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Saunterings by Charles Dudley Warner

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SAUNTERINGS

By Charles Dudley Warner

MISAPPREHENSIONS CORRECTED

I should not like to ask an indulgent and idle public to saunter
about with me under a misapprehension. It would be more agreeable to
invite it to go nowhere than somewhere; for almost every one has been
somewhere, and has written about it. The only compromise I can
suggest is, that we shall go somewhere, and not learn anything about
it. The instinct of the public against any thing like information in
a volume of this kind is perfectly justifiable; and the reader will
perhaps discover that this is illy adapted for a text-book in
schools, or for the use of competitive candidates in the
civil-service examinations.

Years ago, people used to saunter over the Atlantic, and spend weeks
in filling journals with their monotonous emotions. That is all
changed now, and there is a misapprehension that the Atlantic has
been practically subdued; but no one ever gets beyond the "rolling
forties" without having this impression corrected.

I confess to have been deceived about this Atlantic, the roughest and
windiest of oceans. If you look at it on the map, it does n't appear
to be much, and, indeed, it is spoken of as a ferry. What with the
eight and nine days' passages over it, and the laying of the cable,
which annihilates distance, I had the impression that its tedious
three thousand and odd miles had been, somehow, partly done away
with; but they are all there. When one has sailed a thousand miles
due east and finds that he is then nowhere in particular, but is
still out, pitching about on an uneasy sea, under an inconstant sky,
and that a thousand miles more will not make any perceptible change,
he begins to have some conception of the unconquerable ocean.
Columbus rises in my estimation.

I was feeling uncomfortable that nothing had been done for the memory
of Christopher Columbus, when I heard some months ago that thirty-
seven guns had been fired off for him in Boston. It is to be hoped
that they were some satisfaction to him. They were discharged by
countrymen of his, who are justly proud that he should have been
able, after a search of only a few weeks, to find a land where the
hand-organ had never been heard. The Italians, as a people, have not
profited much by this discovery; not so much, indeed, as the
Spaniards, who got a reputation by it which even now gilds their
decay. That Columbus was born in Genoa entitles the Italians to
celebrate the great achievement of his life; though why they should
discharge exactly thirty-seven guns I do not know. Columbus did not
discover the United States: that we partly found ourselves, and
partly bought, and gouged the Mexicans out of. He did not even
appear to know that there was a continent here. He discovered the
West Indies, which he thought were the East; and ten guns would be
enough for them. It is probable that he did open the way to the
discovery of the New World. If he had waited, however, somebody else
would have discovered it,--perhaps some Englishman; and then we might
have been spared all the old French and Spanish wars. Columbus let
the Spaniards into the New World; and their civilization has
uniformly been a curse to it. If he had brought Italians, who
neither at that time showed, nor since have shown, much inclination
to come, we should have had the opera, and made it a paying
institution by this time. Columbus was evidently a person who liked
to sail about, and did n't care much for consequences.

Perhaps it is not an open question whether Columbus did a good thing
in first coming over here, one that we ought to celebrate with
salutes and dinners. The Indians never thanked him, for one party.
The Africans had small ground to be gratified for the market he
opened for them. Here are two continents that had no use for him.
He led Spain into a dance of great expectations, which ended in her
gorgeous ruin. He introduced tobacco into Europe, and laid the
foundation for more tracts and nervous diseases than the Romans had
in a thousand years. He introduced the potato into Ireland
indirectly; and that caused such a rapid increase of population, that
the great famine was the result, and an enormous emigration to New
York--hence Tweed and the constituency of the Ring. Columbus is
really responsible for New York. He is responsible for our whole
tremendous experiment of democracy, open to all comers, the best
three in five to win. We cannot yet tell how it is coming out, what
with the foreigners and the communists and the women. On our great
stage we are playing a piece of mingled tragedy and comedy, with what
denouement we cannot yet say. If it comes out well, we ought to
erect a monument to Christopher as high as the one at Washington
expects to be; and we presume it is well to fire a salute
occasionally to keep the ancient mariner in mind while we are trying
our great experiment. And this reminds me that he ought to have had
a naval salute.

There is something almost heroic in the idea of firing off guns for a
man who has been stone-dead for about four centuries. It must have
had a lively and festive sound in Boston, when the meaning of the
salute was explained. No one could hear those great guns without a
quicker beating of the heart in gratitude to the great discoverer who
had made Boston possible. We are trying to "realize" to ourselves
the importance of the 12th of October as an anniversary of our
potential existence. If any one wants to see how vivid is the
gratitude to Columbus, let him start out among our business-houses
with a subscription-paper to raise money for powder to be exploded in
his honor. And yet Columbus was a well-meaning man; and if he did
not discover a perfect continent, he found the only one that was
left.

Columbus made voyaging on the Atlantic popular, and is responsible
for much of the delusion concerning it. Its great practical use in
this fast age is to give one an idea of distance and of monotony.

I have listened in my time with more or less pleasure to very
rollicking songs about the sea, the flashing brine, the spray and the
tempest's roar, the wet sheet and the flowing sea, a life on the
ocean wave, and all the rest of it. To paraphrase a land proverb,
let me write the songs of the sea, and I care not who goes to sea and
sings 'em. A square yard of solid ground is worth miles of the
pitching, turbulent stuff. Its inability to stand still for one
second is the plague of it. To lie on deck when the sun shines, and
swing up and down, while the waves run hither and thither and toss
their white caps, is all well enough to lie in your narrow berth and
roll from side to side all night long; to walk uphill to your
state-room door, and, when you get there, find you have got to the
bottom of the hill, and opening the door is like lifting up a
trap-door in the floor; to deliberately start for some object, and,
before you know it, to be flung against it like a bag of sand; to
attempt to sit down on your sofa, and find you are sitting up; to
slip and slide and grasp at everything within reach, and to meet
everybody leaning and walking on a slant, as if a heavy wind were
blowing, and the laws of gravitation were reversed; to lie in your
berth, and hear all the dishes on the cabin-table go sousing off
against the wall in a general smash; to sit at table holding your
soup-plate with one hand, and watching for a chance to put your spoon
in when it comes high tide on your side of the dish; to vigilantly
watch, the lurch of the heavy dishes while holding your glass and
your plate and your knife and fork, and not to notice it when Brown,
who sits next you, gets the whole swash of the gravy from the
roast-beef dish on his light-colored pantaloons, and see the look of
dismay that only Brown can assume on such an occasion; to see Mrs.
Brown advance to the table, suddenly stop and hesitate, two waiters
rush at her, with whom she struggles wildly, only to go down in a
heap with them in the opposite corner; to see her partially recover,
but only to shoot back again through her state-room door, and be seen
no more;--all this is quite pleasant and refreshing if you are tired
of land, but you get quite enough of it in a couple of weeks. You
become, in time, even a little tired of the Jew who goes about
wishing "he vas a veek older;" and the eccentric man, who looks at no
one, and streaks about the cabin and on deck, without any purpose,
and plays shuffle-board alone, always beating himself, and goes on
the deck occasionally through the sky-light instead of by the cabin
door, washes himself at the salt-water pump, and won't sleep in his
state-room, saying he is n't used to sleeping in a bed,--as if the
hard narrow, uneasy shelf of a berth was anything like a bed!--and
you have heard at last pretty nearly all about the officers, and
their twenty and thirty years of sea-life, and every ocean and port
on the habitable globe where they have been. There comes a day when
you are quite ready for land, and the scream of the "gull" is a
welcome sound.

Even the sailors lose the vivacity of the first of the voyage. The
first two or three days we had their quaint and half-doleful singing
in chorus as they pulled at the ropes: now they are satisfied with
short ha-ho's, and uncadenced grunts. It used to be that the leader
sang, in ever-varying lines of nonsense, and the chorus struck in
with fine effect, like this:

"I wish I was in Liverpool town.
Handy-pan, handy O!

O captain! where 'd you ship your crew
Handy-pan, handy O!

Oh! pull away, my bully crew,
Handy-pan, handy O!"

There are verses enough of this sort to reach across the Atlantic;
and they are not the worst thing about it either, or the most
tedious. One learns to respect this ocean, but not to love it; and
he leaves it with mingled feelings about Columbus.

And now, having crossed it,--a fact that cannot be concealed,--let us
not be under the misapprehension that we are set to any task other
than that of sauntering where it pleases us.

PARIS AND LONDON

SURFACE CONTRASTS OF PARIS AND LONDON

I wonder if it is the Channel? Almost everything is laid to the
Channel: it has no friends. The sailors call it the nastiest bit of
water in the world. All travelers anathematize it. I have now
crossed it three times in different places, by long routes and short
ones, and have always found it as comfortable as any sailing
anywhere, sailing being one of the most tedious and disagreeable
inventions of a fallen race. But such is not the usual experience:
most people would make great sacrifices to avoid the hour and three
quarters in one of those loathsome little Channel boats,--they always
call them loathsome, though I did n't see but they are as good as any
boats. I have never found any boat that hasn't a detestable habit of
bobbing round. The Channel is hated: and no one who has much to do
with it is surprised at the projects for bridging it and for boring a
hole under it; though I have scarcely ever met an Englishman who
wants either done,--he does not desire any more facile communication
with the French than now exists. The traditional hatred may not be
so strong as it was, but it is hard to say on which side is the most
ignorance and contempt of the other.

It must be the Channel: that is enough to produce a physical
disagreement even between the two coasts; and there cannot be a
greater contrast in the cultivated world than between the two lands
lying so close to each other; and the contrast of their capitals is
even more decided,--I was about to say rival capitals, but they have
not enough in common to make them rivals. I have lately been over to
London for a week, going by the Dieppe and New Haven route at night,
and returning by another; and the contrasts I speak of were impressed
upon me anew. Everything here in and about Paris was in the green
and bloom of spring, and seemed to me very lovely; but my first
glance at an English landscape made it all seem pale and flat. We
went up from New Haven to London in the morning, and feasted our eyes
all the way. The French foliage is thin, spindling, sparse; the
grass is thin and light in color--in contrast. The English trees are
massive, solid in substance and color; the grass is thick, and green
as emerald; the turf is like the heaviest Wilton carpet. The whole
effect is that of vegetable luxuriance and solidity, as it were a
tropical luxuriance, condensed and hardened by northern influences.
If my eyes remember well, the French landscapes are more like our
own, in spring tone, at least; but the English are a revelation to us
strangers of what green really is, and what grass and trees can be.
I had been told that we did well to see England before going to the
Continent, for it would seem small and only pretty afterwards. Well,
leaving out Switzerland, I have seen nothing in that beauty which
satisfies the eye and wins the heart to compare with England in
spring. When we annex it to our sprawling country which lies
out-doors in so many climates, it will make a charming little retreat
for us in May and June, a sort of garden of delight, whence we shall
draw our May butter and our June roses. It will only be necessary to
put it under glass to make it pleasant the year round.

When we passed within the hanging smoke of London town, threading our
way amid numberless railway tracks, sometimes over a road and
sometimes under one, now burrowing into the ground, and now running
along among the chimney-pots,--when we came into the pale light and
the thickening industry of a London day, we could but at once
contrast Paris. Unpleasant weather usually reduces places to an
equality of disagreeableness. But Paris, with its wide streets,
light, handsome houses, gay windows and smiling little parks and
fountains, keeps up a tolerably pleasant aspect, let the weather do
its worst. But London, with its low, dark, smutty brick houses and
insignificant streets, settles down hopelessly into the dumps when
the weather is bad. Even with the sun doing its best on the eternal
cloud of smoke, it is dingy and gloomy enough, and so dirty, after
spick-span, shining Paris. And there is a contrast in the matter of
order and system; the lack of both in London is apparent. You detect
it in public places, in crowds, in the streets. The "social evil" is
bad enough in its demonstrations in Paris: it is twice as offensive
in London. I have never seen a drunken woman in Paris: I saw many of
them in the daytime in London. I saw men and women fight in the
streets,--a man kick and pound a woman; and nobody interfered. There
is a brutal streak in the Anglo-Saxon, I fear,--a downright animal
coarseness, that does not exhibit itself the other side of the
Channel. It is a proverb, that the London policemen are never at
hand. The stout fellows with their clubs look as if they might do
service; but what a contrast they are to the Paris sergents de ville!
The latter, with his dress-coat, cocked hat, long rapier, white
gloves, neat, polite, attentive, alert,--always with the manner of a
jesuit turned soldier,--you learn to trust very much, if not respect;
and you feel perfectly secure that he will protect you, and give you
your rights in any corner of Paris. It does look as if he might slip
that slender rapier through your body in a second, and pull it out
and wipe it, and not move a muscle; but I don't think he would do it
unless he were directly ordered to. He would not be likely to knock
you down and drag you out, in mistake for the rowdy who was
assaulting you.

A great contrast between the habits of the people of London and Paris
is shown by their eating and drinking. Paris is brilliant with
cafes: all the world frequents them to sip coffee (and too often
absinthe), read the papers, and gossip over the news; take them away,
as all travelers know, and Paris would not know itself. There is not
a cafe in London: instead of cafes, there are gin-mills; instead of
light wine, there is heavy beer. The restaurants and restaurant life
are as different as can be. You can get anything you wish in Paris:
you can live very cheaply or very dearly, as you like. The range is
more limited in London. I do not fancy the usual run of Paris
restaurants. You get a great deal for your money, in variety and
quantity; but you don't exactly know what it is: and in time you tire
of odds and ends, which destroy your hunger without exactly
satisfying you. For myself, after a pretty good run of French
cookery (and it beats the world for making the most out of little),
when I sat down again to what the eminently respectable waiter in
white and black calls "a dinner off the Joint, sir," with what
belongs to it, and ended up with an attack on a section of a cheese
as big as a bass-drum, not to forget a pewter mug of amber liquid, I
felt as if I had touched bottom again,--got something substantial,
had what you call a square meal. The English give you the
substantials, and better, I believe, than any other people.
Thackeray used to come over to Paris to get a good dinner now and
then. I have tried his favorite restaurant here, the cuisine of
which is famous far beyond the banks of the Seine; but I think if he,
hearty trencher-man that he was, had lived in Paris, he would have
gone to London for a dinner oftener than he came here.

And as for a lunch,--this eating is a fascinating theme,--commend me
to a quiet inn of England. We happened to be out at Kew Gardens the
other afternoon. You ought to go to Kew, even if the Duchess of
Cambridge is not at home. There is not such a park out of England,
considering how beautiful the Thames is there. What splendid trees
it has! the horse-chestnut, now a mass of pink-and-white blossoms,
from its broad base, which rests on the ground, to its high rounded
dome; the hawthorns, white and red, in full flower; the sweeps and
glades of living green,--turf on which you walk with a grateful sense
of drawing life directly from the yielding, bountiful earth,--a green
set out and heightened by flowers in masses of color (a great variety
of rhododendrons, for one thing), to say nothing of magnificent
greenhouses and outlying flower-gardens. Just beyond are Richmond
Hill and Hampton Court, and five or six centuries of tradition and
history and romance. Before you enter the garden, you pass the
green. On one side of it are cottages, and on the other the old
village church and its quiet churchyard. Some boys were playing
cricket on the sward, and children were getting as intimate with the
turf and the sweet earth as their nurses would let them. We turned
into a little cottage, which gave notice of hospitality for a
consideration; and were shown, by a pretty maid in calico, into an
upper room,--a neat, cheerful, common room, with bright flowers in
the open windows, and white muslin curtains for contrast. We looked
out on the green and over to the beautiful churchyard, where one of
England's greatest painters, Gainsborough, lies in rural repose. It
is nothing to you, who always dine off the best at home, and never
encounter dirty restaurants and snuffy inns, or run the gauntlet of
Continental hotels, every meal being an experiment of great interest,
if not of danger, to say that this brisk little waitress spread a
snowy cloth, and set thereon meat and bread and butter and a salad:
that conveys no idea to your mind. Because you cannot see that the
loaf of wheaten bread was white and delicate, and full of the
goodness of the grain; or that the butter, yellow as a guinea, tasted
of grass and cows, and all the rich juices of the verdant year, and
was not mere flavorless grease; or that the cuts of roast beef, fat
and lean, had qualities that indicate to me some moral elevation in
the cattle,--high-toned, rich meat; or that the salad was crisp and
delicious, and rather seemed to enjoy being eaten, at least, did n't
disconsolately wilt down at the prospect, as most salad does. I do
not wonder that Walter Scott dwells so much on eating, or lets his
heroes pull at the pewter mugs so often. Perhaps one might find a
better lunch in Paris, but he surely couldn't find this one.

PARIS IN MAY--FRENCH GIRLS--THE EMPEROR AT LONGCHAMPS

It was the first of May when we came up from Italy. The spring grew
on us as we advanced north; vegetation seemed further along than it
was south of the Alps. Paris was bathed in sunshine, wrapped in
delicious weather, adorned with all the delicate colors of blushing
spring. Now the horse-chestnuts are all in bloom and so is the
hawthorn; and in parks and gardens there are rows and alleys of
trees, with blossoms of pink and of white; patches of flowers set in
the light green grass; solid masses of gorgeous color, which fill all
the air with perfume; fountains that dance in the sunlight as if just
released from prison; and everywhere the soft suffusion of May.
Young maidens who make their first communion go into the churches in
processions of hundreds, all in white, from the flowing veil to the
satin slipper; and I see them everywhere for a week after the
ceremony, in their robes of innocence, often with bouquets of
flowers, and attended by their friends; all concerned making it a
joyful holiday, as it ought to be. I hear, of course, with what
false ideas of life these girls are educated; how they are watched
before marriage; how the marriage is only one of arrangement, and
what liberty they eagerly seek afterwards. I met a charming Paris
lady last winter in Italy, recently married, who said she had never
been in the Louvre in her life; never had seen any of the magnificent
pictures or world-famous statuary there, because girls were not
allowed to go there, lest they should see something that they ought
not to see. I suppose they look with wonder at the young American
girls who march up to anything that ever was created, with undismayed
front.

Another Frenchwoman, a lady of talent and the best breeding, recently
said to a friend, in entire unconsciousness that she was saying
anything remarkable, that, when she was seventeen, her great desire
was to marry one of her uncles (a thing not very unusual with the
papal dispensation), in order to keep all the money in the family!
That was the ambition of a girl of seventeen.

I like, on these sunny days, to look into the Luxembourg Garden:
nowhere else is the eye more delighted with life and color. In the
afternoon, especially, it is a baby-show worth going far to see. The
avenues are full of children, whose animated play, light laughter,
and happy chatter, and pretty, picturesque dress, make a sort of
fairy grove of the garden; and all the nurses of that quarter bring
their charges there, and sit in the shade, sewing, gossiping, and
comparing the merits of the little dears. One baby differs from
another in glory, I suppose; but I think on such days that they are
all lovely, taken in the mass, and all in sweet harmony with the
delicious atmosphere, the tender green, and the other flowers of
spring. A baby can't do better than to spend its spring days in the
Luxembourg Garden.

There are several ways of seeing Paris besides roaming up and down
before the blazing shop-windows, and lounging by daylight or gaslight
along the crowded and gay boulevards; and one of the best is to go to
the Bois de Boulogne on a fete-day, or when the races are in
progress. This famous wood is very disappointing at first to one who
has seen the English parks, or who remembers the noble trees and
glades and avenues of that at Munich. To be sure, there is a lovely
little lake and a pretty artificial cascade, and the roads and walks
are good; but the trees are all saplings, and nearly all the "wood"
is a thicket of small stuff. Yet there is green grass that one can
roll on, and there is a grove of small pines that one can sit under.
It is a pleasant place to drive toward evening; but its great
attraction is the crowd there. All the principal avenues are lined
with chairs, and there people sit to watch the streams of carriages.

I went out to the Bois the other day, when there were races going on;
not that I went to the races, for I know nothing about them, per se,
and care less. All running races are pretty much alike. You see a
lean horse, neck and tail, flash by you, with a jockey in colors on
his back; and that is the whole of it. Unless you have some money on
it, in the pool or otherwise, it is impossible to raise any
excitement. The day I went out, the Champs Elysees, on both sides,
its whole length, was crowded with people, rows and ranks of them
sitting in chairs and on benches. The Avenue de l'Imperatrice, from
the Arc de l'Etoile to the entrance of the Bois, was full of
promenaders; and the main avenues of the Bois, from the chief
entrance to the race-course, were lined with people, who stood or
sat, simply to see the passing show. There could not have been less
than ten miles of spectators, in double or triple rows, who had taken
places that afternoon to watch the turnouts of fashion and rank.
These great avenues were at all times, from three till seven, filled
with vehicles; and at certain points, and late in the day, there was,
or would have been anywhere else except in Paris, a jam. I saw a
great many splendid horses, but not so many fine liveries as one will
see on a swell-day in London. There was one that I liked. A
handsome carriage, with one seat, was drawn by four large and elegant
black horses, the two near horses ridden by postilions in blue and
silver,--blue roundabouts, white breeches and topboots, a round-
topped silver cap, and the hair, or wig, powdered, and showing just a
little behind. A footman mounted behind, seated, wore the same
colors; and the whole establishment was exceedingly tonnish.

The race-track (Longchamps, as it is called), broad and beautiful
springy turf, is not different from some others, except that the
inclosed oblong space is not flat, but undulating just enough for
beauty, and so framed in by graceful woods, and looked on by chateaux
and upland forests, that I thought I had never seen a sweeter bit of
greensward. St. Cloud overlooks it, and villas also regard it from
other heights. The day I saw it, the horse-chestnuts were in bloom;
and there was, on the edges, a cloud of pink and white blossoms, that
gave a soft and charming appearance to the entire landscape. The
crowd in the grounds, in front of the stands for judges, royalty, and
people who are privileged or will pay for places, was, I suppose,
much as usual,--an excited throng of young and jockey-looking men,
with a few women-gamblers in their midst, making up the pool; a pack
of carriages along the circuit of the track, with all sorts of
people, except the very good; and conspicuous the elegantly habited
daughters of sin and satin, with servants in livery, as if they had
been born to it; gentlemen and ladies strolling about, or reclining
on the sward, and a refreshment-stand in lively operation.

When the bell rang, we all cleared out from the track, and I happened
to get a position by the railing. I was looking over to the
Pavilion, where I supposed the Emperor to be, when the man next to me
cried, "Voila!" and, looking up, two horses brushed right by my face,
of which I saw about two tails and one neck, and they were gone.
Pretty soon they came round again, and one was ahead, as is apt to be
the case; and somebody cried, "Bully for Therise!" or French to that
effect, and it was all over. Then we rushed across to the Emperor's
Pavilion, except that I walked with all the dignity consistent with
rapidity, and there, in the midst of his suite, sat the Man of
December, a stout, broad, and heavy-faced man as you know, but a man
who impresses one with a sense of force and purpose,--sat, as I say,
and looked at us through his narrow, half-shut eyes, till he was
satisfied that I had got his features through my glass, when he
deliberately arose and went in.

All Paris was out that day,--it is always out, by the way, when the
sun shines, and in whatever part of the city you happen to be; and it
seemed to me there was a special throng clear down to the gate of the
Tuileries, to see the Emperor and the rest of us come home. He went
round by the Rue Rivoli, but I walked through the gardens. The
soldiers from Africa sat by the gilded portals, as usual,--aliens,
and yet always with the port of conquerors here in Paris. Their
nonchalant indifference and soldierly bearing always remind me of the
sort of force the Emperor has at hand to secure his throne. I think
the blouses must look askance at these satraps of the desert. The
single jet fountain in the basin was springing its highest,--a
quivering pillar of water to match the stone shaft of Egypt which
stands close by. The sun illuminated it, and threw a rainbow from it
a hundred feet long, upon the white and green dome of chestnut-trees
near. When I was farther down the avenue, I had the dancing column
of water, the obelisk, and the Arch of Triumph all in line, and the
rosy sunset beyond.

AN IMPERIAL REVIEW

The Prince and Princess of Wales came up to Paris in the beginning of
May, from Italy, Egypt, and alongshore, stayed at a hotel on the
Place Vendome, where they can get beef that is not horse, and is
rare, and beer brewed in the royal dominions, and have been
entertained with cordiality by the Emperor. Among the spectacles
which he has shown them is one calculated to give them an idea of his
peaceful intentions,-a grand review of cavalry and artillery at the
Bois de Boulogne. It always seems to me a curious comment upon the
state of our modern civilization, when one prince visits another here
in Europe, the first thing that the visited does, by way of hospitality
is to get out his troops, and show his rival how easily he could "lick"
him, if it came to that.

It is a little puerile. At any rate, it is an advance upon the old
fashion of getting up a joust at arms, and inviting the guest to come
out and have his head cracked in a friendly way.

The review, which had been a good deal talked about, came off in the
afternoon; and all the world went to it. The avenues of the Bois
were crowded with carriages, and the walks with footpads. Such a
constellation of royal personages met on one field must be seen; for,
besides the imperial family and Albert Edward and his Danish beauty,
there was to be the Archduke of Austria and no end of titled
personages besides. At three o'clock the royal company, in the
Emperor's carriages, drove upon the training-ground of the Bois,
where the troops awaited them. All the party, except the Princess of
Wales, then mounted horses, and rode along the lines, and afterwards
retired to a wood-covered knoll at one end to witness the evolutions.
The training-ground is a noble, slightly undulating piece of
greensward, perhaps three quarters of a mile long and half that in
breadth, hedged about with graceful trees, and bounded on one side by
the Seine. Its borders were rimmed that day with thousands of people
on foot and in carriages,--a gay sight, in itself, of color and
fashion. A more brilliant spectacle than the field presented cannot
well be imagined. Attention was divided between the gentle eminence
where the imperial party stood,--a throng of noble persons backed by
the gay and glittering Guard of the Emperor, as brave a show as
chivalry ever made,--and the field of green, with its long lines in
martial array; every variety of splendid uniforms, the colors and
combinations that most dazzle and attract, with shining brass and
gleaming steel, and magnificent horses of war, regiments of black,
gray, and bay.

The evolutions were such as to stir the blood of the most sluggish.
A regiment, full front, would charge down upon a dead run from the
far field, men shouting, sabers flashing, horses thundering along, so
that the ground shook, towards the imperial party, and, when near,
stop suddenly, wheel to right and left, and gallop back. Others
would succeed them rapidly, coming up the center while their
predecessors filed down the sides; so that the whole field was a
moving mass of splendid color and glancing steel. Now and then a
rider was unhorsed in the furious rush, and went scrambling out of
harm, while the steed galloped off with free rein. This display was
followed by that of the flying artillery, battalion after battalion,
which came clattering and roaring along, in double lines stretching
half across the field, stopped and rapidly discharged its pieces,
waking up all the region with echoes, filling the plain with the
smoke of gunpowder, and starting into rearing activity all the
carriage-horses in the Bois. How long this continued I do not know,
nor how many men participated in the review, but they seemed to pour
up from the far end in unending columns. I think the regiments must
have charged over and over again. It gave some people the impression
that there were a hundred thousand troops on the ground. I set it at
fifteen to twenty thousand. Gallignani next morning said there were
only six thousand! After the charging was over, the reviewing party
rode to the center of the field, and the troops galloped round them;
and the Emperor distributed decorations. We could recognize the
Emperor and Empress; Prince Albert in huzzar uniform, with a green
plume in his cap; and the Prince Imperial, in cap and the uniform of
a lieutenant, on horseback in front; while the Princess occupied a
carriage behind them.

There was a crush of people at the entrance to see the royals make
their exit. Gendarmes were busy, and mounted guards went smashing
through the crowd to clear a space. Everybody was on the tiptoe of
expectation. There is a portion of the Emperor's guard; there is an
officer of the household; there is an emblazoned carriage; and,
quick, there! with a rush they come, driving as if there was no
crowd, with imperial haste, postilions and outriders and the imperial
carriage. There is a sensation, a cordial and not loud greeting, but
no Yankee-like cheers. That heavy gentleman in citizen's dress, who
looks neither to right nor left, is Napoleon III.; that handsome
woman, grown full in the face of late, but yet with the bloom of
beauty and the sweet grace of command, in hat and dark riding-habit,
bowing constantly to right and left, and smiling, is the Empress
Eugenie. And they are gone. As we look for something more, there is
a rout in the side avenue; something is coming, unexpected, from
another quarter: dragoons dash through the dense mass, shouting and
gesticulating, and a dozen horses go by, turning the corner like a
small whirlwind, urged on by whip and spur, a handsome boy riding in
the midst,--a boy in cap and simple uniform, riding gracefully and
easily and jauntily, and out of sight in a minute. It is the boy
Prince Imperial and his guard. It was like him to dash in
unexpectedly, as he has broken into the line of European princes. He
rides gallantly, and Fortune smiles on him to-day; but he rides into
a troubled future. There was one more show,--a carriage of the
Emperor, with officers, in English colors and side-whiskers, riding
in advance and behind: in it the future King of England, the heavy,
selfish-faced young man, and beside him his princess, popular
wherever she shows her winning face,--a fair, sweet woman, in light
and flowing silken stuffs of spring, a vision of lovely youth and
rank, also gone in a minute.

These English visitors are enjoying the pleasures of the French
capital. On Sunday, as I passed the Hotel Bristol, a crowd,
principally English, was waiting in front of it to see the Prince and
Princess come out, and enter one of the Emperor's carriages in
waiting. I heard an Englishwoman, who was looking on with admiration
"sticking out" all over, remark to a friend in a very loud whisper,
"I tell you, the Prince lives every day of his life." The princely
pair came out at length, and drove away, going to visit Versailles.
I don't know what the Queen would think of this way of spending
Sunday; but if Albert Edward never does anything worse, he does n't
need half the praying for that he gets every Sunday in all the
English churches and chapels.

THE LOW COUNTRIES AND RHINELAND

AMIENS AND QUAINT OLD BRUGES

They have not yet found out the secret in France of banishing dust
from railway-carriages. Paris, late in June, was hot, but not dusty:
the country was both. There is an uninteresting glare and hardness
in a French landscape on a sunny day. The soil is thin, the trees
are slender, and one sees not much luxury or comfort. Still, one
does not usually see much of either on a flying train. We spent a
night at Amiens, and had several hours for the old cathedral, the
sunset light on its noble front and towers and spire and flying
buttresses, and the morning rays bathing its rich stone. As one
stands near it in front, it seems to tower away into heaven, a mass
of carving and sculpture,--figures of saints and martyrs who have
stood in the sun and storm for ages, as they stood in their lifetime,
with a patient waiting. It was like a great company, a Christian
host, in attitudes of praise and worship. There they were, ranks on
ranks, silent in stone, when the last of the long twilight illumined
them; and there in the same impressive patience they waited the
golden day. It required little fancy to feel that they had lived,
and now in long procession came down the ages. The central portal is
lofty, wide, and crowded with figures. The side is only less rich
than the front. Here the old Gothic builders let their fancy riot in
grotesque gargoyles,--figures of animals, and imps of sin, which
stretch out their long necks for waterspouts above. From the ground
to the top of the unfinished towers is one mass of rich stone-work,
the creation of genius that hundreds of years ago knew no other way
to write its poems than with the chisel. The interior is very
magnificent also, and has some splendid stained glass. At eight
o'clock, the priests were chanting vespers to a larger congregation
than many churches have on Sunday: their voices were rich and
musical, and, joined with the organ notes, floated sweetly and
impressively through the dim and vast interior. We sat near the
great portal, and, looking down the long, arched nave and choir to
the cluster of candles burning on the high altar, before which the
priests chanted, one could not but remember how many centuries the
same act of worship had been almost uninterrupted within, while the
apostles and martyrs stood without, keeping watch of the unchanging
heavens.

When I stepped in, early in the morning, the first mass was in
progress. The church was nearly empty. Looking within the choir, I
saw two stout young priests lustily singing the prayers in deep, rich
voices. One of them leaned back in his seat, and sang away, as if he
had taken a contract to do it, using, from time to time, an enormous
red handkerchief, with which and his nose he produced a trumpet
obligato. As I stood there, a poor dwarf bobbled in and knelt on the
bare stones, and was the only worshiper, until, at length, a
half-dozen priests swept in from the sacristy, and two processions of
young school-girls entered from either side. They have the skull of
John the Baptist in this cathedral. I did not see it, although I
suppose I could have done so for a franc to the beadle: but I saw a
very good stone imitation of it; and his image and story fill the
church. It is something to have seen the place that contains his
skull.

The country becomes more interesting as one gets into Belgium.
Windmills are frequent: in and near Lille are some six hundred of
them; and they are a great help to a landscape that wants fine trees.
At Courtrai, we looked into Notre Dame, a thirteenth century
cathedral, which has a Vandyke ("The Raising of the Cross"), and the
chapel of the Counts of Flanders, where workmen were uncovering some
frescoes that were whitewashed over in the war-times. The town hall
has two fine old chimney-pieces carved in wood, with quaint figures,-
-work that one must go to the Netherlands to see. Toward evening we
came into the ancient town of Bruges. The country all day has been
mostly flat, but thoroughly cultivated. Windmills appear to do all
the labor of the people,--raising the water, grinding the grain,
sawing the lumber; and they everywhere lift their long arms up to the
sky. Things look more and more what we call "foreign." Harvest is
going on, of hay and grain; and men and women work together in the
fields. The gentle sex has its rights here. We saw several women
acting as switch-tenders. Perhaps the use of the switch comes
natural to them. Justice, however, is still in the hands of the men.
We saw a Dutch court in session in a little room in the town hall at
Courtrai. The justice wore a little red cap, and sat informally
behind a cheap table. I noticed that the witnesses were treated with
unusual consideration, being allowed to sit down at the table
opposite the little justice, who interrogated them in a loud voice.
At the stations to-day we see more friars in coarse, woolen dresses,
and sandals, and the peasants with wooden sabots.

As the sun goes to the horizon, we have an effect sometimes produced
by the best Dutch artists,--a wonderful transparent light, in which
the landscape looks like a picture, with its church-spires of stone,
its windmills, its slender trees, and red-roofed houses. It is a
good light and a good hour in which to enter Bruges, that city of the
past. Once the city was greater than Antwerp; and up the Rege came
the commerce of the East, merchants from the Levant, traders in
jewels and silks. Now the tall houses wait for tenants, and the
streets have a deserted air. After nightfall, as we walked in the
middle of the roughly paved streets, meeting few people, and hearing
only the echoing clatter of the wooden sabots of the few who were
abroad, the old spirit of the place came over us. We sat on a bench
in the market-place, a treeless square, hemmed in by quaint, gabled
houses, late in the evening, to listen to the chimes from the belfry.
The tower is less than four hundred feet high, and not so high by
some seventy feet as the one on Notre Dame near by; but it is very
picturesque, in spite of the fact that it springs out of a rummagy-
looking edifice, one half of which is devoted to soldiers' barracks,
and the other to markets. The chimes are called the finest in
Europe. It is well to hear the finest at once, and so have done with
the tedious things. The Belgians are as fond of chimes as the Dutch
are of stagnant water. We heard them everywhere in Belgium; and in
some towns they are incessant, jangling every seven and a half
minutes. The chimes at Bruges ring every quarter hour for a minute,
and at the full hour attempt a tune. The revolving machinery grinds
out the tune, which is changed at least once a year; and on Sundays a
musician, chosen by the town, plays the chimes. In so many bells
(there are forty-eight), the least of which weighs twelve pounds, and
the largest over eleven thousand, there must be soft notes and
sonorous tones; so sweet jangled sounds were showered down: but we
liked better than the confused chiming the solemn notes of the great
bell striking the hour. There is something very poetical about this
chime of bells high in the air, flinging down upon the hum and
traffic of the city its oft-repeated benediction of peace; but
anybody but a Lowlander would get very weary of it. These chimes, to
be sure, are better than those in London, which became a nuisance;
but there is in all of them a tinkling attempt at a tune, which
always fails, that is very annoying.

Bruges has altogether an odd flavor. Piles of wooden sabots are for
sale in front of the shops; and this ugly shoe, which is mysteriously
kept on the foot, is worn by all the common sort. We see long,
slender carts in the street, with one horse hitched far ahead with
rope traces, and no thills or pole.

The women-nearly every one we saw-wear long cloaks of black cloth
with a silk hood thrown back. Bruges is famous of old for its
beautiful women, who are enticingly described as always walking the
streets with covered faces, and peeping out from their mantles. They
are not so handsome now they show their faces, I can testify.
Indeed, if there is in Bruges another besides the beautiful girl who
showed us the old council-chamber in the Palace of justice, she must
have had her hood pulled over her face.

Next morning was market-day. The square was lively with carts,
donkeys, and country people, and that and all the streets leading to
it were filled with the women in black cloaks, who flitted about as
numerous as the rooks at Oxford, and very much like them, moving in a
winged way, their cloaks outspread as they walked, and distended with
the market-basket underneath. Though the streets were full, the town
did not seem any less deserted; and the early marketers had only come
to life for a day, revisiting the places that once they thronged. In
the shade of the tall houses in the narrow streets sat red-cheeked
girls and women making lace, the bobbins jumping under their nimble
fingers. At the church doors hideous beggars crouched and whined,--
specimens of the fifteen thousand paupers of Bruges. In the
fishmarket we saw odd old women, with Rembrandt colors in faces and
costume; and while we strayed about in the strange city, all the time
from the lofty tower the chimes fell down. What history crowds upon
us! Here in the old cathedral, with its monstrous tower of brick, a
portion of it as old as the tenth century, Philip the Good
established, in 1429, the Order of the Golden Fleece, the last
chapter of which was held by Philip the Bad in 1559, in the rich old
Cathedral of St. Bavon, at Ghent. Here, on the square, is the site
of the house where the Emperor Maximilian was imprisoned by his
rebellious Flemings; and next it, with a carved lion, that in which
Charles II. of England lived after the martyrdom of that patient and
virtuous ruler, whom the English Prayerbook calls that "blessed
martyr, Charles the First." In Notre Dame are the tombs of Charles
the Bold and Mary his daughter.

We begin here to enter the portals of Dutch painting. Here died Jan
van Eyck, the father of oil painting; and here, in the hospital of
St. John, are the most celebrated pictures of Hans Memling. The most
exquisite in color and finish is the series painted on the casket
made to contain the arm of St. Ursula, and representing the story of
her martyrdom. You know she went on a pilgrimage to Rome, with her
lover, Conan, and eleven thousand virgins; and, on their return to
Cologne, they were all massacred by the Huns. One would scarcely
believe the story, if he did not see all their bones at Cologne.

GHENT AND ANTWERP

What can one do in this Belgium but write down names, and let memory
recall the past? We came to Ghent, still a hand some city, though
one thinks of the days when it was the capital of Flanders, and its
merchants were princes. On the shabby old belfry-tower is the gilt
dragon which Philip van Artevelde captured, and brought in triumph
from Bruges. It was originally fetched from a Greek church in
Constantinople by some Bruges Crusader; and it is a link to recall to
us how, at that time, the merchants of Venice and the far East traded
up the Scheldt, and brought to its wharves the rich stuffs of India
and Persia. The old bell Roland, that was used to call the burghers
together on the approach of an enemy, hung in this tower. What
fierce broils and bloody fights did these streets witness centuries
ago! There in the Marche au Vendredi, a large square of
old-fashioned houses, with a statue of Jacques van Artevelde, fifteen
hundred corpses were strewn in a quarrel between the hostile guilds
of fullers and brewers; and here, later, Alva set blazing the fires
of the Inquisition. Near the square is the old cannon, Mad Margery,
used in 1382 at the siege of Oudenarde,--a hammered-iron hooped
affair, eighteen feet long. But why mention this, or the magnificent
town hall, or St. Bavon, rich in pictures and statuary; or try to put
you back three hundred years to the wild days when the iconoclasts
sacked this and every other church in the Low Countries?

Up to Antwerp toward evening. All the country flat as the flattest
part of Jersey, rich in grass and grain, cut up by canals,
picturesque with windmills and red-tiled roofs, framed with trees in
rows. It has been all day hot and dusty. The country everywhere
seems to need rain; and dark clouds are gathering in the south for a
storm, as we drive up the broad Place de Meir to our hotel, and take
rooms that look out to the lace-like spire of the cathedral, which is
sharply defined against the red western sky.

Antwerp takes hold of you, both by its present and its past, very
strongly. It is still the home of wealth. It has stately buildings,
splendid galleries of pictures, and a spire of stone which charms
more than a picture, and fascinates the eye as music does the ear.
It still keeps its strong fortifications drawn around it, to which
the broad and deep Scheldt is like a string to a bow, mindful of the
unstable state of Europe. While Berlin is only a vast camp of
soldiers, every less city must daily beat its drums, and call its
muster-roll. From the tower here one looks upon the cockpit of
Europe. And yet Antwerp ought to have rest: she has had tumult
enough in her time. Prosperity seems returning to her; but her old,
comparative splendor can never come back. In the sixteenth century
there was no richer city in Europe.

We walked one evening past the cathedral spire, which begins in the
richest and most solid Gothic work, and grows up into the sky into an
exquisite lightness and grace, down a broad street to the Scheldt.
What traffic have not these high old houses looked on, when two
thousand and five hundred vessels lay in the river at one time, and
the commerce of Europe found here its best mart. Along the stream
now is a not very clean promenade for the populace; and it is lined
with beer-houses, shabby theaters, and places of the most childish
amusements. There is an odd liking for the simple among these
people. In front of the booths, drums were beaten and instruments
played in bewildering discord. Actors in paint and tights stood
without to attract the crowd within. On one low balcony, a
copper-colored man, with a huge feather cap and the traditional dress
of the American savage, was beating two drums; a burnt-cork black man
stood beside him; while on the steps was a woman, in hat and shawl,
making an earnest speech to the crowd. In another place, where a
crazy band made furious music, was an enormous "go-round" of wooden
ponies, like those in the Paris gardens, only here, instead of
children, grown men and women rode the hobby-horses, and seemed
delighted with the sport. In the general Babel, everybody was
good-natured and jolly. Little things suffice to amuse the lower
classes, who do not have to bother their heads with elections and
mass meetings.

In front of the cathedral is the well, and the fine canopy of
iron-work, by Quentin Matsys, the blacksmith of Antwerp, some of
whose pictures we saw in the Museum, where one sees, also some of the
finest pictures of the Dutch school,--the "Crucifixion" of Rubens,
the "Christ on the Cross" of Vandyke; paintings also by Teniers, Otto
Vennius, Albert Cuyp, and others, and Rembrandt's portrait of his
wife,--a picture whose sweet strength and wealth of color draws one
to it with almost a passion of admiration. We had already seen "The
Descent from the Cross" and "The Raising of the Cross" by Rubens, in
the cathedral. With all his power and rioting luxuriance of color, I
cannot come to love him as I do Rembrandt. Doubtless he painted what
he saw; and we still find the types of his female figures in the
broad-hipped, ruddy-colored women of Antwerp. We walked down to his
house, which remains much as it was two hundred and twenty-five years
ago. From the interior court, an entrance in the Italian style leads
into a pleasant little garden full of old trees and flowers, with a
summer-house embellished with plaster casts, and having the very
stone table upon which Rubens painted. It is a quiet place, and fit
for an artist; but Rubens had other houses in the city, and lived the
life of a man who took a strong hold of the world.

AMSTERDAM

The rail from Antwerp north was through a land flat and sterile.
After a little, it becomes a little richer; but a forlorner land to
live in I never saw. One wonders at the perseverance of the Flemings
and Dutchmen to keep all this vast tract above water when there is so
much good solid earth elsewhere unoccupied. At Moerdjik we changed
from the cars to a little steamer on the Maas, which flows between
high banks. The water is higher than the adjoining land, and from
the deck we look down upon houses and farms. At Dort, the Rhine
comes in with little promise of the noble stream it is in the
highlands. Everywhere canals and ditches dividing the small fields
instead of fences; trees planted in straight lines, and occasionally
trained on a trellis in front of the houses, with the trunk painted
white or green; so that every likeness of nature shall be taken away.
>From Rotterdam, by cars, it is still the same. The Dutchman spends
half his life, apparently, in fighting the water. He has to watch
the huge dikes which keep the ocean from overwhelming him, and the
river-banks, which may break, and let the floods of the Rhine swallow
him up. The danger from within is not less than from without. Yet
so fond is he of his one enemy, that, when he can afford it, he
builds him a fantastic summer-house over a stagnant pool or a slimy
canal, in one corner of his garden, and there sits to enjoy the
aquatic beauties of nature; that is, nature as he has made it. The
river-banks are woven with osiers to keep them from washing; and at
intervals on the banks are piles of the long withes to be used in
emergencies when the swollen streams threaten to break through.

And so we come to Amsterdam, the oddest city of all,--a city wholly
built on piles, with as many canals as streets, and an architecture
so quaint as to even impress one who has come from Belgium. The
whole town has a wharf-y look; and it is difficult to say why the
tall brick houses, their gables running by steps to a peak, and each
one leaning forward or backward or sideways, and none perpendicular,
and no two on a line, are so interesting. But certainly it is a most
entertaining place to the stranger, whether he explores the crowded
Jews' quarter, with its swarms of dirty people, its narrow streets,
and high houses hung with clothes, as if every day were washing-day;
or strolls through the equally narrow streets of rich shops; or
lounges upon the bridges, and looks at the queer boats with clumsy
rounded bows, great helms' painted in gay colors, with flowers in the
cabin windows,--boats where families live; or walks down the
Plantage, with the zoological gardens on the one hand and rows of
beer-gardens on the other; or round the great docks; or saunters at
sunset by the banks of the Y, and looks upon flat North Holland and
the Zuyder Zee.

The palace on the Dam (square) is a square, stately edifice, and the
only building that the stranger will care to see. Its interior is
richer and more fit to live in than any palace we have seen. There
is nothing usually so dreary as your fine Palace. There are some
good frescoes, rooms richly decorated in marble, and a magnificent
hall, or ball-room, one hundred feet in height, without pillars.
Back of it is, of course, a canal, which does not smell fragrantly in
the summer; and I do not wonder that William III. and his queen
prefer to stop away. From the top is a splendid view of Amsterdam
and all the flat region. I speak of it with entire impartiality, for
I did not go up to see it. But better than palaces are the
picture-galleries, three of which are open to the sightseer. Here
the ancient and modern Dutch painters are seen at their best, and I
know of no richer feast of this sort. Here Rembrandt is to be seen
in his glory; here Van der Helst, Jan Steen, Gerard Douw, Teniers the
younger, Hondekoeter, Weenix, Ostade, Cuyp, and other names as
familiar. These men also painted what they saw, the people, the
landscapes, with which they were familiar. It was a strange pleasure
to meet again and again in the streets of the town the faces, or
types of them, that we had just seen on canvas so old.

In the Low Countries, the porters have the grand title of
commissionaires. They carry trunks and bundles, black boots, and act
as valets de place. As guides, they are quite as intolerable in
Amsterdam as their brethren in other cities. Many of them are Jews;
and they have a keen eye for a stranger. The moment he sallies from
his hotel, there is a guide. Let him hesitate for an instant in his
walk, either to look at something or to consult his map, or let him
ask the way, and he will have a half dozen of the persistent guild
upon him; and they cannot easily be shaken off. The afternoon we
arrived, we had barely got into our rooms at Brack's Oude Doelan,
when a gray-headed commissionaire knocked at our door, and offered
his services to show us the city. We deferred the pleasure of his
valuable society. Shortly, when we came down to the street, a
smartly dressed Israelite took off his hat to us, and offered to show
us the city. We declined with impressive politeness, and walked on.
The Jew accompanied us, and attempted conversation, in which we did
not join. He would show us everything for a guilder an hour,--for
half a guilder. Having plainly told the Jew that we did not desire
his attendance, he crossed to the other side of the street, and kept
us in sight, biding his opportunity. At the end of the street, we
hesitated a moment whether to cross the bridge or turn up by the
broad canal. The Jew was at our side in a moment, having divined
that we were on the way to the Dam and the palace. He obligingly
pointed the way, and began to walk with us, entering into
conversation. We told him pointedly, that we did not desire his
services, and requested him to leave us. He still walked in our
direction, with the air of one much injured, but forgiving, and was
more than once beside us with a piece of information. When we
finally turned upon him with great fierceness, and told him to
begone, he regarded us with a mournful and pitying expression; and as
the last act of one who returned good for evil, before he turned
away, pointed out to us the next turn we were to make. I saw him
several times afterward; and I once had occasion to say to him, that
I had already told him I would not employ him; and he always lifted
his hat, and looked at me with a forgiving smile. I felt that I had
deeply wronged him. As we stood by the statue, looking up at the
eastern pediment of the palace, another of the tribe (they all speak
a little English) asked me if I wished to see the palace. I told him
I was looking at it, and could see it quite distinctly. Half a dozen
more crowded round, and proffered their aid. Would I like to go into
the palace? They knew, and I knew, that they could do nothing more
than go to the open door, through which they would not be admitted,
and that I could walk across the open square to that, and enter
alone. I asked the first speaker if he wished to go into the palace.
Oh, yes! he would like to go. I told him he had better go at once,
--they had all better go in together and see the palace,--it was an
excellent opportunity. They seemed to see the point, and slunk away
to the other side to wait for another stranger.

I find that this plan works very well with guides: when I see one
approaching, I at once offer to guide him. It is an idea from which
he does not rally in time to annoy us. The other day I offered to
show a persistent fellow through an old ruin for fifty kreuzers: as
his price for showing me was forty-eight, we did not come to terms.
One of the most remarkable guides, by the way, we encountered at
Stratford-on-Avon. As we walked down from the Red Horse Inn to the
church, a full-grown boy came bearing down upon us in the most
wonderful fashion. Early rickets, I think, had been succeeded by the
St. Vitus' dance. He came down upon us sideways, his legs all in a
tangle, and his right arm, bent and twisted, going round and round,
as if in vain efforts to get into his pocket, his fingers spread out
in impotent desire to clutch something. There was great danger that
he would run into us, as he was like a steamer with only one
side-wheel and no rudder. He came up puffing and blowing, and
offered to show us Shakespeare's tomb. Shade of the past, to be
accompanied to thy resting-place by such an object! But he fastened
himself on us, and jerked and hitched along in his side-wheel
fashion. We declined his help. He paddled on, twisting himself into
knots, and grinning in the most friendly manner. We told him to
begone. "I am," said he, wrenching himself into a new contortion, "I
am what showed Artemus Ward round Stratford." This information he
repeated again and again, as if we could not resist him after we had
comprehended that. We shook him off; but when we returned at sundown
across the fields, from a visit to Anne Hathaway's cottage, we met
the sidewheeler cheerfully towing along a large party, upon whom he
had fastened.

The people of Amsterdam are only less queer than their houses. The
men dress in a solid, old-fashioned way. Every one wears the
straight, high-crowned silk hat that went out with us years ago, and
the cut of clothing of even the most buckish young fellows is behind
the times. I stepped into the Exchange, an immense interior, that
will hold five thousand people, where the stock-gamblers meet twice a
day. It was very different from the terrible excitement and noise of
the Paris Bourse. There were three or four thousand brokers there,
yet there was very little noise and no confusion. No stocks were
called, and there was no central ring for bidding, as at the Bourse
and the New York Gold Room; but they quietly bought and sold. Some
of the leading firms had desks or tables at the side, and there
awaited orders. Everything was phlegmatically and decorously done.

In the streets one still sees peasant women in native costume. There
was a group to-day that I saw by the river, evidently just crossed
over from North Holland. They wore short dresses, with the upper
skirt looped up, and had broad hips and big waists. On the head was
a cap with a fall of lace behind; across the back of the head a broad
band of silver (or tin) three inches broad, which terminated in front
and just above the ears in bright pieces of metal about two inches
square, like a horse's blinders, Only flaring more from the head;
across the forehead and just above the eyes a gilt band, embossed; on
the temples two plaits of hair in circular coils; and on top of all a
straw hat, like an old-fashioned bonnet stuck on hindside before.
Spiral coils of brass wire, coming to a point in front, are also worn
on each side of the head by many. Whether they are for ornament or
defense, I could not determine.

Water is brought into the city now from Haarlem, and introduced into
the best houses; but it is still sold in the streets by old men and
women, who sit at the faucets. I saw one dried-up old grandmother,
who sat in her little caboose, fighting away the crowd of dirty
children who tried to steal a drink when her back was turned, keeping
count of the pails of water carried away with a piece of chalk on the
iron pipe, and trying to darn her stocking at the same time. Odd
things strike you at every turn. There is a sledge drawn by one poor
horse, and on the front of it is a cask of water pierced with holes,
so that the water squirts out and wets the stones, making it easier
sliding for the runners. It is an ingenious people!

After all, we drove out five miles to Broek, the clean village;
across the Y, up the canal, over flatness flattened. Broek is a
humbug, as almost all show places are. A wooden little village on a
stagnant canal, into which carriages do not drive, and where the
front doors of the houses are never open; a dead, uninteresting
place, neat but not specially pretty, where you are shown into one
house got up for the purpose, which looks inside like a crockery
shop, and has a stiff little garden with box trained in shapes of
animals and furniture. A roomy-breeched young Dutchman, whose
trousers went up to his neck, and his hat to a peak, walked before us
in slow and cow-like fashion, and showed us the place; especially
some horrid pleasure-grounds, with an image of an old man reading in
a summer-house, and an old couple in a cottage who sat at a table and
worked, or ate, I forget which, by clock-work; while a dog barked by
the same means. In a pond was a wooden swan sitting on a stick, the
water having receded, and left it high and dry. Yet the trip is
worth while for the view of the country and the people on the way:
men and women towing boats on the canals; the red-tiled houses
painted green, and in the distance the villages, with their spires
and pleasing mixture of brown, green, and red tints, are very
picturesque. The best thing that I saw, however, was a traditional
Dutchman walking on the high bank of a canal, with soft hat, short
pipe, and breeches that came to the armpits above, and a little below
the knees, and were broad enough about the seat and thighs to carry
his no doubt numerous family. He made a fine figure against the sky.

COLOGNE AND ST. URSULA

It is a relief to get out of Holland and into a country nearer to
hills. The people also seem more obliging. In Cologne, a
brown-cheeked girl pointed us out the way without waiting for a
kreuzer. Perhaps the women have more to busy themselves about in the
cities, and are not so curious about passers-by. We rarely see a
reflector to exhibit us to the occupants of the second-story windows.
In all the cities of Belgium and Holland the ladies have small
mirrors, with reflectors, fastened to their windows; so that they can
see everybody who passes, without putting their heads out. I trust
we are not inverted or thrown out of shape when we are thus caught up
and cast into my lady's chamber. Cologne has a cheerful look, for
the Rhine here is wide and promising; and as for the "smells," they
are certainly not so many nor so vile as those at Mainz.

Our windows at the hotel looked out on the finest front of the
cathedral. If the Devil really built it, he is to be credited with
one good thing, and it is now likely to be finished, in spite of him.
Large as it is, it is on the exterior not so impressive as that at
Amiens; but within it has a magnificence born of a vast design and
the most harmonious proportions, and the grand effect is not broken
by any subdivision but that of the choir. Behind the altar and in
front of the chapel, where lie the remains of the Wise Men of the
East who came to worship the Child, or, as thev are called, the Three
Kings of Cologne, we walked over a stone in the pavement under which
is the heart of Mary de Medicis: the remainder of her body is in St.
Denis near Paris. The beadle in red clothes, who stalks about the
cathedral like a converted flamingo, offered to open for us the
chapel; but we declined a sight of the very bones of the Wise Men.
It was difficult enough to believe they were there, without seeing
them. One ought not to subject his faith to too great a strain at
first in Europe. The bones of the Three Kings, by the way, made the
fortune of the cathedral. They were the greatest religious card of
the Middle Ages, and their fortunate possession brought a flood of
wealth to this old Domkirche. The old feudal lords would swear by
the Almighty Father, or the Son, or Holy Ghost, or by everything
sacred on earth, and break their oaths as they would break a wisp of
straw: but if you could get one of them to swear by the Three Kings
of Cologne, he was fast; for that oath he dare not disregard.

The prosperity of the cathedral on these valuable bones set all the
other churches in the neighborhood on the same track; and one can
study right here in this city the growth of relic worship. But the
most successful achievement was the collection of the bones of St.
Ursula and the eleven thousand virgins, and their preservation in the
church on the very spot where they suffered martyrdom. There is
probably not so large a collection of the bones of virgins elsewhere
in the world; and I am sorry to read that Professor Owen has thought
proper to see and say that many of them are the bones of lower orders
of animals. They are built into the walls of the church, arranged
about the choir, interred in stone coffins, laid under the pavements;
and their skulls grin at you everywhere. In the chapel the bones are
tastefully built into the wall and overhead, like rustic wood-work;
and the skulls stand in rows, some with silver masks, like the jars
on the shelves of an apothecary's shop. It is a cheerful place. On
the little altar is the very skull of the saint herself, and that of
Conan, her lover, who made the holy pilgrimage to Rome with her and
her virgins, and also was slain by the Huns at Cologne. There is a
picture of the eleven thousand disembarking from one boat on the
Rhine, which is as wonderful as the trooping of hundreds of spirits
out of a conjurer's bottle. The right arm of St. Ursula is preserved
here: the left is at Bruges. I am gradually getting the hang of this
excellent but somewhat scattered woman, and bringing her together in
my mind. Her body, I believe, lies behind the altar in this same
church. She must have been a lovely character, if Hans Memling's
portrait of her is a faithful one. I was glad to see here one of the
jars from the marriage-supper in Cana. We can identify it by a piece
which is broken out; and the piece is in Notre Dame in Paris. It has
been in this church five hundred years. The sacristan, a very
intelligent person, with a shaven crown and his hair cut straight
across his forehead, who showed us the church, gave us much useful
information about bones, teeth, and the remains of the garments that
the virgins wore; and I could not tell from his face how much he
expected us to believe. I asked the little fussy old guide of an
English party who had joined us, how much he believed of the story.
He was a Protestant, and replied, still anxious to keep up the credit
of his city, "Tousands is too many; some hundreds maybe; tousands is
too many."

A GLIMPSE OF THE RHINE

You have seen the Rhine in pictures; you have read its legends. You
know, in imagination at least, how it winds among craggy hills of
splendid form, turning so abruptly as to leave you often shut in with
no visible outlet from the wall of rock and forest; how the castles,
some in ruins so as to be as unsightly as any old pile of rubbish,
others with feudal towers and battlements, still perfect, hang on the
crags, or stand sharp against the sky, or nestle by the stream or on
some lonely island. You know that the Rhine has been to Germans what
the Nile was to the Egyptians,--a delight, and the theme of song and
story. Here the Roman eagles were planted; here were the camps of
Drusus; here Caesar bridged and crossed the Rhine; here, at every
turn, a feudal baron, from his high castle, levied toll on the
passers; and here the French found a momentary halt to their invasion
of Germany at different times. You can imagine how, in a misty
morning, as you leave Bonn, the Seven Mountains rise up in their
veiled might, and how the Drachenfels stands in new and changing
beauty as you pass it and sail away. You have been told that the
Hudson is like the Rhine. Believe me, there is no resemblance; nor
would there be if the Hudson were lined with castles, and Julius
Caesar had crossed it every half mile. The Rhine satisfies you, and
you do not recall any other river. It only disappoints you as to its
"vine-clad hills." You miss trees and a covering vegetation, and are
not enamoured of the patches of green vines on wall-supported
terraces, looking from the river like hills of beans or potatoes.
And, if you try the Rhine wine on the steamers, you will wholly lose
your faith in the vintage. We decided that the wine on our boat was
manufactured in the boiler.

There is a mercenary atmosphere about hotels and steamers on the
Rhine, a watering-place, show sort of feeling, that detracts very
much from one's enjoyment. The old habit of the robber barons of
levying toll on all who sail up and down has not been lost. It is not
that one actually pays so much for sightseeing, but the charm of
anything vanishes when it is made merchandise. One is almost as
reluctant to buy his "views" as he is to sell his opinions. But one
ought to be weeks on the Rhine before attempting to say anything
about it.

One morning, at Bingen,--I assure you it was not six o'clock,--we
took a big little rowboat, and dropped down the stream, past the
Mouse Tower, where the cruel Bishop Hatto was eaten up by rats, under
the shattered Castle of Ehrenfels, round the bend to the little
village of Assmannshausen, on the hills back of which is grown the
famous red wine of that name. On the bank walked in line a dozen
peasants, men and women, in picturesque dress, towing, by a line
passed from shoulder to shoulder, a boat filled with marketing for
Rudesheim. We were bound up the Niederwald, the mountain opposite
Bingen, whose noble crown of forest attracted us. At the landing,
donkeys awaited us; and we began the ascent, a stout, good-natured
German girl acting as guide and driver. Behind us, on the opposite
shore, set round about with a wealth of foliage, was the Castle of
Rheinstein, a fortress more pleasing in its proportions and situation
than any other. Our way was through the little town which is jammed
into the gorge; and as we clattered up the pavement, past the church,
its heavy bell began to ring loudly for matins, the sound
reverberating in the narrow way, and following us with its
benediction when we were far up the hill, breathing the fresh,
inspiring morning air. The top of the Niederwald is a splendid
forest of trees, which no impious Frenchman has been allowed to trim,
and cut into allees of arches, taking one in thought across the water
to the free Adirondacks. We walked for a long time under the welcome
shade, approaching the brow of the hill now and then, where some
tower or hermitage is erected, for a view of the Rhine and the Nahe,
the villages below, and the hills around; and then crossed the
mountain, down through cherry orchards, and vine yards, walled up,
with images of Christ on the cross on the angles of the walls, down
through a hot road where wild flowers grew in great variety, to the
quaint village of Rudesheim, with its queer streets and ancient
ruins. Is it
possible that we can have too many ruins? "Oh dear!" exclaimed the
jung-frau as we sailed along the last day, "if there is n't another
castle!"

HEIDELBERG

If you come to Heidelberg, you will never want to go away. To arrive
here is to come into a peaceful state of rest and content. The great
hills out of which the Neckar flows, infold the town in a sweet
security; and yet there is no sense of imprisonment, for the view is
always wide open to the great plains where the Neckar goes to join
the Rhine, and where the Rhine runs for many a league through a rich
and smiling land. One could settle down here to study, without a
desire to go farther, nor any wish to change the dingy, shabby old
buildings of the university for anything newer and smarter. What the
students can find to fight their little duels about I cannot see; but
fight they do, as many a scarred cheek attests. The students give
life to the town. They go about in little caps of red, green, and
blue, many of them embroidered in gold, and stuck so far on the
forehead that they require an elastic, like that worn by ladies,
under the back hair, to keep them on; and they are also distinguished
by colored ribbons across the breast. The majority of them are
well-behaved young gentlemen, who carry switch-canes, and try to keep
near the fashions, like students at home. Some like to swagger about
in their little skull-caps, and now and then one is attended by a
bull-dog.

I write in a room which opens out upon a balcony. Below it is a
garden, below that foliage, and farther down the town with its old
speckled roofs, spires, and queer little squares. Beyond is the
Neckar, with the bridge, and white statues on it, and an old city
gate at this end, with pointed towers. Beyond that is a white road
with a wall on one side, along which I see peasant women walking with
large baskets balanced on their heads. The road runs down the river
to Neuenheim. Above it on the steep hillside are vineyards; and a
winding path goes up to the Philosopher's Walk, which runs along for
a mile or more, giving delightful views of the castle and the
glorious woods and hills back of it. Above it is the mountain of
Heiligenberg, from the other side of which one looks off toward
Darmstadt and the famous road, the Bergstrasse. If I look down the
stream, I see the narrow town, and the Neckar flowing out of it into
the vast level plain, rich with grain and trees and grass, with many
spires and villages; Mannheim to the northward, shining when the sun
is low; the Rhine gleaming here and there near the horizon; and the
Vosges Mountains, purple in the last distance: on my right, and so
near that I could throw a stone into them, the ruined tower and
battlements of the northwest corner of the castle, half hidden in
foliage, with statues framed in ivy, and the garden terrace, built
for Elizabeth Stuart when she came here the bride of the Elector
Frederick, where giant trees grow. Under the walls a steep path goes
down into the town, along which little houses cling to the hillside.
High above the castle rises the noble Konigstuhl, whence the whole of
this part of Germany is visible, and, in a clear day, Strasburg
Minster, ninety miles away.

I have only to go a few steps up a narrow, steep street, lined with
the queerest houses, where is an ever-running pipe of good water, to
which all the neighborhood resorts, and I am within the grounds of
the castle. I scarcely know where to take you; for I never know
where to go myself, and seldom do go where I intend when I set forth.
We have been here several days; and I have not yet seen the Great
Tun, nor the inside of the show-rooms, nor scarcely anything that is
set down as a "sight." I do not know whether to wander on through the
extensive grounds, with splendid trees, bits of old ruin, overgrown,
cozy nooks, and seats where, through the foliage, distant prospects
open into quiet retreats that lead to winding walks up the terraced
hill, round to the open terrace overlooking the Neckar, and giving
the best general view of the great mass of ruins. If we do, we shall
be likely to sit in some delicious place, listening to the band
playing in the "Restauration," and to the nightingales, till the moon
comes up. Or shall we turn into the garden through the lovely Arch
of the Princess Elizabeth, with its stone columns cut to resemble
tree-trunks twined with ivy? Or go rather through the great archway,
and under the teeth of the portcullis, into the irregular quadrangle,
whose buildings mark the changing style and fortune of successive
centuries, from 1300 down to the seventeenth century? There is
probably no richer quadrangle in Europe: there is certainly no other
ruin so vast, so impressive, so ornamented with carving, except the
Alhambra. And from here we pass out upon the broad terrace of
masonry, with a splendid flanking octagon tower, its base hidden in
trees, a rich facade for a background, and below the town the river,
and beyond the plain and floods of golden sunlight. What shall we
do? Sit and dream in the Rent Tower under the lindens that grow in
its top? The day passes while one is deciding how to spend it, and
the sun over Heiligenberg goes down on his purpose.

ALPINE NOTES

ENTERING SWITZERLAND BERNE ITS BEAUTIES AND BEARS

If you come to Bale, you should take rooms on the river, or stand on
the bridge at evening, and have a sunset of gold and crimson
streaming down upon the wide and strong Rhine, where it rushes
between the houses built plumb up to it, or you will not care much
for the city. And yet it is pleasant on the high ground, where are
some stately buildings, and where new gardens are laid out, and where
the American consul on the Fourth of July flies our flag over the
balcony of a little cottage smothered in vines and gay with flowers.
I had the honor of saluting it that day, though I did not know at the
time that gold had risen two or three per cent. under its blessed
folds at home. Not being a shipwrecked sailor, or a versatile and
accomplished but impoverished naturalized citizen, desirous of quick
transit to the land of the free, I did not call upon the consul, but
left him under the no doubt correct impression that he was doing a
good thing by unfolding the flag on the Fourth.

You have not journeyed far from Bale before you are aware that you
are in Switzerland. It was showery the day we went down; but the
ride filled us with the most exciting expectations. The country
recalled New England, or what New England might be, if it were
cultivated and adorned, and had good roads and no fences. Here at
last, after the dusty German valleys, we entered among real hills,
round which and through which, by enormous tunnels, our train slowly
went: rocks looking out of foliage; sweet little valleys, green as in
early spring; the dark evergreens in contrast; snug cottages nestled
in the hillsides, showing little else than enormous brown roofs that
come nearly to the ground, giving the cottages the appearance of huge
toadstools; fine harvests of grain; thrifty apple-trees, and cherry-
trees purple with luscious fruit. And this shifting panorama
continues until, towards evening, behold, on a hill, Berne, shining
through showers, the old feudal round tower and buildings overhanging
the Aar, and the tower of the cathedral over all. From the balcony
of our rooms at the Bellevue, the long range of the Bernese Oberland
shows its white summits for a moment in the slant sunshine, and then
the clouds shut down, not to lift again for two days. Yet it looks
warmer on the snow-peaks than in Berne, for summer sets in in
Switzerland with a New England chill and rigor.

The traveler finds no city with more flavor of the picturesque and
quaint than Berne; and I think it must have preserved the Swiss
characteristics better than any other of the large towns in Helvetia.
It stands upon a peninsula, round which the Aar, a hundred feet
below, rapidly flows; and one has on nearly every side very pretty
views of the green basin of hills which rise beyond the river. It is
a most comfortable town on a rainy day; for all the principal streets
have their houses built on arcades, and one walks under the low
arches, with the shops on one side and the huge stone pillars on the
other. These pillars so stand out toward the street as to give the
house-fronts a curved look. Above are balconies, in which, upon red
cushions, sit the daughters of Berne, reading and sewing, and
watching their neighbors; and in nearly every window are quantities
of flowers of the most brilliant colors. The gray stone of the
houses, which are piled up from the streets, harmonizes well with the
colors in the windows and balconies, and the scene is quite Oriental
as one looks down, especially if it be upon a market morning, when
the streets are as thronged as the Strand. Several terraces, with
great trees, overlook the river, and command prospects of the Alps.
These are public places; for the city government has a queer notion
that trees are not hideous, and that a part of the use of living is
the enjoyment of the beautiful. I saw an elegant bank building, with
carved figures on the front, and at each side of the entrance door a
large stand of flowers,--oleanders, geraniums, and fuchsias; while
the windows and balconies above bloomed with a like warmth of floral
color. Would you put an American bank president in the Retreat who
should so decorate his banking-house? We all admire the tasteful
display of flowers in foreign towns: we go home, and carry nothing
with us but a recollection. But Berne has also fountains everywhere;
some of them grotesque, like the ogre that devours his own children,
but all a refreshment and delight. And it has also its clock-tower,
with one of those ingenious pieces of mechanism, in which the sober
people of this region take pleasure. At the hour, a procession of
little bears goes round, a jolly figure strikes the time, a cock
flaps his wings and crows, and a solemn Turk opens his mouth to
announce the flight of the hours. It is more grotesque, but less
elaborate, than the equally childish toy in the cathedral at
Strasburg.

We went Sunday morning to the cathedral; and the excellent woman who
guards the portal--where in ancient stone the Last Judgment is
enacted, and the cheerful and conceited wise virgins stand over
against the foolish virgins, one of whom has been in the penitential
attitude of having a stone finger in her eye now for over three
hundred years--refused at first to admit us to the German Lutheran
service, which was just beginning. It seems that doors are locked,
and no one is allowed to issue forth until after service. There
seems to be an impression that strangers go only to hear the organ,
which is a sort of rival of that at Freiburg, and do not care much
for the well-prepared and protracted discourse in Swiss-German. We
agreed to the terms of admission; but it did not speak well for
former travelers that the woman should think it necessary to say,
"You must sit still, and not talk." It is a barn-like interior. The
women all sit on hard, high-backed benches in the center of the
church, and the men on hard, higher-backed benches about the sides,
inclosing and facing the women, who are more directly under the
droppings of the little pulpit, hung on one of the pillars,--a very
solemn and devout congregation, who sang very well, and paid strict
attention to the sermon.

I noticed that the names of the owners, and sometimes their coats-of-
arms, were carved or painted on the backs of the seats, as if the
pews were not put up at yearly auction. One would not call it a
dressy congregation, though the homely women looked neat in black
waists and white puffed sleeves and broadbrimmed hats.

The only concession I have anywhere seen to women in Switzerland, as
the more delicate sex, was in this church: they sat during most of
the service, but the men stood all the time, except during the
delivery of the sermon. The service began at nine o'clock, as it
ought to with us in summer. The costume of the peasant women in and
about Berne comes nearer to being picturesque than in most other
parts of Switzerland, where it is simply ugly. You know the sort of
thing in pictures,--the broad hat, short skirt, black, pointed
stomacher, with white puffed sleeves, and from each breast a large
silver chain hanging, which passes under the arm and fastens on the
shoulder behind,--a very favorite ornament. This costume would not
be unbecoming to a pretty face and figure: whether there are any such
native to Switzerland, I trust I may not be put upon the witness-
stand to declare. Some of the peasant young men went without coats,
and with the shirt sleeves fluted; and others wore butternut-colored
suits, the coats of which I can recommend to those who like the
swallow-tailed variety. I suppose one would take a man into the
opera in London, where he cannot go in anything but that sort. The
buttons on the backs of these came high up between the shoulders, and
the tails did not reach below the waistband. There is a kind of
rooster of similar appearance. I saw some of these young men from
the country, with their sweethearts, leaning over the stone parapet,
and looking into the pit of the bear-garden, where the city bears
walk round, or sit on their hind legs for bits of bread thrown to
them, or douse themselves in the tanks, or climb the dead trees set
up for their gambols. Years ago they ate up a British officer who
fell in; and they walk round now ceaselessly, as if looking for
another. But one cannot expect good taste in a bear.

If you would see how charming a farming country can be, drive out on
the highway towards Thun. For miles it is well shaded with giant
trees of enormous trunks, and a clean sidewalk runs by the fine road.
On either side, at little distances from the road, are picturesque
cottages and rambling old farmhouses peeping from the trees and vines
and flowers. Everywhere flowers, before the house, in the windows,
at the railway stations. But one cannot stay forever even in
delightful Berne, with its fountains and terraces, and girls on red
cushions in the windows, and noble trees and flowers, and its stately
federal Capitol, and its bears carved everywhere in stone and wood,
and its sunrises, when all the Bernese Alps lie like molten silver in
the early light, and the clouds drift over them, now hiding, now
disclosing, the enchanting heights.

HEARING THE FREIBURG ORGAN--FIRST SIGHT OF LAKE LEMAN

Freiburg, with its aerial suspension-bridges, is also on a peninsula,
formed by the Sarine; with its old walls, old watch-towers, its
piled-up old houses, and streets that go upstairs, and its delicious
cherries, which you can eat while you sit in the square by the famous
linden-tree, and wait for the time when the organ will be played in
the cathedral. For all the world stops at Freiburg to hear and enjoy
the great organ,--all except the self-satisfied English clergyman,
who says he does n't care much for it, and would rather go about town
and see the old walls; and the young and boorish French couple, whose
refined amusement in the railway-carriage consisted in the young
man's catching his wife's foot in the window-strap, and hauling it up
to the level of the window, and who cross themselves and go out after
the first tune; and the two bread-and-butter English young ladies,
one of whom asks the other in the midst of the performance, if she
has thought yet to count the pipes,--a thoughtful verification of
Murray, which is very commendable in a young woman traveling for the
improvement of her little mind.

One has heard so much of this organ, that he expects impossibilities,
and is at first almost disappointed, although it is not long in
discovering its vast compass, and its wonderful imitations, now of a
full orchestra, and again of a single instrument. One has not to
wait long before he is mastered by its spell. The vox humana stop
did not strike me as so perfect as that of the organ in the Rev.
Mr. Hale's church in Boston, though the imitation of choir-voices
responding to the organ was very effective. But it is not in tricks
of imitation that this organ is so wonderful: it is its power of
revealing, by all its compass, the inmost part of any musical
composition.

The last piece we heard was something like this: the sound of a bell,
tolling at regular intervals, like the throbbing of a life begun;
about it an accompaniment of hopes, inducements, fears, the flute,
the violin, the violoncello, promising, urging, entreating,
inspiring; the life beset with trials, lured with pleasures,
hesitating, doubting, questioning; its purpose at length grows more
certain and fixed, the bell tolling becomes a prolonged undertone,
the flow of a definite life; the music goes on, twining round it, now
one sweet instrument and now many, in strife or accord, all the
influences of earth and heaven and the base underworld meeting and
warring over the aspiring soul; the struggle becomes more earnest,
the undertone is louder and clearer; the accompaniment indicates
striving, contesting passion, an agony of endeavor and resistance,
until at length the steep and rocky way is passed, the world and self
are conquered, and, in a burst of triumph from a full orchestra, the
soul attains the serene summit. But the rest is only for a moment.
Even in the highest places are temptations. The sunshine fails,
clouds roll up, growling of low, pedal thunder is heard, while sharp
lightning-flashes soon break in clashing peals about the peaks. This
is the last Alpine storm and trial. After it the sun bursts out
again, the wide, sunny valleys are disclosed, and a sweet evening
hymn floats through all the peaceful air. We go out from the cool
church into the busy streets of the white, gray town awed and
comforted.

And such a ride afterwards! It was as if the organ music still
continued. All the world knows the exquisite views southward from
Freiburg; but such an atmosphere as we had does not overhang them
many times in a season. First the Moleross, and a range of mountains
bathed in misty blue light,--rugged peaks, scarred sides, white and
tawny at once, rising into the clouds which hung large and soft in
the blue; soon Mont Blanc, dim and aerial, in the south; the lovely
valley of the River Sense; peasants walking with burdens on the white
highway; the quiet and soft-tinted mountains beyond; towns perched on
hills, with old castles and towers; the land rich with grass, grain,
fruit, flowers; at Palezieux a magnificent view of the silver,
purple, and blue mountains, with their chalky seams and gashed sides,
near at hand; and at length, coming through a long tunnel, as if we
had been shot out into the air above a country more surprising than
any in dreams, the most wonderful sight burst upon us,--the
low-lying, deep-blue Lake Leman, and the gigantic mountains rising
from its shores, and a sort of mist, translucent, suffused with
sunlight, like the liquid of the golden wine the Steinberger poured
into the vast basin. We came upon it out of total darkness, without
warning; and we seemed, from our great height, to be about to leap
into the splendid gulf of tremulous light and color.

This Lake of Geneva is said to combine the robust mountain grandeur
of Luzerne with all the softness of atmosphere of Lake Maggiore.
Surely, nothing could exceed the loveliness as we wound down the
hillside, through the vineyards, to Lausanne, and farther on, near
the foot of the lake, to Montreux, backed by precipitous but
tree-clad hills, fronted by the lovely water, and the great mountains
which run away south into Savoy, where Velan lifts up its snows.
Below us, round the curving bay, lies white Chillon; and at sunset we
row down to it over the bewitched water, and wait under its grim
walls till the failing light brings back the romance of castle and
prisoner. Our garcon had never heard of the prisoner; but he knew
about the gendarmes who now occupy the castle.

OUR ENGLISH FRIENDS

Not the least of the traveler's pleasure in Switzerland is derived
from the English people who overrun it: they seem to regard it as a
kind of private park or preserve belonging to England; and they
establish themselves at hotels, or on steamboats and diligences, with
a certain air of ownership that is very pleasant. I am not very
fresh in my geology; but it is my impression that Switzerland was
created especially for the English, about the year of the Magna
Charta, or a little later. The Germans who come here, and who don't
care very much what they eat, or how they sleep, provided they do not
have any fresh air in diningroom or bedroom, and provided, also, that
the bread is a little sour, growl a good deal about the English, and
declare that they have spoiled Switzerland. The natives, too, who
live off the English, seem to thoroughly hate them; so that one is
often compelled, in self-defense, to proclaim his nationality, which
is like running from Scylla upon Charybdis; for, while the American
is more popular, it is believed that there is no bottom to his
pocket.

There was a sprig of the Church of England on the steamboat on Lake
Leman, who spread himself upon a center bench, and discoursed very
instructively to his friends,--a stout, fat-faced young man in a
white cravat, whose voice was at once loud and melodious, and whom
our manly Oxford student set down as a man who had just rubbed
through the university, and got into a scanty living.

"I met an American on the boat yesterday," the oracle was saying to
his friends, "who was really quite a pleasant fellow. He--ah really
was, you know, quite a sensible man. I asked him if they had
anything like this in America; and he was obliged to say that they
had n't anything like it in his country; they really had n't. He was
really quite a sensible fellow; said he was over here to do the
European tour, as he called it."

Small, sympathetic laugh from the attentive, wiry, red-faced woman on
the oracle's left, and also a chuckle, at the expense of the
American, from the thin Englishman on his right, who wore a large
white waistcoat, a blue veil on his hat, and a face as red as a live
coal.

"Quite an admission, was n't it, from an American? But I think they
have changed since the wah, you know."

At the next landing, the smooth and beaming churchman was left by his
friends; and he soon retired to the cabin, where I saw him
self-sacrificingly denying himself the views on deck, and consoling
himself with a substantial lunch and a bottle of English ale.

There is one thing to be said about the English abroad: the variety
is almost infinite. The best acquaintances one makes will be
English,--people with no nonsense and strong individuality; and one
gets no end of entertainment from the other sort. Very different
from the clergyman on the boat was the old lady at table-d'hote in
one of the hotels on the lake. One would not like to call her a
delightfully wicked old woman, like the Baroness Bernstein; but she
had her own witty and satirical way of regarding the world. She had
lived twenty-five years at Geneva, where people, years ago, coming
over the dusty and hot roads of France, used to faint away when they
first caught sight of the Alps. Believe they don't do it now. She
never did; was past the susceptible age when she first came; was
tired of the people. Honest? Why, yes, honest, but very fond of
money. Fine Swiss wood-carving? Yes. You'll get very sick of it.
It's very nice, but I 'm tired of it. Years ago, I sent some of it
home to the folks in England. They thought everything of it; and it
was not very nice, either,--a cheap sort. Moral ideas? I don't care
for moral ideas: people make such a fuss about them lately (this in
reply to her next neighbor, an eccentric, thin man, with bushy hair,
shaggy eyebrows, and a high, falsetto voice, who rallied the witty
old lady all dinner-time about her lack of moral ideas, and
accurately described the thin wine on the table as "water-
bewitched"). Why did n't the baroness go back to England, if she was
so tired of Switzerland? Well, she was too infirm now; and, besides,
she did n't like to trust herself on the railroads. And there were
so many new inventions nowadays, of which she read. What was this
nitroglycerine, that exploded so dreadfully? No: she thought she
should stay where she was.

There is little risk of mistaking the Englishman, with or without his
family, who has set out to do Switzerland. He wears a brandy-flask,
a field-glass, and a haversack. Whether he has a silk or soft hat,
he is certain to wear a veil tied round it. This precaution is
adopted when he makes up his mind to come to Switzerland, I think,
because he has read that a veil is necessary to protect the eyes from
the snow-glare. There is probably not one traveler in a hundred who
gets among the ice and snow-fields where he needs a veil or green
glasses: but it is well to have it on the hat; it looks adventurous.
The veil and the spiked alpenstock are the signs of peril.
Everybody--almost everybody--has an alpenstock. It is usually a
round pine stick, with an iron spike in one end. That, also, is a
sign of peril. We saw a noble young Briton on the steamer the other
day, who was got up in the best Alpine manner. He wore a short
sack,--in fact, an entire suit of light gray flannel, which closely
fitted his lithe form. His shoes were of undressed leather, with
large spikes in the soles; and on his white hat he wore a large
quantity of gauze, which fell in folds down his neck. I am sorry to
say that he had a red face, a shaven chin, and long side-whiskers.
He carried a formidable alpenstock; and at the little landing where
we first saw him, and afterward on the boat, he leaned on it in a
series of the most graceful and daring attitudes that I ever saw the
human form assume. Our Oxford student knew the variety, and guessed
rightly that he was an army man. He had his face burned at Malta.
Had he been over the Gemmi? Or up this or that mountain? asked
another English officer. "No, I have not." And it turned out that
he had n't been anywhere, and did n't seem likely to do anything but
show himself at the frequented valley places. And yet I never saw
one whose gallant bearing I so much admired. We saw him afterward at
Interlaken, enduring all the hardships of that fashionable place.
There was also there another of the same country, got up for the most
dangerous Alpine climbing, conspicuous in red woolen stockings that
came above his knees. I could not learn that he ever went up
anything higher than the top of a diligence.

THE DILIGENCE TO CHAMOUNY

The greatest diligence we have seen, one of the few of the
old-fashioned sort, is the one from Geneva to Chamouny. It leaves
early in the morning; and there is always a crowd about it to see the
mount and start. The great ark stands before the diligence-office,
and, for half an hour before the hour of starting, the porters are
busy stowing away the baggage, and getting the passengers on board.
On top, in the banquette, are seats for eight, besides the postilion
and guard; in the coupe, under the postilion's seat and looking upon
the horses, seats for three; in the interior, for three; and on top,
behind, for six or eight. The baggage is stowed in the capacious
bowels of the vehicle. At seven, the six horses are brought out and
hitched on, three abreast. We climb up a ladder to the banquette:
there is an irascible Frenchman, who gets into the wrong seat; and
before he gets right there is a terrible war of words between him and
the guard and the porters and the hostlers, everybody joining in with
great vivacity; in front of us are three quiet Americans, and a slim
Frenchman with a tall hat and one eye-glass. The postilion gets up
to his place. Crack, crack, crack, goes the whip; and, amid
"sensation" from the crowd, we are off at a rattling pace, the whip
cracking all the time like Chinese fireworks. The great passion of
the drivers is noise; and they keep the whip going all day. No
sooner does a fresh one mount the box than he gives a half-dozen
preliminary snaps; to which the horses pay no heed, as they know it
is only for the driver's amusement. We go at a good gait, changing
horses every six miles, till we reach the Baths of St. Gervais, where
we dine, from near which we get our first glimpse of Mont Blanc
through clouds,--a section of a dazzlingly white glacier, a very
exciting thing to the imagination. Thence we go on in small
carriages, over a still excellent but more hilly road, and begin to
enter the real mountain wonders; until, at length, real glaciers
pouring down out of the clouds nearly to the road meet us, and we
enter the narrow Valley of Chamouny, through which we drive to the
village in a rain.

Everybody goes to Chamouny, and up the Flegere, and to Montanvert,
and over the Mer de Glace; and nearly everybody down the Mauvais Pas
to the Chapeau, and so back to the village. It is all easy to do;
and yet we saw some French people at the Chapeau who seemed to think
they had accomplished the most hazardous thing in the world in coming
down the rocks of the Mauvais Pas. There is, as might be expected, a
great deal of humbug about the difficulty of getting about in the
Alps, and the necessity of guides. Most of the dangers vanish on
near approach. The Mer de Glace is inferior to many other glaciers,
and is not nearly so fine as the Glacier des Bossons: but it has a
reputation, and is easy of access; so people are content to walk over
the dirty ice. One sees it to better effect from below, or he must
ascend it to the Jardin to know that it has deep crevasses, and is as
treacherous as it is grand. And yet no one will be disappointed at
the view from Montanvert, of the upper glacier, and the needles of
rock and snow which rise beyond.

We met at the Chapeau two jolly young fellows from Charleston, S. C.
who had been in the war, on the wrong side. They knew no language
but American, and were unable to order a cutlet and an omelet for
breakfast. They said they believed they were going over the Tete
Noire. They supposed they had four mules waiting for them somewhere,
and a guide; but they couldn't understand a word he said, and he
couldn't understand them. The day before, they had nearly perished
of thirst, because they could n't make their guide comprehend that
they wanted water. One of them had slung over his shoulder an Alpine
horn, which he blew occasionally, and seemed much to enjoy. All this
while we sit on a rock at the foot of the Mauvais Pas, looking out
upon the green glacier, which here piles itself up finely, and above
to the Aiguilles de Charmoz and the innumerable ice-pinnacles that
run up to the clouds, while our muleteer is getting his breakfast.
This is his third breakfast this morning.

The day after we reached Chamouny, Monseigneur the bishop arrived
there on one of his rare pilgrimages into these wild valleys. Nearly
all the way down from Geneva, we had seen signs of his coming, in
preparations as for the celebration of a great victory. I did not
know at first but the Atlantic cable had been laid; or rather that
the decorations were on account of the news of it reaching this
region. It was a holiday for all classes; and everybody lent a hand
to the preparations. First, the little church where the
confirmations were to take place was trimmed within and without; and
an arch of green spanned the gateway. At Les Pres, the women were
sweeping the road, and the men were setting small evergreen-trees on
each side. The peasants were in their best clothes; and in front of
their wretched hovels were tables set out with flowers. So cheerful
and eager were they about the bishop, that they forgot to beg as we
passed: the whole valley was in a fever of expectation. At one
hamlet on the mulepath over the Tete Noire, where the bishop was that
day expected, and the women were sweeping away all dust and litter
from the road, I removed my hat, and gravely thanked them for their
thoughtful preparation for our coming. But they only stared a
little, as if we were not worthy to be even forerunners of
Monseigneur.

I do not care to write here how serious a drawback to the pleasures
of this region are its inhabitants. You get the impression that half
of them are beggars. The other half are watching for a chance to
prey upon you in other ways. I heard of a woman in the Zermatt
Valley who refused pay for a glass of milk; but I did not have time
to verify the report. Besides the beggars, who may or may not be
horrid-looking creatures, there are the grinning Cretins, the old
women with skins of parchment and the goitre, and even young children
with the loathsome appendage, the most wretched and filthy hovels,
and the dirtiest, ugliest people in them. The poor women are the
beasts of burden. They often lead, mowing in the hayfield; they
carry heavy baskets on their backs; they balance on their heads and
carry large washtubs full of water. The more appropriate load of one
was a cradle with a baby in it, which seemed not at all to fear
falling. When one sees how the women are treated, he does not wonder
that there are so many deformed, hideous children. I think the
pretty girl has yet to be born in Switzerland.

This is not much about the Alps? Ah, well, the Alps are there. Go
read your guide-book, and find out what your emotions are. As I
said, everybody goes to Chamouny. Is it not enough to sit at your
window, and watch the clouds when they lift from the Mont Blanc
range, disclosing splendor after splendor, from the Aiguille de Goute
to the Aiguille Verte,--white needles which pierce the air for twelve
thousand feet, until, jubilate! the round summit of the monarch
himself is visible, and the vast expanse of white snow-fields, the
whiteness of which is rather of heaven than of earth, dazzles the
eyes, even at so great a distance? Everybody who is patient and
waits in the cold and inhospitable-looking valley of the Chamouny
long enough, sees Mont Blanc; but every one does not see a sunset of
the royal order. The clouds breaking up and clearing, after days of
bad weather, showed us height after height, and peak after peak, now
wreathing the summits, now settling below or hanging in patches on
the sides, and again soaring above, until we had the whole range
lying, far and brilliant, in the evening light. The clouds took on
gorgeous colors, at length, and soon the snow caught the hue, and
whole fields were rosy pink, while uplifted peaks glowed red, as with
internal fire. Only Mont Blanc, afar off, remained purely white, in
a kind of regal inaccessibility. And, afterward, one star came out
over it, and a bright light shone from the hut on the Grand Mulets, a
rock in the waste of snow, where a Frenchman was passing the night on
his way to the summit.

Shall I describe the passage of the Tete Noire? My friend, it is
twenty-four miles, a road somewhat hilly, with splendid views of Mont
Blanc in the morning, and of the Bernese Oberland range in the
afternoon, when you descend into Martigny,--a hot place in the dusty
Rhone Valley, which has a comfortable hotel, with a pleasant garden,
in which you sit after dinner and let the mosquitoes eat you.

THE MAN WHO SPEAKS ENGLISH

It was eleven o'clock at night when we reached Sion, a dirty little
town at the end of the Rhone Valley Railway, and got into the omnibus
for the hotel; and it was also dark and rainy. They speak German in
this part of Switzerland, or what is called German. There were two
very pleasant Americans, who spoke American, going on in the
diligence at half-past five in the morning, on their way over the
Simplex. One of them was accustomed to speak good, broad English
very distinctly to all races; and he seemed to expect that he must be
understood if he repeated his observations in a louder tone, as he
always did. I think he would force all this country to speak English
in two months. We all desired to secure places in the diligence,
which was likely to be full, as is usually the case when a railway
discharges itself into a postroad.

We were scarcely in the omnibus, when the gentleman said to the
conductor:

"I want two places in the coupe of the diligence in the morning. Can
I have them?"

"Yah" replied the good-natured German, who did n't understand a word.

"Two places, diligence, coupe, morning. Is it full?"

"Yah," replied the accommodating fellow. "Hotel man spik English."

I suggested the banquette as desirable, if it could be obtained, and
the German was equally willing to give it to us. Descending from the
omnibus at the hotel, in a drizzling rain, and amidst a crowd of
porters and postilions and runners, the "man who spoke English"
immediately presented himself; and upon him the American pounced with
a torrent of questions. He was a willing, lively little waiter, with
his moony face on the top of his head; and he jumped round in the
rain like a parching pea, rolling his head about in the funniest
manner.

The American steadied the little man by the collar, and began,
"I want to secure two seats in the coupe of the diligence in the.
morning."

"Yaas," jumping round, and looking from one to another. "Diligence,
coupe, morning."

"I--want--two seats--in--coupe. If I can't get them, two--in--
banquette."

"Yaas banquette, coupe,--yaas, diligence."

"Do you understand? Two seats, diligence, Simplon, morning. Will
you get them?"

"Oh, yaas! morning, diligence. Yaas, sirr."

"Hang the fellow! Where is the office? "And the gentleman left the
spry little waiter bobbing about in the middle of the street,
speaking English, but probably comprehending nothing that was said to
him. I inquired the way to the office of the conductor: it was
closed, but would soon be open, and I waited; and at length the
official, a stout Frenchman, appeared, and I secured places in the
interior, the only ones to be had to Visp. I had seen a diligence at
the door with three places in the coupe, and one perched behind; no
banquette. The office is brightly lighted; people are waiting to
secure places; there is the usual crowd of loafers, men and women,
and the Frenchman sits at his desk. Enter the American.

"I want two places in coupe, in the morning. Or banquette. Two
places, diligence." The official waves him off, and says something.

"What does he say?"

"He tells you to sit down on that bench till he is ready."

Soon the Frenchman has run over his big waybills, and turns to us.

"I want two places in the diligence, coupe," etc, etc, says the
American.

This remark being lost on the official, I explain to him as well as I
can what is wanted, at first,--two places in the coupe.

"One is taken," is his reply.

"The gentleman will take two," I said, having in mind the diligence
in the yard, with three places in the coupe.

"One is taken," he repeats.

"Then the gentleman will take the other two."

"One is taken! "he cries, jumping up and smiting the table,--" one
is taken, I tell you!"

"How many are there in the coupe?"

"TWO."

"Oh! then the gentleman will take the one remaining in the coupe and
the one on top."

So it is arranged. When I come back to the hotel, the Americans are
explaining to the lively waiter "who speaks English" that they are to
go in the diligence at half-past five, and that they are to be called
at half-past four and have breakfast. He knows all about it,--
"Diligence, half-past four breakfast, Oh, yaas!" While I have been
at the diligence-office, my companions have secured room and gone to
them; and I ask the waiter to show m to my room. First, however, I
tell him that we three two ladies and myself, who came together, are
going in the diligence at half-past five, and want to be called and
have breakfast. Did he comprehend?

"Yaas," rolling his face about on the top of his head violently.
"You three gentleman want breakfast. What you have?"

I had told him before what we would I have, an now I gave up all hope
of keeping our parties separate in his mind; so I said,
"Five persons want breakfast at five o'clock. Five persons, five
hours. Call all of them at half-past four." And I repeated it, and
made him repeat it in English and French. He then insisted on
putting me into the room of one of the American gentlemen
and then he knocked at the door of a lady, who cried out in
indignation at being disturbed; and, finally, I found my room. At
the door I reiterated the instructions for the morning; and he
cheerfully bade me good-night. But he almost immediately came back,
and poked in his head with,--

"Is you go by de diligence?"

"Yes, you stupid."

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