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Our Hundred Days in Europe by Oliver Wendell Holmes

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used to sit and smoke his pipe, and to conjure up his wraith to look in
once more upon his old deserted dwelling. That vision was denied me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where doubt is disenchantment
'Tis wisdom to believe.

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

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

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

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

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

and all the masterpieces of its wonder-working artisans.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_Garcon! Une tasse de cafe._

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: Place de la Concorde]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

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

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

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

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

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