time to accept, these people would
have extended many courtesies to us, and their cordial hospitality we
shall never forget. The whole of Amsterdam is indeed delightful, and far
exceeds my expectations. We leave it with regret. We made hasty
excursions to Haarlem, to see the wonderful hyacinths and tulips; and to
the over-clean town of Broek, where notices are put on doors ‘to take
off your shoes before entering;’ and to the Island of Marken, in the
Zuider Zee, to see the queer dress of the peasants who live there, and
never leave their homes, nor ever intermarry with the inhabitants of the
mainland. Their costume is the same as that worn by their ancestors of a
hundred years ago.



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LETTER XIII.


HOTEL VIEUX DOELEN,
THE HAGUE, HOLLAND, _August 6th, 1888_.

In coming from Amsterdam here we saw water-lilies--sheets of them--on
rivers and dikes! Yes, just like our own New England blossoms. How I did
want the cars to stop, so that I could get a breath of their
fragrance--a breath of Cape Cod--a breath of Plymouth ponds--a breath of
East Taunton’s sweetest offerings! We saw storks too, tall and stately,
carrying with them good luck, and bearing good omens. Our hotel here is
a noted one; it is several centuries old, and has been always the
stopping place for members of noble families, travelling from all over
the world. It has been several times restored, and is very comfortable.
Peter the Great and his suite, King Don Ferdinand of Portugal, and a
list, as long as your arm, of kings, princes, and dukes, have been
registered as guests in this historic old mansion. On our arrival the
house was crowded, and to F. and myself was given the state guest
chamber, in which these crowned heads have rested. The furniture of the
large room, which is on the first floor, is massive, made of mahogany,
ebony and gilt, with light-blue silk coverings, and puffs of light-blue
silk to throw over our tired bodies. So much elegance for us, while E.
is tucked up under the roof somewhere, so full is the house.

After arranging our luggage in our room, and resting a wee bit, off we
started for Scheveningen. It took but a short time to reach this
celebrated watering-place by steam-cars, which we took to save time. As
we stepped out of our car at the station a strange picture greeted us.
There before us was the North Sea, throwing its big waves toward the
beach--the first glimpse of sea that we had had for many a day, and its
roar was music to us. The broad beach was smooth, hard, and white, and
at this point was covered, as were also the dunes in back of it, with
the peasantry, Dutch women and children, old grandmothers, and mothers
with their little ones of all ages, playing in the beautiful white sand.
We spread our wraps on the beach, and sat down amongst them and we are
evidently as strange a sight to them, as they are to us. The wee urchins
gradually approach us in a shy manner, but E. coaxes them nearer by
distributing bits of coin amongst them, and speaking words which they
understand; and a close look at their sweet, fresh faces is worth the
price. These little ones are fair, rosy-cheeked, blue-eyed tots, with
long, flaxen tresses, surmounted by little, close, white caps. They are
dressed alike, in dark-blue dresses, with little handkerchiefs crossed
on their chests, and all wear wooden shoes. The costumes of old and
young vary but little, and all look fresh and clean. The women were
knitting, and chatting with each other, and occasionally one would go
toward the water, hold her hands over her eyes, and peer far out to sea.
They were straining their sight to catch glimpses of the boats that
carried the men most dear to them. These wives and mothers come
mornings with their fishermen, push them out on the water in their boats
with a ‘God speed you,’ and then stay on the beach, with their children
and their knitting, until the men sail in again. They then help drag the
boats on shore, unload, and carry the freshly caught fish to market. The
lucky fellow who has caught the greatest number of fish as his day’s
work is entitled to kiss the maid he thinks the prettiest in the crowd,
and the rest look on and clap their hands, and there seems to be no
jealousy amongst them. The Dutch fishing boats, with their brown sails,
are queer-looking craft, and have been painted by many of our own
artists. The beach from here extends for about forty miles, I am told,
in a straight line, washed by the cold North Sea waves--without rocks or
inlets.

We next proceeded to the fashionable end of the beach; a division rope
separates the portion allotted to the fisherwomen from this. What will
divide the poor from the rich in heaven, I wonder? Will it not be Father
Abraham’s voice only, when he says the words, ‘Remember that thou in
thy lifetime receivedst thy good things’? How different this scene! Here
is a fashionable watering-place, with huge hotels, restaurants, stores,
and crowds of stylish people. This is more like Old Point, Narragansett,
or Newport than anything we have before seen. But the beach is superior
to any of these, and the bathing-wagons on wheels, in which the bathers
are carried to the water, and back to the hotels after their baths, were
quite new to us. They contain all toilet utensils, an abundance of
towels, and are most certainly a great improvement over the way bathers
at our own sea-side resorts come out of the water, with dripping
costumes clinging to the skin, to face a crowd of lookers-on. Here, too,
a space for those who bathe is roped off, and others are not allowed to
go within that enclosure. The bath-chairs were also a great delight to
me. Here were hundreds of them, basket-work, with covers and without,
and footstools added, in which we could sit and look upon the sea,
protected from the sun and the wind. Some were for one, and in others
two or three could sit together. The sense of rest was most delightful
in these chairs, with the broad, blue expanse of water and sky before
us. Gay, merry children were riding about on ponies and donkeys, and the
road between the hotels and the beach was filled with carriages and
people on horseback.

But the hours flew rapidly amidst such scenes as these, and the sun was
going to rest; so, reluctantly, we turned our steps toward the big hotel
on the crest. The piazzas were crowded with people in full dress, but,
with our travelling gowns on, we mixed in, and went to dinner. In the
house was a beautiful hall or concert room, and after dinner the
Philharmonic Orchestra of Berlin gave a choice concert there. The music
was superb, and nowhere in Europe had we seen so fine-looking an
assemblage; many of the ladies were remarkably handsome, and all were
dressed in excellent taste.

_Hotel Vieux Doelen, The Hague, August 7th._--You would have laughed had
you been with us in our fine room this morning. Our commode looks like a
sideboard, and is so high that I had to stand on a chair to take my
morning splash; and as I began to fill my bowl with water, something
jumped, and so did I. ‘The shade of Peter the Great!’ said F., but it
was only a little, harmless toad, which had probably come in at the
window, which I had left open. The arrangements for bathing and washing
in houses in this land are very meagre and inconvenient.

The Hague seems a very elegant, sleepy, quiet city. The streets are
broad, many of them bordered with handsome limes, and the residences are
large and square. Canals are here, also, but do not seem to be used
much, if any, and the water looks stagnant. In one street, the odor from
the canal was very offensive, although the streets on its borders were
beautiful ones, and this is the residence of the Court; in fact, the
place has really the appearance of an exclusive little royal city
dropped in the centre of a grand old forest. It has pretty parks and
gardens, and a pleasant promenade around a lake, called the Vijver, or
fish pond, from the water of which the old palace seems to be rising. In
the square is the statue of William the Silent, who did so much to
effect the liberty of Holland, and who was a father to its people. This
brave man’s faith never failed him, nor did he ever swerve from what
seemed to him his duty, through political storms or discouraging
defeats; freedom for all, and the right to worship God in accordance
with the dictates of one’s own conscience he fought for as long as he
lived. In Delft, a little town near by, he was struck down by an
assassin.

The best stores here have very little appearance, from the outside, of
being stores at all. Perhaps, as a sign, there is one elegant vase, or a
choice piece of drapery in the window; but upon stepping within, room
after room filled with exquisite goods surprises you--rare laces, china,
furniture, antiques, and everything else beautiful to tempt one to buy.

I very much wished to go into the palace where the King of Holland and
his family live. We have seen many palaces where royalty has resided,
but few occupied by kings and queens at the present time. We succeeded
in gaining permission to do so, not expecting to see more than the state
apartments. As we neared the palace entrance we saw the royal carriage
stop at the door and the King and Queen and their little daughter the
Princess Wilhelmine, with a maid, enter it. The carriage was a heavy,
lumbering-looking affair with two horses only. We might have been much
nearer them, but our escort said no, as an introduction might then be
necessary, and it was no compliment to American ladies to be presented
to the present King of Holland, but I looked with all my eyes and this
is what I saw: A man, over seventy years old surely, feeble-appearing in
his gait, and, although not bad looking, with a certain tell-tale
appearance of having led a somewhat profligate life. The young Queen
Emma looks about twenty-eight, has a full face, bright complexion, and
pleasant expression, and was dressed in a gray costume. She is, you
know, his second wife, and a daughter of the Prince of Waldeck-Pyrmont,
one of the poor, insignificant sovereigns of Germany, and she is sister
to the Duchess of Albany, the daughter-in-law of Queen Victoria. It is
said there was much feeling on the part of the Dutch against this young
woman at first, for it was thought her great ambition was to be Queen of
the Netherlands; but she has made her way into the hearts of the people,
and has proved also a good wife and mother. The King’s first wife was
the Princess Sophia of Wurtemburg, and was a remarkably talented,
gracious woman, a fine linguist, musical, a charming conversationalist,
unaffected, affable in manner, and dearly beloved by her people. She
died about ten years ago. She had two sons, both now dead. So the little
Wilhelmine, whom we saw, will be, after her father’s death, which cannot
be far off, the Queen of Holland. She is a pretty child, and looked in
dress and movements no different from hundreds of our own little
eight-year-old girls. The people here seem to be much attached to their
king, and say he has been a benefactor to them, and that his public life
has been beyond reproach, whatever his faults in private life may have
been.

As they drove away we entered the palace through the same door at which
they came out, and were most kindly shown through it. Their
breakfast-table remained just as the family had left it after taking
their morning meal. Probably servants do not hurry ‘to clear off the
table’ in royal households, any more than they do in our own homes when
we go out for a morning jaunt. Everything in the dining-room was rich
and elegant, and the gold breakfast-service worth looking at. The
drawing-rooms, reception-rooms, libraries, and other apartments were in
truth palatial, and altogether it was by far the finest palace we have
seen.

They have another palace about three miles away, called
‘Huis-ten-Bosch,’ or House in the Wood, to which a little later we were
driven; and it was a drive, the memory of which will always seem
restful. The day was lovely, and as we rolled along over the splendid
road in the woods, which is really an immense, woody park, retaining all
its natural beauties, it was so quiet that we could hear a leaf fall.
The birds only broke the stillness with their occasional trills, and we
met no life on our way excepting a party of ladies on horseback with
their groom. After so much bustle the restful, shadowy stillness was
delightful to us. This summer palace is a plain building surrounded by
beech trees, is very richly furnished, and contains valuable pictures
and rare, costly ornaments, superb draperies, and curiosities. Queen
Sophia dearly loved this ‘Huis-ten-Bosch,’ and spent much of her time
within it. Here she cordially welcomed her friends, without ceremony,
forgetful of station and self, ever keenly alive to the happiness and
needs of all who came into her presence. She once remarked ‘that God
seemed nearer to her here than elsewhere.’ The present Queen seldom
comes here.

We next went into the Holland Exposition, now open. O dear! the days are
not half long enough to see all we wish to. You will be glad, I know,
when I tell you that we do not get very tired. We ride instead of
walking much, so as to save our strength for interiors where we must
walk and stand; and we eat often, for E. says ‘machinery so constantly
run must be often oiled.’ How I wish I could run in to ‘144’ to-day and
have one of their delicious home dinners,--roast chickens, all kind of
vegetables, prepared just right, jellies and pickles, and all at hand
when wanted, and, not the least of the sweets, the always sweet welcome,
thrown in! We do get so tired of these table d’hôte dinners,--every dish
served without any seasoning, and only one at a time, and the waits
between courses long enough for one’s hair to grow gray. And yet what
creatures of habit we are. E. likes it, because he has lived over here
so much of his life that he has become accustomed to it. It is a
perverted taste, and most surely a great waste of precious time. Our
bill of fare for dinner has been just about the same every day since we
left the Schweizerhoff at Schaffhausen, where it was most acceptably
varied.

To show that we can be wrongly educated in our appreciation of food and
in the way we eat it, I will venture to tell you a true story of a
little boy we know, who had lived in France and Germany the greater part
of his life of ten years. He was taken to New York a year or so ago, and
there studied English with his governess. One fine day his aunt took him
to her home in the country to spend the day. When he returned at night
he said he was hungry. ‘Why, did you not have any dinner?’ he was asked.
‘I did not eat any.’ ‘Why not?’ ‘I did not want it.’ ‘Why not?’ was
again asked, curiosity becoming excited. At last the little fellow, so
closely questioned, cried out in despair, in his broken English,
‘Because Auntie had “swill” for dinner.’ Upon investigation it was
ascertained that the dinner was the old-fashioned, substantial one of
corned beef and its satellites of various vegetables served at the same
time. The boy, the day before, had been reading a story about pigs, in
which the word ‘swill’ was used. He asked his teacher what that word
meant,--an inelegant one at best,--and she told him, a little hastily
perhaps, that it meant bits of meat, potato, turnip, or other particles
of food all thrown together; and he thought, in his day’s visit, that he
had an ocular and tangible demonstration of the definition.

_The Hague, Wednesday, August 8th._--The memorables of to-day: First,
the Royal Picture Gallery, where are many costly and valuable treasures.
I have anticipated much pleasure in seeing the collection here, knowing
well of many of the paintings, and I have not been disappointed.
Rembrandt’s ‘Lecture on Anatomy,’ known of the world over, is a
wonderful study, and a grand representation of death and life on canvas.
The old learned doctor Nicholas Tulp, with a dead body before him, is
explaining to seven other surgeons the dissecting of the subject. These
faces are all real portraits of physicians, and the expressions of
interest and attention given in them to the lecturer’s words and
movements are grandly and wonderfully portrayed. Nor is there the
slightest thing repulsive in the picture; on the contrary, it has the
effect of making one desirous of sitting down to listen to the lesson
also. Here too is Rembrandt’s ‘Presentation,’ a perfect gem: Joseph and
Mary are presenting the ‘Holy Child’ for a blessing. Paul Potter’s
famous ‘Bull’ is here, which Napoleon once stole and took to Paris, and
it was then rated as the fourth picture in the Louvre, but after
Napoleon’s star of power had set the Dutch reclaimed it. This picture
represents a bull, looking as if really alive, standing under the
branches of a tree; a cow, and a lamb with its parents, are also near by
resting, and a pleasant-faced old farmer, standing with his arm on the
trunk of the tree, is looking on well satisfied. These figures are life
size, and are full of vigor. Although the collection here does not
please me as much as the one in Amsterdam, it contains many gems of the
Dutch and Flemish schools. Here are Berghems, Van Der Helsts, and
Ruysdaels--mellow landscapes and restful pastoral scenes, helpful to
look upon. But oh, I wish you could see all the grand paintings that are
in this country! It pains me, dear mother, to enjoy so much and you not
with me; but we shall not forget all we see, and will tell you more
about it sometime.

Storks are kept in the city at the public expense, as they are the arms
of The Hague, the same as bears are of the city of Berne. And now,
good-by to this aristocratic town, and on to Rotterdam, our last Holland
city.

Rotterdam is something like Amsterdam, although not nearly as
attractive, nor anywhere nearly as clean. It is a large place, and its
shipping interests considerable; its canals and wharves are crowded.
Here, as in Amsterdam, the houses are, many of them, built on piles, and
the land is kept land by keeping the water in the canals, locks, and
basins. It requires much money, good systems, and much energy to do
this, but the Dutch have proved themselves equal to it. We hear here
such names as the ‘Hoogstraat’ (one of the streets), the ‘Schiedamsche
dyke,’ etc., regular jaw-breakers. In fact, I think if Americans can
understand or be understood in Holland, they need have no fears of not
being able to travel in other parts of the globe, so far as ‘language’
is concerned.

We took a drive through the new portion of the city, where are many
elegant residences. We went into two churches; saw a fine statue of
Erasmus the scholar, also one of Spinoza. We then went into many of the
old, crooked, narrow streets of the older part of the city, called
Binnenstad, and here everything looked very ‘Dutch’ like; and it is the
queer aspect of these foreign cities that I particularly enjoy,--the
markets on market-day especially. The peasants at their stalls, in the
funny gowns and funnier head-dresses, are perfectly fascinating. We
bought delicious cherries and strawberries of them to-day. Some of the
women had caps on that had long capes, others with caps close to the
head, and others with inside frills, but one and all had the gold, gilt,
or silver band across the forehead, and the wire rosettes and pendants
at the temples.

We talked up our little stock of Dutch history here, remembering that it
was in this town that the Puritans of England, when persecuted, fled for
refuge; and here ‘John Robinson [one of our own ancestors] fired them
with longings for liberty, and they set sail to go across two seas to
find a new home where they would have freedom to worship God.’ What an
amount of studying we will do next winter, and Motley’s ‘Rise of the
Dutch Republic’ we are looking forward to reading with much pleasure.

Our admiration of the Dutch, always great, is much increased by this
trip through their country. When one sees the obstacles they had to
contend against in making their land habitable--old ocean itself for
one,--and the victory they have achieved, it seems more wonderful even
than their conquering the tyranny of Spain. They are an industrious,
persevering, and honest people.



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LETTER XIV.


HOTEL DE L’EUROPE,
ANTWERP, BELGIUM, _August 9, 1888_.

WE reached here last night in time to take a look at this old city and
to hear the ringing of ‘bells, bells, bells.’ We thought at first they
were ringing on account of our arrival, or for some other unusual
occasion, but find we were mistaken. The bells of Antwerp are ringing
always. We find at our hotel the M.’s, our pleasant Chamouni friends,
and it was a pleasant surprise indeed to have them meet and greet us;
also Rev. Mr. G., of Boston.

Immediately after breakfast this morning we started for Brussels. We
made every effort to have an early breakfast and have it quickly
served, but the people of this land never hurry; they do not know the
meaning of the word. At eight A.M. we were seated at our table in the
dining-room ready to eat, and had ordered our breakfast prepared one
hour before, but there was nothing ready for us. ‘Will you hurry up our
breakfast?’ said E. to our sleepy-looking waiter. Slowly he answered,
‘It is cooking,’ in his own lingo. Ten minutes go by. Another nod to the
stolid waiter; and in tones of entreaty, accompanied with a piece of
money, E. said, ‘Will you not bring us something to eat?’ The man, still
standing as stiff as a post, replied, ‘It is coming.’ ‘But we leave at
eleven o’clock,’ said E. in the man’s own language. But the stupid
Belgian did not see the joke, and did not relax a muscle.

We have had a delightful day in Brussels, and modern Brussels is a
beautiful city and in many ways much like Paris. It has broad, handsome
streets and boulevards, beautiful parks, squares and gardens, with many
rich statues, monuments, artificial lakes and fountains. The city is
built on and up and down a hill--the new and elegant part of Brussels
on top, and the old and poorer part at the foot. The royal family of
Belgium live here, and have several handsome palaces. The Capitol is a
magnificent structure, and there are many noted churches; we went into
several of them, but of all these things I shall not now tell you very
much.

Service is always going on in some one part of these European
cathedrals. In one that we stepped into to-day they were celebrating
funeral rites, and before us were placed some painful paintings of
Christ, showing his bleeding wounds. The Cathedral of St. Gudule is the
largest and finest, and contains a great numbex of perfectly magnificent
tapestries.

We went into the largest art gallery in the city, where are many choice
works, and we greatly enjoyed them; but here too are more of Rubens’
plump angels, of anything but angelic proportions, and I am sure if our
Sunday-school children at home should see some of them they would never
sing, ‘I want to be an angel,’ any more. Here are more of Tennier’s
beautiful productions, and fine pictures by Vander Weyden, Rhemi, Vander
Meulen, and other noted Flemish artists, and the collections give good
opportunities for studying the Flemish schools.

But the laces! These laces are the most tempting of all things. We go
into houses that on the outside look like private homes, and are
politely asked to be seated at tables, when the women in attendance take
from boxes and drawers their stores of rich fabrics and spread them out
for our eyes to feast upon: flounces, handkerchiefs, fichus, capes,
collars, all of the finest make and of most exquisite designs. In the
Royal Lace Manufactory we saw the bridal trousseau of some noble lady,
so called, which was just completed, and the dress, made entirely of the
finest duchesse lace, was a marvel of loveliness. We were taken into the
rooms where the women were making the ‘dentelles,’ and after seeing
their methods we shall never again wonder that duchesse and point laces
are such costly fabrics. Nearly all the most valuable laces of the world
are made here, and many women spend their entire lives in making a piece
of lace to ornament some other woman made of the same perishable dust
as themselves and of whom they are the equals. Ah me! We spent a short
time in the Belgium Exposition, now open, and never before did I see in
any one collection such a wilderness of rich, beautiful objects. A drive
about the charming city, a short stop in the Botanical Gardens, and we
are soon on the road back to Antwerp, with mingled thoughts of the
paintings, gems, and laces back of us, and of Bonaparte and Waterloo,
and the historic ground we are travelling over. We will save more time,
and more money too, for Brussels in our next trip.

_Antwerp, Friday, August 10th._--This has been a rainy day, but we ought
not to complain, for we have had but few of them. We have been out all
the day, and have seen this old city pretty thoroughly, although many
parts of it now have a modern look. Yet numerous old historic landmarks
remain. I hope you will not get weary of hearing about art and artists,
for we are in the land of Rubens and in the very cradle of art here. We
saw to-day the house Rubens lived and died in. He is buried in the
church of St. Jacques, as are also his two wives. In this church is the
picture of his ‘Virgin and Child,’ with several other figures on the
canvas, all said to be likenesses of members of his family. In the
museum are many works of all the noted old masters of the Dutch and
Flemish school--for Antwerp gave birth to a long list of them--and here
their works are treasured. Here is the noted ‘Le Christ à la
Paille’--Christ dead, lying on a stone strewed with straw; and here too
is Vandyk’s ‘Saviour on the Cross,’ which tells the whole sublime story.
Of the more modern pictures, Lady Godiva is worthy of mention. The flesh
tints are exquisite. She is represented as just letting drop a curtain,
which is of a bright, warm color, and her attitude is so graceful that
one looks at her again and again. Of the many exquisite paintings we
have seen here, I will tell you when I see you, which will not be long
now, God willing.

At noon it held up a little, so we took a drive about the town. Antwerp
is the stronghold of Belgium, and there are immense fortifications about
the city. The town has known great vicissitudes, and in old times
terrible religious persecutions, but it is now in a most prosperous
condition, and trades with all the large mercantile cities of the world,
as the piles of all kinds of merchandise we saw at the wharves proved to
us. The beautiful double-width black silks are manufactured here, and
can be purchased at low prices. The shops are fine, and present a
tempting display of articles.

I must tell you of a laughable incident that occurred to-day. E. and F.
were walking in front of me, I lingering to look in the store windows,
and carrying not only my own wrap, but one for F. also, over my arm. Two
fine-looking ladies paused to look at us, for you must remember we are
known as foreigners everywhere. One turned to the other and said, ‘Look,
two foreign travellers and the lady’s-maid!’ I carry no more wraps!

Now, of only one more joy shall I tell you. The cathedral and its
contents! We had looked again and again at its tall, graceful, delicate
spire, rising high above the houses, and we had heard its sweet, soft
bells before going in. But now we have seen its inside walls and the
glories they hold. The interior of the edifice is comparatively cold and
barren, but the paintings within are delightful and surprise enough for
a life-time. I forgive Rubens for his unangel-like angels, that I have
not liked, for these wonderful works here of his surpass anything on
canvas I have ever seen. I was expecting to behold something unusual in
‘The Descent from the Cross,’ but not prepared for anything so
miraculously beautiful and sublime. I could not tell to mortal my
sensations upon first beholding this painting. I wonder now if it was a
painting! There was Christ dead! His beautiful, pathetic face looked as
if he had suffered, but it is now full of spiritualized peace and rest.
Mary’s sorrowful face, at his feet, is wet with her falling tears. The
loving and beloved John is near, and Magdalen extends her arms to take
the body of her dead Master. These faces are all exquisite, sadly so,
and yet one seems to see in them an expression of trustfulness, a
spiritual hope, as if they saw something beyond the unspeakable sadness
of the hour. The figure of our Saviour is touchingly real. The drooping
of the precious head--the muscles relaxed--it is all Death; and never,
before or since has the great, sad tragedy been so sublimely told. The
colors are wonderful--rich, mellow, and harmonious; and we leave the
cathedral with tears in our eyes, thinking only of Christ crucified, and
for us.

_Antwerp, August 11th._--My dear ----: My last words to you from a
foreign land! We are shopping, packing, speaking our adieux, for to-day
at three P.M. the Nordland sails, and we turn our faces toward our
native land. We are glad to go, and we are sorry to leave.



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LETTER XV.


ON SHIPBOARD.

Our first hours on board were busy ones, making our state-room seem
home-like, decorating it with little souvenirs, and disposing boxes and
bundles in out-of-the-way corners. Placing in vases lovely flowers,
which friendly hands had placed in ours, with best wishes for a ‘Bon
voyage.’ As glimpses of the chalk-cliffs of England could be caught in
the distance, we turned our faces toward that shore, with loving
thoughts of one dear to us, whom we leave on British soil. ‘We were
a-hungered, and he gave us meat; strangers, and he took us in,’ and God
cares for such, and He will protect.

After a good night’s rest, for the next few days out it seemed enough
for us to sit silent, as silent as women can be, and think. Think of all
the wonderful sights we had seen, and carefully store them away in
memory’s niche for future enjoyment. Think, too, of home and the loved
ones there, and bless the steamer’s big wheel, whose every turn carried
us nearer to them.

Amongst our pleasant fellow-voyagers we have Rev. Mr. G----r, of the
‘Old South;’ who is, if not all Boston, a valued bit of it. Prof.
Berlitz is also one of us, and adds to his many accomplishments a
knowledge of ‘mal de mer’ in all languages.

We have had head winds, and much stormy weather, but we are glad to have
a chance given us to see old ocean in all her varied moods, and can
scarcely say in which we like her best.

_New York, America, August 24th, 1888._--On land again! Our good steamer
brought us safely over. ‘Slow, but sure’ was her motto.

Our sailing into New York harbor at just sunset, with the gorgeous
colors of the western sky, and the purest blue above our heads, was to
us a pretty welcome; and, with hearts full of gratitude, we joined
voices in singing--

    ‘My country! ’tis of thee,
     Sweet land of liberty.’

In a few hours more we shall be steaming toward the dear old
‘hub’--Boston--home; and shall soon be with you, dear mother, my queen
of queens. But our pleasure in anticipation is not entirely painless,
for here we part with one of our trio, whose kindly care of us, for the
last few months, has added greatly to our happiness.

_Boston, August 27th._--Europe, in many ways, is delightful, and the
memories of our perfect trip will certainly be a joy to us forever; but
we wonder that any American can choose expatriation, for we return from
all the fascinations of the ‘other side’--certainly enjoyed and seen at
their best--thanking God that we are free American citizens. Some one
has said that ‘different descriptions of the same countries are ever
like old coats turned.’ And George Macdonald writes, ‘Fact, at best, is
but a garment of truth, which has ten thousand changes of raiment,
woven in the same loom.’ Many a made-over article gives enjoyment and
satisfaction. If my words give these to my readers I am satisfied.


FINIS.

[Illustration:

_Extracts from
J. G. Cupples Co.’s
List_

_Boston, Mass._
]

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *

RECENT PUBLICATIONS OF

J. G. CUPPLES CO.,

PUBLISHERS, GENERAL BOOKSELLERS, PRINTERS, AND STATIONERS, _94 Boylston
Street, Boston, Mass._

⁂ NOTE.--_In order to insure the correct delivery of the actual works,
or particular Editions specified in this List, the name of the
Publishers should be distinctly given. These books can be had from any
local bookseller; but should any difficulty be experienced in procuring
them, Messrs. J. G. CUPPLES CO. will be happy to forward them direct,
postage paid, on receipt of cheque, stamps, or postal order for the
amount._


_TWO VOLUMES OF TRAVEL._

     GLIMPSES OF NORSELAND. BY HETTA M. HERVEY. With many illustrations
     of exceptional value. 1 vol. 12mo. Cloth, gilt top. $1.25.

A breezy book about Norway, its people and its places, its fjords and
fjelds. A critical notice says:--“The book is not pretentious. Miss
Hervey has sought to tell in a direct, simple way the story of her
wanderings in Norway, and to describe some of the strange sights of that
romantic land. But she has avoided dulness, the bane of thousands of
books of travel, while many of the passages are strikingly well
done.”--Again, “She has recorded her experiences in exactly the manner
which makes her book pleasurable and fascinating reading.”


     TEN DAYS IN THE JUNGLE. A journey in the far East by an American
     lady. By J. E. L. With vignette. 1 vol. 16mo. Cloth. $1.00.

An interesting and entertaining description of travel through the
Straits of Malacca, with pictures of life and scenery in the adjacent
British Colonies of Singapore and Pulo-Penang.


_BY JAMES H. STARK._

     ANTIQUE VIEWS OF YE TOWNE OF BOSTON. By JAMES H. STARK. Assisted by
     Dr. SAMUEL A. GREEN, Ex-Mayor of Boston, Librarian of the
     Massachusetts Historical Society; JOHN WARD DEAN, Librarian of the
     New England Historic Genealogical Society; and Judge MELLEN
     CHAMBERLAIN, of the Public Library. _An extensive and exhaustive
     work in 378 pages. Large quarto. Illustrated with nearly 200 full
     size reproductions of all known rare maps, old prints, etc. 1 vol.
     4to. Cloth. $6.00._


     BERMUDA GUIDE. A description of everything on or about the Bermuda
     Islands, concerning which the visitor or resident may desire
     information, including its history, inhabitants, climate,
     agriculture, geology, government, military and naval
     establishments. By JAMES H. STARK. With Maps, Engravings and 16
     Photo-prints. 1 vol. 12mo. Cloth, 157 pp. $2.00.

_J G. Cupples Co._

_Publishers
Booksellers,
Stationers_,

_BOSTON_.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Important New Books._


“_I consider James R. Nichols, the well-known chemist, one of the
coolest and most scientific investigators in the field of psychical
phenomena, and, at the same time, one of the most honest. If the world
had more earnest thinkers of the same kind to co-operate with him, the
world would find out something of value._”--_Joseph Cook._


WORKS BY THE LATE DR. JAMES R. NICHOLS.

     WHENCE? WHAT? WHERE? A VIEW OF THE ORIGIN, NATURE, AND DESTINY OF
     MAN. By JAMES R. NICHOLS. With portrait of the author. 12mo. Cloth,
     gilt top. $1.25. _Eleventh edition, revised._

“_No one can take up the book without feeling the inclination to read
further, and to ponder on the all-important subjects which it presents.
Though it is not a religious book in the accepted sense of the word, it
is a book which calls for the exercise of the religious nature, and
which in diffusing many sensible ideas will do good._”--_Philadelphia
Press._


FIRESIDE SCIENCE: Popular Scientific Essays. 12mo. Cloth. $1.50.

These essays have been an endless source of instruction and interest to
all that have read them, while, to those who approach the mysteries of
Nature with an inquiring and reverent spirit, they will be of great
assistance in aiding the comprehension of the technical works on
chemistry and physics. Since Faraday delivered his well-known lectures,
there has been nothing to compare with the present work in tracing the
action of the immutable laws of Nature in processes of every-day
occurrence.


     CHEMISTRY OF THE FARM AND THE SEA, with many other familiar
     Chemical Essays. 16mo. Cloth. $1.25.

This work, though perhaps not of so wide an interest to the average
reader, is of the greatest value to the thoughtful and practical farmer.
Not the least of Dr. Nichols’ talents was his deep insight into and
wonderful grasp of agricultural chemistry, and many men to-day can bear
witness to the value of his advice respecting soils and fertilizers. In
this volume will be found the gist of a series of lectures and addresses
delivered before the various agricultural communities of New England and
elsewhere, which abound with helpful suggestions and solid facts.


     THE POPULAR SCIENCE NEWS. AUSTIN P. NICHOLS, Editor; W. J. ROLFE,
     Associate Editor. Formerly Boston Journal of Chemistry. Founded by
     the late James R. Nichols, M.D., in 1868, is issued monthly, and is
     designed to be a journal of Useful Knowledge for all classes of
     readers.

It is now in its Twenty-third year, and has become the most popular
scientific journal published in the world.

TERMS.--One Dollar per year, in advance. Subscriptions may begin at any
time. Back numbers supplied when desired.

Make all drafts, money orders, etc., for this paper, payable to the
POPULAR SCIENCE NEWS CO., Boston, Mass.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Important New Book._


HIERO-SALEM:

THE VISION OF PEACE.

A FICTION FOUNDED ON IDEALS WHICH ARE GROUNDED IN

THE REAL,

THAT IS GREATER THAN THE GREATEST OF ALL HUMAN GREAT IDEALS.

By E. L. Mason.

_Symbolically Illustrated._

[Illustration]

The publishers feel pride in announcing the appearance of what they
believe to be a very remarkable production in the department of Didactic
Fiction. It is entitled “HIERO-SALEM: THE VISION OF PEACE,” by E. L.
Mason, and is unquestionably a work of a very high, if not indeed of the
first, order. Whatever may be thought of its theories,--and its theories
will attract, even where they fail to convince, readers,--there can be
no question of its great power. It goes to the bottom of things, and
stirs its readers’ consciousness to its lowest depths, as Hugo, and
Sand, and Balzac, and Heine, and Richter, and all the great masters of
the human heart, do. Striking philosophical and psychological insight,
marked originality, and intense vigor of attack, are among its
characteristics. Those who remember George Sand’s Count Albert will find
in Daniel, especially in the first half of the work, something akin to
that marvellous creation of abstract wisdom and ideal beauty. The
general plan, too, of the book, consisting as it does of a succession of
apparently somewhat unrelated episodes, which, however, at the end are
brought together, explained, and wrought into a consistent and
symmetrical whole, may not impossibly recall _Consuelo_. _Charles
Auchester_, doubtless, will occur to the minds of many, as, we should
say, if the reference had not become hackneyed, will _Robert Elsmere_,
with which it has much in common. Still, possessing qualities resembling
those of the above-named works though it does, as a whole “Hiero-salem”
is totally unlike them, and indeed distinct from every other work with
which we are acquainted. It is, we think, _sui generis_ in Fiction.
Containing passages of great poetic beauty, and of the most intense and
sustained passion; bristling with appropriatenesses and happy audacities
of expression, that are likely to be welcomed into the common fund of
speech; abounding in queer turns and startling surprises of incident and
of thought,--it takes the interest captive, and hurries it, breathless,
and sometimes even almost bewildered, on. The publishers feel themselves
unable to hazard any conjecture with regard to the _popularity_ of this
book. To persons of cultivation, experience and thoughtfulness, whenever
it reaches such, they feel sure it will speak; and their number is not
inconsiderable. They await the verdict of critical and competent society
with confidence, and will not be surprised if it settle down to the
conviction that, on the whole, here again is nothing more or less than a
_great work_, worthy to stand and live beside the abiding literary
masterpieces.

The author, evidently an earnest believer in the immortality of the
spiritual ego, treats in this work of the endeavor made by a man deeply
versed in all lore that deals with the universality of the immaterial
world, and the possibility in this life of the partial removal of the
sensual barriers which separate us from it, to raise the standard of
physical and intellectual man by the establishment of a new race founded
at the outset by careful selection of two individuals. Many subjects of
much interest to many thinkers now, are introduced as an integral part
of the narrative,--the doctrine of reincarnation, the beliefs of
Esoteric Buddhism, even the occult knowledge acquired by the Kabbalists.
The idea, however, that shines through all is that behind these mere
glimmerings of light there is the splendor of the truth itself, of which
these are but the reflections vouchsafed to the earnest studies and
strivings of man--a deeper truth which this book endeavors to express.

“Hiero-salem” will be found to be unique in manufacture as well as in
contents, and is symbolically illustrated.

_1 vol. Illustrated, large square 12mo. Unique cloth binding, gilt top,
bevelled boards, 528 pages. Price $2.00._

⁂ Mailed postage paid to any address, by the publishers, on receipt of
the price.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Important New Books._

AUNT NABBY: HER RAMBLES,
HER ADVENTURES, AND
HER NOTIONS.

With characteristic illustrations and vignettes. 12mo. pp. 314, xii.

Paper, 50 cents. Cloth, $1.00.

“Delightful drollery.”--_Pilot._

“Highly amusing.”--_Boston Herald._

[Illustration]

☛ _SECOND EDITION, ENLARGED AND IMPROVED._

       *       *       *       *       *

_BRIGHT ORIGINALITY, SPRIGHTLINESS, AND KEEN OBSERVATION._

=A BUNDLE OF LETTERS FROM OVER THE SEA.=

BY LOUISE B. ROBINSON.

12mo. pp. 320. Cloth, elegant, $2.00.

“The authoress of A BUNDLE OF LETTERS FROM OVER THE SEA has produced a
book _unlike any other_. It is original, bright, entertaining, and shows
what an open-eyed, independent American woman can see.”--_Press._


“Good as it is to inherit a library, it is better to collect one. Each
volume then, however lightly a stranger’s eye may roam from shelf to
shelf, has its own individuality, a history of its own. You remember
where you got it, and how much you gave for it.... The man who has a
library of his own collection is able to contemplate himself
objectively, and is justified in believing in his own existence. No
other man but he would have made precisely such a combination as his.
Had he been in any single respect different from what he is, his
library, as it exists, never would have existed. Therefore, surely he
may exclaim, as in the gloaming he contemplates the backs of his loved
ones, ‘They are mine, and I am theirs.’”

_Obiter Dicta._





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