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Views a-foot by J. Bayard Taylor

Part 7 out of 7

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That was all--but what more was needed? Who knows not the name and fame
and sufferings of the glorious bard? The pomp of gold and marble are not
needed to deck the slumber of genius. On the wall, above, hangs an old
and authentic portrait of him, very similar to the engravings in
circulation. A crown of laurel encircles the lofty brow, and the eye has
that wild, mournful expression, which accords so well with the
mysterious tale of his love and madness.

Owing to the mountain storms, which imposed on us the expense of a
carriage-journey to Rome, we shall be prevented from going further. One
great cause of this is the heavy fee required for passports in Italy. In
most of the Italian cities, the cost of the different vises amounts to
$4 or $5; a few such visits as these reduce our funds very materially.
The American Consul's fee is $2, owing to the illiberal course of our
government, in withholding all salary from her Consuls in Europe. Mr.
Brown, however, in whose family we spent last evening very pleasantly,
on our requesting that he would deduct something from the usual fee,
kindly declined accepting anything. We felt this kindness the more, as
from the character which some of our late Consuls bear in Italy, we had
not anticipated it. We shall remember him with deeper gratitude than
many would suppose, who have never known what it was to be a

To-morrow, therefore, we leave Rome--here is, at last, the limit of our
wanderings. We have spent much toil and privation to reach here, and
now, after two weeks' rambling and musing among the mighty relics of
past glory, we turn our faces homeward. The thrilling hope I cherished
during the whole pilgrimage--to climb Parnassus and drink from Castaly,
under the blue heaven of Greece (both far easier than the steep hill and
hidden fount of poesy, I worship afar off)--to sigh for fallen art,
beneath the broken friezes of the Parthenon, and look with a pilgrim's
eye on the isles of Homer and of Sappho--must be given up, unwillingly
and sorrowfully though it be. These glorious anticipations--among the
brightest that blessed my boyhood--are slowly wrung from me by stern
necessity. Even Naples, the lovely Parthenope, where the Mantuan bard
sleeps on the sunny shore, by the bluest of summer seas, with the
disinterred Pompeii beyond, and Paestum amid its roses on the lonely
Calabrian plain--even this, almost within sight of the cross of St.
Peter's, is barred from me. Farewell then, clime of "fame and eld,"
since it must be! A pilgrim's blessing for the lore ye have taught him!


_Palo._--The sea is breaking in long swells below the window, and a
glorious planet shines in the place of the sunset that has died away.
This is our first resting-place since leaving Rome. We have been walking
all day over the bare and dreary Campagna, and it is a relief to look at
last on the broad, blue expanse of the Tyrrhene Sea.

When we emerged from the cool alleys of Rome, and began to climb up and
down the long, barren swells, the sun beat down on us with an almost
summer heat. On crossing a ridge near Castel Guido, we took our last
look of Rome, and saw from the other side the sunshine lying like a
dazzling belt on the far Mediterranean. The country is one of the most
wretched that can be imagined. Miles and miles of uncultivated land,
with scarcely a single habitation, extend on either side of the road,
and the few shepherds who watch their flocks in the marshy hollows, look
wild and savage enough for any kind of crime. It made me shudder to see
every face bearing such a villainous stamp.

_Civita Vecchia, Jan. 1._--We left Palo just after sunrise, and walked
in the cool of the morning beside the blue Mediterranean. On the right,
the low outposts of the Appenines rose, bleak and brown, the narrow
plain between them and the shore resembling a desert, so destitute was
it of the signs of civilized life. A low, white cloud that hung over the
sea, afar off, showed us the locality of Sardinia, though the land was
not visible. The sun shone down warmly, and with the blue sky and bluer
sea we could easily have imagined a milder season. The barren scenery
took a new interest in my eyes, when I remembered that I was spending
amidst it that birth-day which removes me, in the eyes of the world,
from dependant youth to responsible manhood.

In the afternoon we found a beautiful cove in a curve of the shore, and
went to bathe in the cold surf. It was very refreshing, but not quite
equal to the sulphur-bath on the road to Tivoli. The mountains now ran
closer to the sea, and the road was bordered with thickets of myrtle. I
stopped often to beat my staff into the bushes, and inhale the fragrance
that arose from their crushed leaves. The hills were covered with this
poetical shrub, and any acre of the ground would make the fortune of a
florist at home.

The sun was sinking in a sky of orange and rose, as Civita Vecchia came
in sight on a long headland before us. Beyond the sea stretched the dim
hills of Corsica. We walked nearly an hour in the clear moonlight, by
the sounding shore, before the gate of the city was reached. We have
found a tolerable inn, and are now enjoying the pleasures of supper and

_Marseilles, Jan. 16._--At length we tread the shore of France--of sunny
Provence--the last unvisited realm we have to roam through before
returning home. It is with a feeling of more than common relief that we
see around us the lively faces and hear the glib tongues of the French.
It is like an earnest that the "roughing" we have undergone among
Bohemian boors and Italian savages is well nigh finished, and that,
henceforth, we shall find civilized sympathy and politeness, if nothing
more, to make the way smoother. Perhaps the three woful days which
terminated at half-past two yesterday afternoon, as we passed through
the narrow strait into the beautiful harbor which Marseilles encloses in
her sheltering heart, make it still pleasanter. Now, while there is
time, I must describe those three days, for who could write on the wet
deck of a steamboat, amid all the sights and smells which a sea voyage
creates? Description does not flourish when the bones are sore with
lying on planks, and the body shivering like an aspen leaf with cold.

About the old town of Civita Vecchia there is not much to be said,
except that it has the same little harbor which Trajan dug for it, and
is as dirty and disagreeable as a town can well be. We saw nothing
except a little church, and the prison-yard, full of criminals, where
the celebrated bandit, Gasparoni, has been now confined for eight years.

The Neapolitan Company's boat, _Mongibello_, was advertised to leave the
12th, so, after procuring our passports, we went to the office to take
passage. The official, however, refused to give us tickets for the third
place, because, forsooth, we were not servants or common laborers! and
words were wasted in trying to convince him that it would make no
difference. As the second cabin fare was nearly three times as high, and
entirely too dear for us, we went to the office of the Tuscan Company,
whose boat was to leave in two days. Through the influence of an Italian
gentleman, secretary to Bartolini, the American Consul, whom we met,
they agreed to take us for forty-five francs, on deck, the price of the
Neapolitan boat being thirty.

Rather than stay two days longer in the dull town, we went again to the
latter Company's office and offered them forty-five francs to go that
day in _their_ boat. This removed the former scruples, and tickets were
immediately made out. After a plentiful dinner at the albergo, to
prepare ourselves for the exposure, we filled our pockets with a supply
of bread, cheese, and figs, for the voyage. We then engaged a boatman,
who agreed to row us out to the steamer for two pauls, but after he had
us on board and an oar's length from the quay, he said two pauls
_apiece_ was his bargain. I instantly refused, and, summoning the best
Italian I could command, explained our agreement; but he still persisted
in demanding double price. The dispute soon drew a number of persons to
the quay, some of whom, being boatmen, sided with him. Finding he had us
safe in his boat, his manner was exceedingly calm and polite. He
contradicted me with a "pardon, Signore!" accompanying the words with a
low bow and a graceful lift of his scarlet cap, and replied to my
indignant accusations in the softest and most silvery-modulated Roman
sentences. I found, at last, that if I was in the right, I cut the worse
figure of the two, and, therefore, put an end to the dispute by desiring
him to row on at his own price.

The hour of starting was two, but the boat lay quietly in the harbor
till four, when we glided out on the open sea, and went northward, with
the blue hills of Corsica far on our left. A gorgeous sunset faded away
over the water, and the moon rose behind the low mountains of the
Italian coast. Having found a warm and sheltered place near the chimney,
I drew my beaver further over my eyes, to keep out the moonlight, and
lay down on the deck with my knapsack under my head. It was a hard bed,
indeed; and the first time I attempted to rise, I found myself glued to
the floor by the pitch which was smeared along the seams of the boards!
Our fellow-sufferers were a company of Swiss soldiers going home after a
four years' service under the King of Naples, but they took to their
situation more easily than we.

Sleep was next to impossible, so I paced the deck occasionally, looking
out on the moonlit sea and the dim shores on either side. A little after
midnight we passed between Elba and Corsica. The dark crags of Elba rose
on our right, and the bold headlands of Napoleon's isle stood opposite,
at perhaps twenty miles' distance. There was something dreary and
mysterious in the whole scene, viewed at such a time--the grandeur of
his career, who was born on one and exiled to the other, gave it a
strange and thrilling interest.

We made the light-house before the harbor of Leghorn at dawn, and by
sunrise were anchored within the mole. I sat on the deck the whole day,
watching the picturesque vessels that skimmed about with their lateen
sails, and wondering how soon the sailors, on the deck of a Boston brig
anchored near us, would see my distant country. Leaving at four o'clock,
we dashed away, along the mountain coast of Carrara, at a rapid rate.
The wind was strong and cold, but I lay down behind the boiler, and
though the boards were as hard as ever, slept two or three hours. When I
awoke at half-past two in the morning, after a short rest, Genoa was
close at hand. We glided between the two revolving lights on the mole,
into the harbor, with the amphitheatre on which the superb city sits,
dark and silent around us. It began raining soon, the engine-fire sank
down, and as there was no place of shelter, we were shortly wet to the

How long those dreary hours seemed, till the dawn came! All was cold and
rainy and dark, and we waited in a kind of torpid misery for daylight.
The entire day, I passed sitting in a coil of rope under the stern of
the cabin, and even the beauties of the glorious city scarce affected
me. We lay opposite the Doria palace, and the constellation of villas
and towers still glittered along the hills; but who, with his teeth
chattering and limbs numb and damp, could feel pleasure in looking on
Elysium itself?

We got under way again at three o'clock. The rain very soon hid the
coast from view, and the waves pitched our boat about in a manner not at
all pleasant. I soon experienced sea-sickness in all its horrors. We had
accidentally made the acquaintance of one of the Neapolitan sailors, who
had been in America. He was one of those rough, honest natures I like to
meet with--their blunt kindness, is better than refined and oily-tongued
suavity. As we were standing by the chimney, reflecting dolefully how we
should pass the coming night, he came up and said; "I am in trouble
about you, poor fellows! I don't think I shall sleep three hours
to-night, to think of you. I shall tell all the cabin they shall give
you beds, because they shall see you are gentlemen!" Whether he did so
or the officers were moved by spontaneous commiseration, we knew not,
but in half an hour a servant beckoned us into the cabin, and berths
were given us.

I turned in with a feeling of relief not easily imagined, and forgave
the fleas willingly, in the comfort of a shelter from the storm. When I
awoke, it was broad day. A fresh breeze was drying the deck, and the sun
was half-visible among breaking clouds. We had just passed the Isle of
the Titan, one of the _Isles des Hyeres_, and the bay of Toulon opened
on our right. It was a rugged, rocky coast, but the hills of sunny
Provence rose beyond. The sailor came up with a smile of satisfaction on
his rough countenance, and said: "You did sleep better, I think; I did
tell them all!" coupling his assertion with a round curse on the

We ran along, beside the brown, bare crags till nearly noon, when we
reached the eastern point of the Bay of Marseilles. A group of small
islands, formed of bare rocks, rising in precipices three or four
hundred feet high, guards the point; on turning into the Gulf, we saw on
the left the rocky islands of Pomegues, and If, with the castle crowning
the latter, in which Mirabeau was confined. The ranges of hills which
rose around the great bay, were spotted and sprinkled over with
thousands of the country cottages of the Marseilles merchants, called
_Bastides_; the city itself was hidden from view. We saw apparently the
whole bay, but there was no crowd of vessels, such as would befit a
great sea-port; a few spires peeping over a hill, with some
fortifications, were all that was visible. At length we turned suddenly
aside and entered a narrow strait, between two forts. Immediately a
broad harbor opened before us, locked in the very heart of the hills on
which the city stands. It was covered with vessels of all nations; on
leaving the boat, we rowed past the "Aristides," bearing the blue cross
of Greece, and I searched eagerly and found, among the crowded masts,
the starry banner of America.

I have rambled through all the principal parts of Marseilles, and am
very favorably impressed with its appearance. Its cleanliness and the
air of life and business which marks the streets, are the more pleasant
after coming from the dirty and depopulated Italian cities. The broad
avenues, lined with trees, which traverse its whole length, must be
delightful in summer. I am often reminded, by its spacious and crowded
thoroughfares, of our American cities. Although founded by the Phoceans,
three thousand years ago, it has scarcely an edifice of greater
antiquity than three or four centuries, and the tourist must content
himself with wandering through the narrow streets of the old town,
observing the Provencal costumes, or strolling among Turks and Moors on
the _Quai d'Orleans_.

We have been detained here a day longer than was necessary, owing to
some misunderstanding about the passports. This has not been favorable
to our reduced circumstances, for we have, now but twenty francs each,
left, to take us to Paris. Our boots, too, after serving us so long,
begin to show signs of failing in this hour of adversity. Although we
are somewhat accustomed to such circumstances, I cannot help shrinking
when I think of the solitary napoleon and the five hundred miles to be
passed. Perhaps, however, the coin will do as much as its great
namesake, and achieve for us a Marengo in the war with fate.



We left Marseilles about nine o'clock, on a dull, rainy morning, for
Avignon and the Rhone, intending to take in our way the glen of
Vaucluse. The dirty _faubourgs_ stretch out along the road for a great
distance, and we trudged through them, past foundries, furnaces and
manufactories, considerably disheartened with the prospect. We wound
among the bleak stony hills, continually ascending, for nearly three
hours. Great numbers of cabarets, frequented by the common people, lined
the roads, and we met continually trains of heavy laden wagons, drawn by
large mules. The country is very wild and barren, and would have been
tiresome, except for the pine groves with their beautiful green foliage.
We got something to eat with difficulty at an inn, for the people spoke
nothing but the Provencal dialect, and the place was so cold and
cheerless we were glad to go out again into the storm. It mattered
little to us, that we heard the language in which the gay troubadours of
king Rene sung their songs of love. We thought more of our dripping
clothes and numb, cold limbs, and would have been glad to hear instead,
the strong, hearty German tongue, full of warmth and kindly sympathy for
the stranger. The wind swept drearily among the hills; black, gusty
clouds covered the sky, and the incessant rain filled the road with
muddy pools. We looked at the country chateaux, so comfortable in the
midst of their sheltering poplars, with a sigh, and thought of homes
afar off, whose doors were never closed to _us_.

This was all forgotten, when we reached Aix, and the hostess of the Cafe
d'Afrique filled her little stove with fresh coal, and hung our wet
garments around it, while her daughter, a pale-faced, crippled child,
smiled kindly on us and tried to talk with us in French. Putting on our
damp, heavy coats again, B---- and I rambled through the streets, while
our frugal supper was preparing. We saw the statue of the _Bon Roi
Rene_, who held at Aix his court of shepherds and troubadours--the dark
Cathedral of St. Saveur--the ancient walls and battlements, and gazed
down the valley at the dark, precipitous mass of Mont St. Victor, at
whose base Marius obtained a splendid victory over the barbarians.

After leaving next morning, we saw at some distance to the south, the
enormous aqueduct now being erected for the canal from the Rhone to
Marseilles. The shallow, elevated valleys we passed in the forenoon's
walk were stony and barren, but covered with large orchards of almond
trees, the fruit of which forms a considerable article of export. This
district borders on the desert of the Crau, a vast plain of stones,
reaching to the mouth of the Rhone and almost entirely uninhabited. We
caught occasional glimpses of its sea-like waste, between the summits of
the hills. At length, after threading a high ascent, we saw the valley
of the Durance suddenly below us. The sun, breaking through the clouds,
shone on the mountain wall, which stood on the opposite side, touching
with his glow the bare and rocky precipices that frowned far above the
stream. Descending to the valley, we followed its course towards the
Rhone, with the ruins of feudal bourgs crowning the crags above us.

It was dusk, when we reached the village of Senas, tired with the day's
march. A landlord, standing in his door, on the lookout for customers,
invited us to enter, in a manner so polite and pressing, we could not
choose but do so. This is a universal custom with the country
innkeepers. In a little village which we passed towards evening, there
was a tavern, with the sign: "_The Mother of Soldiers_." A portly woman,
whose face beamed with kindness and cheerfulness, stood in the door and
invited us to stop there for the night. "No, mother!" I answered; "we
must go much further to-day." "Go, then," said she, "with good luck, my
children! a pleasant journey!" On entering the inn at Senas, two or
three bronzed soldiers were sitting by the table. My French vocabulary
happening to give out in the middle of a consultation about eggs and
onion-soup, one of them came to my assistance and addressed me in
German. He was from Fulda, in Hesse Cassel, and had served fifteen years
in Africa. Two other young soldiers, from the western border of Germany,
came during the evening, and one of them being partly intoxicated,
created such a tumult, that a quarrel arose, which ended in his being
beaten and turned out of the house.

We met, every day, large numbers of recruits in companies of one or two
hundred, on their way to Marseilles to embark for Algiers. They were
mostly youths, from sixteen to twenty years of age, and seemed little to
forebode their probable fate. In looking on their fresh, healthy faces
and bounding forms, I saw also a dim and ghastly vision of bones
whitening on the desert, of men perishing with heat and fever, or
stricken down by the aim of the savage Bedouin.

Leaving next morning at day-break, we walked on before breakfast to
Orgon, a little village in a corner of the cliffs which border the
Durance, and crossed the muddy river by a suspension bridge a short
distance below, to Cavaillon, where the country people were holding a
great market. From this place a road led across the meadow-land to
L'Isle, six miles distant. This little town is so named, because it is
situated on an island formed by the crystal Sorgues, which flows from
the fountains of Vaucluse. It is a very picturesque and pretty place.
Great mill-wheels, turning slowly and constantly, stand at intervals in
the stream, whose grassy banks are now as green as in spring-time. We
walked along the Sorgues, which is quite as beautiful and worthy to be
sung as the Clitumnus, to the end of the village, to take the road to
Vaucluse. Beside its banks stands a dirty, modern "Hotel de Petrarque et
Laure." Alas, that the names of the most romantic and impassioned lovers
of all history should be desecrated to a sign-post to allure
gormandizing tourists!

The bare mountain in whose heart lies the poet's solitude, now rose
before us, at the foot of the lofty Mont Ventoux, whose summit of snows
extended beyond. We left the river, and walked over a barren plain,
across which the wind blew most drearily. The sky was rainy and dark,
and completed the desolateness of the scene, which in no wise heightened
our anticipations of the renowned glen. At length we rejoined the
Sorgues and entered a little green valley running up into the mountain.
The narrowness of the entrance entirely shut out the wind, and except
the rolling of the waters over their pebbly bed, all was still and
lonely and beautiful. The sides of the dell were covered with olive
trees, and a narrow strip of emerald meadow lay at the bottom. It grew
more hidden and sequestered as we approached the little village of
Vaucluse. Here, the mountain towers far above, and precipices of grey
rock, many hundred feet high, hang over the narrowing glen. On a crag
over the village are the remains of a castle; the slope below this, now
rugged and stony, was once graced by the cottage and garden of Petrarch.
All traces of them have long since vanished, but a simple column,
bearing the inscription; "A PETRARQUE," stands beside the Sorgues.

We ascended into the defile by a path among the rocks, overshadowed by
olive and wild fig trees, to the celebrated fountains of Vaucluse. The
glen seems as if struck into the mountain's depths by one blow of an
enchanter's wand; and just at the end, where the rod might have rested
in its downward sweep, is the fathomless well whose overbrimming fulness
gives birth to the Sorgues. We climbed up over the mossy rocks and sat
down in the grot, beside the dark, still pool. It was the most absolute
solitude. The rocks towered above and over us, to the height of six
hundred feet, and the gray walls of the wild glen below shut out all
appearance of life. I leaned over the rock and drank of the blue crystal
that grew gradually darker towards the centre, till it became a mirror,
and gave back a perfect reflection of the crags above it. There was no
bubbling--no gushing up from its deep bosom--but the wealth of sparkling
waters continually welled over, as from a too-full goblet.

It was with actual sorrow that I turned away from the silent spot. I
never visited a place to which the fancy clung more suddenly and fondly.
There is something holy in its solitude, making one envy Petrarch the
years of calm and unsullied enjoyment which blessed him there. As some
persons, whom we pass as strangers, strike a hidden chord in our
spirits, compelling a silent sympathy with them, so some landscapes have
a character of beauty which harmonizes thrillingly with the mood in
which we look upon them, till we forget admiration in the glow of
spontaneous attachment. They seem like abodes of the Beautiful, which
the soul in its wanderings long ago visited, and now recognizes and
loves as the home of a forgotten dream. It was thus I felt by the
fountains of Vaucluse; sadly and with weary steps I turned away, leaving
its loneliness unbroken as before.

We returned over the plain in the wind, under the gloomy sky, passed
L'Isle at dusk, and after walking an hour with a rain following close
behind us, stopped at an _auberge_ in Le Thor, where we rested our tired
frames and broke our long day's fasting. We were greeted in the morning
with a dismal rain and wet roads, as we began the march. After a time,
however, it poured down in such torrents, that we were obliged to take
shelter in a _remise_ by the road, side, where a good woman, who
addressed us in the unintelligible Provencal, kindled up a blazing fire.
On climbing a long hill, when the storm had abated, we experienced a
delightful surprise. Below us lay the broad valley of the Rhone, with
its meadows looking fresh and spring-like after the rain. The clouds
were breaking away; clear blue sky was visible over Avignon, and a belt
of sunlight lay warmly along the mountains of Languedoc. Many villages,
with their tall, picturesque towers, dotted the landscape, and the
groves of green olive enlivened the barrenness of winter. Two or three
hours' walk over the plain, by a road fringed with willows, brought us
to the gates of Avignon.

We walked around its picturesque turreted wall, and rambled through its
narrow streets, washed here and there by streams which turn the old
mill-wheels lazily around. We climbed up to the massive palace, which
overlooks the city from its craggy seat, attesting the splendor it
enjoyed, when for thirty years the Papal Court was held there, and the
gray, weather-beaten, irregular building, resembling a pile of
precipitous rocks, echoed with the revels of licentious prelates. We
could not enter to learn the terrible secrets of the Inquisition, here
unveiled, but we looked up at the tower, from which the captive Rienzi
was liberated at the intercession of Petrarch.

After leaving Avignon, we took the road up the Rhone for Lyons, turning
our backs upon the _rainy_ south. We reached the village of Sorgues by
dusk, and accepted the invitation of an old dame to lodge at her _inn_,
which proved to be a _blacksmith's shop_! It was nevertheless clean and
comfortable, and we sat down in one corner, out of the reach of the
showers of sparks, which flew hissing from a red-hot horseshoe, that the
smith and his apprentice were hammering. A Piedmontese pedlar, who
carried the "Song of the Holy St. Philomene" to sell among the peasants,
came in directly, and bargained for a sleep on some hay, for two sous.
For a bed in the loft over the shop, we were charged five sous each,
which, with seven sous for supper, made our expenses for the night about
eleven cents! Our circumstances demanded the greatest economy, and we
began to fear whether even this spare allowance would enable us to reach
Lyons. Owing to a day's delay in Marseilles, we had left that city with
but fifteen francs each; the incessant storms of winter and the worn-out
state of our shoes, which were no longer proof against water or mud,
prolonged our journey considerably, so that by starting before dawn and
walking till dark, we were only able to make thirty miles a day. We
could always procure beds for five sous, and as in the country inns one
is only charged for what he chooses to order, our frugal suppers cost us
but little. We purchased bread and cheese in the villages, and made our
breakfasts and dinners on a bank by the roadside, or climbed the rocks
and sat down by the source of some trickling rill. This simple fare had
an excellent relish, and although we walked in wet clothes from morning
till night, often laying down on the damp, cold earth to rest, our
health was never affected.

It is worth all the toil and privation we have as yet undergone, to
gain, from actual experience, the blessed knowledge that man always
retains a kindness and brotherly sympathy towards his fellow--that under
all the weight of vice and misery which a grinding oppression of soul
and body brings on the laborers of earth, there still remain many bright
tokens of a better nature. Among the starving mountaineers of the
Hartz--the degraded peasantry of Bohemia--the savage _contadini_ of
Central Italy, or the dwellers on the hills of Provence and beside the
swift Rhone, we almost invariably found kind, honest hearts, and an
aspiration for something better, betokening the consciousness that such
brute-like, obedient existence was not their proper destiny. We found
few so hardened as to be insensible to a kind look or a friendly word,
and nothing made us forget we were among strangers so much as the many
tokens of sympathy which met us when least looked for. A young
Englishman, who had traveled on foot from Geneva to Rome, enduring many
privations on account of his reduced circumstances, said to me, while
speaking on this subject: "A single word of kindness from a stranger
would make my heart warm and my spirits cheerful, for days afterwards."
There is not so much evil in man as men would have us believe; and it is
a happy comfort to know and feel this.

Leaving our little inn before day break next morning, we crossed the
Sorgues, grown muddy since its infancy at Vaucluse, like many a young
soul, whose mountain purity goes out into the soiling world and becomes
sullied forever. The road passed over broad, barren ranges of hills, and
the landscape was destitute of all interest, till we approached Orange.
This city is built at the foot of a rocky height, a great square
projection of which seemed to stand in its midst. As we approached
nearer, however, arches and lines of cornice could be discerned, and we
recognized it as the celebrated amphitheatre, one of the grandest Roman
relics in the south of France.

I stood at the foot of this great fabric, and gazed up at it in
astonishment. The exterior wall, three hundred and thirty-four feet in
length, and rising to the height of one hundred and twenty-one feet, is
still in excellent, preservation, and through its rows of solid arches
one looks on the broken ranges of seats within. On the crag above, and
looking as if about to topple down on it, is a massive fragment of the
fortress of the Princes of Orange, razed by Louis XIV. Passing through
the city, we came to the beautiful Roman triumphal arch, which to my eye
is a finer structure than that of Constantino at Rome. It is built of a
rich yellow marble and highly ornamented with sculptured trophies. From
the barbaric shields and the letters MARIO, still remaining, it has been
supposed to commemorate the victory of Marius over the barbarians, near
Aix. A frieze, running along the top, on each side, shows, although
broken and much defaced by the weather, the life and action which once
marked the struggling figures. These Roman ruins, scattered through
Provence and Languedoc, though inferior in historical interest, equal
in architectural beauty the greater part of those in the Eternal City

The rest of the day the road was monotonous, though varied somewhat by
the tall crags of Mornas and Mont-dragon, towering over the villages of
the same name. Night came on as the rock of Pierrelatte, at whose foot
we were to sleep, appeared in the distance, rising like a Gibraltar from
the plain, and we only reached it in time to escape the rain that came
down the valley of the Rhone.

Next day we passed several companies of soldiers on their way to Africa.
One of them was accompanied by a young girl, apparently the wife of the
recruit by whose side she was marching. She wore the tight blue jacket
of the troop, and a red skirt, reaching to the knees, over her soldier
pantaloons; while her pretty face showed to advantage beneath a small
military cap. It was a "Fille du Regiment" in real life. Near
Montelimart, we lost sight of Mont Ventoux, whose gleaming white crest
had been visible all the way from Vaucluse, and passed along the base of
a range of hills running near to the river. So went our march, without
particular incident, till we bivouacked for the night among a company of
soldiers in the little village of Loriol.

Leaving at six o'clock, wakened by the trumpets which called up the
soldiery to their day's march, we reached the river Drome at dawn, and
from the bridge over its rapid current, gazed at the dim, ash-colored
masses of the Alps of Dauphine, piled along the sky, far up the valley.
The coming of morn threw a yellow glow along their snowy sides, and
lighted up, here and there, a flashing glacier. The peasantry were
already up and at work, and caravans of pack-wagons rumbled along in the
morning twilight We trudged on with them, and by breakfast-time had made
some distance of the way to Valence. The road, which does not approach
the Rhone, is devoid of interest and tiresome, though under a summer
sky, when the bare vine-hills are latticed over with green, and the
fruit-trees covered with blossoms and foliage, it might be a scene of
great beauty.

Valence, which we reached towards noon, is a commonplace city on the
Rhone; and my only reasons for traversing its dirty streets in
preference to taking the road, which passes without the walls, were--to
get something for dinner, and because it _might_ have been the
birth-place of Aymer de Valence, the valorous Crusader, chronicled in
"Ivanhoe," whose tomb I had seen in Westminster Abbey. One of the
streets which was marked "_Rue Bayard_," shows that my valiant
namesake--the knight without fear and reproach--is still remembered in
his native province. The ruins of his chateau are still standing among
the Alps near Grenoble.

In the afternoon we crossed the Isere, a swift, muddy river, which rises
among the Alps of Dauphine, We saw their icy range, among which is the
desert solitude of the Grand Chartreuse, far up the valley; but the
thick atmosphere hid the mighty Mont Blanc, whose cloudy outline, eighty
miles distant in a "bee line," is visible in fair weather. At Tain, we
came upon the Rhone again, and walked along the base of the hills which
contract its current. Here, I should call it beautiful. The scenery has
a wildness that approaches to that of the Rhine. Rocky, castellated
heights frown over the rushing waters, which have something of the
majesty of their "exulting and abounding" rival. Winding around the
curving hills, the scene is constantly varied, and the little willowed
islets clasped in the embrace of the stream, mingle a trait of softened
beauty with its sterner character.

After passing the night at a village on its banks, we left it again at
St. Vallier, the next morning. At sunset, the spires of Vienne were
visible, and the lofty Mont Pilas, the snows of whose riven summits feed
the springs of the Loire on its western side, stretched majestically
along the opposite bank of the Rhone. In a meadow, near Vienne, stands a
curious Roman obelisk, seventy-six feet in height. The base is composed
of four pillars, connected by arches, and the whole structure has a
barbaric air, compared with the more elegant monuments of Orange and
Nismes. Vienne, which is mentioned by several of the Roman historians
under its present name, was the capital of the Allobroges, and I looked
upon it with a new and strange interest, on calling to mind my
school-boy days, when I had become familiar with that war-like race, in
toiling over the pages of Caesar. We walked in the mud and darkness for
what seemed a great distance, and finally took shelter in a little inn
at the northern end of the city. Two Belgian soldiers, coming from
Africa, were already quartered there, and we listened to their tales of
the Arab and the desert, while supper was preparing.

The morning of the 25th was dull and rainy; the road, very muddy and
unpleasant, led over the hills, avoiding the westward curve of the
Rhone, directly towards Lyons. About noon, we came in sight of the broad
valley in which the Rhone first clasps his Burgundian bride--the Saone,
and a cloud of impenetrable coal-smoke showed us the location of Lyons.
A nearer approach revealed a large flat dome, and some ranges of tall
buildings near the river. We soon entered the suburb of La Guillotiere,
which has sprung up on the eastern bank of the Rhone. Notwithstanding
our clothes were like sponges, our boots entirely worn out, and our
bodies somewhat thin with nine days exposure to the wintry storms in
walking two hundred and forty miles, we entered Lyons with suspense and
anxiety. But one franc apiece remained out of the fifteen with which we
left Marseilles. B---- wrote home some time ago, directing a remittance
to be forwarded to a merchant at Paris, to whom he had a letter of
introduction, and in the hope that this had arrived, he determined to
enclose the letter in a note, stating our circumstances, and requesting
him to forward a part of the remittance to Lyons. We had then to wait at
least four days; people are suspicious and mistrustful in cities, and if
no relief should come, what was to be done?

After wading through the mud of the suburbs, we chose a common-looking
inn near the river, as the comfort of our stay depended wholly on the
kindness of our hosts, and we hoped to find more sympathy among the
laboring classes. We engaged lodgings for four or five days; after
dinner the letter was dispatched, and we wandered about through the
dark, dirty city until night. Our landlord, Monsieur Ferrand, was a
rough, vigorous man, with a gloomy, discontented expression; his words
were few and blunt; but a certain restlessness of manner, and a secret
flashing of his cold, forbidding eye betrayed to me some strong hidden
excitement. Madame Ferrand was kind and talkative, though passionate;
but the appearance of the place gave me an unfavorable impression, which
was heightened by the thought that it was now impossible to change our
lodgings until relief should arrive. When bed-time came, a ladder was
placed against a sort of high platform along one side of the kitchen; we
mounted and found a bed, concealed from the view of those below by a
dusty muslin curtain. We lay there, between heaven and earth--the dirty
earth of the brick floor and the sooty heaven of the ceiling--listening
until midnight to the boisterous songs, and loud, angry disputes in the
room adjoining. Thus ended our first day in Lyons.

Five weary days, each of them containing a month of torturing suspense,
have since passed. Our lodging-place grew so unpleasant that we
preferred wandering all day through the misty, muddy, smoky streets,
taking refuge in the covered bazaars when it rained heavily. The gloom
of every thing around us, entirely smothered down the lightness of heart
which made us laugh over our embarrassments at Vienna. When at evening,
the dull, leaden hue of the clouds seemed to make the air dark and cold
and heavy, we walked beside the swollen and turbid Rhone, under an
avenue of leafless trees, the damp soil chilling our feet and striking a
numbness through our frames, and _then_ I knew what those must feel who
have _no_ hope in their destitution, and not a friend in all the great
world, who is not wretched as themselves. I prize the lesson, though the
price of it is hard.

"This morning," I said to B----, "will terminate our suspense." I felt
cheerful in spite of myself; and this was like a presentiment of coming
good luck. To pass the time till the mail arrived we climbed to the
chapel of _Fourvieres_, whose walls are covered with votive offerings to
a miraculous picture of the Virgin. But at the precise hour we were at
the Post Office. What an intensity of suspense can be felt in that
minute, while the clerk is looking over the letters! And what a
lightning-like shock of joy when it _did_ come, and was opened with
eager, trembling hands, revealing the relief we had almost despaired of!
The city did not seem less gloomy, for that was impossible, but the
faces of the crowd which had appeared cold and suspicious, were now kind
and cheerful. we came home to our lodgings with changed feelings, and
Madame Ferrand must have seen the joy in our faces, for she greeted us
with an unusual smile.

We leave to-morrow morning for Chalons. I do not feel disposed to
describe Lyons particularly, although I have become intimately
acquainted with every part of it, from _Presqu' isle Perrache to Croix
Rousse_. I know the contents of every shop in the Bazaar, and the
passage of the Hotel Dieu--the title of every volume in the bookstores
in the Place Belcour--and the countenance of every boot-block and
apple-woman on the Quais on both sides of the river. I have walked up
the Saone to _Pierre Seise_--down the Rhone to his muddy
marriage--climbed the Heights of _Fourvieres_, and promenaded in the
_Cours Napoleon_! Why, men have been presented with the freedom of
cities, when they have had far less cause for such an honor than this!



_Paris, Feb. 6, 1840._--Every letter of the date is traced with an
emotion of joy, for our dreary journey is over. There was a magic in the
name that revived us during a long journey, and now the thought that it
is all over--that these walls which enclose us, stand in the heart of
the gay city--seems almost too joyful to be true. Yesterday I marked
with the whitest chalk, on the blackest of all tablets to make the
contrast greater, for I got out of the cramped diligence at the Barriere
de Charenton, and saw before me in the morning twilight, the immense
groy mass of Paris. I forgot my numbed and stiffened frame, and every
other of the thousand disagreeable feelings of diligence traveling, in
the pleasure which that sight afforded.

We arose in the dark at Lyons, and after bidding adieu to morose
Monsieur Ferrand, traversed the silent city and found our way in the
mist and gloom to the steamboat landing on the Saone. The waters were
swollen much above their usual level, which was favorable for the boat,
as long as there was room enough left to pass under the bridges. After a
great deal of bustle we got under way, and were dashing out of Lyons,
against the swift current, before day-break. We passed _L'Isle Barbe_,
once a favorite residence of Charlemagne, and now the haunt of the
Lyonnaise on summer holidays, and going under the suspension bridges
with levelled chimneys, entered the picturesque hills above, which are
covered with vineyards nearly to the top; the villages scattered over
them have those square, pointed towers, which give such a quaintness to
French country scenery.

The stream being very high, the meadows on both sides were deeply
overflowed. To avoid the strong current in the centre, our boat ran
along the banks, pushing aside the alder thickets and poplar shoots; in
passing the bridges, the pipes were always brought down flat on the
deck. A little after noon, we passed the large town of Macon, the
birth-place of the poet Lamartine. The valley of the Saone, no longer
enclosed among the hills, spread out to several miles in width. Along
the west lay in sunshine the vine-mountains of Cote d'Or, and among the
dark clouds in the eastern sky, we could barely distinguish the outline
of the Jura. The waters were so much swollen as to cover the plain for
two or three miles. We seemed to be sailing down a lake, with rows of
trees springing up out of the water, and houses and villages lying like
islands on its surface. A sunset that promised better weather tinged the
broad brown flood, as Chalons came in sight, looking like a city built
along the shore of a lake. We squeezed through the crowd of porters and
diligence men, declining their kind offers, and hunted quarters to suit

We left Chalons on the morning of the 1st, in high spirits at the
thought that there were but little more than two hundred miles between
us and Paris. In walking over the cold, muddy plain, we passed a family
of strolling musicians, who were sitting on a heap of stones by the
roadside. An ill-dressed, ill-natured man and woman, each carrying a
violin, and a thin, squalid girl, with a tamborine, composed the group.
Their faces bore that unfeeling stamp, which springs from depravity and
degradation. When we had walked somewhat more than a mile, we overtook a
little girl, who was crying bitterly. By her features, from which the
fresh beauty of childhood had not been worn, and the steel triangle
which was tied to her belt, we knew she belonged to the family we had
passed. Her dress was thin and ragged and a pair of wooden shoes but ill
protected her feet from the sharp cold. I stopped and asked her why she
cried, but she did not at first answer. However, by questioning, I found
her unfeeling parents had sent her on without food; she was sobbing with
hunger and cold. Our pockets were full of bread and cheese which we had
bought for breakfast, and we gave her half a loaf, which stopped her
tears at once. She looked up and thanked us, smiling; and sitting down
on a bank, began to eat as if half famished.

The physiognomy of this region is very singular. It appears as if the
country had been originally a vast elevated plain, and some great power
had _scooped_ out, as with a hand, deep circular valleys all over its
surface. In winding along the high ridges, we often looked down, on
either side, into such hollows, several miles in diameter, and sometimes
entirely covered with vineyards. At La Rochepot, a quaint, antique
village, lying in the bottom of one of these dells, we saw the finest
ruin of the middle ages that I have met with in France. An American lady
had spoken to me of it in Rome, and I believe Willis mentions it in his
"Pencillings," but it is not described in the guide books, nor could we
learn what feudal lord had ever dwelt in its halls. It covers the summit
of a stately rock, at whose foot the village is crouched, and the green
ivy climbs up to the very top of its gray towers.

As the road makes a wide curve around the side of the hill, we descended
to the village by the nearer foot-path, and passed among its low, old
houses, with their pointed gables and mossy roofs. The path led close
along the foot of the rock, and we climbed up to the ruin, and stood in
its grass-grown courtyard. Only the outer walls and the round towers at
each corner are left remaining; the inner part has been razed to the
ground, and where proud barons once marshalled their vassals, the
villagers now play their holiday games. On one side, several Gothic
windows are left standing, perfect, though of simple construction, and
in the towers we saw many fire-places and door-ways of richly cut stone,
which looked as fresh as if just erected.

We passed the night at Ivry (not the Ivry which gained Henri Quatre his
kingdom) and then continued our march over roads which I can only
compare to our country roads in America during the spring thaw. In
addition to this, the rain commenced early in the morning and continued
all day, so that we were completely wet the whole time. The plains, too
high and cold to produce wine, were varied by forests of beech and oak,
and the population was thinly scattered over them in small villages.
Travelers generally complain very much of the monotony of this part of
France, and, with such dreary weather, we could not disagree with them.

As the day wore on, the rain increased, and the sky put on that dull,
gray cast, which denotes a lengthened storm. We were fain to stop at
nightfall, but there was no inn near at hand--not even a hovel of a
_cabaret_ in which to shelter ourselves, and, on enquiring of the
wagoners, we received the comforting assurance that there was yet a
league and a half to the nearest stopping place. On, then, we went, with
the pitiless storm beating in our faces and on our breasts, till there
was not a dry spot left, except what our knapsacks covered. We could not
have been more completely saturated if we had been dipped in the Yonne.
At length, after two hours of slipping and sliding along in the mud and
wet and darkness, we reached Saulieu, and, by the warm fire, thanked our
stars that the day's dismal tramp was over.

By good or bad luck (I have not yet decided which) a vehicle was to
start the next morning for Auxerre, distant sixty miles, and the fare
being but five francs, we thought it wisest to take places. It was
always with reluctance that we departed from our usual mode of
traveling, but, in the present instance, the circumstances absolutely
compelled it.

Next morning, at sunrise, we took our seats in a large, square vehicle
on two wheels, calculated for six persons and a driver, with a single
horse. But, as he was fat and round as an elephant, and started off at a
brisk pace, and we were well protected from the rain, it was not so bad
after all, barring the jolts and jarred vertebrae. We drove on, over the
same dreary expanse of plain and forest, passing through two or three
towns in the course of the day, and by evening had made somewhat more
than half our journey. Owing to the slowness of our fresh horse, we were
jolted about the whole night, and did not arrive at Auxerre until six
o'clock in the morning. After waiting an hour in a hotel beside the
rushing Yonne, a lumbering diligence was got ready, and we were given
places to Paris for seven francs. As the distance is one hundred and ten
miles, this would be considered cheap, but I should not want to travel
it again and be paid for doing so. Twelve persons were packed into a box
not large enough for a cow, and no cabinet-maker ever dove-tailed the
corners of his bureaus tighter than we did our knees and nether
extremities. It is my lot to be blessed with abundance of stature, and
none but tall persons can appreciate the misery of sitting for hours
with their joints in an immovable vice. The closeness of the
atmosphere--for the passengers would not permit the windows to be opened
for fear of taking cold--combined with loss of sleep, made me so drowsy
that my head was continually falling on my next neighbor, who, being a
heavy country lady, thrust it indignantly away. I would then try my best
to keep it up awhile, but it would droop gradually, till the crash of a
bonnet or a smart bump against some other head would recall me, for a
moment, to consciousness.

We passed Joigny, on the Yonne, Sens, with its glorious old cathedral,
and at dusk reached Montercau, on the Seine. This was the scene of one
of Napoleon's best victories, on his return from Elba. In driving over
the bridge, I looked down on the swift and swollen current, and hoped
that its hue might never be darkened again so fearfully as the last
sixty years have witnessed. No river in Europe has such an association
connected with it. We think of the Danube, for its majesty, of the
Rhine, for its wild beauty, but of the Seine--for its blood!

In coming thus to the last famed stream I shall visit in Europe, I might
say, with Barry Cornwall:

"We've sailed through banks of green,
Where the wild waves fret and quiver;
And we've down the Danube been--
The dark, deep, thundering river!
We've thridded the Elbe and Rhone,
The Tiber and blood dyed Seine,
And we've been where the blue Garonne
Goes laughing to meet the main!"

All that night did we endure squeezing and suffocation, and no morn was
ever more welcome than that which revealed to us Paris. With matted
hair, wild, glaring eyes, and dusty and dishevelled habiliments, we
entered the gay capital, and blessed every stone upon which we placed
our feet, in the fulness of our joy.

In paying our fare at Auxerre, I was obliged to use a draft on the
banker, Rougemont de Lowenberg. The ignorant conductor hesitated to
change this, but permitted us to go, on condition of keeping it until we
should arrive. Therefore, on getting out of the diligence, after
forty-eight hours of sleepless and fasting misery, the _facteur_ of the
office went with me to get it paid, leaving B---- to wait for us. I knew
nothing of Paris, and this merciless man kept me for three hours at his
heels, following him on all _his_ errands, before he did mine, in that
time traversing the whole length of the city, in order to leave a
_chevre-feuille_ at an aristocratic residence in the Faubourg St.
Germain. Yet even combined weariness and hunger could not prevent me
from looking with vivid interest down a long avenue, at the Column of
the place Vendome, in passing, and gazing up in wonder at the splendid
portico of the Madeleine. But of anything else I have a very faint
remembrance. "You can eat breakfast, now, I think," said he, when we
returned, "we have walked more than four leagues!"

I know we will be excused, that, instead of hurrying away to Notre Dame
or the Louvre, we sat down quietly to a most complete breakfast. Even
the most romantic must be forced to confess that admiration does not sit
well on an empty stomach. Our first walk was to a bath, and then, with
complexions several shades lighter, and limbs that felt us if lifted by
invisible wings, we hurried away to the Post Office. I seized the
welcome missives from my far home, with a beating heart, and hastening
back, read till the words became indistinct in the twilight.



What a gay little world in miniature this is! I wonder not that the
French, with their exuberant gaiety of spirit, should revel in its
ceaseless tides of pleasure, as if it were an earthly Elysium. I feel
already the influence of its cheerful atmosphere, and have rarely
threaded the crowds of a stranger city, with so light a heart as I do
now daily, on the thronged banks of the Seine. And yet it would be
difficult to describe wherein consists this agreeable peculiarity. You
can find streets as dark and crooked and dirty anywhere in Germany, and
squares and gardens as gay and sunny beyond the Alps, and yet they would
affect you far differently. You could not, as here, divest yourself of
every particle of sad or serious thought and be content to gaze for
hours on the showy scene, without an idea beyond the present moment. It
must be that the spirit of the croud is _magnetically_ contagious.

The evening of our arrival we walked out past the massive and stately
_Hotel de Ville_, and took a promenade along the Quais. The shops facing
the river presented a scene of great splendor. Several of the Quais on
the north bank of the Seine are occupied almost entirely by jewellers,
the windows of whose shops, arranged in a style of the greatest taste,
make a dazzling display. Rows of gold watches and chains are arranged
across the crystal panes, and heaped in pyramids on long glass slabs;
cylindrical wheels of wire, hung with jewelled breastpins and earrings,
turn slowly around by some invisible agency, displaying row after row of
their glittering treasures.

From the centre of the Pont Neuf, we could see for a long distance up
and down the river. The different bridges traced on either side a dozen
starry lines through the dark air, and a continued blaze lighted the
two shores in their whole length, revealing the outline of the Isle da
la Cite. I recognized the Palaces of the Louvre and the Tuileries in the
dusky mass beyond. Eastward, looming against the dark sky, I could
faintly trace the black towers of Notre Dame, The rushing of the swift
waters below mingled with the rattling of a thousand carts and
carriages, and the confusion of a thousand voices, till it seemed like
some grand nightly festival.

I first saw Notre Dame by moonlight. The shadow of its stupendous front
was thrown directly towards me, hiding the innumerable lines of the
ornamental sculpture which cover its tall, square towers. I walked
forward until the interlacing, Moorish arches between them stood full
against the moon, and the light, struggling through the quaint openings
of the tracery, streamed in silver lines down into the shadow. The
square before it was quite deserted, for it stands on a lonely part of
the Isle de la Cite, and it looked thus far more majestic and solemn
than in the glaring daylight.

The great quadrangle of the Tuileries encloses the Place du Carrousel,
in the centre of which stands a triumphal arch, erected by Napoleon
after his Italian victories. Standing in the middle of this arch, you
look through the open passage in the central building of the palace,
into the Gardens beyond. Further on, in a direct line, the middle avenue
of the Gardens extends away to the _Place de la Concorde_, where the
Obelisk of Luxor makes a perpendicular line through your vista; still
further goes the broad avenue through the Elysian Fields, until afar
off, the Arc de l'Etoile, _two miles distant_, closes this view through
the palace doorway.

Let us go through it, and on, to the Place de la Concorde, reserving the
Gardens for another time. What is there in Europe--nay, in the
world,--equal to this? In the centre, the mighty obelisk of red granite
pierces the sky,--on either hand showers of silver spray are thrown up
from splendid bronze fountains--statues and pillars of gilded bronze
sweep in a grand circle around the square, and on each side magnificent
vistas lead the eye off, and combine the distant with the near, to
complete this unparalleled view! Eastward, beyond the tall trees in the
garden of the Tuileries, rises the long front of the Palace, with the
tri-color floating above; westward, in front of us, is the Forest of the
Elysian Fields, with the arch of triumph nearly a mile and a half
distant, looking down from the end of the avenue, at the Barriere de
Neuilly. To the right and left are the marble fronts of the Church of
the Madeleine and the Chamber of Deputies, the latter on the other side
of the Seine. Thus the groves and gardens of Paris--the palace of her
kings--the proud monument of her sons' glory--and the masterpieces of
modern French architecture are all embraced in this one splendid _coup

Following the motley multitude to the bridge, I crossed and made my way
to the Hotel des Invalides. Along the esplanade, playful companies of
children were running and tumbling in their sports over the green turf,
which was as fresh as a meadow; while, not the least interesting feature
of the scene, numbers of scarred and disabled veterans, in the livery of
the Hospital, basked in the sunshine, watching with quiet satisfaction
the gambols of the second generation they have seen arise. What tales
could they not tell, those wrinkled and feeble old men! What visions of
Marengo and Austerlitz and Borodino shift still with a fiery vividness
through their fading memories! Some may have left a limb on the Lybian
desert; and the sabre of the Cossack may have scarred the brows of
others. They witnessed the rising and setting of that great meteor,
which intoxicated France with such a blaze of power and glory, and now,
when the recollection of that wonderful period seems almost like a
stormy dream, they are left to guard the ashes of their ancient General,
brought back from his exile to rest in the bosom of his own French
people. It was to me a touching and exciting thing, to look on those
whose eyes had witnessed the filling up of such a fated leaf in the
world's history.

Entrance is denied to the tomb of Napoleon until it is finished, which
will not be for three or four yours yet. I went, however, into the
"Church of the Banners"--a large chapel, hung with two or three hundred
flags taken by the armies of the Empire. The greater part of them were
Austrian and Russian. It appeared to be empty when I entered, but on
looking around, I saw an old gray-headed soldier kneeling at one side.
His head was bowed over his hands, and he seemed perfectly absorbed in
his thoughts. Perhaps the very tattered banners which hung down
motionless above his head, he might have assisted in conquering. I
looked a moment on those eloquent trophies, and then noiselessly

There is at least one solemn spot near Paris; the laughing winds that
come up from the merry city sink into sighs under the cypress boughs of
Pere Lachaise. And yet it is not a gloomy place, but full of a serious
beauty, fitting for a city of the dead. I shall never forget the sunny
afternoon when I first entered its gate and walked slowly up the hill,
between rows of tombs, gleaming white amid the heavy foliage, while the
green turf around them was just beginning to be starred by the opening
daisies, From the little chapel on its summit I looked back at the blue
spires of the city, whose roar of life dwindled to a low murmur.
Countless pyramids, obelisks and urns, rising far and wide above the
cedars and cypresses, showed the extent of the splendid necropolis,
which is inhabited by pale, shrouded emigrants from its living sister
below. The only sad part of the view, was the slope of the hill alloted
to the poor, where legions of plain black crosses are drawn up into
solid squares on its side and stand alone gloomy--the advanced guard of
the army of Death! I mused over the tombs of Moliere and La Fontaine;
Massena, Mortier and Lefebre; General Foy and Casimir Perier; and
finally descended to the shrine where Abelard reposes by the side of his
Heloise. The old sculptured tomb, brought away from the Paraclete, still
covers their remains, and pious hands (of lovers, perhaps,) keep fresh
the wreaths of _immortelles_ above their marble effigies.

In the Theatre Francais, I saw Rachel, the actress. She appeared in the
character of "Virginia," in a tragedy of that name, by the poet Latour.
Her appearance as she came upon the stage alone, convinced me she would
not belie her renown. She is rather small in stature, with dark,
piercing eyes and rich black hair; her lips are full, but delicately
formed, and her features have a marked yet flexible outline, which
conveys the minutest shades of expression. Her voice is clear, deep and
thrilling, and like sonic grand strain of music, there is power and
meaning in its slightest modulations. Her gestures embody the very
spirit of the character; she has so perfectly attained that rare harmony
of thought, sound and action, or rather, that unity of feeling which
renders them harmonious, that her acting seems the unstudied,
irrepressible impulse of her soul. With the first sentence she uttered,
I forgot Rachel. I only saw the innocent Roman girl; I awaited in
suspense and with a powerful sympathy, the developement of the oft-told
tragedy. My blood grew warm with indignation when the words of Appius
roused her to anger, and I could scarcely keep back my tears, when, with
a voice broken by sobs, she bade farewell to the protecting gods of her
father's hearth.

Among the bewildering variety of ancient ornaments and implements in the
Egyptian Gallery of the Louvre, I saw an object of startling interest. A
fragment of the Iliad, written nearly three thousand years ago! One may
even dare to conjecture that the torn and half-mouldered slip of
papyrus, upon which he gazes, may have been taken down from the lips of
the immortal Chiun. The eyes look on those faded characters, and across
the great gulf of Time, the soul leaps into the Past, brought into
shadowy nearness by a mirage of the mind. There, as in the desert,
images start up, vivid, yet of a vague and dreamy beauty. We see the
olive groves of Greece--white-robed youths and maidens sit in the shade
of swaying boughs--and one of them reads aloud, in words that sound like
the clashing of shields, the deeds of Achilles.

As we step out the western portal of the Tuileries, a beautiful scene
greets us. We look on the palace garden, fragrant with flowers and
classic with bronze copies of ancient sculpture. Beyond this, broad
gravel walks divide the flower-bordered lawns and ranks of marble
demigods and heroes look down on the joyous crowd. Children troll their
hoops along the avenues or skip the rope under the clipped lindens,
whose boughs are now tinged a pale yellow by the bursting buds. The
swans glide about on a pond in the centre, begging bread of the
bystanders, who watch a miniature ship which the soft breeze carries
steadily across. Paris is unseen, but _heard_, on every side; only the
Column of Luxor and the Arc de Triomphe rise blue and grand above the
top of the forest. What with the sound of voices, the merry laughter of
the children and a host of smiling faces, the scene touches a happy
chord in one's heart, and he mingles with it, lost in pleasant reverie,
till the sounds fade away with the fading light.

Just below the Baths of the Louvre, there are several floating barges
belonging to the washer-women, anchored at the foot of the great stone
staircase leading down to the water. They stand there day after day,
beating their clothes upon flat boards and rinsing them in the Seine.
One day there seemed to have been a wedding or some other cause of
rejoicing among them, for a large number of the youngest were talking in
great glee on one of the platforms of the staircase, while a handsome,
German-looking youth stood near, with a guitar slung around his neck. He
struck up a lively air, and the girls fell into a droll sort of a dance.
They went at it heavily and roughly enough, but made up in good humor
what they lacked in grace; the older members of the craft looked up from
their work with satisfaction and many shouts of applause wore sent down
to them from the spectators on the Quai and the Pont Neuf. Not content
with this, they seized on some luckless men who were descending the
steps, and clasping them with their powerful right arms, spun them
around like so many tops and sent them whizzing off at a tangent. Loud
bursts of laughter greeted this performance, and the stout river maidens
returned to their dance with redoubled spirit.

Yesterday, the famous procession of the "_boeuf gras_" took place for
the second time, with great splendor. The order of march had been duly
announced beforehand, and by noon all the streets and squares through
which it was to pass, were crowded with waiting spectators. Mounted gens
d'armes rode constantly to and fro, to direct the passage of vehicles
and keep an open thoroughfare. Thousands of country peasants poured into
the city, the boys of whom were seen in all directions, blowing
distressingly through hollow ox-horns. Altogether, the spirit of
nonsense which animated the crowd, displayed itself very amusingly.

A few mounted guards led the procession, followed by a band of music.
Then appeared Roman lictors and officers of sacrifice, leading
Dagobert, the famous bull of Normandy, destined to the honor of being
slaughtered as the Carnival beef. He trod rather tenderly, finding, no
doubt, a difference between the meadows of Caen and the pavements of
Paris, and I thought he would have been willing to forego his gilded
horns and flowery crown, to get back there again. His weight was said to
be four thousand pounds, and the bills pompously declared that he had no
rival in France, except the elephant in the _Jardin des Plantes_.

After him came the farmer by whom he was raised, and M. Roland, the
butcher of the carnival, followed by a hundred of the same craft,
dressed as cavaliers of the different ages of France. They made a very
showy appearance, although the faded velvet and soiled tinsel of their
mantles were rather too apparent by daylight.

After all these had gone by, came an enormous triumphal car, very
profusely covered with gilding and ornamental flowers. A fellow with
long woollen hair and beard, intended to represent Time, acted as
driver. In the car, under a gilded canopy, reposed a number of persons,
in blue silk smocks and yellow "fleshtights," said to be Venus, Apollo,
the Graces, &c. but I endeavored in vain to distinguish one divinity
from another. However, three children on the back seat, dressed in the
same style, with the addition of long flaxy ringlets, made very passable
Cupids. This closed the march; which passed onward towards the Place de
la Concorde, accompanied by the sounds of music and the shouts of the
mob. The broad, splendid line of Boulevards, which describe a
semi-circle around the heart of the city, were crowded, and for the
whole distance of three miles, it required no slight labor to make one's
way. People in masks and fancy costumes were continually passing and
re-passing, and I detected in more than one of the carriages, checks
rather too fair to suit the slouched hunter's hats which shaded them. It
seemed as if all Paris was taking a holiday, and resolved to make the
most of it.



After a residence of five weeks, which, in spite of some few troubles,
passed away quickly and delightfully, I turned my back on Paris. It was
not regret I experienced on taking my seat in the cars for Versailles,
but that feeling of reluctance with which we leave places whose
brightness and gaiety force the mind away from serious toil. Steam,
however, cuts short all sentiment, and in much less time than it takes
to bid farewell to a German, we had whizzed past the Place d'Europe,
through the barrier, and were watching the spires start up from the
receding city, on the way to St. Cloud.

At Versailles I spent three hours in a hasty walk through the palace,
which allowed but a bare glance at the gorgeous paintings of Horace
Vernet. His "Taking of Constantine" has the vivid look of reality. The
white houses shine in the sun, and from the bleached earth to the blue
and dazzling sky, there seems to hang a heavy, scorching atmosphere. The
white smoke of the artillery curls almost visibly off the canvass, and
the cracked and half-sprung walls look as if about to topple down on the
besiegers. One series of halls is devoted to the illustration of the
knightly chronicles of France, from the days of Charlemagne to those of
Bayard and Gaston de Foix. Among these pictured legends, I looked with
the deepest interest on that of the noble girl of Orleans. Her
countenance--the same in all these pictures and in a beautiful statue of
her, which stands in one of the corridors--is said to be copied from an
old and well-authenticated portrait. United to the sweetness and purity
of peasant beauty, she has the lofty brow and inspired expression of a
prophetess. There is a soft light in her full blue eye that does not
belong to earth. I wonder not the soldiery deemed her chosen by God to
lead them to successful battle; had I lived in those times I could have
followed her consecrated banner to the ends of the earth. In the statue,
she stands musing, with her head drooping forward, as if the weight of
the breastplate oppressed her woman's heart; the melancholy soul which
shines through the marble seems to forebode the fearful winding-up of
her eventful destiny.

The afternoon was somewhat advanced, by the time I had seen the palace
and gardens. After a hurried dinner at a restaurant, I shouldered my
knapsack and took the road to St. Germain. The day was gloomy and
cheerless, and I should have felt very lonely but for the thought of
soon reaching England. There is no time of the year more melancholy than
a cold, cloudy day in March; whatever may be the beauties of pedestrian
traveling in fairer seasons, my experience dictates that during winter
storms and March glooms, it had better be dispensed with. However, I
pushed on to St. Germain, threaded its long streets, looked down from
the height over its magnificent tract of forest and turned westward down
the Seine. Owing to the scantiness of villages, I was obliged to walk an
hour and a half in the wind and darkness, before I reached a solitary
inn. As I opened the door and asked for lodging, the landlady inquired
if I had the necessary papers. I answered in the affirmative and was
admitted. While I was eating supper, they prepared their meal on the
other end of the small table and sat down together. They fell into the
error, so common to ignorant persons, of thinking a foreigner could not
understand them, and began talking quite unconcernedly about me. "Why
don't he take the railroad?" said the old man: "he must have very little
money--it would be bad for us if he had none." "Oh!" remarked his son,
"if he had none, he would not be sitting there so quiet and
unconcerned." I thought there was some knowledge of human nature in this
remark. "And besides," added the landlady, "there is no danger for us,
for we have his passport." Of course I enjoyed this in secret, and
mentally pardoned their suspicions, when I reflected that the high roads
between Paris and London are frequented by many imposters, which makes
the people naturally mistrustful. I walked all the next day through a
beautiful and richly cultivated country. The early fruit trees were
bursting into bloom, and the farmers led out their cattle to pasturage
in the fresh meadows. The scenery must be delightful in summer--worthy
of all that has been said or sung about lovely Normandy. On the morning
of the third day, before reaching Rouen, I saw at a distance the remains
of Chateau Galliard, the favorite castle of Richard Coeur de Lion. Rouen
breathes everywhere of the ancient times of Normandy. Nothing can be
more picturesque than its quaint, irregular wooden houses, and the low,
mossy mills, spanning the clear streams which rush through its streets.
The Cathedral, with its four towers, rises from among the clustered
cottages like a giant rook, split by the lightning and worn by the rains
of centuries is into a thousand fantastic shapes.

Resuming my walk in the afternoon, I climbed the heights west of the
city, and after passing through a suburb four or five miles in length,
entered the vale of the Cailly. This is one of the sweetest scenes in
France. It lies among the woody hills like a Paradise, with its velvet
meadows and villas and breathing gardens. The grass was starred with
daisies and if I took a step into the oak and chesnut woods, I trampled
on thousands of anemones and fragrant daffodils. The upland plain,
stretching inward from the coast, wears a different character. As I
ascended, towards evening, and walked over its monotonous swells, I felt
almost homesick beneath its saddening influence. The sun, hazed over
with dull clouds, gave out that cold and lifeless light which is more
lonely than complete darkness. The wind, sweeping dismally over the
fields, sent clouds of blinding dust down the road, and as it passed
through the forests, the myriads of fine twigs sent up a sound as deep
and grand as the roar of a roused ocean. Every chink of the Norman
cottage where I slept, whistled most drearily, and as I looked out the
little window of my room, the trees were swaying in the gloom, and long,
black clouds scudded across the sky. Though my bed was poor and hard, it
was a sublime sound that cradled me into slumber. Homer might have used
it as the lullaby of Jove.

My last day on the continent came. I rose early and walked over the
hills towards Dieppe. The scenery grew more bleak as I approached the
sea, but the low and sheltered valleys preserved the pastoral look of
the interior. In the afternoon, as I climbed a long, elevated ridge,
over which a strong northwester was blowing, I was struck with a
beautiful rustic church, in one of the dells below me. While admiring
its neat tower I had gained unconsciously the summit of the hill, and on
turning suddenly around, lo! there was the glorious old Atlantic
stretching far before and around me! A shower was sweeping mistily along
the horizon and I could trace the white line of the breakers that foamed
at the foot of the cliffs. The scene came over me like a vivid electric
shock, and I gave an involuntary shout, which might have been heard in
all the valleys around. After a year and a half of wandering over the
continent, that gray ocean was something to be revered and loved, for it
clasped the shores of my native America.

I entered Dieppe in a heavy shower, and after finding an inn suited to
my means and obtaining a _permis d'embarquement_ from the police office,
I went out to the battlements and looked again on the sea. The landlord
promised to call me in time for the boat, but my anxiety waked me
sooner, and mistaking the strokes of the cathedral bell, I shouldered my
knapsack and went down to the wharf at one o'clock. No one was stirring
on board the boat, and I was obliged to pace the silent, gloomy streets
of the town for two hours. I watched the steamer glide out on the rainy
channel, and turning into the topmost berth, drew the sliding curtain
and strove to keep out cold and sea-sickness. But it was unavailing; a
heavy storm of snow and rain rendered our passage so dreary that I did
not stir until we were approaching the chain pier of Brighton.

I looked out on the foggy shores of England with a feeling of relief; my
tongue would now be freed from the difficult bondage of foreign
languages, and my ears be rejoiced with the music of my own. After two
hours' delay at the Custom House, I took my seat in an open car for
London. The day was dull and cold; the sun resembled a milky blotch in
the midst of a leaden sky. I sat and shivered, as we flew onward, amid
the rich, cultivated English scenery. At last the fog grew thicker; the
road was carried over the tops of houses; the familiar dome of St.
Paul's stood out above the spires; and I was again in London!



My circumstances, on arriving at London, were again very reduced. A
franc and a half constituted the whole of my funds. This, joined to the
knowledge of London expenses, rendered instant exertion necessary, to
prevent still greater embarrassment. I called on a printer the next
morning, hoping to procure work, but found, as I had no documents with
me to show I had served a regular apprenticeship, this would be
extremely difficult, although workmen were in great demand. Mr. Putnam,
however, on whom I had previously called, gave me employment for a time
in his publishing establishment, and thus I was fortunately enabled to
await the arrival of a remittance from home.

Mrs. Trollope, whom I met in Florence, kindly gave me a letter to
Murray, the publisher, and I visited him soon after my arrival. In his
library I saw the original portraits of Byron, Moore, Campbell and the
other authors who were intimate with him and his father. A day or two
afterwards I had the good fortune to breakfast with Lockhart and Bernard
Barton, at the house of the former. Mr. Murray, through whom the
invitation was given, accompanied me there. As it was late when we
arrived at Regent's Park, we found them waiting, and sat down
immediately to breakfast.

I was much pleased with Lockhart's appearance and manners. He has a
noble, manly countenance--in fact, the handsomest English face I ever
saw--a quick, dark eye and an ample forehead, shaded by locks which
show, as yet, but few threads of gray. There is a peculiar charm in his
rich, soft voice; especially when reciting poetry, it has a clear,
organ-like vibration, which thrills deliciously on the ear. His
daughter, who sat at the head of the table, is a most lovely and amiable

Bernard Burton, who is now quite an old man, is a very lively and
sociable Friend. His head is gray and almost bald, but there is still
plenty of fire in his eyes and life in his limbs. His many kind and
amiable qualities endear him to a large circle of literary friends. He
still continues writing, and within the last year has brought out a
volume of simple, touching "Household Verses." A picture of cheerful and
contented old age has never been more briefly and beautifully drawn,
than in the following lines, which he sent me, in answer to my desire to
possess one of his poems in his own hand:


I feel that I am growing old,
Nor wish to hide that truth;
Conscious my heart is not more cold
Than in my by-gone youth.

I cannot roam the country round,
As I was wont to do;
My feet a scantier circle bound,
My eyes a narrower view.

But on my mental vision rise
Bright scenes of beauty still:
Morn's splendor, evening's glowing skies,
Valley, and grove, and hill.

Nor can infirmities o'erwhelm
The purer pleasures brought
From the immortal spirit's realm
Of feeling and of Thought!

My heart! let not dismay or doubt
In thee an entrance win!
Thou _hast_ enjoyed thyself _without_--
_Now seek thy joy within_!

During breakfast he related to us a pleasant anecdote of Scott. He once
wrote to the poet in behalf of a young lady, who wished to have the
description of Melrose, in the "Lay of the last Minstrel," in the poet's
own writing. Scott sent it, but added these lines to the conclusion:

"Then go, and muse with deepest awe
On what the writer never saw;
Who would not wander 'neath the moon
To see what he could see at noon!"

We went afterwards into Lockhart's library, which was full of
interesting objects. I saw the private diary of Scott, kept until within
a short time of his death. It was melancholy to trace the gradual
failing of all his energies in the very wavering of the autograph. In a
large volume of his correspondence, containing letters from Campbell,
Wordsworth, Byron, and all the distinguished characters of the age, I
saw Campbell's "Battle of the Baltic" in his own hand. I was highly
interested and gratified with the whole visit; the more so, as Mr.
Lockhart had invited me voluntarily, without previous acquaintance. I
have since heard him spoken of in the highest terms of esteem.

I went one Sunday to the Church of St. Stephen, to hear Croly, the poet.
The service, read by a drowsy clerk, was long and monotonous; I sat in a
side-aisle, looking up at the dome, and listening to the rain which
dashed in torrents against the windowpanes. At last, a tall, gray-haired
man came down the passage. He bowed with a sad smile, so full of
benevolence and resignation, that it went into my heart at once, and I
gave him an involuntary tribute of sympathy. He has a heavy affliction
to bear--the death of his gallant son, one of the officers who were
slain in the late battle of Ferozeshaw. His whole manner betrays the
tokens of subdued but constant grief.

His sermon was peculiarly finished and appropriate; the language was
clear and forcible, without that splendor of thought and dazzling
vividness of imagery which mark "Salathiel." Yet I could not help
noticing that he delighted to dwell on the spiritualities of religion,
rather than its outward observances, which he seemed inclined to hurry
over as lightly as possible. His mild, gray eye and lofty forehead are
more like the benevolent divine than the poet. I thought of Salathiel,
and looked at the dignified, sorrowful man before me. The picture of the
accursed Judean vanished, and his own solemn lines rang on my ear:

"The mighty grave
Wraps lord and slave,
Nor pride, nor poverty dares come
Within that prison-house, that tomb!"

Whenever I hear them, or think of them again, I shall see, in memory,
Croly's calm, pale countenance.

"The chimes, the chimes of Mother-land,
Of England, green and old;
That out from thane and ivied tower
A thousand years have tolled!"

I often thought of Coxe's beautiful ballad, when, after a day spent in
Waterloo Place, I have listened, on my way homeward, to the chimes of
Mary-le-bone Chapel, sounding sweetly and clearly above all the din of
the Strand. There is something in their silvery vibration, which is far
more expressive than the ordinary tones of a bell. The ear becomes weary
of a continued toll--the sound of some bells seems to have nothing more
in it than the ordinary clang of metal--but these simple notes,
following one another so melodiously, fall on the ear, stunned by the
ceaseless roar of carriages or the mingled cries of the mob, as gently
and gratefully as drops of dew. Whether it be morning, and they ring out
louder and deeper through the mist, or midnight, when the vast ocean of
being beneath them surges less noisily than its wont, they are alike
full of melody and poetry. I have often paused, deep in the night, to
hear those clear tones, dropping down from the darkness, thrilling, with
their full, tremulous sweetness, the still air of the lighted Strand,
and winding away through dark, silent lanes and solitary courts, till
the ear of the care-worn watcher is scarcely stirred with their dying
vibrations. They seemed like those spirit-voices, which, at such times,
speak almost audibly to the heart. How delicious it must be, to those
who dwell within the limits of their sound, to wake from some happy
dream and hear those chimes blending in with their midnight fancies,
like the musical echo of the promised bliss. I love these eloquent
bells, and I think there must be many, living out a life of misery and
suffering, to whom their tones come with an almost human consolation.
The natures of the very cockneys, who never go without the horizon of
their vibrations, is, to my mind, invested with _one_ hue of poetry!

A few days ago, an American friend invited me to accompany him to
Greenwich Fair. We took a penny steamer from Hungerford Market to London
Bridge, and jumped into the cars, which go every live minutes. Twelve
minutes' ride above the chimneys of London and the vegetable-fields of
Rotherhithe and Deptford brought us to Greenwich, we followed the stream
of people which was flowing from all parts of the city into the Park.

Here began the merriment. We heard on every side the noise of the
"scratchers," or, as the venders of these articles denominated
them--"the fun of the fair." By this is meant a little notched wheel,
with a piece of wood fastened on it, like a miniature watchman's rattle.
The "fun" consists in drawing them down the back of any one you pass,
when they make a sound precisely like that of ripping cloth. The women
take great delight in this, and as it is only deemed politeness to
return the compliment, we soon had enough to do. Nobody seemed to take
the diversion amiss, but it was so irresistibly droll to see a large
crowd engaged in this singular amusement, that we both burst into hearty

As we began ascending Greenwich Hill, we were assailed with another kind
of game. The ground was covered with smashed oranges, with which the
people above and below were stoutly pelting each other. Half a dozen
heavy ones whizzed uncomfortably near my head as I went up, and I saw
several persons get the full benefit of a shot on their backs and
breasts. The young country lads and lasses amused themselves by running
at full spend down the steep side of a hill. This was, however, a feat
attended with some risk; for I saw one luckless girl describe an arc of
a circle, of which her feet was the centre and her body the radius. All
was noise and nonsense. They ran to and fro under the long, hoary bough
of the venerable oaks that crest the summit, and clattered down the
magnificent forest-avenues, whose budding foliage gave them little
shelter from the passing April showers.

The view from the top is splendid. The stately Thames curves through the
plain below, which loses itself afar off in the mist; Greenwich, with
its massive hospital, lies just at one's feet, and in a clear day the
domes of London skirt the horizon. The wood of the Park is entirely
oak--the majestic, dignified, English oak--which covers, in picturesque
clumps, the sides and summits of the two billowy hills. It must be a
sweet place in summer, when the dark, massive foliage is heavy on every
mossy arm, and the smooth and curving sward shines with thousands of

Owing to the showers, the streets were coated with mud, of a consistence
as soft and yielding as the most fleecy Persian carpet. Near the gate,
boys were holding scores of donkeys, which they offered us at threepence
for a ride of two miles. We walked down towards the river, and came at
last to a group of tumblers, who with muddy hands and feet were throwing
somersets in the open street. I recognized them as old acquaintances of
the Rue St. Antoine and the Champs Elysees; but the little boy who cried
before, because he did not want to bend his head and foot into a ring,
like a hoop-snake, had learned his part better by this time, so that he
went through it all without whimpering and came off with only a fiery
red face. The exercises of the young gentlemen were of course very
graceful and classic, and the effect of their _poses_ of strength was
very much heightened by the muddy foot-marks which they left on each
other's orange-colored skins.

The avenue of booths was still more diverting. Here under sheets of
leaky awning, were exposed for sale rows of gilded gingerbread kings and
queens, and I cannot remember how many men and women held me fast by the
arms, determined to force me into buying a pound of them. We paused at
attractive, so we paid the penny admission, and walked behind the dark,
mysterious curtain. Two bare brick walls, three benches and a little boy
appeared to us. A sheet hung before us upon which quivered the shadow of
some terrible head. At my friend's command, the boy (also a spectator)
put out the light, when the awful and grinning face of a black woman
became visible. While we were admiring this striking production, thus
mysteriously revealed, Signor Urbani came in, and seeing no hope of any
more spectators, went behind the curtain and startled our sensitive
nerves with six or seven skeleton and devil apparitions, winding up the
wonderful entertainment with the same black head. We signified our
entire approbation by due applause and then went out to seek further

The centre of the square was occupied by swings, where some eight or ten
boat-loads of persons were flying topsy-turvy into the air, making one
giddy to look at them, and constant fearful shrieks arose from the lady
swingers, at finding themselves in a horizontal or inverted position,
high above the ground. One of the machines was like a great wheel, with
four cars attached, which mounted and descended with their motley
freight. We got into the boat by way of experiment. The starting motion
was pleasant, but very soon it flew with a swiftness and to a height
rather alarming. I began to repent having chosen such a mode of
amusement, but held on as well as I could, in my uneasy place. Presently
we mounted till the long beam of our boat was horizontal; at one
instant, I saw three young ladies below me, with their heads downward,
like a shadow in the water--the next I was turned heels up, looking at
thorn as a shadow does at its original. I was fast becoming sea-sick,
when, after a few minutes of such giddy soaring, the ropes were
slackened and we all got out, looking somewhat pale, and feeling
nervous, if nothing else.

There were also many great tents, hung with boughs and lighted with
innumerable colored lamps, where the people danced their country dances
in a choking cloud of dry saw-dust. Conjurors and gymnastic performers
were showing off on conspicuous platforms, and a continual sound of
drums, cymbals and shrill trumpets called the attention of the crowd to
some "Wonderful Exhibition"--some infant phenomenon, giant, or
three-headed pig. A great part of the crowd belonged evidently to the
very worst part of society, but the watchfulness of the police prevented
any open disorder. We came away early and in a quarter of an hour were
in busy London, leaving far behind us the revel and debauch, which was
prolonged through the whole night.

London has the advantage of one of the most gloomy atmospheres in the
world. During this opening spring weather, no light and scarcely any
warmth can penetrate the dull, yellowish-gray mist, which incessantly
hangs over the city. Sometimes at noon we have for an hour or two a
sickly gleam of sunshine, but it is soon swallowed up by the smoke and
drizzling fog. The people carry umbrellas at all times, for the rain
seems to drop spontaneously out of the very air, without wailing for the
usual preparation of a gathering cloud. Professor Espy's rules would be
of little avail here.

A few days ago we had a real fog--a specimen of November weather, as the
people said. If November wears such a mantle, London, during that sober
month, must furnish a good idea of the gloom of Hades. The streets wore
wrapped in a veil of dense mist, of a dirty yellow color, as if the air
had suddenly grown thick and mouldy. The houses on the opposite sides of
the street were invisible, and the gas lamps, lighted in the shops,
burned with a white and ghastly flame. Carriages ran together in the
streets, and I was kept constantly on the look-out, lest some one should
come suddenly out of the cloud around me, and we should meet with a
shock like that of two knights at a tournament. As I stood in the centre
of Trafalgar Square, with every object invisible around me, it reminded
me, (hoping the comparison will not be accepted in every particular) of
Satan resting in the middle of Chaos. The weather sometimes continues
thus for whole days together.

_April 26._--An hour and a half of land are still allowed us, and then
we shall set foot on the back of the oak-ribbed leviathan, which will be
our home until a thousand leagues of blue ocean are crossed. I shall
hear the old Aldgate clock strike for the last time--I shall take a last
walk through the Minories and past the Tower yard, and as we glide down
the Thames, St. Pauls, half-hidden in mist and coal-smoke, will probably
be my last glimpse of London.



We slid out of St. Katharine's Dock at noon on the appointed day, and
with a pair of sooty steamboats hitched to our vessel, moved slowly down
the Thames in mist and drizzling rain. I stayed on the wet deck all
afternoon, that I might more forcibly and joyously feel we were again in
motion on the waters and homeward bound! My attention was divided
between the dreary views of Blackwall, Greenwich and Woolwich, and the
motley throng of passengers who were to form our ocean society. An
English family, going out to settle in Canada, were gathered together in
great distress and anxiety, for the father had gone ashore in London at
a late hour, and was left behind. When we anchored for the night at
Gravesend, their fears were quieted by his arrival in a skiff from the
shore, as he had immediately followed us by railroad.

My cousin and B---- had hastened on from Paris to join me, and a day
before the sailing of the "Victoria," we took berths in the second
cabin, for twelve pounds ten shillings each, which in the London line of
packets, includes coarse but substantial fare for the whole voyage. Our
funds were insufficient to pay even this; but Captain Morgan, less
mistrustful than my Norman landlord, generously agreed that the
remainder of the fare should be paid in America. B---- and I, with two
young Englishmen, took possession of a State-room of rough boards,
lighted by a bull's-eye, which in stormy weather leaked so much that our
trunks swam in water. A narrow mattrass and blanket, with a knapsack for
a pillow, formed a passable bed. A long entry between the rooms, lighted
by a feeble swinging lamp, was filled with a board table, around which
the thirty-two second cabin passengers met to discuss politics and salt
pork, favorable winds and hard sea-biscuit.

We lay becalmed opposite Sheerness the whole of the second day. At dusk
a sudden squall came up, which drove us foaming towards the North
Foreland. When I went on deck in the morning, we had passed Dover and
Brighton, and the Isle of Wight was rising dim ahead of us. The low
English coast on our right was bordered by long reaches of dazzling
chalky sand, which glittered along the calm blue water.

Gliding into the Bay of Portsmouth, we dropped anchor opposite the
romantic town of Ryde, built on the sloping shore of the green Isle of
Wight. Eight or nine vessels of the Experimental Squadron were anchored
near us, and over the houses of Portsmouth, I saw the masts of the
Victory--the flag-ship in the battle of Trafalgar, on board of which
Nelson was killed. The wind was not strong enough to permit the passage
of the Needles, so at midnight we succeeded in wearing back again into
the channel, around the Isle of Wight. A head wind forced us to tack
away towards the shore of France. We were twice in sight of the rocky
coast of Brittany, near Cherbourg, but the misty promontory of Land's
End was our last glimpse of the old world.

On one of our first days at sea, I caught a curlew, which came flying on
weary wings towards us, and alighted on one of the boats. Two of his
brethren, too much exhausted or too timid to do likewise, dropped flat
on the waves and resigned themselves to their fate without a struggle. I
slipped up and caught his long, lank legs, while he was resting with
flagging wings and half-shut eyes. We fed him, though it was difficult
to get anything down his reed-shaped bill; but he took kindly to our
force-work, and when we let him loose on the deck, walked about with an
air quite tame and familiar. He died, however, two days afterwards. A
French pigeon, which was caught in the rigging, lived and throve during
the whole of the passage.

A few days afterwards, a heavy storm came on, and we were all sleepless
and sea-sick, as long as it lasted. Thanks, however, to a beautiful law
of memory, the recollection of that dismal period soon lost its
unpleasantness, while the grand forms of beauty the vexed ocean
presented, will remain forever, as distinct and abiding images. I kept
on deck as long as I could stand, watching the giant waves over which
our vessel took her course. They rolled up towards us, thirty or forty
feet in height--dark gray masses, changing to a beautiful vitriol tint,
wherever the light struck through their countless and changing crests.
It was a glorious thing to see our good ship mount slowly up the side of
one of these watery lulls, till her prow was lifted high in air, then,
rocking over its brow, plunge with a slight quiver downward, and plough
up a briny cataract, as she struck the vale. I never before realized the
terrible sublimity of the sea. And yet it was a pride to see how
man--strong in his godlike will--could bid defiance to those whelming
surges, and bravo their wrath unharmed.

We swung up and down on the billows, till we scarcely knew which way to
stand. The most grave and sober personages suddenly found themselves
reeling in a very undignified manner, and not a few measured their
lengths on the slippery decks. Boxes and barrels were affected in like
manner; everything danced around us. Trunks ran out from under the
berths; packages leaped down from the shelves; chairs skipped across the
rooms, and at table, knives, forks and mugs engaged in a general waltz
and _break down_. One incident of this kind was rather laughable. One
night, about midnight, the gale, which had been blowing violently,
suddenly lulled, "as if," to use a sailor's phrase, "it had been chopped
off!" Instantly the ship gave a tremendous lurch, which was the signal
for a general breaking loose. Two or three others followed, so violent,
that for a moment I imagined the vessel had been thrown on her beam
ends. Trunks, crockery and barrels went banging down from one end of the
ship to the other. The women in the steerage set up an awful scream, and
the German emigrants, thinking we were in terrible danger, commenced
praying with might and main. In the passage near our room stood several
barrels, filled with broken dishes, which at every lurch went banging
from side to side, jarring the board partition and making a horrible
din. I shall not soon forget the Babel which kept our eyes open that

The 19th of May a calm came on. Our white wings flapped idly on the
mast, and only the top-gallant sails were bent enough occasionally to
lug us along at a mile an hour. A barque from Ceylon, making the most of
the wind, with every rag of canvass set, passed us slowly on the way
eastward. The sun went down unclouded, and a glorious starry night
brooded over us. Its clearness and brightness were to me indications of
America. I longed to be on shore. The forests about home were then
clothed in the delicate green of their first leaves, and that bland
weather embraced the sweet earth like a blessing of heaven. The gentle
breath from out the west seemed made for the odor of violets, and as it
came to me over the slightly-ruflled deep, I thought how much sweeter it
were to feel it, while "wasting in wood-paths the voluptuous hours."

Soon afterwards a fresh wind sprung up, which increased rapidly, till
every sail was bent to the full. Our vessel parted the brine with an
arrowy glide, the ease and grace of which it is impossible to describe.
The breeze held on steadily for two or three days, which brought us to
the southern extremity of the Banks. Here the air felt so sharp and
chilling, that I was afraid we might be under the lee of an iceberg, but
in the evening the dull gray mass of clouds lifted themselves from the
horizon, and the sun set in clear, American beauty away beyond Labrador.
The next morning we were enveloped in a dense fog, and the wind which
bore us onward was of a piercing coldness. A sharp look-out was kept on
the bow, but as we could see but a short distance, it might have been
dangerous had we met one of the Arctic squadron. At noon it cleared away
again, and the bank of fog was visible a long time astern, piled along
the horizon, reminding me of the Alps, as seen from the plains of

On the 31st, the fortunate wind which carried us from the Banks, failed
us about thirty-five miles from Sandy Hook. We lay in the midst of the
mackerel fishery, with small schooners anchored all around us. Fog,
dense and impenetrable, weighed on the moveless ocean, like an
atmosphere of wool. The only incident to break the horrid monotony of
the day, was the arrival of a pilot, with one or two newspapers,
detailing the account of the Mexican War. We heard in the afternoon the
booming of the surf along the low beach of Long Island--hollow and
faint, like the murmur of a shell. When the mist lifted a little, we
saw the faint line of breakers along the shore. The Germans gathered on
deck to sing their old, familiar songs, and their voices blended
beautifully together in the stillness.

Next morning at sunrise we saw Sandy Hook; at nine o'clock we were
telegraphed in New York by the station at Coney Island; at eleven the
steamer "Hercules" met us outside the Hook; and at noon we were gliding
up the Narrows, with the whole ship's company of four hundred persons on
deck, gazing on the beautiful shores of Staten Island and agreeing
almost universally, that it was the most delightful scene they had ever
looked upon.

And now I close the story of my long wandering, as I began it--with a
lay written on the deep.


Farewell to Europe! Days have come and gone
Since misty England set behind the sea.
Our ship climbs onward o'er the lifted waves,
That gather up in ridges, mountain-high,
And like a sea-god, conscious in his power,
Buffets the surges. Storm-arousing winds
That sweep, unchecked, from frozen Labrador,
Make wintry music through the creaking shrouds.
Th' horizon's ring, that clasps the dreary view,
Lays mistily upon the gray Atlantic's breast.
Shut out, at times, by bulk of sparry blue,
That, rolling near us, heaves the swaying prow
High on its shoulders, to descend again
Ploughing a thousand cascades, and around
Spreading the frothy foam. These watery gulfs,
With storm, and winds far-sweeping, hem us in,
Alone upon the waters!

Days must pass--
Many and weary--between sea and sky.
Our eyes, that long e'en now for the fresh green
Of sprouting forests, and the far blue stretch
Of regal mountains piled along the sky,
Must see, for many an eve, the level sun
Sheathe, with his latest gold, the heaving brine,
By thousand ripples shivered, or Night's pomp
Brooding in silence, ebon and profound,
Upon the murmuring darkness of the deep,
Broken by flashings, that the parted wave
Sends white and star-like throujch its bursting foam.
Yet not more dear the opening dawn of heaven
Poured on the earth in an Italian May,
When souls take wings upon the scented air
Of starry meadows, and the yearning heart
Pains with deep sweetness in the balmy time,
Than these gray morns, and days of misty blue,
And surges, never-ceasing;--for our prow
Points to the sunset like a morning ray,
And o'er the waves, and through the sweeping storms,
Through day and darkness, rushes ever on,
Westward and westward still! What joy can send
The spirit thrilling onward with the wind,
In untamed exultation, like the thought
That fills the Homeward Bound?

Country and home!
Ah! not the charm of silver-tongued romance,
Born of the feudal time, nor whatsoe'er
Of dying glory fills the golden realms
Of perished song, where heaven-descended Art
Still boasts her later triumphs, can compare
With that one thought of liberty inherited--
Of free life giv'n by fathers who were free,
And to be left to children freer still!
That pride and consciousness of manhood, caught
From boyish musings on the holy graves
Of hero-martyrs, and from every form
Which virgin Nature, mighty and unchained,
Takes in an empire not less proudly so--
Inspired in mountain airs, untainted yet
By thousand generations' breathing--felt
Like a near presence in the awful depths
Of unhewn forests, and upon the steep
Where giant rivers take their maddening plunge--
Has grown impatient of the stifling damps
Which hover close on Europe's shackled soil.
Content to tread awhile the holy steps
Of Art and Genius, sacred through all time,
The spirit breathed that dull, oppressive air--
Which, freighted with its tyrant-clouds, o'erweighs
The upward throb of many a nation's soul--
Amid those olden memories, felt the thrall.
But kept the birth-right of its freer home,
Here, on the world's blue highway, comes again
The voice of Freedom, heard amid the roar
Of sundered billows, while above the wave
Rise visions of the forest and the stream.
Like trailing robes the morning mists uproll,
Torn by the mountain pines; the flashing rills
Shout downward through the hollows of the vales;
Down the great river's bosom shining sails
Glide with a gradual motion, while from all--
Hamlet, and bowered homestead, and proud town--
Voices of joy ring up into heaven!

Yet louder, winds! Urge on our keel, ye waves,
Swift as the spirit's yearnings! We would ride
With a loud stormy motion o'er your crests,
With tempests shouting like a sudden joy--
Interpreting our triumph! 'Tis your voice,
Ye unchained elements, alone can speak
The sympathetic feeling of the free--
The arrowy impulse of the Homeward Bound!

* * * * *

Although the narrative of my journey, "with knapsack and staff," is now
strictly finished, a few more words of explanation seem necessary, to
describe more fully the method of traveling which we adopted. I add them
the more willingly, as it is my belief that many, whose circumstances
are similar to mine, desire to undertake the same romantic journey. Some
matter-of-fact statements may be to them useful as well as interesting.

We found the pedestrian style not only by far the best way to become
acquainted with the people and sceneryof a country, but the pleasantest
mode of traveling. To be sure, the knapsack was, at first, rather heavy,
our feet were often sore and our limbs weary, but a few days walking
made a great difference, and after we had traveled two weeks, this
disappeared altogether. Every morning we rose as fresh and strong as if
it had been the first day--even after a walk of thirty miles, we felt
but little fatigue. We enjoyed slumber in its fullest luxury, and our
spirits were always light and joyous. We made it a rule to pay no regard
to the weather, unless it was so bad as to render walking unhealthy.
Often, during the day, we rested for half an hour on the grassy bank,
or sometimes, if it was warm weather, lay at full length in the shade
with our knapsacks under our heads. This is a pleasure which none but
the pedestrian can comprehend.

We always accepted a companion, of whatever kind, while walking--from
chimney-sweeps to barons. In a strange country one can learn something
from every peasant, and we neglected no opportunity, not only to obtain
information, but impart it. We found everywhere great curiosity
respecting America, and we were always glad to tell them all they wished
to know. In Germany, we were generally taken for Germans from some part
of the country where the dialect was a little different, or, if they
remarked our foreign peculiarities, they supposed we were either Poles,
Russians, or Swiss. The greatest ignorance in relation to America,
prevails among the common people. They imagine we are a savage race,
without intelligence and almost without law. Persons of education, who
had some slight knowledge of our history, showed a curiosity to know
something of our political condition. They are taught by the German
newspapers (which are under a strict censorship in this respect) to look
only at the evil in our country, and they almost invariably began by
adverting to Slavery and Repudiation. While we admitted, often with
shame and mortification, the existence of things so inconsistent with
true republicanism, we endeavored to make them comprehend the advantages
enjoyed by the free citizen--the complete equality of birth--which
places America, despite her sins, far above any other nation on earth. I
could plainly see, by the kindling eye and half-suppressed sigh, that
they appreciated a freedom so immeasurably greater than that which they

In large cities we always preferred to take the second or third-rate
hotels, which are generally visited by merchants and persons who travel
on business; for, with the same comforts as the first rank, they are
nearly twice as cheap. A traveler, with a guide-book and a good pair of
eyes, can also dispense with the services of a _courier_, whose duty it
is to conduct strangers about the city, from one lion to another. We
chose rather to find out and view the "sights" at our leisure. In small
villages, where we were often obliged to stop, we chose the best hotels,
which, particularly in Northern Germany and in Italy, are none too
good. But if it was a _post_, that is, a town where the post-chaise
stops to change horses, we usually avoided the post-hotel, where one
must pay high for having curtains before his windows and a more elegant
cover on his bed. In the less splendid country inns, we always found
neat, comfortable lodging, and a pleasant, friendly reception from the
people. They saluted us on entering, with "Be you welcome," and on
leaving, wished us a pleasant journey and good fortune. The host, when
he brought us supper or breakfast, lifted his cap, and wished us a good
appetite--and when he lighted us to our chambers, left us with "May you
sleep well!" We generally found honest, friendly people; they delighted
in telling us about the country around; what ruins there were in the
neighborhood--and what strange legends were connected with them. The
only part of Europe where it is unpleasant to travel in this manner, is
Bohemia. We could rarely find a comfortable inn; the people all spoke an
unknown language, and were not particularly celebrated for their
honesty. Beside this, travelers rarely go on foot in those regions; we
were frequently taken for traveling handworker, and subjected to

With regard to passports, although they were vexatious and often
expensive, we found little difficulty when we had acquainted ourselves
with the regulations concerning them. In France and Germany they are
comparatively little trouble; in Italy they are the traveler's greatest
annoyance. Americans are treated with less strictness, in this respect,
than citizens of other nations, and, owing to the absence of rank among
us, we also enjoy greater advantages of acquaintance and intercourse.

The expenses of traveling in England, although much greater than in our
own country, may, as we learned by experience, be brought, through
economy, within the same compass. Indeed, it is my belief, from
observation, that, with few exceptions, throughout Europe, where a
traveler enjoys the same comfort and abundance as in America, he must
pay the same prices. The principal difference is, that he only pays for
what he gets, so that, if he be content with the necessities of life,
without its luxuries, the expense is in proportion. I have given, at
times, through the foregoing chapters, the cost of travel and residence
in Europe, yet a connected estimate will better show the _minimum_
expense of a two years' pilgrimage:

Voyage to Liverpool, in the second cabin . . . . . . . . . . . $24.00
Three weeks' travel in Ireland and Scotland . . . . . . . . . 25.00
A week in London, at three shillings a day . . . . . . . . . . 4.50
From London to Heidelberg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15.00
A month at Heidelberg, and trip to Frankfort . . . . . . . . . 20.00
Seven months in Frankfort, at $10 per month . . . . . . . . . 70.00
Fuel, passports, excursions and other expenses . . . . . . . . 30.00
Tour through Cassel, the Hartz, Saxony, Austria, Bavaria, etc. 40.00
A month in Frankfort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.00
From Frankfort through Switzerland, and over the Alps
to Milan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15.00
From Milan to Genoa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Expenses from Genoa to Florence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14.00
Four months in Florence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50.00
Eight day's journey from Florence to Rome, two weeks in
Rome, voyage to Marseilles and journey to Paris . . . . . . 40.00
Five weeks in Paris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15.00
From Paris to London . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.00
Six weeks in London, at three shillings a day . . . . . . . . 31.00
Passage home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60.00

The cost for places of amusement, guides' fees, and other small
expenses, not included in this list, increase the sum total to $500, for
which the tour may be made. Now, having, I hope, established this to the
reader's satisfaction, I respectfully take leave of him.


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